In this experiment, we seed the stones of the temple and birth a plane from a graveyard.
The normal sequence of play for a land is for it to go from our library to our hand to the battlefield. When one takes a Stone Rain and hits the graveyard, that’s pretty much the end of it. A land like a Horizon Canopy or a Forgotten Cave can be cached in for a card, giving them good degrees of versatility. And then there’s Prophecy, full of cards that let us sacrifice lands for effects of various worthwhileness.
Is it worth sacrificing a land to Aura Fracture to destroy an enchantment? How about to give your Coastal Hornclaw flying? Or you could play Evacuation and give everyone equal-opportunity sacrifice. Or you could sacrifice all your lands so that your lands—wait, but you don’t have any more lands—the ability to tap for 2 mana with Overlaid Terrain.
Enter Drownyard Temple. With the built-in ability for a land to return to the battlefield, activations that require the sacrifice of a land instead virtually cost 3 mana. Is that worthwhile to give that Coastal Hornclaw flying? Maybe not. How about to destroy an enchantment with Aura Fracture? Yeah, that actually starts to sound pretty good.
But it’s not just that. In looping that Temple, we also trigger landfall and, er . . . land-death abilities, such as on Akki Raider and Crawling Sensation. Oh, and remember that Overlaid Terrain? With that around, a Drownyard Temple could almost pay for itself!
So the deck we’re putting together will be full of synergies that should let the deck play reasonably even when we don’t assemble an infinite combo. But I’ll be focusing on the combo so we can see how the pieces come together.
Amulet of Vigor — This would be a good turn-one play. We’re not running a bunch of copies because it doesn’t do much other than let us go infinite in combination with a land-sacrifice outlet, a landfall trigger, a Lotus Cobra, a Drownyard Temple, and an Overlaid Terrain.
Lotus Cobra — This is the source of the third mana we’ll need when looping Drownyard Temple and tapping it for 2 with Overlaid Terrain (after it untaps from Amulet of Vigor). Of course, Lotus Cobra is quite powerful on its own, and with our other spells that put extra lands on the battlefield, the Cobra will be even better.
Thaumatog — We need some kind of land-sacrifice outlet, and we also need a win condition. Thaumatog happens to be in our colors (though Lithatog is an option if you’re going for red), so it makes for a great fit.
Overlaid Terrain — We’ve already covered that we’ll be running this. Paying only 4 to give our lands the ability to tap for 2 is pretty inexpensive, and with Lotus Cobra, we can get away with sacrificing as few as three lands. And if one or two of those happened to be Drownyard Temples, we’ll be able to bring them back. The best-case scenario is to cast Overlaid Terrain before playing our land for the turn, which means we can immediately generate 3 mana (with the Terrain and Cobra), letting us bring back a Temple. And if we have a Thaumatog and an Amulet, we can then sacrifice the Temple and activate it again to bring it back repeatedly. That will make our Thaumatog plenty big!
Need for Speed — This is another land-sacrifice outlet that can give our creatures haste—I love the ability to grant haste when going infinite. If we were to have two Lotus Cobras in the above scenario, we’d have access to infinite mana, so we could then cast something like a Thaumatog if we hadn’t already, and Need for Speed will let us attack that turn.
Emeria Angel — A turn-one Need for Speed into a turn-two Lotus Cobra means we can cast Emeria Angel on turn three. When we go infinite with Overlaid Terrain (though we’ll probably have to wait until turn five with this sequence), we’ll be making a Bird each time. And each time, we’ll be sacrificing a land to Need for Speed (as usual), but instead of having to target Lotus Cobra over and over, we can sacrifice a new Bird each time, giving us an infinite hasty flying force.
Zuran Orb — Here’s our 0-mana alternative to Need for Speed and Thaumatog. It doesn’t let us win the game, but it’s a pretty mana-efficient land-sacrifice outlet, and gaining infinite life is always nice.
Stone-Seeder Hierophant — Here’s the alternative to Amulet of Vigor. It costs 4 instead of 1, but it can actually let us go off on turn four instead of five (assuming we wait to play Overlaid Terrain until when we can follow up with a land). By playing a land on turn three after a turn-two Lotus Cobra, we can cast Stone-Seeder Hierophant. Then, on turn four, we can use its activated ability to generate a fourth mana for Overlaid Terrain before then dropping a land and going infinite using the Hierophant’s triggered ability in conjunction with the activated one.
Crop Rotation — Sacrifice a land to find any land—and Drownyard Temple works well on both sides. We can sacrifice a Temple to find a land we need and then return the Temple or we can sacrifice a basic land to find a Temple we’re looking for.
Edge of Autumn — This is like a Rampant Growth until we have five lands. That means it does what we want in the early game, and later on, we can cycle it by sacrificing a Temple. That essentially makes it a 3-mana spell to draw a card, but it’s pretty versatile (especially since we don’t actually have to pay the 3 to buy back the land).
Planar Birth — Our lands other than Drownyard Temple are basic lands for this reason. As we sacrifice various lands that aren’t Temples, we can do so knowing we’ll eventually return them with a Planar Birth. And if we happen to be bringing back four or so lands, we can hit some serious landfall triggers for a bunch of Birds and maybe some Offshoot life. Tailor your list to landfall taste when Birthing.
Harrow — And here’s the grown-up Crop Rotation—pay 2 more, and find two lands instead of one. It doesn’t let us find a Temple, but it does let us sacrifice one. Or, again, we can sacrifice a basic that’ll later be Birthed back.
Overlaid Drownyard ? Casual | Andrew Wilson
- Spells (22)
- 2 Crop Rotation
- 4 Harrow
- 3 Planar Birth
- 4 Edge of Autumn
- 2 Need for Speed
- 4 Overlaid Terrain
- 1 Zuran Orb
- 2 Amulet of Vigor
But if you have a long-lost love for Prophecy, if you love watching lands head to the graveyard, or if you just love watching them hit the battlefield repeatedly, give this deck a try.
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