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March 22, 2016

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Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad – Mana Base Complete

Welcome to the Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad where today we will be talking about one of the most exciting new card cycles in any set: the rare lands cycle!  Anytime I see a new set come out, I wait for these lands to appear so I can gauge and predict what the new Standard format will look like. We are coming from a format where four and even five colour decks run rampant with ease thanks to the Khans of Tarkir fetch lands.  With those rotating out, it will make it harder to have those types of mana bases going forward.

Let’s wait no more, here are the new rare lands from Shadows Over Innistrad!

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I’m excited about this rare land cycle, known as shadow lands, as we get another variation of the dual land for Shadows Over Innistrad.  I would say that these lands excel in the early game, are good in the mid game, and don’t fare too well in the late game.  This is compared to the battle lands which are the opposite, where they are not too good in the early game, good in the mid game, and great in the late game.

I prefer to have my mana fixing earlier in the game so I’m happier with these lands.  Don’t worry though, you can have both as they have great synergy between the two.  Thanks to land types being on battle lands, you will be able to use those to reveal for your shadow lands to make sure they come into play untapped.  A combination of shadow lands early, along with some basic lands, going into late game battle lands could be a possible mana base we see.

Let’s have a look at how mana bases will look post rotation in Standard.

Two-Colour Decks

Allied colours – You will be able to use basic lands, shadow lands and battle lands.  So probably four of each of the dual lands, and 12-16 basic or specialty lands based on the build of your deck.  It will be harder to play colourless cards from Oath of the Gatewatch, as none of the lands we talked about will be able to provide colourless.  If you want these cards in a two-colour Ally build, you will have to add in specialty lands like Sea Gate Wreckage.  You could have up to eight of your lands coming into play tapped.

Enemy colours – You will be able to use basic lands, pain lands, and creature lands.  So you will have four of each of the dual lands, and once again about 12-16 basic or specialty lands. It will be much easier to cast colourless spells in this mana base thanks to the pain lands and sprinkling in some other lands that produce colourless.  Only four of your lands in this mana base will be coming into play tapped.

Three-Colour Decks

Shards – This will allow you to have at your disposal, eight shadow lands, eight battle lands, four pain lands, four creature lands, plus whatever basic lands you would need. Battle lands will be very hard to get into play untapped in this mana base, as you won’t have very many basic lands in three colour decks along with no way to fetch for them. I would recommend playing eight shadow lands, four battle lands, four creature lands, plus eight basic lands.  This will make the number of lands that come into play tapped smaller.

Wedges – This will allow you to have at your disposal, four shadow lands, four battle lands, eight pain lands, eight creature lands, plus whatever basic lands you would need. It looks like Wedges mana base would be a slower mana with more lands coming into play tapped.  You will have more firepower with your lands with more creature lands available to you.

Adding colourless lands to any three colour deck will be quite hard, but you will have better luck in the Wedges mana base with the increased number of pain lands available.

If you are looking to play a 4-colour mana base with no ways to fetch a specific colour you need, I will only say, good luck to you!

Thanks again for reading today’s mana previews from Shadows Over Innistrad. There are still more surprises to be revealed every day as we work closer to the release of the new set.  See everyone again tomorrow!