You CAN Play Type I #129 Part I: Head to Head with Landstill

“The Deck” is possibly compared to Baldur’s Gate 2. It’s the legendary control deck against which newcomers are judged, but it’s undeniably showing its age. Control decks have streamlined a lot since the days they could just lean on Mana Draining into Braingeyser, but today’s most modern ones have cheaper, more specialized engines. Today’s Head to Head will look at one of the more popular and original control creations to come along: Landstill.

Serious mail backlog…

Last month, I wrote an aside about a mad new hybrid called”Mad Dragon” and one of its players from two oceans away wrote in…

> —–Original Message—–

> From: Peter Matyssek

> Sent: Friday, March 05, 2004 11:45 PM

> Subject: MadDragon

> Dear Oskar,


> It’s nice to see my name in one of you’re columns, I’d just like to write something about the mad dragon and how it performed in Moers. That I went first on the Moers tourney was a bit of random. First point happend on the saturday before the tournament, Alexander asked me for the MUD/Slaver Deck. He’d like to test it, but he owns not enough moxen and workshops, so I gave away my whole deck.

> At the last tourney in Dülmen I was the first opponent for Benjamin Ribbeck’s MadDragon, I lost very fast with my TnT against him so we decided to adapt the tech with the Dragon and the Madness Stuff. Alexander Witt, by the way not the one from the Netherlands who won a pro tour, went 6-0-1 (3rd) with his”normal” dragon build last Dülmen, so he gave me the animators and dragons.>

> I tested it for about 4 rounds, then I went to bed. After all I’d never played anything with bazaar or madness before in a tourney (I just own the Workshops and Control Stuff). So I went totally unprepared to the tourney.

> The first two rounds were against a crappy sligh and a nearly full powered TnT, no problem for the Dragon Combo. In the third round I’d played against a Workshop Prison Deck with the new Trinisphere. I went off very fast in the first game, but the second was very bad for me, the sphere slows me too fast down and the smokestack makes the rest. In the third game we were both stalled and played just land – go, until he played a trinisphere, a smokestack soon followed and in my last turn (I’ve three lands, he a trinisphere and a smokestack) I draw a bazaar from the top, tap it, draw an animator and discard the dragon, this was just luck.

> The fourth game was against Andreas Klaes, the german inventor of Smokestack, also with a Lockdeck (Bazaar + Workshop, very strange). As every tourney he has the better deck and better chance but as ever he draws crap against me, is that fate?>

> I’ve played four round’s just dragon combo, no lethal attack with the madness beasts, but the last round was different.>

> I played against Oliver Daems with IsoKeeper. This was the toughest matchup, after the first game (he won with an imprinted sword) I boarded out all the Dragon stuff and put in the pillars, the following two games were very close and interesting, but after all my wurm’s ran him over.>

> After all a very good and interesting deck. Especially the different ways It can go off is enormous. But It isn’t almighty, a Trinisphere or a bit of creature hate can shut it down very fast.

> Just a short story about our tournament here in germany. Thank you for all of you’re articles.

> Greets,

> Peter Matyssek

Attack of the Rakso impersonators

Man, can’t a guy take his final exams in peace? Here I am, taking a break (well, not quite), when my mailbox is flooded with frantic inquiries about how Prohibit counters Force of Will and Myr Enforcer. I was this close to forwarding them to Steve Menendian. Then add JP Meyer fake news items… sheesh, I should go take up Asheron’s Call or online poker, too.

Then I got e-mail from Smmenycakes asking why I have final exams in April. We clear up the little detail that I live in the equator, and our summer vacation begins pretty much with Easter.

Anyway, thanks to [author name="Abe Sargent"]Abe Sargent[/author] for that little spoof. I’m just glad it wasn’t Mark Acheson a.k.a. Nevyn, or Darren Di Battista would’ve exploded on the Paragon mailing list with even wilder rumors of my supposed sexual extracurriculars.

