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Thread: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

  1. #5541
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Updated version:


    //Lands: 23
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Prismatic Vista
    1 Tundra
    1 Volcanic Island
    1 Raugrin Triome
    3 Island
    2 Plains
    1 Mountain
    1 Karakas
    2 Otawara, Soaring City
    2 Wasteland
    1 Hall of Heliod's Generosity

    //Spells: 18
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    3 Prismatic Ending
    1 Force of Negation
    2 Supreme Verdict

    //Enchantments: 10
    3 Standstill
    2 Dress Down
    2 Court of Ardenvale
    3 Shark Typhoon

    //Creatures: 4
    2 Snapcaster Mage
    2 Timeless Dragon

    //Artifacts: 2
    2 Currency Converter

    //Planeswalkers: 3
    3 Teferi, Time Raveler

    //Sideboard: 15
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Pyroblast
    1 Red Elemental Blast
    1 Blue Elemental Blast
    2 Enlightened Tutor
    1 Grafdigger's Cage
    1 Ethersworn Canonist
    1 Powder Keg
    1 Serenity
    1 Null Rod
    1 Torpor Orb
    1 Blood Moon


    Court returning Powder Keg over and over was very powerful!
    It can now Wastelock people too!

    Manabase:
    16 blue
    13 white + 2 plainscycle
    Red accessible from any fetch
    Only 4 lands that don't tap for blue or white
    6 lands that can be used as spells to avoid flooding

    The sideboard is geared towards ETutorable old cards that shut down entire strategies, getting around the problem of recent power creep:

    Torpor Orb - Grief scam, Bowmasters, Initiative, Thassa, Solitude, Stoneforge Kaldra, Golos, Muxus, Yorion...

    Null Rod - The One Ring spamming, Staff control, Helm combo, artifact mana, Wishclaw Talisman, Soul-Guide Lantern

    Blood Moon - all your greedy nonbasics are shut off. Marit Lage (have to be careful not to lose to Force of Vigor), 4c/5c decks that would go over the top of this, Urza's Saga decks, Field of the Dead, 12post, Creative Technique sol land decks, random manlands that attack through Standstill, greedy MDFCs, greedy decks splashing Bowmasters

    Serenity - destroy all your artifact & enchantment spamming. Saga decks. The One Ring Forge decks. Beanstalk decks. Serenity can even be recurred with Court or Heliod

    Powder Keg - go wide strategies. Saga artifact spam decks. Staff token decks. Elves. D&T. Random aggro. Recurrable with Court for soft-lock.

    Canonist - play many spells strategies. Storm. Doomsday. Elves. Any combo deck trying to protect with counters or Veil.

    Cage - cheatyface strategies. Reanimator. Grief scam. Cute Reanimate packages. Uro. Zenith decks. Elves. 4monic tutor.

    Dress Down - Bowmasters, Saga constructs, hatebears, Thassa, Initiative, other random abilities

    I'm thinking about switching Grafdigger's Cage to Soul-Guide Lantern/Phyrexian Furnace to get the recurring graveyard hate, but Cage hating on Zenith/Elves is useful.
    Last edited by FTW; 09-15-2023 at 06:49 AM.

  2. #5542
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    I like your list FTW, I'll still double down on non-zero copies of Urza's Saga.
    Grabbing a Currency Converter and being replayed though either Hall or Court all under Standstill just seems too useful to pass up.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhale View Post
    Gross, other formats. I puked in my mouth a little.

  3. #5543
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateKing View Post
    I like your list FTW, I'll still double down on non-zero copies of Urza's Saga.
    Grabbing a Currency Converter and being replayed though either Hall or Court all under Standstill just seems too useful to pass up.
    Lost land drops is a big problem in hard control. Even in midrange decks with Tundra we do not see Daze for a reason. There is also a limit to how much colorless you can play; with the understanding that the primary reason Standstill decks lose has nothing to do with opposing strategies, but rather dying to your own mana not coming together. We also note that cycling Lorien into Currency Converter is, by itself, more than enough to win. Casting Brainstorm into your Standstill is a big yikes.

    Would only play Volc in UWr as a 1x if Lorien 2x was in the deck. Otherwise vastly prefer Plateau.

