Lands are an essential component of nearly every Magic: The Gathering deck, and that's even more true in Commander than in other formats. You will typically have 35-40 slots to fill with lands, and each nonbasic land can only fill one slot. How do you ensure you'll find the colors of mana you need to cast your spells? Typical mana fixers like Steam Vents and Windswept Heath can easily double or triple the price of your deck.
However, this should not be cause for alarm. Lands in Commander don't have to be expensive to be good! Also, research is boring, so I wrote this article so you don't have to do any.
Myriad Landscape is one of the most underplayed and underappreciated budget lands in Commander.
Sitting under 50 cents, this colorless land allows you to search for two basic land cards that share a type. This is effective in mono-colored and multicolored decks alike. Hurting for that one color you're missing? Can't cast that double-white spell in your hand? Just crack your Landscape for the perfect mana fix in a pinch!
These new lands from Jumpstart really took me by surprise!
They are perfect for fixing mana in decks with three or more colors. Each thriving land features one of the five colors of Magic and allow you to choose any other color. While these lands enter the battlefield tapped, they allow you to tap for either the initial or chosen color, making them a great way to customize your mana base.
Rogue's Passage is probably one of my favorite colorless lands in Commander! I personally think this land is criminally cheap, sitting at a cool, crisp 50 cents.
While this land may not tap for colored mana, its mana-producing ability is not the star of the show. Instead, its activated ability is a must for Commander decks that revolve around commander damage. With Passage in play it doesn't matter how many blockers your opponents have—all that matters is whether your commander can swing for lethal. Whether you slot this in to pair with Phage the Untouchable or Kathril, Aspect Warper, this land can easily be the difference between a win or a loss.
Two-color decks are the most popular kind in Commander. While mono-color decks are easier to build (and build a mana base around), dual-colored decks give players access to more abilities and ways to win. However, this means that your mana base is going to need to be a bit more complicated.
This leads us to some of the best budget dual lands in Magic: Temple lands. These cards give you access to both of your colors while also allowing you to scry when they enter the battlefield.
In a singleton format like Commander, you're often at the mercy of the top of your deck. Scrying can be incredibly helpful, whether you are looking to find that perfect board wipe or scry away unnecessary lands. Either way, being able to look at the top card of your library can be invaluable, and given their $1-$2 price range, Temple lands are a shoo-in for our #7 spot.
The tainted lands are anything but tainted!
Most two-color lands are either absurdly expensive or enter play tapped. Not the tainted lands. On their own, they only tap for colorless mana—but all it takes to make your Tainted Wood just as good as Bayou is having a single Swamp in play.
These lands range in price from $1-$6, and while they're only useful in black decks, they're more than powerful enough to sit at our #6 spot.
Triple-colored decks can be pretty difficult to build a mana base around. You have to juggle a lot in order to find a perfect balance all your colors.
Thankfully, you can get all three of your colors in just one card with the wedge and shard lands.
Functioning as budget versions of the Triomes, these lands fall in at #5 due to them entering the battlefield tapped while providing an assortment of colors to choose from.
Coming in at #4 is another colorless utility land that makes a very big impact on the board: Ghost Quarter.
This land isn't meant to stay on the battlefield long and is a sure fire way to get rid of your opponents' peskier non-basics. This land can take out anything from Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to Field of the Dead to Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Regardless of your target, Ghost Quarter is a perfect budget land that really takes the wind out of your opponent's sails. And isn't that the heart of Commander?
Exotic Orchard is small gamble that can pay off big time. In a typical multiplayer game of Commander, chances are high that at least one of your opponents will be playing a color that you're also playing. And if all of your colors are represented elsewhere at the table, Exotic Orchard becomes the perfect mana fixer, entering play untapped and ready to help you cast any spell in your deck.
There's always a chance that you'll draw this card when none of your opponents have the color of mana you need. Your milage will vary if your playgroup prefers mono-color decks. But the more cutthroat your opponents are, the more likely they are to run multiple colors—and the more likely Exotic Orchard is to solve all your mana woes.
This card will be an unwelcome sight to all your opponents when it hits the battlefield. This $3 land may not tap for mana, however, it does something even better.
It makes you immune to damage.
Sure, you may have to sacrifice a land when it enters the battlefield, and yes, you need to pay life to keep it on the battlefield. However this land is a lifesaver when you're staring down sudden death by a million tokens or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Glacial Chasm is a stall effect, helping you stay alive until you draw into your saving grace, or a game-winning combo.
By now, you know what makes a good land in Commander. It taps for multiple colors (ideally, every color in your deck), and it enters play untapped.
What if I told you there was a card that could do all those things in any Commander deck? And that it costs less than a dollar?
Command Tower is "the Commander player's land."
When brewing any deck that goes over one color, this land is hands-down an auto-include (though it's fun to add to your mono-colored deck for some laughs and to annoy your opponents). Not only does this land tap for one mana within your commander's color identity, it also comes into play untapped, making it a quick and easy way to mana fix.
No other land slots so effortlessly into any Commander deck you build, and that's why Command Tower deserves its place at the top of this list.