Legends Legends - Angus Mackenzie

Jeff Dunn • June 18, 2024

Angus Mackenzie by Bryon Wackwitz

Welcome back to Legends Legends, our weekly sojourn into the annals of history and the year 1994. This week, we're cooking up an Angus Mackenzie Commander deck that channels everyone's favorite Scotsman, The Simpsons's Groundskeeper Willie. Willie/Angus emerges from the fog to seize victory from the throes of war, all the while being a guff-speaking work slacker. Grease me up, woman! Let's hop in!

General Thoughts

Angus Mackenzie is a Bant-aligned 2/2 for three mana with an activated Fog effect for another three mana. Angus has just under 1000 decks logged on EDHrec, and he seems to mostly be themed around planeswalker superfriends decks and group hugs. Like many of the Legends Legends, Angus is an expensive investment before you'll see any payoff. That said, access to a consistent Fog effect means we'll never take combat damage while Willie's on the field. 

Angus isn't going to beat down any opponents on his own. Instead, this Angus Mackenzie deck focuses on achieving alternate win conditions while preventing our opponents from interacting with our board or dealing damage to us. This deck is about consistently locking down our board to save ourselves from incoming damage, then using the time we buy to tutor up our combo pieces.

Willie Hears Ya, Willie Don't Care

Willie/Angus Mackenzie can hear ya shouting and swinging at him in combat damage, and he doesn't care. There's bound to be another combat step before the turn passes all the way around back to you, so having another source of damage prevention in your hand will always be useful. Besides Angus's own Fog effect, we're running the actual Fog and Moment's Peace for some extra insurance. We also have some nontraditional Fogs in this Angus deck, including Soccer Riot Control and Teferi's Protection, if you want to go that far.

Besides the usual Fogs to mitigate combat damage, we're also running a few of the lesser-known damage-deflectors and preventers. Cards like Divine Deflection and Guardian Seraph almost never see the light of day anymore, so it's exciting to find a theme they can slot into. Selfless Squire buffs itself whenever you prevent damage of any kind, and this deck can trigger that effect more than any other I've seen before.

We can't forget to mention Palliation Accord, either. Dropping one of these in the early game while everyone else is still ramping with their mana dorks can build up quite a few "shield" counters (now errata'd to be "palliation" counters). 

Suppressor Skyguard is a new Azorius creature that kinda flew under the radar with Ravnica: Clue Edition. For four mana, the Skyguard is a consistent damage-preventer as long as the attacker has other opponents they could be swinging at instead. 

Our top-end of damage prevention looks like Atalya, Samite Master and Vengeful Archon. The Archon is by far the stronger damage-preventer, redirecting some all-out attacks into direct damage into another opponent's face, and Atalya makes a great dump for our extra mana at the end of each round.

Finally, Urza's Armor is on the expensive side, but a flat one damage prevention on every attack effectively turns off that charging horde of 1/1 Saproling tokens, or saves you from Pestilence (I know, we don't see that so often in EDH), and no one ever perceives it as enough of a threat to draw targeted removal. 

Damn Scots

They ruined Scotland! Angus Mackenzie's not alone in his quest for victory, and he's got a gaggle of friends that're ready to riot.

While we set up our win conditions, we want to disincentivize attacks against us. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a bunch of Walls! Cheap Walls, like Wall of Omens, Wall of Blossoms, Sunscape Familiar, Wall of Denial, and Fog Bank will make up most of our early-game plays. While none of the Walls will "trade up" into your opponents' creatures, you can fairly effectively block anything they play in the first three or four turns with one of these creatures. Our most important Wall is, honestly, Mnemonic Wall, as it's the only one that'll recur some of our important tutors.

Besides those, we can take a political angle on damage prevention with Kami of the Crescent Moon, threatening to block with your opponents' draw source to deny them any extra cards. 

