Why not have a land as a commander? What’s so important about being a creature or even legendary for that matter? This deck sets out to win with one of the slowest and easily disrupted 11-card combos in Magic.
Commanders Child of Alara - Likely the best fit for the deck as it gives it access to a sweeper on demand. Given most of the deck revolves around getting lands on board and the win con is also lands, the destroying all nonland permanents is pretty good. Progenitus - The hydra is also a great option for comander as an alternative win condition. Including a Cathedral of War allows it to 2-shot people. Sliver Queen - A different approach to an alternate win condition. The Queen goes wide rather than big. It can also come in handy as a defensive card, churning out chump blockers. O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami - This commander is likely more of a deterrent than anything else, making people think twice about attacking you, otherwise risking that you blow something up of theirs. Cromat - Old school janky option. Cromat is a weird morphing style card that can do a fair job as an alternate win con that makes good use of spare mana. Progenitus and Sliver Queen are better, but perhaps not as interesting.
Creatures Kiora's Follower - One Basic trick with Maze’s End is to activate, replay it, untap, and and then reactivate it. This is a way to accelerate the process. Follower is the most versatile of these untappers, so it makes the cut. Riftsweeper - A major risk of running essentially an 11 card combo with no redundancy is that one of your Gates will get exiled. Riftsweeper is insurance against that possibility. Azusa, Lost but Seeking - Best additional land per turn option for getting your gates into play ahead of schedule. Works really well with Maze’s End if you have an untapper or Amulet on board. Krosan Restorer - One of the best untapper options. With Threshold you can untap both End as well as a couple lands needed to activate it again. She otherwise ramps you quite substantially Or accelerate the Crackling Perimeter win significantly. Nissa, Vastwood Seer - It might seem odd to include her in a deck with only a handful of basic forests, but her Planeswalker half is a great value engine that fits well with the get lands into play plan. Playing her, fetching a forest, and then drawing a card off the planeswalker activation is good enough on its own. Ramunap Excavator - Budget crucible. Both cards are good insurance plans against your Gates being destroyed via Strip Mines and so forth. It also plays well with Uncharted Realms. Mina and Denn, Wildborn - Another additional land per turn card. This one has some added versatility in being able to bounce lands. This can come in handy to dodge targeted land destruction. Oracle of Mul Daya - One of the best additional land per turn cards, that also helps dig deeper into the deck. Very good on its own, both her and Nissa, Steward of Elements get a significant boost from each other when both are present on board. Restoration Angel - The deck needs backup plans as the Maze’s End win is relatively easy for opponents to disrupt. This card in conjunction with Kiki-Jiki gives you access to another a win-now Combo. The nice part about this plan B is that each half are great value cards on their own, since the deck has many ETB creatures. Notably Riftsweeper, on the off chance multiple Gates get exiled. Stone-Seeder Hierophant - The best untapper. It is likely this deck’s unobvious must kill. In conjunction with additional land per turn cards, Hierophant can enable wins from multiple Maze’s End activations from seemingly out of nowhere. Cloudblazer - Just a great value card that helps us dig for our Gates and synergises with our plan B cards. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker - The other half of our Resto Angel plan B win con. As with the Angel, this goblin can be a value engine along side Cloudblazer and Mulldrifter. Mulldrifter - Another great value card just like Cloudblazer. Seedborn Muse - Slightly awkward untapper, since it happens during opponent’s turn, but still very powerful. Especially when combined with things like Crackling Perimeter. It can also enable wins off Enter the Infinite where the main constraint tends to be to how many mana you can produce during a single turn. The Gitrog Monster - Another additional land per turn card, but with some extra bonus text. This card works synergises with our cycling lands, Uncharted Realms, and Grapple with the Past, as the draw trigger on he frog doesn’t care how the land got into th graveyard. If you also have Excavator in play, the sacrifice trigger is much less painful and the frog is just a pure draw card engine at that point. Greenwarden of Murasa - A good Eternal Witness style card that helps the deck fight through land destruction, but is otherwise a good value card. The extra death trigger is what gives it the nod over Witness. Ulvenwald Hydra - Big creature that can threaten to win on its own, but is included for its ETB to fetch out a gate or Maze’s End, or any other useful utility land for that matter. It can be very effective alongside Kiki Jiki to both threaten a win via combat while also progressing the Maze End game plan.
