TES Matchup Battles: 8 Cast II

8 Cast is a deck named appropriately for playing eight cards like [[Thoughtcast]] in four copies of [[Thoughtcast]] and four copies of [[Thought Monitor]]. It’s a slower artifact deck that aims to out card advantage the opponent with eight copies of cards that draw two cards, [[Emry, Lurker of the Loch]], [[Sai, Master Thopterist]], and [[Urza’s Saga]]. These cards help 8 Cast to beat the fair decks, but as for the combo decks it plays the full set of [[Force of Will]], [[Force of Negation]], and [[Chalice of the Void]]. This is fairly unique to Legacy because most decks either play counterspells or [[Chalice of the Void]], but being able to play both is a major advantage for 8 Cast against combo decks. 8 Cast had come and gone with success, but recently it is seeing much more success, so every deck should have a game plan against it.

How does 8 Cast matchup against TES?

[[Chalice of the Void|]]
[[Force of Will|]]

[[Thoughtcast]], [[Thought Monitor]] – The namesakes of the deck. Casting either [[Thoughtcast]] or [[Thought Monitor]] makes up for the loss of card disadvantage from [[Force of Will]] or compound any advantage 8 Cast has. Playing eight copies means they often chain one into another to keep going. It can be hard for any deck in Legacy to beat 8 Cast after so much card advantage.

[[Chalice of the Void]] – [[Chalice of the Void]] is the go-to disruptive card for artifact-based decks. 8 Cast plays very few one mana cards and it works with the rest of the deck. [[Emry, Lurker of the Loch]] being able find and also cast [[Chalice of the Void]] from the graveyard is also a big deal because it means the opponent can only get one turn without [[Chalice of the Void]] in play if they were to destroy it.

[[Force of Will]], [[Force of Negation]] – Like most blue decks in Legacy, we can expect four copies of [[Force of Will]] and some number of [[Force of Negation]]. The main difference is the full playlist of eight. [[Thoughtcast]] and [[Thought Monitor]] and the cards they draw is what allows that to be possible. Either recouping the card advantage after the card disadvantage from exiling a blue card or being able to find more of these counters in the appropriate matchups. These numbers and this combo are scary for a combo deck.

Deck List

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Mishra’s Bauble]]
  • 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 4 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 3 [[Urza’s Bauble]]
  • 1 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
  • 4 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 1 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 1 [[Misty Rainforest]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 1 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Taiga]]
  • 1 [[Bayou]]


  • 3 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 2 [[Boseiju, Who Endures]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]
  • 1 [[Pulverize]]
  • 1 [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]]
  • 1 [[Massacre]]

Ways to Win This Matchup

[[Abrupt Decay|]]
[[Burning Wish|]]
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]

Our Game Plan

This matchup can be tricky to play because it is one of the few matchups that we have to play against a [[Chalice of the Void]] and counterspells. We often only have to worry about one or the other. Usually against [[Chalice of the Void]] decks, our game plan is speed and to try and play under those permanents. Against counterspells we want to play slower and generate advantage with [[Galvanic Relay]] and to not combo quickly to just lose to a counterspell. The move to TES 14.2 having uncounterable ways to destroy [[Chalice of the Void]] is the biggest improvement for us. This allows us to still play the slower game over multiple turns and beat the [[Chalice of the Void]]. That’s typically how I like to approach this matchup. We are under no pressure of losing in the early turns of the game, but we don’t want to get behind in the card advantage. While [[Thought Monitor]] and [[Thoughtcast]] generate extra resources, they do not compare to [[Galvanic Relay]], and that is the best way to beat their eight hard counters as well. Our key turns in this matchup are turns 3-4. This gives us enough time to win through a [[Chalice of the Void]], counterspells, and lean into our [[Galvanic Relay]], but not prolong the game too long to lose to [[Urza’s Saga]] tokens or multiple copies of [[Chalice of the Void]], and the card advantage their cards generate.




-4 [[Brainstorm]], -1 [[Echo of Eons]] +2 [[Abrupt Decay]], +2 [[Boseiju, Who Endures]], +1 [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]]

This matchup is all about destroying [[Chalice of the Void]] and winning through [[Force of Will]]. Version 14.2 of TES is perfect for this matchup because both [[Abrupt Decay]] and [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] are uncounterable ways to destroy [[Chalice of the Void]]. This is a big deal compared to previous versions of TES with cards like [[Prismatic Ending]]. [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]] as a win condition replaces [[Echo of Eons]] here because we don’t want to give the opponent seven new cards because the odds of them drawing one of their eight copies of [[Force of Will]] or [[Force of Negation]] is high.