The Shinnin'

Ya've got the Shinnin', and yer gonna use it to cast a stack of enchantments. Most of our enchantments are here to protect us and our permanents as we set up one of our combos. 

Classics Propaganda and Ghostly Prison are here (plus the bodied version Windborn Muse). Arboria fulfills a similar role of forcing opponents to find another target.

Leyline of Sanctity is our insurance against burn decks and any Chainer's Edicts, while Asceticism and Sterling Grove should keep us safe from most other removal. 

Political spells Rites of Flourishing and Psychic Impetus should be used to make friends/enemies depending on the situation.

We don't run much in the way of card draw, besides Enchantress's Presence, but instead lean heavily into tutors that can fetch the exact enchantments we need. Obviously, Enlightened Tutor and Idyllic Tutor make appearances, but so do a series of transmute cards to grab our specific combo pieces. While Dizzy Spell and Muddle the Mixture, and Drift of Phantasms are sub-optimal cards, they can grab the key cards, like Prosperity, Helix Pinnacle, Laboratory Maniac, Pemmin's Aura, Freed from the Real, or even Sterling Grove if we feel we need the extra protection (or to tutor up something expensive like Divine Intervention). We'll go over how these combos work next. 

Finally, we're running the criminally underplayed Shared Summons, perfect for pulling the two combo creatures we need right outta the deck. 

The Noosle at the End of the Hoose

And so we come to it: the noosle at the end of the hoose. Nobody likes a deck that just says "don't touch me" and doesn't win, so here are our wild "outs" for this Angus Mackenzie Commander deck. 

Our win conditions don't require we make infinite mana, but it sure does help. To do this, we'll Faeburrow Elder or Bloom Tender with Pemmin's Aura or Freed from the Real to tap and untap their respective mana dork infinitely while netting a few mana each time. Then, we can either dump all of this mana into Helix Pinnacle to win, or a huge Prosperity, either ending the game in a victory for us if we have our Lab Man, or forcing a draw (which is okay, it just means we get to rerack and go to game two).

There are three other cards we can use to end the game, one of which actually wins it for us. Azor's Elocutors is a fun win condition in a "don't touch me" deck, and I'd love to someday see someone pull it off. In a similar vein, we can use cast Celestial Convergence or Divine Intervention and turtle up for a few turns. Ending the game in a draw is both fine and encouraged with this deck; Angus is a pacifist (even if Willie is not), and he knows that ultimately, nobody wins in war.

Budget Options

Okay, so, uh, this Angus Mackenzie Commander deck is not cheap. At around $500, a majority of the cost to build this deck is Angus himself, averaging about $250 for a physical copy of his Legends printing. Another $130 goes into our Divine Intervention, too. While Divine Intervention is one of our main "draw-cons," it's prohibitively expensive and a pain to find a copy of. On top of all that, we're running some of the most expensive staples in Bant, including Bloom Tender, Teferi's Protection, and Enlightened Tutor

Honestly? The best way to cut costs on this Angus Mackenzie deck is to proxy up Angus and the Divine Intervention. From there, you're looking at an average Commander deck price range, and we can always downgrade from a Teferi's Protection to a Constant Mists and from Smothering Tithe to Monologue Tax.

Angus Mackenzie Deck List

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Wrap Up

Okay, so maybe the peace-loving Angus Mackenzie and the raging Groundskeeper Willie don't actually share much in common. That doesn't mean you can't build a kick-ass Angus Mackenzie Commander deck that's just as much fun to play as it is to watch The Simpsons!

What are some other themes for an Angus Mackenzie deck? Are there other ways to capitalize on repeated Fog effects? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, until next time!

Jeff's almost as old as Magic itself, and can't remember a time when he didn't own any trading cards. His favorite formats are Pauper and Emperor, and his favorite defunct products are the Duel Decks. Follow him on Twitter for tweets about Mono Black Ponza in Pauper, and read about his Kitchen Table League and more at dorkmountain.net