Shower Thoughts: Top 10 Budget Landfall Cards
Scrib Nibblers | Illustrated by Daren Bader
Tatyova, Benthic Druid | Illustrated by Mathias Kollros
Hey everyone, my name is Ben, and today I'm going to be telling you about my top 10 budget Landfall cards.
At the time of writing, all of the cards we will be going over are under $1. I didn't take into account how much play they are seeing, simply their price and how powerful I think the card is. Lists are subjective, so be sure to leave a comment if you disagree with any of my picks!
10. Scrib Nibblers
If you haven't heard of this card before, I wouldn't be surprised. I only recently discovered it when doing research for a deck I was brewing, and honestly I'm surprised this isn't seeing more play. This in combination with any infinite Landfall combo, such as Llanowar Scout, Simic Growth Chamber, and Retreat to Coralhelm, you can exile each opponent's library. It'll also disrupt any top deck manipulation from cards like Brainstorm, Sensei's Divining Top, or Vampiric Tutor, just to name a few. Plus, it can act like a Mystic Forge and let you remove the top card of your library if you don't need it. I'd highly suggest you pick up one of these puppies, or rats in this case, for your next Landfall deck.
9. Stone-Seeder Hierophant
At first glance, this card reminds me of Arbor Elf, but I like this a lot more, for good reason. First, it generates you infinite mana with the combo mentioned above, and second, it's a great ramp piece when used with some of the four-mana ramp spells, such as Circuitous Route. Don't forget that the Hierophant can untap the lands that just came out of your deck (if they came out untapped), so suddenly the four-mana land ramp is basically one mana. Plus, it lets you untap "target land", so you can even use it as a political tool to help another player out in removing a problematic permanent.
8. Phylath, World Sculptor
This is your "we have Avenger of Zendikar at home." While it does only check the number of basic lands you control (which, if you're playing a budget Landfall deck, isn't really a drawback in my opinion), it'll still make a metric ton of tokens for you to use and abuse. Plus having the ability to go tall and wide with one card is great value. If you play both Phylath and Avenger together, all of these Plants from Phylath will still get the counters from Avenger's ability! If you do play this as your commander, I'd suggest running First Day of Class with it to give all the Plants haste and putting a +1/+1 counter on them when they enter the battlefield. Or Champion of Lambholt to give it a bunch of counters and making all your creatures unblockable. Of course you have some great ways to abuse all of these tokens entering with Impact Tremors or Witty Roastmaster to burn out the table.
7. Roaring Earth
In decks like Slogurk, the Overslime, Obuun, Mul Daya Ancestor, heck, even The Gitrog Monster, you'll be playing enough lands with your commander out to turn them into a threat all on their own. Especially with all of the budget fetches we got from Streets of New Cappena, Evolving Wilds, Terramorphic Expanse, and so on. This also works with Awaken the Woods since it makes land creatures, so instead of making a bunch of 1/1s, you can make a bunch of 2/2s. With Ashaya, Soul of the Wild, this lets you put a +1/+1 counter on a creature whenever a nontoken creature enters the battlefield. If you're playing any of the commanders mentioned above, give this a try. I know you won't be disappointed.
6. Trove Warden
You know what card type is a permanent and has a mana value of three or less? Lands. And what do we want to do with lands in a Landfall deck? Have them enter the battlefield. Not only can we exile lands we put into our graveyard but some of the most popular white staples: Esper Sentinel, Spirited Companion, Knight of the White Orchid, or Archaeomancer's Map. And that's just the cards in white, there are plenty more in other colors. The biggest downside to this card is it has to die, so if someone uses exile removal on it or it gets blinked, you do lose those cards permanently. One easy way to circumvent this weakness is running High Market so you can sacrifice it at instant speed and prevent it from getting exiled. I want to be mean and combo this with something like Obliterate. Storing a bunch of lands under it, then casting Obliterate, wiping the entire board and getting everything back that was exiled. Is it mean? Sure. But is it fun? For one player it sure is.
5. Tunneling Geopede
I'd like to point out that this creature deals the damage, which means if you can give it Infect, all you need to do is play 10 lands to knock out the entire table. Or give it some lifelink to get 3 life for every land. How about you enchant with Curiosity, so you can draw three cards whenever you play a land?! There are so many great ways to abuse the damage trigger on this card that it should see more play than it does currently. All for a three-mana creature. Just writing this is making me want to build a deck around this!
4. Retreat to Hagra
This and Tunneling Geopede are close in my opinion. It's a win condition just like Geopede, but enchantments tend to be harder to remove, so I put a slot above. This also combos with Sanguine Bond, Exquisite Blood, or Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose to either deal more damage or gain more life. Quick rules note, there is a difference between life loss and dealing damage.
3. Valakut Exploration
This is your card advantage in Landfall decks with red. Since you can play the cards, this will let you play any lands you happen to exile. It doesn't let you play any additional lands, so you will still only get one a turn. If you read the card carefully, it doesn't put them into the graveyard until the end of your turn so if you have any instant-speed ramp or ways to get Landfall triggers on other players' turns, you can exile cards ahead of time, essentially drawing them. And it is a win condition, assuming you can get enough lands out all at once.
2. Felidar Retreat
The reason I put this card at number 2 is for its versatility. If you don't need the tokens, start pumping your board, or if you don't really have any creatures, start making them. While 2/2s in Commander aren't the biggest bodies, this lets you grow them once you feel like you've stabilized, and since it gives creature vigilance for a turn, it will let you swing in with your big buff board of baddies and beat up the rest of the table while not going shields down.
1. Tatyova, Benthic Druid
This shouldn't be much of a shocker really. There are two things you want to do in magic: play lands and draw cards, and this card lets you draw cards for playing lands. Along with being in the best colors for a lands deck, blue and green. This won't win you the game on its own, but it will let you draw into your win conditions. Along with the fact it can be your commander is even of a reason to put it at the top of this list. A lot of the other Landfall commanders push you in a direction, which isn't a bad thing. But if you're looking to just play all your favorite Simic cards, you don't have a real reason not to play her as your commander.
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This has been Ben, from BathroomBrewsMTG, and remember, always wash your hands.