Non basic lands

Non basic lands DEFAULT

It is surprising how a card with only four words in the rules text can be so confusing. That’s because these four words change a land card’s type (and cause a lot of headaches in the process).

So, what cards does Blood Moon affect?

Basic and nonbasic lands

If a land card has the supertype Basic then Blood Moon will not affect it. However, if a land card does not have the supertype Basic it is considered a non-basic land even if it has one of the 5 basic land types in its type line or in its name (see Madblind Mountain for further details)

Initially, the only land cards with the supertype Basic were Mountains, Plains, Forests, Swamps, Islands, their Snow-covered cousins and Wastes (the newborn basic land provides colorless mana). However, it is possible for a land to acquire the supertype basic by copying a Basic Land (because the supertype Basic is a copiable value)

So, now that we can distinguish between basic and non-basic lands. We can now look at how non basic lands are affected when Blood Moon is on the battlefield.

1) A non-basic land loses all abilities generated by its text and any copy effects affecting the land.

2) All non-basic lands gains the Mountain land type and the Mountain’s intrinsic mana ability (they tap for R).

If you prefer a visual representation of how Blood Moon works then think of it like a huge eraser which removes all land types and rules text from a land and then rewrites the land type with Mountain and the adds the following text “{TAP}: Add {R}” to the text box.

Please note that Blood Moon’s ability functions very differently to that of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Prismatic Omen. These cards generate continuous effects that add a basic land type to an existing land type. So how do you tell the difference between adding and replacing? If an effect uses the word becomes then you replace the land type. If an effect says uses the phrase in addition to then you add the land type.

Setting a land’s subtype to Mountain doesn’t add or remove the land’s other card types (like Artifact or Creature) or supertypes (Basic, Snow or Legendary) the land card originally had. The name doesn’t change either.

Note that Blood Moon’s effect doesn’t remove the abilities granted to a land by other effects (except copy effects):

The land loses all abilities generated from any copy effects affecting it:
Phantasmal Image
Inkmoth Nexus
Blood Moon

So how does Blood Moon interact with other type changing effects? Well, it all boils down to dependancy.

Because Blood Moon’s static ability operates only when it’s on the battlefield and begins affecting any nonbasic lands immediately. In fact, Blood Moon’s effect is so quick that once a non-basic land hits the battlefield it’s going to be affected. Therefore:

  1. If a nonbasic land’s has EtB triggered abilities, these will not trigger because the ability isn’t there (it’s gone).
  2. Effects that modify the way the land enters the battlefield are replacemant effects. They are applied before the permanent enters the battlefield and taking into account continuous effects that already exist and would apply to the permanent. (see CR 614.12).

Don’t forget that lands affected by Blood Moon gain a mana ability, which makes them mana producing even if they normally aren’t.

Finally, the most unusual effect Blood Moon has on Zoetic Cavern.:

Zoetic Cavern

  1. ⇑ Card supertypes are Basic, Legendary, World, Ongoing and Snow; they precede the card type in the type line printed on the card.
  2. ⇑ 614.12 Some replacement effects modify how a permanent enters the battlefield. (See rules 614.1c-d.) Such effects may come from the permanent itself if they affect only that permanent (as opposed to a general subset of permanents that includes it). They may also come from other sources. To determine which replacement effects apply and how they apply, check the characteristics of the permanent as it would exist on the battlefield, taking into account replacement effects that have already modified how it enters the battlefield (see rule 616.1), continuous effects from the permanent's own static abilities that would apply to it once it's on the battlefield, and continuous effects that already exist and would apply to the permanent.
  3. ⇑ Fetch lands — is a slang nickname for a cycle of lands originally printed in Onslaught set (another five “enemy-colored” fetch lands were later printed in Zendikar set). All these lands have an ability that requires you to sacrifice them and allows you to search your library for a land card with at least one out of two basic land types and put it on the battlefield (see Wooded Foothills, Arid Mesa etc.) These lands don’t have mana abilities of their own.
  4. ⇑ It can have counters if Blood Moon enters the battlefield after Dark Depths.
  5. ⇑“Vanilla” is a slang nickname for creatures without abilities.

