Making Mythic: Literal Infinite Lands in July's Historic Format

Making Mythic: Literal Infinite Lands in July's Historic Format

Did you know it’s possible to hit a land drop every single turn in the Historic format on Arena? I don’t mean “I played every land in my deck,” I mean a 100-turn game, 40 turns more than the TOTAL number of cards in your deck, could see you play a land every. single. turn. I didn’t, but once I made the discovery I promptly went about getting to Mythic with the knowledge!


How I Play Arena

When I played Magic professionally I had a singular goal in playtesting: gauging what the deck most likely to lead me to winning a tournament was, and learning to play it the best I could. In retirement I have the pleasure of defining goals differently and since the launch of Arena my process for going Mythic has looked something like this:


  1. Brainstorm a deck, generally based around a concept or gimmick that I find fun
  2. Smash games with that deck in the ranked ladder
  3. Adjust card choices based on the decks/cards I’m seeing others play
  4. Make Mythic OR fail to progress, scrap the deck, and start back with Step 1


Gaea's Blessing from Time Spiral

The “thing” I’m trying to do in Step 1 is almost always something “rogue.” It’s rare that you’ll find me playing a mainstream strategy so I can slog through mirror match after mirror match the way I did when I was paying rent with Magic tournaments, but instead I tend to focus on doing the things that make me happy in playing Magic. One of the tops, which is no surprise to anyone who has played on teams with me over the years, is “going infinite” in a slow grindy fashion using Gaea’s Blessing (credit: Adrian Sullivan, who invented this), or a similar effect, to algorithmically strengthen your deck turn after turn until every draw step yields an absolute heater against your given opponent. In this case, “going infinite” refers not to some combination of cards that together generate a looped momentum that allows you to win on the spot, but the grinding “infinite” of eternity as you slowly remove every possibility for your opponent to win like some kind of nerdy boa constrictor.


Ultimately that ole’ classic got me to Mythic playing the Historic format, but I tried a lot of strategies before I got there. Before we get to that, some thoughts on Historic…


I Think Alchemy is Awesome

During my time at Wizards I worked on Arena very briefly for perhaps 2-3 months at the very beginning of the project. So, though I spent nearly 15 years within the WotC walls, my experience with Arena has been almost the same as yours outside those walls. Alchemy was a new thing for me and, despite the section header to this paragraph, it’s not really my thing when it comes to playing. For me cards that change constantly, or can change constantly take some of the fun away from predicting formats, never mind being 40 and trying to remember what cards do with so many new ones coming out and some of them changing after I get them memorized.


That said: Alchemy is one of the most important things Wizards has ever done.


Is it my cup of tea? No. But it represents something extraordinary: a company willing to stretch into new territory and try new things for a well-established brand that has existed for decades. That is absolutely fantastic. Nothing negative happens to me if the pizza shop offers pineapple as an ingredient, but it does convert more people into being “pizza lovers” increasing the likelihood that I’ll be able to find pizza shops wherever I go or whenever I want as the consumer base grows. And that benefits everyone! It’s so, so important Wizards is willing to try innovations in this fashion and I certainly lived through eras where that was not the case. Alchemy is awesome.


So, I’ve played Alchemy sparingly and haven’t played much Historic since it became impacted by the format. However, with Standard about to rotate and having “solved” that format with different decks for the last few months I decided to jump back into Historic for a change of pace. And then I discovered something awesome: how “conjure” effects could impact Gaea’s Blessing style recursion loops.


