Insider: Same Plane, Same Happy Landings

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The first burst of Battle for Zendikar (BFZ) spoilers have gone viral and by far the most exciting aspect of this set so far are the new lands. Specifically, there is a new land cycle that will be Standard-legal as well as some pretty impressive premium land cycles.

Full Art Fetches and Shocks?

The premium cycle is by far the most interesting (and admittedly shocking) aspect of this fall's upcoming release. Basically, premium, foil, full art fetchlands, shocklands, and the new dual lands will be included in booster packs of BFZ. The rarity of these premium cards will be about the same as cracking a foil mythic rare from a booster pack, which translates to about one of these premium lands per case.

Altogether, there are 25 different premium lands that one can possibly get and the fetchlands will be the most expensive because, well, they are fetchlands and they are awesome in every format. I wouldn't be surprised to see the good fetchlands come out of the gate around $150-200 each.

Whatever the starting price that we see on this premium cycle, I like the idea of trying to trade for any of them out of the gate. Obviously, the fetches are going to be the hot ticket right away but there will be plenty of demand for the shocks and the new lands as time goes on. The shocks may well end up being the best bang for your buck depending on how the initial price points work out. People will surely want full art shocks for their Modern decks!

The reason that I say I like aggressively trading for these out the gate is that when a new set comes out tons of product gets opened. Many of these desirable high-end cards end up in the hands of people who don't really want them and are looking to either sell them off or trade them for other cards they need. Out of the gate, the price tends to be suppressed on "will be" high-end foils of Eternal and Modern staples because the supply is actually equal to the demand.

I see these cards as consistent slow gainer type cards over time. People will want these forever--or until they print a better cycle of Modern-legal fetches or duals!

I don't think these cards existing changes very much in the finance world besides the fact that they will be yet another high-end item that exists. If anything, I see the premium lands hindering the growth of other premium copies of these lands, at least in the short term.

It is important to note that the existence of these cards will not affect the prices of regular fetches or shocks in the long or short term. They are too rare a commodity to affect supply and demand.

A New Land Cycle for Standard

The more interesting subject for savvy MTG financiers is that it is confirmed there will be a new rare land cycle printed in BFZ:


There will be one of these lands for each of the allied color combinations: U/W, U/B, B/R, R/B, and G/W.

These lands are already good. They are essentially duals that enter the battlefield tapped that conditionally enter the battlefield untapped if you control two or more basic lands. It is also extremely relevant that these lands also count as having "land types," which makes them legal targets to be searched for with fetchlands or other land search effects.

So, fetchlands and dual lands legal in Standard at the same time! Yikes...

A lot of the chatter I've heard on social media so far is along the lines of:


Yes, you could theoretically build a deck where any fetchland can get you any color of mana but the cost is high. Every land is going to come into play tapped! It is also awkward that the Khans of Tarkir trilands don't play nicely with these new duals.

One key thing to remember is that you need to have two basic lands in play in order to make these duals better than a Coastal Tower. Putting two basic lands into play is actually a very real cost to making these lands amazing.

The soonest these lands can ever enter the battlefield untapped is turn three, and only if you have already played basic lands on turn one and two. I'm not sure this sounds like a crazy five color mana base to me...

One thing that I think is for certain is that fetchlands are going to be the best and most important cards in the format because they are mana fixing that also afford players the best chance of getting two basics in play ASAP.

It is interesting that these duals are much better in allied shards (Bant, Jund, etc.) with access to two cycles of fetches than in enemy wedges (Jeskai, Temur) with only one fetchland.

Honestly, it doesn't matter too much because these lands are basically the only mana fixing in Standard so anybody playing more than one color will be playing with these cards. Basically, think of these lands as the scry lands of new Standard: they fix your mana in Standard but probably won't see any play outside of that.

A Boon to Beatdown

I think these new duals are easily at their best in two-color decks where the upside is high to play every land untapped. In particular, G/W Aggro, R/G Aggro, and B/R aggro decks will get a pretty nice boost with regard to how friendly their mana bases are. We'll have to wait until the full spoiler goes live in order to see which of these decks will actually be good post-rotation.

However, knowing that these lands will be at their best in beatdown decks does give us an opportunity to speculate on some of the premier beatdown cards post-rotation. In particular, I'd bet on the one-drops and the Dragons of Tarkir commands in the beatdown colors:

Champion could go into a heavy black-based R/B beats deck alongside Kolaghan's Command. Both of these cards are already fantastic. I could see both being bigger players post-rotation. The black-red Command is already a huge Modern card so the risk in picking it up now is pretty low.

There was an error retrieving a chart for Kytheon, Hero of Akros

I really like Kytheon a lot as a spec target. The card has fantastic stats already and will be the heart and soul of any white weenie or green-white deck. Dromoka's Command is already too low in price at the moment. I've been on these as pickups the past few weeks. I'm stocking up for new Standard.

Swiftspear is already a Legacy card and quite valuable but I could see the card seeing a lot of Standard play post-rotation. The Red deck still looks very strong post-rotation with lots of nice burn spells and powerful creatures sticking around to light the world on fire.


I don't know about you guys but I'm ready for October to roll around so that I can get my hands on some of these new cards! There are going to be a lot of things to keep up on between then and now, but if you take each piece of new information as it comes along and use it to make good investing decisions it is pretty easy to stay above the curve. If you play your cards right you should have a desirable surplus of hot ticket cards for trade and/or sale when the BFZ prerelease rolls around.

3 thoughts on “Insider: Same Plane, Same Happy Landings

  1. I think dromoka’s command being in the event deck really keeps its price down. It is an amazing card. I think the supply is just huge.

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