Land Count in a Commander/EDH Deck

  • #1
    Are there any guidelines for determining how many lands to put into a Commander/EDH deck? I have trouble figuring out if I should put more or fewer lands in a deck.

    I have a Kaalia of the Vast deck and the majority of my spells (creatures and non-creatures) fall around 4-6 CMC.
  • #2
    Generally speaking land counts for commander usually come in somewhere in the 37-40 range depending upon how much ramp / your curve. In colors without green I tend to throw a few extra on a regular basis but it varies.
    [EDH Primers] Jenara | Marton | Thrun | Lin Sivv
    [EDHNon-Primer] Obzedat | Toshiro | Derevi | Tariel
    [STANDARD]UW Midrange
    [MODERN]UWR Flash Control

    My helpdesk
  • #3
    Totally depends on the commander. My Karn deck runs 34 but has almost every piece of ramp available. Azusa decks probably want more than 40. In general though, I agree with Pathfinder.
    My apologies, children, for I am afraid I cannot save you all.

    Commander Decks
    URG Animar, Soul of Elements
    UB Grimgrin, Corpse-Born

  • #4
    I always like to start a new deck out with too many lands and then adjust according to how many I need in games.

    Before I started doing this I could barely test my decks because I didn't have enough mana to get my decks going. For instance: My Ghave deck has quite a few accelerators so I started with 37 lands and it wasn't enough because I have so many activated abilities( Nim Deathmantle whaaaaat) so I bumped the land count to 40.
  • #5
    As much as I hate the whole "it depends on your meta/deck" non-answer, it really does depend on the deck you run. However, to give you a starting point idea, I usually start out with around 38 lands and adjust as necessary after testing.

    In decks that really want to hit every land drop, play more, and in decks that play smaller spells/draw a bunch, less. Just remember, it is always better to be mana flooded than dry.
  • #6
    Thanks for the input. I am currently at 37 lands, and I don't have a lot of ramp cards and only 6 mana accelerator artifacts, but I try not to rely on them heavily since they tend to get destroyed, exiled, or tucked in a casual multiplayer game.
  • #7
    I would NOT run more then 36 lands in a deck that doesnt need them like an Azusa deck.
    I rather would add rampspells or manarocks.
    the BEST mtg trading portal in europe:www.magickartenmarkt.de
  • #8
    You should really work on your mana curve (CMC 1-3) if the the majority of your spells cost 4 and up. A good flowing mana curve is just as important as the amount of land you run.
  • #9
    wort runs 36 with mana rocks
    teysa runs 37
    norin runs 34

    Norin has a lot of mana rocks in it with fetches. Gaka taught me the ways of that
    Teysa has ways of getting mana out fast but has a pretty high curve so I threw in the lands and it's helped even things out.
    Wort has a lot of ways of sneaking in goblins and ritual effects i.e Brightstone Ritual. I've been even considering taking out 2 lands cause I get flooded a lot.
    EDH
    Goblin Tribal
    :symwb::symuw::symub:Zur the Enchanter:symub::symuw::symwb:
    Stax/Voltron
    Dredge/Reanimator
  • #10
    Quote from Eriol
    Thanks for the input. I am currently at 37 lands, and I don't have a lot of ramp cards and only 6 mana accelerator artifacts, but I try not to rely on them heavily since they tend to get destroyed, exiled, or tucked in a casual multiplayer game.


    That sounds good for your average deck. With as much draw as every EDH deck should have, you shouldn't be missing land drops in very many games until about T7 or so.

    But those ideas are really married to land count - mana curve and draw density. It's like a Mormon 3-way that you can't get out of. You throw out draw density, and you stall. You forget the importance of having early plays, and your deck gives you hands where you can't play anything.

    One thing to remeber here too is that you can never have too much small draw (Brainstorm, Explore, Sign in Blood), and it's seldom a bad idea ti have a curve that is too low, but it's definitely possible to have too much land, especially vis a vis other mana sources - rocks, ramp etc.

