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ALL LANDS, ALL THE TIME

The recent Banned & Restricted changes are really going to shake things up before Grand Prix Tacoma. The loss of DIG THROUGH TIME will be a problem for popular blue decks like Omni­tell and Miracles.


dig through time
 

I suspect the decks that were top tier before Khans of Tarkir block, and its powerful, ban-worthy Delve spells, to return with a vengeance.  Decks that are either outright powerful and/or have ways of creating card advantage seem really well positioned now that Dig has left the format.  Without Dig in the format Shardless Sultai becomes an enticing option as do powerful combo decks like Storm or Gaea’s Children, you guess it Elves.

My choice of weapon of choice for the weekend is a deck that I have been playing for a while and that I think is really well situated in the new metagame:
By Tony Smythe

LANDS

by Tony Smythe

Spells

2 MANABOND

3 PUNISHING FIRE

4 LIFE FROM THE LOAM

4 CROP ROTATION

4 EXPLORATION

4 GAMBLE

Mana Sources

1 BOJUKA BOG

1 GLACIAL CHASM

1 THE TABERNACLE AT PENDRELL VALE

1 KARAKAS

1 FOREST

1 Wooded Foothills

1 MISTY RAINFOREST

1 WINDSWEPT HEATH

2 TAIGA

2 TRANQUIL THICKET

3 MAZE OF ITH

4 GROVE OF THE BURNWILLOWS

4 WASTELAND

4 RISHADAN PORT

4 DARK DEPTHS

4 THESPIAN’S STAGE

4 MOX DIAMOND

Sideboard

1 BOSEIJU, WHO SHELTERS ALL

3 TRINISPHERE

3 SPHERE OF RESISTANCE

2 CHOKE

2 CHALICE OF THE VOID

4 KROSAN GRIP

 

legendskarakas1
 

I run one less PUNISHING FIRE and fetch land than the stock lists and by cutting these I create room for a couple of great utility effects in the form of BOJUKA BOG and KARAKAS.  In game one situations you can be paired against a wide array of different decks and so I like to have access to these versatile utility effects.


crop rotation
 

Lands already runs four copies of both GAMBLE and CROP ROTATION to find key combo or utility cards and so having more silver bullets for tough match-ups like Dredge or Sneak and Show makes a lot of sense.

 

 

THESPIAN'S STAGE DARK DEPTHS

 

 

The key to playing this deck well is to understand your role.  In most game one situations you are simply trying to assemble the combo of DARK DEPTHS and THESPIAN’S STAGE as quickly as possible. The great thing about the “combo” is that if they can interact with your 20/20 flier, in most cases, you can simply make another one again next turn thanks to Loam and an Enchantment that allows for more than one land to be played in the same turn.

 

 

PUNISHING FIRE GROVE OF THE BURNWILLOWS

 

 

The other combo that the Lands deck packs is the damage recursion engine of Punishing Fire and Grove which allows the Lands deck to really grind out opposing creatures and well as opponents.  Although it is often difficult, the “grind them out” with Fire and Grove is a very solid back up plan for when you can’t win with a Marri Laige token.

The great thing about this deck is that it has a ton of interaction via mana denial.

 

 

WASTELAND RISHADAN PORT

 

 

WATSELAND and RISHADAN PORT play a roll in the deck by allowing us to cut our opponents off of crucial mana to cast their threats and answers throughout the game. Generally speaking, if the game goes long our combo engines become favored and so stunting an opponent’s development in the early turns is critical.


life of loam
 

The reason we are favored in the late game is because of the deck’s ability to recurr Loam to generate gross card advantage.  Once you have the Loam engine going we can draw lots of cards every turn by cycling TRANQUIL THICKET to rebuy and recast Loam multiple times in the same turn.  Occasionally, the deck will tutor for a unique “silver bullet” with Gamble but most of the time Loam is the best target for the tutor.

 

BOJUKA BOG
 

The mainboard Bojuka Bog has lost some value with the banning of Dig but the ability to randomly steal a game from Dredge or Reanimator is pretty huge which is a big part of why I include it.  Overall, I like to be “too prepared” rather than “not prepared enough” for these powerful combo decks.
The sideboard construction is primarily designed to help me battle against other combo decks.


chaliceofvoid
 

A Chalice with X=1 is particularly effective against a lot of the popular decks in the format and X=0 can also be great against decks like Storm.  The sideboard also packs lots of spells that increase the cost to play spells in the form of multiple “Sphere Effects.”  Since we are so reliant on tying up opponent’s decks it becomes necessary to play these Spheres in order to attack decks that make mana with spells rather than just lands.

The bad match ups for the Lands deck are what I consider to be the “unfair” combo decks.  If your opponent is trying to win the game with spells like Tendrils or Emrakul then you are in for a rough game.  The sideboard is basically completely full with cards to address these types of decks by making it difficult to cast their spells.

A few other cards that I’m not currently boarding (but think are worth consideration) are:


EMRAKUL, THE EONS TORN
 

Is a great option against Imperial Painter.


PHAGE THE UNTOUCHABLE
 

Phage is a sneaky bit of technology.  It is really good if you expect the blue decks to sideboard TELEMIN PERFORMANCE.  Performance is pretty great against us because typically Lands play zero creatures and so if it resolves it decks us on the spot.  However, in the case of Phage they will unknowingly hit the Legendary Creature and lose the game on the spot!  Magic is all about having outs and playing to them and so giving ourselves a shot against this powerful strategy is at least worth some consideration!


KROSAN GRIP
 

The most common way that people will try to disrupt the Lands deck after sideboard is through graveyard hate.  The most commonly plaid ones that I encounter tend to be Leylines, Relics, and REST IN PEACE.  If you suspect this to be the case it is great to bring in KROSAN GRIP because it allows us to remove these powerful artifacts and enchantments.  If I’m not sure, I typically bring in two copies just to be safe.  Since the deck tends to win game one a high percentage of the time against “fair decks” you can always readjust accordingly for game three if you guess wrong!

Lands was already a great deck even with Dig in the format.  With one of the best blue spells in the format now banned, the lands deck has only gotten better via the process of addition by subtraction.  I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with how the deck works — even if you don’t decide to play it because it is going to be a big player in Legacy moving forward.

 

2 comments
reply

Doug Lee says:

Nov 04,2015

Tony, great to see your first article here! A few typo's are present but I'm sure everyone will still reap the benefits of the strategy you explained. Might want to keep some of your tech under wraps, see you Thursday…

Daniel Chang says:

Nov 05,2015

Thanks Doug, for the feedback!

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