Extraplanar Lens
Extraplanar Lens

Extraplanar Lens – Commander Masters

Date Reviewed:  September 1, 2023

Constructed: 2.25
Casual: 3.50
Limited: 2.50
Multiplayer: 3.50
Commander [EDH]: 3.63

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


This card originated in Mirrodin, where it was conceived and marketed as an artifact equivalent to Mana Flare, albeit somewhat limited compared to its famous ancestor. It has many of the same uses, right down to being probably most effective when you play it the same turn you’re going to one-shot the opponent/s with something, and somewhat risky as a third-turn play. Of course, if you’re pretty sure your opponents are all playing different colors from you, it’s mitigated somewhat, and the prospect of making every land you control tap for two mana is enticing enough to try and exploit.

I’ve always been interested by what exactly we can see through the lens there. I can’t remember anybody ever explaining whether the lens was giving someone on Mirrodin a glimpse of a different world, or someone on a different world a glimpse of Mirrodin. And the landscapes both within and outside the lens looked plausible as either to me!

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 2.5 (it’s likely to underperform too often, especially if you’re hoping to consistently get big plays out using it)
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

 James H. 


Extraplanar Lens is a fairly unusual artifact whose intention is to make things far, far less fair than it seems. You invest a land for future mana acceleration…as an example, if you exile a Snow-Covered Mountain, then all Snow-Covered Mountains tap for double mana. In theory, if you play this on curve, you come out ahead if you don’t miss a land drop.

The example I gave was very deliberate, though. It cares about the name of the land, not the type. Back before they became more common, the common play was to load your deck with snow-covered basic lands; most players wouldn’t have them, and so you’d break the seeming symmetry to make an obscene amount of mana in most cases. Even now, there’s still the tendency to go in the snow land direction, as most players will eschew snow basics without a reason to play them…and, I suppose, you could go in the opposite direction if they catch on. I’m not sure if it’s the case, but colorless decks that use Wastes can also make this work, because players won’t play Wastes without a reason to play them explicitly baked in.

Extraplanar Lens is a very flashy card with a powerful acceleration effect, but only in decks that are specifically engineered for it. The timing on when it comes out means it’s never quite landed in deeper format, along with the particular demands it has, and it’s not without risk even in more casual decks, but it can certainly pay off.

Constructed: 2 (the risk is too high for how low the reward is to me)
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.75 (most players may be able to borrow from the boost anymore, but this is still quite potent for decks that can support it)

We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews.  If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email.  We would be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc.   😉

Click here to read over 5,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! We have been reviewing cards daily since 2001!