Decks in Legacy always have a specific goal. Some want to chain together spells, others want to bring back gigantic demons from the dead, while others want to make sure that their opponents can’t have fun.
This deck fits into several categories. It disrupts the playstyle of our opponent, aggressively attacks, creates a very large board presence, and uses extremely powerful interactions to outpace our opponent.
3 Ancient Tomb
4 Windswept Heath
4 Verdant Catacomb
1 Dryad Arbor
3 Obstinate Baloth
2 Deathrite Shaman
4 Knight of The Reliquary
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Courser of Kruphix
1 Centaur Vinecrasher
1 Renegade Rallier
4 Abrupt Decay
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
4 Chalice of The Void
4 Sylvan Library
1 Tower of the Magistrate
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Gaddock Teeg
2 Rolling Spoil
1 Engineered Plague
1 Toxic Deluge
2 Diabolic Edict
Now since we went over the decklist, its time to explain why these cards are played in the deck.
Simply put, this is one of the best lands in the deck. The ability to destroy a non-basic with a land is unparalleled in the format. However, if this card is so powerful, why are we only running it as a one of? There are many reasons why this deck runs only one copy of Wasteland. Firstly, Sylvan Stompy needs consistent colored mana to function. Secondly, (and more important) we have a Knight of The Reliquary which can fetch it for us, allowing us to have more consistency in our colors while still being able to destroy any of our opponent’s more troublesome lands.
This land does a lot of work. It’s ability to bounce legendary creatures makes it extremely strong, and it is also fetchable with Knight of The Reliquary, which is why we only run one in the deck. While bouncing our opponent’s Ionas/Griselbrands/Titanias, Karakas also allows us to bounce our own Gaddock Teeg (which lets us cast our Green Sun’s Zenith or Chalice of The Void).
A classic way to get huge amounts of mana on early turns, this land helps get our creatures out faster. We need all the speed we can get in this deck, as it is creature based and can be quite slow with “fair” amounts of mana.
Run as a one of in this deck. It can be fetched out on turn one consistently with a Green Sun’s Zenith (because its converted mana cost is 0). A blocker and a mana producer, this card fits right in.
A real beast of a card (heh), this big baloth makes our deck extremely good against Hymn to Tourach. Imagine your opponent casting Hymn, looking all smug, and then you discard two of these bad boys. That is the dream of course, but even if that never happens, you still get a 4/4 for four that gains us a decent chunk of life on entry.
The one mana planeswalker that needs no introduction. Cheap and extremely efficient, this little elf is as versatile as he is deadly. He helps slow down (if not stop) graveyard strategies. While ramping us with our large amount of lands in the graveyard. This is an easy include for this kind of deck.
One of the most powerful creatures in our deck, this creature has synergies with itself and many other cards in the deck. By filling our graveyard full of lands, and allowing us to essentially build a toolbox of them, Knight does so much work. It is an easy playset.
Disenchant on a small elf, this is a prime target for our Green Sun’s Zenith. A tutorable way to destroy our opponents artifacts or enchantments. It is more of a toolbox creature, as it has a very narrow use, and running more then one would lower the aggressive potency of the deck.
A clear option for our creature toolbox, Scooze eats up our opponent’s graveyard for a low cost. Gaining us life and getting bigger in the process. This card is extremely good against any graveyard deck, and even has the potential to get gigantic late game. A grindy and useful card, one in the mainboard and one in the sideboard as well is usually pretty good to run.
In matchups when we need life, we bring in this guy. A proud member of our creature toolbox, he allows us to make our land drops more consistent. Along with a Knight of The Reliquary, he can also gain us two or more life per turn.
Going along with the theme of lands-in-the-yard we have. Especially against any kind of lands deck, this centaur can enter as a 10/10 or more. The added recursion makes him nearly impossible to get rid of (except for exiling of course), as lands will be going into our graveyard almost every turn.
A new card in this deck, but could be a better version of Eternal Witness as long as we can trigger revolt. For a good price, we can get back our lost Deathrite Shaman/Sylvan Library/Scavenging Ooze/Any land in our deck. With all the lands we are sacrificing, it will be relatively easy to trigger revolt. In testing it performed well, but can be boarded out for more potent cards in game two.
