SquirrelCraft is what I have been testing so far, and it's pretty simple to get and pull off. It's not hard at all to run a few Trops/Savannah's for Mystic, the big blue, and Enlightened tutor (another card I don't have to worry about being derpstepped) and still being able to run basic forests and Utopia/Wild growth to get any colors I need, as well still using Courser, Heralds, and Enchantress with Earthcraft to make "infinite" Mana. With 4 Utopia Sprawl, 4 Wild growth, 4 Mystic, and 4 Fastbond it's very very easy to chain out.
Starting point for me is turbodepths, this is my quick rough draft:
I'm 99% sure that depths combo makes it into any lands based desk these days. The question becomes what colors and what interaction you want to have.
Crucible/excavator don't really seem needed in the current environment, though courser might have space when you get up over 30 lands. As far as zuran orb/nomad stadium/kabira crossroads for inf life, I just don't see it as needed over glacial chasm these days. The combo now is a 20/20 flyer or this, almost certainly not both. Plus the depths combo dodges grave hate, unlike cycling barbarian ring or cephalid colosseum over and over.
Bazaar and loam is an excellent draw/card selection engine, I think that takes up slots long before the horizon canopy lands.
Field of the dead is interesting but slow. I don't think it would ever warrant a main deck slot, but if you are running a wish board it is a decent alt win con.
Bojuka bog should probably be in any deck with crop rotation. Haven't figured out a card to cut yet.
Horn of Greed exists as an alternative to Tatyova, it isn't one side but 3 is far easier than 3UG.
Looking at legacy, the GW TurboDepths decks have spicy tech like Tomik and Teeg as protection and disruption. Not sure they are vintage viable though.
I tried doing this with High Tide and either my list or my playing or the core concept was pretty weak, or some combination of those or all three. It was pretty fun way to lose games though.
Courser feels really good. Only thing that might be better is a different Future Sight effect, but then again the gain life is highly relevant to playing a dozen lands off of Fastbond.
I’ve been getting about turn 3 kills fairly consistently (when it has fastbond) in the TurboDepths shell. Issue is that outside of Waste and Ouphe it really doesn’t have much interaction. Storm decks probably crush it.
@vaughnbros the biggest downside to courser is it’s a total blowout when opponent has force of vigor. Just a reminder more than anything, I’ve seen several people forget he’s an enchantment and it goes poorly lol.
Biggest thing to beating storm is a sphere based board. Your best chance is landing sphere then rod and keeping them off of lands as much as possible. Ritual storm is always lands’ worst matchup (outside of something off the wall like 8 moon). 4 sphere and trinisphere in the board and chalice gives you a decent shot against decks like DPS or at least buys you time. Often even a turn one lage on its own can be too slow.
I also like to diversify by splashing white for Thalia so if they keep hurkyls it’s not a total blowout. This is often not that hard since you already have multiple riftstone and karakas and Mox Diamond.
On the PO side of things I really like to splash black for Chains which buys a lot of time against them and has some effect on DPS and also a big impact against xerox.
Clearly none of these are an auto win but lands revolves around gaining incremental advantage and tightening the prison around them a lot of the time more than just jamming lage as fast as possible.
The deck can also easily support 4-5 colors which I’ve been playing for a long time. So branching out from the main base isn’t that bad.
Just some thoughts.
Issue is that outside of Waste and Ouphe it really doesn’t have much interaction. Storm decks probably crush it.
Outside of adding 4-6 sphere effects I'm not sure that is solvable, and even then they are planning to win through that against shops. GW gives Teeg, but how likely is it that they can storm out without bounce/kill?
You could try BG with discard, and maybe a backup hogaak plan.
I think I would be curious to see where depths combo goes, and if it is really the right build. I have always hated giving my opponent a turn to draw an answer, and marit lage still cannot beat infinite life.
Right now I'm trying to put together a BUG control list with it and I still really like having a deck filled with pitch answers and broken cards that just happens to have an "ops I win" switch every so often.
I'm really happy that there seems to be multiple builds for this though, it does make me feel like this was a good card to unrestrict.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about removal, or counterspells due to the sheer number of value cards in a lands shell. The reason to play the deck is this resilience to other control, and ultimately thus will need to be good against BUG.
Veil of Summer is potentially an interesting anti storm option that is playable against blue. On top of, or in addition to some more devoted hate. Don’t think Spheres seem right to me. The deck can’t really reliably play them turn 1.
