Hipsters of the Coast is proud to present our exclusive, official preview card from Amonkhet! In this special edition of Brew Corner, Aaron will be joined by Kate and Jerry to break down this exciting new land from Amonkhet. Behold, Cascading Cataracts:
Cascading Cataracts shows some very interesting design space. It allows you to convert a lot of generic mana into any colors of mana, which could be great in decks like Tron or Twelve Post. Most notably, it is indestructible, so it doesn’t care too much about Wasteland or Stone Rain. That’s a nice reward for trying to make use of this new land in older formats. Plus it goes great with Ghost Quarter, because you can turn it into a fetch land by “destroying” the indestructible Cascading Cataracts.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect about this new land is that not only can it produce WUBRG but it wasn’t tested to be in Standard with Battle for Zendikar’s converge cards like Bring to Light. This leaves us in a spot with many potential options for deck building and brewing.
Here is my fun deck idea including Cascading Cataracts in a Twelve Post build.
Aaron's Twelve Post Fun
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
4 Cascading Cataracts
1 Maze of Ith
3 Maelstrom Archangel
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Candelabra of Tawnos
4 Crop Rotation
2 Door to Nothingness
4 Pithing Needle
2 Prismatic Omen
4 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
I stuck with mono green to streamline most of the deck in such a way that we can actively build our mana base with little need for actual colors. Prismatic Omen gives us additional ways to open our mana production so that we are not limited to Cascading Cataracts to fix our mana.
So what does Twelve Post do with all this colored mana? This is where the deck gets interesting since we are not aiming for the ten colorless it takes to cast a Kozilek or Ulamog. Our payoff cards are Progenitus and Door to Nothingness. To help smooth the way and hit these easier we get three Maelstrom Archangel and two Eureka, ensuring that we really only need four or five mana rather than ten mana and doubling each color.
This is an interesting start for Cascading Cataracts in Legacy. Kate has some more ideas to share.
Many of you know that I am seasoned Twelve Post player. It’s a deck that I have a lot of love for. Mudpost has always been my favorite, despite its flaws. When we got our spoiler I held strong to keep it to myself, and I was very glad that I had Aaron and Jerry to discuss it with, because Cascading Cataracts is everything I’ve ever wanted for Mudpost.
Cascading Cataracts gives Mudpost some really fun and colorful options to cast with all the colorless mana the deck makes. The minute I saw our preview card, all I could think about was Door to Nothingness, Fist of Suns, and the Bringer cycle. Here’s what I came up with to bring Cascading Cataracts to Legacy Mudpost. I present Rainbow post!
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Cascading Cataracts
1 Blightsteel Colossus
2 Treasure Mage
3 Trophy Mage
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Door to Nothingness
4 Fist of Suns
4 Grim Monolith
2 Lightning Greaves
4 Lotus Petal
1 Staff of Domination
4 Thirst of Knowledge
You’ll see that I really that I took the the core from Mudpost and left it unchanged. You are still trying to play Chalice of the Void or Metalworker on turn one. We still have the infinite combo with Staff of Domination, which is now easy to find with Trophy Mage, one of my favorite additions to the deck.
Trophy Mage can tutor up three different cards. Depending on what else we have in hand, we can get Metalworker, Staff of Domination, or Fist of Suns. Fist is really the key to this deck: Fist of Suns and Cascading Cataracts is the best combo in Magic I’ve ever been able to play. It literally lets me cast anything I want for five mana (plus tapping the Cataract). Since I was trying to make a competitive Legacy deck, I choose Blightsteel Colossus, Door to Nothingness, and Progenitus. You could replace those with any spell you want, including Emrakul, Griselbrand, Nicol Bolas, Brilliant Ultimatum, or Eternal Dominion.
I tried many different versions of this list, including a blue-green version running Force of Will and Candelabra of Tawnos. I ended up settling on this, I found it was most consistent while still allowing me to enjoy my traditional Mud style. The new land is quite the gift, especially since it’s indestructible. I cannot wait to play it!
Now let’s hear from the Spice Master.
Holy Crystal Quarry Batman!!! Cascading Cataracts is one of the more powerful utility lands we have seen printed in the last few years. When I first saw it I immediately focused in on the keyword “Indestructible”. Wizards has added that keyword to only one other land in the history of Magic, Darksteel Citadel. Giving protection to a utility land is brand new to Magic and a pretty big deal. We have never seen this before so we are in uncharted territory when it comes to evaluating its power level. I will be very interested to see if this is a move that Wizards will repeat when designing new utility lands for future sets.
As far as abusing indestructibility in the here and now, I will draw on inspiration from one of the meanest prison decks from Magic’s history. “Geddon Stax” was a brutal mono-white control deck popular around 2010. The goal was to break the symmetry of cards like Armageddon and Smokestack to grind your opponent into the ground with punishing tax effects. Getting to keep Cascading Cataracts after wiping out all other lands with an Armageddon is a significant upgrade to the deck.
4 Cascading Cataracts
4 Ancient Tomb
4 City of Traitors
1 Ghost Quarter
3 Flagstones of Trokair
2 Mishra's Factory
1 Bringer of the White Dawn
4 Magus of the Tabernacle
3 Oblivion Ring
3 Ghostly Prison
4 Mox Diamond
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Crucible of Worlds
This deck does not let our opponents play Magic. I affectionately refer to it as “Geddon: destroyer of friendships.” Early tax effects like Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere can be played on turn one with help from Mox Diamond and the Sol lands. Protection pieces like Ghostly Prison and Magus of the Tabernacle keep creatures at bay, while forcing our opponents to commit more and more lands to the battlefield. Once our opponent has overreached in an attempt to break through our pillow fort, we slam an Armageddon and put them back at the beginning of turn one. For the cherry on top of this hate sundae, Smokestack will make sure that they are locked out of the game for good.
In the past Crucible of Worlds was the go-to advantage card, allowing you to replay all your dead lands and eventually break parity with your opponents. Abrupt Decay unfortunately can ruin that game plan by sending Crucible of Worlds, and our hope of winning, straight to the graveyard. Cascading Cataracts provides a more resilient way to gain an advantage in the matchup. Keeping a couple indestructible lands on the battlefield will give us several turns head start over our opponents.
Now it would not be a Jerry Mee deck without a spicy 61st card. Bringer of the White Dawn is our top end beater. Thanks to its alternate casting cost, Cascading Cataracts can power out the Bringer as early as turn three with some help from our mana acceleration. Smokestack combined with Bringer of the White Dawn is a grindy combo that allows us to break parity by sacrificing the same artifact every turn. Our opponents won’t be able to mount a defense to a 5/5 trampler for very long under those conditions.
I really like Cascading Cataracts. I think Wizards took a chance by making it indestructible and I think it is a huge boost to the card’s power level. I will be very interested to see how this plays out in new brews as well as updates to existing strategies.
Well there you have it. Cascading Cataracts is a new mass-fixing land that can’t be destroyed. We’ve shown you some Legacy decks that are happy to take this new land for a test drive. What about Modern Tron? Is there a Converge deck for Standard? Let’s get busy brewing with this unique new land.
Aaron Gazzaniga works part time at a game store and in his off time has been an avid magic player/brewer since 2003. Having begun in Odyssey Standard Block and always favoring control and prison style decks, we come to this moment in time where Aaron finally gets to talk about and share his ideas. If you want to contact Aaron tweet @aarongazzaniga