Translated by Lev Kotlyar


“Give me land, lots of land.”

Scratch that! Instead of lots of lands, give me a succinct list of the best possible, crème de la crème, most powerful non-basic lands in Magic: the Gathering history! 

Today, I’ll be breaking down the eight lands that I believe are the best and most powerful non-basic lands ever made for players to tap to cast their spells (and in some unique examples, facilitate other types of powerful synergies and interactions). 



Blood MoonWasteland

These are the non basics that Blood Moon was engineered to lock down and Wasteland was designed to combat. Let’s get to it: the top 8 non-basic lands of all time! 


Header - #8: Gaea's Cradle

Gaea's Cradle

Gaea’s Cradle has really soared in value over the past few years and that price tag is a function of two things: 

  1. It’s placement on the Reserve List (which means it is promised to never be reprinted).
  2. It’s one of the most busted lands of all time in terms of its ability to generate absurd quantities of mana in creature based decks. 

Gaea’s Cradle is a staple of green-based Commander decks, and rightly so – there are few cards ever to be conceived that can generate a larger surge of mana for a smaller cost investment! The card is so powerful that embedding ways to tutor and untap it for maximum reuse when comboing off a fixture of Commander play. It’s also been a powerful fixture of green-based creature decks whenever and wherever it is legal, like Legacy Elves for example.

It’s a card with the unique ability to blow a game wide open by providing access to a gigantic surge of mana from out of nowhere. 


Header - #7: Library of Alexandria

Library of Alexandria

I would argue that Library of Alexandria was the first Magic card outside of Alpha, Beta and Unlimited to attain pseudo-Power Nine status back in the day. The card’s price tag reflected its incredible power and marquee place in Magic back in the day but also in the Old School format. 

Library was one of the first cards to earn a restriction by the DCI and it’s currently banned in every format other than Old School and Vintage (where it’s restricted in both). 

Library would be powerful in any format because it’s essentially a draw engine built into a land that doesn’t even enter the battlefield tapped! In Cubes, Library of Alexandria is generally one of the cards that I will pick over most other non-Power Nine spells. 

A land that can take over a game and run an opponent out of resources is pretty incredible and earning of a spot on this list.


Header - #6: Mishra's Workshop

Mishra's Workshop

Mishra’s Workshop is another incredibly powerful land from the early days of Magic. It breaks from the general rule of parity where lands make one mana per turn. Mishra’s Workshop’s mana can only be purposed toward casting artifact spells, but it makes a whopping three mana per tap! 

The powerful non-basic spent much of its early life on the Type 1 Restricted List but was eventually unrestricted back in the early 2000s and has since completely redefined the entire Vintage metagame. 



Mishra’s Workshop decks had a unique renaissance that coincided with the incredible card pool provided by the first Mirrodin block and has remained a dominant strategy in that format ever since. Workshop’s ability to dump powerful and disruptive permanents onto the battlefield ahead of schedule with such staggering efficiency has informed approximately a dozen other Vintage restrictions which is likely more than any other singular card. 


Header - #5: Tolarian Academy

Tolarian Academy

In terms of raw power and facilitating game ending loops and combos, few cards can compare with the raw brokenness of Tolarian Academy. 

Tolarian Academy is one of two cards on my list to earn the distinction of being banned from every format except for Vintage (the other being Library of Alexandria) where it’s restricted to a single copy. 

Urza’s block (and in particular, Urza’s Saga) has a reputation for absolutely busted combo decks and cards like Tolarian Academy sit at the top of the list of wacky designs as perhaps the wackiests of all! In the brief period of time when Academy was legal, it was the namesake of decks built around the strategy of finding the Academy, powering it up and going absolutely ham with spells that allowed its controller to untap it multiple times per turn: 

Time Spiral

Even in a format like Vintage, where Academy was restricted to a single copy, Neo-Academy served as the premier Power Nine-based combo deck until the printing of the storm mechanic which incentivized playing with more Dark Rituals rather than relying on Academy as a mana engine to go off with. 