    @FTW the only thing Brainstorm is good for from the Standstill perspective is decreasing mulls due to 5 and 6 land hands. It does some other things on the side, but the more lands you play the smaller the hand (and the more likely the remaining hand is action spells you don't want to put away). When you run the number on odds of 5-6 land hands vs mulls due to 1 land can't keep, it becomes rapidly apparent that Lorien is a much much much better use of that slot by the numbers (particularly when running colorless lands and not-blue basics).

    Due to how much better Lorien is at reducing mulligans than Brainstorm, the most slots Brainstorm gets in my lists is 2x - and this is before factoring in how horrifically bad it is to Brainstorm into 40% Bowmaster format.

    tldr: Brainstorm and Saga are the stuff mulligans come from. Play Lorien, decrease mulls and go up on virtual Standstill copies (hardcast draw 3).

  4. #5544
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    @PirateKing: I used to play 2 Sagas. I cut them for the same reasons Fox mentions.

    Early Saga is great when they don't pop Standstill, but most players will pop Standstill immediately these days, especially once you play Saga (they'll see the writing on the wall between Saga & expected Shark Typhoons). Early game you can't afford a disappearing land or tying up all your mana to get value out of Saga. You need that mana available to interact and stabilize in an increasingly power-creeped format.

    Constructs are also worse with more decks maindecking Dress Down, including this one!

    Also, you can only fit in so many colorless lands while keeping the mana stable (Saga will eventually stabilize colors through Currency Converter or Expedition Map, but that takes a few turns). So Saga means cutting another colorless land (Wasteland, Heliod, Mountain). My older builds had Saga over Wasteland. Wasteland is just better in this meta. It answers a lot of things that could kill you through Standstill. Court now lets you present Wastelock against greedy manabases, even better! If there's room for more colorless, it probably goes to Wasteland #3 first. Heliod is an amazing lategame engine with Shark Typhoon, Standstill, Dress Down, Serenity, or Court (most things that answer it are "counter" or "destroy"), and Saga would be worse without Heliod. Mountain could perhaps go. A lot of players don't play it maindeck. Since this build is on Blood Moon and Wastelock instead of Back to Basics or Ruination, it's less punishing to not have basic Mountain. I personally like basics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    @FTW the only thing Brainstorm is good for from the Standstill perspective is decreasing mulls due to 5 and 6 land hands. It does some other things on the side, but the more lands you play the smaller the hand (and the more likely the remaining hand is action spells you don't want to put away). When you run the number on odds of 5-6 land hands vs mulls due to 1 land can't keep, it becomes rapidly apparent that Lorien is a much much much better use of that slot by the numbers (particularly when running colorless lands and not-blue basics).

    Due to how much better Lorien is at reducing mulligans than Brainstorm, the most slots Brainstorm gets in my lists is 2x - and this is before factoring in how horrifically bad it is to Brainstorm into 40% Bowmaster format.

    tldr: Brainstorm and Saga are the stuff mulligans come from. Play Lorien, decrease mulls and go up on virtual Standstill copies (hardcast draw 3).
    Interesting. So this is how you're playing around the Bowmaster format? 2 Brainstorm 2 Lorien instead of 4 Brainstorm?

    I guess Brainstorm has been becoming more of a liability for a while anyway with UWr Days running 4 Narset. It's just hard to cut on principle, with it being the pillar for blue for decades. But it is getting worse.

    With Lorien, Volc seems better than Plateau? Raugrin Triome is already the "Plateau" to get with Timeless.

  5. #5545
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    I've only run UWr Triome in the meme builds where red is more either more important (cycle turtle) or I need to hit RR (3cmc Chandra). It's also a card was used before we got better mana tools like Otawara, Converter, and Lorien. Triome is pretty high variance since you can't rely on it to be your second mana [can't lead basic then Triome and play the 2 drop that finds the next land], and Triome + Lorien is not a keep.

    Before Lorien the mana base was: 8x perfect Fetch, 3x Island, 2x Plains, 1x Mountain, 2x Tundra, 1x Plateau, 2x Otawara, 1x Karakas, 2x Wasteland + 1x flex slot (not a Volc). With Lorien the flex slot is a Volc. These setups meet the x+2 Plains rule for Timeless Dragon played as a 3-of.

