The Rogue Report – This Land is Your Land… (Modern)

No, this land is definitely MY land.

Welcome back to another edition of the Rogue Report, I’m Cody, and this week we have a super budget friendly deck that can pull off wins here and there in the Modern format.

I wasn’t a magic player until Theros block dropped (September 2013), so unfortunately I missed the glory days for a lot of powerful and historic magic cards. It turns out this concept dates all the way back to the Standard format of 2005. Without further ado, this week we’ll be exploring Eminent Domain in Modern!

I became interested in this deck back in May 2015 when SaffronOlive over at MTGGoldfish wrote about it. SaffronOlive is a legend in my books and has definitely had a hand in shaping my identity as a magic player. I teeter somewhere between a competitive player and a jank-loving “Johnny”, and if SaffronOlive’s lists didn’t exist, it would be a lot easier to discipline myself. This deck is 100% intended for my jank-loving side and I sincerely doubt that I’d ever play this at a competitive tournament. However, this deck has provided some of the most fun games of magic I have ever played.

The general idea of this deck is to ramp, although our ramping might be a little less than traditional. In this deck we’re using rocks like Izzet Signet and Mind Stone to propel us into our later turns. Alongside these pretty run-of-the-mill mana rocks, we have our secret ramp specials; Annex and Dream Leash. Okay, okay, so we play a bunch of mana rocks and steal their lands, that’s pretty cool, but what are we going to do now that we have a healthy surplus of mana? Blow up the world, of course. In comes Wildfire. When we Wildfire, it’s pretty likely that we’re sacrificing  X amount of our lands and X amount of our opponents lands (that we control) and coming out on top in land count. Not to mention, we still get to keep all those mana rocks we’ve already played. From here, the idea is to stick a hard threat for our opponent to deal with, while our opponent is mana starved. This is a great time to be using Frost Titan. This titan will be near impossible to target, as we’ll cast it and lock down an opposing land, as well as every subsequent turn as we attack.

Let’s have a look at SaffronOlive’s 2015 Eminent Domain list:
(only approx. 20-25 TIX online!)Frost Titan

Creatures (4)
4x Frost Titan
Spells (18)
4x Lightning Bolt
1x Repeal
4x Anticipate
3x Mana Leak
2x Pyroclasm
4x Wildfire
Artifacts (8)
4x Izzet Signet
4x Mind Stone
Enchantments (8)
4x Annex
4x Dream LeashDream Leash
Lands (22)
9x Island
1x Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
8x Mountain
4x Sulfur Falls
Sideboard (15)
3x Dispel
4x Rending Volley
2x Repeal
2x Smelt
2x Negate
2x Dismember

Now, I am no deck-building aficionado, but it’s been a few years since this deck was recognized. Maybe there’s some room to grow. Maybe we can look at less budget-friendly cards to include.

The first thing that jumped out at me was Smelt in the sideboard. We’re going to upgrade to Vandalblast/By Force. I considered Shattering Spree here as well, but think By Force will be more effective and easier to cast. Although, I would like some amount of Vandalblast in the 75 due to it’s casting cost of 1, rather than By Force‘s  “xR” variable cost.

Is it just me or does anybody else just want to jam Blood Moon somewhere in here? It doesn’t really hurt our mana situation and can outright steal games. Doesn’t feel perfectly at home here but let’s try it anyway. With no way to turn 2 cast Blood Moon it becomes slightly less appealing to me. Let’s try to make some space for Simian Spirit Guide too.

Anticipate is another one that is gaining my attention. Anticipate is fine here, but as mentioned by SaffronOlive in his 2015 article, Serum Visions is strictly better. Since they’ve been reprinted they are much more affordable.

Repeal can help with unknown pesky permanents, but for the sake of today’s Ad Nauseum players and opposing counter-magic, we’re going to include a singleton copy of Wipe Away.

Just for funsies, we’re going to give a nod to Frost Titan‘s little dragon-brother, Icefall Regent. Just as hard to target when we get into our game plan, comes down a turn earlier, yet cannot lock down a land of the opponent’s.

