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By: The D.K., Daniel Kenmar
Jun 11 2014 11:00am
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The Commander's Guide to Buying Lands: Part Two
Tri-Lands and Multi-Lands
by Daniel Kenmar (aka The D.K.)

 ALL PRICES IN THIS ARTICLE ARE CURRENT AS OF JUNE 9TH, 2014!

Hello my fellow MTG fanatics, and welcome to the long-awaited (or maybe not long-awaited) part two of my guide to buying lands in Commander! Back in part one, which can be found HERE, we touched on the many different flavors of dual lands, from the lowly 3-cent taplands to the pricey true duals. Keep in mind, by the time you'll be reading this article, that one will be roughly eight months old, so prices most certainly have dipped or risen since then. At the bottom of this article, I'll be posting an updated list of those cards and their prices, to keep you up to date.

But now, it's time to shine the spotlight on a couple of land types that can do more than just two colors. Today, we'll be covering the tri-lands and multi-lands.

 

 

Tri-Lands

Just like dual lands provide two different colors of mana, tri-lands provide three different colors. As great as this sounds, considering a massive amount of EDH decks run 3-color generals, the selection of tri-lands is unfortunately very low. As of right now, there are only 3 cycles of tri-lands, all of which only encompass allied color combos (i.e. the Shards of Alara). These are tap tri-lands, Lairs, and tri-fetch lands.

Tap Tri-Lands

While not the first true tri-lands, these are probably considered the best. But not only that, they're also extremely affordable, ranging from 7 to 13 cents each at the moment. They're basically the same as a tap dual, with a third color. What's not to love here? If you're in colors that support any of these, you should be running them no matter what. If I don't see the full cycle in a 5-color deck, I'm going to have to assume that you're insane.

Lairs

The Lairs were released way back in Planeshift, and were meant to represent the resting places of the 5 legendary dragons (Treva, Dromar, Crosis, Darigaaz, and Rith). They all tap for one of their dragon's colors, which put them in the same boat as the tap lands. However, their play requirements are a bit different. Instead of coming in tapped, you have to bounce a non-Lair land back to your hand. You could tap the land you plan to bounce for mana first in order to not lose tempo that turn. This is arguably better than the normal tap lands, but you can't play it if you don't have something else down first. You also do lose tempo the next turn, since you didn't increase the amount of lands you have in play. Lairs are always an interesting addition to your three color decks, so be sure to pick them up and try them out. They'll only run you about 6 to 8 cents apiece, so you're dropping less than 2 quarters for the full cycle.

Tri-Fetch Lands (Panoramas)

Shards of Alara also brought in another cycle of tri-lands. The Panoramas have the ability to tap for colorless mana, or give you the option to pay a mana and tap-sac the Panorama in order to fetch one of the three basic land types that Shard provides. Keep in mind, these cards specifically only fetch basic lands. You can't go yanking out shocklands or true duals with these like you can with the dual pain fetches. These can, however, go in two-color (or less) decks due to the fact that they contain no actual colored mana symbols. The fact that they come in untapped and can tap for colorless means these won't leave you behind in development if you choose not to crack them early. They are very useful and should be in any low budget player's collection. You can pick all of these up for a dime, they cost just 2 cents each. Even the foil ones are 2 cents right now, so get those instead!

Murmuring Bosk

Murmuring Bosk

Remember the tribal duals from Lorwyn? Well, those weren't the only tribal lands to come out of that block. Murmuring Bosk is actually a tri-land, and a Forest at that (so it interacts with cards that mention Forests, like pain fetches). In order for it to come in untapped, you'll have to reveal a Treefolk from your hand. It also hits you for one damage every time you tap it for white or black, but green is free thanks to the Forest typing. It's pretty good for any deck running the GWB color combo, but really shines in Treefolk decks like Doran, the Siege Tower Tribal. A copy will run you $1.05.

 


Multi-Lands

So, you want to run 5 colors? You just hate everyone in your playgroup so much that you want to run a Child of Alara sacrifice deck, huh? Reaper King and his Scarecrow army sounds like fun to you? Or maybe you're looking for Scion of the Ur-Dragon? Well, you're gonna want some good mana fixing, and these lands all have at least the potential to provide any color you need. They may be a bit of a pain to use. They may take some extra work. But these lands can eventually provide any color you want. So pay attention. We'll be listing these in order of monetary cost, from lowest to highest, starting with Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds.

