PROTRADER: Slowlands: What’s the Play?

By Guo Heng

Battle for Zendikar spoiler season official begins next week, but the hype train for the set has been revved up to Shinkansen-mode after last weekend’s big reveal at Pax Prime.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Who am I kidding. Any Magic player who is not living under a rock would know that the hype train is currently fuelled by these sweet reveals:

Arid Mesa Full ArtSteam Vents Full Art

The initial disappointment with the enemy fetches not being reprinted in Battle for Zendikar  was short-lived. Wizards are well aware of their unique position to be able to print literal $200 bills and they are not shy about doing so, which I think is great as Magic is a trading card game at heart and these are the elite of the elite gems to aspire towards in terms of collecting. Wizards pulled out all the big guns for the Zendikar Expedition lands: full art, foil, and with a special border (a.k.a. Battle for Zendikar is likely to be the only set where you can find these).

I wouldn’t be discussing the ultra-rare Zendikar Expeditions pulls. My fellow MTGPrice writers, Travis Allen (@wizardbumpin) and Derek Madlem (@GoingMadlem) wrote extensively about the Zendikar Expeditions lands on Wednesday and I would highly recommend reading their articles.

I would be discussing about the other set of lands that are fuelling the hype train.

Cinder GladeSunken Hollow

Smoldering MarshCanopy Vista

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5 thoughts on “PROTRADER: Slowlands: What’s the Play?”

  1. So… What’s the play? I don’t think you ever actually said if you are pre ordering these or waiting.

    1. Nevermind, got confused. So your play is to buy the ones you need to play with before Pro Tour and pick up the rest after?

  2. I have a bit of a theory about how these will be played, and a rather unique possibility/opportunity/idea for all the Scrying Speculators….

    Other duals and fetches are tied to blue/red (recently) and blue/black (traditionally) due to the power those colors (ie blue. And blue…) provide in Vin/Leg.

    Modern is the other eternal format. Blue fetches and shocks still echo blue as the stronger of the lot.

    But this is all tied to “the cards they fuel” in their capacity as lands. Not because some are more valuable/useful AS LANDS- they are in fact the “same” to each color. Except in one small way, which MAY impact the play and eventual “top of the pile” for this cycle.


    GREEN has the spells which can fetch lands, some (natures lore) specify only “forest”, as with flagstones and some other non green lands. Green duals COULD and possibly should be easier to justify if they had the next spot after Blue…..

    But in modern especially, the green ones SHOULD be more playable (and this played), due to green’s many ramp and basic tutor/fetch options.

    Green based deck can get out extra lands, hit 2 basics quicker, or offset a tapped Tango with last turns mana dork, to defer curvebreaking one turn, and maintain it on the second turn.

    So in theory, i foresee Green-Red and Green-White fitting better into Zooish stuff, than others would in any other existing archetypes.

    And now that we’re approaching a second block with landfall, and nissa V is rocking the house already, i am hoping to see some Sexy new Valakut builds, land dumpster shenanigans, and that sort of thing.

    Jamming a (coupla?) valakuts in with animists awakening and general ramp doodz (and that crazy stupid 8GG Super Cascade thing from AVR)…we are talking pyjama pillowfights right there.

  3. Let me water down the above comment to this scenario in modern:
    * Play forest, tap for G.
    * Wild Cantor. Sac for G…
    * Caravan Vigil- fetch second basic (ETB UNTAPPED!)
    * Tango’s are go for “landing” (pun intended)

    Second possibility (no vigil in openinghand)
    * Forest > G
    * Land > Sakura Elder
    * Tango’s are go

    Chuck in eternal witness and Collected Company….looks reasonable at worst!!!

    Is it safe to assume 5 of the “Sweat” lands and second Expedition will include the Enemy Tangos? What else does that leave us, since there’s 20 spots and that’s just 5 accounted for…..

    …..could be:
    *Grove of Burnwillows, Horizon Canopy cycle
    * Kamigawa cycle
    * Filters
    * Original Manlands (give eternal players pimpy Tar Pits and Colonnades)
    * Full cycle of checklands full art (seems they’re finding their place now)
    * A pimp legacy cycle??? (Dreaming of the original legendary lands….)

    In my sickest dreams, they go crazy and give us orignal duals as foiled full arts, with the old color spiral as a border in tribute….

    In slightly less disturbed ones, we get Expeditions to the 5 original legendary lands, 5 kamigawa ones, 5 enemy tangos, and 5 mono manlands (faerie conclave, treetop village, etc).

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