I am a commander player who operates on a very tight budget. I recently started brewing for a 5-color Jodah chaos deck, but am having trouble building an affordable manabase. I can't afford shocklands, fetchlands, original duals and the like. I am looking to see if there are any land cycles that I have missed that might help me out, for example, I am running pain lands. I am trying to stay away from things like guildgates/thornwood falls cycle, tri-lands, etc, because they are too slow for my deck and my playgroup. I am aware of the issues trying to build a budget manabase for a 5-color deck that is still fast enough to be viable in a good meta, but I'm just wondering if there are any cycles of lands that I could use? Trying to stay away from nonland cards, my deck is already very filled out.

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    It would probably be helpful if you provided a budget of how much you are willing to spend – SamYonnou Feb 11 '19 at 18:19

Here are the lands that will work in a 5 color deck, I ordered them in roughly the order I think they are helpful speed wise to an EDH deck and will include the lands you already run for completeness. Prices rounded and are from TCGPlayer based on the results returned by Scryfall. (For sake of site rules, I have no affiliation with either site)

Assumed budget maximum was $10 per card so only cycles in that price range are included. All but one cycle has a method to come in untapped and be used immediately.

Bond Lands:

You're building EDH, a multiplayer free for all format, and bond lands care about how many opponents you have, being released in Battlebond, the 2HG set. Their prices range from Spire Garden at $4 to Morphic Pool at $11. These are all but guaranteed to come out in EDH untapped, until the game is almost over when one land drop won't matter so much anymore.

Shock Lands:

These have always been an EDH staple, having the basic land types to allow them to be found by some effects (Farseek) and being able to choose to let them come in tapped when the cost (2 life) was not worth it. These were at one time more expensive lands, however with the two further visits to Ravnica each having full reprints of the cycles, the price to get ahold of these lands has gone down quite a bit, they now run from Temple Garden at $5 to Steam Vents at $11.

Filter Lands:

There are a few cycles of filter lands, The first cycle from Odyssey requires you to pay 1 mana of any color to get 2 mana of specific allied color pairs, cost wise they range from Sungrass Prairie at $1 to Skycloud Expanse at $5. The second cycle came out in Llorwyn block, it requires you to spend one mana of the colors it can produce to get two mana in any combination of those two colors. This cycle tends to be pretty expensive, however 6/10 of the cycle are in your price range, Graven Cairns was printed a few times and can be bought at $2.50 and is the only allied color pair in the price range, the enemy color pairs range from Rugged Prairie at $4 to Twilight Mire at $7.25. Unlike the Llorwyn cycle, the Odyssey cycle cannot tap for mana without paying into it, the Llorwyn cards have tap for colorless.

Pain Lands:

These lands tap for colorless, or one of two colors if you pay one life. These lands run in cost from Battlefield Forge at $1 to Brushland at $9. Mana Confluence ($9) and City of Brass ($8.50) can also be considered here, as they tap for 1 of any color at the cost of one life, with slightly different wording (cost/vs damage effect). Murmuring Bosk ($0.75) can also be included here, it is a forest so taps for green, but can tap for black or white for 1 life, it will come in untapped if you reveal a treefolk card from your hand. All of these cards, other than City of Brass cannot be used for colored mana if you are prevented from paying life (effects like Angel of Jubilation or Platinum Emperion) however preventing damage from City of Brass does not prevent it from being used.

Check Lands:

These check that you have one land of the matching color basic land subtypes out on the field and come in untapped if you do, they don't care if they are basic so Shock, Battle and Bicycle lands will work for this also. Price wise they range from Rootbound Crag at just under $4 to Sulfur Falls at $8.

Reveal Lands:

These lands come in untapped if you can reveal a land from your hand with a matching basic type, though it does not need to be basic, so Shock, Battle and Bicycle lands will work. Price wise these go from Game Trail at just under $1 to Choked Estuary at $1.50.

Battle Lands:

These come out untapped if you have at least two basic lands in play, though this makes it less and less likely you will get them untapped the more non-basics you have in your deck, these do unfortunately only exist in allied colors and the costs run from Smoldering Marsh at $1.75 to Cinder Glade at $2.75. These also have the basic land types, so they will matter for other land types listed, like Check and Reveal lands.

