Back to Basics


Format Legality
Noble Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Casual Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Urza's Saga (USG) Rare

Combos Browse all

Back to Basics


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

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Back to Basics Discussion

Profet93 on Talrand, Token Summoner

1 week ago


I love seeing another Talrand user. The deck looks pretty good. +1 from me. A few suggestions...

  1. Capsize Win condition that is very useful, especially late game.

  2. Force of Will and Mana Drain. You seem like you have a big budget

  3. Memory Lapse goes well with isochron scepter and is a hard counter for 2

  4. Misdirection and Pact of Negation because the blue player is still a threat even when he's tapped out ;)

  5. Muddle the Mixture as a nice counter. Can also be a tutor which is very useful in mono blue. Speaking of tutors, Mystical Tutor might be another option to consider

  6. Remand, Rewind, Swan Song. Telling Time, and Twincast are all nice options as well.

Your avg CMC seems a little bit high, so adding cheaper counter spells will allow you to counter something when it matters most.

  1. Blatant Thievery is a great card for multiplayer

  2. Temporal Manipulation and Time Warp are useful because you have talrand out, cast it, get a drake, do whatever, end the turn. Then have another turn to play a land (blue's way of ramping) and the drake you casted last turn with the extra turn can now attack.

  3. Back to Basics and Overburden help slow your opponents down (Note: overburden won't trigger on your tokens so thats good). Moreover, you have too many creatures for a talrand deck. I can recommend some options of what to take out (creatures and others) if you like.

  4. Speaking of creatures, while we don't want to have to many in the deck, some are worth their weight in gold such as Consecrated Sphinx, Snapcaster Mage (can be reused with Riptide Laboratory, which can also be used for talrand) and Torrential Gearhulk

  5. Ramp. There are a lot of options, some of which you already have. One I like in particular is Sky Diamond because it allows Talrand to come out on turn 3.

I don't know your budget/meta/competitive level but if you want more ideas, feel free to look at my deck Tisk Tisk Talrand.

oblivionz on Tropical Fish

1 week ago

I love UG and just saw your post on reddit, im still new to legacy but i play with Coiling Oracle and yes it is good with Brainstorm but it really shines when you hit Gaea's Cradle (in my case) i guess that Wasteland is the best target in your deck.

Pithing Needle seems to be the best answer to Sword of Fire and Ice.

I have seem some Topless Miracles run Back to Basics and it works for them, but keep in mind that Topless is a full control deck.

Dark_Danda on cEDH: Full Sisay Stax & Hatebear

2 weeks ago


Ahhh, I am so sorry but I forgot about the most relevant card you outlined yourself, which is Gaddock Teeg. Hell yeah, I need to reconsider this boy again - thanks for reminding me! Though it will be tough to decide what to put out out for him. But one thing is sure, it really hits teferi very hard and helps against new spicy deck teck like Reverent Silence (god - why have I even told my friends about that card when I play 33 enchantments!) but it's actually a pretty solid card for tasigur as this deck getss hit pretty hard by Back to basic and Blood Moon.

Initially I was playing Gaddock Teeg but put him out because he doesn't prevent people from playing. He only prevents people from winning (myself included) I.e. he hits Aetherflux Reservoir, Paradox Engine (hurts myself), Ad Nauseam, Living Plane (hurts myself), Teferi, Temporal Archmage, Chain Veil.

It is a bit awkward to play him because you will then commit for the long game and will have to kill him yourself before you can play Paradox Engine. I could consider him against Trinisphere and then I also consider to put in Thorn of Amethyst but don't really know what to put out except for Trinisphere. So I guess this will be either one or the other. It depends on my meta I guess. Will have to think about which card impacts my meta more.

Cheers, Noc

Hc_Clan on Look at this stuff, Isn't it Neat? (Thada Adel)

2 weeks ago

Hey ShreddyBass! Thank you for your feedback! Yes, sorry, I guess it was budget but I've done some upgrades since first posting the deck -- I'll make sure to change that or add budget alternatives in the description. I would recommend if you're playing against precons take out some of the removal and control in exchange for cheap draw spells. You could also do merfolk or clone (shapeshifter) tribal if that interests you! Many merfolk give evasion bonuses (which could help our commander be more effective) and clones sort of 'mimic' our opponents power level which always makes the game more fun.

Here is what I would do if I wanted to do clone tribal on a budget, for example:

Out:Back to Basics, All Is Dust, Bribery, Caged Sun, Cyclonic Rift, Memnarch, Reliquary Tower, Rhystic Study, Sapphire Medallion, Sculpting Steel, Thassa, God of the Sea, Vedalken Shackles, Wurmcoil Engine

In:Stunt Double, Clone, Vizier of Many Faces, Body Double, Saheeli's Artistry

Combined with some ETB effects: Crystal Shard - bounce your own creatures!, Diluvian Primordial, Mulldrifter, Solemn Simulacrum, Archaeomancer

And some goodstuffs:Capsize, Fact or Fiction, Streambed Aquitects, Tideshaper Mystic

comit88 on Bant Itlimoc

3 weeks ago

Using Memnite and Ornithopter to flip Growing Rites into Cradle as early as Turn 2 is a cool idea, but I think the deck needs some fine tuning.