    I don't decrease Brainstorms in favor of Lorien b/c Bowmasters exists. I do it b/c it makes the mana better. Invalidating Bowmaster is just a random benefit. In a 23 land setup there a 13.8% chance to have a 1-lander vs a 6.83% chance to have a 5, 6, or 7 lander (0.06% of that 6.83% is a 7 lander). So it's much more important to increase 1 land keeps (Lorien) than it is to decrease mulling 5 and 6 landers with Brainstorm. From the Standstill perspective, a slot invested in Lorien is more than twice as good as Brainstorm.

    In terms of Brainstorm representation, I play 2x in UR Dreadstill, 0x in UBw Landstill, and 0x in UWr Standstill. The setup for UR Dreadstill is 2x Lorien, 1x Furnace, 1x Currency, 2x Brainstorm. The setup for UWr Standstill is 2x Currency, 3x Lorien. The setup for UBw Landstill is 1x Currency, 2x Cling, 2x Lorien.

    Concerning the sequence of opening hands with at least 2 lands into always get 2 mana into always have cards that use that 2 mana to grab the next land off the top...UR runs 15 slots (not counting Brainstorm or Saga find artifact), UBw runs 13 slots, and UWr runs 16 slots.

  6. #5546

    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    How often is Lorien better than Razortide Bridge or Sea-Gate Restoration? If you care about wasteland, bridge produces 2 colours through wasteland instead of 1. If you care about pitch count, sea gate can do that while providing untapped mana.

    Lorien can combo with your 2 of converter and occasionally be hard cast. That seems way less important than letting you keep “0-landers” (not counting the card itself).

  7. #5547
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    How often is Lorien better than Razortide Bridge or Sea-Gate Restoration? If you care about wasteland, bridge produces 2 colours through wasteland instead of 1. If you care about pitch count, sea gate can do that while providing untapped mana.

    Lorien can combo with your 2 of converter and occasionally be hard cast. That seems way less important than letting you keep “0-landers” (not counting the card itself).
    Bridge enters tapped.

    Lorien can get basic or dual, cycles through Standstill (cantrips don't), makes a 2/2 with converter, costs 0 life for the slow control deck, and does "draw 3" late more often than Sea Gate is useable. I definitely see the arguments for Lorien. I was just surprised it came with cutting Brainstorm.

  8. #5548
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    Before Lorien the mana base was: 8x perfect Fetch, 3x Island, 2x Plains, 1x Mountain, 2x Tundra, 1x Plateau, 2x Otawara, 1x Karakas, 2x Wasteland + 1x flex slot (not a Volc). With Lorien the flex slot is a Volc. These setups meet the x+2 Plains rule for Timeless Dragon played as a 3-of.
    So we're on almost identical pre-Lorien mana.

    I'm on just 2 Timeless, so only 2 white duals needed. I've found the 3rd Shark better than the 3rd Timeless, though I appreciate Timeless helping mana stability. Maybe with less Brainstorm the 3rd Timeless is needed, forcing Tundra x2.

    I originally had 1 Tundra, 1 Volc, 1 Plateau. I recently turned Plateau into Raugrin due to a few too many hands without blue and other games drawing too many lands in a row (cycling!). Lorien would fix that even better. The ETB tapped is annoying.

  9. #5549

    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Bridge enters tapped.

    Lorien can get basic or dual, cycles through Standstill (cantrips don't), makes a 2/2 with converter, costs 0 life for the slow control deck, and does "draw 3" late more often than Sea Gate is useable. I definitely see the arguments for Lorien. I was just surprised it came with cutting Brainstorm.
    In a hand with 1 other land and a 2 drop, tapped and paying 1 to cycle is equivalent. You have 0 mana t1 but 2 t2.

  10. #5550
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    In a hand with 1 other land and a 2 drop, tapped and paying 1 to cycle is equivalent. You have 0 mana t1 but 2 t2.
    True. But it only has that mode, while Lorien includes other modes too. They're equivalent on turn 1 but Bridge leads to more flooding late (higher number of non-spell lands).

    Edit: Compared to Sea Gate, Lorien can access more colors and is castable more often.

