As the Pioneer format has come into its own over the past couple years, one deck in particular has been at the top as the premier combo deck of the format. That deck is Lotus Field Combo.

The main engine in the deck is to get a [[Lotus Field]] into play and then create a second copy with [[Thespian’s Stage]]. This then allows us to generate lots of mana and cards by untapping our copies of [[Lotus Field]] with either [[Hidden Strings]], [[Pore Over the Pages]] or [[Vizier of Tumbling Sands]]. We then cast an [[Emergent Ultimatum]] or a tutor effect such as [[Dark Petition]] to find the [[Emergent Ultimatum]]. If we have a blue mana available and spell mastery by having two instants or sorceries in the graveyard, we get [[Dark Petition]], [[Behold the Beyond]] and [[Omniscience]] with [[Emergent Ultimatum]] to set up our game winning cascade of spells. There is a slight difference in the list below compared to the stock win condition in the form of [[Peer into the Abyss]] instead of [[Mastermind’s Acquisition]] and [[Approach of the Second Sun]], which I will discuss in a bit.

Another thing I would like to mention before getting into the deck is besides getting to combo off and then win the main focus when starting any match should be the following, survive at all costs! Besides the initial process we encounter each game of trying to assemble [[Lotus Field]] and [[Thespian’s Stage]], we must be focusing on just surviving until our next turn. This is done by in pre-board games always thinking of how we can use [[Arboreal Grazer]] as a blocker to gain life or [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] and [[Otawara, Soaring City]] to set our opponent back a bit. In post-sideboard games, we incorporate our sweeper effects such as [[Depopulate]] and [[Ritual of Soot]] help us with this thinking as well. Such as it may be better to [[Dark Petition]] for one of these over a combo piece to give us more turns. Even though the matchups are slower, this applies to control and slow midrange matchups. We are in the setup phase much longer where we want to get as many copies of [[Lotus Field]] online as possible while considering how quickly they can turn the corner with threats like [[Shark Typhoon]], [[The Wandering Emperor]] and [[Hall of Storm Giants]]. Against other combo decks, we are in a racing mode so we put extra emphasis on our set up speed, but we also focus on survival by using our [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] and [[Otawara, Soaring City]] to keep them from combing off as fast. Finally, against midrange decks, we commonly use a hybrid of the control and aggro survival plans. We aren’t under huge time pressure on our setup, but they accumulate a board presence resonantly quickly similar to aggressive decks so we can use our [[Arboreal Grazer]] to absorb damage or our [[Depopulate]] to slow them down and answer hate creatures.


Main Deck
  • 4 [[Arboreal Grazer]]
  • 4 [[Sylvan Scrying]]
  • 4 [[Impulse]]
  • 2 [[Shimmer of Possibility]]
  • 4 [[Vizier of Tumbling Sands]]
  • 4 [[Hidden Strings]]
  • 4 [[Pore Over the Pages]]
  • 2 [[Emergent Ultimatum]]
  • 2 [[Dark Petition]]
  • 1 [[Behold the Beyond]]
  • 1 [[Omniscience]]
  • 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]
  • 1 [[Lier, Disciple of the Drowned]]
  • 3 [[Bala Ged Recovery]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Field]]
  • 4 [[Thespian’s Stage]]
  • 4 [[Botanical Sanctum]]
  • 3 [[Boseiju, Who Endures]]
  • 2 [[Otawara, Soaring City]]
  • 2 [[Temple of Mystery]]
  • 2 [[Island]]
  • 1 [[Breeding Pool]]
  • 1 [[Lair of the Hydra]]
  • 2 [[Pithing Needle]]
  • 2 [[Depopulate]]
  • 2 [[Silence]]
  • 2 [[Hope Tender]]
  • 2 [[Dragonlord Dromoka]]
  • 2 [[Zacama, Primal Calamity]]
  • 1 [[Ritual of Soot]]
  • 1 [[Path of Peril]]
  • 1 [[Elder Gargaroth]]


