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A Commander deck consists of 100 unique cards, of which one is designated as the Commander and either a Legendary Creature or an allowed Planeswalker. I'm still very unfamiliar with this format. How would you go about figuring out the number of lands to put into your commander deck?

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I always start with 38 mana producing lands and 6 mana producing artifacts then tweak from there. – Affe Dec 16 '11 at 0:01
    
I usually go with 40 lands -1 land for each 2 non-land mana sources as a base rule. – Cameron Jan 6 at 10:22
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Because of the slower pace of play in EDH/Commander, it isn't as drastically important to hit 5-6 land drops in 5-6 turns. In addition, the number of "mana rocks" (mana-generating artifacts) and dual lands/mana filtering/land fetch cards are usually higher.

Considering that, the 40% lands rule is still fairly close to normal (lightened obviously for the reasons above). I've run 34-36 land decks successfully, but usually you see 37-40 with some of the previously mentioned accelerators.

Abnormal decks (with huge numbers of accelerators) will run as few as 32 lands (the equivalent of running about 13 in a 40-card limited deck), but I'd recommend starting around 40 and cutting around one land per three accelerators (if you're trying to cut land, and not running very high-cost spells).

Do also remember that running fewer lands with more mana rocks leaves you open to blowouts when someone wipes artifacts with Austere Command, Merciless Eviction, Shatterstorm/Creeping Corrosion, etc. - you don't want to be stuck on four lands when your couple of Signets and Thran Dynamo get wiped.

As an example, the Devour for Power Commander deck shipped with 40 lands and four mana-generating artifacts, but it is fairly heavy on costs.

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I have a large number of accelerators, and lots of draw, and some of the lands are 2-mana lands, and there are a bunch of mana rocks. With all of that, I can run only 29 land and be just fine most games. Lots of card-draw means I can hit my drop every turn. – cdeszaq Dec 16 '11 at 15:26
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"Abnormal decks..." -- there are also decks which are abnormal in the opposite direction, such as Azusa with ~50 lands, or Child of Alara lands.dek with 70+ lands. – Brian S Feb 6 '14 at 20:25
    
May want to mention Mass Land destruction effects as a reason to run Additional Mana Rocks. There's an aspect of risk management to Mana Rocks vs Lands, in this mass destruction for both is available and frequently played. – aaron Jan 7 at 15:22

I run Tool box Commander style decks which want more land rather than less:

Scion of the Ur-Dragon. Sliver Overlord.

These decks allow me to run a greater number of lands to ensure that i'm not missing a land drop in the first 8 or 9 turns. The Tool Box commanders are played early and often, and give me the flexibility to play the right card at the right time with all the mana I have.

(51 lands, 14 mana-rocks with dragons. 49 lands, 10 mana-rocks with Slivers.)

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This doesn't appear to actually answer the question effectively, in terms of how much land one needs to consider running. – doppelgreener Jan 6 at 2:32
    
perhaps if you waited more than 30 seconds to comment... – Dannar Jan 6 at 2:34
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Answer provides a specific application for a very general question with out providing validation for the narrowing focus, or a comparative example. – Drunk Cynic Jan 6 at 3:36
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I agree with @DrunkCynic. The question is about how you figure out how much land you need, not how much land you put in one very specific deck. – ConMan Jan 6 at 4:54

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