seanblacksheep

For those who read Winnie the Pooh or watched the cartoons, the character Tigger imprinted himself into your memories and your childhood.  The two most memorable traits of Tigger – he bounced and he was unique (the only one!).  A land base named after Tigger requires a great degree of bouncing and uniqueness to provide justice to this iconic character.  The standard (and some would say perfect) land-base for a five-color Commander deck contains 10 Fetchlands, 10 Revised Duals, and 10 Ravnica Shocklands with some amount of utility lands and basics to fit whatever your deck desires.  This land base is consistent, powerful, expensive…and stale.  If you feel the same way I do, you want something new and different.

You want something Tigger-ish.

To focus on a fun and bouncy land-base, we need the common “Bouncelands” from Ravnica, City of Guilds.  At around 1/100 the price (or less) of the Fetchland mana base, the biggest advantage of choosing to go with the bounce lands as a basis for your deck is a monetary one.  While some people may argue that Commander players are less monetarily-sensitive than competitive players, this price differential is still worth looking into.

There are two primary disadvantages to going with the bounce lands as the basis for a deck – speed and consistency.  If a deck is built around the bounce lands, however, it can minimize those disadvantages and focus on the upside.  I would go as far as to say that these land bases are actually better that the expensive mana bases in the majority of casual Commander environments.

The Lands

[Deck title=Bounce Lands]
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Boros Garrison
1 Dimir Aqueduct
1 Golgari Rot Farm
1 Gruul Turf
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Orzhov Basilica
1 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Simic Growth Chamber[/deck]

Just in looking at the Bouncelands as inclusions themselves, decks can gain an immedaite advantage in how they can mulligan.  If a player would normally feel comfortable keeping a four-land hand, a hand with a single bounce land would only need three lands, hitting the same mana coverage and missing no land drops.  With the same land count as a normal five-color deck, you effectively run ten additional lands without losing any spots.

[Deck Title=Scry Lands]
1 Temple of Abandon
1 Temple of Deceit
1 Temple of Enlightenment
1 Temple of Epiphany
1 Temple of Malady
1 Temple of Malice
1 Temple of Mystery
1 Temple of Plenty
1 Temple of Silence
1 Temple of Triumph[/deck]

To get the most out of a Bounceland mana-base, a deck will want to have other lands that provide a benefit whenever you play them.  Theros block brought us a wonderful cycle of dual mana producing lands that scry whenever they enter the battlefield. These lands are generally very useful in a slower format like Commander, and they are much more useful when you can replay them multiple times. Fetches can thin a deck, but scry lands do a better job at helping players get what they need to keep going over the course of a game.

Vivid

(5)
Vivid Crag
Vivid Creek
Vivid Grove
Vivid Marsh
Vivid Meadow

With rule 4 gone, Vivid lands are good even in mono-colored decks.  In five colors, a land that can tap for any color is worth consideration. The drawback for Vivid lands has always been the limited usage; using them with bounce lands gives you the ability to reduce that drawback when necessary.

[Deck Title=Utility Lands]
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Mortuary Mire
1 Mosswort Bridge
1 Halimar Depths
1 Windbrisk Heights
1 Spinerock Knoll[/deck]

The above list is by no-means comprehensive.  This is just a sample of strong utility lands that are the real reason to run this sort of land-base.  In the Fetchland base, there is only room for six to ten basics and utility lands combined.  This land base leaves room for twenty-six to thirty.  The more lands that use enter-the-battlefield effects the better.  Bojuka Bog alone would be enough reason for me to run the Bouncelands;  A Tormod’s Crypt that doesn’t take up a card slot is golden.  The Hideaway lands like Windbrisk Heights are generally good enough to run in many mana bases, and the bounce lands allowing for multiple free spells is icing on the cake.

Decks will need to be flushed out with basics and some mana fixing like Command Tower;  This should give a solid start for any five-color deck.  If you are modifying this for a two-or-three color list, then there are more utility lands like Teetering Peeks that don’t work for every deck but would work if they stayed on theme.

Supporting a Tigger Land Base

While the Bounceland base should be enough on its own to consider using it in five colors, deckbuilders would be wise to keep it in mind while building to gain even more value.  Some people add lands last after they have built the core of a deck – I do not recommend that strategy when using this land base.  If a player built a deck without considering what lands they would be playing, they might (for example) include Ponder.  A deck playing Halimar Depths alongside bounce lands could use that one-drop slot better by including Amulet of Vigor and gaining the potential to ignore one of the major downsides of a mana base.

When looking at what mana fixing to use, a build light on basic lands and heavy on utility lands would be best off taking advantage of cards that could search out any land instead of just being able to search out basic types.  These cards can either be used to find specific lands to fix mana, to search for utility lands, or to grab the Bouncelands to replay lands decks already played for further value.

[Deck Title=Any Land Search]
1 Expedition Map
1 Realm Seekers
1 Realms Uncharted
1 Reap and Sow
1 Tempt with Discovery
1 Sylvan Scrying
1 Crop Rotation
1 Weathered Wayfarer[/Deck]

The other style of “mana fixing” that works well with Bouncelands is cards that allow more than one land a turn to be played.  When you essentially have ten extra lands in your deck, you want to be able to play as many as you can as quickly as you can.

