Land Equilibrium

Deck by Gordon Andersson

This deck is all about making life miserable for your opponent by taking away all his or her lands, because who needs lands anyway? That is of course something many decks focus on, so let’s dive into what makes this archetype differ from the rest of the mana denial decks.

The thing that makes this deck tick are the cards Mana Vortex and Land Equilibrium. Land Equilibrium is a very interesting card from Legends that does exactly what the name suggest. While the card is in play the opponent is prohibited to play lands if he or she has equal to or more lands than you. So if you can keep from playing that many lands and instead use, say mana rocks and mana dorks, it will make life hard for the opponent. Especially if you also play something that can keep their moxen of the table.

To make things even worse for the opponent this deck often pair the equilibrium with Mana Vortex. This card makes both players sacrifice a land in their upkeep and with the Equilibrium out the opponent can’t even play new ones, so after a while they are almost completely locked out.

This is the main plan of the deck, but of course it also needs a wincon and a way to take advantage of both players having few, or no, lands in play. One way to do this is to use aggressive creatures and other cheap spells and look at the mana denial strategy as a way to keep the opponent of balance while you beat him or her to death. This version is not played that much though, so let’s dive in to the prison deck that is the more common way to build this deck.

In the prison version you really want to lock out your opponent from the game. Against an unpowered player the above cards are often enough, but against a powered player you also need to take care of the opponents moxen and other mana producers. One way to do this is to use artifact destruction, but you can also use Relic Barriers. Relic Barriers let you tap down moxen but they also let you play Howling Mine as a draw engine.

A good wincon for the prison type deck is Black Vise, as an opponent with no lands will probably not be able to play their spells, and therefore, end up with 7 cards in their hand. If you also use Howling Mine and Relic Barrier you probably let the opponent draw some extra cards after they are locked out to kill them even faster.

Other cards that can be good in the deck are Icy Manipulator for even more ways to tap down Howling Mines, mana or creatures, Copy Artifact to make more Icy Manipulators or Black Vises and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale to kill of your opponent’s creatures as he or she will not have the mana to pay for them.

The Abyss is also quite nice as you really need to kill of what creatures the opponent might get out before you lock them down and why not put in a Nether Void or two so the opponent never ever even wont be able to play an instant. Also, it’s never a bad idea to play a couple of counterspells as you may sometime need to protect your lock against Disenchant.

Last but not least, could dingus Egg be a valid wincon?