Header - #4: Bazaar of Baghdad

Bazaar of Baghdad

You’ll notice that all of the lands on my list are quite old: one from Alpha, two from Arabaian Nights, two from Antiquities, two from Urza’s Saga and the one newest selection on my list comes from Onslaught. It’s clear that in the early designs of Magic that what lands should or shouldn’t do (and for what cost) was something that was explored and pushed at the time. In a sense, they don’t “make ‘em like that anymore” is a function of understanding that these cards are simply beyond the pale of what works in a game of Magic.

Bazaar of Baghdad has a unique story, because it was never really a big deal card for much of its early life in Magic. As more cards entered the pool to synergize with Bazaar though, it gradually grew into one of the most powerful, iconic and abusable cards ever to see print! 


Worldgorger Dragon

The fun started back in Odyssey block with Worldgorger Dragon. 


Animate Dead

Using an enchantment to bring back the Dragon creates an infinite loop whereby all of your permanents continue to leave play and enter play. Not only did Bazaar allow players to easily dump Dragons in the yard to be Reanimated, it also created a draw engine with Squee, Goblin Nabob and allowed players to mill their entire deck once the first part of the combo was established. 


Golgari Grave-Troll

Bazaar was officially reborn when Ravnica introduced the dredge mechanic. In these graveyard synergy decks, resources are returned directly from the graveyard to play without any mana being necessary to cast them.


IchoridNarcomoebaBridge from Below

In a goldfishing situation, the only thing that matters is how fast cards can be dumped and how many dredgers can replace drawn cards. Obviously, Bazaar of Baghdad accomplishes both of these things with incredible efficiency. When the downside of not producing mana is circumvented, the raw draw and discard of this land cannot be matched anywhere in the multiverse. 


Header - #3: Strip Mine

Strip Mine (Even Horizon)

We return to Antiquities for the last “unique” land on my list. I have no issue saying that Strip Mine is one of the most messed up Magic cards of all time. It appears to be the first punisher card for non-basic lands like Library of Alexandria, Urza Tron lands, Mishra’s Factory and Mishra’s Workshop. 

In actuality, I tend to believe Strip Mine (the answer) is more powerful than the things it was created to defend us against! Pretty early on, WOTC understood that a land that can trade off with any land (at any time) was incredibly busted and unfun to play against. In a sense, it’s a free, uncounterable Stone Rain that only costs one land drop. 



A few years later, WOTC would produce a “fixed” Strip Mine named Wasteland that could only be sacrificed to destroy non-basic lands. It’s clearly less broken than Strip Mine, but if I extended my list into a top 16, Wasteland would be at the top of the lower half. In fact, I think one could make a strong argument that Wasteland is “greater” than either Gaea’s Cradle or Library of Alexandria. 

I ultimately went with “which cards would I tend to value higher in a Cube draft” as my tie breaker – and I would tend to value the cards that do broken things a bit higher as “build around” material. 

While it’s certainly true Magic’s most powerful non-basic lands tend to be designed in the early stages of the game, it’s equally true that one of those GOAT lands is simply a land, Strip Mine, that straight up destroys any other land! 


Header - #2: The Original Duals

The only nonbasic lands included in the original core set (Alpha had nine of them and Volcanic Island was added in Beta) rank extremely highly on my list of the greatest of all time. 

Nothing printed since has even come close to what the dual lands offer – two colors and land typings with zero drawbacks! 


Ravnica reintroduced a variant of the duals with an updated cost (two life to enter untapped) and they have remained a staple of Constructed play ever since. The original duals have no such cost and allow spellcasters to freeroll two colors of mana on the same land with no drawback. 

The duals are a fixture of every Eternal format (including Commander) where they are legal, as there is no freer or more efficient way to fix mana than to use these incredible Reserve List non-basics. 

In fact, pairing these incredible dual lands with other cards that allow a player to search up lands of a particular type is a synergy that ultimately comprises the number one and two slots on my list! 


