March of the Machine Prerelease is right around the corner! This means that the community has spent a lot of time engaging with March of the Machine cards as the spoiler season ends, which also means that other big market movements may have been missed. Finding cards that have spiked immensely and uncovering what’s causing said movements is something we commonly do, but we don’t always cover price drops. Historic price drops like this one, however, can only go unnoticed for a small amount of time. It seems that an MTG Fetch Land, one of the most powerful Commander and Modern staples in the game’s history, has dropped below $10 for its low market average for the first time in recent history!
What are Fetch Lands?
Before we jump into the news at hand, players who may be newer to the game, or are playing Commander on a budget, may not know what a Fetch Land is. If you do know what a Fetch Land is, we discuss the financial aspects of this drop later in the article.
To put it simply, Fetch Lands are a cycle of lands that do not tap for mana. They, instead, sacrifice themselves to search for other lands by tapping and paying one life.
Each of these lands can search for one of two lands with a Basic Land type depending on the colors associated with the MTG Fetch Land. For example, the Izzet Fetch Land Scalding Tarn, for example, can search for a land that is a Mountain or an Island. This may sound a bit weak at first glance, but MTG Fetch Land search targets do not have to be Basic Lands – they just need to have a Basic Land type. That is where the power level of these cards skyrockets!
For the most part, an MTG Fetch Land can find any color of mana that you would like. You need to build your deck so that Fetch Lands can search for mana of any color, but doing so isn’t very difficult – just expensive financially.
Because of how effective Fetch Lands are, the lands that Fetch Lands search for also tend to be very expensive. The three main cycles of lands that Fetch Lands search for are typically Triome Lands, Shock Lands, and, in Commander, Legacy, and Vintage, Dual Lands.
Triome Lands can be found in Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths, and Streets of New Capenna. These lands enter tapped and can tap for three different colors of mana. Triome Lands can also cycle for three mana from your hand in a pinchif you need more action. Notably, there are other land cycles out there that tap for three mana – namely from Khans of Tarkir and Shards of Alara. These lands, however, do not have Basic Land types. Triome lands do. This, alongside a big Cycling bonus, creates a massive disparity in price. Triomes are around $10-20, while the Uncommon cycle from Khans of Tarkir are not even worth a dollar.
These lands can also be used to help get Domain effects online. Domain refers to a type of payoff that scales in accordance with how many Basic Land types you control. Leyline Binding is the most popular Domain card competitively since it can remove just about any nonland permanent for just one white mana when Domain is completely online. This is not difficult to achieve as early as turn two in the Modern format.
Dual Lands are the best land cycle in the entire game. They are also the most expensive because they are on the Reserved List. This means that Dual Lands should not be reprinted in any tournament-legal setting, and lands with strictly better abilities cannot be printed either. This is the best a land can ever be.
Dual Lands can tap for two colors and enter the battlefield untapped without any downsides. Additionally, Dual Lands have the Basic Land types associated with their colors, allowing MTG Fetch Lands to find them. That Izzet Colored Scalding Tarn can now access any mana color through finding a Dual Land with a color associated to Izzet – while having the Dual Land’s other color be anything you want. You just need the appropriate Dual Land in your deck for your mana needs. This, also, all happens untapped.
The last category for Land cards commonly searched with Fetch Lands (outside of Basic Lands) is Shock Lands. These are very similar to Dual Lands but have a downside. You can choose to have a Shock Land enter the battlefield untapped or tapped. If you decide to have it enter tapped, you can’t use any mana from it for the turn – unless you have an effect like Amulet of Vigor. If you choose to have it enter untapped, it will Shock you, dealing two damage to you. These lands are incredibly popular in the Pioneer and Modern formats because Dual Lands are banned. They are also very popular in Commander due to the format’s singleton nature. The heavy demand for these cards in those formats keeps them rather pricy.
Marsh Flats’s Low Drops Under $10!
To many MTG players’ surprise, Marsh Flats has dropped below $10 at its low market average. The above screenshot made its way over to Reddit, where the topic immediately received serious attention from the community. MTG Fetch Lands, for reference, have all garnered some absolutely ridiculous prices throughout the game’s history. According to mtggoldfish.com, Marsh Flats had a time back in 2014-2015 when the card was worth as much as $50! This is because MTG Fetch Lands have always been very sought after in multiple formats but were not always as available as they are now.
