Deep Analysis – Terminus


This week’s article is going to talk about a large elephant in the room

Loxodon Smiter by Ryan Barger

Loxodon Smiter by Ryan Barger

No, not that elephant >_<

I speak of Miracles, a deck once know as CounterTop.

According to, Miracles has ballooned to around 18% of the field in Legacy.  *stats updated through 6/20/16 and contains both paper and online stats

At the two Legacy Grand Prix events a couple of weeks ago in Prague and in Columbus, there were 4 decks and 2 decks among the Top 8 decks from each tournament respectively.

At that percentage, as Legacy player, I wonder if that is health for the format.  Usually, that high of a percentage in an eternal format signals a problem with the power level of the deck.

Ban Terminus

Terminus is a big reason why many creature based strategies don’t survive in the format now.  Going wide is almost impossible unless your clock is REALLY fast or your opponent doesn’t have a set up cards (Ponder, Brainstorm, or Sensei’s Divining Top).

Banning Terminus could fix the problem while still allowing the deck to exist.

Ban Counterbalance

Counterbalance, on its own, is not an oppressive card.

Without being able to setup the top card of your deck consistently, it is not nearly as powerful.  I don’t believe this card would need a banning.

Ban Sensei’s Divining Top

Of all the cards in Legacy, this is the one that is the most painful to play against.

In a format with Ponder, Brainstorm, and Fetch lands, Sensei’s Divining Top is by far the worst offender in terms of speed. There is absolutely no wonder this card is banned in Modern.

Beyond time issues with this card, being paired with Counterbalance makes dealing that lock almost impossible to deal with.  Removing an active Top is worse than trying to do a root canal on an 8 year old.  You can’t cast a 1 mana spell with the Top in play and not expect it to be countered (Joe Lossett 2nd place Grand Prix Columbus deck had 14 1-Mana Spells).

I believe that banning Sensei’s Divining Top is the right thing to do.

If Top is banned…

I don’t believe that it would destroy the deck at all.

Two cards come to mind as a replacement for the Top.

Scroll Rack

Scroll Rack

Scroll Rack was one of the more powerful effects in the early history of the game to ‘dig’ for something you needed if you didn’t have a tutor. It sees a ton of play in Commander but hasn’t received much use in Legacy since Top was printed in Champions of Kamigawa.

The major drawback to compared to Top is that it must be untapped to use, is limited in the number of cards you get to see, and you don’t get to keep all of the cards in your hand if you wish to use it.

The major upside is that you can simply draw a card, put 1 card from your hand (with a matching CMC) back on top of your deck, and counter target spell if you have Counterbalance in play.



Soothsaying does its best to imitate the Top but at a higher cost.

Instead of paying 1 to set the top 3 cards of your deck, you have to spend X to set the top X cards of your deck.

The drawback to this card is it makes the deck more mana intensive than it already is.

The upside to this card is that you can dig deeper looking for another card that you need later in the game.


Without something changing soon, Miracles will continue to gain more control over the Legacy rivals.  I feel that WotC should do something about the deck, if possible, without totally destroying the full concept (similar to what they did to Eldrazi in Modern).

Until next time,


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