With the Legacy metagame starting to shape up, we’re still seeing a lot of exciting decks find success that were struggling pre-ban. GW Reclaimer is one of those decks, and Magic Online player wara used the deck to take down a Challenge this past week. This is a really cool deck that started to show up a bit last year, but never really took off mostly as a result of a hostile metagame. Let’s take a look at the list and see what the deck is capable of.
Legacy GW Reclaimer by wara
In many ways, this deck is a hybrid between Maverick and various Dark Depths decks. The primary plan is to create a Marit Lage with some level of consistency using cards like Elvish Reclaimer and Knight of the Reliquary. Cards like Mox Diamond speed up the strategy and Green Sun’s Zenith greatly increases the consistency of the deck.
Playing a variety of different creatures and lands gives this deck a toolbox feel, which means you’ll often be able to find the right card for the job. If you’re unable to make a Marit Lage, this deck has a natural back up plan of playing good creatures that can clock your opponent relatively quickly.
This is the card that makes this deck play out so consistently. It’s extra copies of most of your best creatures and it increases access to the various toolbox cards the deck plays. While adding a mana to cards like Knight of the Reliquary is a cost, having access to 8 copies is a big deal and cards like Mox Diamond mitigate the drawback a fair amount.
Just as Green Sun’s Zenith increases the consistency of the creature base, these cards greatly increase the consistency of the land base. These both make it relatively straightforward to assemble the Dark Depths/Thespian’s Stage combo while also providing access to a wide range of toolbox cards that can help out in a pinch. They’re also very solid creatures on rate, so they do a great job applying pressure to your opponents. Crop Rotation doesn’t apply the same pressure that the creatures do, but it’s one of the best cards in the game at assembling a fast Marit Lage, so it serves an excellent purpose here.
One of the key differences between this deck and a deck like Turbo Depths is the access to removal. Instead of being a straightforward combo deck, this removal suite lets the deck play out like a midrange deck. Swords to Plowshares is just the most efficient removal spell of all time and it let’s you keep up with most creature decks. Skyclave Apparition has a ton of utility, exiling most cards you’ll care about and provides a nice 1.5 to two-for-one. It gives the deck the additional angle of playing out like a traditional Maverick deck, which is really meaningful in a format like Legacy that has really potent threats and answers.
These make up the creature toolbox of the deck and both serve a great purpose. Sylvan Safekeeper not only protects Marit Lage very well, but works in tandem with Knight of the Reliquary, both protecting it and acting as a way to dump lands into your graveyard. Knight of Autumn is mostly in the deck as a way to answer problematic artifacts and enchantments, but can also gain some life in a pinch (or occasionally provide a relatively large body, when needed)
In conjunction with Mox Diamond, Sylvan Library can generate a lot of card advantage and selection very early on. Some decks, like Miracles, are going to have a tough time dealing with it. Since this is a Marit Lage deck, the life loss is often mitigated by your opponents casting Swords to Plowshares on the big ol’ 20/20. Sylvan is slow against certain decks, like combo and Delver, but it can still have a potent effect on the game.
These help speed up the game plan pretty substantially. While this deck doesn’t play Life from the Loam to offset the card disadvantage, it has a very focused game plan and can make great use of extra mana early.
A staple of any deck with Green Sun’s Zenith, this gives the deck access to an early mana dork if you need it.
The core combo of the deck, Marit Lage is going to end the game rather quickly against most opponents. This deck doesn’t run the full suite of Dark Depths as not tapping for mana can be a substantial cost in some games. Additionally, being legendary means that drawing multiples can be pretty awkward, so three is a good number to land on.
This card has greatly increased in popularity with the printing of Elvish Reclaimer. Flagstones has become a core ramp engine, as you can sacrifice it to Reclaimer to tutor up a land, as well as search up a Plains.
These round out the tool box and, like the creatures in this deck, each serves a key purpose. Bojuka Bog can really slow down any deck that cards about its graveyard, Karakas makes legendary creatures relatively ineffective (and straight up answers Marit Lage) and Sejiri Steppe acts as a protection tool against removal for Marit Lage (as well as working extremely well with Knight of the Reliquary).
Wasteland gives this deck another angle of attack, especially with Knight of the Reliquary in the mix. Being able to go after your opponent’s mana base aggressively works especially well since Arcum’s Astrolabe was banned, and they also function as a way of protecting your combo from opposing Wastelands.
This deck is skimping on other graveyard hate because Bojuka Bog is really effective in conjunction with tutors against those decks. The extra copy here makes it a more reliable plan.
Carpet of Flowers is essentially a haymaker against Delver decks. It blanks their entire mana denial plan and most of their soft permission while letting you cast expensive spells very early.
Against any blue deck, this is going to make their lives very difficult. This deck can ramp into it rather quickly and if they’re not prepared for it, it might just be lights out.
With Knight of Autumn in the main deck, artifacts and enchantments aren’t a huge deal for this deck, but having access to Force of Vigor can really hose decks relying on those pretty hard. Collector Ouphe attacks artifacts in a different manner, namely impacting cards like Lion’s Eye Diamond, but it’s extremely effective at disrupting those decks and can easily be tutored with Green Sun’s Zenith.
Decks like Storm can be extremely difficult matchups for a deck like this, so playing dedicated cards for those decks is important. Splitting the spells between Mindbreak Trap and Deafening Silence is nice because it requires them to have both discard and answers for permanents, so it stretches their answers a bit thin.
Extra removal spells are always nice to have, and Path to Exile is definitely one of the better ones you can play.
Veil of Summer is one of the cards that some people thought should’ve been banned, and that’s for good reason. Against any deck with discard spells and counter magic, Veil is going to be a huge problem, and it’s even better here because most decks bring in bounce spells for Marit Lage and Veil counters those nicely.
- With Knight of the Reliquary or Reclaimer in play, either of them can tutor a Sejiri Steppe to protect your creatures from removal.
- In order to play around cards like Spell Snare and Chalice of the Void, you can cast Green Sun’s Zenith for larger numbers to get your creatures.
- Using Thespian’s Stage on Wasteland can give you extra copies of the card when it’s meaningful to attack their mana base.
Sylvan Library is alright in this matchup, but it’s a bit slow. The enchantments you bring in are far more devastating, so I think relying on those is quite a bit more effective. For the most part, this deck is well-equipped to handle Delver between creatures that don’t die to Lightning Bolt and a combo finish, so sticking to the plan is generally good.
Out: 4 Swords to Plowshares
Again, Choke is extremely devastating in this matchup, so trying to get one of those in play is a big deal. Swords to Plowshares doesn’t do too much, but neither does Bojuka Bog and Wasteland, so you can definitely trim some of those instead if there’s a creature that is more problematic, like Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath (although Karakas keeps that in check for the most part).
This is a tough matchup. Most of the disruption isn’t too impactful against them, which can be a serious problem. If you can survive early, a 20/20 will end the game in short order, so I think the anti-spell cards in the board should help you survive long enough in some games to enact the plan. Choke might be worth bringing in, as it can put them in squeeze.