Trade Routes

Trade Routes


(1): Return target land you control to its owner's hand.

(1), Discard a land card: Draw a card.

Latest Decks as Commander

Trade Routes Discussion

bushido_man96 on Tatyova's Playground (Simic Landfall/Draw EDH)

2 days ago

Tatyova is a load of fun to play. I built around her with a Moonfolk subtheme, so I could bounce my lands to my hand for more land drops. Trade Routes is a fun card to go with Taty. Bounce a utility land, and discard for draw if you need it in a pinch. Great to drop a handful to draw a several cards the turn before The Mending of Dominaria goes off.

Vlasiax on Omnath, A Song of Creation and Chaos

4 weeks ago

Hello, I've recently started building my own landfall deck and I'd like to know your opinion about cards like Trade Routes and Excavation.

Trade Routes can allow a play, where you put a land that comes into play untapped (like e.g. basic land), tap it and bounce it back to hand. With 'you may play X additional lands on each of your turns' like Azusa you can with a single land create multiple landfall effects. On the other hand it can trade lands for additional cards and since there's lots of cards like Crucible of Worlds or Splendid Reclamation it can be a setup for a huge landfall abuse.

Excavation - basically I see it as a way to put some lands into graveyard for and explosive turn or maximum usage of multiple landfall triggers with e.g. Exploration + Ramunap Excavator. Not to mention this can dig down through some cards in library finding more lands and/or relevant spells.

JolieRouge1984 on GOLOS LANDS

1 month ago

Also would need to keep those land drops going with some coming and going of the lands. Cards like this that put Lands back to the hand, Trade Routes and cards like Walking Atlas that can put them right back out. other cards I would consider if the price is right. Prismatic Omen, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, Nyxbloom Ancient, Crucible of Worlds, Rites of Flourishing, etc. Good luck :)

MLS91 on Omnath, Locus of Creation

2 months ago

interesting build, I find that the Trade Routes and Soratami Cloudskater accomplish the same thing if you're looking for cuts, both expedition enchantments could be Cultivate/Reach, and the Recross Path could be any other ramp spell such as Nature's Lore. those are only the immediate suggestions I see. otherwise this is a pretty interesting build, what is it you're trying to utilize the most from omnath? mind giving my build a look over?

Cauldron of Creation

jaymc1130 on T&T Bloom Scepter [cEDH Primer]

3 months ago


The play patterns it consistently enables to allow extremely consistent development advantages is definitely the best upside to playing a Bloom Combo package. The cards are almost never dead in the way a Thassa's Oracle, Doomsday, or Aetherflux Reservoir can often be, don't slow down the speed with which the deck can employ it's primary combo lines, and provide an almost insurmountable board development lead in games that turn grindy and go long (which is most every game in competitive EDH settings these days given the crazy amount of cheap, effective interaction available for most of standard meta fast combo win lines).

Life from the Loam is a nice complementary piece to the concept and a card that fits in certain shells, but just lacks a suitable card slot in T&T variants due to the greater effectiveness of some of the hate pieces that provide more reliable boosts to win rate given the data we've collected. I still run Loam in the Tasigur shell variation of this concept, and would strongly recommend it's inclusion for any deck running this concept in strictly Sultai shells. I might also recommend it for Simic variations of this concept since the combo is less streamlined as it requires Trade Routes, Lotus Cobra, and often a land like Gaea's Cradle.

The concept was more of a group effort by my play group than a pure solo effort. I certainly had the initial idea for looping Summer Bloom, but as with most of the highly competitive stuff I post on Tapped Out the iterations that get posted are largely the product 4 minds that all played MTG at the professional level working together. The Inception concept was a similar idea that evolved within our playgroup as a means of besting a stale, stagnant competitive meta that's been rather lacking in innovation for the last few years. I'd love to be able to claim sole credit for the ideas, but that's just never been how things in our group have worked for most of the last 2 and a half decades. Tomik, Distinguished Advokist is our latest tech that we've been trying as a means of combating the insane effectiveness of the Bloom Combo concept, but not a card that holds much value when playing against less evolved standard competitive meta staples.

StopShot on Red card draw and how …

3 months ago

Thrill of Possibility, Light Up the Stage, Destructive Digger. In recent years the color red has become more and more engrossed with the concept of drawing cards perhaps more than any other color outside of blue. To some it may feel like a break in the color pie while others see it as boon for formats like commander. It's apparent that a balance needs to be struck so that red card draw remains an inferior counterpart to card draw of blue, but even so I do feel there are ways in which pre-existing card advantage could be improved upon to be more flexible.

((TL;DR - In this thread I'll present various red cards that offer card advantage, briefly describe the pros and cons and then offer a future-shifted variant of the card if that particular card draw mechanic were to ever be improved upon.))

Discard a card, Draw two cards.