@vaughnbros the vintage version can much more easily run ancient tomb and it has a lot more fast mana and can easily play sphere turn one. Sphere has always been one of my best board cards in several matchups from xerox to all in combo. It’s one of the best ways to contain the unfair decks in the early games so that your toolbox of lands has a chance to get going and take over
Also post board removal is very important for the deck. I’m not sure why this wouldn’t be a factor you’d consider even given all the different lands.
Adding Ancient Tomb + Sphere as a whole package warps the deck to much different than I have mine set up. It’s possible that is better, but seems like it would cut into the decks’ consistency quite a bit and push it to be pretty different from the legacy lists.
Removal is important for the lands deck to play... I just don’t think it’s that much of a worry of opponents playing it against you. True “Blow out by Force of Vigor” is going to be few and far between.
@vaughnbros understood. I misunderstood your first removal comment. The biggest blowouts are usually the all in on lage getting hit by swords then your blue opponent buries you with Card advantage.
In the weeks to come it may also be pertinent to be weary of surgical which can be a blowout and may see an uptick in play with misstep gone and fastbond around.
I once had a Marit lage get fire/iced (as in tap your Marit lage), opponent got an oath trigger off my tapped lage, gets inferno Titan, top decks his only Jace bounce Marit lage. That was a blowout right there. Lol. Clearly not normal but sometimes the strangest cards get you.
Reclaimer and Ouphe is a pretty solid beat down plan. I’ve been trying Hollow Ones in addition (since the deck already wants to run Bazaars). That should make it immune to random Surgical.
Deciding if Punishing Grove is viable, which is one of the areas the legacy builds can grind out insane CA along with Loams/Wrenn. I think a lot of blue decks struggle to out CA that. Long games can definitely get weird though, which will make some of the singleton land choices important.
@vaughnbros I tried hollow one in the board for a while but it never impressed me in the deck. He can add more early beatdown value though.
I like Bob out of the board as well in certain metas. He provides incredible CA without having to use the yard or if the opponent goes crazy on grave hate. He’s not the world’s best beater but he adds a lot of value especially next to Ouphe/reclaimer
Punishing fire/grove has always been very medium for me in vintage. It can pick off walkers sometimes and certain creatures but it’s dead in some matchups and very slow. Maybe alongside Wrenn it has more value but I’ve never been a fan and don’t think it’s good enough in a deck that already has so few slots to play with. I’ve tried punishing fire in the board however and it felt better there but it was still awkward.
I’ve been going much more into black. I think it offers a lot more options in vintage for this deck then red.
Brewed a “Gruul Lands” deck:
4 Wrenn and Six
1 Wheel of Fortune
4 Life from the Loam
4 Crop Rotation
4 Force of Vigor
1 Mental Misstep
Chalice of the Void
1 Sphere of Resistance
1 Mox Diamond
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
2 Dark Depths
3 Thespian's Stage
2 Riftstone Portal
1 Strip Mine
1 Bojuka Bog
2 Wooded Foothills
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Glacial Chasm
I playtested it with a friend today, and it won matches against Survival and Aggro Shops (so extrapolating mathematically, this deck can't lose).
^ re: The 4x Wrenn & Stimpy, and 4x maindeck Force of Vigor, I wanted to maximize their gameplay during our limited playtesting. but Force of Vigor still seems great; they replaced Ancient Grduges, and the Disenchant effect gets most graveyard hate. btw there are 20 non-FoV green cards in the deck.
Wheel seems good when dumping your hand (via T1 Fastbond, or via T1 Exploration plus Bazaar-ing), and works with the “Tombstone Icon” cards (Life from the Loam and Riftstone Portal, and maybe Ancient Grudge).
re: 3 Thespian's Stage & 2 Dark Depths, idk how many is best. maybe it's 1/1, maybe 4/3.
the maindeck toolboxes (for 8-12 land tutors) is a The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale (creature hate) and a Bojuka Bog (graveyard hate). but Bojuka Bog both enters tapped and is off-color, which really sucks.
no clue about the Sideboard. even with golgari grave troll restricted, I assume Dredge is still Tier-One, abd any graveyard deck will suffer during the sideboard games. so, I don't know if the countermeasure is a transformational sideboard, or more disenchant interaction, or what.