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CardShark Content - Mike Lanigan (4/22/2005)

Two weeks ago I had a discussion with the player who won my Friday Night Magic Tournament. He played G/B Cloud to great success and then after the tournament we had this discussion. I overheard him talking to one of his friends about land destruction. His friend was interested in building a Ponza deck I think and was wondering how he thought it would do. So the cloud player said and I quote, “land destruction is not playable in this format right now.” This was the point where I entered the conversation. I asked why he thought it was not playable and he said because the only playable land destruction is death cloud and you have to be playing Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Boseiju, Who Shelters AllSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
273
Artist:
Ralph Horsley
Text:
Boseiju, Who Shelters All comes into play tapped. T, Pay 2 life: Add 1 to your mana pool. If that mana is spent on an instant or sorcery spell, that spell can't be countered by spells or abilities.
in the deck or side board so it will resolve vs. blue. When I asked why he thought that land destruction was not playable again he responded with, “well cloud doesn’t even care about land destruction because I fought through six land destruction spells in a row one game and still won because of tribe elder and kodama’s reach. He then followed that up with things like: it is not consistent enough, there are no threats to back it up with, mono blue just counters all the land destruction spells and Aggro decks like white weenie and Sligh are too fast. That was basically the end of the conversation (a five minute conversation at best) but it got me thinking about if land destruction was indeed unplayable in this current format.

This question about land destruction in Standard led me to excessive amounts of pondering on the topic. I did a lot of research and remembered that land destruction had a small following when onslaught block was still in the rotation. I got some ideas from old deck lists but overall there were not that many people that believed the deck was playable back then either. So, with no answer yet I decided that I should just build this deck, play it and see for myself whether it was good or not.

RG LD:
4x Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

4x Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.

4x Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.

4x Troll
4x Tribe Elder
1x Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker
2x Kodama North Tree

4x Molten Rain
Molten Rain
Molten RainSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Destroy target land. If that land is nonbasic, Molten Rain deals 2 damage to the land's controller.

4x Stone Rain
Stone Rain
Stone RainSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
Destroy target land.

3x Creeping Mold
Creeping Mold
Creeping MoldSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
220
Artist:
David Seeley
Text:
Destroy target artifact, land, or enchantment.

1x Plow Under
Plow Under
Plow UnderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Put two target lands on top of their owner's library.
(only because I only own one)
4x Magma jet

2x Legendary Lands (red and green)
8x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

11x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.


Side board:
4x Pulse of the Tangle
Pulse of the Tangle
Pulse of the TangleSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
80
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Put a 3/3 Green Beast token into play. Then if target opponent controls more creatures than you, return Pulse of the Tangle to its owner's hand.

4x Molder Slug
Molder Slug
Molder SlugSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
125
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
4
Toughness:
6
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices an artifact.

4x Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

2x Grab the Reins
Grab the Reins
Grab the ReinsSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
95
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Choose one - Until end of turn, you gain control of target creature and it gains haste; or sacrifice a creature, then Grab the Reins deals damage equal to that creature's power to target creature or player. Entwine 2R (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

1x Sowing Salt
Sowing Salt
Sowing SaltSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
97
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Text:
Remove target nonbasic land from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.


When I got done building the deck I do what I always do and called my friends so we could test it. I was very excited to see how it actually played so we got together and tested that day. The testing went extremely well and my friends were very impressed with the deck. This made me happy but I was still not convinced that they were right and the deck was good (I am usually the group skeptic).

I also found a few things that needed changed. First of all, the tribe elders were horrible in here. Every time they were in my hand I wanted something else. This surprised me greatly because the card is really good. I also noticed that the first game against any Aggro deck was extremely hard to win. Also even though testing showed the deck was consistent I wanted it to be more consistent. With these things in mind I made a few changes. Now these changes may seem minor, but are very deck changing in terms of how the deck plays. After the alterations I came up with this list.

RG LD:
4x Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Birds of ParadiseSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mana Birds
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.

4x Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.

4x Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.

4x Troll
2x Kodama North Tree
2x Kumano
1x Arch-Slogger

4x Molten Rain
Molten Rain
Molten RainSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
101
Artist:
Hugh Jamieson
Text:
Destroy target land. If that land is nonbasic, Molten Rain deals 2 damage to the land's controller.

4x Stone Rain
Stone Rain
Stone RainSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
Destroy target land.

3x Creeping Mold
Creeping Mold
Creeping MoldSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
220
Artist:
David Seeley
Text:
Destroy target artifact, land, or enchantment.

