Sneak & Breach

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Iso
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Post by Iso » 1 year ago

This is the thread for Legacy Sneak & Breach on MTG Nexus.

Sneak & Breach is a deck that uses the eponymous cards, Sneak Attack and Through the Breach, to cheat out fatties such as Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Griselbrand, and Worldspine Wurm. Recently, Ilharg, the Raze-Boar was released, and is an additional Sneak ability to be considered for the deck.
Sneak & Breach
Approximate Total Cost:

The gameplan for this deck is fairly straightforward - prison pieces, fast mana, draw cards, pound face.

Inferno Titan is a frequently-used piece in a lot of Sneak & Breach lists, but I personally like the addition of Ilharg to have access to another cheaty card and fatty simultaneously. Ilharg is also a one-turn kill if you connect with his attack and cheat out a Worldspine or Emrakul with his ability. I prefer Wurmcoil Engine as a random fatty that I can hardcast more than Inferno Titan on the merit that I've won games on a hardcast Wurmcoil from the lifegain, and red mana is disappointingly difficult to come by in this deck. Sandstone Needle is a moderately viable option in a meta with fewer Wasteland decks, but in tournament scenes where they're rampant, I'd steer away from this choice.

Let's discuss why we have what we have, here.

Fast Mana

The key to this deck's success is in its ability to speed out threats too quickly for your opponent to respond to them. The cards that enable this are Lotus Petal, Simian Spirit Guide, Seething Song, and the sol lands. When your T1 is Ancient Tomb, Lotus Petal, Seething Song, Sneak Attack, Sneak in Griselbrand, pay 14, draw 14, that's often a victory before your opponent has a chance to even play their first card. Force of Will is a huge boogeyman in this format for your deck, and it's best to try to lure the countermagic out with your prison pieces before going all-in on your combo. Alternative options include Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Chrome Mox, but that veers dangerously close to the Mono-Red Prison gameplan, which is a different deck, and you want to win with your ridiculous creatures, right? I thought so. Speaking of Mono-Red Prison, let's talk about the prison aspects of this deck.

Prison

The deck fights off early draw filtering, aggro plays, and wombo combos with its prison elements. Chalice of the Void, Trinisphere, and Blood Moon are big, here, and wreck your opponent's game plan early on, preventing them from pulling ahead with cantrip spam and the like. Chalice on 1 and 2 is crippling for a lot of Legacy decks, and Chalice on 0 can interfere with your own gameplan, but also stop Storm decks in their tracks - it all depends on how you play, what you draw, and what you side out. Trinisphere helps keep down the tempo of decks using a lot of cantrips and filtering, and often prevents Force of Will or Daze from being a big problem for you. Assuming your prison pieces resolve, they buy you a lot more time than you would otherwise have to set your combo up and win. Oftentimes, though, you'll experience a counterspell in response to casting a prison piece. Unless you know you can resolve them and go off, it's important not to go all-in on early prison pieces, as that can sometimes prevent you from having the resources to go off later in the game. Blood Moon is an important card in this deck, as it shuts down decks such as Eldrazi and Lands completely unless they can come up with some removal. I've personally found that, depending on the meta and the match-up, Blood Sun is actually a better choice than Blood Moon. Some decks, like Delver, Sneak & Show, and Storm don't care too much about having non-basics out, and a lot of skilled pilots can play around a resolved Blood Moon by fetching basics in response to the cast - but if you resolve a T1 Blood Sun, they don't have access to their fetches after resolution, and suddenly, that hand of 3 fetchlands that they could tap to Lightning Bolt you or put out a Young Pyromancer are suddenly a huge liability. Even Lands can Gamble for a Krosan Grip or Force of Vigor with Blood Moon out, but not Blood Sun. Without prison pieces, this deck doesn't have the fuel to keep churning through your opponents' counterspells and outspeed their cantrips, and can easily be overrun by a well-timed Force of Will. Because of the nature of prison cards, this can often result in a "topdeck, go" type of game, so if you don't crush your opponent quickly, be prepared for a grind.

Another prison card that's recently been making waves in red prison-based decks in Legacy is Karn, the Great Creator. With Karn, you can snag a Mycosynth Lattice from your sideboard and shut your opponent off, completely. I don't like relying on this because I feel it dilutes how Sneak & Breach wins, but it's a consideration if you don't mind defying the base principles of the deck you're playing. :laugh:

Cheatyfaces

Sneak Attack, Through the Breach, and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar. They're self-explanatory, and they make the deck work. I think 10 is a good number of Sneak cards to have in here, as you're statistically likely to have at least one per hand of cards drawn. When the first one gets countered, you have backup. I tried a variant with 4 Sneak, 2 Breach, and 4 Ilharg, but the prevalence of creature removal in my meta prevented this from being an effective strategy. I think 4 Breach is the right number, as it's harder to interact with your instants than your creatures short of counterspells.

