Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Ramp Punishers in Magic
Mana-ramping is a popular strategy in Magic, gaining extra resources, usually via spells that play extra lands. Ramp is especially popular in formats like commander, where decades worth of ramp spells are available, leading to fast strategies that can win in only a few turns.
Fortunately, white has several ramp-punishing spells that tax foes for controlling more lands than you—which reign supreme? These are the ten best land-taxers in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Cartographer's Hawk
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 2
Hawk bears decent similar 2/1 stats with flying. When he deals combat damage to a player with more lands than you, you can return Hawk to your hand to play a plains tapped from your deck onto the field.
9. Boreas Charger
Like Hawk, Charger's has 2/1 stats and flying, though he's a bit more expensive. However, his land search is easier to trigger; when he exits the field, you choose an opponent with more lands than you, search your deck for plains (basic or otherwise) equal to the difference. One goes onto the field tapped and the rest into your hand.
This works best in multiplayer, where someone's bound to have ramped ahead of you, and it works no matter how Charger leaves the field (not just on death), so you can blink him to exploit the effect.
8. Knight of the White Orchid
Orchid specifically needs two white mana, but rewards you with a 2/2 first strike knight, a solid early-game beatstick with potential tribal support. More than that, if any opponent controls more lands than you when Orchid enters the field, you get to play a plains from your deck.
Notably, the plains enters untapped and ready to use (unless it naturally enters tapped). Try not to go first to give opponents more opportunities to play lands and ensure Orchid activates when he enters.
7. Verge Rangers
Rangers is an impressive 3/3 with first strike who lets you look at your deck's top card at any time, and as long as an opponent controls more lands than you, you can play that card if it's a land.
White is usually the color with the worst advantage options, making this draw-saving generator especially welcome in its ranks.
6. Gift of Estates
So far, we've only seen creatures, but Estates offers a ramp-punishing sorcery. If an opponent controls more lands than you, Estates adds up to three plains from deck to hand. These can but don't have to be basic, meaning you spent two mana for three cards, an impressive tradeoff.
5. Limited Resources
For a single mana, Resources forces all players to sacrifice lands until they only have five. Also, players can't play lands as long as there are ten or more already in play. It's as simple as that; with a powerful entrance effect and ongoing net, Resources makes it drastically difficult for foes to ramp ahead of you.
4. Keeper of the Accord
Keeper has decent if not amazing 3/4 stats, but he's great in multiplayer since his effect triggers at the end of each opponent's end step. At that time, if the opponent controls more creatures than you, Keeper creates a 1/1 soldier token, and if they have more lands, you play a basic plains from your deck tapped.
Unlike most of today's cards, the plains has to be basic, but it's still a great bonus that can potentially trigger multiple times before your next turn arrives.
Tithe is everything you could want in a land tutor. For one mana and at instant speed, it'll find a plains (basic or not) from your deck. But if an opponent controls more lands than you. you can search for up to two plains.
At full power, that's amazing two-cards for one instant speed mana, but even with the base effect, it's still a good card.
2. Weathered Wayfarer
Wayfarer is a weak 1/1, but he's cheap and has three subtypes for some interesting synergy. More than that, he's today's only card that can find any land, tapping and spending one when an opponent controls more lands than you to tutor a land from your deck.
To prevent yourself from getting too many lands ahead of your opponents, try finding bounce or sacrifice lands like "Boros Garrison" and "Lotus Vale" that ramp while removing your other lands.
1. Land Tax
Easily one of the best white cards ever printed, Land Tax triggers at each of your upkeeps where an opponent controls more lands than you, adding up to three basic lands from your deck to hand.
That's three cards with each reusable trigger, and while the lands have to be basic, they don't have to be plains, so Tax also helps color-fix by finding needed land types.
Land Destruction in Magic
Today we saw many white spells that make foes think twice before playing extra lands. But another strategy is simply to destroy opposing lands using cards like "Armageddon" and "Sinkhole", but for now, vote for your favorite spell and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill