Hello everyone! This week is going to be a little different. Instead of showing you some crazy, off-the-wall brew that works on paper but is dubious in practice, I am going to share a brew I have been working on that actually has results to back it up!

This past Friday, I took the day off work and made my way down to Grand Prix Providence. Barely arriving in time due to my love of sleeping in, I entered the Eternal Weekend Trial Legacy event. Long story short, I ended up splitting the finals of the event with my friend Zak Bash after five rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to top eight.

I have a bit of a reputation for playing wacky decks in the Legacy community, but even I was surprised at the amount of interest this deck generated. Almost every single one of my opponents, and even the head judge, asked to see my deck list after seeing it in action. So I figured what better way to showcase the deck then to feature it in this week’s article.   


Remember me!?!

Punishing Ice

Creatures (9)
Thing in the Ice
Snapcaster Mage
Vendilion Clique
True-Name Nemesis
Bedlam Reveler

Spells (31)
Punishing Fire
Lightning Bolt
Chain Lightning
Force of Will
Spell Pierce
Surgical Extraction
Life From the Loam
Dack Fayden
Jace, The Mind Sculptor
Lands (21)
Volcanic Island
Tropical Island
Grove of the Burnwillows
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn

Sideboard (15)
Grafdigger's Cage
Surgical Extraction
Phyrexian Revoker
Engineered Explosives
Sylvan Library
Krosan Grip
Sulfur Elemental
Blood Moon

Some of you may remember that I have a soft spot in my heart for Thing in the Ice. I brewed up a mono blue deck focused on the snazzy flip monster a few articles back. So it is no surprise that my interest was piqued when a Punishing Fire RUG version of the deck began to pop up in the Top 8 reports of Europe and Japan. I had to see if this crazy fun deck had legs in the North American metagame, with a few twists of my own.


The Theory

Punishing Fire is the perfect pair with Thing in the Ice. Not only is Punishing Fire / Grove of the Burnwillows a powerful Legacy combo in its own right, it also allows you to flip Thing in the Ice with ease. The rest of the deck is a dedicated counter-burn shell, highly effective at incinerating creature-based decks, as well as providing plenty of protection against combo opponents.

The goal is to gain control of the board state by killing any creatures on sight with repetitive Punishing Fires. Once you have the upper hand you can resolve one of your planeswalkers and drop a Thing in the Ice to provide a blocker while you begin to remove the counters. Between Lightning Bolts to the face, picking away with Snapcaster Mage beats, and swinging in with a seven-power Awoken Horror, your opponent will quickly be dispatched.


Round 1: Shardless BUG 2-0

The only creature that we worry about in this matchup is Tarmogoyf, as everything else in the deck is easy pickings for Punishing Fire. A well timed Punishing Fire followed by a quick Lightning Bolt took care of the first Tarmogoyf. Surgical Extraction made sure we would not have to worry about the other three.

Dack Fayden was a surprising all star in this match, stealing several Baleful Strix and Shardless Agents to provide chump blockers. Dack Fayden is also insane with Punishing Fire, allowing you to discard Punishing Fire repeatedly in order to draw multiple cards with Dack when there are no good targets to burn away.    

Round 2: Infect 2-0

This match was a bloodbath. Infect cannot deal with a deck packing lots of cheap removal backed by counter magic. Once Punishing Fire came online it was lights out.  


Round 3: Recruiter of the Guard Aluren 1-2

This was a hard match to swallow as I punted horrendously, throwing away the win in game three. Even though I wrote an article about Aluren and how it works, I still missed the brief window in which I could Punishing Fire the key Arctic Merfolk before my opponent was able to protect it with Cavern Harpy triggers. It just goes to show how complicated the combo can be, and how difficult it is to disrupt it. It all turned out OK so I can’t beat myself up too much about it. I would say that this matchup is a favorable one if I had a bit more practice with it.


Round 4: Black Red Turbo Reanimator 2-0

Did I mention I am running main deck Surgical Extractions? Yeah, it does not get better for my opponent post board when I actually get to board in my other graveyard hate. The Black Red Reanimator deck has been popping up more and more lately. I actually really like the build and think it’s the best combo deck you can build for less than $600.

Unfortunately for my opponent, since it is a pet deck of mine, I knew the match-up inside and out. This was the one match-up all day where I actually won with a Jace, the Mind Sculptor ultimate. Gotta love the achievement point of winning with a Jace ult against the crazy fast combo deck.  


Round 5: Grixis Delver 0-0-1 Intentional Draw

Drew into Top 8. Don’t worry I would meet my opponent again in the semi finals.

Top 8: Death and Taxes 2-0

Ooooooooh boy is this a grindy match-up. While you are favored to win, it will be a grueling and hard-fought victory. Thank goodness Top 8 is untimed as we would have surely come to a draw in the Swiss. Not due to slow play, but due to the sheer complexity and grindy slug-fest the match-up turns into. You really have to be on your toes as an active Mother of Runes can make your Punishing Fires much more difficult to pull off.  


Top 4: Grixis Delver 2-0

The Grixis Delver match plays out similar to the Shardless BUG match. The only thing we really worry about is Gurmag Angler. Without the zombie fish everything else in the deck is easy to remove with Punishing Fire. The real nail in the coffin is that Grixis does not really have an answer for Thing in the Ice. While Death and Taxes has Swords to Plowshares and Shardless BUG has Abrupt Decay, Grixis does not have the removal capable of stopping Thing in the Ice before it starts swinging at their head.   

Finals: Death and Taxes 0-0-1 Intentional Draw

My opponent in the finals was a local player and friend of mine, Zak Bash. We both agreed that I was the favorite to win the match, as he had been watching me play my games all day. However the last thing either of us wanted to do was spend another hour or two grinding each other down for very little added value. Zak took the two byes to Eternal Weekend since I am unable to attend and we both walked away with $125, 50 packs of Kaladesh, and a promo Stoneforge Mystic.


The Spicy 61st

Tradition is tradition and I would be a fool to skip showcasing this week’s Spicy 61st. Bedlam Reveler is an all star in the deck. He was always the card I wanted to top deck late game when I was in a board stall. Every time I played him he was an Ancestral Recall, attached to a 3/4 body, with prowess, for RR. You empty your hand very quickly with this deck, relying on recurring Punishing Fire for value. Bedlam Reveler‘s downside is almost nonexistent in this deck.

Overall I was very happy with the results of the deck. In a small cheap creature-based meta, the deck feels unstoppable. There is so much value packed into the nooks and crannies of the deck. If you like grindy control decks (and can’t bring yourself to play Miracles) I would highly recommend you give the deck a try.

Jerry Mee is a Boston Native who has been playing Magic since Onslaught Block. Primarily a Legacy player, he cohosts the weekly Leaving a Legacy Podcast found on Mtgcast.com. He can be reached on Twitter at @Jmee3rd

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