What has been your experience with Extraplanar Lens?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Jan. 20, 2017, 7:46 a.m. by MagicalHacker

What has been your experience with Extraplanar Lens? I'm considering adding it to a mono-white deck, but is it better than Gilded Lotus or Thran Dynamo? Is it worth the risk of turning my opponents' Naturalizes into Stone Rains?

Also, does it bother anyone that one single card makes it advantageous to always run snow-covered basics, regardless of whether or not you're a mono colored deck AND whether or not you are playing the Lens?

griffstick says... #2

I have had good and bad. The less spiky groups it tends to be great. And the more spiky groups it's the worst. I've played it several times at my kitchen table group and it sticks for the most part the entire game. In the store where they are spiky I've had it destroyed 3 times in one game. Getting lands exiled with it really sucks. Really sets you back.

January 20, 2017 8:52 a.m.

eeee1994 says... #3

I think by virtue of the fact that white is usually considered a weaker color in edh, the lens doesn't have nearly as big a downside for you since there are so few mono white decks. If I were to use it in a monoblue deck I would probably want a counterspell and to be able to somehow win on the next turn.

January 20, 2017 9:26 a.m.

Nihil80 says... #4

In general, my experience with this thing has been bad. It's a prime target for boomerangs and the like, and cyclonic rift type effects hit it as well. Then there are all the artifact hate spells, etc. It's never been worth it in my experience. Caged Sun is a better all around, but if you have thran dynamo or gilded lotus i would (and do) use them over the lens any day.

January 20, 2017 11:33 a.m.

Ohthenoises says... #5

I usually use it in my Azami deck as High Tide #2. Only good for the turn that I'm winning. I usually don't expose it to removal.

I used to run a more casual Omnath combo deck that focused on Primal Surge so getting to 10 mana by T1 dork, T2 omnath/lens/etc was the way to win

January 20, 2017 1:24 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #6

I think ultimately, I won't be running it because of the fact that it costs 3 mana and the loss of a land to only benefit my basics, which deincentivizes me from playing lots of utility lands, which is a lot of the power that monocolored decks have in comparison to multicolored decks. If I lose a Gilded Lotus, I go back to where I was before, but losing Extraplanar Lens means I lose a land too. Yuck.

January 20, 2017 1:40 p.m.

Phaetion says... #7

Unless you're up against another colorless deck, I find that removing a Wastes for the Lens is a nice way for you to benefit. It works kind of like Caged Sun in that only you will really benefit from it.

January 20, 2017 2:07 p.m.

RedUndead40 says... #8

I run it in all 3 of my mono colored decks. And I dont run snow lands. Love the card. Totally worth giving an opponent a few extra mana or making a juicy target on my board if my mono white deck can cast a 6 drop turn 4. Thats sol ring power right there.

January 20, 2017 2:18 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #9

In that regard, I think it's not unreasonable to say that Worn Powerstone is a safer card that also gets you to 6 mana on turn 4.

January 20, 2017 3:46 p.m.

RedUndead40 says... #10

Thats true but I generally run both haha. I dont know. At least in my meta it proves to do much more good than harm.

January 20, 2017 6:33 p.m.

Eiti3 says... #11

I love E-lens. I've found that in mono-colored decks it is extremely valuable, but only if those decks run a majority of basic lands. However, I'm used to basic lands in most of my decks because I have that one friend who runs Ruination and other like cards.

As for keeping E-lens alive, I've maybe had someone target it less times than I can count on both hands, in the few years I've been playing, both cEDH and casual. If you're in cEDH, then I'd recommend some sort of protection seeing as that artifact won't be the only one getting targeted; otherwise, I think it's great in casual play, especially if you play politics and help someone else out with it to buy you protection.

January 20, 2017 8:01 p.m.

iAzire says... #12

I absolutely love the card. It is a great mana doubler that only exiles one land. Typically you won't be missing that one land even after it gets returned to hand or destroyed. Rarely do you not get at least one turn of ramp. Mox Diamond is a format staple and does something similar. Obviously Mox Diamond can be dropped Turn 1 while Extraplanar Lens is a bit harder to get out, but I believe both are very good.

One land in Exile isn't significant, and rarely if ever is it relevant. I don't think I have ever regretted running Extraplanar Lens in my Mono decks. Even a 3 drop "double your mana until end of turn" is a big weapon. Typically it sees multiple turns of play which only further increases value. I am a big mana whore though and I run Caged Sun and Gauntlet of Power as well.

I would say, Extraplanar Lens is better to run than Gauntlet of Power. Majority of the time, only you will benefit from Lens, maybe a random person also running Snow-Covered Basics. Gauntlet of Power helps EVERYONE in your color regardless of what Basics they are running, at 2 additional mana.

It doesn't bother me at all that Snow-Covered Basics are the most competitive Basic Lands. I talk to people about this all the time. I don't understand why everyone doesn't run Snow-Covered. All of my decks run Snow-Covered Basics regardless of whether I am running Extraplanar Lens.

It is a bit different in 1v1 formats like French or Tiny Leaders, but in Multiplayer Snow-Covered Basics are the best Basics you can run. There isn't a significant difference running either, and most of the time you won't notice the difference, but when someone does play Extraplanar Lens, they are playing Snow-Covered. You get benefit for nothing.

Everybody brushes off my idea of running Snow-Covered in all of my decks, until that game where someone plays the Lens. Come on people, play Snow-Covered!! What do you have to lose!?

January 23, 2017 9:21 a.m.

