With all five man lands in standard now, I wanted to express my opinion on how I feel about them. I am definatly a fan of them as they add a great twist to standard. We had Mutavault a few years ago in M14 and that saw a lot of play, for good reason. As far as these lands go, it seems they are just a small bonus to your deck. They don’t seem to get the full amount of time in the spotlight. So, I am going to give the standard man lands a little extra attention as I rate them.
Starting with #5, lets talk about Lumbering Falls. This guy is just in a bad position, Blue-Green is just not a great deck to be stuck in. Yes, he was in the Bring to Light deck I mentioned a couple weeks back. He was quite useless. In the amount of time that I used that guy, I only turned him into a creature a total of one time. Paying five mana for a 3/3 hexproof just was never worth it. I do think it can be a great addition to a deck if the right archetype comes into play. I’m not sure what we will see in the sets coming up, but I hope Lumbering falls can find a good home.
On to #4, This little lady would be Needle Spires. A 2/1 double strike has a lot of potential. Although 4 mana just to activate is a bit up there for me. This land seems that it wants to be in a deck full of pump spells and with requiring the resources of 5 lands to attack, that doesn’t leave much mana left to work with in those decks. Not to add that it only has 1 toughness makes it super easy to kill. Which would leave you with one less creature and one less land, not a good place to be. I feel that this is currently a better card to have in your deck over #5 above, not by much though.
The next two were close for me. In the end #3 goes to Hissing Quagmire. I really like the ability to activate for 3 mana and kill an attacker with its deathtouch. With only 2 toughness, it is still within range of a wild slash. The reason this guy was rated number three was that it only attacks for 2. If you are in the situation that you are trying to close out the game, 2 power makes for a long road to victory. With that said, if you are stalled out on board state, you might be able to get in for an extra two damage. The threat of loosing a creature and falling behind will allow this little creepy looking land to slip by it’s fair share of creatures.
In the #2 slot, Wandring Fumarole. As I said above, this was almost third place. Having the option to be on the defensive or switch things up and go for an extra four damage is very nice. Again, switching power and toughness can leave him open to easy land death. When I first saw this card during spoiler season, I thought it was just ok. The ability to switch P/T for no cost has turned out to be a great asset to my Blue-Red Prowess. When you have this on the table, you opponent won’t know if you are going to let is Survive or lets it die along with their creature. Lastly, I would like to say that this is my favorite art of all five.
Down to #1. My favorite man land in standard goes to Shambling Vent. This is not only fitting into multiple great deck archetypes, it is only three mana to activate. Three toughness gives it the second highest of the five. Plus, we get lifelink added on it as well. This land was an easy number one to my list. Allowing you to hit for a four point life swing is great. With it’s low cost to activate, it is a great defense against aggro decks. It also allows for activation and still having mana to cast a spell to protect it. I feel that this is a card that will see play all through out its life in standard.
There you have it, my opinion on these creature lands. I know that they are far behind the power level of the ones we got ion Worldwake, or the Mutavault we had a few years ago. With that said, I am still glad to see them now. I would love to hear what you think about my order. Do you feel differently about which order they should be in? Let me know in the comments below.