Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Multi-Color Decks in Magic
Magic contains five colors, and the more you use, the more spells your deck can access. But each additional color increases your chances of drawing redundant land types and getting locked out of certain spells.
To alleviate the issue, many "rainbow" lands can provide any color, stabilizing your mana flow. Of course, this versatility demands a price, like paying life or limiting you to certain spell types, but these lands play key roles in four and five-color decks—which reign supreme? These are the 20 best any-color lands in Magic: The Gathering!
20. Cascading Cataracts
Set introduced in: Amonkhet
Cataracts has a nice fallback option if you're not ready for its main effect, simply tapping for a colorless mana. But by spending five mana (of any types) and tapping it, you add five mana in any combination to your pool, swapping redundant mana for needed colors.
Plus, Cataracts is one of few indestructible terrains, shielding it against most land removals.
19. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Like Cataracts, Nykthos can simply tap for one colorless mana. But you can also spend two and tap it to provide an amount of any color equal to your devotion to that faction (the number of the color's mana symbols in the costs of your permanents).
Admittedly, this works better in mono-color decks than rainbow ones, but it's a powerful ability that can both manufacture a needed color and increase your overall production.
18. Gemstone Caverns
Set: Time Spiral
Caverns offers a risky venture, letting you put it onto the field with a "luck counter" at the beginning of the game if it's in your opening hand and you're not playing first. If you do this, you have to exile another card from your hand, but the luck counter lets Gemstone tap for any mana color, and it won't count against your first turn's land drop.
Even without the counter, Gemstone can always tap for a colorless mana, but to increase your chances of scoring its bonus, run it in non-commander formats that play with 60 or less cards.
17. Forbidden Orchard
Set: Champions of Kamigawa
Orchard's forbidden fruit lets it tap for any color, quite the feat for a land that enters untapped. The price you pay is granting an opponent a 1/1 spirit token whenever it taps for mana.
Still, it's hard to beat such a flexible bonus, especially when you're running anti-creature spells that make it hard to control multiple troops, or if an opponent has hexproof (think "Leyline of Sanctity") and thus can't be targeted for the effect.
16. Meteor Crater
Crater can tap for any color of a permanent you control. Admittedly, if you already control a card, odds are you've already got at least one land of its color, but Crater helps double up for more-saturated spells and works well alongside hybrid mana symbols.
15. Pillar of the Paruns
Paruns taps for any mana color, but you can only spend it on multicolor spells. Again, use this with hybrid symbols or in decks filled with multicolor cards for a quick and easy mana fix.
14. Tendo Ice Bridge
Set: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Ice Bridge enters the field with a charge counter and can either tap for one colorless or tap and spend a charge counter for one mana of any type. Theoretically, you'll only get one colored dose, but you can increase your amount by proliferating the counters or using bounce lands (like "Gruul Turf") to return Tendo to hand.
13. Ancient Ziggurat
Like Paruns, Ziggurat taps for any mana color, but this time, you can only spend it on creatures. Use in rainbow commander decks (perhaps slivers or dragons) for maximum output.
12. Unclaimed Territory
Speaking of tribal themes, Territory offers an excellent support to any; when it enters the field, you pick a creature subtype, and Territory can tap for any color on spells containing that subtype. But unlike Ziggurat, Territory can also simply tap for a colorless, meaning it's not useless when casting the occasional outlier.
11. Cavern of Souls
Set: Avacyn Restored
Souls works almost identically to Territory, picking a subtype on entry and tapping for any color for that subtype, or a colorless otherwise. But this time, when you cast a spell of your chosen type using the mana, that spell can't be countered, offering a helpful defense against blue counterspell decks.
10. Lotus Vale
Vale definitely takes a risk, sacrificing itself on arrival unless you sacrifice two other untapped lands. However, it arrives ready to use and exhausts for three mana of any one color, just like the infamous "Black Lotus".
Use artifacts like "Crucible of Worlds" to recover your lost lands, and if you're worried about getting hit with a land removal, consider substituting Vale with...
9. Lotus Field
Set: Core Set 2020
Compared to Lotus Vale, Field enters tapped, so you have to wait for its mana (three of any one color), and you still have to forfeit two of your lands. However, this time, you can sacrifice tapped lands, letting you utilize their mana first, and Field has hexproof, making it much harder for opponents to remove.
Note that both Field and Vale can only tap for one color at a time, but you're welcome to tap for different colors across different turns, so you're not locked into your first choice.
8. Path of Ancestry
Set: Treasure Chest
Ancestry enters tapped, and since its effect relies on having a commander, it's useless outside EDH format. However, Ancestry taps for any color in your commander's identity, and since a commander deck can only include spells of those colors, you'll access whatever hue you need.
Plus, when you use this mana to cast a creature that shares a creature type with your commander (including your commander itself), you also get to scry one, tinkering upcoming draws to your advantage.
7. City of Ass
A semi-official card parodying "City of Brass", you can't use this one in most official events, and it enters the field tapped. However, not only can City tap for any color, it actually provides 1½ mana—meaning two copies can provide a total of three resources.
6. Thran Quarry
Set: Urza's Saga
Like Ancient Ziggurat, Quarry works great in creature-based decks. It taps for any color, and there's absolutely no strings attached for what you can apply that mana towards.
However, if you don't control any creatures during the end phase, you have to sacrifice Quarry—try it in partner-based commander decks where you'll have multiple troops available throughout the match.
Glimmervoid is the artifact counterpart to Quarry, tapping for any color but sacrificing itself during the end step if you don't control any artifacts. Artifact removals and nukes are generally rarer than creature ones, and don't forget you can use artifact-lands like "Seat of the Synod" to satisfy Glimmervoid.
4. Mana Confluence
Set: Journey into Nyx
Confluence taps and pays one life to add a mana of any type to your pool. Sure, this edges you closer to death, but there's no other restriction on the mana's usage—try Confluence in formats like commander where you start with extra life to spare.
3. City of Brass
Set: Arabian Nights
In most cases, Brass works the same as Confluence, tapping for any color but dealing one damage to you. However, while Confluence has you pay life, Brass actually hits you for damage, meaning you can prevent its self-harm with cards like "Angel's Grace".
2. Gemstone Mine
This beauty enters with three gemstone counters and can tap while removing one to add any mana type, sacrificing itself once all are spent. Still, three doses of any color on a land that enters untapped impresses, especially when you proliferate the counters, bounce Mine back to hand, or recover it from the graveyard with Crucible.
1. Command Tower
Set: Commander 2011
While only helpful in commander format, Tower taps for any color in your commander's identity, again providing whatever hue you need. It's also not legendary, so if you somehow duplicate it (perhaps with "Vesuva"), you can control multiple without sacrificing.
Best of all, Tower's much cheaper than most of today's lands (which often cost over $10), appearing in many prebuilt commander decks and priced at less than two dollars!
Rainbow Artifacts and Enchantments in Magic
Today we discussed many powerful ways to set your mana, and remember that artifacts like "Commander's Sphere" or enchantments like "Gift of Paradise" can also tap for any color.
Additionally, most transforming lands ("Lost Vale", "Atzal, Cave of Eternity", etc.) can provide any resource once morphed, and fetch lands help search needed colors. But for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of every-color lands, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill