Ranking Every Land with EDHREC - Part 15: A Data Update

(Expedition Map | Art by Franz Vohwinkel)

I Got Some 'Splainin to Do!

This series would be right without a few number-based shenanigans!

For those just joining our series, here we rank every land based on how many decks it appears in on EDHREC. However, you might have noticed that EDHREC removed a bunch of decks from the website over the last week. This is because we try to keep up with the times, as the cool kids say. Rather than pulling data from decks posted online for all time, EDHREC pulls data from decks uploaded or edited within the past two years, to keep recommendations more accurate to the cards people are playing today, rather than showcasing a bunch of cards that were popular several years ago, but might not be as popular now. Thus, a bunch of decks older then that have been removed from the website.

What does that mean for this series? Basically nothing, except that the number of decks each land appears in are going to be lower than they were last week. Thawing Glaciers, for instance, was in almost 2,000 decks, and now it's in about 1,400. I'll probably hop in the EDH Reddit and discuss this change in more detail, but for now, just don't freak out when the numbers are lower than they were.

If you have any question about this, I am always chilling in the comments so let me know! Alright, back to the nonsense!

199: Thawing Glaciers: 1,377 Decks

Technically this is another land that doesn't tap for mana, but it's closer to a fetchland than it is to a land like Arena, so it gets a pass.

I have never had the privilege of playing with this card. The Reserved List can do that, unfortunately. A card I have played with is Frontier Guide, and I cannot tell you how good it feels to always have the option to hit your land drop. This is not a land you play early game. This is something that you want to play late game with seven or eight lands in play. Some might say, "Do you need lands that late?" I’d say, "You haven't seen my mana-hungry control decks."

That’s not even counting any synergy. This is guaranteed repeatable Landfall. Why yes, I would like to trigger Omnath, Locus of Rage every turn. Another weird quirk is that Glaciers returns to your hand at end of turn, so if you can untap it, you can search out another land. The value from this innocuous engine is amazing!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Even if you had no synergy with Landfall, I would still want to play this in control decks.

198: Encroaching Wastes: 1,557 Decks

Wasteland is 45$? That’s a lot for a utility land. Perhaps something cheaper?

Strip Mine is 20$? That's better but I'd rather spend my money on cool cards.

Ghost Quarter at 1$? Look, I only have 25$ to build a whole deck. I can't spend a dollar on a random piece of hate.

Encroaching Wastes at 25 cents? That's more I like it. It’s not the best; four mana and the land is a lot to keep up, but when there's a Cabal Coffers or a Glacial Chasm in play, I will happily pay that price. If the choice is between this and something like Ghost Quarter, pick Ghost Quarter every time, but if the choice is between this and nothing, this is a fine card.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: Wizards, if you're not going to give precon decks a Ghost Quarter, at least give them this.

197: Miren, the Moaning Well: 1,577 Decks

It’s a High Market but bigger... and badder. I'm actually kind of surprised this is so high. I feel like I see this all the time in my meta and I'm never impressed. It just doesn't do anything well. You wanna sacrifice creatures? I mentioned High Market, but there's also Phyrexian Tower, Westvale Abbey, or even Grim Backwoods. You wanna gain life? Radiant Fountain is free. Blighted Steppe is probably more life. Tomb of the Spirit Dragon and Sapseed Forest are repeatable. And those are just lands. There're loads of ways to gain life and sacrifice creatures that are way better than this.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I fail to see why a bunch of subpar effects make one good effect.

196: Seraph Sanctuary: 1,666 Decks

I feel like this is a case where people just feel obligated to play the tribal card. Sure, if this were a tribe like Crabs, or Oozes then I think this land would be fine to play. The payoff isn't great, but the creature quality of these tribes is less then stellar, so you might as well go full meme and run the support cards too.

However, this is Angels! Angels don't need meme potential to be fun. There aren't a ton of Angel tribal support cards, but they don't need them. They're sweet cards. They fly and they hit hard and they do sweet things! Angels don't care a lick about gaining, like, four life, they'll just kill you instead.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Angel tribal doesn’t want or need this.

195: Nephalia Academy: 1,682 Decks

Only triggering off of enemy spells and abilities removes a lot of the cute shenanigans this land could have done with Wheel of Fortune. How often are people going to make you discard? There’s an occasional Syphon Mind or Plaguecrafter that this can help protect important cards from. I guess it makes Torment of Hailfire slightly less painful, too... but really, if someone casts Torment for 10, this isn't going to save you. It's really only useful against Wheel decks. An opponent's Time Spiral becomes a personal Flux where you can sculpt the perfect hand, keeping the good stuff, and looting away the bad. That's cute but probably not coming up enough to put in random decks

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: This is absolutely a colorless land only. Not good enough to be in the average deck but when you just need lands that tap for colorless, this card does enough that it's probably worth it.

