Landfall

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Landfall (or 'lands') is a deck archetype that gains benefit from putting land cards onto the battlefield or for having lots of lands on the battlefield. The archetype is named after the mechanic of the same name,

Landfall decks appear almost exclusively in color combinations that include green.

Popular Cards & Commanders

Popular Landfall cards include:

Popular Landfall commanders include:

Strategy

Landfall Payoffs

Landfall decks may use a combination of cards with Landfall triggers and cards that increase in power based on the number of lands they control.
Common cards with Landfall triggers include:
Common cards that care about the number of lands a player controls include:
Landfall decks may also use cards that make use of lands in other ways, such as discarding them to deal damage (see Borborygmos Enraged) or sacrificing lands for additional benefit (see Titania, Protector of Argoth and Sylvan Safekeeper).

Acquiring Lands

Landfall decks specialize in putting a high number of lands onto the battlefield, which provides them with additional benefits or increases the power level of their creatures and spells. Landfall decks often utilize four different methods of acquiring a high density of lands and Landfall triggers:
Ramp: The most straightforward way to increase the number of lands in play is with ramp effects that put lands directly onto the battlefield from a player's library. Landfall decks may use ramp both as a form of acceleration, to cast high-cost spells more quickly, and to trigger Landfall abilities. Popular ramp spells used in Landfall decks may include Sakura-Tribe Elder, Cultivate, or Harrow.
Playing Additional Lands: Landfall decks make frequent use of cards that allow them to play more than one land per turn. Examples include Exploration, Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Oracle of Mul Daya, Wayward Swordtooth, Explore, and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove.
Fetchlands: A popular method of accruing additional Landfall triggers is the use of 'fetchlands' such as Wooded Foothills or Evolving Wilds. These lands sacrifice themselves to retrieve a land from the player's library and put it onto the battlefield, providing twice as many Landfall triggers as other lands.
Land Tutors: Landfall decks are highly likely to utilize cards that retrieve specific lands from their deck. While most ramp effects allow a player to search for basic lands, Landfall decks may have powerful lands that they wish to play, and will use more specialized land tutors to find them. Examples include Crop Rotation, Scapeshift, Pir's Whim, and Sylvan Scrying.
Recursion: Landfall decks may run out of lands in their hand to play, or else run out of lands in their deck to find with their ramp or tutor spells. Landfall players therefore often use recursion effects to bring lands back from their graveyard. This may include cards that allow players to play lands directly from the graveyard, or else bring multiple lands back from the graveyard at once. Cards that enable this strategy include Ramunap Excavator, Crucible of Worlds, World Shaper, and Splendid Reclamation.

Additional Concepts

Excess Mana: Because Landfall decks assemble such a high number of resources, this often provides them with the ability to cast extremely expensive and powerful spells, particularly spells with X in their mana costs. Cards such as Genesis Wave, Torment of Hailfire, or Lavalanche, which thrive in high-mana environments, may allow a Landfall player to clinch victory without explicit use of Landfall abilities.
Utility Lands: Landfall decks make frequent use of their own lands to provide additional benefits during gameplay. While other decks may rely on their lands solely to provide mana, Landfall decks may contain many lands with strong abilities beyond mana production. These utility lands may even provide strong enough benefit to the Landfall player that they are a key ingredient to help them defeat their opponents. Examples may include Kessig Wolf Run, Field of the Dead, Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, and Ghost Town.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Landfall decks benefit from a natural part of the game - playing lands - and can accelerate their strategies much more quickly than other archetypes that do not contain as much ramp.
  • Landfall strategies often gain additional value from their own utility lands, which few other decks are able to make as much use of. These utility lands can even provide game-winning abilities to a Landfall player, giving them an edge during gameplay even when they do not have cards in hand.
  • The typical play pattern of a Landfall decks results in an extremely high number of resources at their disposal, allowing them to perform more game actions than their opponents.

Weaknesses

  • Landfall decks can struggle with momentum; though they can accumulate large resources and cast expensive spells later in the game, if they are disrupted early and unable to begin that accumulation, Landfall decks may not get the chance to reach their potential.
  • Landfall decks may find themselves running out of lands to play from their hand, sputtering the strategy to a halt if they do not find another method of putting lands onto the battlefield. Landfall players may even find themselves running out of lands to fetch from their libraries with their ramp spells, causing those spells to be far less effective later in the game.
  • Landfall decks are often less interactive than other strategies. Much of a Landfall deck's output takes place on their own turn, when they are allowed to play land cards, and many popular Landfall cards are creatures, enchantments, and sorceries, rather than instant-speed cards. This may prevent Landfall players from responding effectively during an opponent's turn.


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