Hi everyone and welcome back. So, I recently qualified for the Face A Face Invitation by winning the September Legacy Qualifer which was really cool so why don’t we talk about that today. First I guess it would probably be useful if you could see what I played, right?

3 [Griselbrand]
4 [Brainstorm]
2 [Flusterstorm]
4 [Force of Will]
3 [Intuition]
4 [Pact of Negation]
3 [Pact of the Titan]
1 [Slaughter Pact]
1 [Summoner’s Pact]
4 [Ponder]
2 [Preordain]
4 [Show and Tell]
4 [Hive Mind]
3 [Grim Monolith]
4 [Ancient Tomb]
2 [City of Traitors]
4 [Flooded Strand]
5 [Island]
1 [Misty Rainforest]
1 [Volcanic Island]
1 [Flusterstorm]
1 [Spell Pierce]
2 [Surgical Extraction]
4 [Leyline of Sanctity]
4 [Leyline of the Void]
3 [Pithing Needle]

Ok, now let’s dig into the cards!!! So the deck is called [Hive Mind] and as the namesake of the deck it is your primary win condition. Once you play it you generally win the game on that turn. But it’s not as easy as it seems and requires some specific rules play to pull off properly.

So what you need to do is once [Hive Mind] resolves you retain priority (they can’t even [grip] it…pretty cool huh?) and then you play one of the pacts which states on their upkeep they have to pay its cost or lose the game. And if you’re going to play multiple pacts, especially [Pact of Negation], what you need to do is play say a [Pact of the Titan] and then respond to the trigger by holding priority to play the [Pact of Negation]. This way the first pacts trigger hasn’t resolved yet so when they get the [Pact of Negation] trigger first they can’t count their own pact. Then on their upkeep since they can’t pay for the pacts they die.

Now this is a six mana enchantment and we need to get this bad boy out as quickly as possible otherwise this seems pretty awful play, don’t you think? To do this you have a few ways to help. The first is [Show and Tell] which is the preferred avenue as it allows you to go the [Hive Mind] route or alternately just drop a [Griselbrand], and is a must counter spell because it generally signals the end for your opponent. Next we have the [sol] [lands] allowing us, with [Show and Tell] or [Grim Monolith] , to potentially have [Hive Mind] out on turn 2!!! Lastly [Grim Monolith] is also like a one shot ritual effect that can run out [Hive Mind] early.

So as we’re playing a two card combo deck and damn it we need our two cards, so how do we get ‘em? We dig!!! The deck plays 10 cantrips and only 18 lands so finding what you need is pretty easy and we get to play the blue tutor [Intuition] to find whatever we’re missing making the deck consistent enough to be a contender. Oh and did you know [Griselbrand] as a BACK UP is friggen sweet?!?!?

For match ups the worst ones are Merfolk because [Cursecatcher] is a kick in the sack, RUG because of the taxing countermagic and solid clock, and Storm because it’s faster. We beat anything that’s aggro cause they can’t really interact with us, control decks are a joke because come combo turn we have 8 [Force of Will]s and once [Hive Mind] hits the board counters are just useless.

To put it all together [Hive Mind] uses a bunch of cheap library manipulation and spells to run out the win cons fast and plays more then enough countermagic to force your win through even some of the most controlling decks. [Hive Mind] as a combo deck gets to utilize a fast win with protection which really makes the difference for this deck to be playable. And it just wins on the spot so you don’t have to mess with storm counts or wait for a turn to go off. If you like winning in bizarre and wonderous ways then this is a legacy deck for you.

My “Top 5 Legacy Cards” from Return to Ravnica…in no particular order –
[Abrupt Decay]: this is probably my favourite card from the new set because it can deal with almost anything in the format, can’t be countered AND totally hoses counterbalance and chalice of the void. It’s all around sick with tons of options.
[Judges Familiar]: another one I think is very good as it gives decks like Maverick or Death and Taxes another way to interact with combo and can be especially devastating to [Hive Mind], ironically enough.
– [Rest in Peace]: this card has two functions – one is as one of the best hate cards ever printed against Dredge and the other is that it enables a combo in its own right with [Helm of Obedience] by replacing [Leyline of the Void] so that you can instead play a tutor to fetch it up if you don’t start with it and can play it in a control shell.
[Detention Sphere]: so an [Oblivion Ring] that if my opponent has multiple threats with the same name deals with all of them? Oh and it’s pitchable to [Force of Will]……well then that’s spiffy. A lot of decks were all ready playing [Oblivion Ring] as a catch-all but this one is functionally better. It’s only downside is it can be [Pyroblast]ed so watch out.
[Supreme Verdict]: this one is my last pick. I’m not 100% completely with it but I think it definitely has potential It’s a sweeper that can’t be countered which may prove useful to rid yourself of those damn [mongeese].
BONUS: the one card I really really really want to see make a splash is [Epic Experiment]. I really hope someone breaks this card as I would love to play it and have been working on a list which we will see if it works!

Until next time…

Norman Fried
Twitter – @NormanFried1
EMail – normanfried@live.ca