Magic has a long and storied history of lands that double as creatures. Creature lands, or "man-lands," as the colloquialism goes, are ubiquitous with constructed Magic, so it's easy to forget what an interesting space in design they occupy.

Any (fair) deck needs creatures in order to win. They also need lands to cast those creatures. With creatures lands, you get the best of both worlds: a land in the early game to cast your spells, and an efficient creature to beat down with once you've stabilized.

The idea of a creature land as a win condition in a control deck made one of its first appearances at Pro Tour New York in '96.


There's lots of stuff going on here that we can safely ignore. Is this deck 62 cards? Yes. Are we only playing one Strip Mine out of a possible four? Oh, yes. A Wizards' School check comes back positive, but that's just because back then they actually forced you to play Homelands cards.

For all this deck's flaws, ol' Loconto managed to do one thing right: four copies of Mishra's Factory. Aside from completely messing up the Shandalar AI, Mishra's Factory is the OG of creatures lands. It gets better in multiples; it pumps each other, it pumps itself, it's sufficiently aggressive – Mishra's Factory plays every role there is to play, and does it well.

There's a card in Oath of the Gatewatch that continues this fine tradition.

This slots really nicely into existing Abzan decks as a threat that can't be blocked or attacked into easily. It always trades up. In the Abzan mirror, games will warp around this card – all the creatures are bigger than a 2/2, and in that matchup, players' removal spells are already stretched thin. There's just no efficient way to deal with this card. It dodges Abzan Charm! Dromoka's Command is really bad against lifelink! Murderous Cut is earmarked for four-power creatures!

It's a versatile card that can play the role of either defender or aggressor, and it's a fine candidate to carry the torch that Mishra's Factory lit 20 years ago.

Jon Corpora
pronounced Ca-pora