The manabase for a Commander deck is usually the most important part of the deck that also ends up being the most neglected. Everyone considers cutting the last land slot for that cool new tech card, but you’ll more often than not, eventually regret the decision when you get mana screwed.
So, while this may be a message to bump up the efficiency of your mana, its also an opportunity to look at some of the cooler lands that don’t just create mana, but can also have some other unexpected benefits.
The 11 best Lands in Commander
Now, we’re not going to make a list of dual lands, fetches, or shocks. Those are all good, and if you can somehow afford dual lands and put them in your Commander deck, then more power to you, but they’re not very exciting really.
Instead, this is a list of specific lands that any deck that can use them should have. The best Lands in Commander are many and varied, so let’s dig right into it.
11 – Reliquary Tower
Our first card is the Reliquary Tower. Reliquary Tower taps for one Colorless mana, as do a lot of Lands on this list, but the effect it has is nothing to do with mana at all. In fact, the effect it has doesn’t even impact the battlefield at all.
Instead, Reliquary Tower simply makes it so that you have no maximum hand size. While this is unlikely to be of any use to an aggressive deck or one that makes use of graveyard strategies, any deck that likes to take its time is probably going to want this around.
10 – Vault of the Archangel
Vault of the Archangel is an extraordinarily fun Land that not only taps for one Colorless mana, but also has the potential to stop anybody attacking you or completely change the flow of the game.
For four mana, one of which is White and one of which is Black, you can give all of your Creatures deathtouch and lifelink. This can be used either on attack or defense, but either way, it’s probably going to be a huge game-changing moment, and it’s well worth having in any deck that has Creatures.
9 – Kessig Wolf Run
Sometimes you need a little bit of a buff to push through pesky defenders. It’s likely that if you’re playing a deck with Green and Red in it, that you’re going to have some very large Creatures. Despite that, it can occasionally still be tough to deliver the killer blow. Thankfully, Kessig Wolf Run is here, and while it taps for one Colorless mana, that’s not all it does.
For X plus one Red and one Green, you can tap this Land to give one target Creature +X/+0 and trample until the end of the turn. This is something you’re usually going t use to end a game or at least an opponent, but it doesn’t even have to be used on your Creatures. If you’re feeling fruity, you can use it to surprise buff someone else’s Creature to help them deliver the killing blow. It’s a cool card, and we like it a lot.
Read More: Top 5 Most Expensive MTG Aftermath Cards
8 – Maze of Ith
Maze of Ith doesn’t tap for mana, and that makes it a hard sell for some people. It means that having it in your opening hand is unlikely to be a good thing, but it does a lot of work after the first couple of turns, so it’s usually worth plopping one into your decklist.
That’s because when you tap it, you can untap an attacking Creature and prevent all damage they would do, and that would be done to them. This is great if you need to stop a gigantic monster from killing you off, but it also allows you to get any attack triggers you might want while being able to protect your Creature. It’s flexible enough that you’ll find a lot of uses for it, and having one untapped is a good way to deter potential attackers.
7 – Academy Ruins
With Artifacts being such an important part of Commander, even in decks that don’t necessarily focus on them, having a little bit of recursion goes a long way. Academy Ruins is one of the best ways to do this out there, and it comes at a good price and on a Land that can still tap for one Colorless mana if all else fails.
For two mana, one of which is Blue, you can put an Artifact from your Graveyard on top of your library. It doesn’t even take that much to be able to do this more or less infinitely with the right cards, but even just being able to recur your best Artifacts once is often enough to change the tide of a game.
6 – War Room
War Room is a utility land best suited to Commander decks that don’t run a lot of colors. This card, especially in mono-colored nonblue decks, plays a great Castle Lochthwain impression, drawing a card for three mana and one life. This is a big deal in longer games for archetypes like Mono-White that have difficulty coming across card advantage that doesn’t have some sort of lousy drawback.
