Back to Basics

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Custom Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Leviathan Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Ultimate Masters (UMA) Rare
Urza's Saga (USG) Rare

Combos Browse all

Back to Basics

Enchantment

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

Back to Basics Discussion

Hellizha on OONA, Queen of the Combo

5 days ago

Very nice deck! <3

I"m a little concern about the lands, 32 seem low a little, did you ever struggle? Also so few basics, thing like Blood Moon or Back to Basics could make your day miserable. Let me know what you think about that!

becks16 on urza's enginering

1 week ago

You could just replace an island. It just gives a few synergies for things like Unwinding Clock , Mox Opal , Academy Ruins , Tezzeret the Seeker , Urza's construct, etc. Though I did not notice Back to Basics which would be anti-synergy

SideBae on Alela, control-aggro

2 weeks ago

I'm glad you found my comment helpful. That's a good point about Divine Visitation -- it may be a win-more card anyway, and Kindred Discovery seems like a good reason to keep it out.

I do think that you should at least switch the Dimir Signet and Azorius Signet for their talisman counterparts. I say this because casting a talisman when you only have two mana up means you have one available when it resolves, whereas the signets require a mana to activate. (In general, I think the talismans are better than signets.)

My only other advice right now concerns Tainted Pact . You can turn this into a tutor-proper/ Laboratory Maniac win condition if you make your landbase truly singleton. (Since the only way it gets stopped is if you hit two of the same-name basic in a row.) Since you run 17 basics, this would mean changing 14 of them. A good way to start is by making 3 of the 14 into snow-covered versions of themselves; Tainted Pact only cares about names, so Snow-Covered Island and Island are totally different cards as far as it is concerned. (Note that if you want to keep the basic count high, switching half of each basic type to snow-covered will make the Tainted Pact less likely to fail, even with doubles in the deck.) That'd leave 11 lands to be replaced, though I don't think that'd be too difficult if you're willing to invest in your landbase a little. For instance, putting in the fetches you don't currently have would take care of 6 of those slots; more options include Forbidden Orchard , City of Brass , Mystic Gate , Sunken Ruins , etc. Remember that even if you don't go fully singleton, running fewer basics with the same name will increase Tainted Pact 's power.

If you don't want to do that, I suggest cutting Tainted Pact for Back to Basics .

GhostChieftain on Mill, Mill, Mill for a Million

1 month ago

I am not sure if you actually want to make this competitive or if you were just mentioning that the competitive gauge is silly. I am just going to yeet in assuming the former.

First thing I would do is scrap everything 4 cmc or greater that doesn't almost immediately win me the game. I would cut your creature count by about half if not more. Lastly for cuts, I would put at the very most 33 lands in here and replace the ones you take out with some rocks.

As a mill deck, you will want to shut off your opponent's access to their graveyards. Planar Void is my fav for lazav, but Grafdigger's Cage , Nihil Spellbomb , Relic of Progenitus , and Silent Gravestone all really do the trick.

Your counterspell package should probably drop all of the ones greater than 2 cmc and add in Swan Song , Delay , Flusterstorm , Pact of Negation , Mana Drain , Mana Leak , Mental Misstep , Muddle the Mixture , Tale's End , Force of Will .

Tutors and draw are very quick ways to make an okay deck much better. For draw you can have Necropotence , Mystic Remora , Rhystic Study , Consecrated Sphinx , Brainstorm , Search for Azcanta  Flip, Wheel and Deal . The wheel effects are particularly nice because they bring down your opponent's deck size as well. For tutors ya get Demonic Tutor , Vampiric Tutor , Imperial Seal , Mystical Tutor , Fabricate , Intuition , Merchant Scroll , Whir of Invention .

I would add in artifacts and enchantments that slow your opponents to a point that they can't do much and your counterspells can really devastate them. Cursed Totem , Winter Orb , Static Orb , Trinisphere , Back to Basics , Pithing Needle , Sorcerous Spyglass , Torpor Orb , Nether Void

Lastly I would probably run a lab man consultation package as an extra win con Laboratory Maniac , Jace, Wielder of Mysteries , Demonic Consultation , Tainted Pact .