The premium removal/destruction spell for our colors. Besides being a nightmare for control decks, this card destroys so much that it would be useless to try and list it all. Used as our only form of removal and disruption, a playset is an easy include.
This card is one of the core pieces of our deck. Allowing us to search up any creature we need at any time. Zenith does so many things for our strategy, from ramping us, to allowing us to destroy pesky artifacts and enchantments. It is easy to see how a playset is an auto-include.
This disgusting card takes advantage of our high curve, and low non-creature spell count. By making all of our opponent’s cheap filtering spells cost three, we slow them down,, giving us precious time to establish a board. The upside to this card is most of our creatures and spells already cost three or close to it, so it doesn’t hurt us nearly as much as it hurts them (but its a symmetrical effect, so it is totally fair).
Another disgusting card we can use to slow down (or even stop) our opponent. Playing this on one usually means most of our opponent’s deck is now unable to resolve. Against decks like storm, a Chalice on one can make it impossible to win. Just a very solid card and good for hurting our opponent while leaving us in a position to win.
The namesake card of the deck, this card draw powerhouse is known as one of (if not the) best draw spell in green. By utilizing fetches and Knight of The Reliquary activation’s, we can consistently rearrange the top of our library. This allows us to get super smooth draws, and with the life gain from Kruphix and Baloth we can even get extra cards by just paying the 4 life.
Adding to our list of disgusting cards, this is a huge hit to any blue deck. Most dual lands our opponents will be fetching will be islands of some sort. This card puts them off of most (if not all) of their manabase.
We board this in against any deck in which artifacts will be giving us too much trouble on the ground (such as MUD or DnT). Is easy to fetch and does its duty at a low cost.
Bring this in against any graveyard deck. When their yard is looking too scary, activate your Knight and put it into play.
More enchantment and artifact removal. Fetchable and cheap, its ideal for getting rid of any pesky stuff we don’t want around.
Comes in when we need to blow stuff up. Good price and can get multiple targets if we play it right. It takes down any permanent we don’t want, so this is a very universal card to bring in.
If our opponent is going to be casting enormous spells or use Blue Sun’s Zenith to mill us out, bring in this old guy. The classic “fun police” card, he disrupts a lot of our opponents big plays. The only bad thing is that he shuts down our Green Sun’s Zenith. Good thing we can bounce him back to our hand with Karakas.
The more they play blue. The more we play Choke. Easy as that.
Used to destroy any pesky lands and small creatures our opponents may have. This is very good against Elves and unflipped Delvers, as the decks they are run in normally have a very small manabase as well.
Brought in to fight Merfolk and Elves, this can close out a game for them if we resolve it.
Board this in against any white weenie deck (mainly Death and Taxes). Casting this and wiping our opponent’s well developed board while leaving ours relatively intact feels really good.
Though this card hurts us quite a bit, its better to wipe the entire board and live then leave it and lose.
This card gets around creatures with hexproof/shroud and even gets Emrakul herself. Very good against Sneak and Show or Reanimator (also kills True-Name Nemesis).
This deck performs extremely well in some metas. Being able to outpace our opponent and then keep them from doing anything broken.
Sylvan Stompy has many strengths and weaknesses, I’ll make a short list of them now and go over each one.
+ Resilience: by having tutors and creatures that can recur, it is very hard for this deck to be in a position where it cannot come back.
+ Adaptability: this deck has so many different options. It runs both a creature and land toolbox, which allows us to change to any scenario we may encounter.
– Speed: Though it runs sol lands and runs a fair amount of lower costed creatures. This deck is a little slower than most mid range variants. We make up for this by having very potent creatures and cards that can stop or slow down combo decks.
-Interaction: Because of our deck’s colors, we have no way of running effective counterspells. Our only way of stopping our opponent from playing something we don’t want is to put down a Trinisphere or Chalice. Though this is not horrible, there are some people that don’t like the idea of playing a deck without any counterspells.
Sylvan Stompy is an extremely powerful, meta-dependent, and complex deck. Through playtesting I found that this deck is very fun to play, even against traditionally un-fun decks like Miracles or Storm. I learned much more about Sylvan Stompy while writing this article, so feel free to discuss what aspects you like or dislike about this deck in the comment section below.