MagicalHacker says... #13

Yeah the fact that snow-covered lands are always a nonzero percent better than normal basics is kinda upsetting to me. How messed up is it that there exists a "best basic land"?

January 23, 2017 11:02 a.m.

iAzire says... #14

I don't think it's messed up at all. There are always best cards, having a best Basic makes sense.

I think it makes it especially nice because you always have the same art, that can be a pain to match all of your normal Basics. Personally I use Coldsnap Basics, but you could use Ice Age.

Snow-Covered are cheap anyway. Especially for multicolored decks that only need a few of each. It gets to be a bit more for Mono, depending on how many Basics you run. Shouldn't be more than around $40. Some are slightly more expensive than others, based simply off of how common those Mono decks are.

January 23, 2017 1:36 p.m.

RedUndead40 says... #15

I also think snow covered basics shouldnt be a thing. Maro has stated before that one of the major rules for lands is that they shouldn't be strictly better than a normal basic, and snow covered lands fall in that category.

January 23, 2017 2:05 p.m.

iAzire says... #16

Snow-Covered lands technically are NOT strictly better.

I gave my personal opinion of why I think they are better. They are needed to take advantage of other cards like Scrying Sheets but they also open you up to hate like Skred. These just being one example each of benefit and risk.

I feel the benefit outweighs the risk as Snow-Covered hate is reasonably low in EDH decks. In no way are they a 100% upgrade though. Thus Snow-Covered Basics do not fall under the category of being "strictly better" than normal Basics.

January 23, 2017 2:39 p.m.

Lame_Duck says... #17

Well, with regard to Extraplanar Lens, Snow-Covered lands aren't strictly better. The better land is the one that fewer other people are playing. If everyone else is playing Snow-Covereds, then normal basics are a better choice to pair with the Lens.

January 23, 2017 2:47 p.m.

iAzire says... #18

That is what it Boils down too.

I've seen many people playing 3-color decks that run half normal basic and half Snow-Covered basic.

For example, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician running 1 Forest, 1 Plains, 1 Island, 1 Snow-Covered Forest, 1 Snow-Covered Plains, and 1 Snow-Covered Island.

It is all dependant upon who you are playing and which they are using. Like RedUndead40 said, they use regular Basics. As I use all Snow-Covered in my decks, I would never benefit from their Extraplanar Lens.

Wake of Destruction can work either way. It simply targets the lands you aren't using.

Freyalise's Radiance also hammers down hard on Snow-Covered.

It is for these reasons that Snow-Covered are not a strictly better Basic Land. I believe they are better as most people don't include them and/or pack hate for them. My Meta allows me to take advantage of them without drawback, but somebody could easily hate me out of a game.

January 23, 2017 3:04 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #19

True, but even the fact that the best thing to do is to go 50% is kinda messed up. If the Lens instead said "each basic land with the same subtype" instead of "each land with the same name", I think this whole problem could have been avoided.

January 23, 2017 3:27 p.m.

RedUndead40 says... #20

If your meta allows you to take advantage of that snow keyword without drawback then they are strictly better than a normal basic. Id guess that less than 1% of metas run snow hate so they are about as close as you can get to being strictly better (outside of you, Command Tower >_>)

January 23, 2017 3:31 p.m.

iAzire says... #21

MagicalHacker How would it be relevant in other formats? Then it is just a Basic mana doubler and would become largely irrelevant in any format that allows more than one of each card.

It can double the mana of any land card, it is only used with Basics in EDH/Commander because those are the only land cards we can have multiples of.

RedUndead40 That is if the Meta allows it. Going to a tournament, you don't know what people will run, including hate for as many different strategies as possible is a good idea.

There is also the example I used earlier, if I am playing against you, you run Extraplanar Lens with normal Basics. I don't run any normal Basics, so that makes normal Basics strictly better when playing against you or someone like you.

Neither can be determined as being strictly better before knowing what your opponent is running. The reason I run Snow-Covered in all of my decks is because when people run Extraplanar Lens they typically run Snow-Covered, thus when my opponent plays it, they don't get any benefit that I dont also receive. Which Basics you run can go either way, but there are more cards that specifically hate Snow-Covered Permanents, thus opening you to that hate.

January 23, 2017 3:50 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #22

A note on the example above a lot of times people will run one of each basic and one of each snow basic out of consideration of cards like Tainted Pact (obviously not in derevi's case but not the point) that care about not hitting two cards named the same. There are a few out there so it IS a thing

January 23, 2017 4:32 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #23

Well is the Lens used anywhere on nonbasic lands?

January 23, 2017 5:18 p.m.

iAzire says... #24

Honestly I don't know as I play EDH, French, Tiny Leaders, and Pauper. With a little Standard thrown in. So the only formats I play where it is legal are Singleton.

I expect it's used a fair bit as Wizards saw it fit to give it a Masterpiece printing. I don't think it's actually common enough in EDH for the reprint if that is the only format it's played in.

I can't speak on other areas, but in my area it's rare to even see Extraplanar Lens. It isn't even a 100% include in the Mono decks in my area. This could be due to price, I'm not sure. It is of course far cheaper to not run Extraplanar Lens with Snow-Covered Basics. Normal Basics are free at any card shop, and the Lens by itself is like $15-20 I believe.

What I do notice though, is that it will work with any land. At 3 mana it is an early drop. So I expect it does get play in other formats.

It was printed in the Aether Revolt Masterpieces that is significantly lacking in cards played in Commander. So it either fits the pattern of the rest of them, or it was included to give Commander players something to be excited about in the second batch of Inventions.

January 23, 2017 6:13 p.m.

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