Some Thoughts and Ideas on From the Vault: Realms

It seems that the case at my local card shop has an error. There are two Ancient Tombs replacing a Boseiju, Who Shelters All, not that I am complaining but I imagine that means there are sets with two Boseijus replacing an Ancient Tomb.

The From the Vault series typically sell out in flash and luckily I got my hands on one although it costed me a very pretty penny. For those who don’t just want to keep them sealed as a investment, here are where the cards are commonly used along a couple of off the wall ideas to use the lands.

Ancient Tomb

Any deck with Ancient Tomb is usually doing something horribly broken. Currently it is used to power out first or second turn Show and Tells for Emrakuls, Griselbrands or Omniscience. It is by far the best land that produces more than one mana because a shock a turn is nothing if your opponent’s life is at zero.

Boseiju, Who Shelters All

Like Ancient Tomb, Boseiju, Who Shelters All is used mostly in broken decks. I have seen it as a Living Wish target to power Show and Tells through counterspells in Omniscience decks. I have it in my cute Treasure Hunt/ Lightning Storm deck, where every card other than Treasure Hunt and Lightning Storm is a land so I can draw most of my deck and discard them for easy fourth/ fifth turn kills.

Cephalid Coliseum

Cephalid Coliseum is best used as an insane dredge enabler. With it you can dredge three times (which can be almost 1/3 of your deck) and then just discard the dredgers afterwards. I also use the coliseum in my Treasure Hunt/ Lightning Storm deck to cycle through cards but not nearly as fast.

Desert

Desert is an old school card full of flavor unfortunately it is kind of overlooked nowadays. I haven’t drafted much Time Spiral but I heard is was pretty decent there and I guess you can use it in EDH. In multi- player games, you can play around with combat (including ones that you are not a part of) and there isn’t really a drawback. Fun Fact: There are two cards that interact with Desert directly, Camel and Desert Nomads, both immune to Desert damage and the nomads has desertwalking. But if you played with them back in the day, you are seriously metagaming the field.

Dryad Arbor

Dryad Arbor is simple but innovative little card and it is a staple in the legacy Maverick decks so you can Green Sun’s Zenith it for zero, acting as a little Llanowar Elf. For the record, I am not a huge fan of the new design. It looks way too much like a regular of Forest so it can easily be mistaken for one on the other side of the table.

Forbidden Orchard

Forbidden Orchard is what make Oath of Druids decks go over the top, as it takes your opponent out the equation and assures you that they will almost always have more creatures than you. Unfortunately you can only play Oath of Druids in the Vintage format and there are way more degenerate decks there. I think Wizards reprinted Forbidden Orchard for EDH as a little grouphug type of card.

Glacial Chasm

Glacial Chasm has an insane one of the kind ability that keeps you alive through almost anything but at a high price. It is really used only in the Lands deck, as it is the only deck that can afford to pay its cost. With Exploration and Crucible of Worlds it is almost hard lock with this card.

Grove of the Burnwillows

Grove of the Burnwillows plus Punishing Fire is the ultimate value combo. In fact, it was so good that Punishing Fire was banned in Modern not too long ago. The combo saw some play in Legacy but when Reanimator and Show and Tell decks are the top tier decks in the format it just doesn’t do quite enough. There also other cards that punishes opponents when they gain life like Kavu Predator that you can play around with.

High Market

You would think High Market is a value card, sacrificing your creature that was going to die anyways for a life but High Market is used mostly as an uncounterable way to sacrifice a creature like Academy Rector. For more casual formats, you can use High Market to sacrifice opponents’ creatures that you stole with cards like Ray of Command so you don’t have to give them back!

Maze of Ith

The chase card of the set. Wizards would never print a card like Maze of Ith again and it by far the card with the most impact from the Dark. It is obviously used to negate your opponent biggest fatty but you can do very cute tricks with Knight of Reliquary with a little knowledge of the combat step. If you use Maze of Ith after Knight of Reliquary has done combat damage but before the end of the combat step you can attack and still untap so can use its tutor ability.

Murmuring Bosk

I guess Murmuring Bosk is best in a Treefolk deck with Doran, the Siege Tower. Other than that there aren’t too many tri color lands without crazy drawbacks.

Shivan Gorge

Shivan Gorge brings back good memories. My first competitive deck was a mono red Wildfire land destruction deck with Chimeric Idol and Two Headed Dragon as the win conditions. Some times that is not enough and a singleton Shivan Gorge can grind out wins. Shivan Gorge was never really tournament playable anywhere else and I guess nowadays it is a EDH card that just angers everyone…

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

I have seen Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth best used in nearly mono black control decks in Legacy. It allows you to play a greedy mana base and it way better than a swamp in the same slot. For more casual decks, there are bunch of cards where the number of swamps matter like Cabal Coffers or Lake of the Dead.

Vesuva

There are a ton of non basic lands that you wish than you can have more than four of in a deck like Cloudpost, Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and the Tron lands. One lesser known use is that in can be used to destroy legendary lands.

Windbrisk Heights

The best Hideaway land is not an easy card to build a deck around. Its two abilities kind of wants opposing types of cards to maximize its use of. Since Hideaway only looks at the top 4 cards on you library you want to pack in as many high casting cost card for the maximum value but if you want to use it’s ability as quick as possible you need curve out with a ton of White Weenie creatures or token generators. But with that being said, there was a tournament caliber deck that built around this card and I vaguely remember doing fairly well.

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