After collapsing in bed and looking over the scratch files left lying around from the past month, I’m afraid I have just enough energy to dig up an old game I’d been planning to use as an article, only the deck I was using is now about six months out of date.

Alexandre Caron – yes, a friend of Raph Caron a.k.a. K-Run, my onetime sidekick on Beyond Dominia and creator of Deck Parfait – from Montreal gave me some of my first games against the enigmatic Landstill, but they were still the most interesting.

Or from my point of view at the time, the most perplexing.

Head to Head: Landstill

“The Deck” is possibly compared to Baldur’s Gate 2. It’s the legendary control deck against which newcomers are judged, but it’s undeniably showing its age. Control decks have streamlined a lot since the days they could just lean on Mana Draining into Braingeyser, but today’s most modern ones have cheaper, more specialized engines.

01:29:55 – — PFUNK says: ”There is no future”

01:29:55 – — Rakso says: ”Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”

01:30:00 – PFUNK drew 7 cards.

01:30:02 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

01:30:16 – It is now turn 1.

01:30:19 – Rakso plays Mox Jet.

01:30:26 – PFUNK says:’k’

01:30:27 – Rakso plays Tundra.

01:30:27 – It is now turn 2.

01:30:30 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:30:32 – PFUNK plays Lotus Petal.

01:30:33 – PFUNK says:’?’

01:30:35 – Rakso says:’okay’

01:30:37 – PFUNK plays Volcanic Island.

01:30:38 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:30:39 – PFUNK buries Lotus Petal.

01:30:40 – PFUNK plays Standstill.

Looking at draw cards, for example, Hulk Smash has Accumulated Knowledge, Control Slaver has Thirst for Knowledge (which feels suspiciously like unrestricted Fact or Fiction), and Landstill has, well, Standstill.

01:30:41 – Rakso plays Force of Will.

01:30:43 – Rakso moves Fire / Ice from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s removed from game pile.

01:30:43 – Rakso’s life is now 19. (-1)

These newer, cheaper engines can sure get the jump on you.

01:30:48 – Tundra is tapped.

01:30:49 – Rakso plays Brainstorm.

01:30:51 – PFUNK says:’k’

01:30:52 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

01:31:16 – Rakso moves a facedown card to Rakso’s library.

01:31:21 – Rakso moves a facedown card to Rakso’s library.

01:31:35 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:31:36 – Rakso plays Vampiric Tutor.

01:31:41 – PFUNK says:’k’

01:31:42 – Rakso’s life is now 17. (-2)

01:31:46 – Rakso moves a card from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

01:31:49 – It is now turn 3.

01:31:52 – Tundra is tapped.

01:31:53 – Rakso plays Ancestral Recall.

01:31:55 – PFUNK says:’k’

01:31:57 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

01:32:02 – Rakso plays Volcanic Island.

A fortuitous Force of Will later, I move into a beautiful Brainstorm-Tutor opening.

01:32:03 – It is now turn 4.

01:32:07 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:32:10 – PFUNK plays Wasteland.

01:32:11 – Wasteland is tapped.

01:32:13 – Rakso buries Volcanic Island.

01:32:15 – PFUNK buries Wasteland.

Alex moves into his land destruction substrategy. Shortly after the release of Scourge, you might have seen Fish-esque decks with the new”Blue land destruction” twist. Take the familiar Wastelands and Null Rods, and then add Stifle, which happens to kill fetchlands and opposing Wastelands. At first, people thought that Stifle was a tad specialized, since against some decks, it might not do much more than catch fetch lands. Then, some Blue players showed us that that’s not so bad with the right backup.

And so you see why playing against Landstill can be annoying. Not only can you not help but get slipped under a Standstill, you also have to time your Polluted Delta and Wasteland use. Moreover, you also have to play around Teferi’s Response as much as you can.

01:32:15 – It is now turn 5.

01:32:19 – Rakso draws a card.

