bout seven years ago, I first made the journey into competitive Magic. Naturally, you might think I went to some PTQ and busted out my Standard deck, or possibly even a Grand Prix, but you would be wrong. Before I ever even thought about traveling to a Grand Prix, I began by slinging Quirion Dryad and Brainstorm in Vintage. Vintage might seem like a daunting format to get into, and it can be, but it taught me a lot about the game—things that no other format was able to. One of the mainstays of Vintage, though, is a deck called Workshop, or Stax. The deck uses a bunch of fast mana, in the form of both artifacts and lands, to power out expensive colorless spells. Despite spikes in the popularity of the deck over time, it has pretty much always been around. So, naturally, when I first found out about the Legacy version of the deck, I felt pretty nostalgic.
Chris Cornwell-Shiel piloted the modern-day version of the Legacy edition at a recent StarCityGames Legacy Open. Of course, some of the more powerful cards from Vintage don't get to come out and play in Legacy, so the deck had to pack up its Mishra's Workshops and Moxen, but the general idea remains the same. The core game play to the deck involves generating a bunch of mana and casting expensive artifacts with all that extra colorless goodness floating around. Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors provide some decent replacements to Mishra's Workshop, but the real heavy hitter for mana comes in the form of Metalworker. This innocent three-mana Construct can often untap and then provide you with eight mana pretty commonly. This transitions the deck into Phase 2: casting fatties.
And fatties in Legacy are unlike fatties in other formats. Each win condition in the deck offers a ton of utility in addition to just having scary stats. Myr Battlesphere is strong against spot removal. Sundering Titan can cripple a multicolor control deck's mana base. And Steel Hellkite can make sure that army of Empty the Warrens doesn't get the chance to come over and say high. Kuldotha Forgemaster really enables each of these singleton targets by being a walking tutor for them. Lightning Greaves can even make sure this happens the turn you cast him, allowing crazy plays with Blightsteel Colossus. The deck has some crazy interactions and crazy powerful turns and yet, in Legacy, it is just another deck! Fun!
Chris Cornwell-Shiel's Forgemaster MUD
Legacy – Top 16, StarCityGames Open, Atlanta