Hello again all, I wanted to create this thread to discuss another recent second place finish I had playing lands. Again, it came at Top Deck Games Monthly 1k event (had to put the deck down for 2 tournaments in between due to too many cards being altered. Deck is extremely heavily altered almost to a full 60/60 in the main!). It was a five round event with a cut to top 4.

My rounds were as follows:
Round 1 - Paradoxical Oath- 2-0
Round 2- Dredge- 2-1
Round 3- White Eldrazi- 2-1
Round 4- Ravager Shops- 0-2 (Dan Barkon)
Round 5- Ravager Shops - Intentional Draw
Top Four Match 1- Ravager Shops- 2-0 (Dan Barkon again)
Match 2- Jeskai Xerox- 0-2 (this is a really bad matchup)

Again, the Shops and Dredge matchup felt awesome. The match I lost to shops was on mulligans below 6 cards and his draws were far above average (i.e. Sphere, Lodestone, Copy Lodestone by turn 2 can be hard to overcome), which in my opinion is the only combination that results in Lands losing the match. The paradoxical oath match was helped a great deal by 4 null rods, which I liked a lot better than the EE package I tried to mix in before.

As usual, the worst matchup is storm and Jeskai Xerox which I lost to in the finals. Being out-tempoed and not being able to land a Fastbond effect hurts the deck a lot as you can imagine. Going back I would have mulliganed more aggressively into a hand with a lot of wasteland effects or natural depths/stage though that can be a real risk (found out after the match opponent had no swords in the 75 but did have strip effects). In the past I have experimented with Chains of Mephistopheles in the sideboard and I think I might get back to that again. It helps bring the tempo back into the decks favor against its worst matchups by making their heavy draw very poor, and it can be harder to remove for a lot of Jeskai and Storm lists outside of a wear/tear. Also, with so much Grisebrand oath running around, the card makes him a lot less scary running Maze and Karakas. The 7/7 body is not hard to deal with, drawing infinite cards is.

Just wanted to share this and again encourage people to try the deck and play it if you are thinking about it! The deck does require a lot of decision making and it is hard to play, but the shops and dredge matchup just feels so strong I think it is certainly worth a try. Also, the deck creates a lot of weird interactions and a lot of opponents will make mistakes in play, and/or mistakes in side boarding which always helps.

I will continue to play the deck and continue to tinker with ways to make the blue match closer. Any questions or comments are again greatly appreciated

The decklist I played on Saturday was as follows:

Main deck (61)

4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Bojuka Bog
3 Dark Depths
4 Ghost Quarter
1 Glacial Chasm
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Karakas
4 Mana Confluence
3 Riftstone Portal
1 Strip Mine
2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
3 Thespian's Stage
4 Wasteland
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Crop Rotation
4 Life from the Loam
2 Mental Misstep
1 Chalice of the Void
3 Exploration
1 Fastbond
3 Manabond
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Ruby
4 Null Rod

Sideboard (15)

4 Abrupt Decay (indespenible for blue matches in my opinion)
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Beast Within
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Krosan Grip
1 Maze of Ith
2 Nature's Claim
2 Punishing Fire
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

last edited by Brass Man

If fastbond was unrestricted, would you even max out on it? I guess you could try and run zuran orb/crucible or something.

One kill we can actually do in a format with unrestricted fastbond is Zuran orb / Crucible / Piranha Marsh. Thought I think maybe since that printing there is actually a better version of marsh? Not really friendly to the null rod strategy though.

I would absolutely max out. I wouldn’t run either zuran orb or crucible. I don’t think the deck needs any clunky combos it just detracts from being more streamlined. I just want more of that affect and fastbond is the best at what it does. It would enable depths/stage faster and allow for a more seamless wasteland lock while also casting spells like null rod at the same time.
Mana bond makes you play an interesting dance when you have spells in your hand you really need to get down and exploration can often mean that two lands a turn isn’t everything you want. Fastbond gives you the best of all worlds for this deck. More fastbonds also means that you can run more of the effect without the draw backs of the others. I would probably snap cut missteps for more fastbonds and just want to keep jamming that affect.

This deck with 4 fastbond would really be scary in my opinion.

last edited by Guest

I think it's probably a safe bet that any deck currently running 3 Exploration would run 4 Fastbond if they could

Why 61 cards? Isn't anything there cutable? Like Ghost Quarter #4 or whatever?

