Is Sultai Dead in Legacy?

Hello friends of Deathrite Shaman. We gather here to mourn the loss of our beloved friend, dearly departed, and in these days of sadness and sorrow we have to find the strength to continue playing, and uphold the great name of the Sultai tribe!

My girl didn’t leave me—Baleful Strix is still by my side, ready to cantrip, kill a creature—and if needed, get pitched to Force of Will! She will always be there for me!

Today I’m here to help make sure those Underground Seas and Bayous don’t just get forgotten in a corner.

I remember the days of my youth when I started playing Legacy—I loved playing a Sultai control deck with Standstill, Jace, Pernicious Deed, and Life from the Loam.

Jace Landeed

Andrea Mengucci, 2nd place at a 4/15/2012 Event

To give more relevance to the list, let’s pretend that in the place of the two Scalding Tarns that I was playing the 4th Polluted Delta and one Misty Rainforest. I guess I just didn’t own those.

I loved this deck. I played it for many months, up to when Deathrite Shaman was printed. It was great against the many Maverick and Canadian Threshold decks floating around.

6 years later, a lot of things have changed. We now have access to better removal such as Fatal Push, Abrupt Decay, and Toxic Deluge. And much better creatures, such as Baleful Strix and Leovold, Emissary of Trest.

Standstill is a powerful card that hasn’t seen much play these days thanks to the strength of 1-drops. Now without Deathrite Shaman around, we could see fewer 1-drops, and the format could be a little slower—a perfect environment for Standstill.

I don’t necessary think that you need green to play this sort of Standstill deck. Pernicious Deed is an outdated card and Toxic Deluge is better. As much as I love Abrupt Decay, it isn’t easy to fix your mana base without Deathrite Shaman.

Spanish players love their Standstills, and I’m sure they already broke the format in some chat group, whereas I’m just going to dig up something pre-ban.


oRS, 5th place in a Magic Online Challenge, 1/29/2018

Since I love Baleful Strix so much, I really don’t want to hurt her with my own hands, so in a deck with four Innocent Blood I think we are better off without her.

This deck is loaded with removal spells, so you really need to clear the board for your Standstill.

This list is cool and has the tools to stop creature decks, has good countermagic for combo decks, and lots of card advantage for control decks.

I recommend four Surgical Extraction in the sideboard over four Leyline of the Void. In a deck with Snapcaster Mage, Surgical is just miles better than Leyline, especially if you play some cantrips.

“But You Promised Us a Baleful Strix Sultai Deck! Where Is It?!”

All right, all right, now it’s time to dust off my old Sultai Control deck I played back in Birmingham, cut the four Deathrite Shaman, and see what happens!

Sultai Control

Andrea Mengucci

The biggest innovation here is adding more basics (I’m a real genius, huh?) since those will guide you through the late game where you will be able to deploy multiple threats that will likely be better than your opponent’s.

Deathrite Shaman was a great card because it let you dodge Wasteland. Now you’ll be susceptible to that, and you’ll have to work to play around it.

I also believe it’s time to bring back Liliana of the Veil. She was replaced for a long time by Liliana, the Last Hope, but I foresee Tarmogoyf taking the place of Young Pyromancer in many lists and Esper Stoneblade featuring True-Name Nemesis will definitely be a big part of the new Legacy scene.

Once again, I’m jamming the full four Surgical Extraction in my sideboard. Reanimator will be be a level-zero deck. Everybody knows that it’s good and it’s the easiest and fastest deck to play (especially on Magic Online). You need to be very ready for it.

I’m not sure if you still need Wastelands in your deck. Grove of the Burnwillows + Punishing Fire might make a comeback without Deathrite Shaman around, and Dark Depths is still out there threatening your life every turn.

I don’t know if this control deck is better than Miracles. Maybe it isn’t. But a true Sultai fan doesn’t jump ship!

Scroll to Top