Monday, 6 August 2012

Basic Land

No, you didn't read the title wrong; this is actually a review about the 5 basic lands. Hey, I said my goal was to review every Magic card didn't I?

Now, these cards give you the obvious advantage of being able to play your spells, but there are better ways to play spells than just with vanilla lands. Here are some better nonbasic lands (picked at random): Cavern of SoulsDromar's Cavern, or Exotic Orchard. Now, those nonbasic lands are nice, but most nonbasic lands fall prey to 2 major problems and one of 3 minor problems. The minor problems are that they enter the battlefield tapped (Faerie Conclave), produce only colourless (Darksteel Citadel), or require you to bounce a land (Orzhov Basilica). The first major problem that they all succumb to is that there is a ton of land destruction targeted specifically at nonbasic lands, so they are a fair bit more vulnerable than basic lands. The other big problem is that you're limited to 4 of each nonbasic land in your deck, whereas you can have as many basic lands as you want in a deck. You do have another option when it comes to mana producing however: artifacts. Artifacts have the same problems as nonbasic lands do, but they can do a little bit more sometimes. The Mana Myr are both artifacts and creatures that can produce mana (either coloured or colourless), but they are vulnerable to creature destruction and artifact destruction, so they're fairly risky to trust your mana generation to. 

However, with all that said, how do basic lands hold up against nonbasic lands and mana-producing artifacts? Well... fairly poorly to be honest. Let's look at it with another example. Let's look at Eager Cadet and Lantern Kami. They're both 1/1s for 1 mana, but Lantern Kami has Flying, making the better choice. It's fundamentally the same creature, but Eager Cadet has something less than Lantern Kami and it's the same thing with basic lands. They serve the same function as nonbasic lands, but they're lacking that little bit extra that nonbasic lands have. So really, you can't say they're that great since there are a bunch of cards that are better than they are. Sure, there are worse cards, but there exist a wide variety of better mana-producers out there. 

Pros: Not limited to 4 a deck, enter untapped
Cons: Vanilla, no extras attached
Rating: 3/5


  1. Another problem for the non-basics (which i would call major) is that for the most part they cannot be searched for

    1. By in large, yes, but I didn't mention that since I knew someone would call me on lands like Bayou which you can search for or bring up stuff like Crop Rotation or Expedition Map. Damned if I do, damned if I don't I suppose.