I don’t think a turn 2 Pyroclasm is as necessary is it used to be (when Infect was bigger), so we’re going to try using Anger of the Gods. The prospect of exiling creatures in game 1 seems nice now (looking at Dredge, CoCo, etc.)

However, I do really like the 4x Rending Volley in the sideboard still. This gives us a great sideboard card to blow up Spell Queller (if Rending Volley doesn’t get quelled), and even more importantly, Meddling Mage (among other relevant cards). If our opponent is a fast learner or a Johnny-janks-a-lot as well, they can Meddling Mage call Wildfire, and our whole plan is basically ruined.

Icefall Regent

Here’s a very rough list I have together so far and will be moving forward with in testing:

Creatures (7)
3x Simian Spirit Guide
3x Frost Titan
1x Icefall Regent
Spells (14)
Serum Visions2x Lightning Bolt
4x Serum Visions
2x Mana Leak
2x Anger of the Gods
4x Wildfire
Artifacts (8)
4x Izzet Signet
4x Mind Stone
Enchanments (11)
3x Blood Moon
4x Annex
4x Dream Leash
Lands (20)
9x Island
1x Mikokoro, Center of the SeaShadow of Doubt
6x Mountain
4x Sulfur Falls
Sideboard (15)
1x Vandalblast
1x By Force
1x Wipe Away
3x Rending Volley
2x Shadow of Doubt
2x Dispel
1x Izzet Staticaster
2x Dragon’s Claw
2x Ceremonious Rejection

As I stated earlier, I’m no deck-building aficionado, but this looks like an okay start to me. I included Ceremonious Rejection for the obvious help vs. Eldrazi-based decks whilst having some splash in our Robots and Lantern matches.

Dragon’s Claw seems like a solid inclusion vs. Burn and Storm decks.

Shadow of Doubt is just a personal pet card, I jam it whenever I can. It fits our theme of resource denial in this deck, as it can effectively act as a 2 mana Stone Rain vs. fetch lands. The thing that I really like about this card is it’s application in the Titan/Scapeshift matchup. Using this card in other decks before I’ve been able to stop the searching from not only fetch lands, but Sakura-Tribe Elders (my opponent hastily sacrificed two Sakura-Tribe Elders to search/shortcut, in which I was able to Shadow of Doubt them both into oblivion), as well as stopping my opponent from searching from casting Scapeshift, and/or casting/attacking with a Primeval Titan. There’s a lot of neat stuff going on with this card. Also noteworthy vs. Gifts Ungiven.

Wipe Away is here for any problem permanent in a pinch with it’s split second goodness, yet more intended for bouncing Phyrexian Unlife in the Ad Nauseum matchup. It’s the best Abrupt Decay impression we have given this scenario, can’t be countered by their Pact of Negations after drawing their whole deck, and will kill them on spot (if they’ve gone into negative life from drawing their deck with Ad Nauseum or Spoils of the Vault‘ing. Can also bounce a Laboratory Maniac if they try to win that way.

Don’t forget the back up plan! What do we do if we’re staring down a gnarly creature threat? Eat one hit, and then steal it! Dream Leash isn’t here to just punk lands, folks.

And if you’re lucky enough to be paired against TRON with this deck, try assembling TRON yourself!
Man’s not hot, but assembling your opponent’s TRON lands couldn’t be hotter.

I hope you’ve thoroughly enjoyed this edition on The Rogue Report!
Let me know what you think of Eminent Domain. Any suggestions, constructive criticism and general thoughts are much welcomed and very appreciated!

I started writing about M:tG not only to inform people of some of the cool bits of information I’ve picked up on, but to keep up my studying ethic. Even writing about budget friendly, rogue or brain-child decks is beneficial to me, as it keeps me surveying old cards, scouring gatherer, innovating and asking more people more questions.

Don’t be afraid to comment, and please keep sharing on social media!
Thanks for all the support!


Cody McCowell

Cody McCowell

Cody is a magic player aspiring to one day play in the Pro Tour. He is enthusiastic about avid, competitive play and interested in off-beat strategies, multi-format grinding and competing in other CCG'S (Force of Will, Hearthstone, Pokemon, Dragon Ball Super).

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