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By: Adam_the_Mentat, THE WOTC TOOK MY BABY AWAY
Sep 03 2015 12:00pm
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Do You Even Landfall, Bruh?


Hey-hey-hey loyal readers!

BFZ is on the way, and the PAX Eldrazi-laden deliciousness of the set is just trickling in, but use this article as a primer for how all things Landfall in EDH/Commander!

Landfall was more or less universally lauded by the player base of this fine game, and WOTC has heeded the words of its customers (finally) and upped the Landfall offerings in the new Zendikar block-- while simultaneously shooing away Annihilator to the dark catacombs where they keep Banding, Dredge, Phasing, and presumably Delve (the TAP room: Too Annoying/Powerful room). 

Landfall appears in all colors to varying degrees, but most assuredly appears in Green the most. There are a plethora of fine Commanders in this game that enjoy and thrive on Landfall, so this article hopes to examine Landfall cards, Land-matters cards, Landfall-enabling cards, and Landfally Commanders-- among other miscellaneous tidbits.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the musings of a mad Johnny as he plots for the release of even more cards imbued with this storied mechanic.


Let's start this article on the merits of Landfall, with, um, Landfall.

Gatherer says there are 43 cards with the keyword Landfall. One of those cards appears in the Duel Decks (Which is no longer offered online to purchase) Zendikar vs. Eldrazi, which will also be in the upcoming BFZ. I'll talk about that one in a minute. Dissecting the 42 others--

Calcite Snapper, Fledgling Griffin, Geyser Glider, Ior Ruin Expedition, Mysteries of the Deep, Rest for the Weary, Shoal Serpent, Snapping Creeper, Soul Stair Expedition, Sunspring Expedition, Surrakar Marauder, Turntimber Basilisk & Zektar Shrine Expedition: These all kinda suck. You may think Zektar or the Surrakar or something doesn't suck, and in regards to that I say: we all have our own opinions-- but, to me, these all kinda suck, and I don't really play with them, so I'm not going to dissect them. I may rock an Ior Ruin Expedition occasionally, but, honestly it usually gets taken out for something more viable, like a Mulldrifter.

Adventuring Gear, Baloth Woodcrasher, Hedron Rover, Hedron Scrabbler, Plated Geopede, Steppe Lynx, Hagra Crocodile, Windrider Eel & Territorial Baloth: These are the landfall pump spells. The gear and the Woodcrasher stand above the rest-- the gear can equip anything (even one of these creatures) while the Woodcrasher gets a decidedly bigger bonus from lands being slapped into play. It actually won me a few games during the original prerelease of Zendikar. These all have their merits, and were good grabs during drafts.


Next up, let's talk some of the more useful spells, before I expound upon the cream of the crop. No Morningtide pun intended.

Bloodghast relies on landfall, and is arguably a very powerful card. It works better in recursion-based decks rather than those based solely on mana-ramp-land-slap, but it's an awesome card.

Caustic Crawler is a useful card but it can backfire on you if you have no creatures in play. When I drafted this during set release, I wound up often keeping it out of my deck for this precise reason.

Cosi's Ravager has always been a favorite of mine, and is somewhat underrated. An extra damage from a land drop can be very useful.

Groundswell, Searing Blaze, Tomb Hex: These three stand above the overpriced blue spell for drawing and the overpriced, sorta-useless lifegainer from white. All of these are incredibly powerful in limited or in four-ofs for non-singleton decks, and occasionally make it into a deck of mine, but in Commader, there's usually something better.

Hedron Crab was featured heavily in my Phenax deck, because it comes out quick, mills fairly regularly, and would tap with Phenax for two additional mills. I played a lot of Zendikar block drafts, and one time I drafted three of these and successfully milled two opponents to death. They also drew a lot of hate once they started getting rolling, which allowed for secondary win conditions to remain unscathed.

Roil Elemental is a card that seems pretty awesome, but winds up never truly making the cut. A six-mana investment in blue is often better served by Consecrated Sphinx or even a Confiscate. Roil's 3/2 status means it is incredibly boltable, but I'd still say this is a pretty decent card for blue's landfall contributions.

Scrib Nibblers I love this card. These Oona milling rats may even gain you some life, and are often ignored until they begin to get annoying.

Tideforce Elemental had a place of residence in my Derevi deck for a very long time, but if you've read the article, you'll notice it was cut for Wizards who untap/tap permanents, not just creatures, and helped fill out the mini-Wizard theme.

Seer's Sundial usually makes it into my landfall decks, but often becomes a dead draw. Its pricey activation means it doesn't stack up to a Coercive Portal, Staff of Nin or even a Horn of Greed.


