We spent a lot of time a few weeks ago
discussing just what it is that makes these
lands so good, and what makes them arguably the
most powerful dual land variants ever. I've
spent a lot of time more recently asking myself
why there are so many planeswalkers and rare
lands on the top ten list. Blame (if that's the
correct word) constructed - that just seems to
be the way it is right now, at least in Standard
and Modern. Multicolored sets with lots of
high-mana cost cards that were designed to make
an impact on various formats means that lands
are even more important than usual. I stand by
my earlier statement that a lot of casual decks
don't need these lands at all, but if you're
involved in anything at FNM or above, these will
likely end up feeling necessary. How you act on
that feeling is up to you.
The number two cards of the year are the return
of the fetch lands from Onslaught which are for
allied colored pairs of lands, cost one life and
the sacrifice of the fetch land itself. These
five reprints add quite a bit to the two and
three color decks of current formats. They
appear frequently in Standard and Modern
settings and make the option of running a three
color clan deck more viable.
In Limited getting one of these in Sealed that
is a match for two useful colors is a major
asset as it helps fix a shorted color and thin
the deck for the small price of one life. In
Booster it is a difficult choice for a first
pick as it either locks you into at least one of
the colors or sits as a rare draft in your
sidedeck. If a color is one you hope to draft or
it is outside of the first pack and is a match
for your pool then it is an easier first pick.
There are few things that show the growth of a
player from a newbie to a veteran than
understanding why the fetch lands are good. A
newbie looks at the fetch lands and wrinkles up
their nose, wondering why anyone would want to
pay life just to get a land. Why not just play
basic lands that you don't have to pay life for?
Or, better yet, why not just play the dual lands
in Khans that gain you a life when they come in?
For those who might not yet see the value, allow
me to list a few of the benefits:
1) Use in conjunction with the Ravnica block
shock lands (or Revised dual lands for you
Legacy/Vintage players), any one fetch land can
get you any color mana you want. Have a Flooded
Strand and need a red source? No problem, get
Sacred Foundry or Steam Vents.
2) They pull an extra land out of your deck,
making it less likely that you will draw useless
lands later in the game.
3) They put a land in your graveyard that either
helps your Tarmogoyf, helps fuel delve cards, or
can be used again with Life from the Loam or
Crucible of Worlds.
4) Unless you are playing a mono-colored deck,
they fit in almost any deck you play and help
the mana run smoother.
As with any effect that costs you life, you must
be judicious in how many fetch lands you place
in your deck. Too many fetch lands and you help
out your opponent too much. But with a moderate
amount, the small incremental value these add
over other lands can add up to a lot of utility
for your deck.
All together, the fetch lands have been popular
for years, were the most anticipated part of
Khans, and are collectively (and deservedly) our
#2 card of 2014.
Welcome back readers today continues the
countdown of the top cards of 2014. This review
is going to be short and sweet. With the reprint
of ally colored fetch lands the availability
drastically increased. In standard these cards
are lynch pins of the format fixing mana and
provide shuffle effects on command. These cards
have always been tournament staples since there
first printing and that does not change with
this newest printing. In other formats such as
legacy, modern and vintage these are all stars
as well, having access to every fetch land in
modern helps stabilize mana bases and offers new
opportunities for creativity. In the eternal
formats these cards are staples and a new
printing means even more players will be exposed
to them In casual and multiplayer fetch lands
can be powerful tools for players although
another larger cycle of lands in Khans deserves
an honorable mention. In limited they are good
for fixing, work well in conjunction with Delve
and are obviously good to rare draft. Overall
powerful format defining cards that with a new
reprint get a new lease on life.