Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Lands in "Throne of Eldraine"
Magic's Throne of Eldraine expansion offers several new lands, particularly for mono-color decks. Most of them enter tapped unless you control a number of corresponding land types, but in exchange, they offer entrance triggers or activated abilities rarely seen on lands.
The set contains two unique lands (one rare and one common) for each color plus a few other surprises—which reign supreme? These are the ten best Throne of Eldraine lands in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Idyllic Grange
Like the set's other common lands, Grange enters tapped unless you control three or more other corresponding lands (plains in this case). But when Grange enters untapped, you place a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control, a modest but appreciated boost for one of your units.
Plus, unlike the rare lands, the commons contain their color's land type; Grange itself is a plains and thus strengthens related effects.
9. Castle Ardenvale
Like the other rare Castles, Ardenvale enters untapped as long as you control just one land of the right type (plains in this case), an easy condition in single-color decks. It can tap for one white mana as usual, but it can also spend four and tap to create a 1/1 human token.
Sure, that's a weak creature, but it means you've got extra blocking or sacrifice fodder when needed. Just remember that the Castles don't have their colors' subtype; Ardenvale itself doesn't count as a plains.
8. Castle Embereth
Embereth arrives untapped by controlling at least one mountain. It'll either tap for one red, or tap and spend three to give your creatures +1/+0 for the turn. That's a powerful boost in creature-swarming aggro decks, and with its instant speed, it can catch opponents off-guard in combat.
7. Tournament Grounds
This unique land enters untapped and can either tap for a colorless mana, or for a red, white, or black, but the colored mana only works on equipment or warrior spells. Admittedly, most (but not all) equipments are colorless and don't need such mana, but this provides excellent color filtering for warrior-based creature decks.
6. Witch's Cottage
Black's common land, Cottage requires at least three other swamps (basic or not) to arrive untapped. When it does, you can return a creature from your graveyard to the top of your deck, recovering lost units.
Remember, with the common lands, you only get the bonus effects when they enter untapped, so find the right balance between them, the Castles, and regular lands in standard format.
5. Mystic Sanctuary
Mystic Sanctuary works similarly to Witch's Cottage, entering untapped if you control three or more other islands. But this time, instead of returning a creature from your graveyard to the top of your deck, you pick an instant or sorcery. Not only does this provide more card types to choose from, it offers rarer instant/sorcery retrieval.
A new staple in my own mono-blue commander decks, Sanctuary is also one of today's cheaper cards, costing just a single dollar!
4. Castle Locthwain
Black's Castle needs a swamp to arrive untapped, but even if Locthwain enters tapped, you can still use both of its effects later. The first simply taps for a black mana, and the latter spends three mana to draw a card, though you then lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.
Use this second ability with caution, but its downside lessens with a depleted hand, maintaining card advantage without needing other spells.
3. Castle Vantress
Vantress arrives ready to use as long you control any island, and it can either tap for one blue mana, or spend four and tap to scry two. This lets you see your deck's top two cards and rearrange them as desired or put them on the bottom of your deck.
Don't underestimate the value of tweaking upcoming draws, and it's a nice way to spend leftover mana (perhaps when you saved for a blue counterspell, but couldn't or chose not to employ it).
2. Castle Garenbrig
Garenbrig wins Eldraine's Castle battle, arriving untapped if you control a forest. It'll exhaust for either one green mana, or spend four and tap to add six green. This basically trades five mana (four plus what Garenbrig could have provided) for six, a terrific boost even though the mana can only be used for creature spells or abilities.
This also helps convert non-green mana when desired, useful for green-heavy creatures like "Primalcrux".
1. Fabled Passage
Like the classic fetch land "Evolving Wilds", Passage taps and sacrifices itself to play any basic land from your deck tapped onto the field. However, this time, if you then control at least four lands, you get to untap your selected card. That's not an especially difficult condition to meet, making this a fantastic upgrade on an already-useful land.
More Eldraine Lands
Today we reviewed the best terrain in Throne of Eldraine, but don't forget to examine the lands that just missed today's cut (like "Gingerbread Cabin") and see if they work for your deck.
And definitely consider the set's sorcery-creature blending "adventure" cards for more variety, but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next land set, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill