April 10, 2020

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Daily Dose of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths #7 – Time to jump on the Tri-Cycle

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths! Today I’ll be talking about the amazing new cycle of rare lands. Each time a new set comes out, one thing I’m most excited about is what new lands are available. This will help me be able to either build new decks or enhance ones that already exist. In Ikoria they have provided us with a new rare land cycle that Cycles. Here are the new lands:

These Tri-Cycle lands (do you get it?) are similar to the lands from Amonkhet, but bumped up to 11! Let’s start off with the fact that each of these lands have three different basic land types on them. In formats like Modern, Legacy and Commander you can fetch these Tri-Cycle lands, allowing you to easily get the coloured mana you need. Currently, in Standard, the only lands that care that you have a land type in play are the Castles from Throne of Eldraine (and common cycle like Mystic Sanctuary) like Castle Vantress. There are a few other cards that reference lands in Standard like Chandra’s Regulator, Dread Presence, Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Lochmere Serpent.

After that, is the obvious thing of tapping for three different colours of mana. It does have the downside of always entering the battlefield tapped. Deciding whether the three colours of mana outweigh it entering tapped, is a deckbuilding decision I’ll talk more about later in the article. Where this land does shine is in the fact that for three mana you are able to Cycle it. This will help in the mid-to-late game where you might be flooded out and you need to Cycle it to try and draw an impactful card. Cycling is a lot better than players give it credit for, and I think these lands will have a strong impact on Standard.

Today I want to break down which deck colour combinations in Standard. I’ll also talk about what current decks would benefit or have no use with them.

Mono-Coloured Decks

It’s very difficult for me to think of why you would want to play Tri-Cycle in any mono-coloured decks. The only ones that come to mind would be if there was a mono-red or mono-white cycling deck that emerges. But if there is a Cycling deck, it is most likely to be Boros.

Two-Coloured Decks

Thanks to all the wonderful options of Shock Lands and Temples, Guildgates don't see play in any two-coloured decks. This leads me to believe that they won’t find their way into any two-coloured decks. If you look at Allied colours like Rakdos for example, you will only have one option for Tri-Cycle lands, Savai Triome. If you look at Enemy colours like Simic, you could play either Ketria Triome or Zagoth Triome. What the Tri-Cycle lands do for existing two-coloured decks is better the chances of them being able to splash. This could come into play for a card like the new Brokkos, Apex of Forever which could be played in two-coloured decks for its Mutate cost, but would need a third colour if you wanted to cast it from your hand.

Tri-Coloured Decks – Shards

Shards like Bant, for example, are left with three different Tri-Cycle lands. So now you are looking at whether these enter the battlefield tapped two-colour lands that Cycle is better than Temples that scry. I personally would prefer the scry ability as I still want to play my lands later in the game. There could be some decks where Cycling a land is more valuable than being able to scry one.

Tri-Coloured Decks – Wedges

This is where the Tri-Cycle lands shine and should be a four-of in any three-colour Wedge deck. It guarantees them a much better chance of never missing a colour early in the game. It will also help if your deck has heavy mana requirements from different colours. If you look at current Standard decks, there are a few decks that will love these new lands. Temur Reclamation, Sultai Midrange, and Jeskai Fires appear to be the big winners here. Currently, there isn’t a strong Mardu or Abzan deck out there. However, if anything evolves from adding Ikoria, these Tri-Cycle lands will aid in that ascent.

Four/Five Coloured Decks

I believe that Tri-Cycle lands will help players be able to splash a fourth or even a fifth colour. Tri-Cycle lands are better in decks centred around an Enemy colour pair, like Golgari for example, which could splash white and blue. If you wanted to add red to that deck though, you would have to put in a Tri-Cycle land that isn’t able to get mana for the two main colours of your deck. If your deck is more evenly spread out, it gives you the option to play almost any Tri-Cycle land in your deck.

You now have the power to put these lands in the decks you think are best suited for them. I’m a fan of going big and splashing for a four or five colour deck, but that could be a bit ambitious. Thanks again for joining me on another week of the Daily Dose of Ikoria. I’ll be back again next week to talk more about this powerful new set.