@fsecco yes you could cut ghost quarter 4, or possibly null rod 4. Honestly, I just like the set up and the deck plays really well at 61 so I kept the set up and packed in everything. I usually run 61 in this list with varying setups.
I think it’s one of the few decks that can remain consistent and get away with 61 due to the high volume of lands and the fact it’s largely redundant in its effects. It’s certainly not a necessity but I like it at 61.

I’ve been experimenting with a list that cuts missteps for thoughtseize and that list is running 60. I cut the 4th quarter there and moved some Urborg into the main.

@hierarchnoble so in My opinion. The sideboarding changes a lot from match to match. Since this tournament I pulled out the 4th grudge and added a Chains of Mephistopheles to the board and moved the second bojuka Bog to the main so I’ll reference that here.

Shops: the shops matchup is extremely strong to start with and the deck is preboarded against shops heavily. Here I usually take out the completely dead cards
2 bojuka bog, mental missteps if they are in the deck and chalice on the draw
I bring in 2 urborg which helps make the combo faster and usually an abrupt decay and 2 nature’s claims since I cut the 4 grudge. It’s really just a matter of filling up the dead spaces but it does give you even more hate and speed postboard.
Never take out Karakas in this match because they can copy your merit lage in certain instances and it’s the only way you can break parody if that happens.

Dredge: honestly dredge is almost a bye for this deck. The match feels extremely in lands favor. Again heavily preboarded for this match and usually win game one easily.
Again I take out the cards that are totally dead
Null rods, ancient grudge,
I bring in urborg for speed, krosan grip, beast within, and nature’s claims for leyline and usually some abrupt decay again just to fill slots and it’s not as dead as null rod.

Never bring in punishing fire against dredge it’s way too slow and you never need it.
Bog tabernacle rotationand wasteland do all the heavy lifting.

Oath: I bring in a lot of cards for oath.
Usually, unless it’s a paradoxical build the null rods and 2 grudge come out along with the bogs, tabernacles and sometimes a crop rotation.
I bring in all the abrupt decays, urborg, chains, maze, and krosan grip.
I put a big priority on getting Oath off the board but make sure there’s a backup plan for a resolved oath target.
Wasteland effects help a lot and in certain situations tabernacle can be good to deal with spirit tokens on your side of the board but I don’t think it’s good enough to leave in post board.
Speed is where you want to be in this match in my opinion.

Blue control/mentor: this sideboard looks a lot like oath without the maze but I usually also bring in fires here and against delver. you’re almost guaranteed to see Rest In Peace which can really set you back and decay helps a lot. Beyond that the worst fear is a resolved Jace. You have to out race the Jace and he’s pretty hard for the deck to get rid of unless you can just fire him over and over.
Here, speed is your friend again so the urborg can help a lot. Usually you can’t interact much so I want to make merit lage ASAP and test if they have a swords. This is not a great mathup but a lot of mentor builds are going light on swords these days and that helps a great deal.

Punishing fire is great against any other creature deck, BUG, Merfolk, delver, etc.

Landstill: this matchup is great for the deck. Their deck does very little your deck does less than that and you get to just play lands under their standstill and make a 20/20. You also win the wasteland war usually.
I bring in 2 urborgs for a faster natural combo and take out 1-2 crop rotations. I haven’t faced this match much but it’s not very interactive. You make merit lage and hope they don’t have a swords or are forced to pop their own standstill. If they have it you rebuild. But the match is certainly in lands favor I feel.

Bargain Storm: this is the absolute worst matchup by far. Bring out the tabernacles, glacial chasm, an ancient grudge, Karakas. Bring in chains, urborgs, krosan grip,abrupt decay.
Null rod is a big help here to get some tempo in your favor and so is chains and bojuka Big which shuts off will, and petition. You still have a lot of climbing to do because the deck really doesn’t interact well with what storm wants to do.
I faced this matchup three times in a row yesterday and lost all three through multiple pieces of hate and more than once was able to make merit lage turn two but never got the chance. It can be very difficult for the deck.
I will be honest though this is a match that the deck has to almost throw a Hail Mary up and hope for the best . It doesn’t represent a big portion of the meta right now and as dumb as it sounds you just have to do what you can.

I hope this helps. I’m glad to share any other boarding thoughts if something isn’t clear or I didn’t cover a matchup. I usually have 2-3 sideboard slots that are in constant flux and I’ve been trying different things usually to try and bring the storm matchup closer in varying degrees of obsurdity.

