Mystic Sanctuary - This card is incredible!

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darrenhabib
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Post by darrenhabib » 9 months ago

I've been playing with this card over the last of few days, and initially it went completely under my radar. It's a common after all, so how good can it be?
But having watched video streams of decks in Legacy and Modern utilizing it I got inspired.

One of the most important element of this card that makes it good is that it has the Island subtype. It's not a basic, but it is an Island. What this allows you to do is to turn any fetch-land that can search for an Island into a Noxious Revival for instants and sorcery.

When you get to a point in playing Magic where you can understand getting tiny inches out of your land base, like seriously this card is absurd for versatility and ultimately power level.


If we break this down you can turn these lands into any instant or sorcery from your graveyard.



The usually poor-mans cousin Mirage fetch-lands in Bad River and Flood Plain now become a viable option for even competitive games.

Now there is a stipulation that you need 3 other Islands in play to trigger the ability. But this is easily done in even 3 color decks if you have access to the duel lands and all the fetch-lands and carefully plan out what you get and perhaps make some concessions on your land base.
For example you might need to look at the cycle lands and battle lands in Fetid Pools, Irrigated Farmland, Prairie Stream, Sunken Hollow as inclusions in two or more colored decks, on-top of revised dual lands and shock lands.
So granted this is for serious players who have access to the expensive duel lands. Sorry didn't you know Commander was for the rich only? Joking, not joking.

Further to this let's look at non-land cards that can search for lands:
Ones that put them, directly into play Crop Rotation, Hour of Promise, Pir's Whim, Reap and Sow, Scapeshift, Tempt with Discovery.

However another very important stipulation is that it only triggers if it comes into play untapped. So Hour of Promise, Pir's Whim, Scapeshift will not work. Even Amulet of Vigor will not get around this as the lands still come into play tapped, and then untap.

There are also creatures that can search for lands with;
Knight of the Reliquary, Elvish Reclaimer, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, Ulvenwald Hydra.
Realm Seekers, Weathered Wayfarer

Again Elvish Reclaimer, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, Ulvenwald Hydra all come into play tapped, so can't be used this way.

However Knight of the Reliquary can be used at instant speed. Combine this with instant speed card draw, for example Sensei's Divining Top you can respond to the game state in many ways.
Whether that is a Counterspell, Swords to Plowshares, Nature's Claim or whatever you might have played (or milled).

Turning a Crop Rotation into a Noxious Revival for instants and sorcery really does give cards like these a new scope in your decks potential utility.

Further card that can just search to put into hand Expedition Map, Realms Uncharted, Sylvan Scrying.


There are going to be several ways you can use this card. As a toolbox for responding to the game state or as simply a combo card.
I've used it as both in the same deck. So it's versatility has a huge ceiling.

The way I've been using it as a combo card is with extra turn cards that don't exile as part of the effect; Time Warp, Temporal Manipulation, Capture of Jingzhou, Walk the Aeons.
Specifically I'm using Aminatou to blink out the Mystic Sanctuary to put them back on top for infinite turns (with some other stipulations to make this work).

Now there are not a lot of cards that will "blink out" lands for this type of combo, but here is a list that I've identified:
Felidar Guardian, Flicker, Flickerwisp, Glimmerpoint Stag, Oath of Teferi, Skybind, Synod Sanctum, Teferi's Time Twist, Venser, the Sojourner, Ghostly Flicker, Ruin Ghost, Blizzard Strix.

Then these have the built in stipulation that they also need to leave play:
Parallax Tide, Petradon, Petravark, Wormfang Newt, Wormfang Turtle.

A "combo" I like to use in decks that run a lot ETB creatures is pairing up Eternal Witness with Eerie Interlude or Ghostway, so that the Witness can get back the flicker card for reuse each turn.
Now you can combine Mystic Sanctuary in a similar fashion with Felidar Guardian, Flickerwisp, Glimmerpoint Stag, Petradon, Petravark, Wormfang Newt, Wormfang Turtle to get back instants like Eerie Interlude for repeated use. It goes back on-top so it takes up a draw, but often I'm using these with draw creatures anyway like Wall of Omens for card advantages.

