Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fetchlands: From a Budget Tool Perspective

Most everyone understands that when it comes to eternal formats the original Dual Lands are about the best investment you can make. Which ones you get first, and how many repeaters you want really is a function of what decks you want to play. I really feel that you can't go wrong with having at least one copy of each. The Ravnica Shocklands play an acceptable role as cheap substitutes, while you are filling in your collection of originals.

At some point in your collecting days, you will need to turn your attention to the power of fetchlands, and here is why. Lets say you luck up and find a Bayou on the street, so you decide to begin turning your Legacy Mono Black Control list into Eva Green. That Bayou is a great start, but is only going to show up in your opening hand about 12% of the time. Not Bad, but not very consistent to say the least, so you want more. Naturally you decide to bust your hump on you paper route and in no time you have saved up the $50 needed to get a Bayou at this time. But wait, is putting all of those resources into a single card really your best option?

Turns out, it may not be. If you get the second Bayou, your odds of having one in your opening hand expectantly double to roughly 24%. On the other hand, if you take those same funds, and buy say the four least expensive fetchlands for which Bayou is a valid target, you end up with five cards options, rather then two. That's right, now you can expect to have/or be able to get your Bayou about 61% of the time from your opening hand. Wow, that is a huge difference! Okay, sure in the end you are still only running one copy of Bayou, and in a world of wasteland, there is some risk in that, but I think you see my point. We are talking about a budget solution here, and we can all agree if money was no object more then one Bayou would be great for a deck like this.

So fetchlands can be better in any given deck, then a second copy of a dual, but what about a world where you play multiple decks? Bayou, and in fact most dual lands, are most often played as one of copies in decks which have fetchland support. Outside of Eva Green, I can't think of a single Tier1 deck that runs more then one. Your fetchlands on the other hand, can be run in nearly every deck in which the color is used. I really believe that in most cases fetchlands are a better investment then multiple copies of duals. Of course that is after you have at least one copy of the dual in question.

So now that we have established what a great choice fetchlands can be, the question becomes what else can they do for you? They aren't just ways to get at expensive dual lands, and reduce the number of basics are they? Nope, turns out fetches can get a small group of cards no one ever thinks about.

Dryad Arbor- it's a forest, it's a creature. It turns into Progenitus with alarming regularity.
Leechridden Swamp- Die bitches!
Madblind Mountain- oh yeah, shuffle that library.
Mistveil Plains- Need something from the yard, they will never see this coming.
Moonring Island- Peek? Don't mind if I do.
Murmuring Bosk- that's right three colors of mana!
Sapseep Forest- gain some life.

So it's not a a huge list, but there just may be some tech in there to allow your next budget deck monstrosity to steal some wins from those "better" decks, all thanks to a little added push from a fetchland.

1 comment:

Beverly said...

Does this mean that there is more than one way to skin a cat?