Here's a very interesting Letter to the Editor from reader Mike Hulsebus. It reminds us all that there's more to magic than making the most cutthroat, efficient decks and playing with mana bases worth more than some used cars. I post this not because it reflects my personal opinion, but with the intent of opening up some discussion on the matter. Please use the comments below to discuss your feelings on rare lands!
I should be excited, but I’m not.
I recently bought a box of Zendikar cards: $85 bucks paid partially in store credit and partially in cash. I’m working my way though the packs slowly and so far, in about 8 packs, I’ve opened up two fetchlands. A quick search of the internet tells me that this small portion of my packs is worth a little under $40.
See, like you, I’ve been making a lot of decks in preparation for the new standard format. I’m trying to be realistic with what I can spend money on, and the last thing that I want to do is spend $80 per playset of lands in order to just get my deck off the ground..
Wizards, of course, doesn’t set prices on what singles go for, but they do set rarity. Let’s consider a few things.
When you make your deck, where do you start? I start by looking at individual cards and figuring out which cards I would like to exploit and which seem fun to play. So, for example, in Lorwyn, I decided I liked the card advantage of running Wort, Boggart Auntie and went from there. Half the fun of magic is thinking of what kind of decks you can build and what fun interactions you can create. There is nothing innovative about deciding to put a Marsh Flats in a black/white deck.
I would venture a guess that no one has gotten to the rare slot of their pack, saw a Misty Rainforest, and said “Ooh! This fixes my mana! What if I built a green/blue deck that took advantage of that?”
To say it more briefly, fetchlands are boring. Dual lands are boring. Mana fixing is boring.
What if mana fixing was all in the uncommon slot? Sure, there could still be rare lands like Oran-Reef the Vastwood or Mutavault that have additional effects, but what if the foundations of deck building were more readily available?
I think this would actually result in Wizards selling more packs rather than fewer. Sure, while one player may not buy that case hoping to get a fetchland set, if you engage players in each format, you’re going to have five players buying single boxes rather than one player buying five and the more players that we can have playing Magic, the better.
I’ve been looking a few different decks that I might want to consider running coming up, but am severely limited when it comes to ones that fit the “not-paying-$80-to-cast-
There is nothing fun about paying $100 for that. Yes, it will always cost money to stay current in Magic, but I would rather pay $30 for a Baneslayer Angel than pay $20 so that I have the correct arrangement of mana to cast Baneslayer Angel.
Really, the main problem is that having the lands be expensive is that it pigeonholes players in to having only one set of lands and therefore playing only one sort of colors. I would love for players to be able to play whatever-colored deck he or she wanted regardless of what lands were in the. Let’s allow our players to have the fun of building new decks every week to try at their local FNM. Lets devote our rare slots to non-lands.
Certainly not the average efficienct-hungry Spike perspective you often get on Magic internet sites! Talk about it in the comments below!