I hope even if you don't go quite in this direction that this gives you a glimpse into a spikier mindset and can give you some ideas for this and future decks. Cheers!

GhostChieftain on Lazav,Dimir Mastermind

1 month ago

I am not sure if you actually want to make this competitive or if you were just mentioning that the competitive gauge is silly. I am just going to yeet in assuming the former.

First thing I would do is scrap everything 5 cmc or greater that doesn't almost immediately win me the game. I would cut your creature count by about half if not more. Lastly for cuts, I would put at the very most 33 lands in here (i.e. cut 7 and add in mana rocks like Dimir Signet , Fellwar Stone , and Talisman of Dominance )

As a mill deck, you will want to shut off your opponent's access to their graveyards. Planar Void is my fav for lazav, but Grafdigger's Cage , Nihil Spellbomb , Relic of Progenitus , and Silent Gravestone all really do the trick.

Your counterspell package should probably drop all of the ones greater than 2 cmc and add in Swan Song , Delay , Flusterstorm , Pact of Negation , Mana Drain , Mana Leak , Mental Misstep , Muddle the Mixture , Tale's End , Force of Will .

Tutors and draw are very quick ways to make an okay deck much better. For draw you can have necropotence, Mystic Remora , Rhystic Study , Consecrated Sphinx , Brainstorm , Search for Azcanta  Flip, Dark Deal , Wheel and Deal , Whispering Madness , and Windfall . The wheel effects are particularly nice because they bring down your opponent's deck size as well. For tutors ya get Demonic Tutor , Vampiric Tutor , Imperial Seal , Mystical Tutor , Fabricate , Intuition , Merchant Scroll , Whir of Invention .

I would add in artifacts and enchantments that slow your opponents to a point that they can't do much and your counterspells can really devastate them. Null Rod , Cursed Totem , Winter Orb , Static Orb , Trinisphere , Back to Basics , Pithing Needle , Sorcerous Spyglass , Torpor Orb , Nether Void

Lastly I would probably run a lab man consultation package as an extra win con Laboratory Maniac , Jace, Wielder of Mysteries , Demonic Consultation , Tainted Pact .

I hope even if you don't go quite in this direction that this gives you a glimpse into a spikier mindset and can give you some ideas for this and future decks. Cheers!

SideBae on The Scarab God

1 month ago

So for starters, I think you should definitely include Ponder and Preordain . These two one-mana cantrips don't look like much, but they'll let you run thirty-three lands rather easily and smooth out your draws. There's a reason they're super-banned in Modern, and it's not 'cause no one likes them.

Brainstorm is similar to the aforementioned, but you need shuffle effects to make it good -- getting stuck with two dead cards on top of your deck blows chunks. I think you need at least three fetches to justify running brainstorm, and probably want six plus, really. If the Zendikar/Onslaught fetches ( Polluted Delta , Verdant Catacombs , etc.) are inaccessible (they often are), there're other fetch options. Prismatic Vista is good, but that one can be expensive too... Evolving Wilds , Bad River , Rocky Tar Pit , Flood Plain , Terramorphic Expanse and Ash Barrens are all valid and much more affordable.

Concerning your counter-board, there's room for (a little) improvement without breaking the bank. Disallow , for instance, is a strictly better Cancel . I don't think Thought Collapse is very good... three mana is a lot of pay for a counterspell is a lot, and milling an opponent is frequently good for them in EDH. I think you may be better off using that slot for something like Fact or Fiction (which builds card-advantage) or a low-cost counter like Spell Snare , Spell Pierce or Dispel .

