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Finding All The Lands With Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

Bennie Smith can’t wait for Golos, Tireless Pilgrim! But he has to, at least until Core Set 2020 comes out. Until then, he’s ready to build a delicious Commander brew around the colorless Scout with a five-color identity!

Wow, I’d just gotten some cards from Modern Horizons into my hot little hands, and now we have a week’s worth of awesome Magic 2020 cards to get excited about! There are already a fair number of legendary creatures I’m excited to build around, but one in particular jumped out at me and got me the most excited!

I was going to title this article “Come on, Pilgrim,” but I was worried it was way too obscure a reference that showed my age, so if you would have gotten the reference, let me know!

Golos on its face reminds us of Solemn Simulacrum, with the upside of being able to fetch any land from your deck instead of being limited to a basic land, but the downside of not providing any card advantage when it dies. But then it provides a pretty nifty activated ability that requires a lot of mana, but Golos’s enters-the-battlefield ability already helps with that. The activated ability requires one of each color mana, so this takes Golos out of the running for any deck except ones that are all five colors.

We’ve had some commanders before that care about lands. Two in particular accommodate a lot of the coolest lands-matter cards into Commander decks built around them—Lord Windgrace, and Tatyova, Benthic Druid.

What’s exciting about Golos is that you can basically take all the great lands-matter cards from these two commanders and jam them all into one deck if that’s what you want to do.

And why wouldn’t you want to do that? Let’s get brewing!

Land Search

Our commander searches up lands that will do a lot of cool stuff, so I wanted to include some other cards that search up lands as well. Ulvenwald Hydra is one of my favorite Magic cards ever, so I’m stoked to include it in this deck. I’m also thrilled about the new card Elvish Reclaimer! Elvish Reclaimer is a lot like Knight of the Reliquary, but I like that it doesn’t limit what you sacrifice first, while Knight mandates you have a Forest or Plains card to start with.

Land Matters

Blackblade Reforged, Crash of Rhino Beetles, and Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar appreciate that Golos and our other search cards are going to help us put a ton of land cards onto the battlefield. Ramunap Excavator, World Shaper and Titania, Protector of Argoth get back lands from the graveyard in case something happens to your special lands along the way. Having access to white unlocks Ruin Ghost, which gives us a pretty cool way to reuse special lands or to re-trigger landfall abilities.

Landfall

Here’s a lot of the payoff putting lands onto the battlefield early and often! Lotus Cobra gives you mana of any color, Courser of Kruphix gives you life, and Tireless Tracker gives you Clue tokens you can eventually turn into more cards. At the top of the curve, Rampaging Baloths will churn out 4/4 Beast tokens, while Avenger of Zendikar will create a ton of plants that can potentially grow into being much more than infinite chump blockers.

Omnath, Locus of Rage is a good card, but I’m a little concerned the double red and double green mana might be troublesome sometimes in a five-color deck, so I instead went with the new version from Magic 2020Omnath, Locus of the Roil! Mainly, I just like the fact that each land after your seventh will draw you cards.

Utility Lands

Here are a bunch of lands that you’ll want to be searching up. The most exciting of the bunch for me is another brand-new card from Magic 2020Field of the Dead! If you search up Field of the Dead when you cast Golos, each land that enters the battlefield after that gives you a 2/2 Zombie, assuming all your lands have different names—something that’s not too difficult to do in a singleton format!

Putting together Thespian’s Stage and Dark Depths should be pretty easy to do in this deck. I’m also thrilled to get to play Mirrorpool, another one of my all-time favorite Magic cards. Among other things, if someone is going to destroy your Golos anyway, you can copy Golos and search up another land.

Mana Ramp

While Golos provides mana ramp, we definitely want to include earlier ramp options to get Golos onto the battlefield ahead of schedule, like Coiling Oracle and Sakura-Tribe Elder. Cards like Exploration are particularly nice when you’re using Golos’s activated ability—you’d hate to exile two lands and only be able to play your regular one land a turn.

I especially like having Mina and Denn, Wildborn in the deck because several of the cards that care about the number of lands on the battlefield result in a really large creature that don’t otherwise have evasion, so giving trample is quite helpful.