ᴼʰ ˢᵘᶜʰ ᵖᵒʷᵉʳ ᶜʳᵉᵉᵖ

While there are many, many various other forms of this manner of red card draw it can be safe to say this is probably red's favorite form of card advantage. Effectively these cards typically read as, "this card and another card in your hand have cycling." as cards such these don't aim to increase the number of cards in your hand, but to simply take a chance at improving the cards in your hand. There are other benefits too such as purposely wanting to put certain cards in your graveyard to accrue additional value. However, because these cards never increase the number of cards in hand, running out of cards in hand is a real problem that can nullify this type of card advantage until your next draw step. It's also important to note that you can even risk throwing away a so-so card for worse cards in return. Cards like these also make themselves easy targets to get 2-for-1'd by counter spells.


Flexibility. While it may not be the most astounding of changes it does lend the player more choices when playing the game. If your hand is weak you can draw two cards and if your hand is strong you can draw one card instead. This card even makes itself useful if it’s the only card in hand. If I were to further improve upon this card I might add, "This spell can't be countered by spells and abilities" but that might be too much text for a common card. I could have also just given this card cycling instead, but that might make the card harder to put in non-cycling sets. It too, would also expand the amount of text on the card if you consider reminder text.

Repeatable Rummaging Ruffians.

When it comes to discard-draw on creatures there's a myriad of different ways it can be triggered or activated, but the common factor amongst them all is the exchange rate of one card discarded per one card drawn. Despite this the pros and cons to these creatures work much like their instant and sorcery counterparts. Their abilities won't work if you have no cards in hand nor do they actually ever increase the number of cards in hand. They simply provide any given card in your hand cycling. One additional issue however is these creatures can sometimes take a full turn cycle before they can use their effects unless if you give them haste.


First of all, Card B is meant to be an improvement of Rummaging Goblin though the same concept wouldn't be too hard to apply to cards such as Academy Raider or Reckless Racer. At first, I thought slapping haste onto these creatures would suffice enough, however; giving them an ETB rummage seemed more creative as you achieve the same end except if you have some extraneous source that provides haste you'd be able to double the effect just for the turn it comes in. As for the ability, I've maintained the same one card discarded per one card drawn ratio just in a more roundabout way. Essentially by activating the creature ability not only do you get a rummage, but you practically get your next draw step a turn earlier. Card parity is maintained as the second card discarded will be the one you will never draw on your next turn. As impatient as red is this seemed on point to me. I also believe this ability works better on permanents than instants and sorceries as its easier to remember to skip your draw step when you go to untap the permanent that caused it the following turn.

Exile, Execute, Extinguish.

ᴼʰ ˢᵘᶜʰ ᵖᵒʷᵉʳ ᶜʳᵉᵉᵖ

Discard-Draw isn't the only avenue red gets its card advantage. Exiling cards off the top of the library is practically no different than drawing the cards, except your opponents can see what's drawn and the cards have an expiration date, so it’s better to cast them fast. While this method may be even closer in theme to pure card draw its faults can make it more of an unpopular choice than the discard-draw route. The issue itself boils down to mana and speed. Red's most explosive in the early game, but in the early game mana is limited. If you have to cast a three mana card that exiles multiple cards that you can only cast for that turn the overall CMC of that spell is going to cost you in the 5 to 7 mana range and that's if your deck is built low to the ground which makes the effect horribly impractical in red's color theme. In order to fix the issue lots of liberties need to be made in order to make the effect practical on red's level such as making the exiled cards last until the end of your next turn and making the exile spell cost one mana like with Light Up the Stage. This sets up obnoxiously tight standards to meet when designing practical cards that utilize this effect. Not only that but you don't get to choose which cards are exiled whereas discard-draw gives you some choice as to what gets put in the graveyard. Furthermore, some cards create value when put into the graveyard, unlike the exile zone.


Choices. Instead of exiling two cards off the top of the library, two cards are drawn followed by exiling any two cards from the hand. Because the player can choose which cards get exiled, cards can only be cast from exile instead of being played. The difference is spells are treated as usual, but lands can no longer be played from exile. Lands are the easiest cards to play, thus not being able to play them from exile puts more weight on what cards you choose to put into exile. The card advantage effect was inspired by Faithless Looting. (That is if Faithless Looting was fixed and didn't allow you to dump busted cards into the graveyard.) As for the duration of how long cards can be cast from exile I also wanted to leave that up to choice. Red likes to attack a lot so an attack restriction impacts red more than any other color as you may have to choose between tempo or card advantage. While additionally putting a blocking restriction may seem weird it's important to note that if you choose not attack with your creatures they'll remain untapped which may make your opponent uncomfortable with attacking. Because your opponent can see what's in exile they too can try to force a choice out of you to their advantage. As I see it the cards in exile are pretty much treated as though they have Mardu Blazebringer's ability which is what has inspired this duration effect.

All or Nothing.

