Ranking Every Land with EDHREC – Part 10: New Website, Same Silliness
(Expedition Map | Art by Franz Vohwinkel)
I Live Here Now
If you haven’t seen this series before, I’m sure you have many questions. Who am I? What is this series? How is there a ten-part series on EDHREC that you’ve never seen before? Not to worry, I'm good for nothing if not exposition.
Hi. I’m Joseph. AKA: LogicalKnot on Reddit. A couple months ago, I decided to rank all 369 unique lands via how many decks they have on EDHREC and then post those result as articles on Reddit. Six articles later, EDHREC decided they wanted to feature the series on the website. And now, here we are!
If you want to catch up and learn the methodology for how I made the list, all of the old articles are now up on EDHREC. However, if reading nine articles seems like a lot, you don’t have to. There's not much lore to this series. There are some hidden gems I found by doing this, but also a lot of cards like Rhystic Cave, so enter the archives at your own risk.
Oh, one more thing: I rank each land on whether I think it's Overplayed, Underplayed or Just Right. Please remember I am but one Magic player and my opinion is not fact. I'm also not saying the Overplayed cards are bad, just that some decks shouldn't be playing them.
Now, back to the grind. Number 256 is…
256: Ghitu Encampment: 865 Decks
It sometimes frustrates me which lands see more play. A couple weeks ago I talked about Spawning Pool, a great monocolor creature land in only about 500 decks. Now we get to Ghitu Encampment, a less then stellar monocolor land from the same cycle that's in almost twice as many decks. It’s not worthless; it’s a Warrior at times, if you care about that. But it gets stonewalled by almost anything. First strike isn’t even good when it’s only got 2 power. When are you ever activating this land before the late game? When everyone will have a blocker?
Over, Under or Just Right? Overplayed: I’m think I'm just annoyed because Spawning Pool is lower. It's not bad, just low impact.
255: The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale: 904 Decks
Some of you from Reddit may be thinking, “Didn’t you talk about Tabernacle already?” I did, but when I was moving the old articles over, this card randomly got put in another 100 decks. I guess people got their Christmas bonuses in July.
Tabernacle! The best land that no one owns. If you ignore the $2,200 price tag (as of the posting of this article), this card is just one of the best lands in Magic for Commander: having any sort of offense when this card is out is basically impossible. It’s awkward that it doesn’t tap for mana, but being a land means it can come out turn one before anyone can interact. Playing a token deck and having someone play the turn-one Tabernacle is about as demoralized as you can get in Commander.
Over, Under or Just Right? Just Right: I know it’s not my jurisdiction to talk about things that aren’t lands, but I’m a big fan of Pendrell Mists; sometimes it can be a mono-blue board wipe
254: Ally Encampment: 909 Decks
Allies are a tribe that I'm surprised that I don't see more often. They're similar to Slivers when it comes to versatility. Tribal Ally decks tend to be aggro creature decks, but there's also some combo potential with cards like Turntimber Ranger and Arcane Adaptation. There're some midrange value options like Sea Gate Loremaster. There’re even some cute blink shenanigans to be had if you include Panharmonicon. Obviously, Allies aren't as good as Slivers, but unlike Slivers, all the pieces for the tribe are dirt cheap, so why aren’t more people building them?
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Besides Allies, this land is pretty good with Mistform Ultimus and Morophon the Boundless. Being able to save your commander with a land is no joke, and unlike Elephant Graveyard, it cost 25 cents!
253: Ipnu Rivulet: 915 Decks
A spell that mills four cards for three mana is unplayable, but on a land, it’s not a bad effect. Again, unlike taplands, there is little downside to running these because you can always tap them for colorless. If you’re in a self-mill deck or an everyone-but-self mill deck, or even if you can squeeze just a little bit of synergy out of it with cards like Muldrotha, The Gravetide, then I don’t see much reason not to run it.
Over, Under or Just Right? Underplayed: Can I make demands of EDHREC now that I’m working for it? Make Desert Tribal a theme on the website already, dang it!
252: Crumbling Vestige: 932 Decks
Why? I understand why Tendo Ice Bridge sees play even if I don’t think it’s good. I don't understand why anyone is playing Crumbling Vestige. Are people that desperate for budget five-color lands? Is there some sort of infinite combo I’m not aware of? It’s not ever good in a colorless deck. Nothing explains why 900 people decided, “Yes. This. This is the land my deck needs: a bad Wastes.”
Over, Under or Just Right? Overplayed: I’m sure people have a reason for playing this; I just cannot fathom what that reason is.
251: Sandstone Bridge: 946 Decks
I would wager the reason people play these bad Zendikar taplands is just because they own them. Nobody goes out looking for these lands. People just look through their lands, see Sandstone Bridge, and go, “Eh. I’m in white.” I’m all for building with what one owns, but I think those decks would be better if those people just swapped these out for a basic.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: This thing is only marginally better than Turntimber Grove, so I don’t understand how it's in more than three times as many decks.
