Shock/Fetch Lands

Economics forum

Posted on June 1, 2014, 2:08 p.m. by Kodiax

One thing I keep getting surprised about is why Shock lands and Fetch lands are so expensive. Things like Godless Shrine and Overgrown Tomb allow you to get land quickly if necessary, but they deal damage to you. Others, like Flooded Strand and Polluted Delta allow you to go hunting for one of two basic lands, at the cost of a life. These cards are worth double digits, even hundreds sometimes! Why are they so expensive, when things like Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds allow you to do it better (and leave your life total in peace), are penny cards? What gives?!

krushul says... #2

For one, Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds bring the basics in tapped.

June 1, 2014 2:13 p.m.

kungfuturtle says... #3

"comes into play tapped" and "basic land"

that is why Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds are cheap

also there is a MASSIVE demand for the Zeni Fetches

and the Onslaught Fetches are old

June 1, 2014 2:13 p.m.

Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds only tutor up a basic land and it ETB tapped. Arid Mesa can fetch any land with Mountain or Plains in it's subtype, and doesn't ETB tapped.

Lands that ETB tapped are generally horrible as you loose tempo by not being able to use them the turn they're played. Plus, being able to tutor a Shock or dual like Taiga is awesome for your mana base.

June 1, 2014 2:14 p.m.

Epochalyptik says... #5

Because Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds don't do it better.

Life is a resource. If you're willing to pay life, you get access to a lot of power. Shocks and fetches are expensive because they give instant access to multiple colors. The shocks are dual lands that can come in untapped if necessary, and they can be fetched because they have basic land types.

The fetches function as whatever land you need them to be because their ability will get that land for you. They're better than running extra copies of a given land because they function as extra copies of every land in your deck, and they give you the one you need most at the time. Additionally, fetches can grab any land in your deck with basic land types, not just basic lands. Whereas Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds can only find five different lands (ten if you count snow basics), the fetches can find those lands plus shocks plus ABUR duals plus special lands with BLTs (see: Moonring Island , Murmuring Bosk ). Additionally, the fetches get your lands untapped, which means you don't lose tempo.

June 1, 2014 2:16 p.m.

Epoch speaks eloquently as always :-)

June 1, 2014 2:21 p.m.

GoldGhost012 says... #7

Because the only point of life that matters is literally the last. You can spend as much life as you want as long as you don't lose the last point of life.

Shock lands actually aren't very expensive right now; they used to be $30 apiece before they were reprinted. Fetches are actually quite inflated at the moment, with Modern season and such high demand for out-of-print cards.

Their price is much higher than other cards like Terramorphic Expanse because of the massive amount of advantage they generate. Yes, shock cause you to lose 2 life if they come into play untapped, but that gives you a choice of 2 colors you can use on Turn 1. That's very good, much better than a basic land. Plus, unlike other dual lands like Rootbound Crag , the shock lands are also categorized as Mountains and the like. That allows them to be fetched by cards like Farseek that the other duals can't be fetched with. on their own, shock lands make 3-color decks much more efficient and viable.

Fetch lands create even more advantage than shocks, and FAR more than Evolving Wilds or Terramorphic Expanse . Those commons can only fetch BASIC lands, and put them into play untapped. Fetch lands, on the other hand, can grab any land with the subtype printed. So a Misty Rainforest can fetch not only a Island or a Forest, but also a Hallowed Fountain , Overgrown Tomb , or Steam Vents . Also unlike the commons, the fetches put the fetched lands into play UNTAPPED. Once again, that creates a lot of advantage, especially in competitive matches when turn 1 plays can actually make or break your game.

June 1, 2014 2:23 p.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #8

Because together they provide a perfect mana base and allow for you to include more other lands. I run 8 fetches and 2x Overgrown Tomb and 1x Snow-Covered Forest thus leaving a ton of other slots available for things like Treetop Village and Twilight Mire or Tectonic Edge . Truthfully that is a padded splash. All I really need is 1x Overgrown Tomb with 8 fetches and I can make things work.

June 1, 2014 4:03 p.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #9

I agree with the above too... Life is a resource, most of the time when u pay it, it's for a clear advantage and advantage is how u win. It doesn't matter if ur life is at 1 or 1000 when u win, just that u win.

shameless self plug....

They Exist to Cease -Suicide Black- Playtest

Modern* APPLE01DOJ


June 1, 2014 4:05 p.m.

@Kodiax: I know its been said, but it was within a wall of text, so maybe you missed it.

If you read fetches, you see that they say they can bring out one of two land types. Misty Rainforest (to copy the other guy, sorry other guy) says you can sacrifice it and bring out an island or a forest.

If you look at the shock lands, you see that some of them have the type forest, or island. (Steam Vents , Hallowed Fountain , Breeding Pool , Watery Grave , Stomping Ground , etc...)

Because of that, those shock lands can be pulled up with the fetch land, allowing you immediate access to the colors you need to be explosive.

June 1, 2014 4:12 p.m.

xlaleclx says... #11

LOL is this a joke? I can't even tell

June 1, 2014 4:28 p.m.

Since Zendi fetch lands say enters untapped, so you still have to pay the 2 life for the shock land to enter untapped if you fetched for it??

July 8, 2014 8:36 p.m.


Because the shocks enter tapped unless you pay two life.

Also, they dont say they enter untapped, they just say to put it onto the battlefield.

Marsh Flats

July 8, 2014 9:04 p.m.

cr14mson says... #14

One of the biggest signs of a new/amateur player is thinking you have 20 life. You only have 1, the last point. The rest (19) is just another untapped resource better put to use.

July 9, 2014 12:50 a.m.

Ah ok. Thanks. Just was working on my Modern Mill and trying to decide if I should pick up 4 Watery Grave s once I get the rest of my Misty Rainforest s

July 9, 2014 1:04 p.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #16

U don't need 4. :)

July 9, 2014 1:19 p.m.

You don't think so? Why not?

July 9, 2014 9:22 p.m.

xlaleclx says... #18

You definitely do need 4

July 9, 2014 11:43 p.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #19

Because I responded before checking out your deck.

I thought u were running more than 4 fetches. If u run about 8 fetches u really only need 2 shocks.

July 10, 2014 1:16 a.m.

This discussion has been closed