Admonition Angel
Admonition Angel is great, no doubt about it. But, I always fear the inevitable destruction of it and the release of the horrors in its prison.
Avenger of Zendikar
This is the greatest landfall card. I'll fight ya, bruh.
Emeria Angel
Landfall token makers are insanely good, and this angel is no exception.
Rampaging Baloths
These beastmakers are especially awesome.
Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
The first printed Nixilis is still pretty amazing. It not only hulks out, but continually stings your opponent for 3.
Lotus Cobra
Lotus Cobra is a great card if you can get it rolling, and it's super awesome in the early game.
Khalni Heart Expedition
Of all the 'expeditions' this one is the best.
Eternity Vessel
Gilder Bairn or Vorel of the Hull Clade. 'Nuff said.
Primeval Bounty
M14 re-introduced Landfall without calling it landfall, for this one epic card, which is amazing. Why don't you own one?
Grazing Gladehart
Never underestimate how much life this thing can gain you. Boundless Realms anyone?
Lifegift
Ah when landfall wasn't called landfall, this enchantmenty, less lifegainy version of the Antelope was and is awesome.
Courser of Kruphix
The newest Lifegift that adds being a centaur and half of Oracle of Mul Daya
Sporemound
If you don't know my penchant for Saprolings by now, you have some backreading to do.
Zendikar's Roil
The newest pre-BFZ landfall offering is pretty awesome, and one of my favorite Origins cards.
Vinelasher Kudzu
Ravnica introduced the landfall concept without naming it, and the cards still hold up.
Stone-Seeder Hierophant
A landfall non-basic-specific Earthcraft-on-a-creature creature. Still awesome. Wish it was bigger than 1/1 for four mana, though.

Retreat to KazanduRetreat to EmeriaOmnath, Locus of RageGuardian of Tazeem

So far, as of this article writing and printing, Battle for Zendikar is rockin' some awesome Landfall. I'm diggin the Retreats as enchantments with choices, and  the Sphinx is pretty much better than any of the previous blue landfall cards. Omnath is so awesome I am literally more stoked about it than any card previewed for any set, in recent history.


 

There are some near-misses, which are almost Landfall, but not quite. The first one to come to mind is the excellent Horn of Greed. Since this card states "whenever you play a land" it's not quite landfall. Landfall, as we'll talk about soon, can abuse land search cards. The horn can really only use stuff like Seek the Horizon and something like Gaea's Touch so we can drop more than one land a turn.

Ankh of Mishra and Zo-Zu the Punisher have what I like to call "everybody landfall" which is not to be confused with oppono-landfall, something we'll get to in a minute. This "everyone landfall" isn't particularly a good thing, though, unless you build around it. I actually have the Ankh in my Mogis deck, but it was decidedly creatureless, so Zo-Zu did not make the cut. Tectonic Instability is yet another "everyone landfall," but again, isn't a fun landfall but one to build around so that its annoying effect is slightly less annoying for you while seemingly being more annoying for your opponent. Seed the Land grants an "everyone landfall" with snakes for everyone.

The M14/M15 staves, like Staff of the Mind Magus are basic land type-specific landfalls. Baru, Fist of Krosa has an even weirder "everyone landfall" specifically for forests. While not being able to Grandeur (easily. It can be done, but not easily) in Commander, Baru can actually be pretty powerful and useful in a landfall deck that uses forests, so don't write off all these cards.

Finally, the new Nissa! She gives a nod to landfall by having it as part of the trigger that flips her, without expressly saying so. The landfall can only trigger once for her to flip, so it's an almost-landfall, for sure.

Oppono-landfall is what I call landfall that affects your opponents only.

Polluted Bonds is arguably the best one of them. There's also Invader Parasite, (Tunnel Ingus), and Shattered Angel which all have their uses. By the way, (Kiki-Jiki, Mirror-breaker) and Invader Parasite is a brutal combo. Keep that in your hat for another day.


 

Obviously, Magic the Gathering has a ridiculous amount of land searching cards, with Green holding the lion's share of them. To try and chronicle them all would be a monumental task, and would be a TL;DR effort on my part for most of you-- and I'd probably still forget one or two. So...

Green is loaded with land searchers. Everything from Wood Elves, to Perilous Forays. Harrow, Cultivate, Skyshroud Claim-- a personal favorite, the aforementioned Nissa, Three Visits-- I mean, really. There is far too much to cover. Green has the landsearching on lock, and all manner of ways to score up some land.

Which leads me to remind you all that things like Summer Bloom, Exploration, Kiora, Azusa, Gaea's Touch, Rites of Flourishing and all of its ilk can help you drop more than one land at a time, making Seek the Horizon and stuff even more valuable.

Also, Green has land on lock down pretty hard, but it doesn't own the trade entirely. Tithe, (Gift of the Estates), Land Tax, Kor Cartographer, Weathered Wayfarer, Pilgrim's Eye, Solemn Simulacrum, Wayfarer's Bauble, Urban Evolution, Dreamscape Artist, Liliana of the Dark Realms, Corpse Harvester, Merfolk Wayfinder, Sword of the Animist and any number of other cards I haven't mentioned but I'm sure you'll easily be able to find.

Searching lands, like the fetch lands from Onslaught/Khans and the enemy fetches from original Zendikar and the upcoming BFZ Zendikar Expeditions, as well as Evolving Wilds, Terramorphic Expanse, Flagstones of Trokair, Krosan Verge, the Panoramas from Shards, the tapfetchlands from Mirage Block, Terminal Moraine and so forth really help Landfall get rolling.

Thawing Glaciers can be particularly useful with landfall.

Don't forget, Onslaught Block and Shards Block featured Landcycling to help out with his too.

Karametra is an excellent Commander, which easily enables Landfall. I wrote an article about it during PureMTGO.com's land week.

Patron of the Moon may have slipped your radar, but if you are rocking blue in your landfall build, it's pretty fun.

Then there's this:

Oboro, Palace in the CloudsGhost TownBurgeoning

Oboro just helps enable landfall whenever, as can Ghost Town, but not as reliably. But, if you combine it with Burgeoning it can be really fun.

Karoo-bounce lands & Ravnica-bounces can also help enable.

Terrain Generator also helps enable things, and I'm sure there's tons more I'm missing.

Also, how remiss would I be if I didn't mention Knight of the Reliquary?


So there aew a few cads in magic that love how many lands you have in play. Scute Mob is the first that comes to mind, followed by Dragonmaster Outcast. Then there's (Molimo, Maro-Sorceror) and Allosaurus Rider. Then there's Budoka Gardener, which flips and loves how many lands you have. Garruk, Primal Hunter will deliver a huge wurm payload, depending upon the number of lands you have. While all this stuff doesn't directly affect or rely on Landfall, they have a great synergy. With landfall, you are tutoring up lands more than you're not, and with more lands, these things come online.

Now, let's talk Titania, Protector of Argoth. Cards that like sacrificing lands, also like to tutor for lands, which means they, by default--even if it's just a smattering-- love landfall cards. Crucible of Worlds, Life from the Loam, Lodestone Bauble, Restore and etc. fit into the puzzle very nicely, and, alongside cards like Oracle of Mul Daya, or Azusa, can make for a crazy fun situation.

Kruphix and the original Omnath love having floating mana. More floating mana comes from more lands. More lands come from tutoring. Tutoring lands and landfall are BFFLs. You see the pattern.

Meloku the Clouded Mirror and her moonfolk ilk love to return lands to do fun things, and that, in turn, helps landfall a lot. Trade Routes also can be employed in a similar vein.

Earthcraft can work wonders alongside landfall token-makers.

There's probably stuff I'm missing, but that's what the comment sections are for!


My all-time fav Landfall Combo, which enables a ton of other landfall triggers:

Stone-Seeder Hierophant  Thawing Glaciers


The New Omnath:

Though I would love to pontificate about and share with you all a new Omnath deck, based off the new one that is soon to be released, I'd rather wait on it until all of BFZ is spoiled. I plan to not only abuse its landfall ability, and the landfall ability of other cards, but to also make it an Elemental deck. I think about the Worldwakin' Nissa, turning my lands into Elementals, then sacrificing them to some land or creature outlet, which would kick off Omnath's 3-damage clause, and also Titania's 5/3 elemental trigger. Then I could cast Restore, and get an Elemental from Omnath. There are a lot of combos to explore, and I really, really am very excited about obtaining one and building a fun deck. I wish there was a way in red or green to do creature type changing shenanigans, so my beast tokens could become elementals. One thing's for sure, with all the Cultivates and spells, Young Pyromancer has a place in the deck. Molten Birth does too. The best of all will prove to be Firecat Blitz which will put out temporary elementals that you sacrifice for loads of damage. Come to think of it, if you had out Titana and Prismatic Omen you could flash it back, sacrifice all your lands for even more temporary elementals and gaining permanent 5/3 elementals. Sounds like now we gotta add in Purphoros. This deck is half built in my head, let's see what BFZ has in store, and we'll go from there.


Thanks for joining me again!

Did I miss anything you would've included? Lemme know in the comments below, or maybe shoot me a message in Twitter: @CmdrJohnnyBoosh.


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4 Comments

Yep lands matter. :D by Paul Leicht at Thu, 09/03/2015 - 12:23
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5

Yep lands matter. :D

"The Feldon just wants his by Procrastination at Thu, 09/03/2015 - 17:57
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"The Feldon just wants his Wife back." wait....awww. :[

Feldon to Urza and Mishra: by Adam_the_Mentat at Thu, 09/03/2015 - 20:26
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Feldon to Urza and Mishra: "This aggression will not stand, man."

I love Thawing Glaciers. If by Joe Fiorini at Fri, 09/04/2015 - 21:23
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I love Thawing Glaciers. If that card is playable in commander, that makes me more interested. :) Nice work man, these always look sweet!