01:32:28 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

01:32:30 – It is now turn 6.

01:32:32 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:32:33 – PFUNK plays Mishra’s Factory.

Well, at least it builds character.

01:32:34 – It is now turn 7.

01:32:41 – Rakso draws a card.

01:32:43 – Rakso plays Volcanic Island.

01:32:44 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:32:45 – Rakso plays Gorilla Shaman.

01:32:50 – PFUNK says:’k’

01:32:52 – It is now turn 8.

01:32:54 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:32:56 – PFUNK plays Faerie Conclave.

01:32:57 – Faerie Conclave is tapped.

Free is as cheap as cheap threats go, and sometimes you just wish you had Arrogant Wurms instead to steamroll over this noveau Blue nonsense.

One man land is a dangerous annoyance. Having two out of the eight together at any given time, however, is a clock.

01:33:00 – It is now turn 9.

01:33:05 – Rakso draws a card.

01:33:11 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

01:33:13 – PFUNK’s life is now 19. (-1)

01:33:16 – It is now turn 10.

01:33:19 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:33:21 – PFUNK plays Island.

01:33:34 – Rakso says:’eot’

01:33:35 – Tundra is tapped.

01:33:36 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:33:37 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:33:38 – Rakso plays Cunning Wish.

01:33:50 – Faerie Conclave is tapped.

01:33:51 – Island is tapped.

01:33:52 – PFUNK plays Mana Drain.

He declines to attack with the Factory. Guess he thinks I’m bluffing a Swords to Plowshares or Fire/Ice.

I count mana and decide to hold back on the Wasteland. He still has mana to use Teferi’s Response, but will only have one Blue open if he sinks the Mana Drain mana into both attackers next turn.

01:33:54 – It is now turn 11.

01:34:22 – Rakso draws a card.

01:34:35 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

01:34:37 – PFUNK’s life is now 18. (-1)

01:34:42 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

01:34:58 – Rakso says:’mmmm’

I’m thinking he has a Response while he’s probably thinking I have a counter for it. Again, it’s annoying that you’re not just counting counters against Landstill, but even paying attention to particular counters that you don’t want him to get good mileage from.

01:35:18 – It is now turn 12.

01:35:22 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:35:42 – PFUNK plays Volcanic Island.

01:35:53 – Island is tapped.

01:35:59 – Mishra’s Factory is attacking.

01:35:59 – Faerie Conclave is attacking.

I don’t have the initiative here and unfortunately I don’t have the counter, either. Lacking options, I decide to try to buy some time.

01:36:27 – Tundra is tapped.

01:36:30 – Rakso plays Swords to Plowshares.

01:36:32 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:36:33 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:36:36 – PFUNK plays Teferi’s Response.

Yes, he has the Response.

01:36:40 – PFUNK buries Mishra’s Factory.

01:36:45 – PFUNK buries Faerie Conclave.

01:36:46 – Rakso buries Wasteland.

01:36:47 – Rakso buries Wasteland.

01:37:11 – PFUNK drew 2 cards.

01:37:47 – It is now turn 13.

01:37:50 – Rakso draws a card.

01:37:52 – Rakso plays Strip Mine.

01:37:53 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

01:37:55 – PFUNK’s life is now 17. (-1)

I’m not drawing a lot of colored mana here, but three Strips against Landstill isn’t anything to complain about. Later, we’ll see that Alex was counting Strips more intently than my counters!

01:37:56 – It is now turn 14.

01:37:59 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:38:00 – PFUNK plays Mishra’s Factory.

He gets man land number three to match my count.

01:38:04 – It is now turn 15.

01:38:13 – Rakso draws a card.

01:38:17 – Rakso plays Library of Alexandria.

01:38:20 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

01:38:23 – Island is tapped.

01:38:30 – Tundra is tapped.

01:38:32 – Rakso plays Swords to Plowshares.

01:38:37 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:38:38 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:38:39 – PFUNK plays Mana Drain.

