Monday, July 22, 2013

Deck Tech - How Many Lands Should I Use In A 60 Card MtG Deck?

Deck Tech - Helping You To Build Stronger Magic The Gathering Play Decks

MtG Mana Symbols Mouse Pad
MtG Mana Mouse Pad

How Many Lands Should You Use For A 60 Card Magic Deck?

Having the proper amount of land in your Magic the Gathering play deck can greatly help to prevent problems with not getting enough land (Mana Screwed), getting too much land (Mana Flooded), or the wrong color lands (Color Starved).  Nothing can fully prevent land / mana issues from happening occasionally, but having a proper land to card ratio for your Magic deck will be a major factor in limiting those mana problems.

How Many Lands To Use In A 60 Card Deck?

The short answer is 24.  If you have no clue what you are doing, go with 24 lands in your 60 card deck.  There are many factors that can figure into adjusting your land ratio, but a common starting place is 24 lands.  You will learn the most about whether you have the proper amount of land and the proper mix, by simply playing with the deck.  As you play your Magic deck, you will better be able to tell whether you have too much, too few, or the wrong mix of lands in your deck.  

Here are some factors to consider when adjusting the amount of land for your deck:

  1. Mono or Multicolored Deck? - Is your deck all one color?  If you are running a single color, you can get away with few lands in your deck, because you will never be colored screwed.  On the opposing end, if you are running more than 2 colors, you may want to have a few extra lands in your deck.
  2. Mana Fixers - Mana Fixers are cards that allow you to pull out lands out of your deck.  These can include fetch lands (the lands that produce no mana and just tap and sacrifice to go hunt a land and put it into play tapped), spells that allow you to pull lands out of your deck and either into your hand or on the play field, or creatures that give you the ability to pull out lands as well.  The more colors you have in your deck, the more important it becomes to have these mana fixers in your deck to help pull out the colors that you need.
  3. Casting Costs Of Your Deck's Cards - If you are running a speed weenie deck that doesn't take much to cast anything in your deck, you can drop the number of lands in your deck significantly.  I've seen decks run plenty efficient on as low as 18 lands, but nothing in the deck cost over 3-4 casting cost and the deck was a single color.  I wouldn't go down below 22 lands without a deck that includes creatures that provide mana as well.  On the other end, if you are running a deck with a lot of high casting cost spells or are using a lot of spells that require 3-4 mana of a specific color within their casting costs, you may want to add extra lands in to lower the risk of getting stuck with a hand of cards you can't even cast.
  • So as a rule of thumb I would go with 24 lands in a deck.
  • If the deck is all one color, take out 1 land.
  • If the majority of your spells are over 3-4 costing cost, add a land or 2 (especially if multi colored and large casting costs).
  • If you are playing with multiple creatures that produce mana and have multiple mana fixers, then take out 1-2 lands.
  • Never go below 20 in a single color or 22 in a multi-colored deck.
  • Playtest your deck with practice hand draws until it starts to feel right.
  • Continually adjust your amount of land and color ratio as you play until you feel it is perfect.
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  1. I got a deck with only 17 mana in it, but that's because it's mono black, and the most expensive mana cost is four. Half my cards cost one and two mana, so I'll get anything out
    It's a good list you got here. It covers most of what you need to consider when building a deck. I'm missing some thoughts about creature/tapp-abilities but that's for advanced players anyways.
    I'll save this list for later. It seems more than reasonable enough.

  2. i do 30 mana and 30 other or 30 mana and 35 other

    1. that's way too many lands man. If you have 30 lands, you're going to find that you mind end up getting mana hosed. That, or you're going to get up drawing a land rather than a creature when you need a creature more. Rather than having that many lands, you should find a way to use enchantments, or other creatures that help you bring creatures out. That, or you should find ways of destroying your opponents stuff so you have time to play your own stuff.

  3. Thanks! This was really helpful. I'm a bit of a noob, so thanks for the advice.

  4. I bought about 60,000 Magic Cards recently. As I am new to the game, this was a very helpful article. Thank you.


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