In Legacy, occasionally there are some decks that fundamentally break the rules of Magic. Oops, All Spells is one of the greatest offenders of this in the format’s history. The deck initially came about with the printing of Gatecrash and, until recently, existed on the fringes of the format. This has changed with the printing of the spell-lands in Zendikar Rising and Oops, All Spells has put up some impressive results since. Most notably, Magic Online player Sherwinator came in 2nd place in an Eternal Weekend event back in October and today I want to take a look at his list.
Legacy Oops All Spells by Sherwinator
Please Note: Do not include Ground Seal, this was a mistake from the pilot as an attempt to beat Surgical, but it prevents you from using Dread Return. More information in the sideboard section.
Core Game Plan
This is an all-in style combo deck that utilizes as many non-land mana sources as possible. The goal is to generate four mana and resolve a Balustrade Spy or Undercity Informer. Since this deck doesn’t play any cards that have “land” type (remember that the spell-lands are not lands on the front half), your entire deck will be milled. This will trigger some number of Narcomoebas, which can then be sacrificed to Dread Return to return Thassa’s Oracle and win the game. The goal is to win on turn one and this deck has a relatively high consistency at doing that.
These are the key cards to resolve, and for all intents and purposes they are the same card. They both require four mana, with Spy costing four and Informer costing three with a one mana activated ability, and once they stick, barring graveyard hate, you will win the game. The only key differences to keep in mind is that if you can only generate three mana, say with Chrome Mox and Dark Ritual, you can cast Informer before you are able to activate it. Spy, on the other hand, stays in play, which means that it can be sacrificed to Cabal Therapy or Dread Return if necessary.
These are the free mana sources that get you off the ground and running. The artifact mana is a lot more effective, since Petal and Mox can both produce black mana, but having some number of these is key to winning the game quickly.
These are the cheap rituals that help get you the requisite mana to win the game. Cabal Ritual is rarely going to produce more than one extra mana in this deck, but this deck only needs to get to four mana so that’s not a huge deal.
For the most part, Summoner’s Pact acts as additional copies of Elvish Spirit Guide, thus increasing the density of free mana. However, being able to search up Wild Cantor is key, as it lets you filter red or green mana into black to cast Dark Ritual or one of the win conditions.
These cards have significantly powered up the archetype and allow Oops All Spells to play a more consistent game. Not only does it increase the number of mana sources in the deck that allow you to get started on turn one, but they allow you to actually develop a mana base by playing lands early on, thus allowing this deck to win a game that goes past turn one or two.
These are the disruption cards that make it difficult for opponents to interact with you. Pact and Chancellor are the best at helping you go off on turn one, but with the printing of the spell-lands, Cabal Therapy has become a much more reliable form of disruption. Drawing these cards are the key to beating Force of Will and Surgical Extraction, so they have a relatively high value here.
This is the package that allows you to win the game post-Spy or Informer. Thassa’s Oracle was the other big gain this year for Oops, All Spells. Before. Beforehand, you had to rely on a more complicated sequence with Laboratory Maniac. Now, you just get to put Oracle in play and win on the spot. A full set of Narcomoebas is necessary because you can’t risk drawing too many of them before you can mill your deck while Bridge From Below means that creature removal on Narcomoeba can’t disrupt the combo before you can resolve Dread Return.
These are the tools for beating cards like Grafdigger’s Cage, Chalice of the Void and Leyline of the Void. While Force of Vigor isn’t a new card by Magic standards at this point, it is a new tool that has come out in the past year that provides a boon to this archetype.
These are the tools for beating instant speed disruption, and there’s a lot of ways to divvy up these cards. I think Leyline and Xantid Swarm are the best because they can be used proactively, not requiring extra mana to win the game with. However, Veil is much more effective against discard spells, so if Thoughtseize is more prevalent, playing more Veils will be more useful.
As mentioned in the disclaimer, this card should not be included. Dread Return requires targeting a creature in the graveyard, which Ground Seal prevents. You could play additional copies of Chancellor of the Annex to side in when you are on the play, which helps against instant speed disruption. During the event, this was Sherwinator’s suggested change, which I like. If Force of Will and Surgical are the most prevalent cards, you can play additional Leylines and Xantid Swarms. If you expect Cage and Leyline of the Void, you can play additional Nature’s Claims.
Tips and Tricks
- Chancellor of the Annex can act as both disruption and mana when combined with Chrome Mox, so keep that in mind when keeping your hand.
- If you draw Thassa’s Oracle, you can Cabal Therapy yourself to get it out of your hand.
Sideboard and Matchup Guide
Delver could have a lot of different disruption against Oops, so I don’t like relying on Cabal Therapy. Leyline and Swarm go a long way at turning off Force of Will, so trying to get one of those in play is somewhat important. Playing around Surgical can be tricky, but Pact of Negation and Xantid Swarm should be pretty helpful there.
These decks rely pretty heavily on Force effects to disrupt you and don’t tend to have Surgical Extraction or Leyline of the Void. Relic of Progenitus or Soul-Guide Lantern are somewhat common as well, so I like hedging with Nature’s Claims. If they do Leyline you, you can bring in Force of Vigors as well.
Game one should be relatively straightforward, with Cabal Therapy being Hogaak’s best way of stopping you. In the post-sideboard games, Leyline of the Void is by far the most problematic card, so make sure you can find some meaningful disruption for that when you keep your hand.
This is a great matchup overall, but it does get a bit more tricky post-sideboard. Mindbreak Trap, Deafening Silence and Rest in Peace are some of the more common sideboard choices, so having answers to artifacts and enchantments is important. You can play around Mindbreak Trap somewhat easily with the inclusion of the spell-lands, but if you see them cast it in game one, bringing Therapies back in could be effective.