Deck Highlight: Legacy Sultai Death’s Shadow


Legacy Sultai Death's Shadow by SFZ, 3-1, MTGO Prelim


I’m always on the hunt for sweet Legacy lists, and this one played by SFZ on MTGO definitely fits the bill. It’s a Sultai Death’s Shadow list that not only has Scourge of the Skyclaves, but Elvish Reclaimer and Berserk. Now that’s a spicy brew!


Header - The Game Plan

Deploy an early Delver of Secrets or Reclaimer and get your life total low enough to play Death’s Shadow or Scourge. Counter their spells, Wasteland their lands and finish them with your giant threats.

This is definitely a Delver-style deck, and has plenty of disruption to make that possible. I really like the Berserks, as well as the small touches like having Tarnished Citadel to fetch with Elvish Reclaimer. If you want your life total to drop fast, you can’t do better.


Header - Key Cards

Force of Will (Borderless)DazeThoughtseize


The disruption is what makes this deck tick, as being able to stop their plan is very important. I also like how well this deck utilizes Thoughtseize, since it actually turns the drawback into an advantage.


Death's ShadowDelver of SecretsScourge of the Skyclaves


These are your primary threats (more on Elvish Reclaimer later) and they all hit really hard for their cost. Shadow and Scourge can easily be 6/6s or more by turn three, and with a nice Snuff Out draw, potentially earlier.


Elvish ReclaimerWasteland


This little package gives the deck a lot of extra disruption, as well as a 3/4 beater for just one mana. Reclaimer sees a lot of Legacy play, as the size and quality of lands to get combines really nicely.




This is Legacy, after all. You need the cards that make the trains run on time, and these two cantrips certainly do that.


Header - Mulliganing

This deck is looking to lead on Delver or Reclaimer primarily, with Thoughtseize a close second (and Ponder/Brainstorm third). You’d like to see some sort of disruption, whether that’s a counter, discard or Wasteland, otherwise you run the risk of being overrun by whatever plan your opponent has.


Death's ShadowDeath's ShadowTarnished CitadelForce of Will (Borderless)ThoughtseizeSpell PierceBerserk


Keep. This is the dream, as turn one Citadel into Thoughtseize gets you to 15, at which point you can turn two Shadow and set up a really fast Berserk (with Force backup). Wasteland ruins your day, but so it goes.


Force of Will (Borderless)BrainstormElvish ReclaimerTropical IslandPolluted DeltaPolluted DeltaOvergrown Tomb


Keep. This is a bit land-heavy, but you can Force their first play and spend a few turns Wastelanding them, which buys you time to find more action.


Delver of SecretsDeath's ShadowUnderground SeaVerdant CatacombsSnuff OutScourge of the SkyclavesBerserk


Mulligan. This hand doesn’t do anything against decks without early creatures, and even then is really slow. When you can’t cast early Shadows, this deck can really get punished.


Header - Tips and Tricks

  • The most challenging part of this deck is managing your life total. You often want to conserve fetchlands so you can get shocklands, even if you don’t have Death’s Shadow in hand, and letting attackers hit you generally works out.
  • Getting Elvish Reclaimer to 3/4 off a few Wastelands is usually good, at which point you start brawling.
  • Berserk can set up some nasty kills. When you have one, look for opportunities to sneak in a Death’s Shadow hit with plays like casting Snuff Out on your own creatures as ways to maximize the size.


Header - Throwing Shade

I love Death’s Shadow decks, and even played UB Shadow at the Legacy Pro Tour a few years ago. This deck looks like a sweet update and I can’t argue with the inclusion of Berserk. Good luck, and may you hit them with an 18/18 trampling Shadow on turn three.


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