Have you ever really wanted something, but all your friends tell you it’s a bad idea? “It’s a waste of money,” they say. “You’ll never use it. It’s not even good in the metagame right now.” After hearing all of these logical and well thought out arguments, you may even have thought to yourself…

“I am a grown ass man! If I want to spend my hard earned money on a ridiculously expensive piece of cardboard, then by golly I’m going to spend my money on an expensive piece of cardboard! All these naysayers just make me want one even more!”

I know this train of thought all too well. In fact, this is exactly how I found myself in possession of a Moat.

Build a Moat

Creatures (3)
Vendilion Clique
Baneslayer Angel

Spells (36)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Enlightened Tutor
Spell Pierce
Spell Snare
Swords to Plowshares
Supreme Verdict
Force of Will
Helm of Obedience
Energy Field
Rest in Peace
Back to Basics

Land (22)
Flooded Strand
Polluted Delta
Misty Rainforest

Well, I have a Moat now so I might as well use it. I only have one copy, but I want to be able to maximize the number of times I get to play it. One of my pet cards, Enlightened Tutor comes to our rescue. The white tutor provides an instant speed way to search our library for our sweet, sweet Moat and set it up as our next draw step.

In order to maximize Enlightened Tutor’s value, we will want our main win condition to be one of the many two card combos made up of artifacts and enchantments. Immediately three possibilities spring to mind.

  1. Painter’s Servant/Grindstone—A powerful combo which can win at instant speed, ‘Painted Stone’ would be a great finisher we can fire off from behind the safety of our Moat. However, the added fragility from Painter’s Servant being a creature is certainly a downfall. A lucky Lightning Bolt is all it would take to ruin our day.
  2. Thopter Foundry/Sword of the Meek—Ah the grindiest of combos! Unlike other two card combos which win on the spot, ‘Sword Foundry’ chokes the life out of our opponents one life and one 1/1 at a time. The fact that the tokens have flying, which plays well with Moat, is also a nice touch. However, the reliance on the graveyard has me quite nervous. Any legacy player worth her salt will be packing graveyard hate for Dredge and Reanimator. The last thing we want to do is to be caught in the cross hairs of a Surgical Extraction.
  3. Rest in Peace/Helm of Obedience—I think we have a winner here! While a bit mana intensive, ‘R.I.P Helm’ provides an instant speed win that is not reliant on a creature dodging bullets. Not only does the combo not rely on the graveyard, it actively attacks other graveyard based decks. Even fair decks will be affected as Rest in Peace shrinks Tarmogoyf, starves Deathrite Shaman, blinds Snapcaster Mage, and chokes Gurmag Angler.

Since we are running main deck Rest in Peace, we might as well throw in its good buddy Energy Field. Another Enlightened Tutor target, Energy Field combos with Rest in Peace to provide an infinite shield. This buys us as much time as we need to find the kill half of the combo. Some decks unable to answer the two enchantments will fold on the spot to the combo before you ever find the Helm. For the last little bit of tutor spice, I threw in a Back to Basics. The so-called “blue Blood Moon” can single-handedly shut down the majority of Legacy decks, while leaving our basic heavy mana base alone.

Sometimes winning with the combo becomes impossible. A turn one Pithing Needle can shut us down faster than you can say Helm of Obedience. As such we need to have an alternate win condition standing by. Vendilion Clique answers our call by providing an efficient flying clock, that also disrupts our opponent. Combined with Karakas, we also have a two card combo that can create a ‘soft lock’ that prevents our opponent from ever drawing a useful card ever again.

Preparing for the worst, we also have a plan C: Jace, the Mindsculptor. You would be crazy to leave Jace at home when sleeving up a Blue-White control deck. Nothing makes a pillow fort feel more satisfying than knowing at the center of it all you have a Jace stacking up card advantage every turn. While it is long and painful, winning by Jace ultimate is one of the most satisfying feelings in a competitive Legacy match.      

The rest of the deck is designed to keep us alive long enough to deploy the plans I have laid out above. A robust counterspell suite puts the breaks on combo decks and answers the unstoppable bombs from fair decks. I started with four Force of Will and sprinkled in a collection of various other counterspells. What the final mix ends up as will most likely be determined by your local meta. Swords to Plowshares stands ready to pick off any troublesome flying creatures trying to sneak past our Moat. While Supreme Verdict acts as a great reset button when the board starts to get out of hand.

The Spicy 61st

Harkening back to the earliest days of Magic, we look to the first ever control deck for inspiration. Simply called “the Deck,” this relic from our past featured a primarily blue white shell chock full of counterspells, Swords to Plowshares, and of course Moat. After shutting down their opponents, pilots of “the Deck” would finish them off with a Serra Angel. If you want to go for style points, by all means, sleeve up Serra Angel and go to town. However, I decided to go for the upgraded model and added Baneslayer Angel to do my dirty work.  

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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