Header - #1: Fetchlands

The allied pair of fetchlands (Onslaught) and the enemy pair (Zendikar) earn my checkmark as the greatest lands in the history of Magic.

In terms of raw power, they’re incredible. For one life, a player can access any dual or shock land, or even a basic land of the appropriate pairing in their deck. Even in a world where duals don’t exist, these would be potent mana fixers. 

The true power of these lands exists in the tiny synergies they offer in every deck that utilizes them. Not only do they fix colored mana sources, but they allow players to put a land card into their graveyard for essentially free that can be repurposed toward other synergies (delve, threshold, Life from the Loam, etc). They also offer a player the opportunity to shuffle their deck which synergizes with cards that manipulate the top of your deck (and then crack a fetch to shuffle), notably…


BrainstormSensei's Divining Top

I’ve decided to rank the fetchlands number one for a couple of reasons. First, in terms of the fixing they’re able to provide, the Fetches are second to none (especially when combined with duals and shocks). Best fixers ever. 

Second, on top of being inherently incredible mana fixing lands, they also offer the swatch of incredible synergies I’ve discussed, as well as many more. A green fetch land can find a Dryad Arbor, for instance, and any land that has the appropriate land type can be found. 

Lastly, I put duals (and their toned-down cousins, shocks) and fetches as the top two picks because they have had a larger impact on how Magic is played than the other six picks on my list combined. It may be true that Gaea’s Cradle, Mishra’s Workshop, Library of Alexandria, Tolarian Academy, Bazaar of Baghdad and Strip Mine might be more powerful, but certainly not greater in terms of how they influence how the game is played. 

Most of my powerful picks that round out numbers three to eight have had a tendency to find themselves banned and restricted across most formats in history. The fetches and duals have always been the bread and butter that players use to cast their spells. 

It’s interesting that when the DCI and WOTC launched the Pioneer format, it started with a banned list of exactly five cards: all five fetches! They didn’t know exactly what the format would look like, or what would be allowed, but what they did know is that it wasn’t going to be a format dominated by the incredible power and synergy of what would have been the legal grouping of the five Khans of Tarkir allied fetchlands. 

So, there is evidence that while some of the more obviously broken non-basics I discussed were identified and removed from most avenues of Constructed play, there has also been a recognition that fetches themselves as perhaps over the line in terms of power level.

WIth that said, I’m comfortable saying fetches have been great and paramount to defining every single format in which they were legal for as long as they were legal. I’ll also say the formats where they are legal tend to be popular because of a fetch’s ability to provide such functional and efficient fixing. Simply put, fetches allow people to play more colors at less of a cost because they are the greatest mana fixers of all time. 

I realize my list is definitely old school-centric, but in fairness I simply don’t think WOTC is willing to revisit the power level territory of many of these Reserve List cards and has even gatekept the Khans Fetches out of new non-rotating formats. If I were looking for examples of new non basics that get close to this territory, I’d look at cards like Blast Zone and Field of the Dead as very powerful non-basic lands that have been Constructed in recent years. 


Blast ZoneField of the Dead

While Field of the Dead has earned some bans because it’s obviously quite powerful, I have a hard time stacking it up against a Tolarian Academy, Gaea’s Cradle or Library of Alexandria and saying those cards wouldn’t have been more problematic. The fact is, if you want to assess the greatest non-basics of all time, most of them come with the old card face and are relics from a different age of Magic. 

In terms of greatest impact and power you can’t go wrong with fetches and duals! 

Tags: brian demars, Community, Fetchlands, Lands, mtg top 8, non basic lands, Shocklands, Top 8

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, has it been two weeks already since my last article? Now we've gone from Card Drawing to Nonbasic Land Week here at, and let me tell you I couldn't be happier about it! After all, one of my favorite card types in Magic is land, along with sorcery, instant, creature, artifact, interrupt, and enchantment.

