Up the Beanstalk in Older Formats

Up the Beanstalk in Older Formats

Mason ClarkLegacy, Modern, Pioneer

If the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk has a lesson, it’s that drawing cards in older formats is good. This is the reason players are trying to see how high Up the Beanstalk can go in formats like Pioneer, Modern and Legacy — right?

OK, that may not be the lesson from Jack and the Beanstalk, but the part about players loving this card is real. 

And while most build-around cards like Up the Beanstalk are non-starters for asking too much in the deck building process, the fail rate on this card is way lower. Not only does it only cost two mana, immediately draw you a card and put an enchantment into play, but there are plenty of five mana spells that players are already using or that can be cast for far less mana.

With all that value on the table, we are setting out to explore what players are already doing with this card in older formats.


This format has the least enablers for Beanstalk, but it’s also the one where this card has the best chance of being a player right away. So what cards can we play here that are really appealing?

Those are just a few cards that jumped out to me as options that trigger Beanstalk, but one in particular is very appealing: Yorion. After all, not only does this companion trigger Beanstalk on cast, it then flickers the enchantment to draw another card. 

Omen of the Sea has been good in these decks for similar reasons, so there is some real tension upside in just playing more of these effects. And since Yorion adds 20 more cards to your deck by default, there’s room to mix in some amount of both cards, still not overload the curve-filling role these cards play and increase the chances you’ll have access to the effect every game. 

Meanwhile, the Enchantress Yorion deck has consistently done fairly well in Pioneer with players taking it to consistent finishes. While it has never been the best deck, having some amount of extra consistency could be the tool to carry it over the edge.


Moving onto Modern, we gain access to a couple cards that offer some huge upside when played with Up the Beanstalk.

Fury and Solitude are already two of the most oppressive cards in Modern and they work perfectly with Beanstalk since you can play them for zero mana and recoup the card you pitched to evoke them. Plus it’s just an added source of value in the late game.

That said, we also need to address the elephant in the room. The One Ring as a form of card advantage outshines Beanstalk. So while I have provided a Beanstalk list, it won’t be a strong player until The One Ring catches a ban. 

Still here is the breakdown on how I would start with Beanstalk in a world with no The One Ring. If you are committed to playing The One Ring and these cards, I suggest just cutting the Fables for Rings and working some Delighted Halflings into the deck. 

Meanwhile, a card I like that I passed on for this build is Scion of Draco. It gives you an early body to play, triggers the Beanstalk and having a 4/4 on the board can cause serious problems for an opponent. That said, it does die to Fury despite all the value it offers.

Lorien Revealed is also a card we get to free roll a copy of in the deck. Having another fetch land of sorts is very appealing and you can just cast it in the mid-game.


Now we’re here in Legacy, where basically every card in Magic is at our disposal. So, what are we trying to do? 

Well, I would be lying if I said Yorion wasn’t tempting me again. However, while I am not strong enough to avoid its siren call, it’s worth keeping in mind that a 60 card build might be better in legacy since finding your high impact sideboard cards is important. 

I have gone for the angle of a four color Control deck, but we’re splashing red for Forth Eorlingas! plus Minsc and Boo as payoff cards and Control-mirror-breakers. We also have some Pyroblasts in the sideboard to help fight all the blue decks. 

The main deck looks to grind people up with incremental advantages. We are rocking Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath to win all the long games, drowning any non-white deck in the non-stop onslaught of card advantage and life gain. As for the white decks, the aforementioned Minsc and Boo and Forth eorlingas! forms the backbone of our plan for them. 

Finally, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is actually quite powerful in Legacy. While the format does have fast killing combo decks, decks like Shadow and Delver help keep those down. So having some grindy cards like Teferi can really pull you far ahead. 

Ultimately, Legacy is often way more fair than people give it credit for, and these sort of controlling decks can be incredibly powerful. It’s also why our sideboard is very focused. Hate for blue decks hates on combo decks. That’s it. 

End Step

Well, we reached the top of the beanstalk, so hopefully you enjoyed the adventure exploring this unique and powerful build around. As time goes on this card will get more tools, so make sure to keep an eye on it!