MTG – How To Build Legacy Food Chain – A Combo / Control Deck for Magic: The Gathering


Are you looking for a legacy deck that is not like the rest? Is your meta filled with the same three decks and you wanna shake things up with an uncommon and exciting build? Then have I got a deck for you! Food Chain! Legacy Food Chain is an interesting hybrid of combo and control. This is part of its appeal; offering flexible play and strategy but it is also what holds it back. Keeping it from not being as fast a combo as show and tell And of course nowhere as good a control deck as miracle is. Still while legacy Food chain is not a top-tier deck it is a lot of fun to play And while it may not win a GP—are there Legacy GP’s? I forget. I think there’s one—it is competitive and strong enough to do well at your local game store’s legacy events. Let’s take a look at what this deck seeks to do. Food Chain pairs the card Food Chain with Misthollow Griffin to create an engine of infinite mana of any color. Food Chain allows you to exile any creature you control and get that creature’s converted mana cost plus one in any one color. Misthollow Griffin is a 3/4 flier for two blue and two that can be cast from exile. By exiling the Griffin with Food Chain, you generate 5 blue mana but you only need 4 of that to re-cast Griffin from exile. Once you’ve cast the Griffin from exile, you have one extra mana and now can exile Griffin again for 5 more mana. There’s a lot of options for what you want to do with that infinite mana engine. And this is where Food Chain players get to tweak and customize their decks. To reflect them and their needs. The most-popular strategy is, of course, to main-board Emrakul and hard cast her. As once you have the Food Chain and Griffin, you have infinite mana. This food chain list actually uses Genesis Hydra. Not so much to create a 40/40 creature—give or take depending on many cards are left in your library. —but essentially to be able to reveal the next 40 cards or so and put any one non-land permanent of them into play. My permanent of choice is a Tidespout Tyrant which lets you bounce any permanent, including lands, whenever you play a spell. With Tidespout in play, casting and exiling the Misthollow Griffin again and again, lets you return all of your opponents permanents including lands to their hand which will be impossible to recover from. As you can see there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of which pieces beyond Food Chain and Misthollow you use for your win-con. What else is in this deck? Deathrite Shaman is great for acceleration, sure, but he’s also here to exile any Misthollow griffins that somehow end up in our graveyard. Actually, an ideal turn of plays would be turn 1 Deathrite, turn 2 food chain—exiling a fetch land—and then casting Misthollow Griffin on turn 3 and comboing off. But you might feel this combo is a little perilous Luckily there’s manipulate fate. A 2-cost sorcery that lets us grab three cards. From our library, exile them, and then draw a card. This instantly dumps three Misthollows into exile to be cast when we need them. And even draws us a card. It’s crazy value in this deck. The colors we are in are: Blue, Black, and Green (BUG). Which means the rest of our deck is protection and control. Baleful Strix is a 1/1 flying with Deathtouch that draws a card when it comes into play And provides a great deterrent for any creatures your opponent may swing in with. We’re in blue so obviously a full playset of force of will—for countering threats—or just countering the opponent’s counters of our combo pieces. You know the dance but I will say pitching a Griffin to a Force is a delightful thing to achieve during a game—feels good! Brainstorm helps us get the pieces we need and when combined with uncracked fetch lands in play, allows us to flush away irrelevant cards. Abrupt Decay is vital—especially since one of the biggest threats you are going to see is Pithing Needle. Usually sideboarded in against you. And, yeah, they’re gonna name Food Chain. When that happens, I just like to hold up on the Abrupt Decay until I am ready to combo off and then Decay the needle away. Finally a pair of Emrakul to hardcast with our infinite mana—in case we don’t have a Genesis Hydra or Tidespount in-hand. Remember! For these win-cons, the ratio can all be adjusted to your liking. Although, I always like running a few Emrakuls just in case we are against Sneak and Show decks. In that case, show me yours and I’ll show you mine! And also in the main board is a one-of Noble Hierarch for a little added acceleration. Now, before you assume Food Chain is just a shaky combo deck, let me explain how it is very versatile. The deck can turn itself into an aggro beat-down at the drop of a hat. With Food Chain in play those Misthollow Griffins become next-to-impossible to deal with. Obviously, Swords to Plowshares is only delaying the inevitable. But you can respond to any attempts to destroy the Griffins just by sending them to exile and recasting them. Games can easily turn into your relentless playset of Griffins flying through to victory. There’s also a lot of great tricks that this opens up. Opponents smashing through with some monster of a creature? Block with the Griffin, then exile before damage is declared. Re-cast and hold out until you get your combo in place. The sideboard runs two leyline of the void against graveyard decks. Umezawa’s Jitte for emphasizing an aggro strategy. Or just staying alive long enough to put your combo into place. One Golgari Charm and two Disfigures as well as Teferi and Jace (TMS) for when you need flash against a highly-interactive opponent. Or just need to fate-seal them away. The mana base is the worst part of this deck. Worst in terms of cost. Because it’s running a playset of Verdant Catacombs, Misty Rainfores, two Polluted Deltas, as well as three-ofs of Underground Sea, Tropical Island, and a single Bayou. There’s nothing wrong with going for a fun build in Legacy! Pitch your Griffin to Force to counter your opponent’s attempt at going off. And then ta-da! Out comes Emrakul! No… Food Chain is not Tier 1 And as far as combo and control decks are concerned it sits somewhere in the middle. Being able to adjust your plan to your opponent’s plays is one of food chains biggest strengths. And being able to become the beat down at the flick of a switch, is why this deck is worth checking out. I hope very much this video has been of some help to you. Which Legacy deck would you like to see a tech on next? Let me know in the comments below and remember: You can’t play Magic at Target or Wal-Mart. So when you spend your money try and spend it where you spend time playing Magic. And that’s at your local game store, whenever possible. You’re supporting your Magic community.

