U/B Death’s Shadow in Legacy and an Italian RPTQ Overview

Last weekend I went to Bologna to play the 4 Seasons tournaments, a major Legacy event that happens every four months.

Usually I change decks constantly in Legacy, but ever since Pro Tour 25th Anniversary, I’ve been playing U/B Shadow and haven’t deviated.

After playing most of my events with the stock list Josh Utter-Leyton and his team played at the Pro Tour, I modified some sideboard slots for this event.

I saw Miracles on the rise, especially with the addition of Accumulated Knowledge, and I found the matchup to be pretty bad. I needed some specific cards to fight it.

The first card that came to my mind was Bitterblossom, and how it would help not only to have renewable threats, but also lower my life total, since Swords to Plowshares bringing you up to 13 every time makes it hard to grow a large Death’s Shadow.

The second card that came to my mind was to play more copies of Hymn to Tourach, a card that’s never bad on the play and that’s especially good versus slower control decks.

I also had a feeling about Winter Orb, but decided it wouldn’t have been as good as Bitterblossom against Grixis Control, since they are more prepared to deal with an artifact than an enchantment.

U/B Death’s Shadow

Andrea Mengucci

This was my final list, which I also recorded with.

The tournament itself started well, with a very easy 3-0 where the deck and its pilot did well. The both of us stopped doing what we’re supposed to, and I had some rough games that forced me to drop at 3-2 to play some side events.

I still think that the deck is very good. Had I played better, I would have been 5-0, and who knows how deep in the tournament I could’ve gone.

In the meanwhile, during this big Legacy event, 110 players were battling Modern to qualify for the Pro Tour in the same room. You can find the Top 8 list here.

The Top 8 featured only the most played and popular decks, proving to me that in Modern, you can brew and play your own deck, but in the end the most established and solid decks are the ones that emerge victorious.

I want to highlight two lists among them, the first being the one played by my good friend Enrico Baldrati, who went 6-1, finishing first in the Swiss with a deck for midrange lovers like me:

B/G Rock

Enrico Baldrati, 1st place at RPTQ Bologna 02/12/2018

Is B/G better than Jund? I’ve gotten this question a lot after the printing of Assassin’s Trophy, and despite both decks being very poorly positioned in Modern right now, I believe that straight B/G might be better.

Adding red does mean that you get to play with Bloodbraid Elf and Lightning Bolt, but it also means that you take a lot of damage from your own mana base, you don’t get to play Field of Ruins, and are weaker to Blood Moon. Also, with so many cheap and excellent B/G removal spells, there’s way less need for Lightning Bolt than before.

If you really want to play midrange in Modern, I think the recipe is to keep it simple, and straight B/G does it better.

The second deck I want to show you is the one played by Dario Parazzoli. Some people may not recognize his real name, but I’m sure many of you will recognize his MTGO nickname: S_B_I_R_U. Yes, the one and only man who never stopped calling his artifact aggro deck “Affinity” because he never cut Frogmite and Myr Enforcer from his deck!


Dario Parazzoli, 8th place at RPTQ Bologna 02/12/2018

Sbiru sneaked into 8th place with a 5-1-1 record, and his only loss was in round 1 to his train being late. Yep, Sbiru pulled off a Simon Nielsen special and went undefeated with his longtime pet deck.

Is this deck better than regular Affinity? Is this deck better than Hardened Scales? Probably not, since only Sbiru in the whole world plays this deck, but he managed to Top 8 a GP back in the Treasure Cruise, Birthing Pod era, and went 6-4 at PT Rivals of Ixalan with it.

If you are a Cranial Plating aficionado and hate to see it rotting in a corner now that the new toy Hardened Scales has taken its spot, you can try this deck and have fun with Frogmite and Myr Enforcer as early as turn 1!

This weekend I’ll be battling at GP Liverpool with Javier Dominguez and Marcio Carvalho, who are determined to bring me to the elimination rounds of a GP for my first time!


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