This week I am going to talk about the deck I have been piloting both in Vintage and Legacy: Leovold Landstill. Recently Leovold, Emissary of Trest has spiked in price with a thanks to Reid Duke piloting his version of Sultai Leovold to a first place finish at Grand Prix Louisville.

Ever since I originally wrote about Leovold, I have been trying to find the best shell to put him into. Although I enjoyed testing the more aggressive version with Aether Vial, I am really enjoying this more controlling version with Standstill. Control just speaks to me and lately Sultai has been appealing not only for the great removal options but also Leovold. Anyway, this is roughly what I have been playing in Legacy.

Sultai Landstill

Lands (24)
Creeping Tar Pit
Mishra’s Factory
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Tropical Island
Underground Sea

Creatures (10)
Deathrite Shaman
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Snapcaster Mage

Spells (26)
Abrupt Decay
Crucible of Worlds
Fatal Push
Force of Will
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Spell Pierce
Toxic Deluge
Sideboard (15)
Abrupt Decay
Diabolic Edict
Engineered Plague
Life from the Loam
Maelstrom Pulse
Notion Thief
Surgical Extraction
Vraska the Unseen


Deathrite Shaman provides early game ramp as well as a way to gain value late into the game manipulating each player’s life total.

Image result for leovold emissary of trest

Leovold, Emissary of Trest is a great way to grind a longer game against Death and Taxes and any other deck that has a lot of targeted interaction. Leovold especially shines against decks with Punishing Fire, Rishadan Port, and is even fine against Burn to draw us into further counter magic and win conditions.

Snapcaster Mage is a value engine for used spells and even helps us turn the corner from control to aggro in order to close out a game.


Abrupt Decay as usual leads up the list since it can interact with most any threat in Legacy as well as problematic equipment like Sword of Fire and Ice and Umezawa’s Jitte, which can occasionally give us fits.

Image result for fatal push

Fatal Push is a new removal spell from Aether Revolt. Kate wrote a fine article discussing some of the strengths of it in Legacy especially given that we have fetchlands and Wasteland to generally get the full range of removal that it can allow. This is the one new card that I have yet to test, but have high hopes given that my local metagame is full of Stoneforge Mystic and Tarmogoyf.

Toxic Deluge is here as a general sweeper effect to clean up large swarms of creatures. Most importantly it kills True-Name Nemesis despite protection. That card has been growing in popularity recently in Legacy and certainly has been giving me fits as of late.


Jace, the Mind Sculptor is our lone planeswalker in the main deck. He’s the ultimate card advantage engine and probably the best control card in a longer game when you need to grind out card advantage and eventually win a game that may come down to alternative means rather than combat.


The sideboard is fairly divided between additional tools for the fair game as well as cards that give us a strong edge in the combo match ups.

Against creature-heavy archetypes we have great options like an additional Abrupt Decay, Darkblast, Diabolic Edict, Engineered Plague, Maelstrom Pulse, and Vraska the Unseen. Vraska especially has been an ideal option allowing us to interact with any problematic nonland permanents. For the extra rub ins you can just ultimate her to quickly finish off a game.

Another inclusion for match ups where the grind is real and Wastelands are firing off back and forth I have added a Life From the Loam to mitigate the damage and provide a very powerful draw engine when combined with Jace being able to Loam back three lands and then use Jace to put two back while drawing fresh cards, then dredging the lands back into the graveyard the next draw step.

Against unfair decks we have a pair of Flusterstorm, Notion Thief, and Surgical Extraction. There was a time where I had a pair of Mindbreak Trap for the fact that if you get Leovold in play and then are targeted by ten copies of Tendrils of Agony when you get to draw ten cards and potentially have an out without any mana available. Fairly cute more than actually good, so those have since been removed.

Initial Thoughts

Overall with tight play this deck has rewarded me at my LGS generally ending with a winning record. Just to rub it in, I will say that this deck crushed Punishing Ice by fellow Hipsters writer Jerry Mee which felt great. I think this deck has legs and could certainly be a tier one archetype and even replace the Izzet and Patriot versions of Landstill.

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 on twitter. 🙂

Aaron Gazzaniga works part time at a game store 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. If you want to contact Aaron tweet @aarongazzaniga

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.