1x Plow Under
Plow Under
Plow UnderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Put two target lands on top of their owner's library.
(only because I only own one)
4x Magma jet
2x Sensei’s Divining Top

4x Tendo Ice Bridge
Tendo Ice Bridge
Tendo Ice BridgeSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
165
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Tendo Ice Bridge comes into play with a charge counter on it. T: Add 1 to your mana pool. T, Remove a charge counter from Tendo Ice Bridge Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

2x Legendary Lands (red and green)
6x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

9x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.




I did not have much time testing after the changes but it seemed much better to me so I was happy with the build. The true test would come later that week at Friday Night Magic. I thought to myself if I could do well at the tournament then the deck may possibly be alright. So I took the second build to the tournament and here’s what happened.

First round I played a white weenie. This was not as difficult a match as it should have been because this player does not play that often so his build was not as tuned as it should have been. I think that this should be this decks toughest match but I went 2-0. I think it went something like I drew a hand with 2 magma jets and a witness plus molten rain for his nexus. Also the green pulse is especially good from the side board in this match.

Second round I played against a g/w control. This was a very different match for me as I had not tested against anything like this. I guess they can’t really do anything if they do not have lands though...I went 2-0 again with little troubles other than I couldn’t draw green mana almost the entire first game. I think the green Genju (or even red for that matter) would work wonders on the w/x decks so it’s worth a consideration for side board or even main.

Third round I played a Sligh deck. I think this should also be a tough match for this deck if they are playing the beat down version (something similar to http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/9399.html ) but he was playing a more controlling version with his deck based on killing creatures so the Genju could attack for a lot of damage. This works out much better for me because my creatures can’t be targeted. Anyway I went 2-0 in this round as well.

Fourth and last round before finals I play muc and I cringe because no one likes to play against mono blue control. This muc build is much different than typical muc that you would find at your local tournament but it was definitely difficult. Game one was going great, I played first turn bird and 2,3,4, and I think 5 turn ld and then I couldn’t find another green mana to play either the troll or tree in my hand so that I could follow that awesome opener up with a threat. I end up losing this game with him at 4 life I think because I couldn’t get my threat down early enough. Game 2 I side board out all the LD because I think it isn’t doing me any good and I side board in 2x pulse of the tangle, 4x molder slug, 4x naturalize, 2x grab the reins. Now I know that this seems retarded (and it was, o it was) but at the time, I really thought that it was a good idea. Anyway luckily I see none of the side board and just beat him with the second turn troll and then molder slug. Now the third game was just bad. I saw those side board cards so needless to say, I lose this game…horribly in fact. This seems a little better if you know that he was playing many more creatures than normal muc plays. The deck was basically muc affinity base with a bunch of free artifacts and counters and don’t forget the brokenness of the shackles. Ok back to the third game....he basically just bribes my north tree and it beats me in the face for the win. So I lose this round 1 - 2

3-1 for matches still puts me in 3rd so I make finals and I have to play the same muc deck again....but this time I will have my revenge! So the first game goes something like the first game last round but I win because my mana base likes me this game. second game I board appropriately taking out 2x kumanno, 1x slogger, 2x north tree (all the useful bribery targets) and 1x plow and I put in the 4x slug and the 2x grab (I never drew the grab any game I boarded them so I don’t think they were needed but the reason I put them in was because I thought it might speed me up a turn or two) anyway this was a great game and very close but I was able to lock him down with ld. Between the witness, the top and the actual LD the deck is so hard core and hard to deal with. So I end up taking the match 2-0. This is by the way what my testing results have told me about this deck....that it goes 50-50 with mono blue and I am ok with 50-50 vs. mono blue cause most decks aren’t that well prepared for it. [As my friend would say, 50-50 against ravager is ok right? Everyone who gets that joke gets a cookie : ) ]

So on to the last round of finals. I play my friend who is playing a combo deck. It is basically fires of yavimaya in type two. It uses In the Web of War
In the Web of War
In the Web of WarSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
108
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Whenever a creature comes into play under your control, it gets +2/+0 and gains haste until end of turn.
and then plays cosmic larva (hey a 9/6 hasted trampler for 3 mana is good in my book anyday), one dozen eyes and Meloku to overrun the opponent in usually one attack. This match is very close and I end up holding him off for just enough turns to win in both games. I win the match 2-0 with RG LD!

So, I guess that land destruction is playable in Standard. First place at FNM is at least something worth of note. If you are looking for a new deck to play at your next fnm RG LD may be the deck for you! See everyone next week.

As always if you have any questions about the deck email me.


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