Ranking Every Land with EDHREC – Part 16: Life in the Fast Lane!
Now a Weekly Scheduled Program!
That's right! Starting today, there'll be a new article, written by yours truly, ranking every land based on how many decks they're in on EDHREC, every single week.
Hard-hitting analysis? Random data minutia? Trying to convince you to build random decks that aren't particularly good? Straight from my 0-3 Commander nights every week!
Let's kick it off!
189:: 1,820 Decks
Time to say goodbye to the last of the mono-colored creature lands from Urza's Legacy. I'm pleasantly surprised by how good this cycle is for Commander. I originally didn't think a random cycle of mini-beaters in a 40-life format was very good, but there's a lot of random neat things this cycle does. Even is a Warrior for .
is the best example of how flexible these lands are. It's evasive for , it's a land for , it's sacrifice fodder for , it's a flyer for , and it's probably got some synergy with , somehow. It does it all!
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: One of the better self-animating lands, and definitely the best of its cycle.
188: The Ally-Color Fast Lands: 1,834 Decks
(; 2,557, ; 2,246, ; 1,917, ; 1,228, ; 1,222)
I think this might be the first widely known cycle we've ever done on this ranking list. You might think we're getting towards the more well-known lands, but I would remind you that we're only on number #188; we're not exactly up to heavy hitters just yet.
So why is this cycle so low on the list? There are a couple factors, first of which is that these are not a top-tier cycle for Commander. That doesn’t make the cycle bad; compared to Future Sight lands above these because those always enter untapped., can provide critical early-game mana when you need it most, while entering tapped in the late game. However, if I were making a list of the dual lands that need to be in the most optimized EDH decks, , , and , would certainly be high on the list, while the fast lands would be pretty low. I'd even put the
This is not the whole story, though: the enemy-color fast lands, like, are way higher in popularity. This is where we acknowledge that *gasp* you can play Magic in ways other than Commander!
Did you notice that very good in Modern. I don't normally engage in the 1v1 formats, but even I know those formats live and die on unconditional untapped early mana. Combine this with the fact that these ally-color lands only appeared in Scars of Mirrodin, which was almost 10 years ago, and you have a highly valued cycle that isn't really worth the effort to acquire for casual play.is seeing way less play than other members of the cycle? Did you also notice the card is $30? This is the most obvious evidence of that fact that this cycle is
Over, Under, or Just Right: Just Right: Until they get a reprint, they won’t see much more play.
187:: 1,834 Decks
A tapped colorless land? That's a rough one. The ability isn't bad, though. I suspect Voltron decks could make good use of it. If it was untapped, I would be kind of into it. If it tapped for green or white, then I would be on board. But a tapped colorless land? This is just bad, now, right?
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: Almost 2,000 decks?
186:: 1,863 Decks
Picture this: you're playing a control deck. Think, full of counterspells, Wraths, and tons of removal spells. Your opponent is playing some creature-based deck. Mono-green , or . Then they play .
You're suddenly in for a very bad time.
makes it really difficult for people to play reactively. Wraths and sorcery-speed removal get way worse because someone can flash in an right before their turn, and suddenly they have a lethal board despite having nothing at all mere moments ago. Counterspells are awful against this, because the aggressive player can flash in something at the end of the control player's turn, and force them to tap out, rendering them unable to respond to anything on the aggressive player's turn. Even instant-speed removal gets worse, because suddenly no matter what you remove, there may be something else around the corner at that moment. Speaking as a resident control player, I hate this card. I've lost far too many games to it.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: $20 is steep, and you need a high density of creatures to justify it, but if you can make it work, this land gives reactive players like me a ton of nightmares.