Ruin Ghost can be used to put back any instant or sorcery every turn, so that is an infinite combo with;
Ruin Ghost + Time Warp + Mystic Sanctuary = infinite turns.

Same with Venser, the Sojourner + Time Warp + Mystic Sanctuary = infinite turns.

Now as well as flicker there will be ways to "play out" the Mystic Sanctuary as a repeatable source. That maybe via returning to hand, or say replaying from graveyard.

There are a lot of these so 'll just pick out some ones that interested me; Cloudstone Curio, Mana Breach, Overburden, Trade Routes, Hallowed Ground.

Legendary creatures Heidar, Rimewind Master, Kefnet the Mindful, Meloku the Clouded Mirror, Uyo, Silent Prophet.
Non-legendary that can also do this Temporal Adept, Tidespout Tyrant, Tradewind Rider, Vedalken Mastermind, Soratami Cloudskater, Soratami Rainshaper, Soratami Savant

Once again you can combine these with extra turns for infinite.
For example with Tidespout Tyrant you cast your Time Warp to return the Mystic Sanctuary to replay it and put back Time Warp on-top for infinite turns and HAUMPH fly in for 5/5 damage.
With Trade Routes for example it's as simple as returning the Mystic Sanctuary to replay it.
Uyo, Silent Prophet seems great as you can copy the extra turn spell which will allow you an additional turn to spend mana on other things...busted.

As far as instants you can get repeatable use out of counterspells like; Cryptic Command, Disappearing Act, Silumgar's Command, Daze, Deprive.

Gush can be cast multiple times when you need additional cards.

Sunder means that you can keep repeating this indefinitely once you reach the 3 Island threshold.

The bounce lands and lairs can be used for reuse Coral Atoll, Azorius Chancery, Boros Garrison, Dimir Aqueduct, Golgari Rot Farm, Gruul Turf, Izzet Boilerworks, Orzhov Basilica, Rakdos Carnarium, Selesnya Sanctuary, Simic Growth Chamber, Crosis's Catacombs, Darigaaz's Caldera, Dromar's Cavern, Rith's Grove, Treva's Ruins.

Deny Reality can be used every turn for the cascade.
Devour in Flames can make sure that you always have access to a spell to remove a planeswalker or creature when you need.

There is also graveyard reuse like Sun Titan, Crucible of Worlds, Life from the Loam, Wrenn and Six, Fall of the Thran, Holistic Wisdom, Lord Windgrace, Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar, Nissa, Vital Force, Ramunap Excavator, Tamiyo, Collector of Tales, The Mending of Dominaria, Scaretiller.
Unfortunately World Shaper and Splendid Reclamation return to play tapped so won't get further use out of Mystic Sanctuary trying to use it this way.

Now you'll most likely need ways of sacrificing or destroying your own lands.

An example interaction might be Ramunap Excavator and Elvish Reclaimer, where you just keep sacrificing the Mystic Sanctuary to put it back into play via Ramunap Excavator to keep putting an instant or sorcery on top.
Now I've focused a lot on combos, but remember this can be used to put back anything, and the toolbox element is real.
For example what if it was a Cyclonic Rift that you keep putting back. You constantly have a way to deal with opponents boards every turn.

How about Fall of the Thran and recycling Replenish?

I could see combining a 5-color Superfriends deck with Wrenn and Six, Nissa, Vital Force, Tamiyo, Collector of Tales, Lord Windgrace and land sacrifice outlets, to keep putting back a way to control the board each turn like Austere Command or Akroma's Vengeance.
Vraska, Golgari Queen or simply using Ghost Quarter/Strip Mine/Wasteland/etc or Dust Bowl to keep putting into graveyard to retrieve again.

In a similar way you can use Life from the Loam to keep getting back Mystic Sanctuary and say Ghost Quarter. If you have ways to play additional lands like Exploration, Burgeoning, etc, then you can dredge to increase the potential targets, and just keep putting a spell on-top each turn that you might want.
Or you might just have a land sacrifice outlet like Squandered Resources to make this easier.
You want to avoid dredging away the instant or sorcery you put on-top so you'd either have to do it every other turn or work around it with other draw cards like the cycling lands (Tranquil Thicket, etc) to get the spells immediately.

