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Against the Odds: 37 Land Vortex


Hello everyone and welcome to episode nine of Against the Odds. This week we'll be playing something rather interesting: a deck featuring 37 lands, Day's Undoing, and Molten Vortex. I call it 37 Land Vortex. 

A couple of weeks ago there was a deck list floating around that consisted entirely of 48 Mountains, 4 Molten Vortex, 4 Tormenting Voice, and 4 Magmatic Insight. It looked interesting, but it seemed inconsistent. Meanwhile I had been looking for an excuse to play Day's Undoing in Standard. Suddenly it struck me. What if we cut down on lands, add some Blue cards like Day's Undoing and Treasure Cruise, and throw in Alhammerret's Archive? Not only do we just win — we win more. And thus, 37 Land Vortex was born!

Anyway, that's what we are playing today. Voting is back, so make to cast your ballot at the end of the article for next week's episode. We'll talk more about 37 Land Vortex in a minute, but first let's get to the videos. Just a quick reminder: if you enjoy Against the Odds and other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up with the latest and greatest.

 

Against the Odds: 37 Land Vortex Intro

Against the Odds: 37 Land Vortex Games

The Deck

The deck is pretty straight forward. We hope to have (or draw) a Molten Vortex. We draw a ton of lands with the help of Treasure Cruise, Day's Undoing, Tormenting Voice, and Magmatic Insight. We discard those lands to Molten Vortex, turning them into Shocks. One thing I learned while playing the deck is that you need to approach it like a combo deck. In earlier games I was trying to play the control role, discarding lands to kill creatures like Mantis Rider and Savage Knuckleblade. But the "let's 2-for-1 ourselves a million times and hope things work out in the end" plan failed miserably, even with ample card draw. In the end I realized the only successful way to play the deck is to ignore the opponent's game plan and throw every land at the opponent's face with Molten Vortex

There are two exceptions to this rule. First, and most obvious, is if a creature is going to kill us. Then we need to kill that creature, even if it means pitching three lands to kill a Siege Rhino. Staying alive is important to winning a game of Magic, who knew? Second, we can 1-for-1 a deck like Atarka Red or GR Landfaull right out of the game. They don't play that many creatures or that much burn. Instead these decks rely on pump spells like Become Immense, Titian's Strength, and Temur Battle Rage. If we just kill every Zurgo Bellstriker and Monastery Swiftspear they play, we will eventually draw more lands than they have creatures and win the long game. 

The Matchups

While we never got a chance to play a control deck, I imagine it's a great matchup. If we can resolve a Molten Vortex on turn one, before their counterspells come online, our deck suddenly becomes 62% uncounterable Shocks. While it won't be pretty, we should be able to ping them to death over the course of many turns, while they draw dead removal spells and counters. 

I also think the aggro matchup is reasonable, although it didn't turn out that way in the videos. As I mentioned before, I really believe we can 1-for-1 them to death with Molten Vortex. Infinite two damage burn spells happen to line up well against a deck playing infinite x/2 creatures. 

Our bad matchups involve big, midrange creatures. Once we have to pitch three lands to kill a Siege Rhino it's unlikely we can win the game. Even pitching two lands to kill a Mantis Rider feels really bad. While our card draw can overcome one or two of these exchanges, constant pressure from big creatures is hard to beat. Thunderbreak Regent, specifically, is rough. Yes, we can kill it by discarding two lands, but we take six damage in the process. Out of all the matches I played with the deck, the only time I felt like our deck was completely outmatched is when our opponent curved a Savage Knuckleblade into a Thuderbreak Regent into a Woodland Wanderer. Do you know how many lands it would take to kill those creatures? I can't even count that high. 

The Odds

All in all we went 1-10 with the deck. I counted the final two games of the last match, which I didn't bother to include in the videos. This record would put the odds at 9%. However, I think the deck is better than this. We were close a few times, getting a bit unlucky not to win, and I think I was playing the deck poorly during the first few matches. I focused too much on killing our opponents' creatures instead of killing our opponent. 

All things considered, I think winning 15 to 20% of the time with 37 Land Vortex is a reasonable goal. While I won't expect to win any tournaments, it is possible to steal a match every now and then. The deck is super fun to play, even when you're losing. 

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Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, opinions, and ideas in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 


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