Back to Basics


Format Legality
Vintage Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Legacy Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Urza's Saga Rare

Combos Browse all

Back to Basics


Nonbasic lands don't untap during their controllers' untap steps.

View at Gatherer Browse Alters

Price & Acquistion Set Price Alerts

Cardhoarder (MTGO)

21.08 TIX $13.95 Foil

Card Kingdom



Recent Decks

Load more

Back to Basics Discussion

thegigibeast on Dramatic Locust

6 days ago


Yeah sure I was not seeing it like this... I understand now and I want to have access to those colors and would not want to be screwed during combo turn or forced to play slower because of this... I need to find some hate pieces to replace them. For now they will remain, but I will find something to switch. Back to Basics is already in the deck, I need to find other pieces...

Aethos on The Locusts are Coming... (cEDH)

1 week ago

I think if you really wanted to make this a cEDH deck, you would need to move more towards fast, consistent and robust infinite mana combos without your commander and use him solely as a wincon. All the combos that involve him become very expensive and therefore too slow. A good cEDH combo deck usually has a possible starting hand to go off on turn 2 (maybe even 1) and a realistic chance of comboing on turn 3 or 4. Combos like 6 mana commander + 3 mana ashnod's + 2 mana skull or 6 mana commander + 4 mana mana echoes are just too slow. Something like Goblin Welder also seems very much out of place.

The 2 taxing effects that I liked btw were Back to Basics and Blood Moon. I would play those, but I wouldn't play Frozen AEther.

For regular commander this deck seems a bit overkill, most casual players probably won't enjoy being combo killed turn 5 by a 3k deck. There I would take out some of the crazy stuff and put in some more fun interactions. For cEDH I think you are still too slow, but it's a good starting point. But I'm also not an expert in cEDH, it's just my two cents worth.

izzetkid987 on MoBlu Spellspam

1 week ago

Adds I would recommend: More lands 35 is pretty risky and generally you would prefer mana flood to mana screw. I would aim for 38 myself. Utility lands Yeah, this list runs Back to Basics but you will not always draw it and a couple dead lands with it out still is not so bad. You exclude a lot of useful effects like Reliquary Tower, Myriad Landscape, Riptide Laboratory (for protecting talrand), Faerie Conclave/Dread Statuary (for emergency blocks) etc. by not running nonbasics and mono-colour decks with no duals have the most space for those. More mana acceleration Most edh decks need ramp and this deck is no exception. With more mana, you can counter more spells per turn cycle. Sol Ring and other mana rocks are staples. I would aim for ten total. More card draw Same deal as ramp. Most of your counters trade 1 for 1 with your opponent's spells so you will need hand refills or you will run out of cards trying to trade 1 for 1 with 1 with 3 or 4 opponents. Pretty basic multiplayer card advantage. This deck prefers instants so it can keep mana up for counters. Blue Sun's Zenith, Stroke of Genius, and Pull from Tomorrow have a big impact. Perilous Research costs little and you can just sacrifice the drake it makes. Board wipes Some games you will fall behind your opponents so you need more reset buttons. Evacuation, Inundate, Crush of Tentacles, and Engulf the Shore all get you out of sticky situations and simulate a blue Wrath of God. Oblivion Stone permanently destroys. Other Curse of the Swine, Pongify, and Rapid Hybridization are all instant or sorcery spot removal. Rise from the Tides gets you a LOT of tokens. Dismiss replaces itself. Propaganda protects you. Brainstorm, Telling Time, Think Twice, Opt and other cantrips do not really give you net card draw since you use up a spell to cast them, but give you card quality instead.Cuts I would recommend: Kraken's Eye is probably bad because cards that only gain you life typically are. Elixir of Immortality is the same unless you are regularly near decking yourself. Backfire, Creature Bond, Feedback, Power Taint, Psychic Venom and other cards that only damage players are typically too low impact in edh. Disperse and Flash Counter are strictly worse than Into the Roil and Dispel. Cancel is strictly worse than s many other options; here is an entire article detailing them: Disappearing Act seems worse than Cancel unless you particularly want to replay your permanents.

TheDevicer on [List - Multiplayer] EDH Generals by Tier

2 weeks ago

I'm familiar with the list. It's good given how terrible Arcanis is even if I think some of the cards there are questionable. However, I disagree with not including tools that slow down the game. Arcanis actually has pretty decent end game if you get to a point where you can cast him and keep him out. The problem is that you're shit out of luck trying to crawl to turn 7 when literally every other deck you're facing has better tools than you. Brewstorm's list is essentially a rehash of existing Mono U strats. Although effective for what they are, they offer no reason for playing arcanis in the first place.

Even if this point isn't accepted by the community, I can improve that list in 10 min. That list has some greedy cards like Pemmin's Aura and the deck doesn't need Laboratory Maniac to win since you can stroke or zenith the board instead. I also think that even with the Back to Basics, the mana base can afford to be greedier.

Decrepit_Angel on The Tax Man's Paradox

3 weeks ago

Fair enough. I just remember from my days of running the Arbiter having a real struggle with colored mana due to the constraints of Back to Basics (which was incredibly good in my meta with a lot of people running 3+ color decks) and I would get stuck trying to hold up both Mana Drain and Swan Song for example and being unable to do so.

As an additional note, you could take some ideas from the Thrasios storm decks given that a lot of them run the Scepter/Reversal/Engine combo. Perhaps Aetherflux Reservoir could be of use to you for incremental life gain and just to end the game when you get your combo. Worst case scenario, if you get over 50, you can always threaten to spite someone who tries to stop you or tries to go for their own combo by killing them off, even if it kills you. This has kept me in games that I should have lost and actually won me a few games because my opponent would not go for a combo while I had the ability to kill them on board in response.

Decrepit_Angel on The Tax Man's Paradox

3 weeks ago

As someone who used to run GAAIV as my primary deck, I appreciate the fact that you genuinely mixed up the old formula of the deck into a more interesting, and quite frankly, better version from the looks of it. Helm+RIP was a decent combo but I felt that it was too weak to hold the deck on its own which is why in my list I started to move closer to the Scepter/Reversal/Engine combo as you have. Unfortunately, I played in a very casual environment which meant that I was targeted by the entire table before the game even started which convinced me to move on from GAAIV to my current deck which can actually survive the entire table targeting me whereas the Arbiter would struggle in that scenario.

As a side note, how has Blue Sun's Zenith been for you? In testing, the 3xU cost made it almost uncastable for me due to the constraints of a Back to Basics land base. I would actually consider the new one from AKH over it just because it only costs 2xU, even if it makes you discard a card and doesn't shuffle itself back into library.

rhystictutor on Please have a seat

4 weeks ago

So easily wrecked by Back to Basics, Blood Moon, or Ruination.

titanreaver on UBg DepthsStill

4 weeks ago

I like the splash of green in the deck. I was wondering though if you are going to splash for green would it be worth playing something like Krosan Grip or Abrupt Decay to your board to deal with things like Blood Moon or Back to Basics or anything like that or simply having a utility like Boomerang instead of so many counter spell effects. I know in similar decks I have played I had problems against aggro decks that could out pace my counters or simply play through them. I haven't played a deck like this in a while though so I may be way off base. It looks sweet at any rate.

Load more