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Home is Where the Hearth is



Today I am going to write about landfall. Far from writing JUST about landfall, I am opting to write about a new thing to focus on in landfall decks. Otherwise, you could basically copy a Lord Windgrace list and call it a day, and play the deck reasonably well. I think that's a trap, if I'm being honest. At first, if a deck works the same way the old one used to because it's similar enough, it is really easy and comfortable. I think we get snared in those traps very easily because the exhilarating feeling when a deck "builds itself" is often the feeling of familiarity and comfort disguising itself cleverly. You're not doing anything all that new, so of course you're flooded with ideas, the ideas are someone else's and they're old and it makes you feel like a genius. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I AM breaking new ground on a deck, and that feels great, but in that initial headrush of endorphins, I have a hard time telling if I'm a genius or a hack. There's such a fine line, isn't there? Today I'm going to make sure I tread some new ground because I am going to make sure I resurrect the concept of the Thesis Enchantment permanent.

Sword of Hearth and Home

This sword is being slept on, which seems like a poor choice given that it's, you know, a sharp piece of hard metal. I think? Or maybe it's a cluster of some weird orange fruit that grows in bunches on a tree? Whatever the case, there is nothing depicted in this image that says "mattress" to me, so maybe we should all quit sleeping on a card that gives you protection from the two colors that together represent about 99% of the total blockers in Magic and has good abilities. The abilities were good before, but I found the PERFECT deck for this card.

Soul of Windgrace

Sword fetches new lands out of the deck but also blinks a creature, not necessarily the equipped one, when you connect. If you blink Soul of Windgrace, you can put a land from your graveyard onto the battlefield. That's two landfall triggers. If you have a Mouraug, it's a potentially unpleasant time for the table. But it's more than remembering to include both Sword and Mourag in the deck and hoping to draw both - if Sword is our Thesis Permanent, we need to build around it. We want redundancy for both kinds of ability, we want to think about other equipment we want, other enablers, other payoffs. Are we going to benefit from building a Blink deck? We sure might! Why don't we try it?

Rather than starting with a stock list then swapping cards, we'd really ought to start at 1 card and build our deck up from there. That card is Sol Ring. Ok, 2 cards, Sol Ring and Sword of Home and Hearth. If we want to bother blinking, we want more than just sword to be able to do it, and we want to blink more than just Soul of Windgrace. If so, every card choice you make can be maximized to benefit from the new configuration. I have been eschewing Llanowar Elves in favor of Sakura-Tribe Scout, but if we have Sword of Home and Hearth and we add Cloudstone Curio, Panharmonicon, and Erratic Portal, all of a sudden Sakura-Tribe Scout seems a little loose and we may want to go with cards like Arboreal Grazer and Wood Elves. The focus of the deck should impact every choice you make, and even if you ultimately decide to still include a card like Sakura-Tribe Scout, you do it with the knowledge that you at least considered cards that play well with the focus of the deck. Your Thesis Permanent should impact every single choice you make because while you're not always going to have Sword out, you will have it sometimes and the other cards should play as nicely with it as your commander does. Redundancy is an opportunity for additional synergy, and the why have a Thesis Permanent if you don't give yourself every opportunity to make it good?

Since we are all about ETBs, some of our typical landfall cards get a LOT better. Avenger of Zendikar, perhaps a bit of a win-more, really benefits a ton from Conjurer's Closet, for example. All these years you've been playing Titania, Protector of Argoth in landfall decks without worrying about how you only get to use the ETB once. Well, no more! Cultivator Colossus is seven mana, which seems like a lot until you remember you're a crazy ETB deck. Got more equipment? Great, go nuts with Godo, Bandit Warlord. You don't have to include Helm of the Host in the deck just because you have Godo, but you don't have to not. No one will expect blink shenanigans from a Jund deck but that's only because no one has bothered before - there are a ton of great ETB creatures not to mention your commander that the deck was already going to play, so why not load up? There is no why not, that's why. Let's see how the deck looks.

Soul of Windgrace | Commander | Jason Alt

This looks like a LOT of fun. There are some controversial cards and combos in here because I wanted to hit the gas a little bit and I think tables these days can handle it. What I didn't manage to do was include any pet cards, but I thought about how I'd do it.

If you want to include a Helm of Possession, cut literally anything. Cut a land, cut Sol Ring. I'd always rather draw Helm. Speaking of Helm, put Helm of the Host in here. It's GG with Godo but you have a lot of juicy targets and it seems fun. Besides, we have the dumb Bear Umbra Hellkite Charger combo in here, which you can likely cut because that's goofy, also. Add pet cards.

I'm very serious about cutting Sol Ring. No one will ever know it's not in you deck if you don't tell them, no one wants you to play it turn one, and you don't want to draw it turn 40. This probably deserves an article and not a paragraph, but cut Sol Ring. Or don't, it's the best card we have access to, I think. But it's a 100 card deck again if every deck doesn't start out with Sol Ring. See how it feels? Bet you like it.

I wanted to include Snow basics in here for Sunstone. The thing about decks that can get lots of lands back from the yard is that you can be really aggressive with Sunstone. I still included Constant Mists as a nod to it, but I didn't change the basics in the deck. You easily could, and then you can play Into the North and Blood on the Snow or whatever you want. Sounds like fun. This deck has like no Black in it, add some Black. Or don't, I'm not the deck police.

It's clear I'm fond of this deck but it also came together a little too easily. I don't know how much fun I'd have playing this deck after a few times, but I'm a sucker for landfall and anything I don't want to play when I draw it, I'm inclined to cut after the game. I've become ruthless. Not "Cut Sol Ring" ruthless, but "Tell other people to cut Sol Ring" maybe. Tell me how it goes. Do so in the comments section or on social media when you share this and all of my other articles and my podcast and my other podcast and the article I write on MTG Price. I can make an RSS feed for you if you want risky advice 24/7. If you're not about that life, I hope you'll at least come back next week. I'll be here! Until next time!

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