Library… just about the most useful land I could draw right now with my hand size. He calls my Shaman bluff and lo and behold, I actually have the second Swords.

01:38:47 – PFUNK buries Mishra’s Factory.

01:38:48 – Rakso buries Strip Mine.

01:38:50 – Rakso says:’take 1′

01:38:51 – Rakso says:’man’

01:38:52 – Rakso says:’all this’

01:38:52 – PFUNK’s life is now 16. (-1)

01:38:53 – Rakso says:’over man lands’

01:38:55 – It is now turn 16.

01:38:57 – PFUNK says:’lol’

01:39:00 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:39:00 – PFUNK plays Mishra’s Factory.

I’ve used up three Strips and two Swords, and he lays man land number four.

01:39:01 – Island is tapped.

01:39:04 – PFUNK plays Time Walk.

01:39:05 – Rakso says:’k’

01:39:10 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:39:10 – Mishra’s Factory is tapped.

01:39:11 – PFUNK plays Standstill.

01:39:24 – PFUNK draws a card.

Ugh… it appears he’s exactly where he wants to be when the dust settles.

01:39:26 – It is now turn 17.

01:39:29 – Rakso draws a card.

01:39:36 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

01:39:44 – PFUNK buries Mishra’s Factory.

01:39:46 – Rakso buries Wasteland.

01:39:48 – Rakso says:’no stifle?’

01:39:52 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

01:39:53 – Rakso says:’:D’

01:39:54 – PFUNK’s life is now 15. (-1)

It’s something to get used to, since a control player has conditioned himself to acting at the last possible moment to time a play perfectly, but you generally break the Standstill as soon as you can. You’ll likely end up doing it anyway, and you don’t have to wait for him to get seven cards in hand just so you can force him to discard chaff.

There is, however, one good side effect from Standstill.

You suddenly have a window free of Stifle and Teferi’s Response, since these break the Standstill while your Wastelands don’t.

We take our little victories when they come, and you can imagine how annoying a topdecked Wasteland in response to a Standstill is for the Landstill guy.

01:39:55 – It is now turn 18.

01:39:57 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:39:58 – It is now turn 19.

01:39:59 – Rakso draws a card.

01:40:01 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

01:40:06 – PFUNK says:’shaman is not quick enough :P’

01:40:07 – PFUNK’s life is now 14. (-1)

01:40:09 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

01:40:09 – It is now turn 20.

01:40:10 – Rakso says:’hehe’

01:40:11 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:40:12 – PFUNK plays Volcanic Island.

01:40:19 – Rakso says:’live through this’

Wait… didn’t I say to break the Standstill as soon as you can? I tried something different here, considering I barely have a hand, anyway. Since he has no man lands yet and I’m in no rush, I figure I’ll get that useless Library active and attempt to filter into better cards and more dual lands.

We take six uneventful turns each, and Library does get active. Unfortunately for me, I don’t draw into land. He Wastes a Tundra and lays an Island and a Polluted Delta.

Shaman brings him down to eight. Yes, it likely won’t go all the way, but only his last Mishra’s Factory can neutralize Shaman under his own Standstill. A little more and the monkey’ll have done enough damage to make a surprise Decree of Justice kill possible.

01:41:20 – It is now turn 32.

01:41:21 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:41:23 – Library of Alexandria is tapped.

01:41:24 – Rakso draws a card.

01:41:22 – It is now turn 33.

01:41:26 – Rakso draws a card.

01:41:28 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

01:41:29 – Gorilla Shaman is attacking.

01:41:31 – PFUNK’s life is now 7. (-1)

01:41:34 – PFUNK says:’eot’

01:41:36 – Island is tapped.

01:41:37 – PFUNK plays Ancestral Recall.

01:41:39 – Rakso says:’LOL!!!’

01:41:43 – Rakso says:’I standstill?’

