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Magic: the Gathering - Are dual lands "strictly better" than basic lands?

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  • Magic: the Gathering - Are dual lands "strictly better" than basic lands?

    By dual lands, I mean the Taiga and its cousins. There is a strong argument that they are strictly better than basic lands: They produce two different types of mana with no disadvantage whatsoever. But I can also think of a few weaknesses:

    1. The rules state that you may only have four of any card with the same name in a deck, other than basic lands. You're not allowed to use twenty Taigas to power a green-red deck.

    2. Being two land types sometimes makes them vulnerable to more types of hosing. Tundra is destroyed by both Tsunami and Flashfires.

    3. The very fact that they are non-basic lands makes them vulnerable to cards that specifically target non-basic lands. The best example is Blood Moon, which will be re-printed in the Eighth Edition of the core set.

    I personally think that non-basic lands are strong but sometimes vulnerable. Wizards of the Coast thinks that they are "strictly better" than basic lands and should never be printed again. But what do you think?
    Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.

  • #2
    Dual lands allowed a lot of early mana, allowing multi colored decks to be effective. Thus they allow a stronger start. They are strictly better because you would gladly put versions like those which cost you 1 life to produce colored mana in your deck.
    Before Blood Moon, the dual lands were exceedingly powerful. If you don't have cards specailly made to destroy non basic lands, you will have trouble getting rid of the basic lands.
    Clash of Civilization team member
    (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
    web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

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    • #3
      Re: Magic: the Gathering - Are dual lands "strictly better" than basic lands?

      Originally posted by Mr. President

      I personally think that non-basic lands are strong but sometimes vulnerable. Wizards of the Coast thinks that they are "strictly better" than basic lands and should never be printed again. But what do you think?
      As someone who has played Magic for about ten years off and on, I would say that they shouldn't be reprinted. The flexibility they give you in the opening can be very powerful. And getting them out early changes the balance of power too much.

      Another reason is that I possess dual lands and I don't want others to get them.

      But I can also think of a few weaknesses:

      1. The rules state that you may only have four of any card with the same name in a deck, other than basic lands. You're not allowed to use twenty Taigas to power a green-red deck.
      I think this is an adequate limitation, as 20 dual lands of any flavor makes for an enormously powerful deck.

      2. Being two land types sometimes makes them vulnerable to more types of hosing. Tundra is destroyed by both Tsunami and Flashfires.

      3. The very fact that they are non-basic lands makes them vulnerable to cards that specifically target non-basic lands. The best example is Blood Moon, which will be re-printed in the Eighth Edition of the core set.
      If their flexibilty makes them more vulnerable, so be it. This is the risk you take playing with them in your deck.
      "We are living in the future, I'll tell you how I know, I read it in the paper, Fifteen years ago" - John Prine

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      • #4
        i remember in the olden days i played in a tourney.... blue/green deck the dual lands were incredibly helpful - i was able to do over 15 damage in 4 turns in 6 seperate games
        I'm 49% Apathetic, 23% Indifferent, 46% Redundant, 26% Repetative and 45% Mathetically Deficient.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Caesar the Great
          i remember in the olden days i played in a tourney.... blue/green deck the dual lands were incredibly helpful - i was able to do over 15 damage in 4 turns in 6 seperate games
          I certainly prefer the old days. I pick up a stack of new cards every 12/18 months or so, and I think there's just too many concepts in the game now, some better than others. While they've kept the balance fairly well maintained, I think they've pushed it about as far as they can logically push it idea-wise.

          I tried teaching someone the game now, and it seems much more difficult than teaching someone seven or eight years ago. How much more can they possibly add?

          Given the cards out now, I think reintroducing the original dual lands concepts back into the game would tip the balance too far on this game.
          "We are living in the future, I'll tell you how I know, I read it in the paper, Fifteen years ago" - John Prine

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          • #6
            The point is, Mr.P, that ignoring hosers the dual lands are better. You can tap for either color right away! It punishes people without lots of cash. At least painlands have a drawback, so there's something said for playing with less of them. Dual lands are just beyond broken. This really punishes people who just start, and have basic lands that are just worse.
            Note that in causual play, lots of people play sans hosers of any kind- making duals awesome. In tournament play, this would force everyone to start packing non-basic hate, when it would be nice to have people concentrating more on their own strategies.

            The current crop of non-basics are fine- they're good and useful in the right decks, but it requires a conscious decision to use them.
            So in short:
            1. This is true of any card. Is Ancestral Recall any less broken being that you can only have 1 of them in your deck?
            2. Yes, and because they're so awesome that weakness will have to be used more. This is a very specific Achilles Heel, too... imagine if The Abyss was reprinted in 8th edition. Sure, it has a weakness (untargetable and artifact creatures ignore it), but it's darn specific, and making everybody play decks of nothing but artifact creatures, haste creatures (as burn spells), and untargetable creatures seems dumb. Because that card is too good, and WILL define the enviornment.
            3. See 2.

            I just returned from splitting for 3rd place with a Psychatog deck- with 12 Islands and 12 Swamps, since I don't own any painlands. I'm glad I didn't have to shell out 40 bucks for 4 copies of Underground Sea if that was reprinted and the price fell to 10 each (it'd be $100 + for that now, I'm sure).
            All syllogisms have three parts.
            Therefore this is not a syllogism.

