Legacy: Yorion Death & Taxes Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

Magic: the Gathering

Deck tech

Legacy: Yorion Death & Taxes Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide

01/08/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

Remember when they said it was wrong to play with your big 80-card deck? Who knew you were right! In this deck tech, we discuss the 80-card version of the traditional Death and Taxes.

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By Eltinho

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translated by Romeu

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revised by Leon

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Presentation

When we start to learn to play Magic competitively, one of the first things we are taught is to let go of our giant decks with all the “good” cards we open in the packs and stick to the minimum of 60 cards. 60. Always. Not even that 61st little tech. 60.
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But what if you're going to cheat the system and play with an 8-card hand instead of 7, would it be worth breaking the rules? This is a question many have been asking themselves since the Companion (one of the most absurd mechanics ever released) Yorion, Sky Nomad appeared in the game. And it's a valid question even in Legacy.

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Getting to Know the Deck

Today's Tech is about the version of Death and Taxes (DnT), one of the most traditional archetypes of the format and very popular for being an example of how it is possible to play and be competitive without depending on the Reserved List, which decided to sacrifice the consistency of 60 cards for permanent access to not just an extra card, but a hell of a monster that interacts very well with various triggered effects upon entering play. Below is the list that I will use as a reference in the article:
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Stances

Those who don't know Death and Taxes properly, seeing a list with many creatures, may believe that it is another aggro deck, but this conception is far from the truth. This is a deck that negates resources through lands (Wasteland, Rishadan Port, Karakas) or creatures (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Phyrexian Revoker) that seeks to both advance its threats at instant speed and without paying its true mana cost (Aether Vial, Stoneforge Mystic).
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Added to this mix, you have Recruiter of the Guard for getting the gears going, finding the right cards for the proper situations, and a wide range of useful creatures to solve the most varied situations (Mother of Runes , Flickerwisp, Skyclave Apparition, Cathar Commando). And if all else fails, Yorion is there on the bench, just waiting for the coach's call to take the field.

Building the Deck

A large deck allows great card flexibility, even more so when you rely on tutors (Stoneforge Mystic and Recruiter of the Guard) to have access to specific cards, so in addition to those listed above, it is common to find the following cards in this archetype: Aven Mindcensor, Brutal Cathar, Charming Prince, Ethersworn Canonist, Leonin Relic-Warder, Palace Jailer, Remorseful Cleric, in addition to the traditional Sword of Fire and Ice. Many of these cards end up appearing on sideboards as well.
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In the list presented, the cards that usually end up being cut to make room are precisely the tutorable ones, but it is also not uncommon to find lists reducing the total of Spirit of the Labyrinth, Skyclave Apparition and even Swords to Plowshares (but I don't recommend it).

Mulligan

The biggest downside to playing with 80 cards is that you have a reduced chance of finding your key cards in Mulligan, so you have to be a little more flexible with the hands offered. Practically any hand with Aether Vial is a keep, as your game is much better with this artifact in play, allowing you to attack your opponent's mana base without falling behind in your own development. Mother of Runes bending into another creature on turn 2, preferably Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or Stoneforge Mystic, is another easy hand to keep. This is a deck with a high land account, so hands with many low-cost creatures and few lands can be kept, as there is a high chance of drawing more throughout the game. On the other hand, flooded hands, even with plenty of utility lands, are not ideal. And keeping any hand with no plays until turn 3 is asking for trouble.

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Sideboard Guide

Regarding the suggested Sideboard list, it is common to find different options for specific Metagames. In addition to the creatures mentioned above as potential targets for Recruiter of the Guard, cards frequently found on sideboards of this archetype are Angel's Grace, Cataclysm, Faerie Macabre, Mindbreak Trap, Path to Exile, Pithing Needle, Powder Keg, Stony Silence, Sword of Light and Shadow, Sword of War and Peace and Unlicensed Hearse. Below is a guide against the main decks of the format:

Izzet Delver

In this matchup, you assume the role of Control, as once you stabilize with a Batterskull on the board, the game is usually over. Getting to that point is where things get complicated, as the deck is very efficient at putting pressure on and keeping its threats on the field. Fortunately, DnT has a very resilient mana base to their Wastelands, while they can get into trouble if their lands are attacked. Aether Vial makes the deck to take a more proactive stance, allowing you to use your lands on theirs while still creating board presence. Murktide Regent can be a big problem (no pun intended), but in addition to Solitude and Swords to Plowshares to keep it out of the game, a Flickerwisp ca turn it into a simple 3/3. Post-side, we have some very useful techs in this game like more removals and Rest in Peace, a card that serves to deactivate Dragon's Rage Channeler and eliminate the Regent's Delve. Just be careful not to cast the enchantment with the Dragon in play: it gets +1/+1 for each exiled card! Enter:
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Leave:
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Burn