    I have a Damia deck that runs 3-4 rocks, Azuza, Exploration and tutors for them. Basically the point is to belch my entire hand out on the table on T2-3 and cross my fingers. Even it only runs 40 land. It hates 2 land hands and loves 4 and 5 land hands.

    So unless you're running something like this, or Azuza herself, I'd say 38 is about the cutoff where you need to start thinking about more artifact mana instead of more land.
  • #11
    37-38 is the number to which I have become accustomed. I believe that Zur is my highest at 38, with every other deck being at 37. This includes decks running Maze of Ith, though I might adjust the decks with it to 38. Time will tell. Every deck I run has at least a few pieces of ramp, be they Artifact-based or Green-based.
  • #12
    The lowest I have is 35; it's a one-color deck so fixing is a non-issue, and I run 15 pieces of artifact acceleration.

    I once heard it said that you can cut 1 land for every 2 pieces of acceleration you run that cost 2 or less, and 1 land for every 3 pieces you run that cost 3 or more. That's not a perfect formula, obviously, but it probably gets you close.

    Other factors to consider - your curve (the deck with 35 lands and 15 rocks curves out at 5, with only two spells in the deck costing 6 and most costing 1-3), and how often you'll want to activate abilities. You can have a deck with a curve that stops at 3, but if everything you run has activated abilities you'll want more.

    The most I run in a given deck is 40, which is for a 3-color, non-green deck. Also runs a bunch of rocks, but I found that any fewer made me miss drops, and that deck curves out at like 7, with several spells costing more.

    Oh! Also, some things can be traded 1-for-1 with lands. Sol Ring, in particular, can replace a land by itself in most 1- and 2-color decks (and even some 3-color) most of the time; Mana Crypt, too. Some of the Mox (like Chrome Mox, or even Mox Opal) can, in the right decks. For obvious reasons, you shouldn't do that with Mox diamond.

    How much card draw you run is also a factor. If you run a LOT of cheap card draw and/or loot-style effects, you can sometimes get away with running slightly fewer lands, since the draw can help you hit land drops.

    You also want to consider how much use you'll have for EXTRA mana. I've seen lots of Animar decks that simply don't have a use for their sixth land, but you can never have too many in Ghave.

    On that note: I've heard it said that if you can't use every available mana every turn cycle, you should tweak your deck until you can. Mana sinks are good; they ensure you're running at peak efficiency. Even something silly like Gemstone Array can help you in the long run. So if you find that your deck doesn't have a lot of activated abilities and tends to empty its hand, run some more mana sinks (even just firebreathing creatures, X-spells, etc.) and shave a few lands.

    As always, these are guidelines, and YMMV.
  • #13
    I commend Justice1337 for the metaphor of a "Mormon three-way." Cool

    Jor Kadeen runs 35 lands and 20 mana rocks.

    Damia, Sage of Stone runs 37 lands and wants more mana rocks but Jor took them.
  • #14
    Quote from PhyrexianRitual
    You should really work on your mana curve (CMC 1-3) if the the majority of your spells cost 4 and up. A good flowing mana curve is just as important as the amount of land you run.


    Recently, I separated my cards into piles of CMC and it looks like an asymptotic curve. Some 1-3 CMC (mostly removal), more 4-6 CMC, and few 7-9 CMC. If I look only at my creatures, it's nearly a bell curve distribution.

    As much as the Ravnica mana rocks are popular, they require one mana to get two. On weird occassions, I've lost all my lands, so I couldn't activate them. I have Sol Ring as a given, but most of my other mana artifacts are Coldsteel Heart or 3 CMC artifacts. I've basically am trying to get my deck to fetch lands out like Wayfarer's Bauble or Soldevi Simulacrum.
    Last edited by ShiroeTheEnchanter: 4/18/2012 6:58:26 PM
  • #15
    One thing to remeber here too is that you can never have too much small draw (Brainstorm, Explore, Sign in Blood), and it's seldom a bad idea ti have a curve that is too low, but it's definitely possible to have too much land, especially vis a vis other mana sources - rocks, ramp etc.