The best way to improve this deck, I think, is to work on the mana-rocks. The best ones outside Sol Ring ( Mana Crypt , Mana Vault , Mox Diamond , etc.) are unfortunately very expensive; however, there're a lot of two-mana mana rocks that are very affordable, and you may already have lying around. In my experience, two-mana rocks are a lot better than three mana rocks. Consider some or all of the following: Talisman of Dominance , Dimir Signet , Fellwar Stone , Arcane Signet (I think/hope the price will drop soon), Mind Stone , Prismatic Lens , Everflowing Chalice ... These'll let you keep up with green decks, or at least have a chance of doing so.

I see you're running Gravecrawler . I feel semi-obliged to point out that Skullclamp is stupidly good with Gravecrawler . Note that if you have a lord like Diregraf Captain out, it becomes slightly less fun; however, with your Carrion Feeder , you can keep it coming.

I think most UB decks benefit from running Ashiok, Dream Render and Narset, Parter of Veils . Their hatebear-like static abilities are super relevant in EDH, and if you pair Narset, Parter of Veils with your Windfall , you're halfway to playing Leovold, Emissary of Trest (who, thank whatever G-d may be, is banned).

Obviously, I don't know exactly how this deck will play -- I've never played this list. However, I suspect you end up with a lot of guys on the field. If that's the case, consider Slate of Ancestry as a draw engine with discard as a perk.

If you run a reanimation package, you can get cards like your Grave Titan down REAL fast. Consider Entomb in addition to your Buried Alive , and two or three cards like Animate Dead , Reanimate , Necromancy , Dance of the Dead , etc. Depending how spicy you want to get, Dreams of the Dead is in your colors... I think it's probably pretty bad, but I figured I'd mention it.

Patriarch's Bidding is around $20 nowadays, but it'll help you recover from a boardwipe real fast. I suggest running it in most black tribal decks, unless your meta is more than 40% to 50% tribal.

Command Tower seems like a good land to run. However, if you want to cut the colorless lands like Emergence Zone for basic Swamp s and Island s, you can run Back to Basics to pretty good effect.

Winds of Rebuke is a good bounce effect that also mills you... It'll build card advantage via your graveyard, so you should at least test it.

Right. That's all I got for now. Good luck!

SideBae on My Tishana, Voice of Thunder Deck

1 month ago

Ponder and Preordain are great cards to slide into the 99. You have all the on-color and off-color fetches, so Brainstorm would be great, too...

Narset, Parter of Veils is quickly becoming a blue EDH staple... she's amazing. If you run her, include Windfall as well -- it refills your hand, but if Narset, Parter of Veils is out, it also reduces your opponents'.

Carpet of Flowers is a good mana source if your meta is like mine and everyone is in blue. If you don't want to run elves, you should at least consider one-mana enchant-lands like Utopia Sprawl or Wild Growth . These are pretty good turn one plays.

Since you're only running a few artifacts with activated abilities, consider Collector Ouphe -- he can be a real pain for decks relying on artifact mana. If you don't put him in, consider Slate of Ancestry as a draw-engine.

I think Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip is enough better than Merfolk Looter you should run him instead... He's not a merfolk, but being able to recast important spells from the yard is extremely relevant.

If your meta is full of combo (mine is), consider Arcane Laboratory . It's worse than Rule of Law since it dies to Pyroblast , but since you can't run Rule of Law it's still pretty great.

I'd run Jace, Wielder of Mysteries instead of Laboratory Maniac if you want to go that route. Generally, you want combo pieces to have a large impact even if you don't have the combo in hand, and Laboratory Maniac is just a bear if you're not going off. Jace, Wielder of Mysteries is a draw engine as well.

Waterlogged Grove is a good land to consider. Also Flooded Grove . If you run Dryad Arbor , you'll be able to fetch it with Green Sun's Zenith . If you want to keep your basic land count high, also consider Back to Basics .

Mystic Remora can easily be an Ancestral Recall in inexperienced metas; and even in experienced ones, it's still worth including.

Triumph of the Hordes is a good win condition of the same sort as your Craterhoof Behemoth .