Removal

Playing a five-color deck gives you a ton of options for removal cards, so I’ve gone through and included a lot of the very best ones. I’ve made sure to include lots of ways to regulate opponents’ graveyards because there are just way too many great ways to abuse graveyards in Commander these days. I’ve also leaned heavily on exile effects like Reality Shift, Anguished Unmaking, and World Breaker. A five-color deck that mana ramps seems like the perfect place to find room for Legacy Weapon, which can handle just about any problem permanent, well, permanently.

Card Draw/Selection

Explore seems like a good mechanic to include in a lands-matter deck so I’ve included some of them here like Merfolk Branchwalker and Path of Discovery. Sylvan Library is nearly always a good inclusion but it’s especially good here since it allows you to take a peek at the top of your library before you decide to activate Golos’s ability.

Without Sylvan Library, the plus ability of Tamiyo, Collector of Tales isn’t the strongest in a singleton format, but what really sells this card for me in Commander is the static ability, which protects you from hand discard effects and cards like Grave Pact.

Other Stuff

Crystal Quarry and Cascading Cataracts are lands you can find with Golos that automatically provides you with all five colors of mana to activate the ability. Training Grounds is a way to shave off the extra two generic mana in Golos’s ability.

Golos’s enters the battlefield ability is so good I decided to include some cards that can “blink” it like Conjurer’s Closet and especially the new card from Modern Horizons Soulherder! I’ve got other cards in the deck that appreciate re-usable blink effects.

Sweet deck! But wait, there are too many cards. I’ll start by looking at our mana curve:

Converted Mana Cost

Number of Cards

0-1

10 (including lands that don’t produce mana)

2

16

3

15

4

12

5

8 plus Commander

6

4

7+ / X

4

70 total cards plus 40 mana-producing lands equals ten cards too many, so we need to make some cuts! Let’s see what we can trim, starting with the top of our curve.

Molderhulk is fun and all, but I’m not sure I’m going to have enough lands hitting my graveyard to really abuse the card. Seedborn Muse is a fantastic card that is certainly a hard cut, but I don’t have all that many reactive cards so I’m not sure that I can make best use of it. In particular, Golos’s activated ability is probably not going to be all that effective when used on your opponents’ turns. Oracle of Mul Daya is a great card, but its effects are redundant with other cards in the deck that I like better, so it gets the cut.

Retreat to Coralhelm is a nice effect with lots of landfall triggers, and it can be part of a combo along with Ruin Ghost to generate large numbers of landfall triggers, but outside of that combo I’m not really feeling the card too much. I’ve gotten high on Animar, Soul of Elements since I’ve seen it do some great work in someone else’s Ramos, Dragon Engine helping to cast a colorless commander, so I thought it would do similarly good work here. Plus, it’s an Elemental where there are some Elemental synergies going on. Ultimately, though, I’m not sure it’s doing enough to synergize with the land themes of the deck. I like Wayward Swordtooth but I’m not sure that I want to cut any of the other three-mana cards left in the list so I’m cutting it.

I thought of Amulet of Vigor since it plays nicely with lands entering the battlefield tapped, of which I’ll have quite a few, not to mention Golos’s ability. But I’m not sure it’s going to do enough to really warrant the slot. Seekers’ Squire is probably the weakest of the explore cards, so I feel safe giving it the boot. Scavenging Ooze is a great card for controlling graveyard shenanigans but I don’t know that I’ll have much extra green mana during the game to warrant its slot.

I really like Blightbeetle, since I think +1/+1 counter shenanigans are way overpowered in Commander, and wanted to find room for it here, but this deck really pushes synergies hard and Blightbeetle doesn’t help things so it’s the last, tough cut.

Okay, so here’s how the deck ended up:

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
Bennie Smith
0th Place at Test deck on 06-24-2019
Commander


What do you think? Are there any cards I’ve overlooked? If you see any new cards from Core Set 2020 that should find a home here, let me know!

Oh, by the way I got a token card in the Star City Games Personality Tokens, currently available through the end of June!

I am thrilled and honored to get my mug immortalized on this awesome Matrix-inspired token card. Go check out this link to find out how you can get your hands on some!

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