Home Strategy Destricted’s “Rainbow Deck Wins” deck guide

If you’re looking for a Magic: The Gathering deck playable in Legacy — the format that includes most cards from all sets, for those not acquainted — then I’ve got the deck for you. Your friends and shop buddies won’t completely hate you for playing it, and it’s about as crazy as it is fun as it is efficient — free spells and prison mechanics sound good?

I call it The Maelstrom Nexus (named after one of the centerpiece cards), though sometimes I refer to it as Rainbow Deck Wins. Rainbow refers to five-colour decks, you see (which this is), and typically, most people think of them as slow (unlike Red Deck Wins, which is lightning fast). But this one is reasonably quick, and also locks down the game often, dominating the board proudly before it swoops in with mean fliers for the win. Notably, this is a true five colour deck, with a roughly even split between each colour, and cards that take advantage of that split.

Allow me to get this out of the way promptly: this deck is not cheap, though by Legacy standards, it’s definitely on the low end, running somewhere between $200 and $300. You can go budget with the land base and get by, chopping off about $50, but it operates considerably more smoothly if you splurge some. The best way to start with it is to pick up a copy or two of the Planechase 2012 Chaos Reigns deck and start from there — the Shardless Agents alone cost about the same amount as one copy of the Planechase deck, and there are a bunch of other cards in there also in this list, but also some that aren’t that still help out. Also, if you can find a nice local game store (LGS) owner that still has some copies of the From the Vault: Realms release, that has a few lands that can prove useful, too.

Destricted’s Maelstrom Nexus (Rainbow Deck Wins)

How it works

The strategy here is probably not going to be immediately apparent, so allow me to explain. You start off by ramping with Birds, Kathari, Bloom Tender, Animar, Bituminous Blast, and Shardless Agent into enchantments that fix and lock down the board (Prismatic Omen, Collective Restraint, Spirit of Resistance), then bring out heavy hitters like Maelstrom Archangel and Cromat (supported by Knight of New Alara) to bash in for damage while you net free spells (through Angel and Cascade), all the while remaining protected through Spirit of Resistance (and regeneration if necessary).

As for support, Bituminous Blast and Defiler of Souls help keep your board presence dominant and clear the skies of any defending fliers, so your Angel can get in and do what she does best. Sterling Grove keeps your enchantments protected, and if they decide to kill it, you can sac it for another Grove or another enchantment; if you know your oppponent has no enchantment hate, just use it for its fetching ability and keep yourself protected as the situation calls for. Finally, Last Stand when combined with Prismatic Omen all but guarantees a win, and if you can make it to the late game, Coalition Victory makes for a great alternate win condition (very useful if you’re in a stalemate, or your opponent is playing a lifegain deck or something ridiciulous, but also just hilarious).



While the deck is very strong and often does well to keep you protected, it does have some significant weaknesses: life drain gets around Spirit, burn can slow you down too much to recover, and landwalk and cards like Anathemancer turn your Prismatic Omen against you (though with your great land base, you can just not play it if need be and operate comparably as well).

Meanwhile, Cromat can be taken care of with sacrifice mechanics (not too often though, since you’ll usually have many creatures to choose from) or exile, opening you up for damage even with Spirit in play with precise timing on your opponent’s part. Yes, you can return him to your hand if you have the mana open, but you can still be vulnerable for that turn.
Finally, enchantment destruction can take you down a couple notches, particularly if they’re packing Paraselene (which gets around Grove); to get around all enchantments including Grove and whatever it fetches, though, your opponent would likely have to include enough hate to put themselves on the defensive, which frees you up to smash in with creatures anyway. Nevertheless, with the right timing and some luck, it can be devastating.
Counter is somewhat of a problem, but the deck is inherently stronger than most against it since Cascade resolves regardless of whether or not the original spell is countered — countering two spells in a turn is rare, so you’re pretty much guaranteed at least one per turn regardless.

Alternate options

With five colours to choose from, there’s no shortage of fun cards to swap in to mix things up; below are a few I recommend.

6 replies to this post
      • Your deck is strong but I know the ultimate weakness to any Rainbow…land destruction. I have a land destruction deck based around Avalache Riders, the madness card effect, and Undertaker. I made my freinds and enemies bery bery mad who ran rainbows. Also super duper fast elves, goblins, slivers, arts, blahblahblah (weenie ramp and smash) decks always gave any Gold decks I have had ALOT of trouble. Your deck looks solid though what is your W/L and what decks does it do good and bad against?

  1. It’s no more weak against land destruction than your average deck. And no, it can compete against fast tribal decks — occasionally it gets its ass kicked by them, but usually it can stall the board before I get down to critical life points. Slivers are just absurd regardless. I think the gold/rainbow decks you played against weren’t this efficient — you’d have to see it in action to understand, but there’s good reason it’s nicknamed Rainbow Deck Wins (it’s half serious).

    • I don’t keep track of W/L but I’d estimate it’s 75% (note most of the games have been three or four player free for alls). It does good against everything but what I mentioned as weaknesses (anything with lots of life drain, counter, enchantment destruction, things that turn my lands against me).

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