Singleton Shmingleton - Commune with Nature
Wanna Join My Commune?
Welcome back to Singleton Shmingleton, where I bend the singleton rules of Commander by building decks with as many functional reprints of a certain card as possible. This week we're talking about the bluest card in green,! Cheap spells that replace themselves and offer card selection have provided consistency for strategies in every single format, letting you cut down on lands, play a wider sideboard spread, and always have the right answer in hand. In this light, seems unreal. For one mana, this cantrip lets you look five cards deep. Blue can only dream of such a range. For a long time, was the standard for selection spells, and that looked four deep for two mana. Even in today's Legacy, only lets you look at up to four cards if you shuffle. But is restricted in Vintage, and is unplayable in competitive formats. What gives?
Well, there are several problems, all stemming from the card type restriction of what you are allowed to put in hand. Unlike blue selection spells that allow you to take any type of card, Spellslinger decks look to chain together a ton of instants and sorceries to fuel Storm, Magecraft, or other payoffs. Blue cantrips help that strategy by looking deeper into the library to find more of themselves to cast. Green cantrips vary in what they can put in hand, but instants and sorceries are never on the list.doesn't let you trim lands. If you build a deck around or , you'll have so many looks to find enough lands to cast your spells, and trimming them will help you topdeck better in the late game. Another important drawback, especially in Commander, is that can't find more copies of itself or its functional reprints. Many
There are twenty-three one or two mana spells in green that look at some number of cards and put a card of a specific type in hand. Here they are:
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The most played of these cards isin 34,713 decks. It puts cards into the graveyard, and is easily recyclable as a creature. Next most popular is , in 23,264 decks, followed by good old in 13,446 decks. The least played card is , in 1179 decks, beating out by one decklist. The two-mana versions of this effect are not usually very desirable without considerable upside, and these two cards do not have that.
Green's design space for cantrips is pretty constrained, but despite that fact, these cards dig for a lot of different things. Many can select a creature or land, some can select any permanent,can select any colorless card, can get all lands, can get creatures or enchantments. If we want to use all of these, we'd need to pack our deck full of cards with multiple card types, like . But we have enough options that we can be selective. For each permanent type, how many cards are there that can select that type? For enchantments I got seven, creatures seventeen, and lands eighteen. So we've got a couple options now: build a deck aiming to use these cards to get creatures, or build one aiming to get lands. The creature aspect is a cool thought: a toolboxy deck that replaces spells with utility creatures and sees a lot of cards each game to find the right ones. But I have always wanted to build a deck that wins using its lands (not spells profiting off of lands, lands themselves) and this seems like the perfect opportunity. Seeing Modern Tron decks cast has awakened my desire to look five cards deep for a land.
How To Land a Threat
But how do we create winning plays with our lands? Well, there are some classic powerhouse lands that we've got to include.and combine to create a Flying, Indestructible 20/20, so that's in. makes us nearly impervious at a high cost, but combines well with a couple other cards in the deck. have to make the cut, even if finding all three in a singleton deck is harder than in Modern. I mean, we'll be seeing so many cards, right?
For other ways to win,can pump out an army of Zombies, especially if we can copy it with . And sometimes can take out a chunk of life all on its own. That's not the longest list of win conditions in the world, but finding a way to turn an engine into a win is usually the least important part of the game. Plus, once we throw in a couple can't-pass-up creatures like and , our threat suite is rounding out nicely.
The real meat of the deck is going to be all the utility lands we get to run. Cards likeand function as removal, can control the board, and can draw cards. New lands get printed all the time, and by now we're getting to a critical mass such that it's possible to do without spells for our gameplan.
Lets Speed Things Up
As for commanders, there was only ever one choice. This whole deck's purpose is to find lands and put them into our hand, and socompliments the strategy perfectly. For some redundancy, we can add in , , , and absolute powerhouse . Manabond is a doozy, but I honestly think it's underplayed, in only 2,184 decks. A lot of lands strategies will end up with a whole lot of lands in hand, and this lets you dump them all at once. Who cares about those spells you have to discard? If you didn't play them already, they weren't worth it.
In terms of speeding up our combos, there are plenty of very efficient land tutors.is the best, but and are also great. offers a fun take on (which itself is a fun take on ), and it combines especially well with effects that get back lands from the graveyard. And all of our card selection really does dig us deep enough that assembling Tron or creating isn't as far-fetched as it might sound.
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This strategy feels so close to powerful enough. The cantrips work like a charm, and we really do get to play a toolbox land game. The limiting factor is nothing more than the power and flexibility of the lands themselves. We've gotten a few incredibly powerful lands in the last few years, fromto , but the density isn't quite there to have interchangeable pieces like a creature deck might. This deck can absolutely win games, but most of those wins come from specifically or . I wouldn't be surprised to find this deck running like a well-oiled machine in a few years, as more and more utility lands see print, and I will be looking forward to that every day. I just love decks that operate on a completely different axis from a normal game of Magic, and this deck, where the spells are all replaceable and the lands are where the power lies, definitely scratches that itch for me.
Until Next Time
This card falls at the intersection of many of my favorite things: +1/+1 counters, sacrifice strategies, and cheap dorky creatures. What's not to love? There's a lot of room to explore with this creature, which sees play in less than 2,000 decks despite being reprinted in every Innistrad block to date. How big can this angry little dude get? Find out next time on Singleton Shmingleton!