Destroy Commander with Beautiful, Infinite Landfall Combos By Shawn Wasserman
These releases brought new Landfall cards to the game and a ton of interesting lands to play.
With the additions of these cards, this combo player wondered if he could finally find enough puzzle pieces to enact his dream — a consistent infinite Landfall deck for EDH.
Well my Johnny, Jenny, and Jacky siblings, it’s time to get that problem solving brain working. We’ve got to start dropping land on the battlefield like Ultron in Sokovia.
Consistent Landfall ‘Cheaters’
The first piece of this puzzle is to look for cards that can repeatedly ramp, ‘cheat’, blink, dredge, bounce or return lands to the battlefield.
What these cards will have in common is an ability to tap and move a land from one place to another. So, the idea of our combo is to get one of these cheaters into play, tap it to put a land into the battlefield, somehow get that land back to where it was, and untap these cards to restart the process.
- Skyshroud Ranger
- Sakura-Tribe Scout
- Budoka Gardener // Dokai, Weaver of Life
- Walking Atlas
- Ruin Ghost
- Llanowar Scout
Of these six Landfall cheaters, two are of special note. Ruin Ghost taps for a white to blink a land in and out of existence. Hint for the wise, the land you tap to produce the white mana can also be the land you blink (as long as it enters untapped). Because of this ability, this cheeky spirit will make a lot more lands compatible with the combo — so it’s the star of your 99.The other card of note is Budoka Gardener. It’s only compatible with the combo in its original form. So, if you get ten or more lands into play, it will transform into a dud — a powerful dud, but a dud nonetheless.
There are other creatures beyond what I've listed above, but they have drawbacks that make them unfit for our purpose, like Knight of the Reliquary for example. She can work in a pinch as a Landfall cheater, making her an include in many builds. However, its rules text make it impossible to go infinite as you will eventually run out of land cards in your library.
What this deck really needs is a few cards that tap to bring lands from the graveyard to the battlefield. If you know of any, please comment below. But more on graveyard shenanigans later.
Now that we have some consistent Landfall cheaters in play, we can get the combo going by adding cards that consistently get them to trigger again.
Infinite Landfall Untap Options
So, how are we going to get those lovely Landfall cheaters to untap? Well, the perfect option is Retreat to Coralhelm. It has a landfall trigger that will tap, or untap, any creature. This means that this card will automatically trigger to untap our cheaters as soon they do their job!
Magewright's Stone, Thousand-Year Elixir, Puppeteer, Tideforce Elemental, and Niblis of the Breath are other options but they all require mana to get the job done. So, it's best to have lands enter untapped to cover costs, but Lotus Cobra can provide solid backup if you only have tapped lands. Also, getting these four cards to work with your Ruin Ghost gets complicated as the spirit also requires mana to operate in the combo. In this special case, you will need the land to enter untapped and have the cobra on the battlefield.
For more redundancy, we can leverage Scryb Ranger and Quirion Ranger (an uncanny lookalike for Kes from Star Trek: Voyager) to get a mini-combo going. Since their abilities can only trigger once per turn, they won’t go infinite.
Compatible Lands for Infinite Landfall
The Ravnica block bounce lands (commonly referred to as Karoos), and the hot off the presses Guildless Commons, are the best lands for this combo. However, the Visions cycle lands don’t go infinite as they can’t bounce themselves.
Though they enter the battlefield tapped, requiring a Lotus Cobra to get some of the combo permutations going, their added benefit is that they can be used to bounce themselves back into your hand.
As mentioned earlier, Ruin Ghost goes infinite with any land that:
- Taps for white mana
- Enters the battlefield untapped
Some obvious options that are compatible with Ruin Ghost include:
- Basic Plains
- Command Tower
- Reflecting Pool: in certain situations
- Exotic Orchard: in certain situations
- Pathway lands: with white tapping fronts
- Reveal lands, Fast lands, Battle lands, Check lands: in certain situations
- True dual-lands: if you’ve got money to burn
City of Brass, Mana Confluence and any pain/shock land (that taps for white) can also be utilized with Ruin Ghost. However, you'll have difficulty going infinite with a limited life pool and you need to ensure you have enough life to kill off your opponents.
Since Ruin Ghost goes infinite with something as simple as a basic plains, there is an added benefit. Any Farseek- and Cultivate-like ability becomes a tutor that can get your combo started, and Weathered Wayfarer can do this repeatedly. As a result, you might want to add some black tutors to the deck to consistently gain access to this spirit and any of your untap options; something to keep in mind when you make your commander selection.
Landfall Graveyard Shenanigans
Some of my favorite cards in any Landfall build are fetch lands. I’m not talking about those allied/enemy-colored lands that are often inaccessible to those on a budget.
These cards shine in a deck like infinite Landfall. Especially if you’re a fan of graveyard shenanigans. Imagine how powerful these cards become once you play:
You won’t be able to go infinite with any of the Landfall cheaters mentioned above. But perhaps someone in the comments can find cards that will go off with something like Cystal Vein?
Infinite Landfall Win Conditions
Now that you’ve got your combo going, the question is, what are you going to do with it?
Your best bet is to focus on the lands entering and exiting the battlefield as there is no guarantee that you can utilize their mana.
In that case, the most likely cards to win the game will utilize Landfall to flood the board with creatures, counters, and buffs. Other options will drain opponents of life or cards. Some of my favorite win conditions include:
- Felidar Retreat
- Valakut Exploration
- Retreat to Hagra
- Retreat to Kazandu
- Tunneling Geopede
- Hedron Crab
- Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
In a pinch, you can also take advantage of creatures like Scythe Leopard or Steppe Lynx. They will get infinitely large every time your combo goes off. Swing with those a few times (or resolve Chandra’s Ignition) and you’ll end the game quickly. You’ll end the game even faster if the creature has some evasion and gains counters like Fearless Fledgling or Oran-Rief Hydra.
Infinite Landfall Commander Options
To get this deck’s combo going, the bare minimum is to look to Bant colors (blue, white, and green). If you’re interested in land synergy, then Chulane, Teller of Tales is the perfect option. You can also utilize Thrasios, Triton Hero, for land synergy, as long as he’s partnered with a co-commander that has access to white. Partnerting Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker with Kodama of the East Tree is another option as you can cheat in lands when permanents enter the battlefield.
However, since black and red have some of the most elegant Landfall win conditions, and black tutors will be this deck’s best friend, a four- or five-color commander may be a better option. In that case, I’d suggest:
- Omnath, Locus of Creation: for Landfall synergy
- Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis: for card advantage
- Golos, Tireless Pilgrim: for land synergy
- Horde of Notions: for an elemental sub-theme
- Progenitus: if you hate yourself and your friends
- Esika, God of the Tree: to dig for creatures with The Prismatic Bridge
- Jegantha, the Wellspring: to fix mana
- Sisay, Weatherlight Captain: for a legendary sub-them
If you can think of better commander options for this deck, please comment below.