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.

  • 3
    It would probably be helpful if you provided a budget of how much you are willing to spend
    – SamYonnou
    Feb 11, 2019 at 18:19

4 Answers 4


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 to the nearest quarter and are from TCGPlayer based on the results returned by Scryfall. (For sake of site rules, I have no affiliation with either site)

Without knowing your budget, I can't really limit myself to that budget, but I will give a more general overview of less expensive lands and cycles for 5 color EDH.

Bond Lands

You're building EDH, a multiplayer free for all format, and bond lands care about how many opponents you have, allied colors being released in Battlebond, the 2HG set, and enemy colors in Commander Legends. Their prices range from Spectator Seating ({R}/{W}) at $5.75 to Morphic Pool ({U}/{B}) at $28.25. 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 Hallowed Fountain ({W}/{U}) at $7.75 to Breeding Pool ({G}/{U}) at $20.

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 ({G}{W}) at $0.25 to Shadowblood Ridge ({B}{R}) at $0.50.

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. Recent reprints in masters sets have brought this cycle down in price, from Graven Cairns ({B}{R}) at $4.25 to Sunken Ruins ({U}{B}) at $18. Unlike the Llorwyn cycle, the Odyssey cycle cannot tap for mana without paying into it, the Llorwyn cards have tap for colorless.

Also worth mentioning here is Crystal Quarry ({W}{U}{B}{R}{G}) which filters 5 mana into one of each color for $6.75 and Cascading Cataracts for $4.75 which turns 5 mana into 5 mana of any color combination you want.

Pain Lands

These lands tap for colorless, or one of two colors if you pay one life. These lands run in cost from Llanowar Wastes ({B}/{G}) at $0.75 to Adarkar Wastes ({W}/{U}) at $8.75.

Mana Confluence ($20.75) and City of Brass ($16.25) 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 ($1.25) can also be included here, it is a forest so taps for {G}, but can alternatively tap for {B} or {W} 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.

Pathway Lands

Zendikar Rising introduced a partial cycle of 6 lands in 2 allied and 4 enemy color pairs and Kaldheim finished the set with the other 4 pairs. These lands tap for one color, but when you play them you choose which side enters face up, and thus which of the two possible colors they can tap for. They run from Cragcrown Pathway/Timbercrown Pathway ({R}/{G}) for $2.75 to Darkbore Pathway/Slitherbore Pathway ({B}/{G}) for $5.75. Note if they enter the battlefield in some way other than being played (being flickered or Scapeshift perhaps) they enter with the front face up, no choice about side.

Slow Lands

This cycle came out in Midnight Hunt, and was completed in Crimson Vow. These lands come in tapped unless you already have at least two lands out when you play them. In faster formats that can be a big downside, but in EDH decks running multiple, particularly five, colors these should be coming in untapped once you get all your colors. Price wise the cycle runs from Overgrown Farmland ({G}/{W}) at $3.50 to Shipwreck Marsh ({U}/{B}) at $8.25.

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 Sunpetal Grove ({G}/{W}) at $3 to Hinterland Harbor ({G}/{U}) at $7.

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 Fortified Village ({G}/{W}) at $2.25 to Choked Estuary ({U}/{B}) at $3.75.

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 Prairie Stream ({W}/{U}) at $0.75 to Canopy Vista ({G}/{W}) at $2.25. 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. They run from Concealed Courtyard ({W}/{B}) at $2.75 to Blackcleave Cliffs ({B}/{R}) at $16.25. 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 {B} or one other color. They go from Tainted Field ({W}/{B}) at $0.25 to Tainted Peak ({B}/{R}) at $4.25. This is a cycle of 4 lands, as the 5th land would be {B}/{B} if you control a swamp, and be a strictly worse than a swamp itself. 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.

Thriving Lands

Jumpstart added a new cycle of lands, 5 lands that come in tapped, one for each color of mana. The up side to these lands is they let you pick the other color they can tap for as you play them. While they do come in tapped and are slower than most of the rest here, the guarantee of giving you the color you need as your 5th land can mean a lot. They run from Thriving Bluff ({R}) at $0.50 to Thriving Isle ({U}) at $1.75.

Vivid Lands

Vivid lands always come in tapped, but tapped status really only slows you down if it is the 5th land, completing the set of colors. The major benefit of Vivid lands is they come in with two charge counters, allowing the land to be used for any color twice. They run from Vivid Grove ({G}) at $0.25 to Vivid Marsh ({B}) at $1.50.


