Hello again, Premodern humans! I, for one, think that Mr. Martin Berlin has done a fantastic job with the Premodern format, from its inception, to growing the community, to maintaining the banned list. This week, though, I’m making my best attempt to hold his feet to the fire by trying to break two cards which have been recently unbanned: Squee, Goblin Nabob and Land Tax!
Both of these cards can create a ton of card advantage, but they do so by artificially inflating your hand with specific card types; basic lands in the case of Land Tax and never-ending 1/1 Nabobs in the case of Squee, Goblin Nabob. Both cards lend themselves to similar synergies, and can be abused by converting that artificial card advantage into something that can actually kill your opponent. I knew I was going to have to try my hand at a Land Tax brew after it was unbanned earlier this month, but my epiphany came when I realized that you could jam four copies of both of these semi-broken cards into the same deck. Here’s what I came up with:
Basically, this is a control deck driven by the aforementioned dual card advantage engine, and including numerous ways to exploit the extra cards, most of which can be searched out with Enlightened Tutor. Cards like Zombie Infestation, Peace of Mind, Firestorm, Devastating Dreams, Solitary Confinement and Stormbind can work with both Squee and Land Tax, while Scroll Rack and Seismic Assault work better with Land Tax specifically.
Often you will get the engine going primarily with Land Tax, which can fill your hand early and often, with the help of Zuran Orb and Mox Diamond to keep your own land count low. Go nuts with all the free cards, then later in the game once you start finding your Nabobs, you can add them into the mix. Make Zombies, deal damage, gain life, make yourself indestructible, this deck can pretty much do whatever needs to be done to stay alive and then close out the game.
Vengeful Dreams deserves special recognition in this deck because it’s insanely good at just wiping away your opponent’s board, at the cost of simply discarding some of the filler that you’ve pumped into your hand. And if they start rebuilding by putting lands into play, that just means you get to keep Ancestral Recalling every turn. Actually, all of the Dreams cycle from Torment are pretty great, and Vengeful Dreams and Nostalgic Dreams show up in the sideboard of this deck.
Need even more Nabob? My bonus deck this week leans heavily on Squee, along with Intuition to set the card advantage machine in motion.
This deck employs more of a classical control strategy, but uses Squee, Goblin Nabob as a way to satisfy hungry Masticores, wipe away creatures with Firestorm and soft-lock your opponent on the stack with Forbid. I also couldn’t resist the opportunity to turn that soft lock into a hard lock with Arcane Laboratory, but had to relegate that beautiful bit of tech to the sideboard due to being slightly clunky in some matchups.