Terramorphic Expanse/Evolving Wilds

Terramorphic Expanse Evolving Wilds

The first of three sets of functional reprints, Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds are the poor man's fetch lands. Simply play them, tap and sac them, then find any basic land you need and put it into play tapped. They're not optimal, since they only get basic lands and they do come in tapped. But if you're on an extremely small budget, these should be the first two cards you put your decks. Pick them up for 2 cents each.
 

Rupture Spire/Transguild Promenade

Rupture Spire Transguild Promenade

These guys are pretty good as long as you don't mind spending a turn paying mana to keep a land in play. They come in tapped, so they can't pay for themselves (barring an Amulet of Vigor). But once they're on the field and online, they tap for any color of mana, no further questions asked. These belong in pretty much any budget 3- or 5-color build. They are also only 2 cents apiece.
 

Shimmering Grotto/Unknown Shores

Shimmering Grotto Unknown Shores

Finally, we have these two. These filter lands are certainly nothing to write home about, but they're not worth ignoring either. They do tap for a colorless and come in untapped, meaning you won't lose tempo by playing them as long as you need colorless. To get the colored mana, you're basically giving up two mana to make one. This can be useful when you're absolutely hurting for a specific color. 5-color decks will obviously benefit from these far more than anything else, and I'd suggest not running them if you're not in 5 colors. Just like the other functional reprints, 2 cents each is all you need for a singleton copy of these two.
 

Vivid Lands

The Vivid cycle of lands are interesting. While they were good when they first came out, they got even better once Scars of Mirrodin hit. These lands come into play tapped and normally only tap for a single color. But they come in with two charge counters and have the ability to tap and remove one of those counters in order to provide any color. With proliferate, you can really pile the charge counters on these things and not have to worry much about color fixing at all. These cards are great in pretty much any multicolor deck, getting better and better with each color added. At only 3 cents per copy, these guys are pretty awesome for the low budget deck builder.
 

Command Tower

Command Tower

If you play Commander and you don't own a copy of Command Tower, then go get one. Now. They're only a nickel. These lands were made specifically for Commander, obviously. They don't even work in other formats, they'd just sit there and do nothing! But in Commander, this is basically "Tap: Add any color you need to your mana pool". There's not much to discuss here. The only decks this card shouldn't be in are monocolored or colorless decks.
 

Rainbow Vale

Rainbow Vale

This card is very intriguing, as it lets you set up some interesting political plays. You can tap it for any mana you want, but you have to give it to an opponent at the end of the turn. You can give it to someone in the hopes that they won't come after you, or make an alliance with someone and just trade it back and forth between each other. On a side note, this card belongs in pretty much every Zedruu the Greathearted deck. This card will run you 5 cents.
 

Exotic Orchard

Exotic Orchard

Exotic Orchard isn't really the best card available to you in Commander. It can only tap for colored mana that you share with an opponent's commander. For example, if you're playing a 3-player game and you're running Cromat, your opponents consist of Kemba, Kha Regent and Oona, Queen of the Fae, and they both control Vivid lands, you can only tap the Orchard for white, blue, or black mana. Even though Vivids say they can produce any color, in a game of Commander, they can only produce colored mana of the commander's color identity, effectively making the other colors of mana cease to exist. This rule has been debated at length but that's just how it is. You can pick up a copy for a nickel and try it for yourself, but don't expect to get a whole lot of good mileage out of it.

 

Forsaken City

Forsaken City

This card is pretty good, as long as you discount the fact that you have to exile a card from your hand to untap the darn thing once you've used it. It comes in untapped and immediately taps for any color you need. But if you want to use it again next turn, you're either going to have to give up cards from your hand or be a bit creative. There are certainly many ways to untap lands: Voyaging Satyr, Candelabra of Tawnos/Magus of the Candelabra, Seedborn Muse, Prophet of Kruphix, Hidden Strings, Fatestitcher, Tidewater Minion, etc. And if for some reason you can benefit from exiling things, then definitely take a look at this one. It'll run you about 6 cents.
 

Primal Beyond

Primal Beyond

Like the tribal duals (and Murmuring Bosk), this comes into play tapped if you can't reveal a card of its tribe from your hand, in this case Elemental. It also has the major restriction of only being able to tap for colored mana if you're going to spend that mana on Elemental spells or abilities from Elementals. It does tap for colorless though, so it's not completely useless. If you're running Horde of Notions, this is an auto-include. Otherwise, it's pretty lackluster. It costs 7 cents right now, so you won't be breaking the bank on this one.
 