Fast lands:

These come out untapped if you have 2 or less other lands can conditionally be faster. The original set, the allied colors, can be more expensive, running from Razorverge Thicket at $7.50 to Blackcleave Cliffs at $37, but the new enemy colors completing the cycle from Kaladesh are more reasonable, costing from $2 for Concealed Courtyard to $9 for Spirebluff Canal. These are a little less useful in EDH due to the game format being longer, the deck size larger and the lands limited to one each, the likelihood they will come in untapped is low, they are much better in formats like modern where early advantage means more.

Tainted Lands:

These lands tap for colorless, unless you have a swamp, if you do they tap for black or one other color. They go from Tainted Field at $0.15 to Tainted Isle at $2.25. This is a cycle of 4 lands, as the 5th land would tap for black or black, and be useless. These also do not care about the land being basic, so Shock, Battle and Bicycle swamps all apply, as do all lands turned into swamps by an effect like Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Bicycle Lands:

These lands will come in tapped, however I am mentioning them because they synergize with Check lands if played earlier and Reveal lands if in the hand. They range in price from Irrigated Farmland at about $0.50 to Fetid Pools at about $2.

There are lands that make colors conditionally that could be useful in your deck, like Reflecting Pool ($11.50) and Exotic Orchard ($1.50) making mana based on what mana you, or your opponents could make. Spire of Industry ($1) costs one life and needs you to have an artifact to make any colored mana and Glimmervoid ($6.75) makes 1 mana of any color but is sacrificed if you have no artifacts in play, Thran Quarry ($2.50) works the same but needs creatures. Aether Hub ($0.25) costs one energy to make any colored mana and Forbidden Orchard ($6.50) which gives opponents a 1/1 creature for every mana you make with it, but makes any color. Holdout Settlement ($0.10) and Survivors' Encampment ($0.10) both need you to tap a creature to make colored mana.

Other lands restrict how mana can be spent, but without knowing the deck type can't really be suggested. If it's eldrazi(with devoid) there's Corrupted Crossroads ($0.25), allies have Ally Encampment ($0.25), creature heavy decks can make use of Ancient Ziggurat ($8), dragons have Haven of the Spirit Dragon ($1.25), elementals use Primal Beyond ($2.50), Slivers use Sliver Hive ($6.25), if most of your spells have more than one color in them then use Pillar of the Paruns ($3.75) and Unclaimed Territory ($1.50) works for any tribal deck since you name the creature type when you play it. Changeling decks will benefit from all these tribal lands. (except Corrupted Crossroads, and Pillar which care about other characteristics)

Path of Ancestry ($5.25) and Command Tower ($2) can both tap for any color in your commander, which means any color in your deck and should be pretty much automatic included in any EDH deck.

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    I avoided anything over $10, I mentioned reflecting pool because of the high utility and because I also mentioned orchard, though parts of some cycles are in that range. – Andrew Feb 11 '19 at 15:53
  • Note that the Jodah deck OP mentioned wants all five colors on the board asap, so filter lands are better than usual and Reflecting Pool is worse. – JollyJoker Feb 12 '19 at 9:15
  • @JollyJoker I don't see where that was said explicitly, though with Jodah the implication is there, but there is a reason I listed filters 3rd, after bond (always untapped early EDH, no downside) and shock (untapped at the cost of two life) I will admit I missed where it said the deck was Jodah in the original post, pretty much making any of the restricted use lands useless to him. – Andrew Feb 12 '19 at 15:48
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    It's probably a more useful answer for the site if it talks generally about 5 color decks rather than Jodah specifically – JollyJoker Feb 12 '19 at 15:54
  • @JollyJoker agreed. While Collin won't get any use out of those tribal lands, I've seen Horde of Notions, I've seen Ur Dragon and Scion, I've seen Tazri and I've seen all 4 sliver legends as commanders before, all need good manabases for reliable colors. – Andrew Feb 12 '19 at 15:58

Command Tower is a must-include.

Besides that, there are pretty much five types of multi-colored lands.

  1. Lands that start untapped and have no/minimal drawback (paying 2 life is considered minimal). They cost a lot of money because they are good. Examples include Tundra, Temple Garden, and Windswept Heath.

  2. Lands that conditionally start untapped. These are less expensive because they aren't as reliable. Examples include Dragonskull Summit, Botanical Sanctum, Bountiful Promenade.