01:41:45 – Rakso says:’:)’

01:41:46 – PFUNK says:’yes’

Like I said, we take our little victories when we can.

01:41:48 – Rakso says:’really?’

01:41:49 – Rakso says:’say it again’

01:41:51 – Rakso says:’louder please’

01:41:52 – Rakso says:’:)’

Be a gentlemanly opponent, but never hesitate to be this big an asshole about Standstill.

01:41:54 – Rakso has TAKEN control of Standstill.

01:41:55 – PFUNK says:’lol’

01:41:55 – Rakso buries Standstill.

01:41:58 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

I’d like to think that I’m an entertaining opponent. Glenson Lim a.k.a. Glenchuy successfully dragged me to a tournament last January, but we agreed to play Hulk (after he gave me a set of Deep Analysis; the ones I had leftover from Limited were missing). See, much as we love”The Deck,” there’s something to be said about having your decklist posted on the Internet, and something about playing defensive control when the venue is a crowded mall backroom under renovation with no ventilation.

Hell, before Round 1 began, I stood in the center of the room and shouted a modest proposal to all present: Kill all the Stasis players. (As it happened, I did play against a Stasis player, and he sure wasn’t smiling when he sat down in front of me.)

Moreover, as I told JP over IRC, it’s really tough to play”The Deck” when you encounter a few opponents too stupid to concede and you only have forty-five minutes to win. Last time I took”The Deck,” I once found myself with more mana than I could use, an Isochron Scepter imprinted with Fire/Ice, and a hand of Swords to Plowshares, five counters, and Skeletal Scrying. My reanimator opponent insisted we keep playing because I was sure to lose-he later pointed out that there was no way I could beat the Worldgorger Dragon / Animate Dead combo in his hand, since he had the Cabal Therapy to force it through.

Anyway, that time, Glen somehow managed to lose to a mono Green – yes, you heard me right – deck after some mix-up with Pernicious Deed and Demonic Tutor for Black Lotus mathematics, and gets paired against me. A second loss will knock him out of contention and we don’t want to give our colleagues the satisfaction of doing their dirty work for them and knocking one of us out through a mirror, so I play nice and offer the draw.

So we play a game for kicks, and naturally, the only Accumulated Knowledge that gets revealed is the one he pitches to Force of Will. As he thinks about his plays, I start clapping my hands and chanting,”AK, AK, AK…” loudly to my own beat, leading to quite a few amused snickers in the first three tables.

I win off Yawgmoth’s Will after ‘Tog one is Smothered – nothing against Glen, since I had the maindecked Deep Anals – and go out for some air. It’s just too bad that it’s near-impossible for a law student to block off an entire day for a Magic tournament, and I’ve managed to turn down Glen’s every succeeding invitation. Even now that we’re on vacation, it’s really hard not to want to catch up with family and old friends.

Oh wait, weren’t we in the middle of a counter war here?

01:42:13 – Rakso plays Force of Will.

01:42:16 – Rakso moves Time Walk from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s removed from game pile.

01:42:17 – Rakso’s life is now 16. (-1)

01:42:19 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:42:20 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:42:20 – PFUNK plays Mana Drain.

01:42:28 – Rakso plays Force of Will.

01:42:29 – Rakso moves Brainstorm from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s removed from game pile.

01:42:30 – Rakso’s life is now 15. (-1)

01:42:33 – PFUNK plays Force of Will.

01:42:34 – PFUNK moves Stifle from PFUNK’s hand to PFUNK’s removed from game pile.

01:42:35 – PFUNK’s life is now 6. (-1)

01:42:38 – Rakso says:’man’

01:42:39 – Rakso says:’okay’

01:42:48 – PFUNK drew 3 cards.

My, we’ve burned quite a few counters, haven’t we?

01:41:52 – It is now turn 34.

01:42:56 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:42:58 – PFUNK plays Faerie Conclave.

01:42:58 – Faerie Conclave is tapped.