Grand Coliseum

Grand Coliseum

The budget version of City of Brass is still a card just about any deck running 3 or more colors should have in their manabase. It does come in tapped, but once it's untapped you can get colorless mana for free, or any color for 1 life. It does have that advantage over Mana Confluence and City of Brass that you can get colorless mana without paying life, because those can certainly add up. I'd suggest that just about every player, especially those on a tight budget, pick this up. It costs a dime.

Mirrodin's Core

Mirrodin's Core

Similar to the storage duals, Mirrodin's Core allows you to put counters on it in order to provide yourself with colored mana. While it taps for a colorless mana for free, you can choose to add a charge counter to it instead. That way you can remove it later and provide yourself with colored mana. Unlike the storage duals, however, you can't remove more than one counter to get more than one mana. It's more like a Vivid land that can add more charge counters to itself. It also combos well with proliferate, just like the Vivids. This card can comfortably go in just about any 3- or 5-color deck. It'll run you 10 cents.
 

Ancient Ziggurat

Ancient Ziggurat

Any creature-heavy multicolored deck will be happy with this card. While it absolutely can't pay for anything non-creature, the fact that it always provides the color you need when you do cast a creature is very awesome. It's only 11 cents to pick up a copy, so try it out.
 

Thran Quarry

Thran Quarry

Again, you're gonna want a lot of creatures to use this card. It would go well in token decks too. But a board wipe like Hallowed Burial will also leave you out a land. So be careful if you do choose to run this land. Just 24 cents and it can be yours!
 

Opal Palace

Opal Palace

The other Commander-specific multi-land fills quite a unique role. Basically, this card is Shimmering Grotto but slightly better. If you spend that mana you filter for to pay for your commander, it gets +1/+1 counters equal to the number of times you've cast it from the command zone. This may not be a huge deal to some people who don't aim to win with commander damage, but it is certainly useful for those that do. I'd recommend this for any deck that tries to win through commander damage, like Voltron, even if you're monocolored. It'll set you back 36 cents.
 

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

While it is kinda slow (and it requires you already have at least a devotion of three to the color you're tapping for in order to break even), it can provide quite a bit of mana in the later stages of the game. This card is actually more suited for mono-colored decks than anything else, due to the higher devotion counts. Basically, this is the closest thing that non-black colors have to Cabal Coffers. It can be yours for 82 cents.
 

Pillar of the Paruns

Pillar of the Paruns

This is just another version of Ancient Ziggurat, except that this one can only pay for multicolored spells. If your deck is heavy on the gold cards, this should be an auto-include. It costs 90 cents right now if you want to give it a whirl.
 

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

We finally reach lands that cost more than a buck for a single copy. This beauty comes in at $2.28. So, think Exotic Orchard, except useful. This checks your lands instead of your opponents', so if you control a Vivid land and Reflecting Pool, the Pool will give you whatever color you want, no charge counters needed. Any multicolor deck can benefit from this card.
 

Tarnished Citadel

Tarnished Citadel

So... Take Grand Coliseum, let it come in untapped, but make it Bolt you instead of ping you for 1 every time you tap it for colored mana. It's not all bad though. You do start with 40 life, so it'd take 14 activations of the colored ability to single-handedly kill you. This is a format where you can afford to pay that kind of life in order to fix your mana. If you want one, you'll need to cough up about $2.74.
 

Glimmervoid

Glimmervoid

If you run an artifact-heavy deck, this is an auto-include. It counts artifact lands, so it interacts very well with cards like Darksteel Citadel and Ancient Den. This card is so much easier to keep in play than Thran Quarry, and its price pretty much agrees with that sentiment. $2.87 for a copy.
 

City of Brass

City of Brass

Probably the first card that springs to most minds when you say 5-color land. It taps for any mana you want, short and simple. Unfortunately, any time it becomes tapped, you take 1 damage. That includes if your opponent has a card that can tap down your City of Brass before you can use it (i.e.: Icy Manipulator), creating quite the double whammy. Still, it's worth the risk since you can't get much better than this. The 7th Edition copy can be had for $2.94 at the moment.
 

Crystal Quarry

Crystal Quarry

You lose a mana in the transaction (since the Quarry is just filtering), but you do get all 5 colors no matter what you used to pay the 5 colorless mana with. This card is absolutely only useful in 5-color decks, but in those decks it is supremely useful. If you want one, you'll have to pay about $3.54.
 

Gemstone Mine

Gemstone Mine

This is a very good land. While it normally only works three times, those three times will be exactly the mana you need. Just like the Vivid lands, this card is terrific with proliferate. The Time Spiral version costs $3.93.
 

