Deck Highlight: Legacy Ninjas


Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow is a very powerful card and when I saw a Legacy Ninjas deck made Top 4 of the Legacy Challenge on Magic Online, I was in. I’ve even played with Ninjas in Vintage before and it was a blast.

The Game Plan

Sneak in a cheap creature and ninjutsu in Yuriko or Ingenious Infiltrator. Use the extra cards plus free counterspells to disrupt the opponent and bury them in card draw.

This deck also has a good plan B, as Retrofitter Foundry is an extremely powerful card – it can turn your Ornithopter or Changeling Outcast into a 4/4 and given enough time it can overwhelm the opponent.

Key Cards

Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow (Foil Etched)Ingenious Infiltrator

These are the cards that justify Ornithopter and Changeling Outcast, as they are both exceedingly powerful card draw engines once you land them. They are also uncounterable when cheated in with ninjutsu, making them very problematic for other blue decks. Note as well that Changeling Outcast is a Ninja itself, meaning it provides a steady stream of cards if you have either Ninja payoff in play.

Changeling OutcastOrnithopter

Changeling Outcast in particular is really what makes this deck tick. It works to give you an unblocked attacker, sacrifices to Retrofitter Foundry, and as mentioned, does good work as a Ninja once the opponent has blockers for Yuriko or Infiltrator. The deck wouldn’t work without it, and it’s a card you always want in your opener.

Force of WillForce of Negation

Free counters are critical to this deck’s plans. Once you’re drawing a lot of cards, having free counters that require you to two-for-one yourself is all you want as it lets you convert cards into disruption.

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Oko, Thief of Crowns is your backup plan and is busted enough to carry games on his own. Plus, he makes good use of leftover Ornithopters, and any deck with blue and green mana should consider adding Oko to their options.

Opening Hands

Your ideal opening hand has an evasive threat, a Ninja and, if you’re lucky, a counter of some kind. In general, any hand that can turn two a Ninja is good and if you don’t have all the pieces, you at least want some Brainstorm or Ponder action to find it.

Changeling OutcastYuriko, the Tiger's Shadow (Foil Etched)Snow-Covered IslandSnow-Covered IslandSnow-Covered SwampTropical IslandPolluted Delta

This is a keep. Even with nothing else going for it, this hand gets out a turn two Yuriko and that’s often enough. This isn’t a great hand, but I’d go for it.

OrnithopterPonderForce of WillAbrupt DecayForce of NegationPolluted DeltaTropical Island

This is another keep. Turn one Ponder to find a Ninja plus a counter is worth keeping, even if this hand can fail if you don’t find something good off Ponder.

Ingenious InfiltratorYuriko, the Tiger's Shadow (Foil Etched)Fatal PushForce of NegationMisty RainforestSnow-Covered IslandUnderground Sea

This is a mulligan. This hand doesn’t do anything and has no way of finding action. This is the kind of hand where you cast two spells then lose to whatever they play third, as your deck isn’t accomplishing much.

Tips and Tricks

  • When you have a bunch of mana and multiple Ninjas, you can play around removal by putting one Ninja in after blockers and if they try and kill it, bounce it with the second Ninja.
  • Because Ninjas are uncounterable, some decks will go after your enablers. If they don’t know what deck you’re playing, lead with Ornithopter before doing anything else, as they are unlikely to burn a counter on it in the dark.
  • Baleful Strix is a nice one to return with a Ninja, especially since the opponent is unlikely to want to block it.
  • Retrofitter Foundry is an engine in super long games, so don’t miss the opportunity to grind out a Miracles player with it.

Ninjas is one of the most fun decks I’ve had the pleasure of playing, so I recommend you give it a spin. It does some really sweet stuff, and it’s cool playing with a bunch of cards that basically never see play.

Scroll to Top