But seriously, you couldn't have the game of Magic without the lands, could you? They give you mana every turn… or they don't. They tap for cool effects… except some tap only for mana. You can only play one a turn… ok, that one sticks give or take Fastbond and its ilk.

For this top fifty list, we're going to do things a little differently. So listen up, as I lay out the golden rules of Ben's Top 50 Nonbasic Lands of All Time!

  1. This is my list. Even though I considered polling a gaggle of geese about their favorite Magical cards, I thought the better of it and went with my own uncommon knowledge of the game. Not that I don't value feedback (directed to either the message boards here, or to [email protected])
  2. Cards are ranked based on their importance and power in tournaments. However, most of the cards on this list basically apply to all formats — nonbasic lands are the building blocks of decks in general, aside from basic lands.
  3. Rule number three used to concern something, but I have no clue what that is at this point. So we'll use rule number three to point out that this is nonbasic land week — so Forest, Island, Mountain, Plains and Swamp are not to be included.
  4. Everyone who has read my column here knows how much I love talking about cycles of cards. There are many nonbasic lands that are parts of cycles. When these cards all have identical effects (such as with the Odyssey filter lands), they were grouped together. When they have disparate effects (such as with the Odyssey threshold lands), they were separated. Who wants to have to include Nomad Stadium on a best-of list?
  5. There are no multi-colored cards on this list. However, there ARE cards which produce multiple colors of mana. And remember kids, the lands themselves are colorless, even if they produce all five colors of mana.

In addition, you may notice that Bazaar of Baghdad finished higher than Cephalid Coliseum, when they had reversed positions during Card Drawing Week. Well, that's because I've had a minor change of opinion about the two, thanks to all the wonderful feedback I've gotten from people.

Special bonus section! Here are the lands which were in contention for the top fifty, but just missed making the cut: Not on list, but in consideration: Planeshift Dragon Lairs (Rith's Grove, etc.), Urza's Saga original cycling lands (Slippery Karst, etc.), Kor Haven, Krosan Verge, Torment Tainted lands (Tainted Field, etc.), Tarnished Citadel, Mercadian Masques counter lands (Peat Bog, etc.), Thran Quarry, Fallen Empires sac lands (Svyelunite Temple, etc.), Elephant Graveyard, Island of Wak-Wak, Safe Haven, City of Traitors, Crystal Vein, Ice Floe, Land Cap, Winding Canyons, and Lotus Vale. I know I'm going to get a lot of mail about Lotus Vale, so let me preempt those letters: Lotus Vale would have been playable if it wasn't in the same environment as Wasteland, Capsize, and massive amounts of land destruction. The end.

Anyhow, on to the list!


"50.": This card finished in 50th place.
"25.": This card finished in 25th place.
"2.": This card finished in 2nd place.

Wait, we don't need no stinkin' key this week. Never mind, and carry on, troops.

50. Rath's Edge

InQuest magazine (I write their monthly Magic puzzle, by the way, so pick it up and check it out!) rated Rath's Edge as the worst card in Nemesis. Then, everyone and their brother showed up to Masques Block Constructed Pro Tour and played Rath's Edge in an effort to deal with many Rebels, Waterfront Bouncer, and other offensive one toughness creatures. Then people began playing it in standard as a slow way to mop up Elves and Birds. Not bad for the "worst card" of a one hundred and forty-three card set.

49. Arena

For years, people have played Arena at their local Magic stores. Pretty much nobody plays Arena now, because they are playing Friday Night Magic instead. It's been rumored that if you played Arena, you won an oversized Library of Alexandria and an oversized Necropotence. Also, the ability to tap your opponent's creatures after declaring an attack, possibly kill that creature, all for the low cost of three mana seems like a good buy from a promotional card offered via a mail-in coupon from the first Magic novel.

48. Urza's Lands

47. Centaur Garden

The first of the Odyssey threshold lands to make the list, Centaur Garden fits very well into blue-green madness and threshold decks. Quiet Speculation, Wild Mongrel, and Mental Note all fuel the graveyard towards a quick seven cards, allowing this non-counterable Giant Growth to take full root.

