September 13, 2016

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Daily Dose of Kaladesh – Mana Base Complete!

Welcome to the 'Daily Dose of Kaladesh', where today I’m going to be looking at another great rotating out tradition of figuring out what the Standard Mana Base is going to look like. Seeing what new cards are coming in and what will be leaving Standard will allow us to see how certain cards will be played in the coming months. Before I take a look at what wonderful lands we will be receiving from Kaladesh, let me first take a look at what will be rotating out come September 30th.

Magic Origins Pain Lands

At first glance there are only nine lands rotating out, but pain lands have been a staple of many a Standard deck in the past year. Now let’s take a look at what will be rotating in thanks to Kaladesh. Magic has a tradition of having cycles of ten lands involving two-colour combinations. The Battle for Zendikar block brought us the conclusion of the Dual Coloured Manlands cycle, thanks to cards such as Shambling Vent and Lumbering Falls. Now thanks to Kaladesh, we are able to complete another two-color land cycle that was introduced during Scars of Mirrodin. Here are the Enemy coloured Fastlands!

Blooming Marsh
Botanical Sanctum
Concealed Courtyard
Inspiring Vantage
Spirebluff Canal

Wow, wow, wow! These five lands are going to have an impact on both the Standard and Modern Format. Before I go into how these will affect Standard, let me just say that these are the lands that Modern has been waiting for since the first five in the cycle came out in Scars of Mirrodin. Now let’s have a look at how this will impact the Standard mana base.

Two-coloured decks

Allied Colours – Two-coloured Allied decks will also have three different dual lands to use. First you have the Battle Lands from Battle for Zendikar, the Shadow Lands from Shadows Over Innistrad, and the Uncommon tap-lands from Oath of the Gatewatch. With these lands, if you play them right, you will be able to put the Battle Lands and Shadow Lands always into play untapped, helping you cast all of your cards on curve.

Enemy Colours – Two-coloured enemy colour decks will have three different dual lands to use. First you have the new Fastlands introduced in Kaladesh, the Manlands from the Battle for Zendikar block, and the Uncommon tap-lands from Shadows Over Innistrad. Fast-Lands will help you cast spells on turn two or three, but after that all of these lands will be coming into play tapped, which could make it harder to cast something on curve on turn four and later.

Three-Colour Decks

Shards – First off you get access to eight Battle Lands, eight Shadow Lands, four Manlands, and four Fast-Lands. That is 24 dual lands that you have access to when making three colour decks using Shards colour combinations. Usually a three colour deck will play 26 lands, and the type of deck you will play will help you decide what combination of lands you choose. If I was playing a Bant deck for example, I would probably choose the following land base:

2 Lumbering Falls
3 Fortified Village
4 Prairie Stream
4 Botanical Sanctum
4 Evolving Wilds
1 Island
3 Forest
5 Plains

Wedges – With wedges you are going to have access to eight Manlands, eight Fast-lands, four Battle Lands, and four Shadow Lands. Once again you have 24 dual lands to play around with, which will allow you to make a strong mana base for a 3-colour deck. If I was playing a Mardu deck for example, I would probably choose the following land base:

3 Concealed Courtyard
4 Inspiring Vantage
4 Shambling Vent
2 Smoldering Marsh
4 Evolving Wilds
3 Mountain
3 Plains
3 Swamp

A big concern will be what will happen to those players who love to play cards from the Oath of the Gatewatch that require colourless mana to play them such as Matter Reshaper and Reality Smasher. With the rotation of pain lands, it will be very hard to play two-colours and play a lot of colourless cards including those from Oath of the Gatewatch. Here are what lands are still be available for colourless mana.

Corrupted Crossroads
Crumbling Vestige
Holdout Settlement
Ruins of Oran-Rief
Sanctum of Ugin
Sea Gate Wreckage
Shrine of the Forsaken Gods
Spawning Bed
Unknown Shores

Blighted Lands

Thanks to Kaladesh, there will be two lands that will help you case colourless spells and one that helps with mana fixing as well. Here are Inventor’s Fair and Aether Hub.

Inventors' Fair

Inventor’s Fair is definitely a build around card and will be more for specific decks than allowing you to splash colourless cards in certain decks. This is a land that wants to be played in artifact heavy decks so that you can take advantage of the value that comes with gaining life and being able to search your library for an artifact. I’m just happy that there is another land can be searched for with Thalia’s Lancers.

Aether Hub

Aether Hub is the colourless land I am most excited about playing. This land is a much better version of Crumbling Vestige. Not only does it come into play untapped, but you are able to get a mana of any color whenever you want and not just when you play the land. If you don’t need the coloured mana you can even use the Energy earned from the card on something else. Conversely, Energy you acquire from other sources, can allow you to power Aether Hub for coloured mana for many turns. This land should see Standard play for many months to come.

I think the addition of the new Fastlands will definitely help Standard get into a great position to see a wide variety of decks in this Standard Season. Thanks for reading a mana base edition of the 'Daily Dose of Kaladesh' and I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow for more preview action!