We all love full-art lands. Whether Unhinged, Unglued or Zendikar are more your style (I actually prefer the latter), full-art lands are sweet. We use them to fill our decks, we use them in Draft and we love to keep big boxes of them at home.
I'm convinced one of the reasons full-art lands are so cool is because they're so rare. In 20 years of Magic, they've been done just three times. This certainly drives a lot of the demand for them. If they became too commonplace, we wouldn't care anymore. Wizards' decision to keep them rare, then, makes sense.
Or does it?
This post makes a very compelling case that full-art lands are better for a variety of reasons besides aesthetics. The idea is that full-art lands help both new and experienced players identify the gamestate better, and for that reason make more sense than regular lands that we're used to.
The benefits to new players would be enormous if all basic lands were full-art: they wouldinstantly be able to recognize which of their cards were basics. This might be a small thing, but it’s a very, very important one. Acquisition is every bit as important as Wizards keeps telling us it is, and acquisition doesn’t just mean changing marketing strategies. It means changing the game visually to make it look better and cleaner.Way back when, Portal came out, introducing the “big mana symbol in text box” look to make the lands stand out more to new players. They then realized that the same concepts applied to the lands in every set, so they made it the default. Now it’s time for the next logical step.