Are you the Eternal equivalent of Crassus, wading through piles of shiftstone with no good home? I have a deck today built to suck up all that shiftstone and dump it onto your enemies and then pile it mountain-high on their broken remains. That’s right, it’s Time-Justice-Primal Legends!
Yes, this deck runs not two or three, but five full sets of Legends. The cost is steep, but this deck is a lot of fun, as each Legend is such a threat on it’s own that any one can win you a game. This is a deck that can claw back from a bad board with overwhelming value.
Over the last few weeks I’ve play 250 Ranked matches in Masters ultimately ending with a 58% win rate. I’m not going to go over the meta too much in this article, since I broke down the actual numbers here, but I would like to look at the major archetypes I faced, the pros and cons of each match-up and how to win with this deck and adjust to the meta in the future. Here’s a quick video deck tech and five matches with the deck:
This was the most significant portion of the metagame and a tougher match for the deck. Across 4o games, I managed a win in 17 for a 42.5% win rate. The strategy against this deck is mostly to play your threats as early as possible and not be afraid to block or trade. Friendly Wisp is tempting to keep for extra cards off a False Prince or Sandstorm Titan, but in this match up it’s just better to trade it with an Oni Ronin if you can. Desert Marshal is great against lists running Soulfire Drake or Umbren Reaper, but you generally can’t afford to hold it if you’re under early pressure. Based on how much of the meta game is turning into Burn again, I’d suggest trying to change the Friendly Wisps and maybe some Vanquish for a mix of Lightning Storm or Combrei Healer. The downside of this would be a weaker game against other big midrange lists (Elysian and Combrei) so it would need testing.
The awful matchup against Stonescar is made up for quite a bit in how favourable the deck matches up against the number two deck in the meta right now. Over 30 games against Rakano this deck had a 63.3% win rate. Rakano Pants runs less evasion and reach than Stonescar (No Impending Doom, Reapers, or Burn) and tends to suffer for it against our bigger threats. You want to save Vanquish in this match up for as long as possible because it tends to go all-in on stacking weapons and one creature and that can be a blow-out. Similarly, don’t rely too heavily on Permafrost, since Rakano will run Deep-Forged Plate to knock it off at the worst possible times.
Elysian Midrange and Big Combrei
These decks are fairly similar in the game plan and our deck has a similar win rate against each (66.7% for Combrei, 60% for Elysian). This is another great matchup as both of these decks are similar to ours but run less quality threats to have a better game against aggro. The big lessons to learn here are to watch out for the board clearers. Don’t keep piling out threats when ahead against Combrei, or Harsh Rule will ruin your day. Elysian is harder to play around, since Crystallize or Shimmerpack will often end the game without letting you untap to land more threats; Because of this, it’s wise to hold up Desert Marshal as long as possible to Ambush in and save precious damage. Chumping with a Desert Marshall or two can save your life in a race and let you swing back for lethal.
Armory was a matchup that took me a while to figure out and I think the win rate against it (57.1%) could have been improved with some better play. The matchup is a massive grind. Early in testing I was holding back threats in case of Harsh Rules, but still putting in two onto empty boards a decent amount of the time, to add to the pressure. I found later that the threat quality in this deck is high enough that I almost never play more than a single threat onto the board at any point against Armory. Cirso or Sandstorm Titan is often more than enough on their own and the match-up tends to come down to who pulls the trigger first, as you race to grab more cards with Find the Way and Wisp/Prince combo turns. It’s very important in this match-up to hold Desert Marshal as protection for your creatures. Desert Marshal is a great answer to an Auric Runehammer trying to kill off a Siraf or Great Parliment Owl and lets you turn around and kill the Relic Weapon.
This was a great match up for our deck, with a 73.3% win rate. Try to land an early False Prince or Sandstorm Titan and be aggressive. This puts a lot of pressure on a deck that doesn’t have a lot of removal and forces them to start chumping or trading (you’re more than happy to trade Titan for 3 creatures), minizing the impact of Xenan Obelisk and Arcanum Monitor. Crystallize is an absolute house against this deck if you can land it before an Obelisk hits play and if you have any threats out it’s often game over even if they do have Obelisk/Monitor. You’ll want to save your Desert Marshal for Arcanum Monitor to swing big attacks from the opponent in your favour if possible.
There’s a lot of other matchups in the meta and if you notice a shift away from Burn I highly recommend this deck, since it’s matchups against other midrange or control decks is fantastic. If you have the shiftstone laying around, take it for a spin, it’s a lot of fun to land the biggest, baddest Legends turn after turn.