Bring Back Snow-Covered Lands

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Snow-covered lands are awesome. Not the ugly Coldsnap ones, though. I'm talking about these beauties:

snowcoveredplains snowcoveredisland snowcoveredswamp snowcoveredmountain snowcoveredforest

Having started playing Magic during Ice Age, I have a strong fondness for these cards. At that time, they were more or less mechanically useless. In fact, in many cases, having snow-covered lands in your deck was a strict liability:

arcticfoxes arcumssleigh avalanche

coldsnap rimedryad thermokarst

All of these cards punish you for playing snow-covered lands, and the ones that reward you for it are all pretty bad (talking about Ice Age only here). Not that the above cards are particularly good, mind you.

And yet we played them anyway. Snow-covered lands were mechanically unimportant back then, and when Coldsnap came along, only a few cards, most notably Skred, gave them in-play relevance. I didn't play at that time, but my understanding is that the added mechanics for snow lands didn't exactly go over well.

Despite this, these are basic lands that retail for around 50 cents or more—not a paltry amount for something that is functionally available for practically free—which shows they're obviously liked by at least a subset of players. Whenever I see a decklist that includes snow-covered lands, I'm thrilled, especially if there's no relevant reason they should be that version. LSV ran them in a recent ChannelFireball video, and it was awesome.

In many ways, the longer one plays Magic, the more jaded one becomes. Sure, the flavor of the game is still cool, but the game becomes more and more about power level, curves, and whether something dies to Doom Blade. Snow-covered lands don't care about any of that nonsense. These lands are one of the few vestiges of pure flavor* left in Magic, and if I could run them in my draft decks without being DQ'd, I'd buy my 85-set in a heartbeat.

*Yes, I'm continuing to ignore the mechanical relevance introduced in Coldsnap.

So here's hoping that snow-covered lands make their return someday. They don't even have to be mechanically relevant—I'll still be happy.

As for snow-covered duals? We can only dream.

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Danny Brown

Danny is a Cube enthusiast and the former Director of Content for Quiet Speculation.

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3 thoughts on “Bring Back Snow-Covered Lands

  1. “As for snow-covered duals? We can only dream.”

    Have you heard about the mock up the R&D has done while developping the first commander product like 2 or 3 years ago ?

    There WAS a printed mockup of snow Tunday (yeah… Flavor). (It was a basic land with a paper pasted on it). IIRC there was a pic’ on MTGS

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