185:: 1,877 Decks
I'm a big fan of Dana Roach's In the Margins series (it's still weird writing for the same website as the articles I like reading!) whose main premise is to find better alternatives to popular cards. For instance, taking a card like and finding something that's better in every way, like or . Cards like see a ton of play, not because they are good, but because, when players start out, they open cards like that are ubiquitously available, and may not yet know to search for better alternatives.
is exactly this type of card. Using its ability puts you one land behind for the rest of the game, and there are just a ton of better options. and are better in every way than Shores. If you want other budget five-color lands, , , , and even are way better than Shores for around the same price. However, because Shores has been printed to death, people own one, and they need lands that make multiple colors of mana.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: There's nothing wrong with that, though. Games need chances for players to level up. Every Magic player uses cards like these. That's why the game is great. However, it means the data can be skewed in ways that aren't necessarily representative of a card's power level.
184:: 1,890 Decks
The Legends cycle of legendary lands and the Kamigawa cycle of legendary lands are blending together for me. It's just one big mass of basic lands in all but name, each with little candies attached to them. Each one comes up to me with a slightly bigger piece of candy and asks me if that's enough to be worth putting into a deck, but the candy is all like Tootsie Rolls, which I don't hate, but I'm not excited enough to actually eat them. I respect that each piece of candy is getting bigger, but they're still just Tootsie Rolls, and they're not worth the calories to eat, so I just ignore them.
How did I get on this website again?
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Maybe if they come with like a Twix or something.
183:: 1,961 Decks
Hey! that’s only 200 of the almost 2,000 decks that play . What is the one spell that you’re going to cast off that will make it worth it? A ramp spell like ? Why not just use other budget lands to ensure you can cast the on time? Even is better than this.is actually budget now! Still not interested. Obviously, for decks that use energy counters, this is a must-have, but
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I actually think that there should be more energy decks, but not 2,000 of them.
182:: 1961 Decks
Apparentlywas mad I that didn’t like it, and it decided to go all out. We go from paying five mana to make a 1/1 to now paying six mana to make an 8/8. It’s kind of a spin on traditional creature lands, and it makes a big boy! Unlike other self-animating lands, it’s not great against Wraths, so there will be awkward times when you want to activate this because you have no creatures, but you can’t, because you have no creatures. Despite that, between and , I’ll pick this land every single time.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Wizards, this was a prime reprint forprecon deck!
181:: 1,984 Decks
Why was this printed in the Edger Markov precon? Was It for ? Because it does nothing for the face commander, , and actually is kind of detrimental for an aggressive strategy, so it already shouldn't be in 500 of the decks it's in.
Lifegain is similar to decks that use specific types of counters; on some level, it doesn’t matter what the card does, because decks themed around that type of counter will still try it. Does it matter that this is a tapped Plains? Not really, because lifegain! I think it’s fine in a mono-white lifegain strategy, a cautious recommendation for Orhzov lifegain decks, but anything more than that and I think it’s a hard "no." You can't afford a tapped Plains in any other decks.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Overplayed: I think the precon effect has inflated the numbers. Who put this in theprecon but hasn't bothered to put in a precon yet?
180:: 1,992 Decks
I love this stupid thing! Alternate win conditions can be very polarizing in Commander, but personally, I'm never upset whenwins a game. How can I be mad? I can see it coming a mile away, and it takes a lot of investment to actually secure the win. If someone built their deck and jumped through the hoops to win with , and didn't get disrupted, I think they deserve it.
The last couple years has been amazing for. Guilds of Ravnica gave us , which is huge, because an extra Gate means an effect like doesn't shut down the deck down completely. Ravnica Allegiance gave us some other Gate payoffs like and . Then Core Set 2020 came out and gave the deck the best commander it could have asked for: . It has never been easier to jank people out!
The turbodeck is definitely more viable now, but it's also a card that can just be thrown in random budget mana bases. Five-color decks often have to resort to taplands like Guildgates anyway, so here's a card that doesn't require these decks to change much, and it can straight up win on its own.
Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: I can’t actually see if there are dedicated Gate decks that are not playing, but apparently only 99% of decks that play also include . What are the other 1% doing?!?
What an A-maze-ing End (I'm not sorry!)
Well, I'll be back next week, which means I should probably start writing that article now. Before I enter the writing cocoon, let me know what you think about this week's cycle. Isbetter than I think? Can we spread the good news of ? Let me know what you think somewhere on the internet. Until next week!