Vangel on Vintage: Sultai Landstill

 

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Hello, and welcome to the first edition of Vangel on Vintage. In this series we’ll be taking a look at Eternal  MtG with a specific focus on the most popular format: Legacy. In my opinion, Legacy is the most diverse and thought-provoking format in all of Magic the Gathering. The vast array of legal and powerful cards means, that in theory at least, you can play almost any deck as long as you have some good match ups against the well established decks in the format. Today I will be presenting such a deck, in the form of a Sultai Landstill. This list abuses several key interactions in Legacy and it’s namesake, Standstill to generate so much card advantage that by the end of the game, your opponent can’t do much of anything at all.

 

Sultai Landstill

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4 Brainstorm
2 Counterspell
4 Deathrite Shaman
2 Dig Through Time
2 Engineered Explosives
4 Force of Will
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Liliana of the Veil
2 Pernicious Deed
2 Spell Pierce
2 Spell Snare
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1 Vendilion Clique

1 Swamp
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
4 Mishra’s Factory
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea
2 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland

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2 Chill
2 Disfigure
1 Dread of Night
2 Flusterstorm
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Krosan Grip
1 Life from the Loam
1 Notion Thief
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Vendilion Clique

 

As a deck, Landstill has been around for a very long time, at least conceptually. The whole purpose of the deck is to set up scenarios in which your opponent has to break your Standstills; thereby giving you 3 cards. This is accomplished by applying pressure with cards that don’t break your Standstill; like Mishra’s Factory and Wasteland. The best and newest addition that this archetype however is Deathrite Shaman: a card that really pushes Landstill to a whole new level. By acting as both a mana fixer and helping you apply dedicated pressure on your opponent’s life total under a Standstill, the Shaman goes a long way towards helping you overcome the downside of playing a Landstill-style deck.

 

 

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An Important Message from the Chief Tarantula

 

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You may have noticed we’ve put price stickers on the new graphic novels and manga over the last few weeks, something that hasn’t been necessary for years. Don’t Panic – we’re still selling everything at U.S. cover price for the rest of the month, but we are preparing to compensate for the exchange rate as it jumps around, beginning in February. Meanwhile you still have over a week to take advantage of our 1:1 pricing!

We know this sucks – the things we import from America – like books – are costing more Canadian dollars every week and have been for some time – and it is completely out of our control. Be assured that we would much rather not have mark up a Canadian price – it just means more grunt work for us. Should the Canadian dollar strengthen a bit we can go back to the way things were, but right now the rate we are using is 10%, which is a lot lower than the 21% we paid this week. Just last Wednesday night the exchange rate moved from being about $1.20 Canadian per $1 US to almost $1.25. Our policy has always been to follow the exchange, and it’s been “pegged” to the American dollar for so long that many of our customers can’t remember it being otherwise (and it’s been as high as 65% while we’ve been in business!) Until things settle with the relative values of the currencies we will be maintaining an exchange rate around 10% lower than the current market rate when we price the new books. Members will of course still get their 20% discount off of the sticker price – which presently equals less than the US cover price even after taxes.

We hope you understand the necessity of this increase; we’ve only passed half of it on to you, our beloved customers – we just can’t continue to pay all of it at these present rates while still offering you acceptable levels of service and selection.

vicinity-rewardsFinally, for those already doing the math, remember to factor in the new loyalty card program we’ve adopted using Vicinity Rewards. For every $10 you spend on books you’ll get a point, and these points can be used for discounts, rebates, and freebies – see the full list here. If you haven’t got one yet, just ask – it’s free and additionally it will work at many other shops and restaurants in Ontario and beyond.

Thanks kindly for understanding, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

- Leon, Tarantula Prime.

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The Fro Knows: Cards to Watch in Fate Reforged

 

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When evaluating cards for constructed Magic, the second set in a block is always difficult to judge. By their very nature they live in the shadow of the previous set, serving as supplemental material for already established strategies. As a result, few of these sets actually have an identity of their own. It often takes some very powerful cards to garner the attention of the player base, which unfortunately just hasn’t really happened in recent years. Born of the Gods, Gatecrash, and Dark Ascension have fallen victim to this curse, as outside of three or four hits, they were busts in the long run. However, Fate Reforged offers a refreshing change of pace, as it not only contains cards that boost already established archetypes in Standard, but also revives some previously hated-out decks. This puts this set well above its predecessors already, but Fate Reforged also boasts several cards that may very well have an impact in Modern, Legacy, and even Vintage. After analyzing the entire set and brewing extensively, I’ve compiled the following list of cards that I believe will have the largest impact:

STANDARD

Kicking off this list in a big way is Atarka, World Render. This card was one of the most exciting for me, as I already had a home for it in my Mono-ish Green Devotion deck. The deck already hinges on the power of See the Unwritten, and the 2-card combo of Atarka and Xenagos, God of Revels can quickly spell “Game Over” with a 12/8 hasty, double striking dragon beatdown. The deck is already well positioned against the various Abzan strategies in Standard, as well as Jeskai Tokens, so as long as those remain pillars of the format I expect Atarka to have a large impact on Standard.

Also fitting into the Mono-Green deck as a board wipe deterrent is Whisperwood Elemental. While the added benefit of making a 2/2 creature that can sometimes flip over into something much larger is great, what makes Whisperwood Elemental truly powerful is its second ability. When faced with a board wipe, you can sacrifice the Elemental to grant your other face-up creatures the ability to manifest the top card of your deck, effectively replacing themselves and blanking their sweeper. While End Hostilities and Duneblast have seen occasional play in Standard, Whisperwood Elemental should see at least maindeck play due to another big sweeper effect from Fate Reforged.

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