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Mana fixing for the budgetally challenged
By Jonah Swersey
This article could just as well be called, 'mana fixing for beginners' or 'mana fixing for dummies'. Let's face it, most of the best mana fixers are rare. The best ones still available to anything other than legacy are the so-called 'shock lands' that deal you two damage and the fetch lands that net you a land of a certain two types (they are only really good with the alpha duals or the shock lands). However, these are incredibly expensive. If you're on a budget, you're probably not giving out 10-50$ for a single land (around fifteen for the shock lands, 20 for the fetch lands, and 40+ for the duals), so what do you do?

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. First of all, let's talk about the basics of mana fixing.

A typical 60-card deck runs on around 24 lands. That is the typical number of lands. However, depending on the circumstances, it can be more or less. My elf deck that doesn't run anything that costs more than four mana and has mana accelerators like Llanowar elves (a must have for any (non-tribal) green deck runs on about twenty lands, because it doesn't need more than that. However, my treefolk deck, whose mana curve starts at one and rises incredibly fast, runs 25 lands, because I really need to drop a land each turn. Decide for yourself.

Now, that's for a one-color deck. If you're playing two or more colored decks, you're probably going to want mana fixers. There are a few really budget ones going around, so that you don't have to smash your piggy bank to get the land for your deck.

I would personally like to give props to what I would call the best mana fixer in common since... shoot, I really don't know when the last common fixer that was that good came around. It's a land that allows you to tap it and sacrifice it to bring a basic land from your deck into play tapped. That card has become an automatic four-of in every five colored deck that doesn't run better, more expensive tricks like city of brass.

Then there is a massive selection of green cards that work very nicely. If you are running a green stompy deck, it's virtually automatic that you run four...(fill in the blank)
If you said anything other than Llanowar elves or Rampant growth (another classic common fetcher that still has an intact level of playability), you shouldn't play green.

Black has perhaps the greatest mana acceleration in history in a card named dark ritual. Dark ritual (one black mana at instant speed for three black mana) spawned incredible black decks such as suicide black (turn one, drop swamp, dark ritual, phyrexian negator, a 5/5 with trample). It was reprinted so often that it is really easy to get, and well, black can't do without it. Black has other mana tricks, but most of them either require some sort of sacrifice (culling the weak) or are only useful late in the game (cabal ritual, Cabal Coffers)

Red has a somewhat shorter history of mana production, but not nearly as efficiently as with black. However, red storm decks are still well acceptable.

Blue and white have close to no mana acceleration (I can't think of one card...).

Well, that covered, your decks should work rather well... at least, they should work better than my R/G stompy, who just refuses to give me a forest and a mountain!!!

-Power to the players.

Read More Articles by Jonah Swersey!

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