“You fought the Caw, and the Caw won; and then you won.”
I’ll be honest. Winning SCG Standard Open: Baltimore felt really good. However, I still love playing rogue or wacky decks. I think this is a part
of me that will never change. After I won, all of my friends were giving me crap saying, “See what happens when you play a real deck?” As
much as I love to play rogue decks, there comes a time in every Magic player’s life where they just need to give in to a deck. It took me too
long to give into Caw-Blade; the deck was too good to not be playing.
Shawn Soorani on the other hand is a man who will never give in. He was still playing U/W with three Preordains, no Hawks, and to top it all
off, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobiteâ€”what a stubborn man. He probably also wins all the arguments with Ashley.
I would go over details of matches, but they’re irrelevant at this point. While the Standard portion of the event bored me to tears, I did get to
play my newest creation in the Legacy portion! I spent the whole day drawing cards, playing multiple lands in a turn (without cheating), and DOING THE
TIME WARP AGAIN! It made me the happiest I’ve been in a while playing Magic.
I proudly present to you, imbouttaplaysome LAAAAAAAAAA-A-A-AA-AA-ANDS LAAAAAAAA-A-A-AA-AA-ANDS.
This deck is such a blast to play! You’re able to stall against aggressive decks with unlimited Fog effects, and you can also take infinite turns
with Walk the Aeons. Justin Parnell, Matt Scott, and I all brewed this list up based off of Zvi’s old Turboland deck. We didn’t have the time to
get any solid testing in for the Legacy portion, but I was still excited to try out this creation. Sadly enough, I was extremely exhausted for the
Legacy portion, and I punted away some games. This deck is still in its infancy stages, just waiting for someone to break it.
Why should you play this deck?
Do you like playing lands? Do you like drawing a sh*t ton of cards? How about taking infinite turns or destroying the opponent’s mana base? The deck
does all these things and preys on the new U/x Control decks that have been doing very well. You can also win games against aggressive decks with just
a Crucible of Worlds and Constant Mists. I’ve never had more fun playing any other Legacy deck, and I doubt you’ll find one more entertaining.
What does this deck do, Ali?
Like the name suggests, the idea of the deck is to play lots of lands with the help of Exploration or Azusa, Lost but Seekingâ€”by playing extra
lands, you’ll advance many turns ahead of your opponent. Just having Exploration out isn’t good enough sadly; you also need Crucible of Worlds or Horn
of Green in order to create superior card and board advantage. The deck can end the game by beating down with Mishra’s Factories, locking your opponent
out of lands via Wasteland/Ghost Quarter, or by taking infinite turns with Walk the Aeons and killing them any number of ways, if your opponent decides
for some reason not to scoop.
With this deck, I would not keep an opening hand without Exploration or Brainstorm. A problem I noticed while playing the deck is that it needs more
dig spells. While we’re looking for dig spells, let’s see what else we can come up with that could fit this deck.
Cards to consider
Preordain/Ponder: I think in this type of deck, the Ponder effect is stronger than Preordain’s. We really want to dig deeper, and if the cards suck,
it’s nice to have a shuffle effect. It also works just as well as Preordain with Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
Explore: I would love to play this card, but I feel like I would need at least 26 or 27 lands to run it, so I’ll keep it on the sidelines for
now. I could be totally wrong about this; only testing will tell.
Oracle of Mul Daya: This guy might possibly replace Azusa, but for now I think Azusa’s interaction with Crucible is too hard to deny. Not to
mention Azusa makes comboing with Walk the Aeons a cakewalk.
Daze: This could replace Mental Misstep, since we actually don’t mind bouncing our lands, especially if we have an active Horn of Greed. It also
works just as well for opposing Missteps turn 1. The downside is that it will suck late in the game, and the deck rewards both players playing lands
thanks to Horn of Greed. Daze however could counter some relevant things that Misstep cannot.
Upheaval: A nice Wrath effect, especially if you can float mana into an Azusa or a couple of Explorations. The only problem is it doesn’t get
around Mr. Teegâ€”which Zvi pointed out on Twitter. In the deck’s current stage, Gaddock Teeg can pose a problem if he comes down turn 2. Your best
option would be to win with manlands, Meloku, or a Constant Mists lock.
Vedalken Shackles: This is a solid card for the main or sideboardâ€”especially when you are playing tons of lands.
If I were going to run this deck tomorrow, I believe it would look like this:
With this build of the deck, we’re able to dig a bit more now. I could see cutting the Capture of Jingzhou for another Mental Misstep, but I just
really love Time Warp effectsâ€”especially with Jace and Exploration. You could also cut both the Time Warp effect and Capsize for two Explores. I
really wanted to cut a Jace and add a Future Sight, but unfortunately, I feel like that’s too cute. The sideboard changed a little bit too. We
added a third Thrun for control decks, and Constant Mists was also moved to the board as well.
Little tips about the deck
Let’s go over some interactions with the deck that might not be super obvious.
-You need to be careful with Elixir of Immortality if you have a Crucible of Worlds out. Make sure you have at least one fetchland in play, a Wasteland
or Ghost Quarter, a Mishra’s Factory, and at least three Islands before shuffling your graveyard away.
–Oboro, Palace in the Clouds is amazing when you have the engine going, but if you have no more lands to play, make sure you leave one mana open to
protect it from Wasteland. If you are short on blue mana, Oboro can filter for you if you have an Exploration outâ€”just add a blue and bounce it
with another color.
-Against decks that may bring in Choke, Zuran Orb is a very good answer to it when you have a Crucible of Worlds out. It should be enough, but if it is
not, it will buy you enough time to hopefully Capsize it back.
I’ll go over the general decks.
Nix is really good in this matchup, countering Cabal Therapy and Dread Return. Mental Misstep is amazing if it can counter Breakthrough, but the good
dredge players will probably pay two to avoid Misstep. You don’t need Elixir here since the game will not go long. You just want to stall long
enough until you can Bojuka Bog them.
Thrun is really good against them, but I just don’t think it’s needed. I would bring in a couple of Zuran Orbs to dodge Price of Progress.
If you see Price of Progress maindeck or know they have it, then I would bring in the third Orb. The only thing that should give you trouble in this
matchup is Qasali Pridemage and Gaddock Teeg if they play it.
Thrun is a beating against these control decks, especially the ones without Stoneforge Mysticâ€”which happens to be getting more and more popular.
I would cut Missteps, but you still need them to protect an early Exploration.
I hope you enjoy this deck as much as I have. I know I’ll be playing it again!
Ali, Lost but Drawing You Lots of Cards
P.S. Next time we’ll delve into new Standard; and yes I’ll be talking about my boy Grand Architect.