If you’re looking for a sweet deck to pioneer the #MTGPioneer, I recommend hitching your covered-wagon to, and hitting the trail in search of the Blue, Green pastures of Lotus Field combo.
Not only is Lotus Field one of the strongest performing archetypes, but it is also a great deck to learn the format with because it doesn’t require much specific knowledge of an opponent’s strategy to play well. In most matchups the burden is on our opponent to either win or stop us from winning the game on turns 4 – 5.
The key to understanding the deck and why it is powerful lies in its Mana Engine, specifically the signature, namesake card:
Lotus Field taps for 3 mana of any color and the goal of our strategy is to repeatedly untap and reuse this powerful source to generate boundless mana. THe deck also uses Thespian’s Stage to double our pleasure of Lotus Field in play:
The play pattern for the deck is to deploy Lotus Field, follow it up with a Thespian’s Stage to copy it, and win the game the turn thereafter.
It’s also worth noting a starting hand of seven that cannot produce turn 3 Lotus Field should be mulliganed as the deck cannot function without its namesake. Luckily, we have Sylvan Scrying to double our chances of drawing an opening hand that can produce a field.
Lotus Field shares commonalities with another powerful combo deck from the past, Tolarian Academy; one of which is our combo land is so critical to our strategy that we are inclined to mulligan hands without it.
Obviously, I’m not equating power levels of Academy and Field, but it’s high praise from me indeed to even suggest the decks have similar play patterns; As Academy is one of my favorite cards of all time, which is why I believe I enjoy playing Lotus Field so much!
While it seems tedious to have two copies of Lotus Field in play on turn four or five keep in mind we play 12 copies (Lotus Field, Thespian’s Stage & Sylvan Scrying) + Shimmer of Genius and Temple of Mystery to dig for them.
The Mana Engine, is the core and exactly what we need to cast our big payoff combo card:
Perhaps, the most challenging part of playing Lotus Field is learning how to choose and execute the various combos to win the game.Let’s start basic, all lines end with casting Approach of the Second Sun twice to trigger the win the game clause.
While we only win the game in one way, the potential lines we can take to get to that endgame are multiplicitous. With that said, Lotus Field is a great deck to learn by goldfishing because it allows a player to explore the various paths to victory and how to execute them properly.
The entire deck is filled with Tutors, Rituals, and card draw and the play patterns remind me a lot of some of my favorite Vintage and Legacy combo decks. So, it’s really a deck I think would appeal especially to experienced Eternal players.
Our big payoff card, Emergent Ultimatum reminds me of these classics:
We essentially search for multiple cards but our opponent decides which one we can’t have, and so the trick is to pick a bundle of cards where no matter what our opponent doesn’t give us wel still win.
Obviously, what’s in our hand makes a big difference as to what our piles will look like but when casting Ultimatum I almost always get:
And a third card, which is often either:
LIER, DISCIPLE OF THE DROWNED
Typically, if an opponent gives us a free Omniscience lose on the spot, you can count on getting the first two cards which are incredibly powerful with our Mana Engine in play.
When cast for free off Emergent Ultimatum:
Dark Petition is = Demonic Tutor + Dark Ritual
Pore Over the Pages = Ancestral Recall + Two Black Lotuses!
Essentially, we build a sequence where we are doing incredibly powerful things that allow us to draw and cast all the cards in our deck (and also our win condition from our sideboard!) in a single turn.
WIth Pore Over the Pages and Dark Petition we generate +9 mana and can tutor for Omniscience and play it. Then all we need to do is find either Fae of Wishes or Mastermind’s Acquisition to search up our win condition from our sideboard:
Dig Through Time and Shimmer of Genius are both great ways to draw to the Approach once its seven cards deep into our deck to win the game.
I generally try to take a minimalist approach to sideboarding with Lotus Field. I want to keep my combo strong, fast, and redundant as possible and don’t want to dilute my deck with too many reactive cards.
I assume my opponents will bring in various Artifact or Enchantment “hate” cards to mess with my signature card, Lotus Field and make it difficult for me to execute my combo.Some of the most popular sideboard hate cards for Lotus Field:
I generally bring in Boseiju, Who Endures to answer these narrow but effective hate cards that I assume most opponent’s will have. Bala Ged Recovery is a nice card to board out when bringing in Boseiju since both double as having flipside land abilities.
Against aggressive decks, I like to bring in sweepers and Approach of the Second Sun.
The “Wish” spells that find sideboard cards (Mastermind’s Acquisition and Fae of Wishes) tend to be too slow and inefficient post-sideboard against aggressive decks.
Against blue control decks with card draw and counterspells, I want Narset, Thought Distortion, and Mystic Dispute and I’m happy to sideboard out my Arboreal Grazers and a Vizier of Tumbling Sands since games are less about speed and racing and more about attrition and resolving key spells.
Obviously, sideboarding is the trickiest part of playing high level constructed, but rule of thumb the only cards I’ve ever boarded out are: Arboreal Grazer, Bala Ged Recovery, Vizier of Tumbling Sands, Fae of Wishes, & Mastermind’s Acquisition.
I don’t advise taking out anything else in the main deck because everything else is an important part of our combo sequences.
Lastly, one of my favorite parts about playing Lotus Field, especially at a moment in time when not every LGS has weekly events yet (RIW does – every Thursday 6 PM!) is I can get a lot of practice and experience by goldfishing a few hands in the evening. I’ve played hundreds of hands and I still find new and interesting lines and choices frequently coming up in tournament games as well as goldfish hands. It really is a fun deck to play even without an opponent!