What could replace the fetches/duals as a default mana base

Just brainstorming here. Zendikar is around the corner and there is a lot of speculation to if it will contain very pushed duals. There has been talk of flip lands, the other 6 color combos that mirror the Tainted Cycle in Omnaths colors, etc.

My question is as far as basic colored mana production goes, what could ever be printed that could usurp the place of the current vintage mana base of true duals, fetches, and basics. I'm not saying something that is specifically better like some sort of untapped trilands or anything crazy, but something that could be parallel and possibly better in specific or narrowly focused decks, or maybe just supplant one piece of the puzzle.

Personally I think because of standard and Pioneer we may be steering towards a "fixed" or reversed fetch land. Imagine a land that had no basic type but read "T, Sacrifice: Add R or U to your mana pool. Search your deck for a basic Mountain or Island and put it into play tapped"

Other ideas I have seen floated were a dual type land that tapped for any color once and then gets locked into that color via a token of some sort (as Zendikar fixes itself from the eldrazi)

That being said, I think WOTC has to be steering away from shuffle effects at this point because of how much time it takes, so outside of more variations on Tri lands and Tribal lands I'm not sure what to expect.

Indestructible dual lands could replace fetches.

Like Ravnica duals with indestructibility. Maybe not count as forest, plains, swamp, etc. but just be “Land”

last edited by Guest

@desolutionist I'd play those....cuz fu*k wasteland.

I don't think anything can replace fetches in eternal formats. Filling your graveyard + shuffling is too good. Indestructible duals seem good, but not good enough I guess.
There are also options like the new Thriving cycle (like Thriving Isle), if they came into play untapped.

last edited by fsecco

What about dual lands with the clause "you may not search your library for land cards". This would allow an additonal set of Duals at the cost of not being able to run fetches.

some scattered thoughts ... my instinct here is that you can't get there by printing new lands, but you might by printing new nonlands.

Purely in terms of manafixing, the fetch/dual manabase is particularly good at getting 3 colors of mana, but in a two or five color deck there are already better options.

The colorless mana symbol on some Eldrazi cards is a special case. I believe that Battlefield Forge is already a better card in vintage than Plateau, and I run something like 4 and 2. A green/white deck with Eldrazi cards probably wouldn't have room for Savannahs at all. If they printed new cards requiring colorless mana, cards that could be used in different strategies, it might incentivize two color decks to look to painlands, or other nonbasics.

Consider the Horizon Canopy cycle. I think there was a few-month window where those lands were both very good and very underplayed in the format, but they suddenly (and perhaps forever) became bad with the printing of Mystic Sanctuary

Basic Land types, particularly Island, are a key part of the fetch/dual's monopoly on manabases in Vintage. During periods where Gush is unrestricted, Island-count becomes more important than manafixing, and Sanctuary is another strong incentive, which is tough to get around. Above both of these is the ability to get basics against a Wasteland deck. Printing new lands with the Island subtype makes fetchlands stronger, printing new lands without the Island subtype would need to be significantly better than dual lands to make up for the fact that you lose basic-fetching and gush/sanctuary enabling. "Significantly better than dual lands" is a pretty high bar, we don't know how high because that's literally never been printed.

There are things that could mitigate those advantages though, restricting Wasteland (or weirdly enough, unrestricting Strip Mine) would make the ability to fetch nonbasics less important. There are probably a lot of scenarios where Mystic Sanctuary could become worse/less relevant.

(On the other hand, the shuffle-effect is huge in Legacy with 4xBrainstorm, 4xPonder, but I think far less important in vintage, and it would be possible to print lands that shuffle your deck without dipping into the Fetch/Dual paradigm)

I could imagine a scenario where some printings successfully disincentivized the fetch/dual manabase. Either by printing:

  • strong cards that are weaker or unplayable when you have land types or shuffle ("sacrifice if you control an island", "-1/-1 for each island you control", etc

or

  • actually good hosers for land types or shuffling. Choke is not a good hoser, Narset is.

Would take a lot of things coming together, but I could imagine a fetch/dual-free future. For what it's worth I don't want a fetch-free future? I think the unique way Vintage manabases work is a big part of what makes the format feel special compared to other formats. Fetchlands don't bore or upset me the way they seem to for other people. If we just banned duals and fetches I'm not sure we'd end up with a funner format. Some of the things I suggested might work, but cause way bigger problems.

Oh, a fantasy card thread. Haven't had one of those in a while.

