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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Mana Confluence
Image from Wizards.com

Mana Confluence
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed April 29, 2014

Constructed: 4.70
Casual: 3.20
Limited: 4.10
Multiplayer: 3.70

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

Click here to see all of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Mana Confluence

I have no doubt that this is going to be one of, if not THE, "chase rare" of Journey into Nyx. Any land that taps for more than one color of mana and can enter the battlefield untapped will always be in high demand, because they're the gears and motor oil that make a two-color (or more) deck function as it should. Practically all the highest price tags in past sets have been attached to dual lands like the Ravnica Shocklands or the Zendikar fetches. This card is basically the reincarnation of City of Brass-- it's usable on the turn it hits play, and can tap for ANY color of mana. That will just make it all the more sought-after, since everybody wants it regardless of which colors they're playing. The only people who have no use for it are people who play mono-color decks exclusively, and limiting your deck like that rarely works out.

Each color has strengths and weaknesses. Red can't target enchantments, blue's creatures are weak, and so on. When your entire deck is one color, you have no defense against that color's weakness. And once your deck contains cards of different colors, you're vulnerable to colorscrew-- drawing spells of one color and lands that provide mana of the other. The only reliable way to combat colorscrew without losing valuable turns to do it is with nonbasic lands that tap for multiple colors, and if those lands come into play tapped, then you're still losing a turn. I don't like the fact that nonbasic lands like this are as necessary as they are, but the way the game mechanics are built, they are and there's no getting around it. Everybody past a certain competitive level NEEDS whatever lands like this are in the format, and those lands are always rare, so the price hits $30 per land and you either pay it or you never get past FNM.

Constructed- 5
Casual- 1
Limited- 5
Multiplayer- 1


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Mana Confluence
 
The latest variant of City of Brass, and the most prominent one we've seen since . . . Alara? The name actually sounds like it should be in Alara, for that matter. Continuous or repeated payments of life for colored mana is a bargain we haven't seen for about the same amount of time. People used to be very willing to pay that, but I wonder if there are current players who aren't used to the concept. Perhaps the fact that this card is coming out just in time to resurrect some of the three-color decks from the early parts of Ravnica's time in Standard will help convince people.
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Mana Confluence which is a land that taps to add one mana of any color at the price of one life. This is an improved version of the classic Arabian Nights card, City of Brass, which is still regularly in formats that allow it. A land that doesn't enter play tapped and offers access to every color of mana is ideal for aggressive decks that will readily spend life to maintain tempo. Lands that deal two damage for access to two colors are consistently popular, which shows the potential for this in current formats. The prevention of damage from being tapped by outside sources is a big improvement in nearly every situation and will allow this to replace or support City of Brass in older formats. Overall this will see play in every format that can use the set and be a staple of many multicolor builds going forward.

In Limited the slower format makes the regular loss of life more of a concern, though this is a big benefit when running several colors to reduce the risk of being shorted on a color. Used only when needed this improves three or more color decks using a splash for key cards, so for that it is worth an early draft pick in Booster if that is your style of play. In Sealed this is an automatic inclusion when splashing a third or fourth color, but is a bit weaker for two and usually a dead weight rare when able to run one.

Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 4.5

Mattedesa

Deck Garage
Mana Confluence
 
It's appropriate that our first Journey Into Nyx review was the most talked about card in the set through the spoiler season. The effect is simple enough. Tap, pay a life, get whatever color mana you want. The discussion comes on when and how you use it.
 
First off, let's look at when this card is amazing. If you're running a multicolor deck, you now have 4 more lands for your deck that come into the battlefield untapped and give you whatever color you want. In aggressive decks, you can't always wait for a land that comes into the battlefield tapped. When you have three or more colors in your deck, getting the right color at the right time is crucial, and this card makes it that much easier. Most of the time, paying 1 life to get the resource you want is well worth it. People love playing the Ravnica shock lands and are usually not afraid to pay the 2 life. 
 
You can bet your entire card collection that this card will be played in Legacy. Legacy games are designed to go very quickly, so having the right mana is of utmost important. People already play City of Brass sometimes, but Mana Confluence is better because you only lose life when you choose to tap it for mana. City of Brass damages you, even if an opponent taps it for you - which does happen.
 
As good as this card is, there are times when the payment of life will be a problem. If your deck is designed to play a slow game, you're better off playing one of the dual lands that comes into play tapped and doesn't hurt you. And of course, mono-colored devotion decks have no use for this.
 
In limited, mana fixing is at a premium, so this is useful, but there are fewer three or more color decks. The longer games cause the life loss to really add up, so it's not necessarily a top pick in limited. Then again, Mana Confluence is going to go for a pretty penny, so I might be tempted to pick it just for that reason. 
 
Constructed: 5
Casual: 4
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 4

Michael Sokolowski

Today we take our first look at a card from Journey into Nyx. I hope you enjoyed yesterday's sneak peek at M15, but we've got a whole new expansion set to look at now.

Mana Confluence is a good card. Some of you more experienced readers might think this card looks awfully familiar. And you're right, for what you're looking at is essentially a functional reprint of City of Brass!
I've always been a big fan of any card with the theme and visual depiction of all 5 colours of mana coming together. Stuff like this, Manalith, Sphere of the Suns, Maelstrom Nexus, those sorts of things. They all do very different things of course, but you just know that anytime you see all 5 colours together, something cool and powerful is going to happen. And that's certainly the case here. What we have is a land, and you can tap it, and it'll give you any kind of mana you want. No coming into play tapped, no not untapping during your next turn, no sacrificing creatures, no returning permanents when it comes into play. Tap, any mana, done. No questions asked.

Well, okay, there is ONE little extra tiny detail. You have to pay 1 life every time you do it. That'll kill a lot of the excitement for more casual players, who can't really fathom dealing damage to yourself in order to get ahead, especially something that can't be used WITHOUT hurting you every time. There's that fear that you might end up tapping yourself to death over the course of the game, or that 1 life being the difference between winning or losing later on during an otherwise close game. And it's not like these fears are baseless. But highly competitive players love things like this, and I want to tell you why that is.

To quote The Fast and the Furious, "It don't matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning's winning." To a highly competitive player, life is just another resource you can spend if you want. As long as you have 1 life, you're in the game, so there's no harm in using it to go on the offensive and deal even more damage to your opponent. To such a player, waiting an extra turn to use a land because it came into play tapped is MUCH worse than paying 1 life, because now your pacing and tempo is off. Something you could have played this turn has to wait for next turn, meaning you're now behind. That's the logic that's at play here, and if you're a casual player that wants to get better, it's something to consider.

Anyway, the differences between casual and tournament player mentality is something an entire article could be written about (and I'm not saying one is better than the other!), so let's get back to the card itself and wrap this up. Mana Confluence is City of Brass. And City of Brass was good. People used City of Brass. Likewise, expect Mana Confluence see play. It will help you get your threats out onto the field earlier. But it may not be everyone's cup of tea, and of course it's useless in a mono-colour deck. Still, it's very, very good, and if you get one you should give it a try.

Constructed: 5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 5


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