01:42:59 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:43:02 – PFUNK plays Fire/Ice.

01:43:05 – Rakso buries Gorilla Shaman.

01:43:06 – Rakso’s life is now 14. (-1)

01:43:10 – PFUNK plays Nevinyrral’s Disk.

01:43:10 – Nevinyrral’s Disk is tapped.

01:43:12 – Rakso says:’k’

01:43:15 – It is now turn 35.

01:43:20 – Rakso draws a card.

01:43:28 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

01:43:29 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:43:30 – Underground Sea is tapped.

01:43:30 – Underground Sea is tapped.

01:43:30 – Library of Alexandria is tapped.

01:43:31 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:43:33 – Rakso plays Mind Twist.

01:43:33 – PFUNK says:’not too bad for someone who broke his own standstill :P’

In retrospect, I think I was a bit too eager here. I could’ve as easily sat on Library and set up a less dangerous Mind Twist later. Sorry, before the games, the family had opened a bottle of wine for dinner, but it turned out hardly anyone wanted else it. Still, I figured he wouldn’t have Misdirection since he’d have used that before Force of Will in the counter war.

Incidentally, a large Mind Twist backed by a Force of Will is a very interesting way to break a Standstill.

01:43:37 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:43:37 – Island is tapped.

01:43:38 – Island is tapped.

01:43:39 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:43:40 – Polluted Delta is tapped.

01:43:40 – PFUNK’s life is now 5. (-1)

01:43:43 – PFUNK buries Polluted Delta.

01:43:46 – PFUNK moves Island from PFUNK’s library to tabletop.

01:43:48 – Island is tapped.

01:43:49 – PFUNK plays Force of Will.

01:43:53 – It is now turn 36.

01:43:56 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:43:58 – Island is tapped.

01:43:59 – Island is tapped.

01:44:01 – Faerie Conclave is attacking.

01:44:01 – Rakso’s life is now 12. (-2)

01:44:04 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:44:05 – Island is tapped.

01:44:05 – PFUNK plays Standstill.

Ugh, here we go again. I still have one Wasteland in my library and the Library to help filter with. This Standstill, though, he’s the one with the threat.

01:44:07 – It is now turn 37.

01:44:11 – Rakso draws a card.

01:44:13 – Library of Alexandria is tapped.

01:44:13 – Rakso draws a card.

01:44:16 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

01:44:19 – PFUNK buries Faerie Conclave.

01:44:20 – Rakso buries Wasteland.

I am evil.

01:44:21 – It is now turn 38.

01:44:24 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:44:30 – PFUNK says:’that was your last one :p’

He sure took a lot of the fun out of that topdeck, though.

Anyway, we draw go again, and seven turns later, I’ve gained three duals and discarded less useful cards like artifact mana and Isochron Scepter (in the face of his Disk). He gets a Polluted Delta, and discards Black Lotus and Chain of Vapor.

In retrospect, this was one of my first few games against Landstill and I think I overrated it. Using my own card advantage counting, he loses a card from his hand and gains three for a +2 CA net gain, but he has no other card draw aside from Ancestral Recall and relies mainly on pitch counters, anyway. I could have as easily broken the Standstill slightly earlier, and made more use of more useful chaff.

I remember I was looking for a Decree of Justice, which is even more annoying than Wasteland under your opponent’s Standstill. That was tunnel vision, though.

Well, that’s what practice games are for. The wonderful thing about Apprentice is that you can analyze every detail this way. (Now, you just need time off from law school…)

01:47:44 – It is now turn 52.

01:47:46 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:47:48 – PFUNK plays Faerie Conclave.

01:47:48 – Faerie Conclave is tapped.

01:47:55 – Library of Alexandria is tapped.

01:47:55 – Rakso draws a card.

01:48:20 – Underground Sea is tapped.

01:48:23 – Rakso plays Brainstorm.

01:48:30 – Rakso says:’yes’

01:48:35 – PFUNK buries Standstill.