Second Sunrise, Faith's Reward and Brought Back I'm sure can be used with sacrifice effects for constant reuse.
You can do a land based combo with Second Sunrise or Faith's Reward with sacrifice lands to get infinite mana and infinite draw.
Tomb of Urami can do this combined with enough lands and Mystic Sanctuary.
Another way for example is to use Lotus Vale to pay for the Second Sunrise and sacrificing Mystic Sanctuary to it. Then you can also use Lotus Field to sacrifice itself and the Lotus Vale.
You can also obviously just use sacrifice fetch-lands to must up as many lands as your deck will allow.
Further to this for mana Archaeological Dig, Crystal Vein, Crosis's Catacombs, Darigaaz's Caldera, Dromar's Cavern, Rith's Grove, Treva's Ruins.
Slightly trickier plays is to Strip Mine/Wasteland/Ghost Quarter/etc to destroy another land (of yours) to get additional mana or to simply remove all your opponents lands (evil).
You have to have draw the Second Sunrise/Faith's Reward so need to use lands like Cryptic Caves, Waterlogged Grove, Fiery Islet, Horizon Canopy, Nurturing Peatland, Silent Clearing, Silent Clearing, Castle Locthwain, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Sea Gate Wreckage to draw the Second Sunrise after putting in back on-top of library.

There are also additional non-land cards that allow you to search for non-basic Islands.
Spoils of Victory, Gem of Becoming, Shard Convergence, Shoreline Ranger, Jhessian Zombies, Sanctum Plowbeast. So there is a little more scope around these cards as well.

There are tons of other ways I'm sure to get Mystic Sanctuary into play that I haven't thought about.
For example Genesis Wave or Primal Surge which you'll probably trigger Mystic Sanctuary to then put back those spells back on-top for another go! Disgusting.

Of note it's still an Island for High Tide decks and I'm sure putting back the High Tide to draw and recast is exactly what you want to be able to do.

The point of me starting this thread was literally an exercise in what might be possible, but also recognizing that there was going to be a lot potential behind this card.
After all it's a single land that potentially can just replace a basic Island, but open up new doorways to how your entire deck works. It's probably more likely that you build around it in some ways however.
But you can see even from my afternoons worth of theory-crafting just how much is packed into this innocuous Island at first glance.
Last edited by darrenhabib 8 months ago, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Dunharrow » 9 months ago

Oh, true, it is an island so it doesn't cost my high tide anything

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 9 months ago

It kind of blows my mind the difference in power level between this common land vs the rest of the cycle. This one is a 5/5 and the next best seems to be like a 3/5 in comparison. The actual downside of this cycle is small so its not bad to have small value in a land that might enter untapped and be fetchable but its kind of crazy how much they powered this one up in comparison to the others.
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Post by Sinis » 9 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
9 months ago
It kind of blows my mind the difference in power level between this common land vs the rest of the cycle. This one is a 5/5 and the next best seems to be like a 3/5 in comparison.
I would not rate Idyllic Grange as anything but a coaster, and I bet it would do badly at that, as well.

The others are pretty lackluster. I kind of like the Dwarven Mine because the dwarf token art is cute.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 9 months ago

Sinis wrote:
9 months ago
ISBPathfinder wrote:
9 months ago
It kind of blows my mind the difference in power level between this common land vs the rest of the cycle. This one is a 5/5 and the next best seems to be like a 3/5 in comparison.
I would not rate Idyllic Grange as anything but a coaster, and I bet it would do badly at that, as well.

The others are pretty lackluster. I kind of like the Dwarven Mine because the dwarf token art is cute.
Yea, the mine was the next best in my mind and it quickly falls off from there. The black one is ok but not great in that black has so much good resurrection options and I would probably say the green and white ones are very situational assuming they are played. I could possibly see a voltron deck pick up the white one or a deck that sacrifices permanents like Shattergang picking up the green one. I would say the red one is fairly playable still but beyond that I think it would depend on the deck quite a bit as to if I would run the remaining three.
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Post by toctheyounger » 9 months ago

Yeah, it really, really is crazy good. The black one is a nice way to get extra value from your adventures, but not many of those are playable in this format anyway.