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100 thoughts on “MTG – How To Build Legacy Food Chain – A Combo / Control Deck for Magic: The Gathering

  1. Hey^^ I recently returned to Magic: The Gathering after a nearly 10 year break (your YouTube-Channel reignited my fire for Magic) and i have a question. Can you, or anyone here who reads it, tell me a great website for buying single cards?

  2. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Esper Mentor. Its the deck that I'm going to use as my first Legacy deck, since it's basically a Christmas list of personal favorites put into a rather awesome deck. If you dont know the deck, Id be happy to link a decklist for it, either mine or a more professional one πŸ˜›

  3. That actually looks hilarious…and I already have most of it. Of course, not the lands, ouch. Getting what I don't have other than lands would only run me a couple hundred bucks.

  4. A weird food chain deck I built was chainstorm, basically playing creatures that draw you cards upon entry, and then chaining them off for more mana. It could get out of hand fairly quickly.

  5. due to the lands, the force, the emrikuls and other expensive cards, this is still a $2500 deck….why even bother with tier 2 when you're spending that kind money?

  6. My teacher taught us magic at school and we had a draft yesterday, I pulled a a vacancies in my 2nd pack. my teacher open end 3 booster boxes before and got none when I opened 2 packs and got 1!

  7. Professor! can you please do a deck tech on either Imperial Painter or the W/R Bomberstone variant please!

  8. It would be funner putting in a Memnarch in place of the Tidespout. Instead of bouncing there cards back to there hand, take them for yourself!! πŸ˜€

  9. Can we get a Grixis Pyromancer (or its latest incarnation Grixis Thing) deck tech please? That deck is just so full of good synergies, it is unbearable.

  10. Do Legacy Goblins!
    I know you like merfolk more and probably don't like red but I'd love to see your take on it

  11. could you do one on Death and taxes? I know it's mainly mono white but i have seen some people splash either black, blue or red.

  12. I'd really like to see a Pili-Pala deck for modern. I love how simple that combo is, yet I can't see how to make the deck work.

  13. So I was watching this video and said to myself, yeah this might be a great way to start legacy, I have almost all cards already ( deathrites, decays, strixes ) and with eternal masters coming out, I can maybe buy force of will playset slightly cheaper than usual. And then proffesor showed the manabase. Nope. back to proxy legacy.

  14. Well, sticking with the "food" motif… I will suggest Cheeri0s. Sure, it's like a Tier III deck, but it can be built fairly cheaply (optimal build utilizes Cradles, but those aren't absolutely necessary) by Legacy standards. Just puttin' it out there.

  15. Have you ever thought about doing an in depth series on how to create a solid deck on certain formats? I would be very interested in seeing how to go about this process, since I have a very difficult time trying to build a deck.

  16. Do the manaless version of dredge please. The two most expensive cards, ichorid and Cabal Therapy, just saw reprints in eternal masters. They re being sharply contested for that spot by recent spikes in Bridge from Below and Golgari Grave-Troll but is still by far the cheapest legacy deck with the potential exception of mono-red burn.

  17. Food Chain is a mana ability, so Pithing Needle naming Food Chain will not stop your combo. Please don't waste your Abrupt Decays on such needles.

  18. Professor! Do you have any suggestions, videos, or future videos on Legacy decks that are about as cheap as a modern deck, but have the play ability of Food Chain?

  19. miracle please. I am currently building it and I have a base but I would love to see what you come up with.

  20. you should upload your deck lists to tappedout.net so that the veiwers can go and directly purchase the decks from all card buying platforms

  21. I'm making a comeback to legacy but I'm afraid the cost of this deck is out of my range for now…

  22. Green and Black are always my favorite colors/mana in Magic, adding Blue in just makes it all the better :3! I'd love in general to just see more decks of either combination of the colors. While I do hate playing against the stereotypical Blue player, it's not my least favorite color. I tend to find the aggro and speedy use of Red to be my least favorite to play against and typically Red spells are what I prefer with Red, not so much the creatures in them, I tend to always use Green and splash it with Red and while this video is about Legacy format, I find making Commander decks more interesting xP! Would love to see you do more videos on Commander decks and play, if at all possible.

  23. Ran a U/G Food Chain with black in the side board at GP Columbus last month. I've been playing it for a few months as my first legacy deck and it is insanely fun. The best thing it can do is make people have funny reactions. "What the hell are you doing there buddy?!"

    I also add Alter of The Brood for decks that can be milled out so instead of having one main combo(typically Emrakul) you have two and you can cascade into Altar! πŸ™‚

  24. I would like to see Legacy Lands. Expensive deck, yes, but it is so unique. I have a proxy one that I play with, it is such a fun deck. I would like to see your take on it, professor.

  25. I swear, when he says, you cannot play magic at target or Walmart, someone went to Walmart and played a game of magic

  26. This can be updated with Eternal Scourge right?
    Eternal can be cast from Exile, and it automatically exiles itself in response to opponents targeting it, so there's less danger from your combo being shunted if you don't have your food chain online yet. Additionally it costs 1 mana less and is fully colorless, unlike Griffin's double Blue 4-cost

  27. I just want to make sure So legacy build allows me to use any past sets of released Magic cards like including really old sets?

  28. I've became interested in Food Chain when Squee came out in Dominaria… to be honest I hadn't heard of the griffin… either way, fun, abusable card that's still somehow Legacy Legal!

  29. For extra spicy memes go temur so you can splash in the new squee which you can cast from exile OR your graveyard, allowing for a nice workaround to non exile based removal

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