The enemy-colored Fetch Lands that were released in Zendikar did not see a widely accessible reprint until Modern Horizons 2017, which was 14 years after the cycle’s original printing. Unfortunately, Masters sets don’t tend to be heavily accessible. This helped the prices of Fetch Lands, but not to the extent that they were affordable for many MTG players.
The enemy-colored Fetch Lands got another reprint in 2021, finally reducing Fetch Lands to more affordable rates. Retro Frame Misty Rainforests and Scalding Tarns still retail for $30, meaning you need $120 to get four of your lands for a Modern deck. It’s very common for Modern decks to run multiple Fetch Land playsets. This racks up quickly.
With all this context, hopefully, the significance of a Fetch Land dropping under $10 should be a bit more understandable.
As was quickly pointed out over in the Reddit thread discussing this price drop, Marsh Flats is probably the least used Fetch Land in competitive play. Over the past four months, according to Redditor Epyon_, it is the “lowest played fetch making it to the top 8 of modern events tracked at 11.3 % of decks with only an average of 2.2 played” in top eight decks. The other comparable stats they provided are as follows:
“Scalding Tarn – 46.4% – 2.9
Misty Rainforest – 34.3% – 2.8
Flooded Strand – 32.2% – 2.9
Wooded Foothills – 32.1% – 3.0
Arid Mesa – 24.9% – 2.6
Bloodstained Mire – 24.7% – 3.2
Polluted Delta – 19.7% – 2.2
Windswept Heath – 15.9% – 2.9
Verdant Catacombs – 12.1% – 2.9
Marsh Flats – 11.3% – 2.2″
It may seem strange to some that none of these Fetch Land counts are averaging close to a full playset. While some of this has to do with effects like Pithing Needle, it likely has more to do with playing around Blood Moon (and having a stronger land base for three-four color decks).
There’s a heavy amount of discussion in regards to whether these cards are being priced appropriately or not, but the overarching opinion is that MTG Fetch Lands being driven down in price by reprints can only be a good thing:
“Good, the landbase to play decks (in any Format) doesn’t need to cost upwards of $300.”
One Redditor pointed out that since March of the Machine is releasing this weekend, players attending local game stores may be sick of drafting Phyrexia: All Will Be One. As such, many LGS tend to try and switch things up so their local Limited players don’t get bored. Modern Horizons Two could be a popular choice since there are a lot of valuable cards that paper players are interested in attaining:
“We’re kind of in the low point for draft right now where ONE has mostly run its course and been solved, but MOM isn’t actually out yet. Stores in my area have been doing drafts of MH2 and NEO again, both because people love drafting them and because people want the cards after. I’m sure the same is happening elsewhere too.”ELESH_NORN_DAMNIT
What Does This Mean?
As pointed out by the Redditor who created this thread, this may be the first time that a Fetch Land has dropped below $10 in the history of Magic: the Gathering:
“I’ve been occasionally checking the prices of the MH2 fetchlands, and this is the first time any of them has ever fallen below $10. Even in the original release, none of them dropped below $10 (and if you adjust for inflation, even the low prices on initial release were much higher in 2023 dollars).
The supply of MH2, even two years after release, just will not stop. I remember some people mocked me when the set came out for suggesting that we could see fetches below $15. Despite nearly 2 years of post to suggesting that we’d reached bottom, it still seems like there is room for the price to drop even lower. Realistically, even without a re-print, it may be another 2-3 years before we see prices significantly increase again.”throwawaynumber53
Could this mean a larger shift in the interest of Fetch Land-legal sets? Honestly, probably not. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if this price drop ended up increasing back over $10 after some players decide to fill out their missing playsets. These are also the lowest end of the spectrum that Marsh Flats are selling for. For the most part, the market average for these cards are still around $10-12. Either way, positive feedback of this historic event will, hopefully, encourage Wizards of the Coast to reprint the ally-colored Fetch Lands since those cards are currently very expensive. Heck, another round of reprints for the entire cycle would likely be a welcome event.