  11. #5551

    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Brainstorm is way better at getting rid of excess lands than Lorien. If the issue is that brainstorm isn’t quite as good as Lorien at finding lands early, the solution is not to cut brainstorm for lorien. The solution is to run more actual lands and less spells.

  12. #5552
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    It's not close. Lorien is vastly better than Sea Gate and Razortide; every deck across every archetype that runs the landcyclers tells us this (because they don't play those over landcyclers). Razortide is just a land, that's all it can ever be. Lorien is a land, it's a pitch card, it's a draw 3 (very often actually b/c we have basics and we get to this mana level routinely), and it has internal combos. Also when it cycles it increases the likelihood that we don't flood out on lands by virtue of taking a land out of the deck.

    Concerning Sea Gate, it costs life in a color set that is really bad at gaining life (there are very few competitive cards white has that do this). It costs more than Lorien, and by the time it is castable you're probably drawing at best equal cards to Lorien since you needed 6 lands in play. Again the card suffers from not reducing chance of flood.

  13. #5553
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    Brainstorm is way better at getting rid of excess lands than Lorien. If the issue is that brainstorm isn’t quite as good as Lorien at finding lands early, the solution is not to cut brainstorm for lorien. The solution is to run more actual lands and less spells.
    You don't seem to understand this concept: if Standstill opens a hand with 2-4 lands, we're playing all of them. If we have a land, we're playing it. We are not a midrange deck, we have action at 0,1,2,3,4,5,6, and higher mana. We are not going to have large hands with excess lands to Brainstorm away; this is a very uncommon scenario, and one that would have been addressed by Currency Converter.

    The one thing we care about with Brainstorm is that it lets us keep 5 and 6 land hands that have a Brainstorm. After that, we really don't need it - especially with Bowmaster at 40%.

    Imagine a midgame where you've played all your lands. Your hand has no lands. You by definition have a hand that is just action. Let us suppose it is a 3 card hand, and 1 card is a Brainstorm. If I cast the Brainstorm and replace it's spot in hand with a Fetch (i.e. not action), I end the turn with less action than I started with.

    Cards like Otawara are very important in this equation as well since we historically would have flooded, but now that land is a spell. So again, that flood protection Brainstorm offers us is decreasing as time progresses.

  14. #5554
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    Imagine a midgame where you've played all your lands. Your hand has no lands. You by definition have a hand that is just action. Let us suppose it is a 3 card hand, and 1 card is a Brainstorm. If I cast the Brainstorm and replace it's spot in hand with a Fetch (i.e. not action), I end the turn with less action than I started with.

    Cards like Otawara are very important in this equation as well since we historically would have flooded, but now that land is a spell. So again, that flood protection Brainstorm offers us is decreasing as time progresses.
    I suppose they're imagining a Delver midgame where you've been sandbagging lands to return with Brainstorm. Landstill never does that. You keep playing out lands most of the time, so in the lategame you'd rather just Draw 3 instead of draw 3 and return 2, and you'll either have the mana to pay 3UU or can afford to cycle into more land - much like Timeless Dragon.

    I still like Brainstorm for efficient hand filtering (including nonlands), but that may be out of habit and nostalgia than necessity. I'll try testing a 2/2 split with Lorien first and see how that goes. It looks like you've just replaced 4 Brainstorm with 3 Lorien 1 Timeless. If so, then I see your argument about it still fixing the early game mana (with less pressure on turn 1 blue that's been present post-Astrolabe) while giving more relevant action late. The only place you'd suffer is the 5-land opening hands or some other early tempo plays where you need to convert the wrong action into the right action.
    Last edited by FTW; 09-15-2023 at 01:06 PM.

  15. #5555

    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    I think you misunderstand me. The comparison is not Lorien to brainstorm, it is Lorien and {worst blue spell in deck} to brainstorm + more actual lands/sea gate.

    There are 7 cases.

