December 16, 2015

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Daily Dose of Oath of the Gatewatch – New? Colorless Mana

Welcome all to another edition of the Daily Dose. This is the first one for Oath of the Gatewatch as we delve into some of the early previews for this second and final set from the Battle for Zendikar block. A majority of the preview for Oath of the Gatewatch will be coming out starting in early January, but they’ve given us some early Christmas presents in the form of a few preview cards.

Throughout the history of Magic, there has always only been 5 colors of mana in Magic, and although what you see next might make you think there are 6, there are still only 5 colors of Magic. Let’s look at the new Basic Land called Wastes.


I can picture tons of questions already going through your head about what this means. Is this a new Basic Land type? Is this the 6th color of mana they’ve been talking about for a while? What does this all mean? Let me run you through the basics of this new Basic Land.

  • Wastes is a Basic Land that can be searched for by cards like Evolving Wilds, or any spell that allows you to search for a Basic Land like Map the Wastes.
  • Wastes does not have a Basic Land type; therefore its mana does not affect Converge cards like Radiant Flames or Bring to Light.
  • Wastes tap for Colorless Mana <> or (C). This is a new specific mana type that can be used to pay for colorless mana costs, or generic mana costs. For a better example of this, let’s look at a popular Commander card in Mana Vault.


The casting cost for Mana Vault is 1 generic mana. Generic Mana can be paid with any type of mana including colorless mana.

Mana Vault taps for 3 Colorless mana, not 3 generic mana. Colorless Mana can be used to pay for any generic mana, or X mana cost as well as any (C) mana cost as well.

Let’s look at another example of how this change will affect older cards visually, but in no way changes how the cards work. Here is an old favorite in Ancient Tomb.

As you can see, Ancient Tomb taps for 2 colorless to your mana pool. Now with the new colorless mana symbol, let’s take a look how it will now be visually represented. Oh, and by the way, it is also one of the new Zendikar Expeditions that you will be able to get in Oath of the Gatewatch.


Ancient Tomb still provides 2 colorless mana, just like it did before, but as you can see it is now represented by the new symbols for colorless mana.

Have you figured it out yet? Let me give you one more example, while also previewing another new card from Oath of the Gatewatch, here is Kozilek, the Great Distortion.

Kozilek, the Great Distortion

First off, let us take a look at the casting cost. To cast Kozilek, the Great Distortion you will need 8 generic mana (this includes any color mana or colorless mana) and 2 colorless mana (Only colorless mana can be used for this). Now that we’ve got the casting cost out of the way, what a nice new Eldrazi to add to the mix.

A 12/12 Menace (must be blocked by two or more creatures), makes this a creature that can end the game quickly. Like Ulamog, its card drawing ability only applies if you are casting Kozilek, and not if you are able to get it on the battlefield through alternative means. What a card draw ability it is though! You get to fill your hand up to 7 cards before handing the turn off to your opponent. This works nicely with its last ability.

Kozilek’s last ability has a very Counterbalance like feel to it, with the converted mana cost card needing to be in your hand instead of on top of your deck. This will allow you to protect Kozilek as you will have 7 cards in your hand to be able to discard to counter spells from your opponent.

I hope this better explains the excitement coming up for Oath of the Gatewatch! Look forward to seeing you again soon for another edition of the Daily Dose of Oath of the Gatewatch.