This week we will be discussing a deck that used to be a big contender in both Standard and Extended (for those of you that remember it) and is quite a favorite of mine in Legacy: [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven]. My base for this deck was a list that got second place in an event during 2011 seen here.

[casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven] as a deck is all about value. Using [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven] alongside [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven] can create a ton of card advantage allowing us to recycle cards as well as draw through our deck to find the answers  we need. [casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven] with the cycle lands provides immense card draw and dredging [casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven] allows us to fill our graveyard for value.

The deck synergizes quite well. When the engine of [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven] gets online, no deck quite matches the amount of card advantage that we can create. A couple options for the deck that did not exist back then are [casthaven]Abrupt Decay[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Siege Rhino[/casthaven]. Both cards work well with our game plan, and help us buy time to assemble the combo and have been added to the list. Without any further ado here is the deck:

Astral Slide

Lands (27)
Barren Moor
Secluded Steppe
Tranquil Thicket
Verdant Catacombs
Volrath’s Stronghold
Windswept Heath

Creatures (6)
Eternal Witness
Siege Rhino

Spells (28)
Abrupt Decay
Astral Slide
Life from the Loam
Liliana of the Veil
Living Wish
Mox Diamond
Swords to Plowshares
Sideboard (15)
Council’s Judgment
Dust Bowl
Ethersworn Canonist
Gaddock Teeg
Orzhov Pontiff
Reclamation Sage
Scavenging Ooze
Siege Rhino
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Card Advantage

In this section we have [casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven], Cycle Lands (such as [casthaven]Tranquil Thicket[/casthaven], [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven], [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Liliana of the Veil[/casthaven].

[casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven] allows us to essentially draw three cards a turn when we need lands or just want to rebuy some Cycle Lands. The Cycle Lands alongside [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven] allow us to slow down opposing creatures or blink an [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven] or [casthaven]Siege Rhino[/casthaven] for value. [casthaven]Liliana of the Veil[/casthaven] as a planewalker essentially casts a spell a turn. Because we are running [casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven], her effect is almost one sided as we can just discard extra lands. These cards together provide all the card advantage and card draw that anyone could possibly want.

The Engine

The engine of the deck is [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven], [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven], [casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven] and Cycling lands. Once we have assembled a board with [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven] we can “Slide” her out every turn in order to rebuy cards and begin to gain card advantage.

Multiple copies of [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven] make cycling that much more efficient as I can blink multiples of my creatures or opponent’s creatures. Having [casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven] active can help to increase the efficiency of the engine by picking the cycle lands back up so that my [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven] can grab removal spells from the yard. I have also had times where I return [casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven] to limit the amount of my deck that I have to dredge out.

This engine is so efficient that it does not take long to mill yourself out. I have since first piloting the deck added the [casthaven]Siege Rhino[/casthaven]s to increase the clock and further synergize with [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven].



[casthaven]Abrupt Decay[/casthaven] has become a Legacy staple and favorite is our main go to removal spell. It answers most nonland permanents that we need to answer, can’t be countered, and is efficient. On the cheaper side we also have [casthaven]Swords to Plowshares[/casthaven], one of the most best removal spells ever printed. The main downside of [casthaven]Swords to Plowshares[/casthaven] is that giving our opponent life when we are trying to kill them with an [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven] can really extend the clock and make it that much harder to close out a game. The addition of [casthaven]Siege Rhino[/casthaven] has helped this problem quite a bit but it is still something to be aware of.

[casthaven]Liliana of the Veil[/casthaven] is not a new card to Legacy. She is as strong as Jace and can answer a lot of problem permanents as well as help us versus combo and creature decks.  In addition, her ultimate can be enough to force an opponent to scoop. [casthaven]Vindicate[/casthaven] is a card that I have used a lot in the past within Legacy as a catch all answer but I actually dropped from the original list for [casthaven]Abrupt Decay[/casthaven]. The benefit of [casthaven]Vindicate[/casthaven] hitting lands in the reason that I have reintroduced one copy to the deck. In the rare occasion that lands like [casthaven]Maze of Ith[/casthaven] or [casthaven]Rishadan Port[/casthaven] are causing us grief we can use [casthaven]Vindicate[/casthaven] in addition to [casthaven]Wasteland[/casthaven] to answer them and reuse it if we sense that our opponent is land light and we want to lock them out of the game.

Spells—Living Wish

In this deck we have [casthaven]Living Wish[/casthaven] alongside a small wish board in order to get utility creatures and lands. Although [casthaven]Living Wish[/casthaven] cannot be recycled from [casthaven]Eternal Witness[/casthaven] as it exiles upon resolution, it can allow us to find a few creatures that can be paired with [casthaven]Astral Slide[/casthaven] to help us answer what our opponent is doing.

Creatures like [casthaven]Orzhov Pontiff[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Reclamation Sage[/casthaven] provide answers. We can slow down combo decks with [casthaven]Ethersworn Canonist[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Gaddock Teeg[/casthaven]. I have also included aone [casthaven]Siege Rhino[/casthaven] in the board which allows us to essentially run six copies in the deck by including the four copies of [casthaven]Living Wish[/casthaven] and two copies of [casthaven]Siege Rhino[/casthaven] in the main.


In fair matchups we can tend to bury our opponent with unfair card advantage. Mana bases in Legacy tend towards greed. Many people run only dual lands as well as utility lands that are perfect targets for [casthaven]Wasteland[/casthaven]. With [casthaven]Life from the Loam[/casthaven] we can leave our opponent with no land on board. Using the cycle lands to draw into anything that we need in a match up, we have a lot of inevitability.

Against combo we have [casthaven]Liliana of the Veil[/casthaven] to tear apart their hand and keep them down. From the board we have access to [casthaven]Duress[/casthaven] as well as [casthaven]Ethersworn Canonist[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Gaddock Teeg[/casthaven] which we can wish for in game one. We also have [casthaven]Mox Diamond[/casthaven] to ramp into our hate cards fast enough to not die.

Aggressive decks, especially Burn, can be problematic. We are not a very fast deck in setting up. I have been considering including a few [casthaven]Renewed Faith[/casthaven] in order to help us offset early aggressive starts from decks. [casthaven]Price of Progress[/casthaven] especially is a beating as we have a greedy mana base. We can fetch up basics, but then we become slower and have to very carefully plan our turns and sequencing in order to prevent some form of mana screw. We do have the option against [casthaven]Price of Progress[/casthaven] to hold up [casthaven]Wasteland[/casthaven] to reduce the hit by using [casthaven]Wasteland[/casthaven] to destroy another non-basic of ours.

Happy brewing to each and every one of you. If anyone has an idea for a brew that they would like to see, I will gladly take requests and challenges in the comments. 🙂

Aaron Gazzaniga manages a restaurant and in his off time has been an avid magic player/brewer since 2003. Having begun in Odyssey Standard Block and always favoring control and prison style decks, we come to this moment in time where Aaron finally gets to talk about and share his ideas.

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