    • You have the 2 cards + 5 non lands. Lorien + spell is a forced null, the brainstorm + land hand is risky but functional.
    • You have the 1 of the cards + 6 non lands. Probably a mull for both.
    • You have 5-6 lands and the “land”. Not doing anything until t5 is not a real plan, so mull for both Lorien and actual land.
    • You have 5-6 lands and the “spell”. Brainstorm fixes that hand, [worst spell] doesn’t.
    • You have 1 land and the “land”. An actual land/sea gate lets you go t1 plow, t2 standstill. Or t1 converter, t2 timeless dragon. Whatever your strong early plays are. Lorien does not.
    • You have a nice mix of everything and the “land”. You aren’t going to spend 5 mana drawing with a good hand, so untapped land wins here.
    • You have a nice mix of everything and the “spell”. Brainstorm does require you to spend an extra mana for a spell compared to having it, but spells aren’t always useful. Plowshares is going to sometimes be dead but brainstorm won’t be. Slight win for spell here.


    Brainstorm + land is strongly better in one of the flooded cases, 1 of the good hand cases, and 2 of the screwed cases.. Spell + Lorien is strongly better in the lategame topdeck as you mentioned, and slightly better in the good hand situation.

  16. #5556
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Brainstorm + land/Sea Gate vs Lorien + worst blue card:

    There are already 23 lands. More lands that don't have a spell-mode lead to flooding, so that option is out. The land needs to be a "spell". Ideally colored or it doesn't help the early plays. 3rd Otawara is sketchy due to legend rule. What's the land, Sea Gate?

    Sea Gate in place of that "land" is just worse than Lorien, might as well be Lorien instead. Then both Loriens cancel out.

    Unless you have a better spell-land to play, the comparison reduces to Brainstorm vs worst blue card. Tbh that worst card may be Brainstorm in a format with 50% on Bowmaster or Narset. There might be an argument to keep Brainstorm over other blue cards. That's a separate issue.

    Sea Gate vs Lorien
    Sea Gate's only advantage is it can enter untapped for blue at the cost of 3 life. That's an acceptable cost for fast decks. 3 life is punishing for UWr control.

    If Sea Gate enters tapped, then Lorien outclasses it multiple ways. Lorien fixes for any color, not just blue. Lorien can get a basic vs nonbasic hate. Lorien thins lands out of the deck improving lategame draws. Lategame Lorien draws cards at a more reasonable cost (3UU), while 4UUU is still difficult. Lorien is guaranteed to draw 3 while lategame topdeck Sea Gate may draw 1-2 if you've played out 7 lands. Lorien makes a 2/2 with converter, Sea Gate doesn't. The only thing Sea Gate can do better is untapped blue for 3 life, and control wants that less than other decks do. This is not a controversial opinion. 4c/5c Yorion decks are all on Lorien and 0 Sea Gate. Preferring Sea Gate is tempo thinking vs control thinking.

    The 7 cases aren't all equal
    As Fox's math showed, the 5-6 land cases where Brainstorm wins are much less probable than the 1-2 land cases. Those scenarios don't get equal weights. The 1-land hands happen more often.

    The 1-lander with Lorien is keepable, since the deck has many 2 mana plays to find land 3. The 1-lander with just Brainstorm is less keepable (high risk of Brainstorm lock into game loss).

    The 1-lander + Sea Gate theoretically lets you curve out T1 spell T2 Standstill; the Lorien hand would mean you can't play action on T1 to jam T2 Standstill. But this is not a tempo deck, you're not forced to jam. Paying 3 life to jam faster is not what control wants. If the coast is not clear you can slow down a turn to manage the board and then T3 Standstill, ahead 3 life and drawing into better topdecks.
    Last edited by FTW; 09-15-2023 at 03:17 PM.

  17. #5557

    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Brainstorm + land/Sea Gate vs Lorien + worst blue card:

    There are already 23 lands. More lands that don't have a spell-mode lead to flooding, so that option is out. The land needs to be a "spell". Ideally colored or it doesn't help the early plays. 3rd Otawara is sketchy due to legend rule. What's the land, Sea Gate?


    The 7 cases aren't all equal
    As Fox's math showed, the 5-6 land cases where Brainstorm wins are much less probable than the 1-2 land cases. Those scenarios don't get equal weights. The 1-land hands happen more often.

    The 1-lander with Lorien is keepable, since the deck has many 2 mana plays to find land 3. The 1-lander with just Brainstorm is less keepable (high risk of Brainstorm lock into game loss).