@80percentbuffoon said in What could replace the fetches/duals as a default mana base:

Oh, a fantasy card thread. Haven't had one of those in a while.

I see what you did there

@brass-man said in What could replace the fetches/duals as a default mana base:

Would take a lot of things coming together, but I could imagine a fetch/dual-free future. For what it's worth I don't want a fetch-free future? I think the unique way Vintage manabases work is a big part of what makes the format feel special compared to other formats. Fetchlands don't bore or upset me the way they seem to for other people. If we just banned duals and fetches I'm not sure we'd end up with a funner format. Some of the things I suggested might work, but cause way bigger problems.

I fail to see how the vintage fetch / Duals mana base is substantially different than the Legacy one?

Note I didn't propose this thread to say that fetches and duals should go away (I would not bat an eye if they were all restricted though) but rather I do like the idea of them not being the default all the time. Honestly either piece of that puzzle is fine on its own, it is the combination of fetches and duals that makes them particularly hard to overcome as the best option. Like you mentioned, Mystic sanctuary was actually a big step backwards in recent month because it has that islands matter bit on it. I could absolutely imagine a world where a 5 color deck has such hard mana requirements that city of brass style lands suddenly became the more important piece of the puzzle, but not as long as they keep feeding the existing monster.

@protoaddict Oh I agree that vintage fetch/dual manabases are a lot closer to legacy manabases than they are to something like standard. It's one of the many similarities between the two formats, they're more alike than they are different. There is a "uniquely Vintage" manabase however (well ... several. Workshop decks and Bazaar decks are uniquely vintage for obvious reasons). This is less true in today, but the presence of Moxes and other artifact mana has a tangible impact on how manabases are built and therefore which cards can see play. A Vintage deck and a Legacy deck might have a similar number of total mana sources, but the presence of artifact mana means that the Vintage deck has fewer actual lands. I'm fascinated by manabases in general and I think there are subtleties that people outside the format don't catch, for instance, the presence of off-color artifact mana means that generic mana is easier to come by in Vintage. That changes the value of cards with colorless mana costs - in Vintage it's much easier to play a spell that costs 1U than a spell that costs UU, in many legacy decks they're identical. Back when it was common to run 7 artifact mana and 4 Mana Drains, I built my mana curves entirely differently, treating "C", "1C", and "CC" as three distinct mana costs. The difference is less stark now as lots of decks opt to run fewer colorless sources.

Where that intersects with duals/fetches is that the dual/fetch manabase requires a critical mass of lands to be effective - if you only had 3 lands in your deck you wouldn't make them 1 Underground Sea, 2 Polluted Delta. (Okay Meandeck Tendrils did this but you get my point). Committing to colorless or one-color artifact mana puts pressure on your nonartifact mana to be able to support more colors. If your deck has spells that cost 1U, 1R, and 1W, you want to have access to three colors by your second turn, if one of your two mana sources is a mox then your other source needs to be able to tap for 3 colors (Of course there are tradeoffs and in practice you end up shifting the cards in your deck to make your mana better, in addition to shifting the mana to cast your cards better)

Kind of a ramble but I think "Mox Ruby" is actually a card that disincentivizes fetchlands already, and I guess I'd have to conclude that fetchlands are better in Legacy (and I assume Modern?) than they are in Vintage. Of course they're still very good in Vintage, but I do believe there are cards you could print (or ban/restrict) to make them worse.

I think you could make a pretty good argument to say that Fetches+Duals are the third or fourth best manabase in Vintage, behind Workshops and Dredge (and possibly Bazaar/Mana'd decks like HollowVine). While fetchlands were still played in 2015 (the pre-restriction era of chalice/lodestone workshop dominance), it was probably a mistake to play them back then! So one really straightforward way to make fetches bad is to print good artifacts 😀

@brass-man said in What could replace the fetches/duals as a default mana base:

Kind of a ramble but I think "Mox Ruby" is actually a card that disincentivizes fetchlands already, and I guess I'd have to conclude that fetchlands are better in Legacy (and I assume Modern?) than they are in Vintage. Of course they're still very good in Vintage, but I do believe there are cards you could print (or ban/restrict) to make them worse.

In modern it is a substantially different dynamic as fetches + shock damage is a real penalty and most games are about reducing life totals, to the point where many decks use other options including fast lands, filter lands, tribal lands, etc, etc. Modern also has many variations in its landbase including up until recently snow based decks, Mono color lists, stuff like Jund which is a total hodgepodge of things to balance the life loss, affinity stuff, 5cc decks with rainbow creature lands, and more. Fetchlands are probably better to a point but have a natural limit when not supplemented with something like moxen, though in that format the supplemental is just different.