First and foremost, you have entirely too many basics. Fetchlands and Basics play very poorly together (excluding Blood Moon/Back to Basics/etc.) so if your plan is to include Fetch lands in this list, take some of these Basics out for Shock lands. In this list, Polluted Delta is a Swamp that you have to pay 1 life for, and plays worse against Leonin Arbiter/Aven Mindcensor and its just not worth the pay off. A Fetch/Shock mana base is certainly not required, but it does help consistency.

Aside from the clunky mana base, the creature package looks a little stilted. Arbor Elf and Avacyn's Pilgrim are both fine, but something like Birds of Paradise is generally a more versatile and powerful card. Your mana dorks will rarely beat in for damage, so Birds' 0 power isn't that much of a downside, and the ability to chump big fliers in a pinch, and the ability to tap for any color of mana, not just one, is invaluable. Additionally, Arbor Elf is at its best when paired with Green Shock Lands so it can functionally tap for multiple colors, so if you go down that route I like Arbor Elf, but otherwise I'd rather just run an Elvish Mystic so you can get mana even if you don't have a forest. For a higher top end, you could consider running Voyaging Satyr to make Cradle tap for double mana. If you find your list can support it, you could also consider running a few Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx as a supplementary Cradle.

Additionally, I think your Chord of Calling package needs a little work. If we assume we're untaping with a Cradle on turn 4 and 4 creatures in play with 2 lands with no lands to play, we can make 10 mana towards Cradle, 3 of which has to go towards the GGG, so I think we should look at 7 drops. The most popular removal is Path, Bolt, and Push, so by taking things with 5+ cmc and 4+ toughness we can get around a lot of targeted removal, which means we really only need to be concerned with White decks, and odd black decks running Murderous Cut. Myr Battlesphere and Hornet Queen come to mind, or Hydra Broodmaster against grindier decks. Walking Ballista looks really cool with Cradle, but it plays poorly with Chord and its taking up a spot that a Chord target would be occupying, so I would cut it in this specific build. Finally, I'm not sold on Immortal Servitude. It looks good, and helps build back up after a board wipe, but maybe it would be better to just run more dorks, or more Eternal Witness.

tl;drDeck looks sweet. Please remove fetches OR add shocks, consider replacing Pilgrim with Birds, and take Walking Ballista out for another Chord Target.

Dorotheus on Bleach

1 month ago

I feel like playing Wastes with Extraplanar Lens is an easy way to get mana without the worry of others being able to, also worked well with Walking Atlas and Terrain Generator, then you don't have to play a bunch of the poor quality colorless lands, and potential for ramp increases a lot. Also cushions against random non-basic hate like Back to Basics.
Pyramid of the Pantheon is also great, better than basically any 3 mana rock that taps for 1.

PookandPie on Turn 4 Win EDH (Arcum Dagsson Competitive)

1 month ago

I've been playing Arcum heavily since 2013 (my first Commander deck actually), and jumped right on the Paradox Engine train. I'll share some of my random musings with you that I've learned by playing against tier 1 and other tier 1.5 decks:

I hated drawing Possessed Portal. Like, a lot. It didn't help my game plan almost 100% of the time (I think I only comboed with it once post-Engine, and that was because I forced it to make a point), and if I used Arcum to tutor it, then I could have most likely won the game in that same turn. Removing Portal for another, lower cost card allowed me to improve the odds with which I went off with Engine, and I really haven't looked back since its removal (that, and against Doomsday/Ad Nauseam decks, Portal doesn't really do anything. It's great against them if you can drop it before they can cast theirs, but you're at a severe disadvantage: Either you have to cast a 4 mana guy with summoning sickness to even grab it, or you have to pay out 8 mana to stop them from cantripping through their pile of 5 cards and winning. Logistically speaking and outside of the craziest of godhands, it just didn't help me at all, is what I'm saying).

I'm not sure why Mycosynth Lattice is still in the deck, since you no longer run Nevinyrral's Disk or Darksteel Forge. The only thing I see it really mattering for right now is Unwinding Clock for Arcum shenanigans on each opponent's turn, but that's significantly slower than Engine to assemble.

Haven't been a fan of Null Brooch since adding Engine. At 4 + 2 mana to cast and activate, it is way too difficult to cast it before stopping troublesome spells in competitive environments. Odds are if you pull it via Arcum, you could've just pulled Engine and gone off on that same turn. Also, Brooch basically cuts you off from an Engine win, which I find less than satisfactory. I actually pulled Brooch and just started running more counters, lol. Dunno if that helps you or not.

Suggestions for adds:

Phyrexian Revoker- a strong dork that can mess with Hulk sacrifice strategies, Food Chain activations (which Pithing Needle distinctly can't do), and tons more. Also fodder for Arcum if you need it.

Back to Basics is one of my favorite stax pieces in this deck. It hurts other competitive decks pretty significantly (well, non-Flash ones anyway. Even Ad Nauseam is trying to build up to 5-6 mana, and Doomsday typically wants 6 to go off on the same turn)

Myr Moonvessel or Hope of Ghirapur can be useful 1 drops. Or, another 0 drop in the event that you draw one of your two before you can go straight for Monolith + Staff + Rings after assembling Engine + Flute.

There's also things like Spell Pierce and the like which may help too.

Anyway, hopefully this helps.

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