ᴼʰ ˢᵘᶜʰ ᵖᵒʷᵉʳ ᶜʳᵉᵉᵖ

Special shoutout to Bedlam Reveler. Similar to discarding a card to draw a card, this form of card draw instead works by discarding your entire hand just to draw two or three cards, because red is sometimes extreme like that. The main benefit to running these effects is if you’re able to use up all your cards naturally you won’t have a hand when one of these effects hit the table. Under this scenario you’d be drawing two or three cards with no strings attached which would be pretty good. The issue is playing without a hand means you can’t carry removal spells and it can make your plays all the more predictable for your opponent to counteract. It may also be difficult to use up all the cards in your hand in a speedy manner meaning it won’t be until much later in the game that you can fully utilize your draw effect. Given all the previous draw effects can be used much earlier in the game with little consequence this particular form of card draw seems to be not worth the inclusion unless it comes stapled onto a huge creature you can cheat out for two mana. With that said I’d like to create an improved form of Dangerous Wager. Back when this card was printed its only competitor was Wild Guess. (and Faithless Looting.) These two cards were roughly on equal power level to one another with their strengths balancing out, but now that Thrill of Possibility has been printed recently Dangerous Wager hardly has any benefits over it. This begs the question, how could Dangerous Wager be designed today to compete with Thrill of Possibility or Cathartic Reunion?


Dangerous Wager was the type of card you probably wouldn't cast turn 2 or turn 3 as you would risk major card disadvantage for very little pay off. In essence you'd want to play the card much later in the game where the pay off was either equal or advantageous. Just like Dangerous Wager, this card was constructed under the same mindset to be cast more preferably towards the later half of the game. The upside is if you have one or two cards in hand when this spell is cast you're guaranteed of keeping the cards. This provides the benefit of gaining better card advantage over Thrill of Possibility yet bearing the downside of not being able to cast it as early in the game.

Speaking of Random.

ᴰᵒᵉˢ ᵃⁿʸᵒⁿᵉ ᵃᶜᵗᵘᵃˡˡʸ ᵖˡᵃʸ ᵗʰᵉˢᵉ ᶜᵃʳᵈˢˀ

"Random" is a fickle word. It's all fun and games when the word random is forced on your opponents, but the word quickly loses it novelty when its applied to the caster. It's hard to picture many scenarios where any of these cards provide outstanding value. If you cast them with no cards in hand you're practically casting a cantrip that also self-mills you. Maybe with a full hand you could call it a free mulligan, but the only times I'd want to mulligan is if my hand has all lands or all spells. In either scenario you're probably not casting this card anyway. Perhaps if random was less random it could serve as a better free mulligan card?


Yes, its a bit of a word wall. The effect is simple so perhaps someone can come up with a cleaner way to shorten up the text? Essentially this is a draw three cards, then discard two cards at random. Except in this case you exile three cards at random, but you get to keep the one you like the most. Basically if there's one card you absolutely don't want to lose to the random effect, then you're guaranteed to keep it through this process. This makes the random process less random yet still beyond the caster's full control. I also chose to make the excluded cards go to the bottom of the library instead of the graveyard. The reason for this is to prevent the card from being too similar to Faithless Looting which is banned in Modern and to make it more similar to scrying or the card Fire Prophecy. Another interesting thing to note about this custom card is if you have no cards in hand this card becomes Anticipate but in red. Please keep in mind though that having no cards in hand is a pretty strong drawback as this card for the most part will be much less reliable than it if you have cards in hand.

Who Needs Lands Anyway?

Special shoutout to Countryside Crusher. Red really likes land destruction, so why not draw cards off of destroying your own lands? This effect is probably the most inconsistent out of all the red draw effects. While the concept is solid, getting it to work in practice largely seems to be a work in progress. I suppose the blue standard for this type of effect is best represented by Trade Routes and Compulsive Research interestingly enough.


Since Tectonic Reformation is a red version of Trade Routes I thought I would make a red version of Compulsive Research as the card doesn't seem like too much of a stretch for red to imitate. While Card F may seem very simple for a rare, I think drawing three cards at instant speed would be pretty strong. Unlike Compulsive Research your discard payment option is limited to discarding the land card only, and you have to discard the land card first before you can even draw any cards. (With Compulsive Research you'd likely draw into the land card you'd discard anyway.) Making this card cost two more mana to draw one more additional card from Magmatic Insight also seems to align well too I think.

Closing Remarks

Anyway, that's about all I had planned. I did want to make a card to represent the Wheel of Fortune cycle consisting of Wheel of Fortune, Wheel of Fate and Magus of the Wheel but that effect is so incredibly strong that I can't really think of a reasonable way to nerf it while still having it be practical in a two player game. If I do think of something I'll probably add a Card G to this thread. Regardless, do you think any cards are too strong or too weak? What card would you really want to see be included into the game?

jaymc1130 on

3 months ago

Oh yeah, Trade Routes has been a card I've loved for a long time. I've played it in so many decks I can't even remember them all. I very much remember wishing the card had been legal when Mirari's Wake was a top tier deck because I felt like it would have been a strict upgrade over Compulsion in most games since I was often discarding excess lands, but Masques had rotated and it would be a while until it got it's first reprint in 8th Edition. Super nifty card in certain situations and once the Mystic Sanctuary land cycle got printed it became some very spicy tech indeed for edh in both competitive and casual settings.

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