    The 1-lander + Sea Gate theoretically lets you curve out T1 spell T2 Standstill; the Lorien hand would mean you can't play action on T1 to jam T2 Standstill. But this is not a tempo deck, you're not forced to jam. Paying 3 life to jam faster is not what control wants. If the coast is not clear you can slow down a turn to manage the board and then T3 Standstill, ahead 3 life and drawing into better topdecks.
    You kinda beg the question though with your first point. You can’t discount running more lands. My whole premise is that brainstorm deals with flood better than Lorien deals with screw, so you should just play brainstorm and more lands. If land drops are so important that you can’t Give them to find gas, why are you pitching your lands to fow? If force is not a concern, than yah just play tundra or a fetch.

    Basically any 1 drop in the game is going to do more damage than a lava spike nowadays. I’m not just jamming; the reality is that control needs to have 2 answers before t3 a lot of the time. If your opponent goes saga, petal, Emry, and you have fetch Lorien plow dress down, which would you rather give up? Not plowing on t1 so Emry gets something, not holding up dress down t2 so you get smacked by a giant construct and they get 2 cards from thoughtkeeper , or 3 life because that Lorien is a sea gate?

  18. #5558
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    The 1-lander + Sea Gate theoretically lets you curve out T1 spell T2 Standstill; the Lorien hand would mean you can't play action on T1 to jam T2 Standstill. But this is not a tempo deck, you're not forced to jam. Paying 3 life to jam faster is not what control wants. If the coast is not clear you can slow down a turn to manage the board and then T3 Standstill, ahead 3 life and drawing into better topdecks.
    There's also almost nothing to jam for in this deck...except for Lorien or Currency. We're not going to play aggro -3 life Island to slammajamma Brainstorm before turn 2.

  19. #5559
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    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    You kinda beg the question though with your first point. You can’t discount running more lands. My whole premise is that brainstorm deals with flood better than Lorien deals with screw, so you should just play brainstorm and more lands. If land drops are so important that you can’t Give them to find gas, why are you pitching your lands to fow? If force is not a concern, than yah just play tundra or a fetch.

    Basically any 1 drop in the game is going to do more damage than a lava spike nowadays. I’m not just jamming; the reality is that control needs to have 2 answers before t3 a lot of the time. If your opponent goes saga, petal, Emry, and you have fetch Lorien plow dress down, which would you rather give up? Not plowing on t1 so Emry gets something, not holding up dress down t2 so you get smacked by a giant construct and they get 2 cards from thoughtkeeper , or 3 life because that Lorien is a sea gate?
    Again, this isn't a controversial opinion. Look at top non-Standstill UWr lists or other fair blue control lists. They're on Lorien but 0 Sea Gates & 0 tapped artifact lands. You only see Sea Gates in fast decks like 8cast and combo, decks that care more about tempo. Control doesn't want to pay 3 life to power out untapped lands. The land-thinning, color fixing , 0 life, and 3UU draw 3 is overall better.

    You do pay some small cost in the exact scenario you presented where Sea Gate/Lorien + white source are your only mana sources, opponent has many fast plays, and you want to curve out T1 Swords T2 Dress Down/Ending @ 2 or else you'll fall behind more than 3 life. In that exact scenario, you'd be OK with paying 3 life for faster mana. But in a ton of other scenarios your curve out isn't affected much and Lorien does more useful things that Sea Gate cannot: fixing colors, getting basic, making 2/2, drawing cards more efficiently in topdeck mode. Lorien is a modal card. It's not strictly better. But overall the value of those modes outweighs that Sea Gate might accelerate you in one narrow scenario.

    Brainstorm isn't enough to smooth out the bad scenarios because statistically you'll see that Sea Gate/land without Brainstorm much more often than you see it with Brainstorm.

