Welcome back everyone to another edition of the Spice Cabinet! I am overjoyed with the amount of interest my Punishing Ice article generated. So many people have reached out via Facebook and Twitter asking about the deck that I decided that the article was worth revisiting. Conveniently, Grand Prix Louisville is right around the corner, which means now is the perfect time to give the deck a tune up. I fully intend to run Punishing Ice in the GP on January 7th, so if all goes as planned I will also be releasing a sideboard guide for the deck for my next article on January 2nd. That should give you all plenty of time to prepare for the one in a million chance that we get paired up against each other in the GP!

For those of you who missed the last article, you can find it here https://www.hipstersofthecoast.com/2016/10/punishing-ice/. For everyone else let’s take a look at the updated list!

Punishing Ice

Creatures (10)
Bedlam Reveler
Thing in the Ice
Snapcaster Mage
Vendilion Clique
True-Name Nemesis

Spells (30)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Dack Fayden
Engineered Explosives
Life From the Loam
Punishing Fire
Lightning Bolt
Force of Will
Spell Pierce

Land (21)
Grove of the Burnwillows
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Volcanic Island
Tropical Island
Sideboard (15)
Engineered Explosives
Pithing Needle
Krosan Grip
Sylvan Library
Grafdigger’s Cagea
Surgical Extraction
Kozilek’s Return

Since I first wrote about the deck in October, I have entered Punishing Ice in about a half dozen tournaments of various sizes. In all but one of these tournaments I made Top 4 or Top 8, including a 3rd place finish at the Gaming Etc. Legacy 1K, which drew some of the toughest competition in the New England area. What I am trying to say is that this deck is the real deal. I believe that it is more than capable of taking down the GP, as well as your local legacy FNM.


This added experience with Punishing Ice has given me greater perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the deck. As such I have made a few small tweaks to the main deck in order to shore up some weaker matchups as well as increase the consistency of the deck.

-2 Surgical Extraction

Ahhh Surgical Extraction, you were so awesome when you were good, and so mediocre the rest of the time. I still stand by what I said in my first article, Surgical Extraction adds a fun flavor to the deck that can win games. Getting a Dredge or Reanimator player with a game one Surgical Extraction is a great feeling. Flipping Thing in the Ice at instant speed was also a great gotcha moment. Unfortunately, I needed to add a few cards to the deck in order to shore up some matchups and Surgical Extraction was the most logical choice for a cut. If the metagame shifts back to more graveyard-based strategies I could totally see these sweet phyrexian mana babies making their way back into the main deck.


+1 Engineered Explosives

As I learned first-hand from local Bant Stoneblade legend Tom Smiley, the deck has a hard time dealing with untargetable threats like True-Name Nemesis. Sword of Fire and Ice as well as Mother of Runes can also ruin your day quicker than you can say “protection from red.” Engineered Explosives was added to help answer those hard-to-reach targets. The deck can easily make three colors of mana between the Volcanic Islands and Grove of the Burnwillows, which means about 90% of Legacy playable cards are within its explosive reach.   


+1 Misdirection

Making up for some of the lost spice due to the removal of Surgical Extraction, Misdirection carries the mantle of official Spicy 61st. This card has more than earned its place after the dozen or so matches I have seen it in. Thing in the Ice has a huge target on its head, and smart opponents will wait until the last possible moment before trying to kill it. This led to several occasions where Misdirecting an Abrupt Decay back at my opponent’s permanent had the double whammy effect of also flipping my Thing in the Ice. The game does not last much longer after that happens.


Other fun moments with Misdirection involved changing the target of an opponent’s Surgical Extraction from my Punishing Fire to a card in their graveyard. I was also able to live the dream of Misdirecting a Hymn to Tourach back at my opponent for all the value. If all else fails Misdirection is also a great fifth copy of Force of Will, helping you shore up your counter war matchups.  

-1 Chain Lightning

Another tough cut was Chain Lightning. There are definitely times where I find myself sitting at three life staring down a Delver of Secrets wishing I had not cut Chain Lightning. At the end of the day space needed to be made and unless your name is Pat Euglow, Chain Lightning is just a sorcery speed Lightning Bolt.


+1 Bedlam Reveler

Almost right away I realized that I wanted a second copy of Bedlam Reveler in the main deck. This card is unbelievably good and is always what you want to draw when the game stalls out. Having a second copy does mean that it shows up in opening hands more often when it is uncastable. This is usually not much of a downside though, as you have many ways to tuck it back into your deck. Worst comes to worst you can always pitch it to a Dack Fayden +1 as having two in the deck makes discarding a copy a lot less painful.   

-1 Island for +1 Volcanic Island

The mana base needed a slight tweaking. Namely it needed more red sources that were not Grove of the Burnwillow to maximize value from all of the burn spells. I could definitely see an argument to be made to turn it into a Mountain in order to play around Wasteland decks. However based on my current testing the Volcanic Island is the better choice for its increased consistency.

Changing all the Fetchlands

Don’t read too much into this one folks, all that matters is that they can fetch a blue source. The fetchland choices I made for the deck are based on which ones I have in foil. After all, we have to have the deck looking fresh for when it takes down the Top 8 of the grand prix.

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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