Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Hideaway in Magic
Each of Magic's five factions has a corresponding land with the hideaway trait. They enter tapped, so you'll have to wait to access their mana, but on arrival, they let you look at the top four cards of your deck, exile one face-down, and place the rest on the bottom of your deck in any order.
Each land has a unique condition to meet, and once achieved, you can tap it while spending one mana to play your exiled card for free, avoiding the trouble of both drawing and casting it. That's a powerful advantage, but some of the conditions are easier to attain than others—which reign supreme? Here are the five best (and only) hideaway lands in Magic: The Gathering!
5. Howltooth Hollow
Like its counterparts, Hollow enters tapped, but exiles one of your deck's top four cards and lets you potentially play it later for free (well, after spending one mana to activate the effect). When looking at your four cards, you'll normally want to choose the one with the highest mana cost to get the biggest return.
Admittedly, Hollow's condition can be tough to swing, requiring all players to have zero cards in hand. While black specializes in discard effects, that's still a tricky requirement that gets harder with higher player counts, so if there's a hideaway to hide away, it's this one.
4. Shelldock Isle
Like its brethren, Isle will tap for one mana (blue in this case), or tap and spend one to cast its exiled spell; doing so requires a library to have 20 or fewer cards. Thankfully, this can be yours or an opponent's—use Isle in mill decks and formats with smaller deck sizes for easier triggers.
Remember, since lands may tap at any time, you can use hideaway abilities to effectively play exiled cards at instant speed even if they're normally restricted to your main phase.
3. Spinerock Knoll
Knoll can cast its exiled card when an opponent has taken at least seven damage that turn. Thankfully, this is a pretty lenient condition that counts both combat and non-combat damage, and it doesn't necessarily have to be inflicted by you. Factor in red's focus at direct damage and you'll satisfy the criteria before you know it.
2. Windbrisk Heights
Heights rewards the token-swarming antics of the white faction by freely casting its exiled spell during a turn where you attacked with at least three creatures. It doesn't matter if the units become blocked or die; as long as they were declared as an attacker, they count.
1. Mosswort Bridge
Bridge unlocks its hidden spell by simply controlling creatures with ten or more total power. I appreciate the flexibility here; a single huge monster like "Ghalta, Primal Hunger" can meet the condition, as can several smaller creatures in tangent.
Thankfully, green specializes in bigger troops, and Bridge blends excellently with self-strengthening commanders like "Omnath, Locus of Mana". A staple in my own green decks, Bridge works great for budget players, only costing a single dollar!
Using Hideaway in Magic
I recommend hideaway lands to commander players, who not only don't have to worry about them rotating out of set, but also have more time to achieve their conditions. They're also good candidates for effects that have lands enter tapped anyway (like "Thrasios, Triton Hero"), and if you bounce them back to hand with cards like "Boros Garrison", you can potentially use hideaway twice.
As of this writing, the only other spell with hideaway is the creature "Watcher for Tomorrow", but his effect only adds the card to hand without playing it. Still, hideaway's a fun mechanic I hope returns in future expansions, but for now, vote for your favorite terrain and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill