Landstill is a blue/white-based control deck that has been a major archetype in Legacy since the birth of the format. The deck has worked around using the card drawing capability of Standstill with effects that are not spells, such as Mishra's Factory and Decree of Justice. Because Landstill often has the ability to play lands every turn, the deck can afford to play more powerful and expensive spells with a converted mana cost of four. Cards such as Wrath of God, Fact or Fiction, Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Moat, and Humility have devastating effects on most major Legacy decks; and, with the effects created by these cards, Landstill can use incremental card advantage to overwhelm the opponent with more resources, thus winning the game in a controlled manner.
Deck theory[edit | edit source]
Landstill is a control deck based heavily around incremental card advantage and board control, often utilizing powerful spells and effects to slow the pace of the game and allow the pilot to either minimize the effectiveness of opponent's cards or negate their effects altogether. Cards such as Swords to Plowshares, Mishra's Factory, Force of Will and Counterspell allow the deck to have controlling effects in the early game while Wrath of God, Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Fact or Fiction, Brainstorm and Humility help the pilot sculpt his or her hand and board position to minimize the opponent's ability to win. While Landstill has many powerful effects it does not rely too heavily on any specific cards to operate effectively. Therefore, cards such as Extirpate and Meddling Mage do not necessarily prevent the Landstill player from taking control of the game.
The key play in Landstill involves using Force of Will to counter an opponent's turn 1 play and then playing Standstill on turn 2. This give the opponent the option of immediately breaking the Standstill and giving Landstill 3 more cards, or waiting for an opportune time to break Standstill, such as when the Landstill player has seven cards in hand at the end step. However, because the Landstill deck is built to operate without breaking Standstill players are often forced to play spells to destroy attacking lands or soldier tokens.
Landstill has 2 main win conditions: Mishra's Factory and Decree of Justice. Decree of Justice is the best win condition for the deck because the more mana sources available the bigger the effect is, it can be played at instant speed during an opponent's end step to avoid cards like Wrath of God, and because it is a cycling trigger it cannot easily be countered. Elspeth, Knight-Errant, while much more vulnerable, is a great secondary win condition both as an outlet to create more soldier tokens and the ability to make all the permanents the deck controls indestructible.
Some builds of Landstill utilize Cunning Wish as a way to have a better game 1 against several different archetypes, but lack a solid sideboard plan against most archetypes. Being that Dredge/Ichorid is widely considered to be the worst matchup for Landstill, Cunning Wish gives the deck a way to win the first game consistently, as well as have a plan post sideboard as well. Cunning Wish often acts as a 5th copy of some cards in the deck, such as Path to Exile and Counterspell, as well as an additional Fact or Fiction. Players then have the ability to build their sideboard according to metagame predictions.
Examples[edit | edit source]
This is a Landstill build designed by Magic player and theorist Chris Walton.