01:48:36 – PFUNK drew 3 cards.

01:48:47 – PFUNK says:’thats my eot?’

01:48:49 – Rakso says:’yes’

01:49:01 – PFUNK says:’sure’

01:49:04 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

01:49:19 – Rakso moves a facedown card to Rakso’s library.

01:49:20 – Rakso moves a facedown card to Rakso’s library.

01:49:26 – Rakso says:’nothing’

01:49:31 – PFUNK moves Fire/Ice from PFUNK’s hand to PFUNK’s graveyard.

01:49:34 – PFUNK moves Nevinyrral’s Disk from PFUNK’s hand to PFUNK’s graveyard.

01:49:43 – PFUNK moves Fire/Ice from PFUNK’s hand to PFUNK’s graveyard.

Well, at least I made him discard three. Remember these three particular cards at the end of this log.

01:49:50 – It is now turn 53.

01:49:55 – Rakso draws a card.

01:49:59 – Rakso plays Flooded Strand.

01:50:03 – Rakso’s life is now 11. (-1)

01:50:08 – PFUNK says:’k’

The flip side is that I actually want him to Stifle my fetch lands now, since that’s one less to worry about when I finally find those missing Decrees.

01:50:10 – Rakso buries Flooded Strand.

01:50:22 – Rakso moves Volcanic Island from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

01:50:33 – Rakso plays Mox Pearl.

01:50:34 – It is now turn 54.

01:50:39 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:50:42 – PFUNK plays Wasteland.

01:50:43 – Wasteland is tapped.

01:50:45 – Library of Alexandria is tapped.

01:50:48 – Rakso draws a card.

01:50:52 – Rakso buries Library of Alexandria.

01:50:53 – PFUNK buries Wasteland.

Finally, he kills Library.

01:51:01 – PFUNK plays Mox Sapphire.

01:51:02 – Island is tapped.

01:51:05 – Faerie Conclave is attacking.

01:51:07 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:51:07 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:51:10 – Rakso plays Fire/Ice.

01:51:11 – Rakso says:’1/1′

01:51:13 – Island is tapped.

01:51:14 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:51:16 – PFUNK plays Teferi’s Response.

01:51:21 – Underground Sea is tapped.

01:51:21 – Tundra is tapped.

01:51:23 – Rakso plays Mana Drain.

Here we go again… counter wars over 2/1 creatures.

01:51:30 – PFUNK plays Misdirection.

01:51:32 – PFUNK moves Chain of Vapor from PFUNK’s hand to PFUNK’s removed from game pile.

01:51:34 – Underground Sea is tapped.

01:51:35 – Tundra is tapped.

01:51:35 – PFUNK says:’on your fire ice’

01:51:37 – Rakso plays Mana Drain.

01:51:42 – Rakso says:’can’t’

01:51:42 – PFUNK plays Force of Will.

01:51:45 – Rakso says:’two targets’

01:51:58 – PFUNK says:’drain?’

01:52:02 – Rakso says:’yes’

01:52:03 – PFUNK moves Stifle from PFUNK’s hand to PFUNK’s graveyard.

01:52:05 – PFUNK’s life is now 4. (-1)

01:52:08 – PFUNK moves Stifle from PFUNK’s graveyard to PFUNK’s removed from game pile.

01:52:19 – Rakso says:’okay’

01:52:26 – PFUNK drew 2 cards.

01:52:48 – Rakso’s life is now 9. (-2)

That’s two Stifles removed from the game, and I don’t think he’s packing four.

01:52:50 – It is now turn 55.

01:52:58 – Rakso draws a card.

01:53:01 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

01:53:07 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

01:53:08 – Underground Sea is tapped.

01:53:08 – Mox Jet is tapped.

01:53:10 – Rakso plays Cunning Wish.

01:53:14 – PFUNK says:’k’

01:53:18 – Rakso moves Disenchant from limbo to Rakso’s hand.

