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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Image from Wizards.com

The Original Dual Lands
- Alpha, Beta, Unlimited & Revised

Reviewed Aug. 17, 2015

Constructed: 5
Casual: 5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 5
Commander [EDH]:  5

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Alpha/Beta/Unlimited Dual Lands

How many design tropes started in Alpha? Maybe as many as started elsewhere. Maybe more. I haven't counted. ThereTundra is perhaps no more influential design, and none more iterated, than the dual lands; maybe Lightning Bolt, but I'm not even sure about that.

I have some personal history with these cards, but it's rather convoluted - I started playing shortly after the Fourth Edition was released, so they were no longer widely available. Some of the more experienced players I knew were aware of their existence, but none of them happened to own any. I didn't own any myself until perhaps seven years ago, when I combined funds with a friend to buy a batch of them from someone who was selling their collection. I played in some unsanctioned Legacy events, and some more esoteric things like 60-card Vintage Singleton, but I didn't enjoy those formats over the long run. It's true that these dual lands can be crazily powerful in those settings, but I maintain that the real problem is and always has been fetchlands. If you try making decks for formats with just the Alpha/Beta/Unlimited dual lands but not fetchlands, something like Ice Age Standard or the Swedish-invented 93/94 format, they're not actually much more powerful than Ravnica dual lands in those contexts.

I know these are out of favor as far as design goes, but there's really something about the beautiful and evocative art, the elegance of two basic land types and no other game mechanic, and their windows of the infinite mysteries of the multiverse that really just does it for me.

Constructed: 5/5
Casual: 5/5
Limited: 5/5
Multiplayer: 5/5
EDH/Commander: 5/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's cards of the day are the Bayouoriginal dual lands from Alpha, Beta, and Revised which each have two of the basic land types, but are not basic lands. These are the dual lands all later dual lands are watered down from as there is no entering play tapped, no loss of life, and so on. These also have the added benefit of having the land types which allow cards like Nature's Lore or Nightmare to interact with them. A staple of formats where they are legal these will likely never be replaced at the top of the dual land pyramid.

Constructed: 5.0
Casual: 5.0
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 5.0


The original dual lands are:

Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Tropical Island

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