    If you can't curve out answers fast enough, it's not the end of the world. Control has ways to "catch up" if it didn't keep up with a fast deck's tempo on turns 1-2. Control doesn't have to 1-for-1 match each play. Cards like Supreme Verdict catch up. However control needs to have higher quality topdecks. The game will go 20 turns, and you cannot let a tempo or midrange deck outdraw you. You have to be favored in the long game. Otherwise the entire strategy of disrupting and extending the game is futile. Sea Gate or extra land are much worse topdecks than Lorien. Sea Gate or extra land are worse in the land flood cases. In the 1-land cases Lorien is usually enough. It's only worse if the rest of your hand & opponent's plays dictate you need a line like T1 Swords T2 Dress Down. But keep in mind both Brainstorm and Ponder also fail to play fast enough in those 1-land hands, yet blue players still play those hands. Cantripping also costs 1 mana of early tempo. They don't see that as a reason to cut Ponder for more lands (even if Brainstorm can fix the flood).

    At this stage Lorien is a tested, proven and uncontroversial choice.

    The controversial thing is whether to cut Brainstorm. Like I said, that reduces to a separate analysis of Brainstorm vs worst other blue card in the deck. Maybe Brainstorm still deserves a spot over that. I'm not convinced Brainstorm is dead yet and am testing a split. But Lorien is better than Sea Gate.

    Brainstorm is generally worse in Standstill than it is in Xerox decks, because the underlying deck mechanic is different. Cantrips don't play well under Standstill. You prefer non-spell actions like cycling. Standstill doesn't depend on cantips to hit land drops or fix colors the way Xerox does: Standstill is less greedy with colors, plays more lands, and plays other ways to fix mana. Standstill also doesn't sandbag lands like most other blue decks do, so Brainstorm usually only converts nonlands to other nonlands. It loses the common case of converting extra lands into action. Brainstorm is still cheap hand sculpting. But it does do less here than in typical Xerox decks. Meanwhile the meta is full of Brainstorm hate, punishing Brainstorming in a deck already full of "draw" effects, so Fox may be onto something. Remember that other Brainstorm decks aren't on 6+ other "draw 3"s too. You can only board out so many slots vs 4 Bowmaster/4 Narset decks. Draw3 into Bowmaster is -6, in a slow deck with no lifegain. The other draw 3s at least put you +2 cards to compensate for the risk, while Brainstorm leaves you +0 cards (sometimes worse) just to sculpt. So if you have to trim on draw3s vs hate, Brainstorm has the worst risk-reward tradeoff.
    Last edited by FTW; 09-19-2023 at 05:29 AM.

  20. #5560
    Member

    Join Date

    Sep 2011
    Posts

    5,005

    Re: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    The Enigma Jewel, aka blue Sol Ring, looks like it has potential here. It curves out turn 1 under Standstill, pitches to Force, and pays for all the many activated abilities.

    I've been testing this and it was running well. I went greedier on the Saga package because of the extra mana boost.


    //Lands: 22
    4 Flooded Strand
    3 Prismatic Vista
    2 Tundra
    1 Volcanic Island
    1 Plateau
    3 Island
    2 Plains
    1 Karakas
    1 Otawara, Soaring City
    3 Urza's Saga
    1 Hall of Heliod's Generosity

    //Spells: 16
    4 Force of Will
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    3 Prismatic Ending
    1 Force of Negation
    2 Supreme Verdict
    2 Lorien Revealed

    //Enchantments: 8
    4 Standstill
    4 Shark Typhoon

    //Artifacts: 8
    3 The Enigma Jewel
    3 Currency Converter
    1 Expedition Map
    1 Immovable Rod

    //Creatures: 3
    3 Timeless Dragon

    //Planeswalkers: 3
    2 Teferi, Time Raveler
    1 Comet, Stellar Pup

    //Sideboard:
    2 Pyroblast
    1 Red Elemental Blast
    1 Blue Elemental Blast
    1 Flusterstorm
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Enlightened Tutor
    1 Alpine Moon
    1 Relic of Progenitus
    1 Serenity
    1 Powder Keg
    1 Dress Down
    1 Humility


    Sol Ring pays for:
    Saga
    Currency Converter
    Timeless Dragon
    Shark Typhoon
    Hall of Heliod's Generosity
    Map
    Otawara
    Lorien
    Immovable Rod (unplayable without Sol Ring)

    Useful abilities it can Craft & double up:
    Comet (needs 0 loyalty to activate)
    Teferi - (if Comet added loyalty)
    Currency Converter both
    Immovable Rod
    Relic
    Last edited by FTW; 11-07-2023 at 01:56 PM.

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