[[Arboreal Grazer|]]
[[Sylvan Scrying|]]

We have the cards that help us set up our double [[Lotus Field]] by finding missing pieces with [[Sylvan Scrying]], [[Impulse]] and [[Shimmer of Possibility]], or accelerating us with [[Arboreal Grazer]]. Given that for our deck to function well we need to first get a [[Lotus Field]] on the battlefield and preferably two copies of it with either another of itself or [[Thespian’s Stage]], we will always be going through a form of this set up phase every game. N matter what matchup one is facing, we need to have a set up plan to find [[Lotus Field]] with our opening hand. Any opening hand will have to contain either a [[Lotus Field]] or one of our two mana digging cards in [[Sylvan Scrying]], [[Impulse]] or [[Shimmer of Possibility]] to find our important land. Another thing to keep in mind with these set up cards is their role in helping our other main goal in most every game after getting our [[Lotus Field]] and that is to survive at all costs. This is done by using either a [[Sylvan Scrying]], [[Impulse]] or [[Shimmer of Possibility]] to find one of our utility lands in [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] or [[Otawara, Soaring City]] to help stop the opponent from killing us the following turn or remove a hate permanent in play. Additionally, I am a huge proponent of running at least two [[Shimmer of Possibility]] for a total of six digging effects. This allows more keepable hands.


[[Hidden Strings|]]
[[Vizier of Tumbling Sands|]]
[[Pore Over the Pages|]]

[[Hidden Strings]] is the main mana generation effect of our deck and functions as an accelerator for getting us to our hard to cast high mana value cards such as [[Emergent Ultimatum]] or [[Dark Petition]]. It can also be used as a last part of our set up as well with untapping a [[Lotus Field]] and a [[Thespian’s Stage]] to generate the mana for [[Thespian’s Stage]] to use the copy ability on our [[Lotus Field]] to set up combing off on the next turn. [[Hidden Strings]] can even be used offensively to tap down opponents lands or creatures to push through our own threats in a later phase that turn. [[Vizier of Tumbling Sands]] serves as another mana generation effect in conjunction with [[Lotus Field]] to net us one mana and a card when going off or digging for something in particular. In an pinch, it can be a second copy of [[Lotus Field]] by being played in matchups where it can reliably survive and help us go off a bit faster. The final piece of our mana generation effects is [[Pore Over the Pages]]. This card does generate an extra mana for us when we have multiple [[Lotus Field]] in play to untap with it which can be quite helpful when building up to an [[Emergent Ultimatum]], [[Dark Petition]] or another payoff spell that turn. It’s main function, however, is to be a free spell that digs us to our pay off spells to combo off or even with just a single [[Lotus Field]] in play.


[[Emergent Ultimatum|]]
[[Peer into the Abyss|]]
[[Dark Petition|]]

After we have gone through setting up our copies of [[Lotus Field]], we will want to think about how we will get to cast a payoff spell to then combo off on our opponent. An [[Emergent Ultimatum]], or tutor effect such as [[Dark Petition]] or [[Behold the Beyond]] to grab [[Emergent Ultimatum]] can start this process. Our opponents won’t always be tapped out or unable to interact with us, so we need to be careful of that when they do have options so we know how to change from the standard choices as I outlined in the basics of the deck above. The other payoffs we have to help us combo off, and play a more central role in our specific win condition than the more commonly run [[Mastermind’s Acquisition]] are [[Lier, Disciple of the Drowned]], [[Peer into the Abyss]] and even [[Bala Ged Recovery]] to rebuy more of our payoffs or our main win condition.