I was thinking about this card today too, and I won't go as deep as Darren has, but it's definitely a strong card in my Dralnu build. Tidespout makes it ridiculous, and it's a slam dunk with God-Eternal Kefnet too and Narset's Reversal too. Even without going infinite, going triple High Tide or starting off a storm is just nuts. It's innocuous but ridiculous too.

Also while it's not as high power crazy as true fetch value, it gives a decent reason to justify playing Ravnica/Mirage bounce lands. It's slow, but it's added value.
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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 9 months ago

Sinis wrote:
9 months ago
ISBPathfinder wrote:
9 months ago
It kind of blows my mind the difference in power level between this common land vs the rest of the cycle. This one is a 5/5 and the next best seems to be like a 3/5 in comparison.
I would not rate Idyllic Grange as anything but a coaster, and I bet it would do badly at that, as well.

The others are pretty lackluster. I kind of like the Dwarven Mine because the dwarf token art is cute.
I think it (really the whole cycle) has potential with Field of Dead, but only because you can search for it with something like Farseek or Perilous Forays. That's about it, though. (I mean, in terms of power level alone, green has Llanowar Reborn for comparison, and it never sees play.) And yes I know, Farseek means its ability won't trigger; maybe Kor Cartographer? (It's a reach, but how much ramp is there in white?)

Not sure why you'd play Gingerbread Cavern (besides it being a forest and therefore searchable with Skyshroud Claim, which does trigger) unless you did food as a sub-theme (and it will never be a main theme) or you had something like Fangren Marauder that benefits from all artifacts being destroyed/sacrificed, not just those of opponents.
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Post by Sinis » 9 months ago

hyalopterouslemur wrote:
9 months ago
Sinis wrote:
9 months ago
I would not rate Idyllic Grange as anything but a coaster, and I bet it would do badly at that, as well.

The others are pretty lackluster. I kind of like the Dwarven Mine because the dwarf token art is cute.
I think it (really the whole cycle) has potential with Field of Dead, but only because you can search for it with something like Farseek or Perilous Forays. That's about it, though
You could have already done this with Snow-covered lands, though. I guess, maybe in a bi-colour deck it's worthwhile.

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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 9 months ago

Fair enough. I would say the green one's probably the worst, though, just because, you know, lifegain.
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Post by darrenhabib » 8 months ago

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I first looked at the card for my Aminatou deck and now I've become obsessed with theory-crafting what is possible with it.

I decided to jump down the ultimate rabbit hole and build an entire deck specifically around it's interaction.

First of all the deck is going to want to be mainly instants and sorcery to have options for recurring casts.
Now most decks designed around non-creature spells are either storm or control.
I felt like storm isn't really the way to go as they way those decks normally play out is that you load up for a couple of big turns and then the game is over.
With Mystic Sanctuary it's about getting recurring value each turn potentially, and so it just seems more suited to having a control deck instead. So the deck is focused on mass removal.

Now I wanted an engine to fill up the graveyard somewhat to have targets for the Mystic Sanctuary.
It made logical sense to use Life from the Loam as a dredge card as it can retrieve a variety of lands to help with recurring Mystic Sanctuary triggers as well.

This deck is also a "lands" deck. Meaning it run a very high number of them, and the lands are designed to be much about how the deck works and wins.

There are some land that return other lands to your hand as part of them entering the battlefield. These are nicknamed bounce lands and lairs.
So you can use these during the game to return Mystic Sanctuary to replay it to get the top of library trigger.

The deck is mainly Bant spells. There are some black tutors and literally one red spell (Decimate), but the rest are Green, Blue and White. So the land base reflects color-fixing for these and that's why it's not necessary to run all the bounce lands and lairs.
I've found you just want a select number of these to have access to at least one when you want to use Mystic Sanctuary again.