250: Oboro, Palace in the Clouds: 954 Decks
This looks like the prototypical underplayed card. It’s another land that can enable Landfall whenever you want. What's not to like?
Well, while Undiscovered Paradise can go in any deck, Oboro can only go in blue decks. Yes, decks like Tatyova, Benthic Druid exists, but most Landfall decks aren’t blue. It’s also $20; something about Oboro being good against Choke in Modern. $20 is a lot to pay for a land that’s a fancy Island most of the time, so with these problems, I can understand why this card isn't played more. Still, if the price tag doesn’t turn you off and you have a deck like Omnath, Locus of the Roil, there’s not much reason not to run it.
Over, Under or Just Right? Just Right: Let’s add Patron of the Moon to the list of commanders I would totally build if I didn’t have to shell out a fortune for random cards like this.
249: Dread Statuary: 925 Decks:
Let’s say you want a creature land for synergy purposes with your commander, but the dual lands like Celestial Colonnade don’t work because none of them line up with your commander/price point. Fair enough.
The monocolor lands like Spawning Pool also don’t work because maybe you’re straight colorless or want untapped lands. That’s fine, I get that.
Let’s also say that Blinkmoth Nexus is also out of your price range. Blinky is getting lower and lower but sometimes it’s too much to spend three dollars on a random land over a sweet card. I get it.
Oh, but because Foundry of the Consuls and Spawning Bed are the obvious answers, you also don’t want to sac the land for some reason. Maybe you just get too attached to it. If you're that deep, I guess this is fine?
Wait, Mishra’s Factory exists, doesn’t it? Hmm....
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: At least it’s one of the seventy million lands that are cheaper than a Wastes.
248: Terminal Moraine: 963 Decks
People like Warped Landscape as a budget land that might be better or worse than Evolving Wilds, depending on who you ask. Take that card and put it in a set that’s 17 years old and make the card $2.50 apiece and you have Terminal Moraine. Part of me wonders why they didn’t just reprint Terminal Moraine; now there are two of them for some reason.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I guess some decks really want a seventh or eighth Evolving Wilds. (Titania, you are not one of those decks! Please sit down!) This is a card they could absolutely put into a precon or Core Set and drastically reduce the price but until then, it’s probably not worth it.
247: Shivan Gorge: 978 Decks
Here we have another cycle. In fact, it’s a cycle that you’ve probably heard of. Have you ever heard of a little card called Tolarian Academy? Yep, this card is in a cycle with one of the most busted cards of all time and you can totally see the resemblance.
The full cycle is Academy, which is banned in everything; Gaea’s Cradle, one of the best lands in Commander; Serra’s Sanctum, the best payoff for Enchantress; Phyrexian Tower, a solid card in any graveyard deck; and then rounding out the cycle, we have Shivan Gorge, a card which has basically never seen any play competitively and is pretty bad in Commander. Shivan Gorge is the deadbeat child of the royal family of Magic cards.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: It’s not bad in Rakdos, Lord of Riots but in general, it’s pretty slow.
246: Scorched Ruins: 979 Decks
People are pretty familiar with Lotus Field or Lotus Vale, but are probably less familiar with their cousin. It taps for four colorless mana! Despite that very satisfying sentence, this card is very fair. All it takes is one Ghost Quarter, and you basically lose on the spot. That said, people are lower on targeted land destruction than they probably should be, so that hopefully won’t come up in most games. There’re also plenty of ways to work around the downside, like Blood Sun, Crucible of Worlds, and Brought Back, and the upside is four mana on one land.
Over, Under, or Just Right: Underplayed: Cross your fingers and hope for no Ghost Quarter.
245: Glimmervoid: 980 Decks
Well, now I know this thing is just ripping off Thran Quarry. Get original, Wizards! Actually, scratch that, I want an enchantment version of this. And a version for sorceries!
Ironically, although keeping an artifact around is often easier than a creature, most artifact decks aren’t as interested in a rainbow land as much as creature decks are. Some decks like Sharuum the Hegemon have decent color requirements, and those decks should probably be running Glimmervoid, but a lot of artifact commanders are mono-blue or colorless and they don’t want a land that’s pretty easy to lose. Even in a deck like Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, do you want a risky dual land when you can just run Steam Vents? Also, unlike Thran Quarry, it’s not budget.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: There isn’t really a five-color artifact general for this card… yet.
Another Set of Nonsense Done!
Good to be back! Do you enjoy Scorched Ruins? Are you running Allies? Can you confirm that Crumbling Vestige is a Magic card and not some enigma sent by a malevolent Sphinx meant specifically for me? Let me know what you think in whatever medium fits you best. As I said back in the days these articles were posted on Reddit, I read every comment (as long as I get a notification) and you all often spot things I've missed!
Next week, a land cracks 1,000 decks!