  3. Lands that start tapped. These are going to be cheapest because of the tempo hit, but can have cool other abilities to make up for it. Examples include Thornwood Falls, Seaside Citadel, Vivid Crag, Terramorphic Expanse, and Flood Plain.

  4. Lands that start untapped but have some other drawback (they tend to involve counters; search t:land o:counter). These can be cheap but it depends on the drawback. Examples include Timberline Ridge, City of Brass, Tendo Ice Bridge, Mirrodin's Core, and Gemstone Mine.

  5. Lands that produce any color with some restriction (search t:land o:"any color"). Examples include Ancient Ziggurat, Glimmervoid, Pillar of the Paruns, Unclaimed Territory, and Crystal Quarry.

  • command tower i always include :) – CollinB Feb 11 '19 at 14:22

Most standard sets will have dual coloured lands. With return to ravnica you get the gates, which you can have for each guild and also you get the gates in allegiance. You can use cascade bluffs as well. If you include a chromatic lantern then that should solve your problem as well.

You can also rely on the 3 coloured lands from fate reforged/khans time (can't remember specific set), or the life lands (come into play tapped but you gain 1 life). If you run things like growth spiral and gate summit then you kind of recover on the tempo of your lands coming into play tapped.

  • ..... i said in my questions that the tri lands, etb tapped but gain 1, and guildgates were too slow, and that i had no slots left (so no chromatic lantern or growth spiral) cascade bluffs was mentioned earlier, and i said it was out of my price range – CollinB Feb 11 '19 at 14:54
  • what about painlands? like cave of koilos... – fireshark519 Feb 11 '19 at 14:56
  • if you read my original post, you'll notice i said i was already running pain lands – CollinB Feb 11 '19 at 14:58
  • @CollinB sorry I read it as "plain lands" xD. if shocks are out of question even though they are very low in price at the moment. You will have the cycle lands, checklands, tango lands, fast lands...(amonkhet, kaladesh, BFZ). Maybe even the temples, though still entering tapped the scry might recover the advantage for you... – fireshark519 Feb 11 '19 at 15:02
  • my thoughts immediately went to checklands when i first confronted the manabase, but i'm not sure how well they will work, because i'll need basic lands to let them enter untapped, which means i MUST include enough basics for it to work, decreasing my mana consistency. I'm unsure if this will actually be as much of an issue as i think, any opinions? – CollinB Feb 11 '19 at 15:06

You can use the Mirage fetch lands.

  • Flood Plain ({W}/{U})
  • Bad River ({U}/{B})
  • Rocky Tar Pit ({B}/{R})
  • Mountain Valley ({R}/{G})
  • Grasslands ({G}/{W}).

and one of the best are the Shadowmoor/Eventide filter land.

  • Mystic Gate {W/U}
  • Sunken Ruins {U/B}
  • Graven Cairns {B/R}
  • Fire-lit Thicket {R/G}
  • Wooded Bastion {G/W}
  • Fetid Heath {W/B}
  • Cascade Bluffs {U/R}
  • Twilight Mire {B/G}
  • Rugged Prairie {R/W}
  • Flooded Grove {G/U}

good value for the cost.

  • my only concern with any type of fetch land is without shocks and original duals, they seem to lose much of their power, if i put in enough basics for them to work well, it limits my consistency if i draw those basics, and doesn't offer me the ability to tap for either land color, i have to choose what to fetch for based on my current hand, and can easily run into consistency problems later on. In addition, it's slow from the enters tapped trigger, due to the inability to include lands with multiple basic land types, it's honestly even more worth it to run thornwood falls, etc. – CollinB Feb 11 '19 at 14:10
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    the filter lands also seem to be within the 10-15 dollar each price range, which is beyond my budget – CollinB Feb 11 '19 at 14:11
  • I thing in that case you best option is to build arround green and ramp spells. because artificat can be destroyed to easy. – Nicolas Rudisky Feb 11 '19 at 14:16
  • i have no more slots left :( – CollinB Feb 11 '19 at 14:22
  • 2 cicles of lands that are good: lorwing uncomon that comes into play taped have 2 counter and produce mana of any color removing a counter . and the tempsts ones that gives 2 color but dosn't untape if you use for colored mana. – Nicolas Rudisky Feb 11 '19 at 14:27

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