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Jeff Zandi is a five time pro tour veteran who has been playing Magic since 1994. Jeff is a level two DCI judge and has been judging everything from small local tournaments to pro tour events. Jeff is from Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, where his upstairs game room has been the "Guildhall", the home of the Texas Guildmages, since the team formed in 1996. One of the original founders of the team, Jeff Zandi is the team's administrator, and is proud to continue the team's tradition of having players in every pro tour from the first event in 1996 to the present.

 

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This Space For Rent

The Southwestern Paladin
Shock Lands
Ravnica's New Dual Lands Are The Best in Ten Years
August 19th, 2005 by Jeff Zandi

Dual lands are coming back to Magic: the Gathering. Ever since the original dual lands were discontinued after the Revised Edition, players have waited for a solution to their multi-colored mana needs. Wizards of the Coast has tried many concepts to create lands that can create multiple colors of mana without reprinting the original very powerful dual lands. After many attempts, the most important perhaps being the "friendly colored" pain lands
originally printed in Ice Age and the "unfriendly colored" pain lands originally printed in Apocalypse. On Thursday, Wizards of the Coast unveiled
one of the new dual lands that will appear in Ravnica: City of Guilds when it is released on October 7th.

Here is the link to that article from www.magicthegathering.com

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/arcana/887

This land is called Temple Garden and it taps for either green or white mana. As Temple Garden comes into play, you may pay two life. If you don't, Temple Garden comes into play tapped instead.

This land, and the nine others that we will all soon learn more about, are very versatile and provide the best reusable multi-colored mana sources since the original dual lands!

There is more to talk about the new dual lands and the place that they will hold in the game of Magic in the future. Meanwhile, while you're letting the image and game text of the new dual land sink in, here's a look back at some of the notable attempts that Wizards of the Coast has made to come up with something almost as good as the original dual lands.

EARLY ATTEMPTS TO REPLACE DUAL LANDS

Ice Age became the first large scale expansion to Magic: the Gathering, at least in the sense that sets are now defined, when it arrived in the Fall of 1995. Ice Age featured five lands that would go on to become known universally as "pain lands". These five lands, one for each of the allied colored mana pairings, could tap for either of two colors of mana while doing one point of damage to you. Each of these lands could also be tapped for colorless mana without causing you any damage. These five lands included Adarkar Wastes, Karplusan Forest, Sulfurous Springs, Brushland and Underground River. These pain lands were not immediately popular, but were widely adopted once the original dual lands were no longer allowed in Standard Constructed (Type II). It is interesting to note that Ice Age also included Land Cap and four other allied mana colored "Depletion Lands". Land Cap came into play untapped and could be tapped for either white or blue mana, after which a Depletion counter was placed on the land. At the beginning of your turn, lands with Depletion counters do not untap, but do have one Depletion counter removed from it. In other words, the depletion lands didn't do damage to you, but could only be tapped for mana once every other turn. In the first Pro Tour, in January 1996, all of the top eight decklists included multiple Ice Age pain lands but none of the unpopular depletion lands.

In the Fall of 1996, Mirage introduced the first lands known as "fetch lands". These lands came into play tapped. Once untapped, each of these five fetch lands could be tapped and sacrificed to search your library for one of two allied basic land types. Flood Plain, for example, could be sacrificed to find either an Island or a Plains and put that card directly into play, after which you shuffled your library. The five fetch lands printed in Mirage were limited to the five allied mana color combinations, blue/white, white/green, green/red, red/black and black/blue. The exciting thing about these cards was that they could be used to retrieve the original dual lands from your library, since the original dual lands are considered each of two different basic land types (though the dual land was not a basic land itself).

Although pain lands were introduced to the Magic world in the Fall of 1995, it would five and a half years before the non-allied mana combinations would have pain lands for them. In the late Spring of 2001, Apocalypse arrived with pain lands for blue/green, green/black, black/white, white/red and red/blue.

A year later, Onslaught introduced a new kind of "fetch land" in the Fall of 2002. Onslaught featured five new fetch lands including Wooded Foothills, Windswept Heath, Polluted Delta, Flooded Strand and Bloodstained Mire. Each of these lands come into play untapped. Each can be sacrificed, along with the cost of one life point, to search your library for one of two different land types. That land is then put directly into play untapped. Like the fetch lands from Mirage many years before, the Onslaught fetch lands are also capable of retrieving the original dual lands from your deck. For players of more modern constructed formats, the value of the Onslaught fetch

lands was two-fold. First, you could access one of two different land types with just one card. Fetching for the land helped to thin your deck, so that a turn one fetch land sacrificed to put a land into play on turn one had the effect of reducing your deck size by one card, making it somewhat more likely for you to draw your important non-land cards. These fetch lands also have an advantage against aggressive land destruction decks, since these fetch lands could be sacrificed in response to any attempt made to destroy the fetch land.

RAVNICA'S SHOCK LANDS BEST DUAL LANDS SINCE THE ORIGINALS

When I first saw the Temple Garden card on the Magic website yesterday, I didn't bother to read all the text, I only saw that the land tapped for green or white mana and that you took two points of damage when you first played the land. Learning that I could have this land come into play tapped if I didn't want to take any damage only made me love this card more. There is a time when I am usually very happy to have my land come into play tapped. This moment comes in every game I play. I call that moment TURN ONE.

Yes, sometimes you have a Llanowar Elves card or a Birds of Paradise or some

other card you need to play on turn one, but when you don't have a need for turn one mana, go ahead and get one of your new dual lands into play tapped and save yourself two points of damage. All you are risking is the knowledge that you give your opponent that you aren't going to do anything on turn one. I don't think this is a big problem most of the time.

Ah, but what to call these amazing new lands. A Texas Magic player I know named Brandon Borowicz coined the term "Shock Lands" since these lands essentially shoot you in the face with a two point Shock spell when you put them into play untapped. I can't say for sure that he invented the term himself, but I think he did. I think shock lands is a good name because its not a name you will confuse with fetch lands or pain lands. Of course, in a year or so, I think these cards will simply be called dual lands.

Today, we only have Temple Garden to look at, but there are nine more of these dual lands to look forward to. The strange thing is, the rumor mill says that these cards will be released across all three sets of the Ravnica block. According to those "in the know", four of the new dual lands will be released in Ravnica: City of Guilds. These four include the green/white Temple Garden (of course), green/black Overgrown Tomb, red/white Sacred Foundry and blue/black Watery Grave. According to these sources, Guildpact will bring us the black/white, red/green and red/blue dual lands in February while the black/red, blue/green and blue/white dual lands will arrive in the late Spring's release of Dissention.

I believe these new lands make the future of constructed Magic very bright indeed. I personally think that introducing all ten of the dual lands in Ravnica: City of Guilds would make the most sense, I can understand Wizards' desire to put chase cards in all three sets of the Ravnica block. These new dual lands are going to be great for players. Aggressive decks will not mind taking the damage early in the game to get several dual lands into play.  Control players will have many opportunities to play their dual lands tapped

when necessary to preserve their precious life point total. These lands offer real answers to all types of play while providing the best multi-colored sources of mana since the original dual lands of 1994.

Of course, I'd love to find out what YOU think!

Jeff Zandi
Texas Guildmages
Level II DCI Judge
zanman@thoughtcastle.com

Zanman on Magic Online
 

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