Magic 2010: We Are Legion Review (Part 2 of 2)
We’re back with our next playtest for Magic 2010, and this time it’s a battle of ancient enemies. My base-White We Are Legion will be met by Sam’s Death’s Minions, a Black midrange deck with a splash of Green. With life and death literally in the balance, which deck will come out on top?
Sam’s on the play for our opener, and we trade land drops for our first turn. Next turn, she adds a Forest while I play a Silvercoat Lion, though she’s right on my heels with a Warpath Ghoul on turn 3. I confidently attack past it for 2 with the Lion, then take to the air with a Stormfront Pegasus.
Now turn 4, Sam gets in a hit of her own with the Ghoul, taking me to 17. I counterattack for 4, putting her at 14. Next turn, Sam evens us out when she attacks again, then adds a Zombie Goliath to pull ahead. I simply Lightning Bolt it away at the end of her turn. Back to me, I then summon a Serra Angel after attacking for 4.
Sam’s now half dead on turn 6, but she presses ahead with her own counterattacks. I take 3 off the Ghoul to fall to 11, after which I send in the side for 8. The Serra Angel catches a Doom Blade, but still falls to 6. Next turn, Sam attacks for 3 with the Ghoul, but I Harm’s Way 2 points of the damage right back at Sam. That puts her at 4 life: a one-turn clock. She summons an Enormous Baloth and passes. That cuts off the Lion, but I attack for 2 with the Pegasus before adding a second Lion.
Now turn 8, Sam attacks in with the Baloth and Ghoul. I double-block the Baloth with Lions, then use Righteousness to give one of them a massive boost. It might seem redundant to block with both, thereby sacrificing one of them, but I want to be sure there are no Giant Growth shenanigans. With nothing else to do, Sam then concedes the game.
Sam leads with a Swamp for the rematch, while I open my account with an Elite Vanguard. Next turn, Sam plays another land while I draw first blood for 2 before doubling down with a Silvercoat Lion.
Now turn 3, Sam finds her first creature with a Cemetery Reaper. Knowing she won’t trade it out for one of my Weenies, I happily attack through for 4 before adding a Stormfront Pegasus. Back to Sam, she adds a Bog Wraith, then passes. I stick an Armored Ascension on my Lion, attacking in with it and the Pegasus for 7, cutting Sam in half.
Sam’s not without options, though, as she next kills my enchanted Lion off with Tendrils of Corruption. She then attacks in for 3 with the Wraith, taking me to 17. Back to me, I counterattack with the Vanguard and Pegasus for 4 to leave her at 8. One Razorfoot Griffin later, my turn is done. Over to Sam, she cleaves off another 3 points of life with the Wraith, then ends her turn. I swing for 4 in the air, dropping Sam to 4. She then activates her Reaper to generate a 2/2 Zombie token, exiling my Silvercoat Lion from my graveyard to pay for it. It simply bears witness, though, as I summon a Serra Angel. One draw later, Sam concedes.
My second-turn Stormfront Pegasus is the game’s first nonland permanent, after which Sam follows with a third land drop and pass. I start the aerial beatdown in earnest with a 2-point swing then add a Prodigal Pyromancer.
Now turn 4, Sam plays a Diabolic Tutor and passes. I attack for another 2, then double down with a Razorfoot Griffin. Back to Sam, she next summons a Warpath Ghoul, and gets a 1-point ping at the end of her turn. For my part, I fetch another Mountain off a Terramorphic Expanse, then attack for 4 to put Sam at 11. I then summon a Silvercoat Lion and end the turn.
Sam’s turn 6 play is a Nightmare, which comes in as a 4/4 after she attacks with her Ghoul for 3. I ping her again, then lock down the Nightmare with a Pacifism once my turn proper rolls around. That’s the end of it as I turn my creatures sideways. One Glorious Charge later, and I’ve completed the sweep.
Thoughts & Analysis
We Are Legion certainly wasn’t the sexiest precon we’ve ever played with, but it more than got the job done. The crucial calculation the deck seemed to hit nicely was when to transit from the ground to the air, and the wealth of flying options did a fine job allowing that to be an unconscious decision- you simply played what you had on-curve, and you got there.
To be fair, fortune certainly didn’t seem to be with Sam’s deck this time around. Death’s Minions has some stalling elements that might have helped blunt some incoming damage, but she could find neither her Drudge Skeletons nor Wall of Bone. And while she did find some removal, it just wasn’t enough to stem the tide in the skies.
Although these Magic 2010 decks are largely comprised of singletons, it has to be said that the 41-card format gives them a more consistent feel. I knew each game that I’d be doing much of my heavy lifting in the air, and while it might have changed from game to game between the Stormfront Pegasus, the Griffin Sentinel, or the Razorfoot Griffin, what was consistent was the change in tactics from the ground to the air. Although not without the traditional weakness of auras, Armored Ascension played right into this as well, taking a ground-based threat and giving them a second act.
The removal suite wasn’t dreadful, with Pacifism, Righteousness, and Harm’s Way at my disposal, alongside a Lightning Bolt, but largely it was the speed and consistency of the deck’s creatures that carried the day. Although I never dropped the big bomb of the Lightwielder Paladin, particularly nasty against Death’s Minions, it never needed it. Even the Serra Angel was meant to be removal-bait as the smaller creatures did their grim work, a few points at a time. Overall, though, we’ve been favourably impressed with the Magic 2010 environment, with good matchups and games that flow very quickly. We’re looking forward to seeing if that’s sustained over the next three decks.
Hits: Strong and consistent air force gives the deck no small amount of reach; deck does a great job of transitioning from land to air in the midgame; decent removal package that won’t win any awards, but helps keep the lanes clear
Misses: Some of the cards are too narrow- both Lightwielder Paladin and Undead Slayer are too reliant on what your opponent is playing; most of the creatures on the small side, leaving the deck quite vulnerable to sweeper effects
OVERALL SCORE: 4.15/5.00