Savannah be like you too!

Hello everyone and welcome back to Master of Magics. Today we are going to delve it to the new and exciting world of post-Deathrite Legacy. You see just over a week ago, Wizards of the Coast updated their Banned and Restricted list. While some players were hoping to see Goblin Chainwhirler get hammered out of Standard, or even some unbannings in Modern, it was the Legacy format that received not one but two bans in the form of Deathrite Shaman and Gitaxian Probe.

These two cards were proving to be a little too good for the format. The Probe allowed combo decks a free cantrip that also let them see if their opponent was packing counter magic before they went off. Meanwhile, Deathrite Shaman was quickly becoming a problem card for many strategies. Not only could it ramp out and fix the mana of non-green decks, but it provided main board graveyard hate and incidental life gain. It also made 1/1’s practically unplayable as it could block Goblin Lackey and unflipped Delvers for days.

However, with these two cards no longer in the format players everywhere have been eager to see how Legacy will shape up. In fact, the reaction to the bans has been mostly positive in the circles I travel in, and the consensus seems to be that this will be good for the format as a whole.

But this got me thinking, with these two cards gone could some new decks actually start to emerge or would it be the same old brews we had seen before? I wanted to get in there for myself and see what was what, but I was unsure what I wanted to play. So, I did what any content creator would do – I asked the internet. I put the question to you on twitter, asking what deck should I play? A revamped version of my beloved Burn? My hyper budget Elves? Or a new ‘meme’ worthy deck for your general amusement? In doing so I learned two things. Firstly, a lot of you really wanted to see some Legacy content. Secondly, you really like memes.

Well not being one to disappoint, I set to work building today’s deck. The inspiration was simple. It was a question me and a few friends had asked a while ago but had never gotten around to finding an answer for. Could a deck made up of Savannah Lions win you games of Magic?

For those of you not in the know, the term ‘Savannah Lion’ refers to a creature with a base power of 2, a toughness of 1, and costing one mana. Named after the OG itself, it has been seen as a great rate since the early days of Alpha. To be fair, most creatures were terrible back in the early days of Magic, but I still find it funny that a 2/1 for one was seen to have the same rarity as many of the power nine. Since then there has been many different creatures printed with the same stats, with a great number of them seeing tournament level play. This brings me back to my original question. Could a deck made up of ‘Savannah Lions’ win you games of Magic?

Below you will find my original draft for the deck;

Creatures (42)
Dauntless Bodyguard
Dragon Hunter
Elite Vanguard
Expedition Envoy
Kytheon, Hero of Akros
Loyal Pegasus
War Falcon
Mardu Woe-Reaper
Savannah Lions
Skymarcher Aspirant
Soldier of the Pantheon
Dryad Militant

Instants (4)
Swords to Plowshares
Lands (14)
12 Plains
Karakas

Sideboard (15)
Relic of Progenitus
Fragmentize
Path to Exile
Blessed Alliance
Disenchant
Hallowed Moonlight

As you can see, we were leaning heavily into the 2/1 strategy, and surprisingly the deck was starting to perform well. We managed to get a couple of wins, and I believe this was due to the way people approach the Legacy format. Decks like Delver are very tempo based, having only one or two win conditions in the form of Delver of Secrets and Tarmogoyf, which they protect with counter magic and removal. As a result, a lot of the ‘fair’ decks in Legacy are ill suited for handling the onslaught our little brew can dish out.

However, I did lose a few games if my opponent was able to stabilise, as my army of 2/1’s could be derailed by bigger creatures and one for one removal. So, I had a look at how I could improve on the deck, while still holding on to the Savannah Lion based aggression. It was at this point I noticed quite a few of our creatures were Humans, and so I had a look to see what synergies we could exploit.

The result was the deck below;

Creatures (38)
Dauntless Bodyguard
Dragon Hunter
Elite Vanguard
Kytheon, Hero of Akros
Mardu Woe-Reaper
Soldier of the Pantheon
Champion of the Parish
Mother of Runes
Thalia's Lieutenant
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Instants (4)
Swords to Plowshares
Lands (18)
16 Plains
Karakas

Sideboard (15)
Relic of Progenitus
Fragmentize
Path to Exile
Blessed Alliance
Disenchant
Hallowed Moonlight

Dauntless Bodyguard, Dragon Hunter, Elite Vanguard, Kytheon, Hero of Akros, Mardu Woe-Reaper and Soldier of the Pantheon give us a respectable twenty-three Savannah Lions to form the core of our deck. These work with Champion of the Parish and Thalia’s Lieutenant, giving our brew some fun +1/+1 counter synergy. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben makes a great addition to the deck in order to slow down cantrip heavy decks and hamper Storm players. Finally, Mother of Runes allows us to protect our key pieces from removal, or even give a pumped-up Champion of the Parish a unblockable path to victory.

The rest of the deck consists of our main board removal in the form of Swords to Plowshares, and our eighteen lands (including two copies of Karakas). Our sideboard is fairly flexible, with Path to Exile and Blessed Alliance providing additional removal. Fragmentize and Disenchant help handle Artifacts and Enchantments, while Relic of Progenitus deals with graveyards. Finally, Hallowed Moonlight gives us game against any decks that try to ‘cheat’ out creatures like Sneak and Show and Reanimator.

And that is the deck, but how does it play? Turns out, it’s pretty good in all honesty, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the video below and see for yourself as I take the deck for a spin on MTGO.

And there you have it, a deck I like to call “Savannah be like you too”. I had a ton of fun brewing and testing. While I did make one or two mistakes, the deck performed very well and I look forward to seeing how far I can take it in the future. But what do you think? Is this the kind of deck you want to try for yourself? What changes would you make to it before I hit up the competitive leagues?

Let us know in the comments below, and if you want to see some more from this particular brew subscribe to the site and our YouTube channel to be kept up to date on all the latest goings on from us here at Master of Magics. Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got some packs of M19 to crack. So, until next time remember Good Luck, and Have Fun.

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