01:53:18 – Underground Sea is tapped.

01:53:19 – Tundra is tapped.

01:53:21 – Rakso plays Disenchant.

01:53:23 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:53:24 – Nevinyrral’s Disk is tapped.

01:53:27 – PFUNK buries Nevinyrral’s Disk.

01:53:27 – Rakso buries Mox Jet.

01:53:28 – Rakso buries Mox Pearl.

01:53:28 – PFUNK buries Mox Sapphire.

I off his Disk before he can topdeck another counter, and clear the way for Soldier tokens.

01:53:30 – It is now turn 56.

01:53:33 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:53:35 – Island is tapped.

01:53:37 – Island is tapped.

01:53:38 – Faerie Conclave is attacking.

01:53:40 – Rakso’s life is now 7. (-2)

01:53:45 – PFUNK plays Nevinyrral’s Disk.

01:53:49 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:53:49 – Underground Sea is tapped.

01:53:51 – Rakso plays Mana Drain.

Conventional logic says that Nevinyrral’s Disk is overcosted with the advent of Powder Keg. This has long been true for classic Draw-Go-esque decks. However, note that the original context was using Disk to reset against a swarm of weenies.

Today, Disk and Pernicious Deed are used as true reset buttons against the more diverse permanent types that hit the table, and Disk in Landstill is more effective than someone with old school benchmarks in mind initially thinks.

01:53:53 – It is now turn 57.

01:53:59 – Rakso draws a card.

01:54:46 – Rakso plays Island.

01:54:55 – Island is tapped.

01:54:58 – Rakso plays Cunning Wish.

01:55:01 – PFUNK says:’k’

01:55:06 – Rakso moves Fire/Ice from Rakso’s removed from game pile to tabletop.

01:55:07 – Rakso’s life is now 5. (-2)

I had Vampiric Tutor maindeck as a placeholder for a sometimes-needed second Gorilla Shaman. If I had it in the sideboard against Alex, I could’ve easily Wished for it during upkeep, Tutored for Yawgmoth’s Will or Decree of Justice, then taken the four mana and gone nuts.

Oh, well. At least I was honest about not having Flaming Gambit in my sideboard.

01:55:12 – It is now turn 58.

01:55:16 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:55:18 – PFUNK plays Island.

01:55:20 – It is now turn 59.

01:55:24 – Rakso draws a card.

01:55:26 – Rakso plays Sol Ring.

It would appear that I can comfortably wait for a long overdue Decree now…

01:55:25 – It is now turn 60.

01:55:28 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:55:29 – PFUNK plays Faerie Conclave.

01:55:33 – Faerie Conclave is attacking.

Unfortunately, no, as yet another man land hits the scene. He walks the one without summoning sickness into Fire, so I can’t zap both later.

01:55:34 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

01:55:35 – Island is tapped.

01:55:37 – Rakso plays Fire/Ice.

01:55:37 – PFUNK buries Faerie Conclave.

01:55:38 – PFUNK’s life is now 3. (-1)

01:55:41 – It is now turn 61.

01:55:56 – Rakso draws a card.

Hmmm… have faith?

01:56:06 – It is now turn 62.

01:56:09 – PFUNK draws a card.

01:56:13 – Island is tapped.

01:56:13 – Island is tapped.

01:56:16 – Faerie Conclave is attacking.

01:56:18 – Rakso’s life is now 1. (-2)

01:56:22 – PFUNK plays Volcanic Island.

Of course, the game does end with a Decree of Justice backed by a Mana Drain, and he didn’t have his third Stifle in hand, though he did have a Mana Drain.

Anyhow, I hope this demo showed you how Landstill is both entertaining and frustrating to play against, forcing you to keep on your toes and sidestep all its little traps. Of course, if you do get too frustrated, succumb to the tension and find something to beat down on those pesky Conclaves with when no one’s looking.

[This article is continued in Part II.]