194: Treetop Village: 1,704 Decks

Most often, creature lands see play because they have synergy with certain commanders and less for their damage-dealing potential. Treetop Village is kinda weird because the synergy it has is that it's a big boy that hits hard and has trample. Trample in particular is what makes this card good. Mono-green has tons of ways to pump creatures, so Treetop Village can actually threaten to kill people. There's also land animation shenanigans; stuff like Awakening of Vitu Ghazi makes Treetop a 3/3 with nine counters on it. It's cute.

Over, Under, Or Just Right? Just Right: Not being a Forest prevents it from being ubiquitous in mono-green decks, but it's a tool I'm happy to have when I want it.

193: Leechridden Swamp: 1,728 Decks

I think I said back when I first discussed this cycle from Lorwyn that I was surprised they haven't done another cycle of lands with basic land types. Lo and behold, Throne of Eldraine came out with a brand new cycle of lands with a basic land type. Makes the OG cycle somehow less relevant. Then again, maybe it actually makes them more relevant.

The thing about this cycle is that having the Swamp land type isn't nearly as relevant as you might think. Sure, there're some ways to find it, the big ones being fetchlands like Polluted Delta, and there's some ways to take advantage of it, like Crypt Ghast. This is cute, but those examples are pretty few and far between. The land type is a neat bonus, but it doesn't make them that much better. Sure, you can get Leechridden Swamp with a fetchland, but do you really want to? It's a tapped Swamp most of the time. I would rather just grab Blood Crypt for fixing. So don't just play these because they have the basic land type.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: This tows the line between just right and overplayed. Decks like Rakdos, Lord of Riots love this card but I'm also seeing it in random Anowon, the Ruin Sage decks and I'm positive it's just a tapland in those decks 95% of the time.

192: Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers: 1,745 Decks

Kamigawa! I understand it's a unique plane, but some of the titles sound a little like word soup. This second coming of the Legends cycle is a bit 'second verse, same as the first.' Once again, these are basically basic lands without the subtype but with some tiny upside that probably will never matter. There's no real reason not to play Okina, the City that Never Sleeps, but there's also not much benefit this land will give.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Kethis, the Hidden Hand makes these legendary lands somewhat playable, but other than that, I'm not in the market to pay $6 for this.

191: Blighted Fen: 1,745 Decks (Tie)

Ah, yes, the cycle that makes us all shout from the heavens: "Ehhhhhhhhhhhh."

This has to be one of the worst lands in the top 200, potentially even one of the worst in the top 300. One-shot sacrifice isn't the worst, but the number of situations where someone has a mana dork or token they will happily get rid of to keep an Ulamog the Ceaseless Hunger is way too high. Put that 'meh' ability on a colorless land, make it only affect one person, and make it cost a ton of mana, and surprise! You have a bad card!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: People do know mono-black can get rid of creatures already, right? I'd sincerely rather have another Swamp for my Cabal Coffers count. If you have a good reason to play Blighted Fen, please let me know.

190: Shinka, The Bloodsoaked Keep: 1,765 decks

Giving first strike on a land for this cheap seems great! However, when you stop to think about it, it’s not actually that useful. Think about the moments when first strike is good. Optimally, first strike turns creatures that were going to trade with your commander into chump blockers. However, if your legend is already massive, first strike doesn’t help it get through chump blockers, and if it’s small, then it’s still going to be eaten alive even with first strike.

Commander is not like Limited. Creatures will rarely trade, so first strike isn't super relevant. When it is relevant, it can make blocking miserable and be a good deterrent against enemy attacks, but this land is $6 and I don’t think most decks need one.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: It’s not bad. Fumiko, the Lowblood loves this card, and again, it's an untapped red source, so there's little reason not to run it. Don't go out of your way for it, though.

Update and Downdate

If anyone wants to talk about some mythical new Commander products in 2020, or share their thoughts on this batch of lands, I'd love to hear it! Is Thawing Glaciers as sweet as I think? Why is Blighted Fen this dang high? Let me know!

Joseph started playing in Theros Block but decided that the best way to play the game was to learn every single card and hope that would somehow make him good at Magic. It hasn't. He is a college student in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also enjoys reading and other games of all shapes and sizes.

EDHREC Code of Conduct

Your opinions are welcome. We love hearing what you think about Magic! We ask that you are always respectful when commenting. Please keep in mind how your comments could be interpreted by others. Personal attacks on our writers or other commenters will not be tolerated. Your comments may be removed if your language could be interpreted as aggressive or disrespectful. You may also be banned from writing further comments.