August 9, 2018 at 2:10 am #1009
BUG variant of the traditionally GBw Lands deck ‘Gardening Australia’.
Birds of Paradise
Courser of Kruphix
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Titania, Protector of Argoth
Muldrotha, the Gravetide
Instants + Sorceries 
Green Sun’s Zenith *
Inquisition of Kozilek
Traverse the Ulvenwald
Crop Rotation *
Life from the Loam
Gifts Ungiven *
Crucible of Worlds
Strip Mine **
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Why play blue over white?
Great question, purely a different approach to the same kind of strategy. Blue gives access to Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Tatyova, Benthic Druid, which are powerful enough to make blue worth exploring. The addition of Spellseeker is incredibly powerful for a deck which makes great use of tutorable cards like Life from the Loam, Crop Rotation and Living Wish. Being blue instead of white does lose access to Knight of the Reliquary, good removal, and many powerful sideboard options.
Why this points spread?
The points spread is, as usual, rather flexible. Strip Mine and Wasteland are big reasons to play the deck, allowing us to punish players for sketchy keeps, greedy fetching decisions, and manabases even more shoddy than our own. With those 3 points tied up, we’re left with 4 to play with. Green Sun’s Zenith is a 1 point card which enables a lot of our strategies, searching up any creature in our deck. Crop Rotation is one of the most powerful cards in any lands or cradle strategy, which makes it an easy 1 point inclusion. Fastbond is an amazingly powerful card in a lands strategy, enabling Zuran Orb + Crucible of Worlds combos, and is one of my personal favourite cards to play, which makes it well worth the 1 point to include in our 60. This takes us up to 6, which means we have one definite flex slot. At the moment, I’m trialing Gifts Ungiven in this spot. Admittedly, somewhat biased, considering gifts is my favourite card, but the potential to use it as an instant speed entomb for Life from the Loam and any land, Eternal Witness piles using Petrified Field, and many many more. Other considerations for this flex slot are Jace, the Mind Sculptor, which can be ramped out early to take over a game. Sensei’s Divining Top, which gives nice card selection and another wincon for your fastbond combo. Force of Will, if a more counter-control variant of the list is necessary for the metagame. There are plenty of cards which could make the cut here, ultimately I believe it’s down to preference. If Spellseeker does pick up a point in the future, it’s very likely that it gets in over Gifts Ungiven or any of the other alternative 1 point cards.
What are these combos you mentioned?
Fastbond lets you play lands at the cost of a life, Zuran Orb lets you sacrifice lands for 2 life, and Crucible of Worlds or Ramunap Excavator let you play the sacrificed land from your graveyard, netting you one life, and one mana if the land enters untapped. Repeat ad nausuem, using the mana and landfall triggers to draw cards using Tireless Tracker or Tatyova, Benthic Druid to find Living Wish to search up Walking Ballista. A far more standard combo to win the game is the traditional Dark Depths + Thespian’s Stage. It is worth keeping in mind that when going off with Tatyova in this manner, you will have to kill her yourself with either Maelstrom Pulse or Walking Ballista, because her draw ability is not a ‘may’.
The deck also features some strong non-combo synergies, such as Leovold and Cephalid Coliseum to make your opponent pitch 3 in their draw step.
Is this a combo deck?
Not entirely, like a lot of lands strategies, it often plays a fair game as a midrange deck. Well, as fair as a Strip Mine deck can be, anyway.
Why these sideboard cards?
Many of the sideboard options are to play into Living Wish, and make it as powerful as possible. Sylvan Safekeeper could easily be in the main, and probably should, if you find a slot in the main to switch him with. As with almost every deck, the specific cards to include in the sideboard will vary a lot depending on your local meta and favourites of your local players. It is worth keeping in mind that as a lands deck, you’ll have a better matchup against control than you will against Aggro, and it’s particularly difficult to reign the match back in after an aggro opponent gets a mox start in game 1.
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