I recently obtained a Back to Basics and I wonder what is a good ratio of Basic/non-basic lands so it doesn't hurt me more than my opponents.

I suppose that near to 0 non-basics is a trivial answer for a mono-color deck, but I want to add it to my blue/white Commander deck. I tried to cut the less essential utility lands, but I am hesitant to take out the "dual lands" because it would increase the inconsistency of my deck.

2 Answers 2


Inconsistancy is generally less of a worry for Commander than for other formats, because the slower format means that you have more turns to draw into your lands.

I think that I'd be perfectly comfortable running a two color Commander deck with only basics, although I typically don't because I don't have a strong reason not to include duals. Three color would be more cause for concern, but two color should be fine.

Also, consider that fetch lands can help you balance your colors, but replace themselves with basic lands, so they won't be affected by Back to Basics.


Really it depends a lot on the meta you expect to be playing in more than the number of colors in your deck. There are cards that create a problem for you playing non-basic lands, like:

In that case your non-basic lands are going to be a problem, and this doesn't include non-repeatable effects that work on individual lands like Fulminator Mage and Wasteland. You could also have an issue when given the chance to look for basic lands if you have none, through effects like Path to Exile, Veteran Explorer or Collective Voyage.

However this doesn't mean you should go with only basic lands either, even if your deck is monocolored. There are also cards that can cause you issues with using basic lands, like:

And for specific colors:

All of which create problems for basic typed lands, and these are just the biggest ones, there are others that just do damage for tapping land with a specific basic typed, like Scald or ones that gain the controller life when their opponents tap that land like Lifetap. Players using the upkeep spells here will also likely play Eon Hub to bypass that cost. There is no perfect answer here, there are cards that are a problem for both sides of the basic/nonbasic equation. Based on this going all one way or the other leaves you open to more problems

  • 1
    One aspect to also consider is having enough basics to take advantage of effects that specifically tutor them up. E.g. failing to find a basic after having your creature Path to Exile'd feels bad.
    – Veskah
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 16:06
  • @Veskah True, though the overall idea here is that all either way is a bad thing, I added mention to that, and more nonbasic hate cards that I thought of after the original writing.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 18:36

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