Forbidden Orchard

Forbidden Orchard

Arguably better than City of Brass in many instances, this taps for anything you need, but gives an opponent a 1/1 creature token in the process. This can be used very politically, letting you have access to the mana you need while providing free chump blockers for someone you want to leave you alone. It'll run you $4.45.
 

Mana Confluence

Mana Confluence

Released just a month ago, this is City of Brass v2.0. Instead of giving your opponent the ability to tap it down and deal you damage, you can only be hurt by it if you pay a life to use it. There are a few interesting things you lose out on by using Mana Confluence over City of Brass though, since damage can be prevented or redirected; life loss can't be prevented or redirected. That said, it's still every bit as good as City of Brass, and any 5 color deck could benefit from having both. Since Mana Confluence is so new, you'll be paying a premium for a copy: $8.95.
 

Undiscovered Paradise

Undiscovered Paradise

Finishing up the list of multi-lands, Undiscovered Paradise will set you back a whopping $14.31 at the moment. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that it came out in Visions, a somewhat scarcer set. The other part is that it's really good. While tapping it for mana does require you to bounce it back to your hand next turn, if you've got no other lands to play, that's not much of a drawback. Not to mention, this card combos extremely well with landfall abilities.



 

And that's going to be all for Part Two. Part Three should finish the series out, covering utility lands and other miscellaneous lands. Hopefully it won't take me as long to get that one out as this one did. (Being a dad is tiring!!!) I'm also thinking about keeping a series going covering the prices of the lands from my articles as they rise and fall, kind of like a "Land Stock Report" or something. We'll see how that plays out. By the way, as a special treat, I'm including price charts down here at the bottom for every article to update the prices as time goes on, since the prices from Part One have drastically changed. Check it out below. I'll see you guys next time! (Hopefully soon!)

 

EASY-TO-READUPDATED PRICE LIST FOR PARTS ONE AND TWO
(Only cheapest prices are included.)

Name/Cycle Price
 Zendikar Semi-Full Art Basic Lands  $0.13 Plains, $0.15 (others)
 Guru Art Basic Lands  $0.15 - $0.38 (all out of stock)
 Unhinged Full Art Basic Lands  $2.75 - $5.50 (only foils in stock)
 8th Edition (Invasion) Tap Duals  $0.03 each
 Zendikar Refuges  $0.03 each
 Time Spiral Storage Duals  $0.03 - $0.15
 RtR Block Guildgates  $0.03 - $0.05
 M10-M13 Check Duals  $0.05 - $0.07
 Ravnica Karoo Duals (Bouncelands)  $0.03 - $0.11
 Coldsnap Snow Tap Duals  $0.08 - $0.11
 Torment Tainted Duals  $0.09 - $0.13
 Innistrad Check Duals 
 Isolated Chapel
 
 $0.39
 Woodland Cemetery  $0.28
 Hinterland Harbor  $0.44
 Clifftop Retreat  $0.21
 Sulfur Falls  $1.89
 Pain Duals
 Adarkar Wastes
 
 $0.85
 Battlefield Forge  $1.01
 Brushland  $0.56
 Caves of Koilos  $0.80
 Karplusan Forest  $0.53
 Llanowar Wastes  $0.59
 Shivan Reef  $6.00
 Sulfurous Springs  $0.37
 Underground River  $0.59
 Yavimaya Coast  $0.73
 Fast Duals (Scarlands)
 Seachrome Coast
 
 $0.85
 Copperline Gorge  $0.75
 Razorverge Thicket  $1.54
 Darkslick Shores  $1.04
 Blackcleave Cliffs  $2.52
 Odyssey Filter Duals
 Mossfire Valley
 
 $0.76
 Shadowblood Ridge  $0.92
 Skycloud Expanse  $0.92
 Sungrass Prairie  $0.94
 Darkwater Catacombs  $1.67
 Scry Duals (NEW ONES ADDED)
 
Temple of Abandon
 
 $0.76
 Temple of Deceit  $1.22
 Temple of Mystery  $0.71
 Temple of Silence  $1.06
 Temple of Triumph  $1.16
 Temple of Malice  $1.20
 Temple of Plenty  $2.99
 Temple of Malady  $9.37
 Temple of Enlightenment  $2.87
 Temple of Epiphany  $2.55
 Worldwake Dual Man Lands
 
Lavaclaw Reaches

 $0.35
 Stirring Wildwood  $0.75  
 Raging Ravine  $2.72
 Creeping Tar Pit  $4.15
 Celestial Colonnade  $11.80
 Ravnica/RtR Shocklands
 Blood Crypt

