Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Playing Lands in Magic
Lands are crucial to any Magic deck as they supply mana, the resource needed for other cards. Lands themselves don’t cost mana, but you can normally play only one from your hand each turn. However, you can increase this amount with a variety of generally-green spells, letting you access strongers spells before your opponents.Note that we’re not counting cards like “Kodama’s Reach” that cast lands from your deck, only ones that allow additional plays from your hand. But with dozens of terrain-cultivating cards available, which spells reign supreme? These are the 10 best cards for extra lands plays in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Wayward Swordtooth
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One of the best dinosaurs in the game, Swordtooth offers an amazing 5/5 stats for his price. Unfortunately, he can’t attack or block until you get the city’s blessing by controlling ten or more permanents.
But in the meantime, you can still use his impressive stats for the fight mechanic or other power-related tricks, and whether he’s ready for battle or not, Swordtooth lets you play an extra land each turn, quickly preparing your strongest spells.
9. Sakura-Tribe Scout/Skyshroud Ranger
These two entries are nearly identical, offering weak but cheap 1/1 creatures who can tap to play a land from your hand. Skyshroud can only do this at times you could cast sorceries (your main phases) while Sakura’s effect is instant. However, Skyshroud enjoys elf synergies; pick one based on how elf-reliant your deck is.
Both are great, but Ranger is particularly frequent among my deck lists for his low price point, costing less than a single dollar! Now, other colors can obtain a similar effect with colorless creature “Walking Atlas,” but he costs two mana instead of one, making him slightly less tempting.
8. Azusa, Lost but Seeking
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Useful as both a mono-green commander in EDH format or a regular deck member, legendary Azusa grants not one but two extra land plays each turn. This rapidly fills your arena; just be sure to utilize draw spells so you don’t run out.
Azusa’s poor 1/2 stats and lack of the elf subtype slightly restrict an otherwise amazing card who works well in both mono and multi-color builds.
7. Summer Bloom
Summer Bloom requires just two mana, and offers a single-use yet devastating power, letting you play up to three additional lands that turn. With your regular play, that’s four lands in a single round, an insane boost that opponents have little hope of matching
Of course, this assume you have a sufficient amount of lands ready; try partnering with blue’s draw prowess to ensure you can take full advantage of this formidable sorcery.
6. Oracle of Mul Daya
Similar to Azusa, Oracle’s 2/2 stats are disappointing for a four-cost creature, but she grants an extra land play each turn. More than that, she reveals and lets you play lands from the top of your deck (assuming you have plays remaining that turn).
This goes a long way towards maintaining card advantage, letting you access extra lands from your library in addition to your hand. Throw in the useful elf and shaman subtypes and you have a top-tier gardener.
5. Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
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CMC: 3 (4 with escape)
Uro is sacrificed when he enters the field unless he escaped from your graveyard by paying four mana and exiling five other cards from it. But whether escaped or note, he draws a card on entry, gives you three life, and lets you place a land onto the field. That’s simply a lot of great effects, and the draws help ensure you actually have bonus lands to play.
Cool thing is, Uro activates this effect when he attacks as well, making him an enormous threat if not handled quickly, especially with his 6/6 stats. That said, Uro costs a pretty penny; for a cheaper Simic alternative, consider “Growth Spiral”.
For a single mana, this enchantment lets you play a land whenever an opponent does. While this means you won’t be able to utilize the extra resources immediately, it’s still a cheap and continuous way to plow more soil. And Burgeoning is especially useful in multiplayer, giving several chances to till your fields before your next turn rolls around.
Fastbond is undoubtedly one of the best Magic cards ever made, but it ranks second because it’s rightfully banned in several formats. In the rare instances where it’s legal, you can use Fastbond to play any number of lands each turn, suffering one damage for each extra beyond your first.
In formats like commander with increased life, you’d have plenty of health to spare, offering an amazing advantage for a single mana. But for a still-legal benefit, try alternative enchantment…
2. Gaea’s Touch
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Here’s arguably the best land ramp for mono-green. Touch lets you play an extra land each turn, but it can only do so for basic forests, and it costs a bit more mana than Burgeoning.
However, you can sacrifice it at instant speed to gain two green, effectively giving you your mana back! So keep it out while you have excess lands to play; when your hand is depleted, sac it to help cast a big play.
Exploration simply offers an extra land play per turn, an amazing reward you can reap immediately. This is one of the best cards to have in your opening hand; for your first move, play your regular forest, cast Exploration, use its power to play another land, and then potentially cast another single-cost spell, all in round one!
Exploration’s hefty real-world price makes it only accessible to devoted players, but it’s still one of green’s strongest aces.
Landfall in Magic
In addition to simply attaining more mana, remember that fielding extra lands repeatedly triggers the effects of cards with landfall, forming fierce combos that quickly overwhelm your opponents.
Lands are an essential part of any deck, and swarming them generally isn’t too risky since few cards can punish them; often games are decided by who can plays lands faster. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast’s next expansion of land-swarming spells, vote for your favorite card and I’ll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill