VIDEO: Are the Spell Lands About to Break Modern


Spell lands are a new card type from Zendikar Rising but how powerful are they? In this PriceOfKnowledge video, Harry MTG explains how these new lands work and how they could influence the Modern meta. He is looking at some midrange decks, Amulet Titan and cards like Neoform.

Time StampTranscript
00:06 Hey everyone. I am HarryMTG and welcome to Carmarket’s YouTube channel. Today we are going to be discussing: are the spell-lands about to break Modern? Before we get into this video though, if you like this type of content, please, like and subscribe; and while you are down there, do not forget to hit the notification bell so you are always notified when a new video is uploaded. To jump straight into the discussion today, I want to talk about a few key points on the lands. We need to discuss the properties of the lands before we start. I want to talk about what the lands are seen as in the graveyard, hand, and library. In all three zones they are seen as spells as on the front side they are spells. For example, if a spell-land is in the graveyard, you cannot target it with Life from the Loam. If it is in your library you cannot fetch it with Amulet Titan you because they are spells. You cannot flip the card with Goblin Charbelcher as it does not see them as lands, and in your hand, it is seen as a spell. Thus, you can pitch it to Force of Negation, and you can pitch it to Allosaurus Rider which is leading us into the conversation today.
01:06 We are not going to be talking too much about the fair strategies with these lands as we can all agree it comes at zero cost to fit them in your Modern midrange decks. Obviously, there are some downsides to putting these bolt-lands in your deck, they do not count as basic lands, etc. But we are not going to get too much into that. We want to talk about the degenerate strategies today. The first thing that I wanted to address is that the properties of pitching them to Force of Negation or Allosaurus Rider . I mentioned these two because, in reality, these are the only two top-tier strategies where you want to be pitching lands to the spells; let's talk about them individually. Force of Negation; please do not forget that, when you pitch something to Force of Negation, it is, still, card disadvantage. I know it is nice to be able to pitch a land but to be able to pitch a land for Force of Negation means that they are flooding. Besides, do not forget it is not free to put Sea Gate Restoration // Sea Gate, Reborn in your blue deck, it does cost three life to play if you need an untapped land. Although it may be annoying that sometimes they will Force of Negation your spell pitching Sea Gate Restoration, do not forget the times that you win because your opponent had to bolt themselves, or it is a non-basic land; therefore, Blood Moon gets them, etc.
02:15 There are always downsides and upsides with every card. I believe it is just a slight upside, and I do not even know how playable Sea Gate Restoration is in these blue decks. You only want to be playing it because of Field of the Dead, and then, you also have the upside of Force of Negation, but again, I do not think this is broken. This is not going to shape the Modern format due to the one-off land in the in the blue deck that can be pitched to a Force of Negation. Let's be real.
02:41 The next thing I want to talk about is Allosaurus Rider and Turntimber Symbiosis // Turntimber, Serpentine Wood. We can all agree that these Neoform decks operate on so few lands that giving them an option to pitch a land to the Allosaurus Rider is a big deal. But Neoform comes with the same problems as it struggles to discard and counterspells. Not only that, if you play a Meddling Mage naming Allosaurus Rider, Neoform, or whatever they lose the game. These decks are always beatable. This time, Turntimber Symbiosis and Allosaurus Rider combo is only making the deck more consistent at getting out the Allosaurus Rider; it does not solve the problem that the deck is still weak to counterspells, still weak to discard, etc. I do not believe that this is something that we need to be worried about because Neoform always has the same problems. You will find this with a lot of new things coming into the Modern format. A deck will get an upgrade, loads of people will play that deck because as an upgrade and then they will all slowly realize: ‘wait, this deck still has the same problem that it did during the last metagame, just it is a bit more consistent now, or maybe it attacks on a different angle in some games’, etc. We do not have to worry about Neoform. We will see a comeback obviously. Neoform will always be a deck in the format, but again, it, still, has the same flaws.
03:51 Next thing I want to talk about is Turntimber Symbiosis, but this time, it is in Amulet Titan. For those who know that deck you all know that this is seven mana, look at the top seven for a Titan; if you whiff, hopefully, you hit a Dryad or an Azusa, and maybe, it will be a bit bigger. But the same thing happens. It is just making the deck more consistent, but it still has the same problems. Amulet Titan struggles against Aether Gust, it struggles against Ashiok, Dream Render. I am sure we all know this, and this card does not solve that. Not only that, this card is not a guaranteed Titan. Like I said, if you have a Fatal Push rotting in your hand, they play this card and they hit an Azusa, Lost but Seeking or a Dryad, you can just Fatal Push their card. It is not the end of the world; this is not an I-win-the-game card like Summoner's Pact is. It is just making the deck more consistent, it is making a bit more flood-proof, but still, Titan has the same problems, and I do not think we have to worry about the deck completely dominating.
04:45 Now that we have got the two slightly generic strategies out of the way, it is time to talk about Goblin Charbelcher. I spoke about the properties of these cards: in the library, they are a spell. This is very important for Goblin Charbelcher as if all of your lands in your deck are spell-lands Goblin Charbelcher is going to flip your whole deck, and deal damage to target creature player equal to the number of cards in your library. Quite a big deal. To talk about how these combo decks work, they play a lot of Simian Spirit Guides, a lot of Rituals, Irencrag, and then, they play Goblin Charbelcher activating it instantly. This deck is, essentially, looking to combo on turn two, turn three as best as they can, and if they cannot combo and turn two or three, they are going to play a Recross the Paths. This is another cool interaction with the spell-lands where it says ‘flip until you hit a land then put the rest on your bottom of your library in any order’. Your whole library is not lands. It is essentially just scry 60 as some people like to call it. First, is Goblin Charbelcher about to break Modern? No. Like I spoke with Neoform, please remember discard, counter, Meddling Mage, Collector Ouphe, Karn, the Great Creator. I can list so many cards that are being played in the format right now that disrupt this deck heavily. Not only that. We have seen Death's Shadow come back on a rise. Death's Shadow is perfect against combo decks like this. Thoughtseize, Stubborn Denial, fast clock. These decks are very beatable. They are not uncountable, un-interactive decks. People are just playing the new combo that is coming out, it is not the end of the world.
06:18 With the Modern format, it is important to remember that, when a new strategy or a new effect comes out, everyone is going to test it, and the deck is going to do very well just because the sheer amount of players playing it is very high. If 120 people go into a league and 90 of those people are playing Goblin Charbelcher, it is guaranteed that Goblin Charbelcher decks are going to do very well because the vast majority of people are playing them. Let's take a very good example. Do you remember when Conspicuous Snoop was printed half a year ago? That card made people so scared that it was going to break the Modern format. We saw goblins for the first two weeks to a month, and then, the deck died out. That is because people were excited about the card. They are, excited about Goblins, they wanted to play it, and then, they found out that the deck is not that good. It is the same thing here. People are very excited about Goblin Charbelcher. It is a decent deck, but it still has the same flaws that Neoform does, and it has the same effect that when Neoform came out. When it appeared, everyone started playing it, and then it started dying down. It is what happens with combo decks. People find the combo, they think that the combo is amazing, it is loads of fun, and then, when you realize that, when you do not have the combo in the 30 of games that the combo does not work, it is so miserable and they just leave the deck. The same thing happens here. Goblin Charbelcher is a very good deck, but it is very beatable with all the tools that are already in the format. Do I think that the spell-lands are about to break Modern? No. Did I miss anything? Please let me know in the comment section down below. I have been HarryMTG, this has been Cardmaket’s YouTube channel. Do not forget to like and subscribe. I'll see you guys in the next one.

Opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.

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