[Deck Title=Explore Effects]
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
1 Recross the Paths
1 Mina and Denn, Wildborn
1 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
1 Rites of Flourishing
1 Storm Cauldron
1 Summer Bloom[/Deck]

If your deck is built to take advantage of bouncing and replaying lands, you would be well off going deeper with that strategy.  You can use a variety of cards to return lands to your hand; for the best effect you don’t want to simply return the lands to your hand, but rather you want to get a benefit from paying the price of returning lands.  Most cards were designed with the thought process that returning a land to your hand is a bad thing; if a deckbuilder find a way to gain advantages from paying these prices, their decks can become oppressively strong.

Look at how well Summer Bloom worked with the Bouncelands in Modern!

While there are some generic ways to benefit from bouncing lands, there are also themes that support the idea of bouncing lands.  One (admittedly sort of weaker) theme is using the Zendikon from the original Zendikar block.  You turn your lands into creatures; when those creatures die, instead of going to the graveyard, they return to your hand.  The other theme, which has more support and utility, is Moonfolk.  Moonfolk generally have the ability to return lands to your hand in exchange for various abilities like bouncing permanents and countering spells:

[Deck Title=Bounce Utility]
[The Zendikon]
1 Corrupted Zendikon
1 Crusher Zendikon
1 Guardian Zendikon
1 Vastwood Zendikon
1 Wind Zendikon[/The Zendikon]
[Moonfolk]
1 Floodbringer
1 Oboro Breezecaller
1 Soratami Cloudskater
1 Soratami Mirror-Guard
1 Soratami Mirror-Mage
1 Soratami Rainshaper
1 Soratami Savant
1 Soratami Seer
1 Uyo, Silent Prophet
[/Moonfolk]
[Other Bounce]
1 Khalni Gem
1 Mana Breach
1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
1 Slab Hammer
1 Trade Routes
[/Other Bounce][/Deck]

When deckbuilders compare different cards and make cuts, they  will want to try and include cards that work in parallel to this kind of mana base.  Cards like Chromatic Lantern, Joiner Adept, and Overlaid Terrain will help mana fixing in a major way; the same can be said to a lesser extent of any mana rock or mana creature that can add mana of any color, like Birds of Paradise or Gilded Lotus.  If you are looking for a theme that goes alongside playing lands repeatedly, you could also look at some of the landfall creatures to finish off thin areas of the deck.

Conclusion

If you have always wanted to do a five-color deck and either didn’t have the money or wanted to be more original, I suggest giving this Tigger-inspired land base a try.  There are plenty of other options to doing five colors outside of making a bank-breaking deck; we’d love to hear about the creative ways you have done it yourselves.  Comment below, or Tweet us @GDCCommander!

To end, below is a five-color Zendikar-themed allies deck using a “Tigger” land base. See you next time and keep it casual.

-STP

@SwordsToPlow

swordstoplow@gmail.com

 

[Deck Title=Tigger Allies]
[Commander]
1 General Tazri[/Commander]
[Ramp]
1 Mina and Denn, Wildborn
1 Beastcaller Savant
1 Harabaz Druid
1 Belbe’s Portal
1 Urza’s Incubator
1 Cryptic Gateway
1 Descendants’ Path
1 Mana Echoes
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Khalni Gem
1 Amulet of Vigor
1 Rites of Flourishing
1 Storm Cauldron
1 Sol Ring
[/Ramp]
[Card Advantage]
1 Munda, Ambush Leader
1 Sea Gate Loremaster
1 Malakir Soothsayer
1 Brass Herald
1 Deadeye Navigator
1 Trade Routes
1 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
[/Card Advantage]
[Pump (Lords)]
1 Drana, Liberator of Malakir
1 Hero of Goma Fada
1 Ondu Champion
1 Resolute Blademaster
1 Jwari Shapeshifter
1 Kazuul Warlord
1 Munda’s Vanguard
1 Turntimber Ranger
1 Mirror Entity
1 Chasm Guide
1 Hagra Diabolist
1 Tajuru Warcaller
1 Akoum Battlesinger
1 Rite of Replication
1 Ondu Cleric
1 Retreat to Emeria
1 Shapesharer
1 Adaptive Automaton
1 Door of Destinies
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
[/Pump (Lords)]
[Naturalize Effects]
1 Tuktuk Scrapper
1 Admonition Angel
1 Bane of Progress
1 Kalemne’s Captain
[/Naturalize Effects]
[Control]
1 Murasa Pyromancer
1 Tajuru Archer
1 Kor Entanglers
1 Grave Sifter
1 Soratami Savant
1 Roil Elemental
1 Magister of Worth
[/Control]
[Graveyard]
1 Agadeem Occultist
1 Halimar Excavator
1 March from the Tomb
1 Call to the Kindred
[/Graveyard]
[Zendikon]
1 Corrupted Zendikon
1 Crusher Zendikon
1 Guardian Zendikon
1 Vastwood Zendikon
1 Wind Zendikon
[/Zendikon]
[Lands]
1 Ally Encampment
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Boros Garrison
1 Dimir Aqueduct
1 Golgari Rot Farm
1 Gruul Turf
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Orzhov Basilica
1 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Temple of Abandon
1 Temple of Deceit
1 Temple of Enlightenment
1 Temple of Epiphany
1 Temple of Malady
1 Temple of Malice
1 Temple of Mystery
1 Temple of Plenty
1 Temple of Silence
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Mortuary Mire
1 Mosswort Bridge
1 Halimar Depths
1 Windbrisk Heights
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Vivid Crag
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Grove
1 Vivid Marsh
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Swamp
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Command Tower
[/Lands][/Deck]