Good luck!

SideBae on Urza EDH Deck

1 month ago

Hey man! I have a few suggestions; feel free to ignore any/all of them.

  1. In Vintage, there's an idea called 'Xerox.' This refers to replacing a small portion of your land-base with low-cost cantrips, which can help you find lands if you need them, or dig you past them if you don't. The best ones currently available are Ponder , Preordain and Brainstorm ; I suggest you at least run Ponder and Preordain instead of two Snow-Covered Island s. The reason I'm not so adamant about Brainstorm is that, sans land-based shuffle effects, you're very likely to get stuck with cards you don't want on top of your deck a good amount of the time. If you want to run it, I suggest running at least four fetch lands (like Prismatic Vista or Flooded Strand ). Other cantrips to consider are: Sleight of Hand , Impulse , Serum Visions , Opt , etc.

  2. I don't know how this deck plays, but I do not think the Urza's lands are very good in EDH. It takes some effort to assemble tron in a four-of, sixty card format like modern; in EDH, getting all three of these specific lands can be a huge amount more trouble than it's worth. I suggest just running basic Island s instead, since these produce blue mana and don't die to your own Back to Basics or an opposing Blood Moon / Ruination / Wasteland .

  3. I don't know what the budget on this deck is, but since you're running Power Artifact , I assume it's high. I suggest running Grim Monolith in addition to your Basalt Monolith -- the Power Artifact -combo still works, and this one has the advantage of being mana-positive if you cast it early game.

  4. Mox Opal is really good. It's about $100, but in an artifact deck it is always an all star. If able, run it; if you can't but your group allows proxies, print one out.

  5. I don't think the Darksteel Forge -with- Nevinyrral's Disk combo is very good. It's a lot of mana to get online, and your opponents will have a turn to react (since Nevinyrral's Disk ETBs tapped). I think more mana rocks, like Mind Stone or Everflowing Chalice , are probably better. Especially since you already have Cyclonic Rift with a Mystical Tutor to get it.

  6. Since I've never played with this list, I don't know exactly how the games will go. However, if you find them going long frequently enough (maybe around 50% of the time), you may have some luck with Muddle the Mixture as a tutor. Normally, I dislike this card, as the transmute ability is only sorcery speed and three mana can be a lot to pay. However, it gets so many pieces of your combos, I think it may be worth including; it can fetch up Isochron Scepter , Dramatic Reversal , Power Artifact and (if you should choose to run it) Grim Monolith . It also can get non-combo cards like Cyclonic Rift in a pinch.

  7. There're some cool U artifact tutors to consider. If you want cards on par with your Power Artifact , Transmute Artifact is a pretty busted card that'll grab your combo pieces when you need them. (Side note: Basalt Monolith also goes infinite with Rings of Brighthearth ; idk if you want to run it, but I figured I'd mention it.) Reshape can be a redundant, if significantly less powerful, Whir of Invention .

  8. You may benefit from two or three more mass card-draw effects. I think you should run either Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time (but not both, since delve can get in its own way), as well as one or two other spells like Fact or Fiction , Thirst for Knowledge , Chemister's Insight , etc. Notice that, except for Treasure Cruise , these are all instants.

  9. I think you may have overlooked Spell Snare as a counterspell. I think this card is, in general, highly underrated in EDH; however, I think it would be especially good here. It is a hard counter for a very frequent CMC, and can easily get rid of an unwanted Demonic Tutor , Sylvan Library or Cyclonic Rift . Better yet, it counters Null Rod , Collector Ouphe , Stony Silence , Kataki, War's Wage , Gaddock Teeg , Thorn of Amethyst and Lavinia, Azorius Renegade . It's cheap enough that leaving up mana for it isn't a problem, and it can keep you from getting hosed pretty well.

Good luck!

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Back to Basics occurrence in decks from the last year

Legacy:

All decks: 0.29%

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.02%

Blue: 0.38%