Our main plan to combo off, especially in game one of a match, is to cast multiple times [[Peer into the Abyss]] targeting out opponent to eventually reduce them to zero life as [[Peer into the Abyss]] does round up. We need to be careful to make sure the opponent can not interact with us as they will be drawing most of their deck too in this process. This entails the use of our copies of [[Bala Ged Recovery]] to buy back our [[Peer into the Abyss]] and many times. The enlistment of [[Lier, Disciple of the Drowned]] to recast from our graveyard. Another thing that is extremely common with our win condition compared to [[Approach of the Second Sun]] is we need to get [[Omniscience]] into play as well as we need to cast our seven-mana spell about five or six times to win instead of just twice putting a lot of strain on our copies of [[Hidden Strings]].


[[Lotus Field|]]
[[Thespian’s Stage|]]
[[Boseiju, Who Endures|]]

The most important land in the deck is of course the namesake, [[Lotus Field]]. We want to see this in all of our opening hands and to get a copy into play as fast as possible. I know that this has been mentioned above as well but this can not be emphasized enough, but if we don’t first prioritize getting a copy of [[Lotus Field]] into play our deck will not functioning any meaningful way. The next most important land though for each game can vary a bit based on the matchup or game set up as well. Usually, this is [[Thespian’s Stage]] to copy our [[Lotus Field]], but based on how we need to prioritize interacting with our opponent to stall them or stop them from killing us, we may need to find our utility lands in [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] or [[Otawara, Soaring City]]. Additionally, we have the minor utility lands in [[Temple of Mystery]] and [[Lair of the Hydra]] which help us dig for what we are missing or to serve as a backup win condition.

Another thing with this list that may seem a bit odd is the additional land (23 instead of 22). I run an additional [[Island]] over the usual mana creature in the form of [[Voyaging Satyr]] as this helps with more keepable hands, which is a big part of the deck as you mulligan quite frequently due to our reliance on [[Lotus Field]]. This helps us in many slower matchups that have [[Field of Ruin]] in case we naturally draw one, which can make for weird scenarios with having enough lands to sacrifice for [[Lotus Field]] if there are no basic lands left. I have chosen [[Island]] over Forest as we already have more green mana sources than blue, which is also needed for our non-[[Lotus Field]] lands much more than green. Lastly, I would like to note that by having this extra land in racing matchups where our opponent is as fast or faster we can shave the second [[Island]] then when sideboarding for a bit higher spell density.


[[Hope Tender|]]
[[Zacama, Primal Calamity|]]

[[Depopulate]], [[Ritual of Soot]] and [[Path of Peril]] serve as our sweeper effects for against aggressive and creature based decks to help us just to survive. Additionally, we can board in a copy of one of these cards in other non-racing matchups to be a backup reset button as well for us. You will want to have different names for your sweeper effects due to some somewhat corner cases such as for use with [[Emergent Ultimatum]] or that work better with the black mana from [[Dark Petition]] when we are tight on mana and still need to cast it that turn. This synergy with [[Dark Petition]] is why I have two different mana cost black sweepers for this in [[Ritual of Soot]] and [[Path of Peril]].

Next are the large creatures, [[Zacama, Primal Calamity]], [[Dragonlord Dromoka]] and [[Elder Gargaroth]]. These are commonly used to either replace our entire combo payoff package, [[Omniscience]], [[Emergent Ultimatum]], [[Behold the Beyond]] and [[Peer into the Abyss]] in aggressive matchups to prevent our opponent from interacting with us via [[Dragonlord Dromoka]]. We also have our own accelerator in the form of [[Hope Tender]] to help us speed up against matchups where they won’t have much to deal with creatures but we need to just purely race and we are only as fast or slower than the opponent. These commonly come in over the copies of [[Shimmer of Possibility]].

Lastly, we have our interactive cards in [[Silence]] and [[Pithing Needle]]. [[Silence]] is something we can bring in against combo decks and counter magic heavy decks as we can use it defensively to stop them winning or effectively [[Time Walk]] them. [[Pithing Needle]] is mostly a defensive card for us to deal with problematic planeswalkers and is commonly used cards that interact with us via abilities like [[Boseiju, Who Endures]], which kills our [[Thespian’s Stage]] or [[Shark Typhoon]] which is a common way control turns the corner against us as well.