How They Brew It - Ashnod's Grixis Landfall

Michael Celani • April 4, 2023

Ashnod the Uncaring | Illustrated by Kieran Yanner

Nothing in this article is to be construed as support for or against anyone or anything at all, with the exception of putting peanut butter on hot dogs. I know who you are.

Less Miserables

Greetings, my brothers and sisters! I, revolution leader Michael Celani, bring news from the front! The tyrant, his Repugnancy King Alexander Ferdinand Charles Augustus Francis James Philips Screwdriver LXIX, is dead! We have broken free of the prison that is feudalism! No longer shall we suffer the slings and arrows of taxation without refrigeration! We are the masters of the house! Now to take this to the rest of the upper class, and--

Hold on, we ate all the rich people? With aioli, you say? Well, surely, the entrenched oligarchy that-- with aioli, you say. Okay, then, how about corrupt bureaucratic individuals? Telemarketers? Anyone I don't personally like? ...Damn, the revolution really succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. What do I even do now?

Well first, our nascent state, the newly established People's Republic for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has to divvy up all the palatial estates we rightfully reclaimed from the tyrants that stole them from us by being rich. And there's nobody that can get value out of wanton destruction quite like our Executioner Supreme, Ashnod the Uncaring, who copies any activated ability that requires sacrifice from an artifact or a creature. Plenty of permanents were sacrificed to get that land, and Ashnod helped. We're building an entire Landfall deck to base our country on, so let's get started!

Drawing up a Constitution

The weird thing is systematically hunting down everybody with money was the easy part. In fact, let me regale you with the glorious, five-minute history of our three-minutes-old country. We'd just summoned Ashnod the Uncaring to the battlefield, and had this suite of artifacts that sacrificed themselves to put lands there. The historical record is fuzzy from here, but it's widely agreed that after, Mega-Nixon came down in a spaceship from the Moon to destroy the EPA. And also we played these cards:

  • Burnished Hart demonstrates the theme of this deck perfectly; since it's an artifact, Ashnod the Uncaring doubles its activated ability when it sacrifices itself, ramping us by four instead of two and, in turn, granting us way more Landfall triggers. Even Tatyova, Benthic Druid players are blushing.
  • Wayfarer's Bauble is the classic colorless Untamed Wilds, but since history is written by the winners, it's actually closer to Explosive Vegetation in our book.
  • This deck is going to be running almost every fetch land it has access to, meaning Mirran Safehouse is a safehouse bet. It practically acts as an artifact copy of your best fetch land and finds two land drops for cheap.
    • You can even play it over and over with Emry, Lurker of the Loch, who, according to our statistics, is not actually rich, and therefore wasn't targeted. Who knew?
  • Finally, Navigation Orb, which is not something I need because I'm not lost, Mom, is a worse Cultivate in many scenarios, but it does search out Gates -- which our deck contains none of. Sorry for getting your hopes up! April 3rd!

But you don't necessarily have to put the lands directly onto the battlefield to ramp. Even just guaranteeing your land drop each turn will put you ahead of a majority of opponents at the table, and that's why drawing is central to our history.

  • Burn any creature or artifact to Dockside Chef and get treated to a card -- with seconds, to boot!
    • Etherium Astrolabe only sacrifices artifacts, but it's got some flash and can always sacrifice itself in a pinch.
  • Soul-Guide Lantern, Surgical Skullbomb, Mind Stone, and Commander's Sphere each have some minor utility, but you can also turn them into gas faster than BP with a barrel of crude.
    • Mnemonic Sphere has no such utility, but you're getting four cards, and can even cycle Channel it if you want to complain that it really should have been a Cycling ability.
  • Culling Dais may look quaint, but you'll notice that both of its abilities get doubled. Each creature then adds two charge counters, and each charge counter draws two cards. You don't need to be Deep Blue to calculate that line.
  • And speaking of the history books, Tamiyo's Journal and the whole Investigate mechanic, which we use with Secrets of the Key and Confirm Suspicions, generate Clues which can be sacrificed for two cards a pop.

