Strictly Eternal 101 – Punishing the Czech

Howdy folks, it’s Joe again with another edition of The Rise and Fall of the Czech Republic: An Introspective Historical Look at Republics! Or rather, a little Legacy. I’m sure we’ll get that right someday.

Anyways, this week we’re looking at a variation of Czech Pile (otherwise known as 4C Leovold or 4C Control) that literally killed it in an MTGO Legacy Challenge, piloted by the user Clashed to finish 7-0. It’s a version of the deck that uses Punishing Fire as well as Dack Fayden in addition to the normal core of the deck. We picked up this deck and ran through five matches and recorded them all for you guys to enjoy. During the course of these five matches we went 3-2 overall.

The Core of the Deck

Czech Pile at it’s very core is defined by several cards that are general mainstays to the deck. Those cards are Deathrite Shaman, Baleful Strix, the spell suite of Ponder/Brainstorm/Force of Will, Snapcaster Mage, and of course the deck’s other namesake Leovold, Emissary of Trest. Beyond this, the deck plays a wide variety of pure unadulterated answers for various matchups, with the ability to sideboard into much more answers for its bad matchups.


One of the biggest issues with Pile is that it’s manabase is extremely greedy. This version is no exception. It requires Grove of the Burnwillows because of Punishing Fire. However, having Deathrite Shaman pretty much invalidates a lot of the hate that would be pointed at this manabase, including Wasteland and Blood Moon.

One of the great things about this version is the sheer synergy between cards like Dack Fayden and Punishing Fire. Being able to discard a Punishing Fire with no downside is obviously pretty good, but Dack gets 10000 times better with a Leovold in play, since you can target your opponent with Dack’s looting ability and make them discard two cards.

Sideboard wise, this deck has numerous answers to various different matchups from graveyard and combo to other blue decks. Blue deck mirrors tend to be pretty awfully grindy, so the extra permission here in the sideboard really helps, along with cards like Sylvan Library which let you grind even further to find an answer.

Let’s take a look at our matches, shall we?

Match 1 vs Dredge (Record 2 – 0 WIN)

Match 2 vs Miracles (Record 0 – 2 LOSS)

Match 3 vs Monored Sneak Attack (Record 2 – 1 WIN)

Match 4 vs Sneak and Show (Record 0 – 2 LOSS)

Match 5 vs Belcher (Record 2 – 0 WIN)

Post Thoughts

This deck was a lot of fun to play and really enjoyable when it worked. I made some major misplays throughout some of the games (especially against Monored Sneak in Game 2), but I am chalking that up to learning experience with the deck more than anything. I am sure I also mulliganed or kept some bad hands, but it seems as if this deck can mitigate that with sheer strength of Deathrite and Brainstorm.

Wrapping Up

That’s all the time we have this week folks! Sound off in the comments please if you’re enjoying the video, I would love to hear what you guys think and what deck you would like to see me cover next!

Until next time, when we meet again in Russian Roulette!

– Joseph Dyer

Joseph is an avid player of eternal Magic formats, including Vintage and Legacy.  As a Nic Fit player who will tell anyone who will listen about his deck, Joe spends his time analyzing and playing on Magic Online and various online platforms, while prepping for competitive events.  To follow more Joe, check out his Twitter!

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