You can also use War Room in multicolored decks, but the price for doing so will increase. Five-color decks probably don’t have a need for something like this since they have access to every other card Commander has to offer, but running this in some two-colored archetypes that may not run a lot of refill options, like Boros, could also be a good shout.
5 – Thespian’s Stage
They say you’re only as good as your best opponent, or the company you keep, or like, the average of the five most recent Land cards you’ve played. It’s something like that anyway. Thespian’s Stage is only ever as good as what else is on the battlefield, but that usually makes it incredibly powerful. While it only taps for Colorless mana normally, it can become whatever you want.
You see, Thespian’s Stage also has an ability that can turn it into any other Land card for two mana, but it also retains the ability to change again. This means you can always have the best Land on the field, and the flexibility of this, combined with some rather entertaining combos, makes Thespian’s Stage one of the best Lands in Commander.
4 – Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Anyone playing Pioneer knows just how ridiculous Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx can get. For two mana, you can tap Nykthos to add mana of any color equal to your devotion to that color. This stacks up pretty quickly in a deck that tries to take advantage of it, easily netting ten or more mana in a turn.
The only reason this isn’t higher up is that it takes a bit of set up to make work. You need two other lands usually, and you need to have permanents out. It’s not perfect, but if you’ve got a few Creatures and Enchantments out you’re usually going to be popping off.
3 – Ancient Tomb
Ancient Tomb isn’t a particularly exciting land, but it does a very good job of ramping you with very little effort. In fact, all you have to do is play it, and you can then tap it for two Colorless mana every turn. Sure, it deals two damage to you every time you do that, but that’s a small price to pay for infinite power.
Alright, it’s not infinite power, but there’s no denying ending up with extra mana just for playing the right Lands is hard to argue with. You can also stop using it when you either need to conserve your life total or just don’t need the boost anymore.
2 – Field of the Dead
Field of the Dead is banned in Pioneer, Historic, and Modern. It should be no surprise then, then it’s quite powerful and so far up this list. Field of the Dead enters the battlefield tapped, and can tap for one Colorless mana. This obviously isn’t the reason it’s so good, because that’s damn-near one of the worst effects around.
The power comes because whenever Field of the Dead or another land enters the battlefield under your control, if you control seven or more lands with different names, you get to create a 2/2 Zombie token. Now, that sounds like a lot, but it’s really not, because Commander has so many different Land cards that you’ll rarely struggle to manage this. That means that even a Basic Land can give you a Zombie upon entering the battlefield, and you’ll very rapidly end up overrunning the board with the undead.
1 – Command Tower
Yes, we know Command Tower isn’t very exciting either, but it’s undoubtedly an auto-include in every Commander deck around, so it’s very hard to argue with it being at the top of this list. Command Tower simply comes in untapped and taps for one color in your commander’s color identity.
You don’t need to be flashy or stylish when you get the job done, and Command Tower absolutely gets the job done. Unless you specifically want a deck filled with Basic Lands for some reason, and yes, there are reasons, you should have a Command Tower in there.
Read More: Top 11 MTG Best Pioneer Decks! (May 2023)
0 – Gaea’s Cradle/Serra’s Sanctum
Price tags help identify the most powerful things to do in Commander; unfortunately, these lands are incredibly expensive. They are, however, lands that don’t really fit in the ‘mana fixing’ category, and instead just offer a brutal amount of advantage for a relatively small investment.
Gaea’s Cradle is definitely the more powerful of these two lands, as creating a ton of creatures is a relatively trivial task. In a creature token deck, Gaea’s Cradle can easily do the work of what the rest of your mana base only wishes it could.
Serra’s Sanctum is a bit harder to make work, which means it’s also a bit cheaper financially. The result is the same as Gaea’s Cradle for white mana, but you must invest enchantments instead of creatures. Cards that genuinely take advantage of this are few and far between, so your best use of Serra’s Sanctum would simply be to put it in an enchantress deck.