Last time I saw you, I brought up six decks that utilize Wrenn and Six and did some minor talking about how the metagame could adapt to fight the new sherif in town. Today I will go a little deeper and share with you my blueprint to fight the dominant planeswalker!
#1: Play Better Answers
As I touched on last article, there are very few ways to favorably deal with Wrenn and Six without losing card advantage. While attacking Wrenn down to zero loyalty the old fashion way is a great plan and dealing with it once it resolves with something like Abrupt Decay is acceptable, I want to find ways to include cheap interaction in my blue deck that deals with Wrenn on the stack.Spell Pierce has always been a role-player in Legacy, and I see no reason why blue decks wouldn’t play a few copies in their 75. Because of the presence of planeswalkers, pesky enchantments and artifacts, I’ve been a believer in Spell Pierce over something like Flusterstorm for a long time.
While a little more narrow even though it’s good against most decks, Spell Snare is another interesting tool for this metagame where Chalice of the Void for one, Tarmogoyf, Stoneforge Mystic, Infernal Tutor, Counterbalance, Snapcaster Mage among lots of other relevant two-drops are roaming the streets of Legacy. What makes Spell Snare narrow is the timing which you need to get right or risk holding a dead card while the opponent rides off to the sunset. I like a 1-of Spell Snare these days.Blue Elemental Blast is a neat little sideboard card that kills Blood Moons, work wonders against Burn, helps against Sneak Attack and is worth bringing in against almost any deck with Wrenn. In those matchups other targets include, but are not limited to Dack Fayden, Kolaghan’s Command, Red Elemental Blast, Lightning Bolt, Dreadhorde Arcanist. I would start with one copy and see if I like it enough to play a second.
#2: Take Advantage of Their Manabase
The next strategy tries to take advantage of the greedy manabases that Wrenn enables. Blood Moon sees play in Mono Red Prison, but I could see decks like Miracles or Stoneblade splashing for Blood Moon to K.O. the 4-color decks. Furthermore, Sneak & Show has played it in the past and could look into it again.Price of Progress is mainly an Izzet Delver utility card since I don’t consider Burn a serious Legacy deck. It will deal a massive amount of damage and will be a godsent tool to finish an opponent off who stabilized against you. When playing with Price of Progress, try not to telegraph it too much by fetching basics at suspicious moments. You should aim to make it look like you’re playing around your opponent’s Wasteland rather than setting yourself up to less damage from Price, and you can set the trap and profit.
#3: Play Smarter Threats
This one might be chicken’s logic (Danish saying), but changing your threat base is an important adaption in the face of Wrenn. A single toughness is not going to cut it anymore, so cards like Baleful Strix and Snapcaster Mage are worse where a card like Young Pyromancer is an unplayable creature out of Izzet Delver. Mother of Runes and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben from Death and Taxes and Maverick are also out in the cold at the moment. That means that Grixis Control needs to take a step back and Izzet Delver needs to play something else than the workhorse of Young Peezy.
A card I’m really high on right now is Tarmogoyf, since these Wrenn decks are pretty low on cards to deal with big creatures. At 4/5 Tarmogoyf even dodges Lightning Bolt + Wrenn and Six activation which is a big deal.
#4: Don’t Lose to Multiple Wastelands
Here we are trying to work around Wrenn’s ability to recur Wasteland and prey on dual heavy manabases by … not playing those. Two-color decks with lots of basic lands will laugh in the face of Wasteland all day and can now focus on beating the Wrenn decks without having their mana compromised. Blue-White-based decks seem like the clear winner, since they already played tons of basic lands and recently got a great land for this purpose in Prismatic Vista. In a two color deck, Prismatic Vista will act like Flooded Strand 5-8 a lot of the time which will prove extremely valuable if Wasteland and Blood Moon continue to be huge players in the metagame. Conveniently enough, these archetypes don’t care too much about Wrenn’s ping ability, so the goal becomes to not die to the ultimate. I imagine merfolks with hexproof or a horde of monks will have something to say about that if Council’s Judgment doesn’t show up in time, of course.
#5: Wrenndered Useless
If you don’t feel like changing your favorite card from your deck in order to compete, you can sleeve up a good ol’ combo deck. You will not get Hymn to Tourach’d these days, but instead see a planeswalker with irrelevant text cast against you on turn two, so now it’s combo’s time to shine. With the Thalia-based decks and Hymn to Tourach on the decline, now could be the best time ever to cheat those Emrakul’s into play. Sneak and Show even gets bonus points for not being as weak to Chalice as Storm.
#6: If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
Your last option is to grab the bull by the horns and simply play a Wrenn and Six deck because it’s good and then practice hard to outplay the opposition in the inevitable (pseudo) mirror matches you will face. All of these decks have a high skill ceiling. No matter which deck you choose from my previous article, including Jund that I was reminded that I forgot, there will be plenty to master and improve on with proper testing and tweaking. Personally I will most likely turn to this option and try to build a sweet version of Four-Color Control and master it.
Right now I will shift my focus to Modern in preparation for our quarterfinals match against ChannelFireball in the Team Modern Super League on August 6. Make sure to tune in and cheer for your favorite Mages!