46. Odyssey Filter Lands

The worst of the dual lands on this list, the filter lands nonetheless give you painless access to two different colors of mana. However, try drawing 2-3 of these in your opening hand, and see how much fun you have sitting there without being able to produce a single mana! They are also not good for activating abilities which require only one color (such as pumping a Dragon Whelp with a Mossfire Valley).

45. Grand Coliseum

Take City of Brass, and trade the mandatory pain for a comes-into-play delay, and you've got Grand Coliseum. The first five-color land to make this list, Grand Coliseum doesn't shine as much as the aforementioned City due to its delay in use. Sometimes you need that off-color mana now, and with the Coliseum, you just stare at a tapped land on the board.

44. Reflecting Pool

The value of Reflecting Pool is directly proportional to the number of other nonbasic lands you are playing. If you are only playing Islands and Mountains, then Reflecting Pool becomes Volcanic Island. If you're playing Gemstone Mine, the Pool becomes a painless City of Brass. The Pool also interacts well with weird cards such as Abandoned Outpost, since the second sacrifice ability of the Outpost allows the Pool to tap for all five colors of mana!

43. Soldevi Excavations

Alliances introduced a cycle of lands that allowed the player to do effects related to the land's color in exchange for a land sacrifice. Soldevi Excavations gives the player the ability to peek into the future and shape his fate for a small cost. Nothing like having a pseudo-Sleight of Hand every turn for the rest of the game!

42. Keldon Necropolis

The big brother of Rath's Edge, the Necropolis takes the principle of Skull Catapult and adds it to the mega-land Legends cycle. Five Legendary lands were produced over a five year period, one per cycle of cards. Two of these cards make the list, Teferi's Isle does not. Poor blue!

41. Glacial Chasm

Want to live forever? Well, I can't promise you that with Glacial Chasm, which has one of the heftiest upkeep costs in all of Magic. After just three turns, you'd have to pay 12 life to keep the Chasm in play — plus you need to sacrifice a land when it hits, and you can't attack any longer. Wow, sounds pretty harsh, right? In exchange, you gain near-invulnerability. “Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you” as a global effect has only attempted a handful of times in Magic (Energy Field, Spirit of Resistance, Solitary Confinement). Glacial Chasm turns symmetrical damage-dealers such as Pestilence and Earthquake into one-way tickets towards victory!

40. Heart of Yavimaya

The second of the Alliances cycle on the list, the Heart found a home in many green beatdown decks over the years. While the bonus is significantly less than with Centaur Garden, the activation cost (simply a tap) and the ability to use the land as early as turn two both give this Vitality Charm a boost.

39. Cephalid Coliseum

While Centaur Garden found a home in mainly aggressive decks, Cephalid Coliseum made a name for itself in both blue-green threshold and Psychatog decks. Activating a Coliseum gives a Psychatog a hefty +2/+2 bonus (three cards + the Coliseum itself go to the graveyard), plus allows you to filter three cards deeper into your deck. There are even rare instances where you can activate this land to deck your opponent! Remember kids, lands with activated abilities are good because they cannot be counterspelled!

38. Barbarian Ring

No more Odyssey lands on this list after this one, I promise! Barbarian Ring might well be the most valuable of the threshold lands, since it gives the red deck a way around countermagic, Circle of Protection: Red, and other prevention effects in the late game. What's a blue player to do when he is at four life and you've got two Rings on the board? Pray that you never hit threshold, that's what.

37. Serra's Sanctum

A piece of the Argothian Enchantress and Replenish combo decks, Serra's Sanctum turns all those helpful enchantments (such as Opalescence, Rancor, and Parallax Wave) into a massive burst of white mana.

36. Diamond Valley

Can one even mention Diamond Valley without mentioning Rukh Egg in the same breath? Back in the days of yore (he said yore!), players would gain three life while getting a 4/4 flying creature for only four mana + a Diamond Valley. Later, players enjoyed doubling their life totals each turn with a steady stream of Serra Avatars.