@brass-man said in What could replace the fetches/duals as a default mana base:

I think you could make a pretty good argument to say that Fetches+Duals are the third or fourth best manabase in Vintage, behind Workshops and Dredge (and possibly Bazaar/Mana'd decks like HollowVine). While fetchlands were still played in 2015 (the pre-restriction era of chalice/lodestone workshop dominance), it was probably a mistake to play them back then! So one really straightforward way to make fetches bad is to print good artifacts

Note was that I was not talking about manabases in general, obviously Manaless decks and shops decks are a whole other ball of wax. I was simply referring to decks that wanted colored mana out of their lands.

Jewelers Loupe
(0)
Artifact
Tap, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice ~: Search your library for an artifact Lotus or Mox and put it into play. Shuffle your library.

This should help replace Fetches and Duals. Plus, other formats have Moxen and they are really popular so Wizards can print this in Standard with Mox Platinum or something and have it be a huge hit. Will make Mox Tantilite more than a bulk Mythic from Modern Horizons. I don't see what's wrong with this card. It's all upside.

last edited by chubbyrain1

@chubbyrain1 it's not all upside. I mean, you have to pay a life. 😉

@chubbyrain1 said in What could replace the fetches/duals as a default mana base:

Jewelers Loupe
(0)
Artifact
Tap, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice ~: Search your library for an artifact Lotus or Mox and put it into play. Shuffle your library.

This should help replace Fetches and Duals. Plus, other formats have Moxen and they are really popular so Wizards can print this in Standard with Mox Platinum or something and have it be a huge hit. Will make Mox Tantilite more than a bulk Mythic from Modern Horizons. I don't see what's wrong with this card. It's all upside.

I don't think they would ever do this simply because they never printed subtypes on the moxen so it would require errata. They could do legendary artifact that has a CMC of 0 perhaps, but that would limit what it could pull. This would also be broken as all hell in legacy affinity where it is basically mox opal 5-8. I do like where your head is at though.

Would putting more of your manabase into artifact subtypes really help in vintage though when null rod and Oophe are a thing? Feels very eggs in one basket to me and i suspect outside of shops it would not replace the entire fetch dual manabase.

@protoaddict the card is better than black lotus, i'm pretty sure he's joking

@blindtherapy You mean paying 0 to put gilded lotus into play would be OP?

Wotc usually hints at what’s coming next in a set or two prior. So, the new duals May look like the Thriving lands in Jumpstart but with The dual land types.
Which would be insane if they don’t ETB tapped.
Would make sense flavor-wise with Zendikar thriving now with the Eldrazi “dead”

On the other hand, they could also be a finished version of the playtest lands found in Mystery Convention Ed.
Noxious Bayou
Aggressive Crag
Taiga Stadium
Rift
Waste Lands
Etc.

@thewhitedragon69 said in What could replace the fetches/duals as a default mana base:

@blindtherapy You mean paying 0 to put gilded lotus into play would be OP?

Look, it's 2020...The Fetches/Duals have had a good run and it's time for them to fall victim to power creep like all cards.

Should add Bazaar Lotus: Tap draw 6, discard 9.

@ten-ten said in What could replace the fetches/duals as a default mana base:

Wotc usually hints at what’s coming next in a set or two prior. So, the new duals May look like the Thriving lands in Jumpstart but with The dual land types.
Which would be insane if they don’t ETB tapped.
Would make sense flavor-wise with Zendikar thriving now with the Eldrazi “dead”
On the other hand, they could also be a finished version of the playtest lands found in Mystery Convention Ed.
Noxious Bayou
Aggressive Crag
Taiga Stadium
Rift
Waste Lands
Etc.

I'm not sure I can imagine a variation on the thriving lands that would replace Fetches and Duals. Best I could figure is they would need to be an island subtype and you could pick one of 2 other colors, and then maybe that specific one takes the place of underground sea, volc, etc, plus not coming into play tapped. At that point they almost feel strictly or at least practically better than duals and still work with fetches, plus would reap havoc on other formats.

Likewise, I think the Mystery playtest lands were all ok power level wise but obviously not strong enough to replace the fetch base. The poison land is the closest thing to a true dual with no drawback in other formats but they would never print that outside of a poison set.

Maybe if we ever get something more akin to Murmuring Bosk with a manageable drawback we might see something at least give Duals a run, but it's so hard in my mind to replace fetches.

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