Tap Lands

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on March 26, 2024, 11:11 p.m. by vasarto77

Lands that come into play tapped. I use to play with them a long time ago, but I have long abandoned them. I think they are too slow and cost you a whole turn of having another mana. But, I keep seeing people use them regardless. Am I missing something? Are tapped lands better than I think?

CrimsonKing says... #2

In my opinion they’re pretty bad. If they have really good utility like the surveil lands or triomes I think they’re okay.

March 27, 2024 1:59 a.m.

legendofa says... #3

There are two main reasons I can see people using taplands.

First, they're generally very affordable. Some people can't or don't want to spend lots of money on their decks. Maybe they want to keep it below a certain budget, or they don't want to put in individual lands that are worth more than the rest of their deck combined.

Second, some do have some special utility. The Ravnica bounce lands, like Simic Growth Chamber, have a specific place in stuff like Cultivator Colossus combos and similar decks. Axgard Armory offers hard-to-counter tutoring, Hall of the Bandit Lord grants haste, Triomes are some of the most reliable color fixers not named Command Tower, and so on.

Yeah, taplands are slow, but they're cheap and easy to find, and there are plenty that do things besides make mana. They get outclassed quickly, but sometimes they're the right level of budget and utility for what a deck wants.

March 27, 2024 1:59 a.m.

griffstick says... #4

I've got a few things to say.

First, not every turn uses all the mana you have. Playing tapped lands on turns you will not use all the mana isn't a problem at all.

Secondly, if the land provides an ability that fills a slot in your deck, it's worth it. For instance I play Mosswort Bridge in my mono green power matters decks here. You need to think of lands that do things like this, as a spell in addition to a land.

March 27, 2024 10:46 a.m. Edited.

sergiodelrio says... #5

Khalni Garden is one of the best tapped lands. 100% agree with griffstick and legendofa, if you have lands with a relevant etb ability they basically become an extra spell and are totally worth entering tapped. Also, solid balancing tool. Obviously in eternal formats the ceiling is much higher, so there is a variance in what can pass as good in certain contexts and environments

March 27, 2024 10:59 a.m. Edited.

griffstick says... #6

Also there's a few lands that don't add mana that are particularly good like Maze of Ith and Glacial Chasm.

March 27, 2024 12:15 p.m. Edited.

Gidgetimer says... #7

Unconditional untapped lands are obviously better than a land that does the same thing and either has conditions on entering untapped or just enters tapped. However; as others have said extra abilities on the tapped lands may bump up their usefulness and good play patterns will also mitigate the downside of lands entering tapped.

There are two additional points I wanted to bring up. Depending on if you are considering conditional tapped lands in what you are calling "tapped lands", the conditions of some of these lands are ridiculously easy to meet and can be counted as untapped mana fixers. Most decks are not optimized to the point where 10-20% of your mana base coming in tapped is going to be the thing slowing the deck down.

I have a rather highly tuned Chulane deck and I run Checks and Slow Lands in it. I have never once been in a scenario where it mattered. I have enough lands with types that the Checks will most likely come in untapped. A single Shock (and therefore a single Fetch) makes all three come in untapped. A keepable hand in the deck will include a minimum of 2 lands, more likely 3. So either the slow lands are in my starting hand and can be planned around, or they will come in untapped.

If a decks average CMC is above 3.5 the deck is already slow enough that a few tapped lands aren't going to be the major thing contributing to the deck being slow and the fixing provided may smooth out the play patterns enough that it actually speeds the deck's plan up. Even in the 3.0-3.5 average MV range there are probably other considerations that will speed the deck up more for the same monetary investment in the deck.

March 27, 2024 8:22 p.m.

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