Why do people love shocklands?

  • #1
    What makes a shocks and so good? They're so expensive and they pop your life if you want to use them right away.
    What makes a steam vents better than a sulfur falls? I understand that people want speed and tempo but why the shock over the duel every time?
  • #2
    Because Sulfur Falls has a stipulation of coming into play tapped unless you already control an Island or a Mountain.

    Steam Vents you can just take 2 life, which early game is nothing, and have a free choice between either red or blue mana.

    Not to mention the synergy some of them get with other cards, like Temple Garden/Breeding Pool and Arbor Elf.
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  • #3
    You can also use fetchlands such as Marsh Flats to find them. A single fetchland can generally get you whatever two-colour combination you want out of your deck, which is extremely powerful.
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  • #4
    I was wondering the same thing! I was looking at my guildfates going, wow these seem underrated, but I'm new to the game.
  • #5
    Because even when played in their tapped state, they're still better than Guildgates. It's often correct to leave a Shockland tapped, but that you even have the option to make it untapped is INSANE.

    What pushes them really over the top is that they're such great fixing due to their land subtypes.

    I have a three colored EDH deck with one color as the core color. I run two fetchlands and two shocklands. This makes it so that I have essentially 3 copies of either shockland to draw when it comes to mana fixing in the early game. It's pretty powerful.
    Commander
    R Ashling, the Pilgrim Red/Brown control
    WR Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer Metalcraft Aggro
    GBW Karador, Ghost Chieftain Dredge Rock
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  • #6
    They have a basic land type, they are fetchable, they allow cards, life Sulfur Falls that look for basic land types, to come into play untapped as well.

    If your opening hand has 2-3 sulfer falls vs. 1 steam vents and 2 sulfur falls, that's a fairly different hand when playing it out.

    In modern, if you don't play with fetch lands and shocklands, it can put you a turn or two behind. That makes a big different if you want to win.

    If I was playing purely casual magic, I would use all the guildgates in the world. They are perfectly fine mana fixing for home games.
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  • #7
    shocklands are the next best thing to the real DUAL lands because of their 2 land types.
  • #8
    When I started out I never understood why people prefer shocklands over the 'comes in tapped unless you control an X basic land type'. When I learned about the speed in competitive environments I then understood why they're sought after.

    Still though, I had both in a deck, and I would nearly always use the 'tapped unless...' lands first (after playing the basic lands), and then use the shock land if I really need it, or I have no other lands in hand. Then again I've never really played in a competitive environment so..
  • #9
    I prefer shocklands because of how it's possible to pay the 2 life if you need it, but you don't need to. Whereas the requiring other lands to be on the field is a bit more restrictive.
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  • #10
    Quote from rat-of-god
    shocklands are the next best thing to the real DUAL lands because of their 2 land types.


    Eh. If fetching isn't an issue, you can make a seriously good case for painlands being up there too since they CIP untapped unconditionally (i.e. no "control a land of X or Y type" or "control two or fewer other lands" restrictions) and they're not liable to hurt you much/any more than a shockland would.
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  • #11
    We don't love them. We accept the as the second best alternative to the original duals. As others have said above, they make it so that they're easily fetched and allow your other duals to come into play untapped.

    Love 'em?

    What I love are my Underground Seas.

    Shocklands are just a better than average TV show that you'll watch when there's nothing else on.

    Modern can crash and burn for all I care

  • #12
    Keep in mind cards like Farseek (Which is pretty huge in today's meta) can fetch them too.
    Then there's the flexibility. Let's look at this completely hypothetical opening hand for BR Vampire Tribal:

    3 lands

    Now, suppose your lands are 3 Dragonskull Summit. You are now unable to cast a Turn 1 Stromkirk Noble, a Turn 2 Bloodthrone Vampire and a T3 Markov Blademaster. Meaning you're one turn behind at least.
    Now if one of those lands had been a Blood Crypt, you can pay 2 life...and you're suddenly perfectly on curve.

    As for the painlands: Cute and all, but one cannot ignore their anti-synergy with the Checklands.

    Long story short, the reason the shocks are so good is:
    The OPTION to come into play untapped - you don't HAVE to pay, but you don't HAVE to be a turn behind either
    The ability to be fetched by fetchlands, Farseek etc.
    Their synergy with the Checklands (Dragonskull Summit and pals) as additional lands in decks with shocks.
    Various other synergies, like with Mutilate, Arbor Elf, Liliana of the Dark Realms etc etc.
    And the fact that they don't cost an arm and a leg like the ABU duals. Which you can't even play in as many formats as the Shocks.
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    red mana red mana red mana Purphoros, God of Pandemonium red mana red mana red mana
    blue mana blue mana blue mana Empress Galina, Tribal Aggro blue mana blue mana blue mana
  • #13
    Quote from LandBoySteve
    We don't love them. We accept the as the second best alternative to the original duals. As others have said above, they make it so that they're easily fetched and allow your other duals to come into play untapped.

    Love 'em?

    What I love are my Underground Seas.

    Shocklands are just a better than average TV show that you'll watch when there's nothing else on.


    Shocks have some advantages over duals

    Shocklands are legal in every format. Duals are legal in 2 formats.
    Shocklands cost on average $10, and dropping. Duals cost on average $70-$80, and are increasing
    Shocklands have been reprinted, making them easier to get, duals will never be reprinted, making them harder to get.

    If I were investing in a manabase (actually, I am at the moment), I would get shocks over duals. Duals are used in two formats that are dead or dying. Shocks are used in formats that are growing

    To the OP, the primary reason the shocks are good are because they have the basic land types, making them fetchable. Being able to tutor up any combination of mana you need is insane. I remember when the Onslaught fetchs were printed, and people first started playing with them and dual's, and honestly, it almost felt like cheating it was so good.
    Last edited by Valarin: 2/2/2013 8:57:15 AM
  • #14
    Quote from LouCypher

    Now if one of those lands had been a Blood Crypt, you can pay 2 life...and you're suddenly perfectly on curve.


    Or if he just had one of those elusive mountain cards.. Then he'd save two life and ten bucks!
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  • #15
    Quote from iCwalzy
    Or if he just had one of those elusive mountain cards.. Then he'd save two life and ten bucks!


    At the higher levels of play, the dollar cost doesn't matter at all. Sure, he can play a mountain instead, but then you might lose another few games because you're short on black mana. It's all about flexibility, and knowing that your life total is a resource to be spent.
  • #16
    Quote from iCwalzy
    Or if he just had one of those elusive mountain cards.. Then he'd save two life and ten bucks!


    What makes you think that people don't play basics in decks with fetches? In formats with Path to Exile and Wasteland, it makes sense to have a few basics in your deck.

    There are good reasons for searching for shocks untapped even if a basic would do the job. A common one is, say, in a pure UR deck, you need U on turn 1 and UR on turn 2. The two lands in your hand are Island and Scalding Tarn. You can drop Island or crack Tarn for Island, but on turn 2 you'd have UU and be unable to play the UR spell. If you crack Tarn for Steam Vents untapped on turn 1 instead, you get to cast both spells.
  • #17
    This thread exemplifies why we can't have nice things (shocklands, fetchlands) in core sets. Less experienced players don't yet realize just how valuable options are, even at the cost of life. This isn't meant to be an insult; we were all there once.
  • #18
    Quote from iCwalzy
    Or if he just had one of those elusive mountain cards.. Then he'd save two life and ten bucks!


    Life is a resource, and is meant to be exploited if you want to grab the advantage. 2 life is next to nothing in the early game because your opponent isn't going to kill you next turn.

    Shocklands have flexibility which is their greatest advantage over basics and guildgates. If you have an Overgrown Tomb in your opening hand but no one drops, it can come into play tapped. However if you do have a one drop, it has an option to coming in play untapped for 2 life.
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  • #19
    I didn't understand shock lands at first either but now I love them. Fetch lands make no sense to me. Seems like a wasted slot in your deck. I rarely find myself so mana screwed that I need to fetch a specific land and if I do, I play Primeval Titan

    My casual decks

    :symg::symb: Titans
    :symw::symb: Control
    :symb::symr: Destruction
    0 mana Eldrazi
    red mana Goblins
    white mana Lifegain
    blue mana Mill
  • #20
    Quote from iCwalzy
    Or if he just had one of those elusive mountain cards.. Then he'd save two life and ten bucks!

    Take a look at how much life you have left when you finish your average game. Each point of life above the last is a point you could have spent to gain an advantage.
  • #21
    Quote from J1h15233
    I didn't understand shock lands at first either but now I love them. Fetch lands make no sense to me. Seems like a wasted slot in your deck. I rarely find myself so mana screwed that I need to fetch a specific land and if I do, I play Primeval Titan


    Fetchlands give even greater flexibility. Together with the dual lands they guarantee that you can support three colours if you want to and even if you're only running two colours you now have four more copies of any dual land you run. It's a lot easier to draw into 8 of a card than it is 4 of a card. They also provide free shuffling which is relevant with Ponder or Brainstorm and additional landfall triggers if you run Lotus Cobra or whatever.
  • #22
    Quote from Valarin
    Shocks have some advantages over duals

    Shocklands are legal in every format. Duals are legal in 2 formats.
    Shocklands cost on average $10, and dropping. Duals cost on average $70-$80, and are increasing
    Shocklands have been reprinted, making them easier to get, duals will never be reprinted, making them harder to get.

    If I were investing in a manabase (actually, I am at the moment), I would get shocks over duals. Duals are used in two formats that are dead or dying . Shocks are used in formats that are growing

    To the OP, the primary reason the shocks are good are because they have the basic land types, making them fetchable. Being able to tutor up any combination of mana you need is insane. I remember when the Onslaught fetchs were printed, and people first started playing with them and dual's, and honestly, it almost felt like cheating it was so good.

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  • #23
    I think iCwalzy is just being facetious guys. While I agree with everyone here about why shocklands are awesome, I had a nice chuckle when I read how a basic mountain has its own advantages over 10 dollar cards.
  • #24
    Quote from Tuss
    Fetchlands give even greater flexibility. Together with the dual lands they guarantee that you can support three colours if you want to and even if you're only running two colours you now have four more copies of any dual land you run. It's a lot easier to draw into 8 of a card than it is 4 of a card. They also provide free shuffling which is relevant with Ponder or Brainstorm and additional landfall triggers if you run Lotus Cobra or whatever.



    Yea I get that, but I guess I just don't have that problem in my dual colored decks.

    My casual decks

    :symg::symb: Titans
    :symw::symb: Control
    :symb::symr: Destruction
    0 mana Eldrazi
    red mana Goblins
    white mana Lifegain
    blue mana Mill
  • #25
    Quote from J1h15233
    Yea I get that, but I guess I just don't have that problem in my dual colored decks.


    Think about it this way: why play a plains when you can use a fetchland in place of it and play a plains AND any other color you want?

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