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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!


Image from Wizards.com

 Wasteland
- Tempest

Reviewed February 23, 2016

Constructed: 4.25
Casual: 3.00
Limited: 2.50
Multiplayer: 3.50
Commander [EDH]: 3.50

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

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Card of the Day Reviews 


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Wasteland
 
I've never understood why some Magic players don't like basic lands. I know they're not as flashy or exciting as dual lands or triple lands or five color lands or lands that turn into creatures, but even if you don't appreciate the fact that they always get great art, you should be glad that nobody would ever consider printing a version of Wasteland that only targets basic lands. It's not as though the effect is entirely gone, either: Ghost Quarter and Encroaching Wastes provide less efficient but still potentially devastating versions, and From the Ashes shows that designers still see some value in having this kind of effect in settings like Commander.
 
I happen to agree with Mike Turian that Wasteland is an inherently fair card, if you define fair as limited. It provides a valuable tool to aggressive and tempo decks against polychrome toolbox and control decks, and is thus an agent of balance (even if you also consider it overpowered. Something can have more than one characteristic at a time). It also has the distinction of being a competitive staple that is often underwhelming in casual Magic: a budget-conscious environment may lack targets for it entirely, and even opponents with gaps in their collection such that they fetch basic lands with Wooded Foothills can turn it into a dead card. 
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 2/5
Limited: 2/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
EDH/Commander: 3/5
BMoor Wasteland

Like yesterday's card, Wasteland has traditionally represented a spike in the history of a certain effect's power level; in this case, land destruction. The most salient feature here is that, once again, this card can do its thing as early as turn one. Compare to a more modern, more "balanced" iteration, Tectonic Edge. Wasteland's destruction ability costs no mana to use and has no restriction to keep it from being used as early as possible.  But also consider that if you play a Wasteland as your land drop for the turn, and then use it to destroy an opponent's land, you're trading one land for another. Is that not a mutual disadvantage? Normally, it is, but effects that allow multiple land drops per turn and/or Crucible of Worlds can break the symmetry and leave your opponent mana starved and powerless to fight off your eventual victory. WotC has since decided that's not how a game of Magic is supposed to play out, and they've brought the power of land destruction down accordingly.

Constructed- 4.5
Casual- 4
Limited- 3
Multiplayer- 4
Commander- 4

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