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            • #7
              Dual lands are pretty overpowering. Of course, they make prime targets for land deniers (Stone Rain, Psychic Venom) but the price to pay is still small.
              (\__/) 07/07/1937 - Never forget
              (='.'=) "Claims demand evidence; extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence." -- Carl Sagan
              (")_(") "Starting the fire from within."

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              • #8
                i threw away my magic cards about 6 years ago(?) dammit...

                how much is shiva dragon worth? I remember it being worth $20 bucks in my days. (1st edition)
                :-p

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                • #9
                  http://sales.starcitygames.com/custo...=Shivan+Dragon

                  Looks like around 6 bucks, unless you want to get an Alpha/Beta/Unlimited copy.

                  Compare this to duals, which albeit were last printed in Revised:
                  http://sales.starcitygames.com/custo...nderground+Sea
                  All syllogisms have three parts.
                  Therefore this is not a syllogism.

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                  • #10
                    I think the limitation on the amount of dual-lands in a deck is sound. They are just a little "cheese". But your right in that they are more vulnerable to cards than normal.

                    The cards I hate are the white "circle's of protection". My friend's whole deck was CoP's and white-weeny creatures. I was playing a green deck and I couldn't even touch him.
                    Despot-(1a) : a ruler with absolute power and authority (1b) : a person exercising power tyrannically
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                    *****Citizen of the Hive****
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                    • #11
                      Lots of counters help with the circles, I've found.

                      As for the dual lands -- I have one or two, and I use them, but they don't seem terribly unbalanced to me. And, if all else fails, I've got my Armageddon.
                      Talent Optional

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                      • #12
                        For circles, you can toss in a dash of white for Disenchant (dual lands help you here too! ). Green has Tranquility and the like from the older sets; also, they just added (in Onslaught) a card called Naturalize which is functionally identical to Disenchant except with one green mana instead of one white mana in its casting cost.

                        Blue decks can get around them with an under-appreciated gem I like to call Mana Short.
                        Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.

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                        • #13
                          On the main topic, market forces (the price) clearly state that dual lands are strictly better. Flexibility is power. Any dual land should have some kind of drawback, like pain or coming into play tapped.

                          I like the addition of new concepts. Remember that each set only has a few, as they let all the old concepts go away. If you play Type 2, there are actually less things you need to learn now compared to several years ago. They got rid of things like Rampage and replaced it with a clear sentence that explains the ability.
                          Green should have no problem getting around white weenies and CoPīs by speed and/or brute force. If you get your critters out fast, you will keep him on the defensive, and heīll be tapping so much mana for that CoP that he will never be able to take the offensive. Donīt make the mistake of not attacking just because you will do no damage. Force him to use up all his mana, and you will come out on top.

                          If it is a stalemate, remember that green creatures usually stomp whites, especially with the recent crop of good green weenies. You can pick his army to bits, and then attack. Anyone who uses CoPīs is at a serious mana disadvantage, and if you are green you will have mana advantage. Instead of attacking the CoP directly, try putting howling mines in your deck and put a vast army on the board as his hand fills with cards he canīt cast.

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                          • #14
                            Sorry, what exactly does Type 2 mean? I'm afraid I never quite mastered the tournament lingo.

                            I actually do find the "new" Rampage-like ability much more elegant than the old one. So despite the text of my signature link, the new cards aren't all bad. Historically (with the exception of Legends) there have only ever been a couple of cards from each expansion that I got excited about anyway.
                            Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.

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                            • #15
                              I'm going to agree here with Burns: flexibility is power... but you also need to consider that fast start is power as well.

                              I'm just remembering a recent game with a friend of mine during lunch. He brought out his cards and I randomly grabbed a deck to use. Turned out it was his white deck.

                              When we play, we don't care if cards are banned or not... a lot of the banning in our minds is the fact that WoC just wants to sell more cards to those of us who have decks we love but are now illegal in tournaments (like I ever played in one of those anyway )

                              To the topic at hand, I would repeat that I'd love to have one of those cards (and have recent versions that come in tapped or the like) but I like playing with rainbow decks that require such mana needs as blue/black or red/green etc.

                              Trying to play with a rainbow deck with basic land? I think not. It's possible, but it denies the fast start principle... so unless you know you're playing somebody else who isn't a fast start player, you're screwed.

                              In recent games I've been screwed anyway... anybody remember the Battle Royal chest (or whatever the multiplayer game box was called with the 40-card premade decks)?

                              I still have my decks in the shape of multiplayer games that take some time to start up, but because you're in a multiplayer game, you don't get beaten to a pulp as much early on.

                              I was kicking butt.

                              Now I'm in college, out of HS, and the one other guy who knows how to play magic goes on the 1v1 strategy. It's killing me! If I only had more time in the day I'd have already redesigned a couple of decks to go with this strategy... maybe for another thread, but hopefully I get some MtG faithfuls this way: any recommendations to a 1v1 deck design? Just general info, I'm thinking flier one or two color deck with some good walls and spells... probably red/blue, red/green, or red/black.
                              I'm not conceited, conceit is a fault and I have no faults...

                              Civ and WoW are my crack... just one... more... turn...

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