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PDH Framework Tech: Part 2

Scroll of the Masters, by Lake Hurwitz, owned by Wizards of the Coast © All Rights Reserved.

Previously, on Staple Talk, I’ve talked about removal and artifact utility. Today, I want to discuss the rest of deck frameworks, including mana and consistency. Mana is crucial to every deck; we cannot play the game if we don’t have the mana. Other formats have access to powerful fetchlands and mana dorks, so what are we left with? After digging through mountains of cards, I found that we have more available than I first thought. Let’s take a look.

First up, we’ll have a peek at our pauper fetchlands. Journeying to Alara, we discover the panorama cycle, one for each shard. These lands tap for colorless, but we have the option of searching for a basic land in one of three colors. As such, in most two color decks, there are two panoramas that can search for both of your colors.

Not only do we have those five fetchlands to shore up our color requirements, we have access to three more lands that can do the same. One of them is harder to find, having only been printed in Commander product, the other two are much more ubiquitous.

So far we’ve only looked at lands that search for other lands. What other options do we have to digging through our decks and pulling out mana? Cycling is a mechanic that recently returned in Amonkhet, and one that we can use here. But not just any cycling, we’re looking for cycling like what Ash Barrens has. As far as I know, there are at least two cards in each color that cycle for lands, one that searches for its respective basic, one that searches for any basic.

If we return to Alara, we find a cycle of creatures that all cycle for their two colors. These creatures can be used late game for an extra body, or early game for extra mana to execute our plan sooner.

Great, now that we have this pile of lands, what can we do with it? Well, since most of these cards put the lands into hand, we can use these spare lands for some nifty spells. My favorite spells for making use of extra lands are the Retrace ones from Lorwyn. These spells grant us repeatability, something great to have in a singleton format. By paying the mana cost of the spell, and discarding a land, we can cast the spell again and again. This can be great for increasing the storm count, triggering prowess, making tokens, and a myriad other options.

Something similar to explore to the Retrace mechanic is the Spellshaper creatures. These creatures all have iconic spells stapled to a body, giving us more consistency. I am fairly certain that each deck will want at least one of these creatures, as I feel their utility is too good to pass up. Now, each of these creatures do require you to discard a land, but if you’re flooding out, they offer you a way to turn those lands into useful spells. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even combine these creatures with madness spells for extra value!

I don’t believe I have much more to talk about here. Will every deck want all of these cards? Of course not, that’s the nature of deckbuilding. However, I do feel that most decks will want a few of these, for extra utility and versatility. If you’re new to the format or deckbuilding in general, then this may be a good place to start until you figure out what exactly you’re looking for in a deck. I hope this break from Commander precon breakdowns has helped you round out some of the missing cards in your decks, and I look forward to joining you all in Commander 2015!



#Lands #Artifacts #Creatures #DeckBuilding


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