For the uninformed: “conjure” is an Alchemy introduced ability that lets you “conjure” up Magic cards from thin air. Here’s an example:


Kami of Bamboo Grove


I love what this represents because now your algorithm can actually go “infinite” in a whole new fashion, by no longer being limited on playing only a certain number of cards. In Kami’s case, I can actually hit every land drop indefinitely whenever I play a game, conjuring up Forest after Forest and recycling Kami with a Blessing effect. I was in love with this idea and quickly set about putting a decklist together. Here’s what I came up with:


4 Settle the Wreckage (XLN) 34
4 Plains (HBG) 292
4 Planar Cleansing (M20) 33
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon (M21) 1
3 Gaea's Blessing (DAR) 161
1 Forest (HBG) 308
1 Kami of Bamboo Groves (Y22) 24
1 You Line Up the Shot (HBG) 70
1 Follow the Tracks (HBG) 67
4 Revitalize (STA) 9
4 Fateful Absence (MID) 18
4 Wrath of God (AKR) 46
1 Castle Ardenvale (ELD) 238
1 Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire (NEO) 268
1 Blast Zone (WAR) 244
4 Ritual of Rejuvenation (XLN) 32
3 Field of Ruin (MID) 262
1 Ghost Quarter (ISD) 240
1 Bojuka Bog (WWK) 132
1 Boseiju, Who Endures (NEO) 266
1 Arch of Orazca (RIX) 185
1 The World Tree (KHM) 275
4 Harmonize (STA) 52
2 Ondu Inversion (ZNR) 30
4 Overgrown Farmland (MID) 265
3 Scattered Groves (AKR) 327

4 Fall of the Thran (DAR) 18
3 Soul-Guide Lantern (THB) 237
1 Soul-Guide Lantern (THB) 237
3 Sanguine Sacrament (XLN) 33
4 March of Otherworldly Light (NEO) 28


Going Infinite (Actually)


The list was actually heavily inspired by a similar GW version I had played in a previous ladder season, though I do want to disclose: I experimented with two other decks that took me through Platinum and two levels of Diamond before settling on this one. I’ll do articles about those decks some other day; they’re neat too, but not “Mythic” quality.


So, what does this deck do? The primary goal is to answer the things your opponents play, recycling what matters, and shrinking your deck as much as possible until it’s only the cards you want. Your curve starts pretty low to get active, and you play a billion lands when you consider the actual land count, the cards that are dedicated to helping find you lands, and the plethora of cantrips/card draw. When your opponent tries to harm you, blow their stuff up with a Wrath effect or Planar Cleansing style Wrath to clean up everything else. Even lands can get taken out with Field of Ruin and Ghost Quarter. Some bonus thoughts on card choices:


  • I use Wrath of God because I’m old school, but from what I can tell Day of Judgment is functionally identical in Historic thanks to regeneration being a dead ability. Save yourself some wild cards!
  • There is a singleton Bojuka Bog because you may want to ace someone’s graveyard, and a single Bog lets you do it infinitely. How you ask? Because of…
  • …a single Ghost Quarter and 3 Field of Ruins. That number might look odd, but it’s intentional. Long-term your game plan, thanks to these cards, can include the option to blow up every. single. land. your opponent plays. But you can also GQ your own land, putting you in a position to reshuffle it back into your deck. I only did this with Bog, but theoretically you could do it with anything.
  • The three Conjure cards I wound up including were Kami of Bamboo Grove, You Line Up the Shot, and Follow the Tracks. You don’t need more than one in my opinion because they’re there for the very long game, while not being horrible in the short game.
  • Win conditions: Ugin, Castle Ardenvale, and Gaea’s Blessing are it, so use them wisely. Ugin, in this case, also serves as your “Baron Harkonnen” which is a dated reference but if you know you know! (It ain’t the book/movie chief.)
  • The sideboard is very much in flux. I’m happy with it as listed, but the format changes a lot particularly with new anthologies dropping. Feel free to mess with it, though the game plan against the UW Planeswalkers deck that relies on Lotus Field is to stick a Fall of the Thran under counter magic and hit ‘em with Bojuka Bog or Soul-Guide Lantern so they don’t have lands to get back.


And that’s how I made Mythic in July! If you want to chat about the deck, hit me up on Twitter at @BillTriesAgain. If you want to support Making Mythic, check out the screaming deals in our store as I sell off the product and collectibles I gathered over a decade and a half at Wizards. Looking for a cheaper option to support? Share this article on social media!

Screencap of July 2022 Mythic Status for Bill Stark


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