Exploring the Academy

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The letter I! know that Caleb Durward ("He Who Got Survival Banned" is his official title) has been a champion of a black-green Legacy deck with Veteran Explorer for a long time (inexplicably called Nic Fit), so when I saw this list I immediately thought of him. This particular deck has added a whole new color, but all that does is up the sweetness factor, and who doesn't like sweetness?

There are two main combos going on here, and both involve sacrifices made for gain. First, you play Veteran Explorer and sacrifice him to Phyrexian Tower or Cabal Therapy. Second, you play an Academy Rector with all that mana, and again make an offering. Rector fetches up Pernicious Deed, Recycle, or Recurring Nightmare, and the value begins. Deed is kind of the whammy, since getting it means you are under pressure, but if you have to, you have to. Getting Recycle or Recurring Nightmare is the best plan, as both provide you with a steady stream of card advantage.

Recycle is pretty simple and is only bounded by the amount of mana you have available. Most times it comes out you end up dumping a bunch of stuff on the board and casting multiple Cabal Therapys, making it hard for your opponent to come back.

Recurring Nightmare is even a little more broken, as the deck has a laundry list of creatures that provide neat effects. Grave Titan, Sun Titan, and Eternal Witness are the big three, and are all fully capable of ending games (albeit with slightly different approaches). The deck also has a toolbox of utility creatures, with Scavenging Ooze, Gaddock Teeg, Thragtusk, Baneslayer Angel, and Sigarda all answering specific decks or scenarios.

Another piece of the puzzle is Green Sun's Zenith. It starts by fetching Veteran Explorer, but it can quickly move up the chain to get all the cool creatures I talked about earlier (minus the non-green ones, of course). I'm surprised there isn't a Dryad Arbor in the deck, and I would definitely test one out if you decide to run the deck.

Lastly, I must mention the trio of Sensei's Divining Tops. It's nice to see the card outside Counterbalance decks, and with all the shuffling, this deck is a nice fit for it.

Luis Scott-Vargas
Luis Scott-Vargas
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Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

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