Matchup Mulligan: Lands III

Final Rakdos Reanimator Hand Answer

Hand No. 10: (on the play)

[[Burning Wish|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Thoughtseize|]]


What does this hand do? You’re not even remotely close to casting [[Ad Nauseam]], you don’t have the mana to cast either [[Thoughtseize]] or [[Veil of Summer]] to protect yourself, and even if you somehow aren’t discarded on the opponent’s turn, you have to be fortunate enough to draw a second mana source to put [[Echo of Eons]] on the stack. There’s so many cascading unlikely scenarios here where the London Mulligan is just so much more appealing.



Hand No. 1: (on the play)

[[Rite of Flame|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Infernal Tutor|]] [[Infernal Tutor|]]


It’s important to note that Lands does not play any instant-speed interaction in game-one scenarios! This means we’re free to try a win attempt.

Cast [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and then [[Mox Opal]]. At this point, [[Dark Ritual]] and then [[Infernal Tutor]] revealing [[Rite of Flame]] — play the pair of [[Rite of Flame]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Burning Wish]], and then [[Tendrils of Agony]]!

Hand No. 2: (on the draw)

[[Urza’s Bauble|]] [[Urza’s Bauble|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Infernal Tutor|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]]


This hand is really interesting to me! When you look at the majority of recent successful lists they all contain four copies of [[Sphere of Resistance]] in the main deck, which used to only be a sideboard choice. If I knew my opponent didn’t have [[Sphere of Resistance]], I would keep this hand as a turn-two [[Galvanic Relay]] for at least four while redrawing two cards off of the pair of [[Urza’s Bauble]] is very tempting. Especially given the fact we have two permanent mana sources! With the current metagame, we’re likely going to be facing a [[Sphere of Resistance]] and that this turn-three hand isn’t likely fast enough against the current builds.

Hand No. 3: (on the play)

[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]


The power of [[Brainstorm]]! While [[Veil of Summer]] may not be desirable, we can cast [[Brainstorm]] off of the [[Mox Opal]] and then put the pair of green cards back into our library. At this point, activate [[Bloodstained Mire]] and then draw a card off of [[Mishra’s Bauble]] providing us with five looks at a pay-off spell for a turn-two win. That should be more than enough!

The lesson here is to analyze hands and not dismiss them too quickly due to having “dead” cards in them.

Hand No. 4: (on the draw)

[[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Badlands|]]


In Hand No. 2, I spoke to the difference in the types of hands you can keep against builds that do contain and do not contain main deck copies of [[Sphere of Resistance]]. This hand is too slow against both variants. While lands is a slow deck, you can’t completely disrespect with them hands like this. They are still capable of creating a [[Marit Lage Token]] within the initial turns of the game.

Hand No. 5: (on the play)

[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Scalding Tarn|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]]


The old 34 percent to draw an action spell isn’t really true anymore, and it’s best that we move on from that thinking. We have four copies of [[Brainstorm]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Burning Wish]] as live draws. We also have four copies of each of [[Mishra’s Bauble]] and [[Urza’s Bauble]], three [[Galvanic Relay]], and then an [[Ad Nauseam]] that we’re unable to cast. With roughly half of our “action” spells taking an additional turn, I can’t see why we would take the chance on this hand in the face of [[Sphere of Resistance]].

In reality, we have a dozen hits, and [[Brainstorm]] isn’t even a real guarantee. Just mulligan this hand for something with an actual game plan!


Recommended sideboarding:


[[Thoughtseize|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]]


[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]]

Hand No. 6: (on the draw)

[[Taiga|]] [[Urza’s Bauble|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]


These sorts of hands are often big traps, but look like keepable hands. The reality is, you disrupt your opponent for a bit with [[Thoughtseize]] and then they attack your mana while you don’t have any ideal acceleration or any payoffs. If you don’t believe me on this one, keep a few of these and then play the games. You might win 3-5 of them, but we have so many hands that are a higher win percentage, especially in this matchup.

Hand No. 7: (on the play)

[[Infernal Tutor|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]


The opposite problem of Hand No. 5! We have a lot of action, but our mana is extremely shaky. One of the easiest ways for Lands to beat you is [[Wasteland]]. I wouldn’t give them the opportunity to do it so easily. Even if you draw a second land, there’s no real pay-off. What are you going to do? [[Galvanic Relay]] out of the sideboard? I believe we can do better.

Hand No. 8: (on the draw)

[[Infernal Tutor|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Urza’s Bauble|]]


A card we haven’t mentioned yet is [[Force of Vigor]], which tends to be very popular. While this hand is risky, the reward is high enough in my opinion. Assuming we draw a black source you could check to see if the coast is clear of a [[Force of Vigor]] or discard a [[Sphere of Resistance]] with [[Thoughtseize]]. You also have the choice to just got for it and then accept the risk. If you don’t draw the land, you have the ability to disrupt them with a mana source in play that can’t be destroyed by [[Wasteland]]. These are all reasonable enough avenues that I wouldn’t send this hand back into the deck.

Hand No. 9: (on the play)

[[Volcanic Island|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]]


The way I often choose to view these hands is that I’m opting to view them as starting the game with a few Storm, a permanent mana source in play ([[Volcanic Island]]), and an additional draw off of the [[Mishra’s Bauble]] post-[[Echo of Eons]]. There’s always the potential to win on the first turn, but I don’t expect to with no floating mana. The real goal here is to start up on the opponent in terms of cards, while giving them a random hand that likely doesn’t contain [[Sphere of Resistance]] or to a lesser extent [[Force of Vigor]].

Hand No. 10: (on the draw)

[[Brainstorm|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Urza’s Bauble|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Infernal Tutor|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next article.