35. Ancient Tomb

Lands which tap for more than one mana have acceleration value, even if this acceleration comes at a high cost. Taking two damage for two mana might seem steep, but consider that the Tomb allows a player to effectively jump his mana development one turn ahead of the opponent. The Tomb first shined at the Tempest Constructed Pro Tour, where players used it to fuel second turn Stone Rains and the like.

34. Pendelhaven

Imagine Heart of Yavimaya, but without the drawback of having to sacrifice a land. While Pendelhaven won't pump your larger creatures, it definitely turns otherwise light-hitting guys such as Llanowar Elves into respectable Hurloon Minotaurs. And the drawback to Pendelhaven? There is none! It's basically a souped-up Forest — play with one today! Here's a dirty trick: turn one Mountain, Kird Ape. Turn two Pendelhaven, pump Kird Ape. Turn three, pump Kird Ape, play Forest, attack for three.

33. Invasion Dual Lands

Dual lands are lands which can produce two colors of mana. There have been many variations on the theme over the years, including this group of five from Invasion. These allied lands (meaning they sit next to each other on the color wheel: blue-white, white-green, green-red, red-black and black-blue) share a similar drawback with Grand Coliseum — except that they don't ever have a drawback past the first turn. Once you get past the initial burp of non-production, these five guys are really good mana fixers for your two-color needs.

32. Karakas

Karakas might as well be a Plains which reads: “

31. Contested Cliffs

Arena came back years later with a vengeance. This time, you chose which creature of your opponent's you hit, and the mana cost ended up being instead of . Beast decks came out in force at Pro Tour - Venice, and are poised to make a splash at Regionals this year.

30. Mirage Fetch Lands

A staple for years, these lands might delay you a turn, but they afford painless mana fixing and an opportunity to shuffle your deck. Combine these with Brainstorm and Sylvan Library for some deck-shuffling fun times. Of course, these were overshadowed down the road… but let's talk about that later, shall we?

29. Gemstone Mine

What would you do if you found out you only had three mana left before you went away? Gemstone Mine poses this question in an ingenious way, trading a limited lifespan for access to all five colors of mana. Combo decks loved this card, as it gave decks with a quick game plan the ability to splash Abeyance and Vampiric Tutor without having to worry about long-term consequences.

28. Onslaught Cycling Lands

I've mentioned what a drag it is to lose a turn worth of mana production to play a comes-into-play tapped land. What if this drawback was negated by the ability to trade extra lands late in the game for a new card? The Onslaught cycling lands give the player this option, while also fuelling the graveyard for threshold. These lands first shined in Astral Slide/Lightning Rift decks due to their super-low one mana cycling cost, and have found their way into many decks since.

27. Faerie Conclave

When is a land not a land? When it's a man-land! I talked about these lands which become creatures way back in May of 2002, and cannot stress enough how powerful these are as a whole. These are creatures that cannot be counterspelled or killed by sorceries, which makes them perfect foils for blue decks, Wrath of God, Innocent Blood, and other such popular cards. In addition, you can play board sweepers such as Nevinyrral's Disk to kill all your opponent's nonland permanents while keeping your man-lands safely in tow. Such was the case with many mono-blue decks which could afford such board sweepers while building up a steady force of Faerie Conclaves and Stalking Stones for the final push.


Continuing on from artifact cards… now we come to the last category, land cards! Lands are the foundation of magic – without them we can’t cast spells. Of course, I’m not gonna list basic land cards since they don’t have any special abilities. Instead we’re looking at the greatest non-basic lands. Here’s my top 10:

10. Mutavault
It’s close between Gaea’s Cradle and Mutavault since the Cradle is one of the fastest mana engines ever, especially in token and elf decks, but Mutavault has been used more in tournaments, where it has been used in everything from Faerie decks to Aggro decks, so I gave it the edge.

9. Rishadan Port
So I can slow down your mana development and prevent you from casting spells, essentially giving me free turns? Sweet. Widely used when it was legal, and will continue to be used where it is legal. Shuts down every other land on this list too.

