Ancient Monsters

One of the most profound disappointments that I’ve had with constructed Magic since Ixalan was released is the lack of Dinosaurs. The tribe has clearly been pushed, but no one has been able to find the right combination of Dinosaurs and supporting cast to break out in Standard or Modern. That said, I never dared to dream that anyone would try to make Dinosaurs happen in Legacy:

Charging Monstrosaur
The core of this deck is relatively familiar. Fast mana combined with cheap prison effects like Chalice of the Void and Blood Moon is a recipe for free wins in all eternal formats. Playing two colors means that your mana is much more fragile, given that you’ll frequently want an Ancient Tomb or City of Traitors as well as a colored source early in the game. Add to that the fact that you’re trying to contort your mana base to cast spells through Blood Moon, and things can definitely get a little iffy. That said, the second color means you gain access to both Elvish Spirit Guide and Simian Spirit Guide, which does make your deck more explosive than it might be otherwise.

The real question is whehter the Dinosaur threats are substantially better than the kinds of things you can do in a mono-colored or colorless Ancient Tomb deck. Regisaur Alpha does a reasonable Reality Smasher impersonation. It’s slightly better at killing opponents through spot removal, but certainly worse at dealing with threats like Tarmogoyf and Gurmag Angler. Charging Monstrosaur fills a similar roll, but without the resiliency to removal. Deathgorge Scavenger is easy to cast, a reasonable threat, and does a great job of incidentally disrupting any decks that care about the graveyard. Finally, Ripjaw Raptor is an efficient body that punishes opponents who have to interact with it in combat. Relatively few Stompy decks have the ability to generate extra cards, but the double-Green casting cost could be difficult to deal with.

I’m excited to see if this style of list gets a little more traction in the coming months. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that Dinosaurs are the best choice for threats, particularly when compared to something like Eldrazi. That said, I really like the idea of splashing another color to ensure access to more lock pieces, particularly ones that might be better suited to a particular metagame. This deck could reasonably cast a turn one Choke, and there are lots of decks that would be completely unable to deal with that. Back to Basics is harder to sell in a deck that has to play Ancient Tomb, but is similarly possible. If you’re willing to try stretching your mana a little further, maybe there’s something here.

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