Lands is a deck based on using the best utility lands that Legacy has to offer and plays 34 of them! That’s a lot for any format. Lands plays many 1-of lands as a tutor package for [[Crop Rotation]] and the ability to reuse them or find them with [[Life from the Loam]]. This package and the great lands that are available in Legacy give Lands the ability to have a card for every scenario or situation in its matchups. This can tutor package contains cards like [[Wasteland]], [[Boseiju, Who Endures]], [[Bojuka Bog]], [[Blast Zone]], and even [[Maze of Ith]]. Lands can also have very explosive draws with acceleration in [[Mox Diamond]], [[Exploration]], and [[Ancient Tomb]]. Finally, Lands tries to win with [[Urza’s Saga]] and the combo of [[Dark Depths]] and [[Thespian’s Stage]]. The Lands archetype has been around for many years, and it’s not going anywhere, so regardless of what deck you play in Legacy, it’s important to have a game plan for this matchup.

How does Lands matchup against TES?

[[Life from the Loam|]]
[[Dark Depths|]]

[[Wasteland]], [[Ghost Quarter]], [[Rishadan Port]] – Lands is great at disrupting the opponent’s lands. Most decks in Legacy play very few lands in their deck and usually several colors, so playing this much land disruption can steal games. Many decks don’t play basic lands, so [[Ghost Quarter]] is extra copies of [[Wasteland]] in those matchups, TES being one of them.

[[Dark Depths]], [[Thespian’s Stage]], [[Urza’s Saga]] – The win condition of Lands is powerful and pretty resilient, but they’re slow. Neither [[Dark Depths]] or [[Urza’s Saga]] is going to race a Storm deck on its own. The faster of the two is [[Dark Depths]], but it requires some acceleration in order to make it fast enough to even beat a slower Storm hand.

[[Sphere of Resistance]] – Lands best matchups are the fair matchups. It wants to get paired against blue control or creature decks. These matchups give Lands the turns they need to setup their engine and they have access to several different lands that help these matchups. Where Lands is weak is against the combo decks, and because of this, four copies of [[Sphere of Resistance]] have made it into the main deck. The fair matchups are so good they hedge a little bit against combo with these slots, and honestly [[Sphere of Resistance]] isn’t that bad against the fair matchups anyway. This is pretty bad for storm decks because we have zero answers in game one.

[[Force of Vigor]] – Lands doesn’t have too much in the sideboard for the Storm matchup, since adding [[Sphere of Resistance]] to the main deck, but it does have [[Force of Vigor]]. TES being more artifact heavy means [[Force of Vigor]] is definitely coming in. [[Force of Vigor]] is usually pretty easy to beat when you can play around it and it’s in your mind. There’s usually no reason in this matchup to play out artifacts turns before we actually need to use them.

Deck List

the epic Storm

Main Deck
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Mishra’s Bauble]]
  • 4 [[Urza’s Bauble]]
  • 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 4 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 3 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
  • 4 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Taiga]]
  • 1 [[Tropical Island]]
  • 4 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 2 [[Chain of Vapor]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]
  • 1 [[Meltdown]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]

Ways to Win This Matchup

[[Dark Ritual|]]
[[Rite of Flame|]]
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]
Our Game Plan

The main form of disurption coming from Lands is them attacking our mana base. Lands plays [[Wasteland]], [[Ghost Quarter]], and [[Rishadan Port]]. This many disruptive lands and the ability to reuse them with [[Life from the Loam]] and [[Crucible of Worlds]] makes it very difficult to assemble a manabase in play. We play very few lands and no basics, so we have to be cautious about when to sacrifice our fetchlands since we may only get one use out of each land. The good news for us is that we have a lot of artifact mana to replace some of our lands. [[Mox Opal]] and [[Lotus Petal]] play a heavy role in this matchup to get out of a land lock by the opponent. Lands can play a prison style game, so this matchup is about us winning before that can happen. Not only do we have to worry about being locked out, but also them making a 20/20 from [[Dark Depths]]. This pressure does mean we do have to win fairly quickly, but not as fast compared to other matchups. Balancing a game plan that has some speed to it while also being resilient to land disruption will be key to winning this matchup.




