Earth

I played Lands at MKM Series Prague. I decided I would play the deck without playing a single game with it and I also decided I would not test for the event at all. I simply copied Kevin King’s list from the SCG team open. Why his? I played against him at GP SeaTac and it seemed to me he knew what he was doing.

My first draft of this article had over a thousand words on how we get there, but that’s not what you’re here for, is it? You are likely here for one of two things: 1) You’re looking for wise words on playing Lands. 2) You’re here for the memes. Either way, you’re likely to be disappointed.

I played Lands because I think the deck is cool and Punishing Fire is one of the best interactive cards in the format – I always had a soft spot for Punishing Fire. I decided not to test at all, but I did end up playing a few games each against Miracles and Death & Taxes on the day before the Legacy Main Event, all of them without sideboarding. I spent time with my friends instead and I had a lot of fun.

Now, enough with the introductions and on to the report!

Round One – Simon on Shardless Sultai

I won the roll to start game one and had a strong draw with Exploration, Wasteland and double Rishadan Port. Poor Simon only got to cast a couple of spells throughout the game, most of which were Upkeep Brainstorms.

Game two was not very eventful either – Simon kept a one-lander with some cantrips on the play. Fortunately for him, I did not have Wasteland in my opening hand. Unfortunately for him, he missed his second land drop. He tried to mana screw me with Wastelands and Abrupt Decay on my Mox once he found a second land, but his plan did not come to fruition; ironically because of very rich soil. I don’t remember how exactly this game ended, but I know it wasn’t close.

Round Two – Manuel on RB Reanimator

Once more, I got to play first in game one. My hand was pretty strong, with Mox, Exploration, Loam, Tabernacle and Maze of Ith. I felt good about the game until he played Basic Swamp and didn’t cast Deathrite Shaman. However, he did not have a creature on turn one and could only Entomb Grave Titan because he didn’t have Tidespout Tyrant in his main deck. The Grave Titan did look good until I had Maze + Tabernacle on my turn.

I am not entirely sure what I kept in the second game, but I remember thinking it was not exactly amazing. However, Manuel’s hand was not amazing either, and he could not even get a creature on the board by his second turn. On my second turn, I played Chalice of the Void for X=1, which was enough to steal the game with Marit Lage shortly thereafter.

Round Three – Hans Jacob on Miracles

Initially I was paired against someone else, and then a judge came when we had finished shuffling. Turned out my opponent’s last round was reported incorrectly and I had to play my friend HJ instead. His comment on the matter: “That poor guy was just sent to play Angelo [Cadei]…” Poor guy.

HJ won the roll and we started playing. I cast Exploration on turn one, which was hit with Force of Will. The next turn I played Manabond, which HJ couldn’t counter. I discarded Loam and HJ quickly scooped up his cards.

Game two, my turn one Exploration resolved. HJ only cast some cantrips on his first two turns and did not have a white mana source on the table, so I played Stage + Depths on my second turn to pressure him. HJ cast Ponder into Portent, if I remember correctly, then played Plains. I had a soul read on him and decided to awaken the boy giant monster in the iceberg to finish him off. My read was accurate.

Round Four – Ruben on Storm

Game one was not very interesting. Ruben played first and killed me on his second turn.

In game two, I cast an endstep Crop Rotation to get Dark Depths and kill Ruben, only to realise I had a Chalice of the Void with one counter on the board. Whoops. The Chalice was later dealt with via Hurkyl’s Recall, but I somehow still managed to take the game despite throwing away two cards, one of which was rather valuable.

In the final game, I let Ruben get to me. I didn’t play my best; I got pretty lazy. Ruben had shown me Hurkyl’s Recall the game before, so I decided that was his bounce of choice and I went for the double Crop Rotation into both combo pieces in his endstep. I think that decision was fine, given that I still had a third Crop Rotation in hand should I need to get Bojuka Bog. My board at the time was Mox, Taiga, Ancient Tomb, Wasteland, 2 Rishadan Ports and Chalice at zero. I sacrificed Taiga and Wasteland to my Crop Rotations, got the two combo pieces and made a token.

Unfortunately, Ruben had Chain of Vapor for that. Then one or two turns later, Ruben also had Hurkyl’s Recall. This put me in a weird spot where I had no coloured mana left on board, because I sacrificed my Taiga to Crop Rotation when I should have sacrificed the Ancient Tomb, which, aside from only producing colourless mana, cost me four life for Port activations. Now I could either play Chalice at zero again to keep the manadenial going or play it at one and hope to not die immediately and also draw a land soon – my hand was Gamble, Crop Rotation and Life from the Loam, plus the two artifacts. I went with the Chalice for zero.

On my endstep, Ruben cast Ad Nauseam, hitting Tendrils, Past in Flames, two random CMC1 cards and a land. He did not have enough mana to kill me on his turn, so he just played a land and passed. I drew Wasteland, which I used to blow up his Volcanic Island, but between a Lotus Petal that had been on the board the entire game and another land drop, he had enough mana to put together a lethal Past in Flames line on one life.