Spells Amulet of Vigor - Probably the best card in the deck given how many tap lands we play. It also accelerates our Maze’s End, especially in conjunction with additional land per turn cards. Animist's Awakening - This ramp spell is a bit hit or miss, but can be an excellent way to get a couple of extra Guildgates into play in the later turns. Generally the plan is to cast this for 6-7+ mana and Spellmastery. It’s a bit like Boundless Realms in this deck, which cannot otherwise play a card like that. Burgeoning - A lot of our cards draw cards or put lands into out hand. Maze’s End puts itself into our hand. As a result, this enchantment can provide a lot of value. Cast early it can put you very far ahead. Expedition Map - Classic card to fetch our a particular land. Generally it is Maze’s End, but Wolf Run or High Market can sometimes be better. Quicken - Mainly in the deck to enable wins with Enter the Infinite. The idea being that you can cast a card like Splendid Reclamation at instant speed after a Seedborn untap and discarding all the drawn Gates to Turbulent Dreams. Traverse the Ulvenwald - Another Tutor that can fetch any land. It’s useful to point out that it can also search out Ulvenwald Hydra which will then get that land and put it directly into play. Constant Mists - The best Fog we can play. In conjunction with Excavator it provides an indefinite stalling mechanism until we draw into a sweeper or something. If we have an additional land per turn card, we are not even necessarily stopping our game plan either. Crackling Perimeter - Guildgate themed alternate win con that can actually be quite effective along side cards like Seedborn Muse or Korean Restorer. Grapple with the Past - Because it doesn’t limit you to choosing from only the top x cards of the library, it makes this the best Grisly Salvage style card. In reality it’s more of an instant speed Restore. Life from the Loam - The best graveyard retrieval for lands. There are some neat things you can do with it like rebuy cycling lands, then cycle them to rebuy Loam and dredge through the deck looking for Gates to then retrieve. Mulch - Another good Grisely Salvage style card. This makes the cut because it gives us all of the revealed lands. Nissa, Steward of Elements - Another good value card just like her 2-sided version. Late game you can cast her for 6+ counters and just keep using her zero activation for max value. Summer Bloom - This card is included because of its potential for an explosive early start, and also because it can get your opponent’s off guard enabling an early win from seemingly nowhere. Sylvan Scrying - Another any land tutor card. The deck has several good options to grab other than Maze’s End. Turbulent Dreams - Mainly in the deck to enable wins using Enter the Infinite. It allows you to discard all of your gates so that you can then Splendid Reclamation them into play. Generally you need quite a bit of setup and a lot of mana to pull it off, but it does give you a way to instantly win in the late game. Painful Truths - One of the better card draw spells that is ironically easy to cast on our clunky 5-color manabase. Realms Uncharted - Great card to grab a bunch of Gates and then rely on stuff like Excavator or other cards to recur them into play. Rites of Flourishing - Provides additional lands and cards per turn which is too much value for it to matter that it benefits your opponent’s. Often their game plan revolves around creatures that you will sweep away anyway, so in some sense we get more value out of it in the long run. Day of Judgment - Creature sweeper. Nice budget option. Wrath of God, Supreme Verdict, and Damnation are also good options. Ghirapur Orrery - Very similar to Rites of Flourishing. Best cast when you are about to empty your hand. Harmonize - Another solid draw spell. This one being Green is significant, as our non-gate lands are heavily biased towards that colour, so it will be much easier to cast than similar Blue options. Kiora, Master of the Depths - Very effective at ramping and recurring lands. She is the better or the two Kiora. Paired with Krosan Restorer it gets a bit out of hand. Kiora, the Crashing Wave - If you can get 2 Explores from her, you are doing well. She can sometimes stall problematic commanders or things like Valakut. Reap and Sow - This is primarily played to give you another land tutor, bonus that it puts it straight into play. The land destruction half can often be relevant too though. Splendid Reclamation - This card sometimes plays like a 1-card combo, especially if you have been using Loam during the game or if there is a mill deck in the group. Getting back even just a handful of lands is generally enough for it to be worthwhile. It’s a key card in an Enter the Infinite win sequence. Tempt with Discovery - Cast early enough, opponents may not realise what you’re up to and give you a few extra Gates. Even with the risk that you only get 1, it tutors any land and puts it into play, which is good in itself. Nissa, Vital Force - The last and most expensive of the included Nissa’s, she’s great as a means of recurring lands, which is basically why she’s in the deck. On the off chance you can plus her and keep her at 6 loyalty until your next turn, the ultimate’s emblem is also pretty good. Rout - Instant speed sweepers are very good, as you can wait for maximum value and keep the initiative. Worm Harvest - Good card at stalling the board that plays well and on theme with our lands matter deck. Excellent along side Excavator, which essentially gives you the rebuy for free. Urban Evolution - Maybe the best draw spell we have. It’s easy for the deck to cast and puts an extra land into play. Great from all angles. Akroma's Vengeance - Because our game plan revolves are lands, Sweepers that destroy most non-lands are very good for us. It’s not without some pain sometimes, as we may lose an Amulet or something else, but generally this is going to hurt our opponent’s way more than us. These sweepers are especially important to deal with more non-creature oriented decks like those playing Paradox Engine. Vengeance is nice also in that it won’t destroy our planeswalkers. Austere Command - Similar to Vengeance, this sweeper will help us with non-creatures and creatures alike. Command is great for its flexibility. Hour of Revelation - This takes care of everything, and almost always for only 3 mana. Merciless Eviction - Another sweeper with flexibility like Austere. It’s an important addition to give us outs to indestructible permanents. Planar Cleansing - The classic destroy all non-land permanents spell. Fated Retribution - There are not many speed sweepers, but the timing is usually well worth the extra expense. Praetor's Counsel - Good stuff card that helps us to recur lands if needed, but otherwise is just good at generating a lot of value in a long game. Enter the Infinite - This card is essentially a 1-card Combo if you can setup properly and do your math right. You’ll need a ton of mana to pull it off, as generally your looking either have or put into play Seedborn or Amulet along with some additional land per turn cards. Play out the drawn Guildgates, with the help of Summer Bloom if you can, then untap after passing the turn and activate Maze. If you include Turbulent Dreams, you can also setup for a win by discarding your Gates and casting Splendid Reclamation. Quicken is helps to setup the Splendid Reclamation win, by allowing you to do during your opponent's turn after an untap with Seedborn.
