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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

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 Top 10 Cards of 2012

Overgrown Tomb and Ravnica Dual Lands
- Return to Ravnica

Reviewed December 26, 2012

Constructed: 4.50
Casual: 4.25
Limited: 4.40
Multiplayer: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 


[Ravnica Dual Lands]

These lands, and lands like them, probably have the lowest fun-to-quality ratio of any cards in Standard. They're very good and their power doesn't depend on what kind of strategy you use-- only what colors you play. They allow multicolor decks to cast their spells with no loss of tempo, no losing a turn waiting for a land to untap or a draw to provide the next color of mana you need. But they aren't fun. You pay two life to get a land that taps for two colors of mana untapped. Lands aren't the fun part of Magic, and paying 2 life isn't fun unless you're having a side-bet to see how low you can let your life total get and still win. People who play these lands aren't having side-bets like that though, because they're concerned with winning.

These lands are the mark of a man who spends more on Magic: the Gathering than he does on groceries, and justifies it with the hope that he'll win more in Pro Tour prizes than he spends (and he may yet). These lands are the motor oil of Standard-- they're not the part you see or the part that looks like it's doing the work, but they're the part that makes the functional pats function-- the parts that make each deck's engine hum. In any Standard format that has a full set of these, monocolor decks simply won't work-- no matter which color, they simply give up too much utility fo rnot enough reliability. The mono/multicolor tradeoff assumes that a multicolor deck will have each color's strengths to offset the others' weakness, while a monocolor deck will have certain weaknesses it can't overcome in exchange for more reliability in mana than a multicolor deck. But a multicolor deck that runs these is so well inured to colorscrew that they become almost mandatory for multicolor decks, and they make the tradeoff so painless for multicolor decks that there is no incentive left to go monocolor.

Constructed- 5
Casual- 4
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 3.5

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Overgrown Tomb and Ravnica dual lands
While dual lands are not strictly necessary to run a two (or more) color deck, their existence certainly makes things a lot easier, especially over a large number of games with deck randomization in between. It's also worth noting that the fact that the "default" for lands is only producing one color of mana, and that dual lands are almost always among the most aesthetically pleasing cards in a set, making their novelty another force in their popularity. The Ravnica dual lands are not only the modern counterparts of the original Alpha dual lands; they are nearly functionally identical in many situations. Their very existence has changed modern (and Modern) Magic forever, making them worthy of a space in this year's Top 10 (if not Magic's as a whole).
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 4/5

Magic The Gathering Card of The Day: Overgrown Tomb(and Ravnica Duals)
Welcome back to what should be one of the shortest reviews ever posted. The original ravnica shock lands provide access to colors at a price, that price being more affordable to decks not caring if lands enter the battlefield tapped, the exchange of two life is worth the flexibility these cards provide. In our current standard it has allowed decks to go crazy and play everything from Omniscience to Door to Nothingness, the existence of Rangers Path and Farseek has been a boon to these lands as well providing easy access to mana fixing. In modern these cards had to be reprinted as the price of mana bases was becoming prohibitive to modern, these combine well with the Zendikar fetch lands and I could go on and on. In legacy dual lands are kind but im sure some decks it may be viable to add these. In casual and multiplayer it provides mana fixing for decks and most decks can be improved by improving the mana base. In limited there solid fixing overall decent cards. Overall one of the most powerful and necessary cycles in recent memory and can be of value from the top tournament tables to the kitchen table.
Constructed: 5.0
Casual: 5.0
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 4.5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

The number five card of the year is Overgrown Tomb and the other pay two life or enters play tapped dual lands in Return to Ravnica. Blood Crypt, Hallowed Fountain, Overgrown Tomb, Steam Vents, and Temple Garden have both land types that represent their colors which allow more search options and the life payment is not mandatory which grants flexibility in the timing of playing each.  The drawback of coming into play tapped is fairly common in dual lands and avoiding that for two life is useful depending on the stage of the game and available plays.  Overall this cycle is very good and is sure to see continued play in current formats now that they have returned to Standard.
For Limited the value of each is based on how many of the land types are for your primary and secondary or guild colors.  With both it is an automatic inclusion for Sealed and generally a first pick in Booster to be followed with that guild, while one can lead to an easier time of splashing another color.
Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 4.0

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