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Superior Numbers – Loving Lands that Limit Losses
You Got Nothin’ to Lose
Welcome to Superior Numbers, where I conduct numerical analysis on cards and deckbuilding trends using just a little bit of math. This week I’m going to put those things to work telling you about some lands that help you lose less.
Yep, I’m gonna talk about “not losing” as opposed to “winning”. There’s plenty of other articles about that whole victory thing. Did you knowends games? It does, and putting one in your deck increases your chances of walking away with the W. Done.
Not losing, though? That’s a little different. That’s what you do while you wait to have enough bodies in play to cast that ‘Hoof, and today I want to talk about some lands that make that happen. Why lands? Because they can go in any deck. There are some silver bullet not-gonna-lose cards in specific colors, but those might not do you a lot of good if you can’t legally run them. Lands, though? We all run lands, and these are some lands that keep you from losing.
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
and are both better than these three, and some folks like because it sticks around. The first two are also $20 or so each, and is sitting around $10, whereas the three cards above can be purchased for $1. If you have and , obviously run them, but regardless of which you’re running I’m going to posit that every EDH deck you build should have 2 if not 3 land destruction lands, full stop.
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The above cards will win the game for your opponent if left unchecked, and they’re all in a LOT of decks. The mana that Coffers, Stronghold, Cradle, Sanctum, Nykthos, and the two transforming Ixalan enchantments can generate can be almost insurmountable, while Depths and Abbey will throw a creature at you that can be impossible to deal with, andcan generate a ton of 2/2 Zombies even without Landfall trickery. Valakut can deal lethal off of a or , or at the very least make it miserable to keep a creature alive and in play.
Those are just the obvious ones, too. An alpha strike on an opponent with an activatedcan gain so much life that it effectively buys someone multiple turns before they die. An might be able to go get a that locks you out of the game.
You will almost always need to stop those things from happening or else you will just lose, and, unlike some problems, every single deck can run answers to these land-based threats. Find a spot for them. You will not regret it, and they’ll make you lose less.
Some notes on the bargain land removal lands:
does ramp the other two bystander opponents by one land, but proportionally there isn’t really a difference between everyone being at six lands and using your to remove a to knock things to 5/5/6/6 or using the to turn that 6/6/6/6 to 6/6/7/7. You do run the risk of mana-fixing a bystander opponent, or ramping them into their big turn early, but that’s a fairly low occurrence, and probably worth the risk if you don’t want to drop $20 on a .
Field can also be used to screw up an opponent’s top deck tutor or recursion from a-type effect, and that shouldn’t be overlooked given how predominate those effects are; is the fourth-most popular black card on EDHREC, after all.
lets our opponent replace a land, but it should be noted that it doesn’t have to target an opponent. I’ve seen a desperate player blow up their own land to fetch a basic of a color they desperately needed or to desperately get a shuffle effect with a when they needed an answer on top of the library. With some kind of effect out to play lands from the graveyard, it can be used as a desperate way to proc Landfall triggers, as well. None of those are reasons to run , really, given they’re one-in-500-game-type plays, but they’re definitely worth noting.
Goodnight you loser, you midnight moonlight user
Joey “as a necromancer myself” Schultz. Possibly all three.should be in every single deck, and if you disagree it’s because you’re wrong, you’re drunk, or you’re
If someone casts a, , or overloaded , you will lose, because almost nobody casts those cards unless they’ve set up a game-winning graveyard. It doesn’t have to be that dramatic, though. bringing back a when your is suited up like he just left Saville Row can also lose you the game. getting an extra turn off of a milled might be enough to ensure that you never get another turn. Even something as simple as stopping someone from casting a that they pulled off a can be enough to keep an opponent from turning the corner.
And hey, if you’re looking for another reason to run the land destruction lands, taking out someone else’sbefore you make your own big graveyard play is as good a reason as any.
I want a name when I lose
isn’t right for every deck. I firmly believe that you should have multiple land destruction lands and a in every list you build, but I’m not sure that the same is true for . Still, it’s a really good card that, while maybe a little meta-dependent, can also keep you from losing games by keeping someone else from winning them.
In some decks, losing your commander is tantamount to losing the game, and there’re plenty of ways out there to lose your commander.is in 4,107 decks, in another 2,466, and in 4,449. That’s just direct obvious theft effects, too. can steal from any graveyard, and it’s in almost 22,000 decks. is in 8,774 decks and can steal a thing from each graveyard.
And class, what’s the rule with, a card that shows up in 5,692 decks? Always choose ‘money’. We don’t want them to get too many turns, even if it means they steal our stuff. And if they steal creatures, can bring it back later.
It’s not just cards in the 99, either. There are 387decks in our database and another 277 lead by . isn’t restricted to creatures, but you can bet that the pilot will take one if it’s the best option, and there are another 622 Gonti decks populating EDHREC.
will not win you games, short of someone using to snag an from your deck before casting without noticing your untapped nonbasic (a thing I’ve actually seen happen). It will, however, keep you from losing, and you need to not lose before you can win.
‘Cause we have all been losers
is the 9th most popular artifact in decks in the last two years and is number 11. That’s it. That’s the pitch.
Need more? There are 18 different commanders with either hexproof, conditional hexproof, or the ability to grant hexproof, and another four with shroud. Some of them are quite popular, too;heads 1,498 decks, leads another 641, and has 551.
and are popular cards as well, showing up in over 14,000 decks combined.
This is the pair of lands that I’m most ambivalent about, though I’m not sure why. I see Greaves and Boots a lot, but when I’ve ran Lighthouse I never seemed to have it when I saw them, or never saw them when I had it. It’s also probably also a meta call; if you see an Uril deck twice a night then these are much more effective than in an environment where you don’t. Still, when they work, they make it a lot harder for you to lose.
Baby, even the losers get lucky sometimes
This is a topic I’ll probably revisit down the road with some color-specific cards, but for now I wanted to touch primarily on the lands as they can slot in almost anywhere, short of maybe a really color-greedy five-color list.
Are there any other particular loss prevention lands you run in every deck? Isconsistent enough to make the cut? What about ? Sound off in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!