As a "lands" deck, there is a specific goal of getting as many into play as you can. With Life from the Loam and 51 lands you have a lot of access to them.
The main plan is to setup a relatively big Splendid Reclamation or World Shaper off using Life from the Loam during the course of the game. Getting a healthy land base will mean that you have more mana to exact your plans every turn if need be.

To go with the Life from the Loam plan there are a number of land cards that cycle. This can be used to make sure that you can still draw other cards while using the dredge from the Loam. You can return some number of the cycle lands each time to draw an actual card for your turns.
Fluctuator can help with this, although it's not essential to your plans, as you build up big land bases anyway to pay for the cycling.
With 12 board-wipe type cards, you'll almost certainly have access to one throughout the game. So you can have the plan of both stopping your opponents of winning, while setting up your land base.

So even though it's nice to get a large number of cards into your graveyard for a Splendid Reclamation or World Shaper, it's not like you need to keep filling your graveyard that much. That's why you don't need more cards that fill up your graveyard to be successful with the deck.
As long as you have access to at least one or two good board sweepers, you can use these to keep using Mystic Sanctuary to recast them to run your opponents out of resources.
Eventually your opponents will be top-decking into trying to win, and they have to do something spectacular to get around your grip on the game.
There are two "miracle" cards with Devastation Tide and Terminus, and these are perfect for casting at cost reduction, as you can put them on-top for guaranteed first card drawn.

There are basically several win conditions, with Field of the Dead being the main one. Scapeshift is like the ultimate tutor in the deck and can trigger Field of the Dead for a horde of Zombies. But it also allows you to get a bunch of utility lands that are going to help the long-term Mystic Sanctuary plan, as well as setup for a huge Splendid Reclamation or World Shaper.
It's also important to remember that your Field of the Dead is not just a won shot, but you are able to setup army after army if faced with removal, often even your own as you might have to cast out a mass removal spell to deal with what opponents are doing.
I've also used Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar to one shot opponents as it has a double role of being a method of returning Mystic Sanctuary to hand, while being something like a 30/30 trampler by the time it hits the battlefield. It's hard for your opponents to remove due to being able to return it from graveyard each time.
Further to this you can get infinite turns by recurring Time Warp every turn with Mystic Sanctuary. Usually I have Field of the Dead in play, so you end up getting infinite Zombies as you replay the land each turn to trigger a new one.

So how do we keep reusing Mystic Sanctuary?
There are a number of ways to do this.
I've mentioned the bounce lands and lairs already. But if you play out a land like this to return the Mystic Sanctuary then you've already used your land drop for the turn.
This is where cards that allow you to play additional lands come in handy.

Now the spell goes back on top of library, and often we want to cast it straight away. This is where the cycle lands can be used to draw the spell immediately.
From this you can see that the sort of lands you want to return from your graveyard with Life from the Loam is at least one bounce type land and at least one cycle land to achieve this.

Other ways you can keep reusing Mystic Sanctuary with Life from the Loam is to actually get it to your graveyard to return it to hand.
You can sacrifice it via Sylvan Safekeeper or Elvish Reclaimer, or even use Strip Mine on it.
A more likely play with Elvish Reclaimer is to search for a bounce land to return the Mystic Sanctuary to hand that turn.
Crop Rotation, Scapeshift, Glacial Chasm could be used this way (although unlikely).

There are other ways to play out Mystic Sanctuary multiple times with Ruin Ghost, Trade Routes, Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar.

Even counterspells with Deprive and Cryptic Command can be used to return the Mystic Sanctuary to hand for reuse.

I will point out that the use of Mystic Sanctuary doesn't happen to normally much further into the game. So it's not like you have to get these engines setup quickly at all. You have a lot of time to get a land base going to have the luxury of recurring these things fairly unimpeded.
Now there are cases where you have already used (or dredged) a spell that you'd like to recast. And this is where using a fetch-land to get the Mystic Sanctuary from your library to put the spell on-top is very good.
However it doesn't matter when you might get Mystic Sanctuary during the course of the game as you just have so many ways to get reuse out of it. So if it's in your starting hand, it doesn't really matter you can play it out without value initially. With the Life from the Loam package it doesn't matter if it gets destroyed either. So it's not a land that you actually need to protect, even though it's the central card in the deck.