Lands Maze’s End & Guildgates (Azorius Guildgate, Boros Guildgate, Dimir Guildgate, Golgari Guildgate, Gruul Guildgate, Izzet Guildgate, Orzhov Guildgate, Rakdos Guildgate, Selesnya Guildgate, Simic Guildgate) - Pretty straightforward. Just make sure to have all 10 Gates. Bojuka Bog - Good land tutor target to deal with decks abusing their graveyards. High Market - This is a card you will want if you are playing with Child of Alara as your commander. It gives you an easy way to sacrifice him in order to trigger the sweeper effect. Kessig Wolf Run - Great inclusion that gives you the ability to close out a game with basically any creature. Maze of Ith - Excellent defensive card. It’s worthwhile to consider even runnings it’s contemporary version as well. Reliquary Tower - Useful commander staple land to include. Comes in handy when we are holding a lot of reactive or late game spells but want to keep digging with card draw. Tectonic Edge - Budget Strip Mine. The key is that it doesn’t let the opponent search for a replacement, allowing locks with Excavator or Crucible. Westvale Abbey - Somewhat difficult to transform, it is a low opportunity cost to include it and it fits the lands matter theme. Sometimes decks will fold to an indestructible lifelinker, especially if you then sweep the board. City of Brass & others (Cascading Cataracts, City of Brass, Command Tower, Exotic Orchard, Grand Coliseum, Mana Confluence, Path of Ancestry, Vivid Crag, Vivid Creek, Vivid Grove, Vivid Marsh, Vivid Meadow) - Including as many good 5 color lands as you can is important to keep the deck consistent. Savage Lands & friends (Frontier Bivouac, Jungle Shrine, Opulent Palace, Sandsteppe Citadel, Savage Lands, Seaside Citadel) - Tri-lands are the next best thing to 5-color lands. However, not as important to include all of them. I suggest sticking to the ones that produce Green, as a majority of the deck needs Green, particularly the spells that allow you to fix your mana. Tranquil Thicket & Cyclers (Scattered Groves, Sheltered Thicket, Slippery Karst, Tranquil Thicket) - These cards are generally more spells than lands. They play so well with cards like Loam that it’s worthwhile to have a few. Again, limiting to Green ones is suggested. Forest - Lastly, we have a handful of basics. In part to fetch with Nissa or effects from the opponent like Ghost Quarter or Path to Exile. Green again to best support the deck, but if you expect cards like From the Ashes, it’s advisable to include one of each of the other types.
Sweet. I play quite a few different land decks, and whenever I play Life from the Loam, I like to put Entomb into the deck. You can really setup with all the Cycling lands to gain card advantage. Fluctuator as well, if you're feeling like going further with that game plan. Plus land acceleration if you want to use it in conjunction with the the extra lands into play. The Gitrog Monster is also going to work well within this deck. I'd play it straight up over Mina and Denn, Wildborn or Wayward Swordtooth.
You can't actually untap and reuse Maze's End while its ability is on the stack. If you look closely, you'll notice that the colon in the ability's effect is just after "return Maze's End to its owner's hand". That means that returning the land to your hand is part of the cost of the ability, not part of its effect.
There are some advantages to this -- it makes Maze's End much harder to remove, since the cost of putting it back into your hand can't be responded to -- but it also unfortunately means that you can't double-tap it. Untappers are still great for getting an activation every turn instead of every other, though.
Thanks for the list and the logic, I appreciate being able to go through the reasoning for each card.
I used to play with a guy that ran a list that had the same sort of theme. I had the dubious honor to be the only person to lose to commander damage from his deck. Due to severe shenanigans he ended up with a Rafiq of the Many to give his Progenitus double strike... anyways, I hope you enjoy the deck it is a fun concept to play against. I enjoy watching the janky pieces come together to Rube Goldberg out a win.