8. Maze of Ith
This land has allowed for some pretty nifty combat tricks, but mostly used for defense. It can be used to stall an opponents army, to untap your own creature, to save your own creature from combat, and its a repeatable, free source of those things.

7. Wasteland
Its an uncounterable kill land spell for zero mana basically, which destroys any other land on this list. Pretty cool, eh?

6. Fetch lands
Fetch lands are the best color fixers in Magic, along with Dual lands. They thin your deck, and can fetch you dual lands at instant, uncounterable speed. For reference, the fetch lands are:
Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Bloodstained Mire, Wooded Foothills, Windswept Heath, Misty Rainforest, Verdant Catacombs, Marsh Flats, Arid Mesa, and Scalding Tarn.

5. Mishra’s Workshop
Essentially a colorless Black Lotus every turn. Insanely broken, insanely powerful.

4. Library of Alexandria
Its a land that draws you cards, for free, and uncounterable. Of course you have to have a full hand already, but that’s not hard to get right?

3. Strip Mine
Pretty simple here. It kills any land in the game for zero mana, uncounterable. Nuff said.

2. Dual Lands
Dual lands are the greatest mana fixers ever, because they are pretty much strictly better than the basic lands. They count as basic land – and they add two colors of mana, with no drawbacks besides being nonbasic. For reference, the dual lands are: Badlands, Bayou, Plateau, Savannah, Scrubland, Taiga, Tropical Island, Tundra, Underground Sea, and Volcanic Island.

1. Tolarian Academy
Just the greatest land ever, and one of the greatest magic cards ever. Tolarian Academy has fueled many turn one kills, on account of its ability to add one blue mana for EACH artifact you control. Now lets see, how many artifacts out there cost 0 or 1 mana? You got Black Lotus, The five moxes, Mox Diamond, Lotus Petal, Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Voltaic Key, Chrome Mox, and the list goes on and on. Add cards like Time Spiral, Mind over Matter and Stroke of Genius, and this is the land that kills people on the first turn.


Lands non basic Forums

  1. 01-29-2010 01:32 PM#1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default are non basic lands spells

    are nonbasic lands spells in magic

  2. 01-29-2010 02:15 PM#2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: are non basic lands spells

    No...they're still lands...however, there are non basic lands that have abilities allowing you cast spells or play something that is a spell...for example, Dark Depths...

  3. 01-29-2010 03:39 PM#3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: are non basic lands spells

    Dark Depths doesn't let you cast a spell or anything like that. Abilities aren't spells, ever.

  4. 02-01-2010 09:57 AM#4
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    Jan 2010

    Default Re: are non basic lands spells

    So...when there are no Ice Counters on it and you put that 20/20 black Avatar creature token into play (which I have) it cannot be countered? Because I've had opponents counter it before...they say that they can counter it because it is a creature entering the battlefield under my control...we're getting into a different discussion here is an ability, but it is an ability that results in a spell...I let them counter it obviously without any debate because,'s a creature coming out onto the battlefield...

  5. 02-01-2010 10:29 AM#5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: are non basic lands spells

    Dark Depths has no spell involved at all. When it has no counters, it creates a triggered ability. When that triggered ability resolves, the Depths is sacrificed and a creature token is put into play. It can't be countered. You could counter the ability with Stifle, but then it'll just trigger again since it'll probably still have no counters. Anyone who thinks they can use Cancel to stop it is wrong, plain and simple.

  6. 02-01-2010 01:48 PM#6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: are non basic lands spells

    However, if you're having problems with Dark Depths, destroy it with Ghost Quarter.

35 Random Non-Basic Lands

She was dressed in a short plaid shirt, tied into a top and mini shorts, while you could fully see her. Slender fit legs and even see the beginning of the roundness of her ass. Hi cute - she smiled at him with a perfect smile. "Well, so, shall I come in. Eh.

Now discussing:

I like to lick you. - Lena was distracted for a few seconds. Feeling that my penis was licked to a shine, I stroked Lenochka on the head. And began to dress.

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