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The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell

March 3, 2011

May the old devils depart! May they burn in the fires of their own damnation! May they freeze in the infinite golden darkness of their own hideous creation!

Whether it be a gaming ritual or a ritual to return the demons back from hell in 1987 movie The Gate, Magic player try to build “The Deck” that will over come all those who oppose it and run there enemies into the ground on the battlefield of the Multiverse.

“The Gate” it is one of those decks that many people don’t see coming, not so much on the creature control it offers, but one thing for sure is that in a game where most if not all creatures you face are ground pounders, having a 6/6 flyer for 4 can really save your ass, serve that up with card advantage, graveyard hate, forcing a sac, and hand disruption you have a very mean and nasty deck to contend with.

The Gate:

[4x] Abyssal Persecutor
[4x] Gatekeeper of Malakir
[4x] Dark Confidant
[4x] Vampire Nighthawk

[4x] Duress
[4x] Innocent Blood
[3x] Deathmark
[3x] Cabal Therapy
[3x] Hymn to Tourach

[3x] Umezawa’s Jitte
[3x] Bitterblossom

[17x] Swamp
[4x] Wasteland

Sideboard

[3x] Spinning Darkness
[3x] Faerie Macabre
[3x] Extirpate
[3x] Dystopia
[3x] Thorn of Amethyst

How the Deck Plays

The deck essentially runs like aggro-control. You dictate the board state with removal and remove key spells with Duress and Cabal Therapy. Your opponent will be hard-pressed to match your intensity with the amount of removal you run. But again, it is all about card advantage and situational Magic. This application of thought is what made the deck work to begin with. You build cards with Bob, build creatures with Bitterblossom, two for one with Gatekeeper and Faerie, or beat down to hell with Persecutor and Nighthawk.

The deck is so versatile and has such a good match against many of the formats’ decks to beat. It has answers to almost everything while not depleting itself out, and that’s the key. You get the biggest bang for your buck and maximize the potential of each card you play. This throws an opponent for a loop because you are systematically wiping out threat after threat while actually building threats of your own. It’s a fun thing to do and it is quite effective. Remember, in Legacy the game can be decided as early as turn two or three. If you can sustain these turns by gaining a clear advantage at hand and board, then you allow yourself a great chance to win. This is a philosophy for which this deck predicates itself upon: To generate card advantage early enough in the game without trading tempo for consistency at an alarming rate.

By playing basic lands, you are also just completely nullifying an opponents’ Waste or Moon strategy. This again is a fantastic situation as you render cards like the following useless:

Price of Progress.
Wasteland.
Magus/Blood Moon.

Again, cards like Dark Confidant and Bitterblossom are stagnant builders that enable you to generate advantage at the cost of life. This is offset by Jitte and Nighthawk and provides a synergistic approach in how the game plays out for you. It’ll almost make you feel like the Predator up in a tree counting Goyf skulls as trophies. Hard to argue with consistency.

Against decks like Merfolk and Goblins, depending on if you’re on the play, you can knock out key cards with Duress and go into removal mode from there. The trick is to nullify their early counter-magic and force them to just drop a creature and say go. You have enough firepower to match forces, as there is no Island-walking going on.

While your curve is higher than most decks for your creatures, your removal and disruption circumvents this factor. fact of the matter is, your opponent should barely have anything on the table if you hit your drops and keep the disruption strong…

Anyway that is it for now.

Happy Gaming!

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