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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!


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Fetch Lands
- Khans of Tarkir

Reviewed Sep. 22, 2014

Constructed: 4.38
Casual: 4.17
Limited: 3.33
Multiplayer: 4.17

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

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BMoor

Deck Garage

Fetch Lands

These cards have been around for a long time, and they make a good argument for the subtler ideas that players have to come to grasp as they get to understand the game. Newer players might get that having a choice of land to get is good, but they will be repelled by the life payment. As time goes on, however, they come to understand that A) paying 1 life is an insignificant payment, especially when you only have to do it once, B) getting whichever color you need now is more important than having the ability to tap for two or more colors of land like other "dual land" options, C) both the fetch land and the land it fetches come into play untapped, which means you can effectively tap this for mana the turn you play it, D) coming into play tapped is a bigger drawback than it looks like, and E) thinning lands out of your deck is a pretty solid benefit, as it improves your draws for future turns. Each one of these things alone can be a little tricky to figure out on your own, as well as to understand the significance of, but they're all pretty important concepts to Magic: the Gathering as a whole (except C, but that's sort of subsumed under D anyway) and it's nice that they're all tied together by this card. Terramorphic Exapnse and Evolving Wilds have been teaching newer players B and E from the Core Set, and I'm glad that the Core Set has a card like that, but I kind of wish fetch lands like these would get moved to the Core Set as well. Not just because they're really good, or because I wish I had a set, but because I honestly feel like the game would be better for everybody if lands like these were more visible.

Constructed- 4.5
Casual- 4
Limited- 3.5
Multiplayer- 4


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Onslaught (and now Khans of Tarkir) fetchlands

When I first heard that Khans of Tarkir would contain new printings of the fetchlands that originally appeared in Onslaught, I thought of many things. One was the scene in Futurama where Fry, having taken a job at the cryogenic lab, meets someone whofroze himself because he wanted to meet William Shakespeare and he "assumed time was cyclical". The second thing, and slightly less of a non sequitur, was a Mike Flores preview article for Onslaught back in 2002 where he revealed Wooded Foothills and explained that he thought the members of the cycle were the best dual lands since Alpha.

At the time, I didn't quite get what he meant by that, as I wasn't well-versed in the demands of tournament Magic. I soon figured it out. Everyone soon figured it out. Acting as extra copies (or as certainty of drawing) for Alpha dual lands was just the beginning, as their appearance on the Magic scene led to endless discussion and arguments about deck thinning, speed, and the cost of manabases. I fully expect that all of those will happen again, as it's been at least one "generation" of players since then. I fully expect it will be as loud and inconclusive as it was in 2003.

Years after Onslaught but years before Khans of Tarkir, Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar wrote an article on Wizards of the Coast's site about how "premium" dual lands will always be among the most expensive cards in a set, but casual players should try and get them anyway. I've also spent a lot of time thinking about who exactly cards like the fetchlands are truly essential for. If you're a high-level player, especially one interested in Modern, then yes, fetchlands are your first through tenth interest from Khans of Tarkir, and may yet turn out to be your only one. But if you're not that type of player, are you really going to get so much more enjoyment out of them than any other card? They're very cool cards, but their game impact is almost purely technical. If your interest in the game centers on other things, you may not even notice the statistical improvement in a two-color deck's performance over a number of games. If you just want to make a multicolored deck with some of your favorite cards and play with like-minded friends in a venue no more public than a cafeteria, there are a multitude of options that help you almost as much - no less than ten of which are in Khans of Tarkir itself.

Magic, much like life, is not a destination. It's a journey. The cards are the vehicle. Life is what happens between your untap step and your discard step, and if a card doesn't make your journey worthwhile, it doesn't need to be in your deck.

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 2/5
Multiplayer: 4/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's cards of the day are the return of the fetch lands from Onslaught which are for allied colored pairs of lands, cost one life and the sacrifice of the fetch land itself. The enemy paired lands from Zendikar will probably appear later in the block, but for now these five reprints will add quite a bit to the two and three color decks of current formats. These will definitely appear frequently in Standard and Modern settings and make the option of running a three color clan deck more viable.

In Limited getting one of these in Sealed that is a match for two useful colors is a major asset as it helps fix a shorted color and thin the deck for the small price of one life. In Booster it is a difficult choice for a first pick as it either locks you into at least one of the colors or sits as a rare draft in your sidedeck. If a color is one you hope to draft or it is outside of the first pack and is a match for your pool then it is an easier first pick.

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


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