So this week I decided to try something a little bit different. I didn’t play the deck. I actually missed Legacy and had dinner with my super awesome mom instead. (Sorry guys, sometimes I actually do things that aren’t Magic-related believe it or not.) Instead I decided I wanted to send an experienced Death and Taxes player in my stead to get some proper feedback on how the deck is built, what can be done to improve it and how I should move forward. I’m sure no one will be surprised that the person I decided to send was Aaron. He’s not only an expert at brewing but he is also an experienced D&T player so he seemed the perfect person for the job.

Aaron ended up going 3-2—not too bad for a brew deck in a room full of top-tier legacy decks. It’s also a build he has zero experience with so overall I thought it spoke pretty highly of the deck. None of his matches were blow-outs and he was able to hold his own.  After he came home we went over some issues with the list and decided to make some adjustments. We kept on budget by assuming we’d be able to trade the existing pieces for new ones. His biggest issue with the deck is one that I also ran into: the deck wasn’t good enough in faster match-ups.  This is the list we ended up with.

Death and Taxes

Creatures (24)
Mother of Runes
Phyrexian Revoker
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Leonin Arbiter
Serra Avenger
Mirran Crusader
Sanctum Prelate
Akroma, Angel of Fury

Spells (13)
Swords to Plowshares
Smuggler’s Copter
Aether Vial
Umezawa’s Jitte
Lands (23)
Ghost Quarter
11 Plains
Cavern of Souls

Sideboard (15)
Eidolon of Rhetoric
Faerie Macabre
Absolute Law
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Pithing Needle

You’ll see we moved the deck to be a little bit more aggro than the original list, adding in another Mirran Crusader and a Serra Avenger.  The list was feeling a little bit too slow at times and I felt this would really help us in match-ups that are quicker. The deck isn’t successful if you can only execute the taxes part of death and taxes, you really also need the death.

I decided to use our $50 budget for the month of March so we also now have two Cavern of Souls in the deck thanks to the reprint in Modern Masters 2017.  If you are also participating along with me I would recommend waiting a few more weeks try to get some cheap on Ebay, most likely getting three or four for what was originally the price of two Caverns, but I’m trying to stick to the challenge as closely as possibly while quickly improving the deck.  We’ve also increased the number of Smuggler’s Copters, the card selection in Death and Taxes is just too valuable.  Death& and Taxes traditionally has little to no card selection so adding in the Smuggler’s Copters, while a budget choice, is also a really valuable part of the deck.

I also made one change to the sideboard, swapping the two Rest in Peace for two Thalia, Heretic Cathar.  I feel like it will help shore up some of our tougher match-ups such as Sneak and Snow.  Six pieces of graveyard hate was definitely too much. While the store I play it made it feel borderline necessary I knew I was wasting too many slots on it.  I went back and forth between the Faerie Macabre and Rest in Peace but decided that Faerie Macabre had traditionally done way more work for me.

I’m really looking forward to testing these changes. So far Smuggler’s Copter really has been really been the best card in the deck in my opinion and I hope that D&T players, budget or not, will consider testing it in their builds. Who needs a $60 Horizon Canopy when you can buy a $3 copter that gives you multiple draws and is a solid beater!

Let me know what you think of the changes. SCG Worcester is quickly approaching and I’m starting to get excited. Are you going to be there? Let me know!

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of Card Altering. Check her Stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH.

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