Let the Land Fall

So we have all this land, but what are we going to do with it? That's the question that our rich forefathers answered by building useless things like gigantic mansions, gaudy theme parks, and hospitals. We are going to take a much more egalitarian approach; we are going to use the fruits of the land to continue the revolution into other neighboring countries. It's a "you have nothing to lose but your chains"-reaction, if you will. How can we make our Landfall into a windfall?

  • Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith is incredible in this deck. Not only does Ashnod the Uncaring have deathtouch naturally, she also doubles up the actual throw, meaning it will deal two damage to two separate targets. That's four damage per rock at an opponent's face, or two creatures dead!
  • Tunneling Geopede and Retreat to Hagra exist to slowly whittle down your opponents. You're not always gonna need 40 land drops, but you can certainly get there.
  • Nesting Dragon creates more sacrifice fodder that itself turns into more sacrifice fodder. If you have Dockside Chef around, he's serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Ob Nixilis, the Fallen quickly burns out your opponents and gets swole doing it.
  • Geode Rager? I hardly know 'er, but your opponents will once they realize they can never attack you this game as long as it's alive.
  • Roil Elemental is even deadlier with a board full of fetch lands you can pop off at a moment's notice. Make sure you only play this one when you're ready to sacrifice stuff, though; you don't want to get blown out on an end step.
  • Need to filter your draws? Retreat to Coralhelm can help you, or you can untap your Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Dreamscape Artist if you're so inclined.
  • And finally, Curse of the Restless Dead, The Lost and the Damned, and Field of the Dead each bring back a lovely, lovely corpse (or something) as long as you play your cards right. Which, of course, you'll turn back into a corpse, either via combat or sacrifice.

And of course, we've been mentioning fetching lands this enire game. Most of them don't need an explanation, so let's just go down the list:

Land on Trial

The revolution has encountered a severe problem. We got everybody. And there's a lot of land that's just sitting there. In fact, there's too much. Even if we all decided to split it evenly among the rest of us, we would all be considered "rich," and therefore no longer friends of the revolution. But nobody wants to leave it sitting here, because then it just looks like we killed a bunch of people for no real reason. If the land itself is the pinnacle of wealth on its own, then...

Terramorphic Expanse! You are hereby considered to have committed highe treasone against the People's Republic for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and you must be sentenced to death!

With Myr Landshaper, Embodiment of Fury, or even Liquimetal Coating, our fetch lands themselves become artifacts or creatures - meaning that their own activated ability is now subject to Ashnod the Uncaring's iron grip. Imagine sacrificing a Myriad Landscape and getting four Landfall triggers for only two mana.

Not only that, the sudden applicability of the laws of the revolution to inanimate objects means we can actually care about permanents that sacrifice lands.

Lochmere Serpent, Zuran Orb, Hammer of Purphoros, and Arcane Spyglass each have some pretty incredible effects when you sacrifice a land, and since we're playing ways to get them back from the graveyard like Gerrard's Hourglass Pendant anyway, the downside is negligible. You're gaining four life, drawing at least two cards, or making two Golems that you can easily throw away to one of our other outlets like Dockside Chef. And so, by the end of the game, your battlefield and graveyard is going to be completely stocked full of land. How do we win? Well, that's the simple part. You spend your mana:

Country Matters

Well, the revolution died out. Turns out that it's actually pretty hard to burn it all down and build it back up again when you don't know what you're doing. So we all did what every revolutionary does: we moved to Portland and went to a coffee shop while dressing like a hipster. Viva la revolución!

If you enjoy How They Brew It, please check out the Discord and my other projects at my website. You can vote on what article you want to see next, or just check out the other cool stuff I do! The Discord's been updated to make onboarding much easier, so if you haven't yet, now's the time to join. Also, did you see our April Fool's stuff?

Landaristocrats (Ashnod the Uncaring EDH)

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Commander (1)
Creatures (17)
Sorceries (7)
Instants (8)
Artifacts (21)
Enchantments (5)
Lands (41)

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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.