-3 [[Galvanic Relay]], -4 [[Veil of Summer]], +3 [[Thoughtseize]], +2 [[Abrupt Decay]], +2[[Chain of Vapor]]

Cutting [[Veil of Summer]] is the obvious choice. Lands isn’t a blue or black deck, and they aren’t trying to interact in the way [[Veil of Summer]] protects. [[Galvanic Relay]] is also one we cut because we need to make room for all of our sideboard cards that we want to bring in. We need [[Thoughtseize]], [[Abrupt Decay]], and [[Chain of Vapor]] to beat [[Sphere of Resistance]]. It’s the card we care most about in this matchup and [[Galvanic Relay]] just gives the opponent more opportunities to draw [[Sphere of Resistance]] or assemble a 20/20 from [[Dark Depths]].


Game Play

We began the first game with my opponent on the play and us both keeping seven cards. I kept a slower hand, but it had the resources to recover from land disruption and still race any of their win conditions. My opponent played a [[Taiga]] and a [[Wasteland]] for their first two turns, and I just had a [[Bloodstained Mire]]. During my second turn, I didn’t have a second land or a third artifact for [[Mox Opal]], but I did have a [[Brainstorm]], so I decided to cast it looking for either of those.

Matchup Battles Lands- Image 1

I drew a [[Misty Rainforest]], and a third artifact, but it was another [[Mox Opal]] which wouldn’t help. I played out the [[Misty Rainforest]] and had to pass the turn back.

Matchup Battles Lands- Image 2

My opponent spent their third turn using the [[Wasteland]] and then playing out a [[Ghost Quarter]] and casting [[Life from the Loam]] to return the [[Wasteland]] to their hand. On the opponent’s end step, I sacrificed the [[Misty Rainforest]] and cast another copy of [[Brainstorm]]. I drew three copies of [[Rite of Flame]], and put two back.

Matchup Battles Lands- Image 3

On my turn, I had no way to combo or set anything up, so I had to pass the turn back and hope I drew some way out of this in my next few draw steps. My opponent spent their turn dredging the [[Life from the Loam]], playing and using the [[Wasteland]] and then casting [[Life from the Loam]] again. I drew the third copy of [[Rite of Flame]] that I knew about and ended my turn. My opponent used their next turn dredging and casting [[Life from the Loam]] again and ended their turn.

Matchup Battles Lands- Image 4

Drawing the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] was perfect as it allowed me to use both copies of [[Mox Opal]] to fire off the [[Galvanic Relay]]. I kept one copy off [[Dark Ritual]] and [[Rite of Flame]] to use post [[Galvanic Relay]] on my following turn.

Matchup Battles Lands- Image 5

My opponent wasn’t able to do much on their turn since I didn’t have any lands, but they kept dredging looking for their combo pieces and a way to win the game. [[Galvanic Relay]] exiling a [[Wishclaw Talisman]] and lots of mana would allow me to combo on my turn. My draw step was a land. I didn’t have enough mana to [[Wishclaw Talisman]] for [[Burning Wish]] into [[Tendrils of Agony]] with enough storm, so I led off with the [[Brainstorm]], but it was no help. I had to settle for [[Ad Nauseam]].

Matchup Battles Lands- Image 6

[[Ad Nauseam]] from 17 was good enough to win from. I played out all of my artifact mana and both copies of [[Dark Ritual]] to [[Burning Wish]] for [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Matchup Battles Lands- Image 7

This example game shows how strong combo is against Lands. I had nothing going for me, and my opponent did their thing of destroying all of my lands and having me land locked for the rest of the game. I was still able to draw out of it and rely on using the artifacts for mana. Lands plays an interesting role not being a creature, combo, or blue deck. There are very few decks in Legacy like this that has the success Lands does. It’s usually not a matchup people like playing against, but TES is one of the lucky ones. The fairly recent change of having [[Sphere of Resistance]] is the only change to that. We are pretty cold to it game one, but it’s still a matchup we are heavily favored in. I hope you enjoyed this article, can take some of the lessons learned, and apply them to your own playtesting.