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June 20, 2019

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Tiny Leaders: Magical Christmas Lands

With the release of Modern Horizons comes the opportunity to try out a lot of new cards, and one of the cards I am personally excited to try out is the new planeswalker Wrenn and Six. Priced to move, this card weighs in at a measly two mana and does it all. We all know how busted two mana planeswalkers like Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded are. A two mana planeswalker with an uptick that provides card advantage is already enough to get my attention, but the ability to take care of some of the most annoying one and two drops in the game like Delver of Secrets, Mother of Runes, Llanowar Elves, Dark Confidant, and Young Pyromancer before they can get out of hand really sells me on it. If ever there was a commander that screamed to have a lands control deck build around it, this is the one. Let’s take a look at a first pass on the deck.

”Wrenn

Commander (1)
Wrenn and Six

Main (49)
Arid Mesa
Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Barbarian Ring
Cinder Glade
Command Beacon
Command Tower
Courser of Kruphix
Crop Rotation
Dark Depths
Evolution Sage
Exploration
Forgotten Cave
Gamble
Ghost Quarter
Glacial Chasm
Grapple with the Past
Ground Assault
Into the North
Life from the Loam
Lightning Bolt
Living Twister
Maze of Ith
Molten Vortex
Mulch
Nissa, Vastwood Seer
Ramunap Excavator
Realms Uncharted
Restore
Rootbound Crag
Satyr Wayfinder
Scrying Sheets
Seismic Assault
Sheltered Thicket
Snow-Covered Forest
Snow-Covered Mountain
Stomping Ground
Sylvan Scrying
Thespian’s Stage
Tireless Tracker
Tranquil Thicket
Vesuva
Wasteland
Winding Way
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (10)
Blast Zone
Crawling Sensation
Destructive Revelry
Krosan Grip
Mouth of Ronom
Nature’s Claim
Natural State
Pulse of Murasa
Return to Nature
Tormod’s Crypt

Yes, you counted right – we’re playing a full 26 lands. I know that seems like a lot in a 50 card deck but don’t worry, there’s a plan. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with the lands package. Playing two colours means we have lots of room for utility lands. These are cards like Maze of Ith and Glacial Chasm that stop opponents from killing you for long enough to enact your game plan, for example. Barbarian Ring also plays this part pretty well, with the added bonus that when the game goes long, recurring it every turn with Wrenn and Six is a great way to kill your opponent. Of course, no lands deck would be complete without the Dark DepthsThespian’s Stage combo. If you’re not familiar with the combo, it works like this: you play your Dark Depths, and your Thespian’s Stage. Using Thespian’s Stage’s second ability, you make it a copy of Dark Depths. Now, Dark Depths is legendary, so you’ll have to sacrifice one of them. You sacrifice the real dark depths and keep the Thespian’s Stage copy. Then, since Thespian’s Stage never had the 10 counters put on it that the real Dark Depths did, its last ability immediately triggers, sacrificing itself to create a 20/20 flying, indestructible Marit Lage token.

Then there’s the bread and butter of the deck, Wasteland and Ghost Quarter. If you’ve ever played legacy, you probably know the pain of getting Wastelanded out of a game, and we are about to do that to our opponents. Even without any help, Wasteland with Wrenn and Six is a great combo, putting them off a land every turn, but when you combine it with Ramunap Excavator getting it back as many times per turn as you need and cards like Exploration and Azusa, Lost but Seeking letting you play it effectively as many times as you want per turn, your opponents will be hard pressed to keep any lands on the battlefield. In the cases where Wasteland is going to do the job, we have Ghost Quarter to take over the reins. While Strip Mine this card isn’t, if you recur it enough times with Wrenn and Six your opponent will be out of basics eventually and it’ll start doing the same job.

The decision to use Snow-Covered basics wasn’t just because the new full art ones look so pretty. Playing snow basics means that instead of playing Rampant Growth, we can play Into the North to do the same job, but with the added bonus of being able to get Dark Depths if you’re short a piece of the combo. Of course, if you’re not going for the combo kill, you can always forego Dark Depths to get your Scrying Sheets instead. Since we’re using snow basics we should always be able to activate it, and since we’re playing 26 lands in the deck we’ll be drawing cards off of it pretty often.

The rest of the deck is fairly self-explanatory, mostly focused on gaining some value while filling the graveyard with cards like Satyr Wayfinder, Grapple with the Past, Mulch, and Winding Way. The reason for this is because we want to get our most powerful engine online as fast as possible – namely Life from the Loam. This card is what is going to fuel the deck the best most of the time, replacing your draw steps with drawing three lands. Once we have all those lands in hand we can control the board or even just win the game with Molten Vortex and Living Twister. And of course, no discussion of lands and value would be complete without the best card ever printed, Tireless Tracker.

The last thing of note about the deck is a lonely Lightning Bolt floating in the deck. Despite being one of the most powerful and efficient red cards ever printed, that’s not why it’s included here. What we haven’t talked about yet is what happens if you manage to get Wrenn and Six’s ultimate off, which gives all the instant and sorcery cards in your graveyard retrace, meaning you can cast them from your graveyard over and over again by discarding a land card from your hand every time you cast it. If you do manage to pull this off, you presumably have a hand jam packed with lands from all the times you used our favourite Guardian of the Galaxy’s plus ability, and a bunch of red mana floating around on the board. If that’s the case, and we have a bolt in the bin, the game is effectively over as now every land card in your hand is a lightning bolt, and our opponent’s face is going to be looking pretty tempting.