Lotus Breach is a combo deck which at first glance looks like a pile of random cards. Looking at the name sake cards, Lotus Field and Underworld Breach, they don’t have any interaction with each other. Normally when I cover a combo deck I’ll have a section about the combo, a section about supporting the combo, and a section about protecting the combo; however, this deck is a little more complex so instead I’m going to go through it as if I were playing it.
During the first few turns you want to get 2 Lotus Fields into play. The deck runs a full playset as well as a playset of Thespian’s Stage, which has the ability to become any land in play, so you really have 8 copies of Lotus Field. To help ramp out lands, the deck runs Arboreal Grazer which allows you to get a second land into play on turn 1 and Satyr Wayfinder which lets you pull a land out of the top 4 cards of your library. The last ramp card is Sylvan Scrying which allows you to search your library for any land card and put it into your hand for 2 mana.
With 2 Lotus Fields in play, you can produce 6 mana of any color. Now this where it gets complicated. You need to get Underworld Breach into play, but you need to be ready to go off when you do. It may be an enchantment, but it only sticks around until the end step. Underworld Breach gives the escape mechanic to all cards in your graveyard, meaning that you can pay that card’s mana cost and exile 3 cards from your graveyard to cast it again. Pore Over the Pages and Hidden Strings allow you to untap two permanents, your Lotus Fields. This can produce a lot of mana, but not infinite. Yes, you can keep casting the cards using escape, but you only have a finite number of cards in your library and by extension, your graveyard. Pore Over the Pages also allows you to draw three cards, then discard a card. You want to use this and other cards like Strategic Planning or other cards similar to Anticipate to dig for Fae of Wishes/Granted.
Using the Granted portion of Fae of Wishes, you want to grab Tome Scour, along with an eventual Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. There is also a single Thassa’s Oracle in the main deck as a back up. You’re going to target yourself with the Tome Scour again and again using the escape mechanic combined with Pore Over the Pages or Hidden Strings so you can keep untapping the Lotus Fields eventually milling yourself and winning with Jace or Thassa’s Oracle.
As you can see, most of the main board is about the combo. Fae of Wishes allows you to have a toolbox of answers, that you can pull from the sideboard; Alpine Moon for the mirror match, Anger of the Gods against aggro, Thought Distortion against control, Nercomentia against other combo decks, and finally Ugin, the Spirit Dragon because why not. These are great cards, but remember to take your local meta into account and adjust your side board accordingly.
The basic shell of Lotus Breach should look like the following:
Thespian Stage x4
Lotus Field x4
Arboreal Grazer x4
Satyr Wayfinder x4
Sylvan Scrying x4
Underworld Breach x3-4
Pore Over the Pages x3-4
Hidden Strings x3-4
Anticipate or similar cards x3-6
Fae of Wishes x3-4
Thassa’s Oracle x1
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries x1
Tome Scour x1
I feel that I should point out that in a control match up, Lotus Breach is not afraid of counter spells. As long as the spell goes into the graveyard, you can just cast it again with Underworld Breach. Yes, it can get annoying, but it’s also hard for them to effectively stop you. Aggro may pose a threat, but Arboreal Grazer’s 3 toughness can take some early heavy hits. Once it enters the battlefield, the ability is used up so it’s basically fodder for blocking after that and reach just makes it better if you find yourself against a flying deck. Some builds run Expansion/Explosion, I don’t think it’s necessary. Sure if the game goes long you can have a pretty good Explosion, but that’s not going to be every match up. Copying a spell with Expansion can be nice, but still not necessary for this deck to win. Save it for decks like Temur Reclamation where it can perform better. Right now the best card that can threaten this deck is Tormod’s Crypt which is now Pioneer legal thanks to Core Set 2021. I would highly recommend picking up a playset of this card for your collection. It’s a great sideboard card that has proven itself in other eternal formats where graveyard decks can get out of hand and most printings cost less than a dollar.
That wraps up Lotus Breach which incidentally is the 9th deck analysis I have done for Pioneer and the 5th combo deck I have done for this format. Seriously, I’m getting sick of all the combo decks running around and I’m pretty sure everyone else is too. Hopefully, Zendikar Rising can shake things up a bit without something new needing a ban. What deck do you want to see next? Let me know in the comments down below.