Connecting an attack with Batterskull, that's the plan. The best route to this is Stoneforge Mystic to survive with the aid of Mother of Runes. Umezawa's Jitte is also another way to stay out of their reach. As a last resort, there is always the possibility of using Solitude or Swords to Plowshares on one of your own creatures to gain some extra breath. The large amount of basic lands helps make the deck less vulnerable to Price of Progress. There are no cards on the Sideboard that are specific against this matchup, but Deafening Silence can help you buy time, and Council's Judgment can serve to prevent Sulfuric Vortex from blocking your lifegain. Enter:
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Blue Control (Grixis/Jeskai/Bant/4C)

In this group here, we have the various Control decks that, despite the different paths they seek to victory, share a very varied mana base, low-cost Card Advantage mechanisms (Sylvan Library, Teferi, Time Raveler, Narset, Parter of Veils, Life from the Loam), some of which do double duty as a threat (Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, Hidetsugu Consumes All , Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Grist, the Hunger Tide), versatile removals (Prismatic Ending, Lightning Bolt, Kolaghan's Command), all held together with the ubiquitous Force of Will, Brainstorm and Ponder.

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Fortunately for DnT, many of these angles are attacked by the deck: Wasteland and Rishadan Port to punish their mana, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Spirit of the Labyrinth hindering deck development, Aether Vial to ignore counter spells. Our deck is already quite adjusted to face these opponents, the side will only make small adjustments according to the version faced. Against lists with graveyard interactions, enter:
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Against lists with more planeswalkers, enter:
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Depths (BG/GW)

Overall, you are favored against this deck, as Wasteland, Swords to Plowshares and Solitude can handle 20/20 bombs, but they have plenty of tools to try and protect their primary wincondition. Cards like Elvish Reclaimer and Knight of the Reliquary cannot live, or will lead to a huge headache, including offering protection to

Marit Lage

through Sejiri Steppe. Cards with Sylvan in the name are also a problem: Sylvan Library can generate countless resources and is an ideal target for Cathar Commando or Skyclave Apparition and Sylvan Safekeeper makes our removals dead. Post-side, you seek to delay them with more disruptive cards. Enter:
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Red Prison

This was a very smooth game for DnT, as their main strength, the Prison elements, are pretty innocuous against this deck. But then came Fury. Not that the game was unfavorable, DnT is still the favorite, but this card is very strong and if possible, should be played around. Another factor that made the match more difficult is the change of most lists to more aggressive versions with fewer Planeswalkers, which reduces Thalia's effectiveness, although she is still good. Otherwise, they end up being vulnerable to Wasteland and Rishadan Port and generally have no response to Kaldra Compleat. Enter:
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All Spells

The pre-sideboard game is unwinnable if they have the combo on turn 1. Post-side, Force of Vigor handles the boarded answers, so Surgical Extraction is your only reliable answer. In a deck of 80 cards. Unfortunately, this is a deck that is a predator of decks without Force of Will, which is coincidentally our case. But sometimes they lose to themselves, and this is our best chance. Enter:
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8-Cast

Pre-side, this is a tough opponent because even with you on the play, they have the first free turn to play their hand on the board. On the other hand, DnT is one of the most resilient decks to Chalice of the Void in the format.

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After the sideboard you have some bombs to throw at them and Deafening Silence stops the explosive turns. An addendum: Council's Judgment ignores Kappa Cannoneer's Ward. Enter:
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(On the play, we also need:)
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Leave:
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(On the play, Leave:)
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Mirror Match

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Spirit of the Labyrinth are the weakest cards in the Mirror, so it's best to replace some with more useful cards. Containment Priest serves to nullify Yorion, Sky Nomad and Flickerwisp. Enter:
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Leave:
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Conclusion

That's it for now, so I hope you enjoyed this article! Any questions, I am available in the comments!
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Eltinho

Two-time Brazilian Magic runner-up, World Top 4 by teams in 2006, Red Prison enthusiast in Legacy and "Tip the Scales" in Hearthstone.

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