This week I decided to try an alpha-stage brew again, and similar to last time it didn’t go well. I have been playing around with the idea of building a Tolarian Academy in Legacy with Storm the Vault. The brew starts out of a Grixis Tezzeret shell. I tested the following untuned list on stream for a 2-3 finish.

BYO Academy

Lands (20)
Academy Ruins
Ancient Tomb
Island
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Wasteland

Spells (40)
Chalice of the Void
Chrome Mox
Dack Fayden
Ensnaring Bridge
Force of Will
Izzet Signet
Storm the Vault
Sword of the Meek
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Thopter Foundry
Thopter Spy Network
Toxic Deluge
Sideboard (15)
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Nether Void
Padeem, Consul of Innovation
Revel in Riches
The Abyss
Trinisphere

First and foremost the mana was the bane of my existence. Chrome Mox was more than often terrible due to the high density of artifacts like Thopter Foundry. The Thopter Spy Networks were never relevant and only ever exiled to make blue which was never good enough. Black mana was highly underrepresented as a result of this and is easily fixed by switching the Izzet Signets for Dimir Signets. I have also exchanged the Chrome Mox for Mox Diamond with the addition of four more lands including Seat of the Synod and Vault of Whispers.

I was happy with Dack Fayden when he stole Umezawa’s Jitte against Death and Taxes, but otherwise he was absent most of the night. Tezzeret also didn’t pop up often, and when he did he was subsequently exiled to a Chrome Mox to fix my mana issues. Sigh.

The sideboard was also a bit of a mess. The Revel the Riches may be alright in further testing as an alternate win condition, but that remains to be seen. Ghirapur Aether Grid seemed fine, though when we saw it against Moon Stompy they had gone too wide and we didn’t have enough artifacts to efficiently pressure the planeswalkers or Goblin Rabblemaster.

The world enchantments—Nether Void and The Abyss—left a lot to be desired. They further clogged up the four-mana competition and never really actually locked anyone out. The Abyss was carrying its weight against Death and Taxes; but I had Thopter Foundry, Swords of the Meek, and about six mana in play, which also beats Death and Taxes.

Padeem, Consul of Innovation was more bloat at the four mana slots in our deck. When I did see this card it didn’t have any real positive effect on the game.

To smooth out the sideboard I am adding a set of Sorcerous Spyglass. My first match was against Lands which was able to make a 20/20 on the play using Manabond. Could I be luckier for my opponent? I also got locked out by Ghost Quarter/Wasteland/Life from the Loam. This made me realize that cards like Sorcerous Spyglass were going to be necessary.

Cutting The Abyss means we need more sweepers against decks like Delver, Moon Stompy and Death and Taxes. I added a pair of Pyroclasm to aid the Toxic Deluge in keeping control of creatures littering the board.

I found as a stompy deck that my favorable matches were the high density of spells Storm strategies as well as Delver. While I didn’t beat Delver, I blame deck-building error, not the match up or piloting error. Hopefully after fixing the mana base a bit as well as increasing the number of sweeper effects we can move the fair match ups towards more favorable. After all the changes made this is where I am currently if I were to run the deck again—say, this Thursday?

BYO Academy

Lands (24)
Academy Ruins
Ancient Tomb
Island
Mountain
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Seat of the Synod
Swamp
Underground Sea
Vault of Whispers
Volcanic Island

Spells (36)
Chalice of the Void
Crucible of Worlds
Dack Fayden
Dimir Signet
Ensnaring Bridge
Mox Diamond
Mox Opal
Storm the Vault
Sword of the Meek
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Thirst for Knowledge
Thopter Foundry
Sideboard (15)
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Pyroclasm
Revel in Riches
Sorcerous Spyglass
Toxic Deluge
Trinisphere

I will be sticking with this deck for a bit to try and refine the list maybe resulting in something remotely playable. Hopefully I will see some of you there this Thursday 3/15/2018 at 8pm EST at twitch.tv/aarongazzaniga

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 or in email at [email protected]

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

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