@poxeveryturn Not fond of Tabernacle vs Oath?
I find it useful to to prevent getting Oathed since you can dump any number of your tokens on your upkeep. It and a Wasteland are pretty good at keeping Oath off. Additionally, it can answer Oathed up creatures.

@emopizza I certainly agree that works and it has worked for me game one on multiple occasions. However the trick doesn’t work once they learn to just make tokens after the trigger. For instance they just make the token EOT and then get the trigger anyway and are off to the races.

The tabernacle also has to be in play before your upkeep happens as well. Meaning you had to play a pre-emptive tabernacle into a possibly empty board which seems like a really awkward play a lot of the time just hoping for a spirit token to come along. And assuming it’s post board your opponent knows the strategy so the jig is up that you have a million waste effects and are playing lands and will often work around those interactions until it’s go time

It can certainly buy time which can be important but post board I want to just destroy the oath with an uncounterable spell and move on.

It can also backfire against the Titan oath builds because they can more easily hardcast creatures game two so if you stay on the tabernacle plan and can’t find a kill quickly you have to face down 9 damage a turn or more off an inferno Titan while they present a lot of other restricted blue cards you can’t interact with.

I’ve been there though for sure. I’ve also been on the fire my spirit token every turn which is even more clunky lol.

I think destroying the oath, wasting orchards and making a fast merit lage works a lot better post board.
Also glacial chasm is a great way to hide too if you have have any kind of engine online to recur it. And if they’re on an all griselbrand build Karakas and Maze do so much heavy lifting. That’s the way I approach it.

last edited by Guest

@poxeveryturn said in Another 2nd place finish on Lands and encouraging others to give it a try!:

@fsecco yes you could cut ghost quarter 4, or possibly null rod 4. Honestly, I just like the set up and the deck plays really well at 61 so I kept the set up and packed in everything. I usually run 61 in this list with varying setups.
I think it’s one of the few decks that can remain consistent and get away with 61 due to the high volume of lands and the fact it’s largely redundant in its effects. It’s certainly not a necessity but I like it at 61.

Yes, you could cut the 4th null rod but at what cost? How many of our play test matches early on ended for me when null rod hit the board? Even if I didn't know it was over yet.

@khahan exactly. Which is why I like the set up where it is right now. 61 is certainly unconventional and may even be wrong but I don’t really care, it has served me well and Null Rod has been a powerhouse for the deck in so many matchups. I think the card is really well positioned right now if you have a deck that can run it and this deck just loves it.

last edited by Guest


I've been testing against Landstill alot and I find this match very frustrating actually. If you cant find the Depths combo naturally they Waste your Bazaar very quickly, then use their near infinte counterspells to stop the Loam engine and plop down a Jace. Just giving some feedback. Also wondered if youd be willing to chat via other social media as I want to develop this deck further.

@rolko I like to mulligan pretty hard In the landstill match to try and find the natural combo. You know the match certainly isn’t going anywhere fast so I think you have a lot more leeway to mull a little further and look for either the combo or a hand with multiple fastbond effects. That can be a great parody breaker sometimes if your engine can get online at all before a standstill comes down they run out of effective counters pretty fast.

Durdly blue matchups are why I like having the 4th Depths in the MD. Natural Depths is a strong plan against walls of counterspells.

@emopizza my paper meta just gives me so much dredge and shops to face I like the 3/3 count. If you see a lot of those slow blue matches I could def see where 4 would come in strong.

After more testing I believe that forcing the issue against Landstill is incorrect. By going slow and forcing them to interact late only after the Depths token is STP'D (and we've often drawn 3 off their Standstill), we can make them dump their hand. We also often get to Waste/Strip/GQ all their lands while we wait making their Standstill a one side Armeggedon. Jace is the biggest issue, Chasm/Tabernacle cleans up everything else with Grudge acting as an intermediate Factory removal tool. 2nd Bog main helps to keep alot of Delve spells offline also, which suprisingly matters quite often in the blue matches.
Ive cut x2 Mental Misstep main and the x1 Chalice of the Void for x1 Forest (x4 GQ makes it fetchable basically), x1 Exploration (the 4th), I always want this effect and 4th Manabond was clunky, x1 utility land that changes or 3rd Crop Rotation (I think this is meta dependent), some metas you want 2nd Karakas or x1 Maze of Ith main for Shops/Oath. The deck feels great in larger events where you can percentage the format out after a few early rounds.

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