Dear Fetch lands,
I know that we have both seen this coming for a while now. The time that we have had together has been great and has brought me to new places. The introduction of the Battle lands allowed me to do things that I never thought I would get to do. I have enjoyed being able to play with more then three colors in a single deck and still have a great mana base. But, as all great things come, they must too leave. No, its not you, its me. You are the type of land that likes to play with eternal formats. I don’t want to hold you back. I am only able to hold on to cards for 18 months now and you deserve better. I hope that we can still be friends. I also hope to see you around in the future.
The Standard Format
This is the last week that we will be able to enjoy the great mana base that we have all come to love. The Fetch lands will be rotating out of standard one week from today. So be sure to get those last few games of constantly shuffling your deck and cutting your opponents decks. it is all coming to an end. I would like to take this time to look back at the Fetch lands in standard. Then take a look at what we have to look forward to as the Shadowlands come in as a replacement.
The Fetch lands came into standard with Khans of Tarkir. This allowed us to fetch while playing with Theros and M15. In a world filled with devotion and heroics, the Fetch lands where merely a way to filter out lands. at the time thay did not play well with the Scry lands and therefore forced us to keep the Fetch lands to just the colors of our basic lands. Time had passed and we rolled right through the Khans block and found our way into a format that was diverse enough to allow for mono-color aggressive decks up to three color control. Each one being equally competitive.
Then came along the return to Zendikar and the Battle lands. Almost immediately we were thrown into a four-color format. Players are able to play with what ever great cards they wanted. Black Jeskai, Abzan Blue, Five-Color Bring to Light; what ever you want to call it, you can play it. Although we have the option to play what ever colors/cards we want to, it came down to only a few top tier decks. It goes to show that when we are given the option to play all the best cards with little draw back… well, that is exactly what you get. Standard decks became more costly then Modern decks. But, that is all coming to an end in only a weeks time.
What do we have to look forward to as we return to a world without fetch lands. To start, we will be able to use the new Shadowlands. How good are these lands and how do they compare. It is obvious that they don’t compare to Fetch lands. They don’t filter out the lands in our decks. They don’t give us the option of shuffling. Not to mention that they aren’t that good at smoothing out our mana. To top it off, the Shadowlands are very likely going to enter the battlefield tapped.
So, What do the Shadowlands do for us? Let me start by saying that this is strictly my opinion on how I feel they will work. We only get to play with the friendly colors when it come to these new dual lands. This works well with the Battle lands as they too are the friendlies. The Shadow lands enter the battle field tapped unless you reveal a matching land type. For example, Port Town can tap for white or blue and enters untapped unless you reveal a Plains or Island from your hand when you play it. It just so happens that Prairie Stream is both a Plains and an Island.
I feel that these lands, with the lands that remain in standard, will allow for a very healthy two-color format. We will be left with two land cycles for each two-color pair. Friendly colors will have the Battle lands and Shadowlands while enemy colors get Pain lands and Man lands. We know Wizards does a great amount of testing to keep Standard a fun format for both old and new players. With how these lands interact with the previous lands, and the options that we will get, I feel wizards did well. I for one am excited to go back to a two color, maybe a bit of three-color, format. I would love to here your thoughts on the new mana base. So leave a comment below and let me know. Until next time, good luck on the battlefield.