Now you might be thinking that the deck is very susceptible to graveyard hate? But you can actually play well to get around a lot of it.
I do like to dredge a lot during the mid part of the game to try and setup a big Splendid Reclamation or World Shaper. But often you have access to mass removal spell like Hour of Revelation to be content that you can just keep recasting it to out attrition your opponents.
Now if your opponents manage to remove your graveyard, there is a lot of redundancy in the deck.
You can play around getting the Life from the Loam removed if you hold up a cycle land card to draw (dredge) it in response. I like to do this to make opponents commit to that line of action. Sure you might get your graveyard removed, but you still have the Loam and can start the ball rolling again, and it's not about quantity in your graveyard but just a having at least one spell your are happy to recast when needed.

Once you are pretty well setup, then the only thing is that it appears that the deck is not that well equipped to deal with what's on the stack during opponents turns or what they manage to play at that time.
However it is much more versatile than you think. You can play out the Mystic Sanctuary using Sakura-Tribe Scout, Budoka Gardener, Walking Atlas. You can put a spell on-top and then use cards to draw it like Trade Routes, Gush, Brainstorm, Sensei's Divining Top or most likely one of your cycle lands that you Loam for this reason.
Or if you have enough mana to activate Golos.
The most common interaction is via the counterspells. So for example putting a Cryptic Command back on-top.
Ruin Ghost will also allow you to flicker the Mystic Sanctuary for this type of interaction.

One of the cards that has ended up saving me the most during games is Glacial Chasm. Using instant speed land searches to put it into play has avoided lethal attacks, and it's a very hard card for particular decks to deal with. On-top of this you can let it go to graveyard after a while if the cumulative upkeep is costing too much to simple use Life from the Loam to get it back. The deck is well equipped to sacrifice lands to keep replaying, so you can just keep it around the entire game once you are setup.

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim is not really that essential to the deck operating, but it is nice for getting particular lands you might want. But honestly often the first search is just for a bounce land to get additional mana into play. Then the second time might be for Field of the Dead. Using the activated ability isn't the most broken thing you can do, as really the big spells are mainly mass removal, which you may or may not need at the time.
You can use Mystic Sanctuary to put the spell you want to cast on-top and then use Golos activated ability to cast it straight away, so this is another way of getting a spell each turn without the need for other things.
The activated ability is also good for guaranteeing a land drop or two for the turn.
The deck doesn't need Golos to stick around, you are quite happy for it to be killed so that you can replay it to get more lands into play. I think a lot of Golos builds are focused on trying to hit spells with the activated ability, but it's not really the game plan for the deck.

Child of Alara was going to be my original choice but I think Golos has probably ended up better. But the commander for this shell can be interchangeable.



Originally I had a few more combos. I was trying to use Second Sunrise to go infinite with using Tomb of Urami and using Mystic Sanctuary to put the Second Sunrise back on-top and then use a draw land like Waterlogged Grove to draw it again and rinse-and-repeat for infinite. However the problem is that you need 3 Islands in play at the time that Mystic Sanctuary enters the battlefield. So the rules are that even though all the lands are coming back into play (including 3 Islands you've setup) the trigger won't happen.

I also was running Ghostly Flicker and Coveted Jewel as a combo that allows you to draw your deck and get infinite mana with Mystic Sanctuary. However I just never drew both at the same time and Coveted Jewel is a permanent, and don't expect permanents to stick around with your own mass removal. Ghostly Flicker is fine on it's own as a way to flicker Golos for an additional land and also to trigger the Mystic Sanctuary, but I just didn't need it in the end.



Golos pilgrimage to the Mystic Sanctuary

Impact sorcery


1 Revival // Revenge
1 Genesis Wave

Return to hand\flicker lands


1 Ruin Ghost
1 Trade Routes
1 Gush
1 Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar

Counterspells


1 Deprive
1 Disallow
1 Cryptic Command

Extra turns


1 Temporal Manipulation
Approximate Total Cost:


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