Game Play

Unfortunately, I lost the first game after several mulligans. I sideboarded like I recommend, and we were onto the second game. I was on the play and kept a six-card hand with lots of mana, artifacts, and a [[Galvanic Relay]]. I just played a land and passed the turn for my first turn. I was needing an additional starting mana source or another artifact to enable [[Mox Opal]]. My opponent kept their opening seven card hand, and led with [[Island]] and [[Pithing Needle]] on [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. For my second turn, I drew a second copy of [[Mishra’s Bauble]]. This would enable the [[Mox Opal]], and I was good to go! I played out all of my spells and the [[Galvanic Relay]] for six Storm and then sacrificed both copies of [[Mishra’s Bauble]] to draw on my opponent’s turn.

Matchup Battles 8Cast- Image 1

I drew a land and [[Abrupt Decay]] on my opponent’s turn. They spent their turn playing an [[Ancient Tomb]], [[Chalice of the Void]] on zero, and an [[Emry, Lurker of the Loch]]. This would allow the opponent to replay the [[Chalice of the Void]] from their graveyard if I were to destroy it, so I would only get one turn without a [[Chalice of the Void]] in play. For my third turn I drew a [[Lotus Petal]]. I decided this was the turn I wanted to combo.

Matchup Battles 8Cast- Image 2

I led with the [[Bayou]] and the [[Abrupt Decay]] on the [[Chalice of the Void]]. I then played out the [[Lotus Petal]] and the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and both copies of [[Rite of Flame]] from exile off of the [[Mox Opal]]. Next, I sacrificed the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for more red mana. This put me at seven red mana and a [[Lotus Petal]]. My plan was to go for [[Empty the Warrens]] because I didn’t have enough storm for [[Tendrils of Agony]], and I didn’t want to [[Echo of Eons]] because of the opponent having a high chance of having a [[Force of Will]] or [[Force of Negation]] before or after the [[Echo of Eons]]. I then cast the first [[Burning Wish]]. This leaves six mana left over, so even if it was countered, I could still cast the second [[Burning Wish]] for [[Empty the Warrens]]. Luckily, it resolved, and I put the [[Empty the Warrens]] in my hand and cast the second [[Burning Wish]] for additional Storm and to tutor for [[Pulverize]]. This all resolved and I cast [[Empty the Warrens]] for 16 goblins.

Matchup Battles 8Cast- Image 3

16 goblins were good enough to win the game!


Onto the third game. I kept a little slower of a hand, but it contained plenty of mana, lands, [[Galvanic Relay]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]. My opponent spent their first turn playing a [[Soul-Guide Lantern]] off of an [[Urza’s Saga]]. I drew a [[Lotus Petal]] and played a land before passing the turn. My opponent played an [[Ancient Tomb]] setting up to activate the [[Urza’s Saga]] and ended their turn.

Matchup Battles 8Cast- Image 4

On my third turn, I decided I wanted to get some value out of this [[Galvanic Relay]] and setup for a win on my next turn. I played out the [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and then the [[Galvanic Relay]] for four Storm. The opponent then activated the [[Urza’s Saga]] twice to make tokens, tutored for a [[Pithing Needle]] on [[Wishclaw Talisman]], and then an [[Emry, Lurker of the Loch]]. On my next turn, I drew another [[Lotus Petal]]. I didn’t have access to a [[Veil of Summer]], but I did have two ways to combo here, [[Burning Wish]] and [[Ad Nauseam]].

Matchup Battles 8Cast- Image 5

I decided to use [[Ad Nauseam]] first because I could keep my copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] around for post [[Ad Nauseam]] or if it were countered to then pair with [[Burning Wish]].

Matchup Battles 8Cast- Image 6

Luckily, [[Ad Nauseam]] resolved and it was easy to win from that point without needing the [[Burning Wish]] in exile.


8 Cast decks have seen ups and downs over the past year or so, with plenty of new printings and bannings greatly affecting the success. In the current metagame, it’s one of the top decks to be playing right now. If you want to be successful in Legacy, it is important to have a game plan against 8 Cast. Unless we have more major printings or bannings soon, I think 8 Cast is here to stay. Overall, I think this matchup is pretty favorable. Their clock is much slower than our combo and their disruptive elements are good, but very beatable. [[Galvanic Relay]] being able to out card advantage theirs and win through their many counterspells. This along with the new 14.2 build makes me want to be on the TES side of the matchup. I hope you enjoyed this article, can take some of the lessons learned, and apply them to your own playtesting.