    This is so true. Many little spells are frowned. I think that the best thing to do is look at you curve and what your draw looks like. you seem to have a midrange curve so, your land count is good, but is your scrying or draw is "a la hauteur?"
  • #16
    38 is a good baseline. Control, stax, and ramp tend to want more. Aggro and combo tend to want less. How many more, and how many less depends on the deck.
  • #17
    Quote from Biofeedback
    This is so true. Many little spells are frowned. I think that the best thing to do is look at you curve and what your draw looks like. you seem to have a midrange curve so, your land count is good, but is your scrying or draw is "a la hauteur?"


    I'm actually lacking on drawing spells and tutoring. All I have right now is Diabolic Tutor, and Bloodgift Demon. I can't afford Demonic Tutor at the moment, and I'm not trying to be extremely competitive with this deck. I probably need to get Phyrexian Arena and look into some low-cost draw cards like Sign in Blood.
  • #18
    I default at 40 lands when I start a deck, and if I need to I adjust from there. For example, my vampire decks are mana hungry, so they have 42, and I wanna say my green deck has less than 40, but I might be lying on that front.
    Kaalia 1v1 - Drana - Yeva - Zegana - Bloodbraid Elf

    I'm insanely picky and anal with my generals.
  • #19
    Quote from ApocryphaEffect
    38 is a good baseline. Control, stax, and ramp tend to want more. Aggro and combo tend to want less. How many more, and how many less depends on the deck.


    My ramp heavy decks frequently run lower land counts, actually. It's less important to hit every land drop when you're going to pull an extra 4-6 straight out of the deck on a regular basis. It's obviously not true everywhere but it's worked well for me so far.
  • #20
    I've been using 40, including maze of ith. I think I'm going to be upping it to 43-44 though.
    Trades
    Sales

    Legacy
    Punishing Depths :symg::symu::symr:
    Faithless Dredge :symb::symu::symr::symw::symg:
  • #21
    Quote from Sanity"s_Eclipse
    I default at 40 lands when I start a deck, and if I need to I adjust from there. For example, my vampire decks are mana hungry, so they have 42, and I wanna say my green deck has less than 40, but I might be lying on that front.


    42?? that seems crazy to me! I mean even if the deck is mana hungry you can still only play one land a turn in monoB.
  • #22
    I start at 40 and go from there. None of my decks actually run 40 right now though, the number of mana rocks and ramp spells is very important. I usually cut 1 land for every 2 or 3 rocks/ramp, I don't really use card draw in the equation unless I run a huge amount of draw.

    amazingly epic sig courtesy of DarkNightCavalier at Heroes of the Planes.
  • #23
    I'm currently at 37 land with 5 mana rocks (all 2 cmc or less) and I've little to no issue.
  • #24
    Quote from PhyrexianRitual »
    42?? that seems crazy to me! I mean even if the deck is mana hungry you can still only play one land a turn in monoB.


    I'm not going to repeat my "people don't play enough lands" speech again, but let me just encourage you to compare the mana-to-spell ratios of good 60-card decks with those described by the EDH posters here. In most cases, 42 land is probably better than 37 land, and even 40 land is probably too little for multiplayer EDH.

    the only fair combo is my combo
  • #25
    I always run 38 lands, and 8-10 acceleration spells. Of course I'm a green mage, so I'm naturally mana-hungry, even in nongreen decks. I can't imagine myself running a deck without insane ways to produce mana.
    (Retired from MTG for good.)
    RUG Riku, Two is Better Than One
    UB [PRIMER] Wrexial, Classic Control
    RG Radha, Ramp's Theme Goes With Everything

    Quote from Xtol
    I believe that I have enough social competence to slip into a party or two, potentially wooing some attractive females that would not mind spending the evening performing the booty dance on me.
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.
Posts Quoted:
Reply
Clear All Quotes