EDH Essentials - Utility Lands

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EDH Essentials - Utility Lands

Read Our Previous EDH Essentials - Artifact Staples!

When you are building an EDH deck, one thing is certain: you will be playing lands. A good mana base is the cornerstone of every deck. It assures that you can play your spells on time and do not have to worry about paying for multicolored cards.

However, lands are not only capable of adding mana. Some lands offer very unique, spell-like effects and thus rightfully earn the name “utility lands” and today I will be showcasing what we consider some of the essential ones.

We will start with High Market: a land that allows you to sacrifice a creature to gain one life. It does not sound that great, huh? How does one point of life matter? Well, you are right - it does not. What matters is that you can sacrifice creatures at will, just by tapping the Market. Here is a short list of common situations that High Market is good in:

  1. If your opponent wants to take control of one of your creatures, sacrifice it.
  2. If you take control of your opponent’s creature temporarily, sacrifice it.  
  3. If you want a creature to die for an effect, sacrifice it.  

Let me expand on the last point. Some EDH decks want their creatures to go to the graveyard. Sometimes to recur them, sometimes to get some sweet triggers, and often both.

However, it would be a shame if…

...someone messed with that graveyard. And Bojuka Bog can do that while also being a source of black mana. I am including this land in this list even though only black decks can play it. The reason is because if it only produced colorless mana, EVERY deck would play it. It is that good.

The ability to just exile your opponents’ entire graveyard is absurdly powerful against decks that rely on graveyard shenanigans - for example, it can ruin their gameplay of reanimation, Flashback, Delve and Dredge to name a few.

I am sure someone in your playgroup has a deck that abuses the graveyard in any way, so slotting in Bojuka Bog gives the sensation of nuking a graveyard and watching that player’s hand fill up with useless cards…

...which would not be that bad with a Reliquary Tower in play.

Having no maximum hand size is great in EDH, which is the format in which everyone is going big. Drawing ten or more cards at once is no rarity at all. And it feels great! What does not feel great is discarding down to seven at the end of your turn.

If you play some big draw spells, make sure to include Reliquary Tower, so you get access to all of your freshly drawn options.

It is easy to feel invincible with twenty cards in hand, until someone destroys the tower with...

...a Strip Mine! With all those great utility lands running around, it is also important to stop your opponents’. This land just does it so cleanly and efficiently. It can trade itself for any land that might be too threatening at the time, and there are many.

You can also be evil and mess with the mana of your opponents, maybe cutting them off a specific color or just reducing the mana they have available…

...which would be the perfect time for your opponent to have Thawing Glaciers. It is so good, you should run it as well. While the Glaciers are slow (flavor win!), with just one other land, you do not have to worry about drawing lands for the rest of the game. Simply activate it when you need a land!

In any slower deck this card can single-landedly (pun intended) fix your mana. We recommend you give it a try!

One last land to mention: Maze of Ith!

This land keeps your opponents' biggest creatures at bay - it usually stops a Voltron Commander from one-shot killing you. We think it's worth mentioning ;o)


Thanks for tuning in to this week’s EDH Essentials!

Written by Malte Smits

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