Triomes, or tricycle lands (tri color lands with cycling), are an evolution of Bicycle lands seen below. There are 5 lands with a pair of allied colors and their mutual enemy (Khans of Tarkir colors) released in Ikoria and 5 lands with a central color and it's two allies (Shards of Alara colors). They come in tapped, but because they have three basic land types they are easy to find and synergize with many of the other effects. They run from Spara's Headquarters ({G}/{W}/{U}) at $5.75 to Ketria Triome ({G}/{U}/{R}) at $16.75.

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 ({W}/{U}) at $0.25 to Fetid Pools ({U}/{B}) at $3.75.

Nap Lands

These lands you can only tap once every other turn and come in untapped, there are two cycles, both ally colored only. The first uses a counter put on when tapping for mana that is removed instead of untapping. These run from Timberline Ridge ({R}/{G}) at $2.95 to River Delta ({U}/{B}) at $4.25.

The other cycle is actually two cycles of 5 which are functional reprints of eachother, all less than $0.25 from Rootwater Depths ({U}/{B}) to Cinder Marsh ({B}/{R}), these can tap for colorless without staying tapped, and use more familiar "does not untap" language.

Other Lands

There are lands that make colors conditionally that could be useful in your deck, like Reflecting Pool ($22) and Exotic Orchard ($0.50) making mana based on what colors 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 ($2.50) makes 1 mana of any color but is sacrificed if you have no artifacts in play, Thran Quarry ($6.50) works the same but needs creatures. Aether Hub ($0.25) costs one energy to make any colored mana and Forbidden Orchard ($20) which gives opponents a 1/1 creature for every mana you make with it, but makes any color. Holdout Settlement ($0.25) and Survivors' Encampment ($0.25) both need you to tap a creature to make colored mana.

A little less useful cards that make multiple but not any color, River of Tears ($2) makes {U} before you play a land for turn or {B} after. Nimbus Maze ($4.50) can tap for {W} if you control an island and {U} if you control a plains, giving you the opposite once you have the other color's basic land type. Grove of the Burnwillows ($4.25) taps for {R} or {G} but gives one life to each enemy, something that rarely matters in EDH where overwhelming damage, poison, commander damage and mill are the usual ways of winning.

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 ($4), dragons have Haven of the Spirit Dragon ($2.75), elementals use Primal Beyond ($9.75), Slivers use Sliver Hive ($27), if most of your spells have more than one color in them then use Pillar of the Paruns ($12.50) and Unclaimed Territory ($1) works for any tribal deck since you name the creature type when you play it, and the new strictly better version Secluded Courtyard ($2) which lets you spend the mana on abilities of those creatures. Changeling decks will benefit from all these tribal lands. (except Corrupted Crossroads, and Pillar which care about other characteristics)

Path of Ancestry ($0.50) and Command Tower ($0.25) can both tap for any color in your commander's identity, which means any color in your deck and should be pretty much automatic included in any non-monocolored EDH deck.

These costs can change wildly, Sliver Hive for instance was $7.50 when this post was first written, so check the costs for yourself for these cycles, the header for each section has been made into a link to the results for those cards on scryfall.

  • 1
    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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 at 15:48
  • 1
    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, 2019 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, 2019 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. If you're on a budget, you probably want to avoid this category. 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, 2019 at 14:22
  • 1
    I wouldnt ever call tundra, costing over 150 usd, budget friendly.
    – Andrew
    Mar 4, 2020 at 23:10
  • @Andrew I didn't call Tundra "budget friendly". The sentence immediately preceding it describes that category of lands as expensive. The category is included for completeness in the categorization of multicolor lands.
    – Zags
    Sep 14, 2020 at 18:59
  • 1
    @zags meaning you dont actually address the question that was asked, you put lands into categories but never look at the cost/benefit the question is about.
    – Andrew
    Sep 14, 2020 at 19:48
  • 1
    @Andrew I address the question through the lens of that categorization. Negative examples can be a useful explanatory technique. However, I do not include specific price data as that changes drastically with time.
    – Zags
    Sep 14, 2020 at 22:26

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.

  • 1
    ..... 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, 2019 at 14:54
  • what about painlands? like cave of koilos... Feb 11, 2019 at 14:56
  • if you read my original post, you'll notice i said i was already running pain lands
    – CollinB
    Feb 11, 2019 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... Feb 11, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 at 14:10
  • 1
    the filter lands also seem to be within the 10-15 dollar each price range, which is beyond my budget
    – CollinB
    Feb 11, 2019 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. Feb 11, 2019 at 14:16
  • i have no more slots left :(
    – CollinB
    Feb 11, 2019 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. Feb 11, 2019 at 14:27

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