Basic lands, eh? I like your style! As promised, here's a rough outline of ways to make a mostly basic-land mana base work!
Bant Panorama, Esper Panorama, Evolving Wilds, Ghost Quarter, Jund Panorama, Naya Panorama, Terramorphic Expanse, Thawing Glaciers,
||Lands that can search out the basic land desired.
Cultivate, Dawntreader Elk, Elfhame Sanctuary, Explosive Vegetation, Harrow, Journeyer's Kite, Kodama's Reach, Krosan Tusker, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Solemn Simulacrum, Yavimaya Elder
||Spells that can search out the basic land desired.
||Allows you to put an extra basic land into play every turn.
Green is the queen of manipulating basic lands, and it shows here clearly! There's actually plenty more ways to spend green mana to find basic lands, but these are some of the most common and powerful ways to do it. Elfhame Sanctuary has a particular place in my heart; enchantments from long ago that become decidedly more awesome thanks to today's effects (landfall, specifically) make me giddy.
Forest | Art by John Avon
It's the little things that count.
With the mana base of out the way, it's time to turn our eyes to the general theme of the deck. Ghave comes with two immediate ideas, each synergistic with the other.
The first theme focus is token generation. Headlined by Rhys the Redeemed, Ghave and the assorted spells played with it can create a very large number of tokens with relative ease. This is awesome for several reasons:
- Tokens traditionally swarm other players quickly while providing protection from many frontal assaults.
- Creating lots of little creatures makes it possible to use certain types of board-clearing effects to our favor, along with many other beneficial side effects.
- There are many ways to create a permanent source of token creation, helping you get back on your feet after taking a powerful blow to the battlefield.
While I've built and played many token-based decks before, the additional benefit and complexity of using black is an exciting depth I haven't plumbed fully... yet. And while Rhys is on board with joining the action, Ghave will make the most of plenty of extra creatures to go around!
Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter | Art by Michael C. Hayes
But that's only half the story. Pulling an army out of a can is a noble choice, but the darker side of Ghave speaks to a theme of sacrifice effects. Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter is a counterpoint to the all-upside Rhys. While generating lots of creatures is great, sacrificing them for various effects (all beneficial and cool things to do) is a sneakier way to play:
- Tokens traditionally can be converted into numerous other resources, such as extra cards, mana, and removal spells.
- Creating lots of little creatures through other creatures themselves enhances graveyard effects to be both powerful and on-theme.
- There are ways to set up looping effects of sacrificing a creature, only to end up back in the same position with more (arbitrarily large loop of effects, as desired).
I've hinted at the power and potential of recursive creatures and sacrifice effects, and my love affair with Kresh the Bloodbraided demonstrated clearly how slick it is to dump bodies through a few juicers.
Which way we go it entirely up to you!