Round Five – David on UR Delver

To be honest, I don’t quite remember anything about the first game. I played first and judging by my notes, I had Punishing Fire going. Notably, David wasn’t on the UR Prowess list but the Young Pyromancer + Stifle + Wasteland one, which, for the record, I think is pretty cool. I ate two Lavamancer activations in the first game, then I won.

Game two, I took three Lightning Bolts to the face, then something dealt two to me, then I was killed with Price of Progress.

Game three, I took a mulligan to five, while David started with six cards. Neither of us really had anything going on. At some point, David cast some spells on my turn and I decided to rotate into my missing combo piece because he was tapped low. David did not have anything to deal with that and Marit Lage took the game.

Round Six – Manuel on Team America

Game one was not interesting at all. Manuel played first, but I had Exploration or Manabond + Fire & Grove. That’s all that happened.

In game two, I was in a decent position where Manuel had three creatures plus three lands while I had Tabernacle and two Mazes. An Insectile Aberration kept chipping away at my life total. When I was at nine life, Manuel played Pithing Needle for Maze of Ith and I died.

The final game came down to a Gamble. Once more, I had Tabernacle on board. On two lands, Manuel played Deathrite Shaman, which I attempted to Punishing Fire on his endstep, only to run into Force of Will, leaving him with three cards in hand. Then I drew Gamble. I had Ancient Grudge and some other useless card in hand. I figured I could Gamble for Loam, which would mess with Manuel’s Tabernacle triggers if he didn’t have another land and wanted to eat the Loam. I decided the payoff wasn’t great, even if I could manage to keep the Loam around. Instead, I went for Grove of the Burnwillows, which I figured would put me in a great position if I managed to keep it. As luck would have it, the gamble did not pay off and I discarded the Grove. Shortly thereafter, Manuel cast Surgical Extraction on Grove and I never really got into the game.

Random sidenote: I only cast Life from the Loam once in the entire match, in the second game. I never saw the card in the first or third game.

Round Seven: Alejandro on Esper Stoneblade

We sat next to each other in an earlier round and Alejandro was not quite ecstatic about the prospect of playing against Lands. I had no recollection of his deck.

Game one, he led on Tundra into Ponder. I had a Wasteland. Another Tundra, another Wasteland. And that’s pretty much it – my notes have me going from 20 to 19 and him going from 20 to 21, then noting a win in my column.

Game two was similarly uneventful – we both went from 20 to 19, then a win in my column. Alejandro was not at all bitter about the games; in fact, he thanked me for justifying his dropping out of the tournament and going out with his friends.

Round Eight: Jonas on BURG Delver

Jonas and I had briefly talked at MKM Frankfurt, where he played RUG Delver against a friend of mine. All I saw in game one were blue cards (including a Delver of Secrets) and Volcanic Islands, so I figured he was still on RUG. I had Loam + Fire going so he didn’t get much of an opportunity to show me any more of his cards.

In game two, Jonas led on Tropical Island. I led on Mox, which was met with Spell Pierce. Then I cast Manabond, which resolved. On my endstep, I put Grove, a fetchland, Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage into play and created a Marit Lage token. He then showed me his hand, which had Stifle, Wasteland, cards in all the colours of the rainbow, but no way to deal with Marit Lage.

Round Nine: Fabio on UB Reanimator

If I remember correctly, Fabio played first in game one. He spent the first two turns casting cantrips and discarding a Griselbrand, while I did… well, not much. He cast Reanimate on Griselbrand, drew seven and passed the turn, discarding a Grave Titan. I had to tap Grove of the Burnwillows for coloured mana a few times, which meant he was at seven after his Griselbrand activation; I was rather careful not to give him any more life after that. At least I had Maze of Ith to hold off the Griselbrand. At some point, Fabio felt forced to Reanimate his Grave Titan, going to one. I had a second Maze by this point, but no way to deal with the tokens. I ended up Dredging into Punishing Fire though and managed to burn out Fabio after taking two hits from his zombies.

The second game, Fabio started on six cards and had to use a Lotus Petal to cast a cantrip turn one. I resolved an enchantment and started putting not super relevant cards into play. Fabio ended up getting a Tidespout Tyrant into play, but because I had Loam active with double Maze on board, I only took one hit because he could never start chaining spells. Every now and then, he was forced to bounce my Dark Depths because I had taken off too many counters – he had Needle on Stage. However, Loam plus an enchantment means you have a bunch of mana, so eventually I could remove four counters per turn and won with a natural Marit Lage.

That’s it. I finished 7-2 to end up in 22nd place – if I remember correctly, everyone from 9th to 24th had 21 points. I would probably play the deck again if I were to play another Legacy tournament right now, but I’m not playing Legacy for a while. I did have fun playing it though and I think it’s well positioned, so if you have the cards or know someone who has them, give the deck a try! I guess I should also shout out Tom De Decker for lending me the entire deck. Thanks mate!

If you have any more questions, I will answer them to the best of my abilities, but keep in mind that I have not played any matches with Lands before or after the tournament, so my knowledge is limited. This is is also why there are no boarding plans – I likely messed up a bunch and I can’t remember what I did anyway. For the most part, I boarded out Karakas because my opponents did not have any legendary creatures in their decks.

Thanks for reading!

J

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