 $2.97
 Hallowed Fountain  $3.19
 Overgrown Tomb  $3.97
 Steam Vents  $4.01
 Temple Garden  $3.39
 Breeding Pool  $3.44
 Godless Shrine  $5.40
 Sacred Foundry  $6.03
 Stomping Ground  $4.25
 Watery Grave  $2.85
 SHM/EVE Filter Duals
 
Fire-Lit Thicket
 
 $2.13
 Graven Cairns  $0.70
 Mystic Gate  $3.59
 Sunken Ruins  $2.98
 Wooded Bastion  $1.17
 Cascade Bluffs  $13.51
 Fetid Heath  $11.05
 Flooded Grove  $9.43
 Rugged Prairie  $3.31
 Twilight Mire  $21.90
 1st Edition True Duals
 Badlands

 $12.75 
 Bayou  $24.75
 Plateau  $6.50
 Savannah  $11.44
 Scrubland  $7.75
 Taiga  $9.84
 Tropical Island  $21.19
 Tundra  $42.12
 Underground Sea  $29.92
 Volcanic Island  $29.27
 Future Sight Duals
 Graven Cairns

 $0.70
 Grove of the Burnwillows  $22.41
 Horizon Canopy  $18.57
 Nimbus Maze  $0.29
 River of Tears  $1.76
 Lorwyn Tribal Duals
 Secluded Glen
 
 $0.53
 Gilt-Leaf Palace  $0.06
 Auntie's Hovel  $0.10
 Wanderwine Hub  $1.02
 (Ancient Ampitheater)  $0.05
 Mirage Slow Fetches
 Bad River

 $0.20
 Flood Plain  $0.19
 Grasslands  $0.11
 Mountain Valley  $0.10
 Rocky Tar Pit  $0.10
 ONS/ZEN Pain Fetches
 
Bloodstained Mire
 
 $7.32
 Flooded Strand  $47.00
 Polluted Delta  $60.00
 Windswept Heath  $13.56
 Wooded Foothills  $13.06
 Arid Mesa  $14.00
 Marsh Flats  $15.63
 Misty Rainforest  $40.08
 Scalding Tarn  $39.21
 Verdant Catacombs  $20.76
 Shards of Alara Tap Tri-lands  $0.07 - $0.13
 Planeshift Lairs  $0.06 - $0.08
 Shards of Alara Panoramas  $0.02 each
 Murmuring Bosk  $1.05
 Multi-Lands
 Terramorphic Expanse
 
 $0.02
 Evolving Wilds  $0.02 
 Rupture Spire  $0.02
 Transguild Promenade  $0.02
 Shimmering Grotto  $0.02 
 Unknown Shores  $0.02
 Lorwyn Vivid Lands  $0.03 each
 Command Tower  $0.05 
 Rainbow Vale  $0.05
 Exotic Orchard  $0.05
 Forsaken City  $0.06
 Primal Beyond  $0.07
 Grand Coliseum  $0.10 
 Mirrodin's Core  $0.10 
 Ancient Ziggurat  $0.11 
 Thran Quarry  $0.24 
 Opal Palace  $0.36 
 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx  $0.82
 Pillar of the Paruns  $0.90
 Reflecting Pool  $2.28 
 Tarnished Citadel  $2.74 
 Glimmervoid   $2.87
 City of Brass  $2.94
 Crystal Quarry  $3.54 

 

 Gemstone Mine  $3.93                            
 Forbidden Orchard  $4.45
 Mana Confluence  $8.95
 Undiscovered Paradise  $14.31

2 Comments

You forgot some lands by Dawwy at Fri, 06/13/2014 - 10:23
Dawwy's picture

You forgot Gemstone Caverns(which is mostly for some weird combos, but still)
And you forgot Cavern of souls which is like primal beyond but better

Yep, I sure did. by The D.K. at Fri, 06/13/2014 - 11:00
The D.K.'s picture

I purposely left out Gemstone Caverns (that thing hardly ever comes out of the opening hand in a 100-card singleton format), but I suppose it could've use some sort of mention. There is that turn zero thing that I'm thinking you're talking about. That won't be happening in Commander, I think.

Cavern of Souls I straight up dropped the ball on. You got me there. I'll be sure to touch on it in part 3 before I start getting to the utility lands. I guess I could mention Gemstone Caverns too, since it CAN come in early, even though it's unlikely.

Thanks for the comment!