Fatties

Griselbrand is your bread and butter. Sneak in Griselbrand over any of your other choices 9 times out of 10. Drawing 7 or 14 is a surefire way to stay ahead of your opponent, get the resources you need, and ensure you're putting out your monstrous death machines - and then when he attacks, it's as if you drew 7 of those cards for free, and can even draw another 7 if you need to. Sweepers are Emrakul and Worldspine; Emrakul clears your opponent's board, and Worldspine punches through most defenses and leaves you with enough tools afterwards to finish them on the next turn. An early Emrakul is not the ideal Sneak target, but putting your opponent on the back foot with 5 life on T1 is a really nice way to make them think hard about how many fetches they're going to be using throughout the game. Inferno Titan is a tried and true staple in this deck - it can clear boards, or just dole out massive amounts of damage to your opponent over a turn or two. I find it difficult to hardcast an Inferno Titan due to the scarcity of red mana, and you have no recourse for a stray Swords to Plowshares when you put it out. Ilharg is slightly more favorable to me for this reason - resilient to removal - as well as the fact that it costs 1 less to cast, and furthers your Sneak & Breach gameplan with its attack trigger. Wurmcoil Engine is also an attractive option - gaining 6 life every turn with Deathtouch makes Batterskull look like a Bonesaw. Wurmcoil somehow dying also opens you up to going wide with two 3/3s, which are also nothing to sneeze at of their own accord. The last card I might recommend here is Reality Smasher. With its built-in Haste, you don't have to Sneak it in to get the most out of it, and as with Wurmcoil, if you get color-screwed, you have the option to hardcast this with relative ease with your sol lands. There are a lot of other options that can fill these slots, but the only two I never really got to try that might have carried their weight were Balefire Dragon and Drakuseth, Maw of Flames. I tested at least a dozen cards - maybe more - in these slots (Sundering Titan, Bearer of the Heavens, Scuttling Doom Engine, Blightsteel Colossus, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger etc.) and found that they simply did not make the cut compared to the aforementioned options. Ulamog was a great filler card for a while when I didn't have Emrakuls, but it lends itself to a different style of play. Ultimately, it's up to your preference, but you can't argue with results!

Next, let's talk about sideboard options.

Sideboard

Let's face it, there are a LOT of amazing red cards in Legacy - but what your sideboard should be focusing on is getting around the decks that cause the most problems for you.

Death & Taxes - D&T can shut you down with Phyrexian Revokers, Sorcerous Spyglasses, and Pithing Needles, and even dramatically slow down your gameplan with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Wasteland, and Rishadan Port. Mother of Runes can be a hassle to deal with if you're on the Inferno Titan gameplan; for D&T, I'd recommend running cards like Abrade, Fiery Confluence, and Kozilek's Return in the side. This also deals with other annoyances like a sideboarded Containment Priest.

Counterspells - Decks that are heavy on counterspells such as Delver, Stoneblade, and Miracles are obnoxious to fight through because once you resolve something big, you've effectively won. Their gameplan is to prevent you from getting that something big out and chipping away at you piece by piece. Doubling down on prison pieces helps you, here. Otherwise, Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast can be godsends against a resolved Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I've found that often if I need to wait to hold mana back for a red counterspell that I'd rather be going off a turn sooner as that tends to be an extra turn I need to do something else; I would recommend the prison pieces over the counterspells.

Storm - Storm, being another combo deck that operates on a different wavelength from your own, can be hard to deal with, especially if they go off before you do. The best card to side against Storm in S&B, I've found, is Stronghold Gambit. 99% of Storm decks don't run creatures, even in the sideboard, so you're almost guaranteed to have the smallest creature among the two of you.

Reanimator - Reanimator is similar to Storm in that it's a combo deck that operates on a different wavelength from your deck, but to a similar end. The best cards to have in your sideboard for Reanimator are Surgical Extraction and Leyline of the Void. Neither of them require you compromise your mana base to get them out, and Leyline completely shuts down most graveyard decks, including Dredge.

Prison/Enchantress/miscellaneous lockdown - Decks that run cards like Solitary Confinement, Overwhelming Splendor, and Ensnaring Bridge are problematic because if you can't attack or hurt your opponent, you can't win. Red doesn't really have enchantment interaction, so the best bet here is to go around them shutting your creatures down. Cards like Pyromancy and Undying Flames do this in spades, given the particularly high cost of some of your cards. Undying Flames copies itself every turn at the cost of shutting off all of your other spells, but this can work for you if you already have a Sneak Attack out. Also, if you're facing down decks like MUD or that run Karns as win conditions, or even other problematic Planeswalkers, Pithing Needle is a must.

Overview - So, what would I recommend as a stock sideboard for S&B?
Sideboard
Approximate Total Cost:

Obviously adjust as necessary for your meta, but I found this build to be particularly effective and had at least 2 cards to side in against any match-up that perhaps could have gone more favorably for myself.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk, and let me know if you have any questions or feedback on this deck or my particular build.
Last edited by Iso 6 months ago, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Iso
Griever
Posts: 113
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Location: Lionheart

Post by Iso » 1 year ago

Primer created, take a look and let me know what you think!

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