Spreading Seas vs. the Urza’s lands.

So by now, most people are familiar with the "Urzatron" decks that are popular in Modern. They revolve around getting the three different Urza's lands (Power Plant, Mine, and Tower) to cast large spells rather quickly, getting 7 colorless mana from just 3 lands. In an attempt to combat the deck, one trick people have been using is to include Spreading Seas in their decks or sideboards. They slap one on Urza's Tower, and suddenly it's an island! Now Urza's Mine and Urza's Power Plant don't see

Read more.

Elvish Archdruid Won’t Trigger Gyre Sage

If there's one thing Elves love [beyond having Hobbits do their dirty work, but that's another plane entirely], it's mana. Lots and lots of mana. Enormous, obscene piles of green mana, ready to be converted into an astoundingly large spell, or into many little elves, who will make even more mana. Continuing the trend of "That's a lot of mana" in the Elf bloodlines is , a Simic-aligned elf from Gatecrash. This Elf makes green mana equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it, AND has Evolve, so

Read more.

Pithing Needle stops all of Deathrite Shaman’s abilities.

Before we go any further, we must ask ourselves... what is a mana ability? Well, that was semi-rhetorical, for those who didn’t snap answer the previous question. A Mana ability can exist as either an activated or triggered ability. For the activated ability form: 1) Does not have a target 2) It could put mana into a player’s mana pool when it resolves 3) Is not a loyalty ability. *Two is phrased for permanents such as Tolarian Academy, which has a mana ability even if you control

Read more.

Tournament Tuesday: Announcing Floating Mana

Your mana pool is arguably the most important concept in all of Magic -- but most of the time, it’s completely invisible.  If I tap four and three s for an , it’s pretty obvious what color of mana each of my Gardens is making, and whether the Vents are making red or blue usually doesn’t really matter.  And, as Jen showed us earlier, if I tap all my lands for an X spell, the value of X is assumed to be all my remaining mana. But what if I control one of each Return to Ravnica Guildgate,

Read more.

All about Lion’s Eye Diamond (yes, it’s a mana ability, but it has a timing restriction)

So is kind of a weird card. Let's start things off by looking at its current Gatherer text: Sacrifice Lion's Eye Diamond, Discard your hand: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool. Activate this ability only any time you could cast an instant. So the main difference between the printed version of the Diamond and its current official text is that line at the end that says you can only activate the ability any time you could cast an instant. What does that mean? Normally, if you're

Read more.

Keyrunes Tips and Tricks

Reader suggestion time! Sort of. We got a submission from our Suggest a Rules Tip box about Keyrunes, and some of the tricky things about them. For example: You can throw down a Keyrune on turn 3 and immediately tap it for mana, just like you could a land, or another mana rock. As most of you know, 'summoning sickness' only applies to creatures. However, if you were to put a Keyrune onto the field and activate it in that same turn, it wouldn't be able to attack because it's now a creature you've

Read more.

Deathrite Shaman Won’t Make Mana Without a Target

is making a splash in Modern lately, and sees some play in Standard due to it helping to slow down reanimator-type strategies, as well as giving some Zombie decks an extra way to bleed their opponent for the last few points of mana. One of the reasons that it sees a good deal of play in Modern's Jund decks is that it can be used as a mana dork in that format, due to the abundance of fetchlands present in the format, especially in the Jund deck itself. However, Shaman's ability to make mana is less

Read more.

How Deathrite Shaman’s targeted abilities work.

Continuing the trend of fun one-drops that got a lot of questions, today we cover . Shaman's got three abilities, and each one does something based on what you exile. Exiling sorceries and instants bleeds your opponent for 2; exiling creatures gains you 2 life; exiling lands makes mana. The problem here is, all three of those abilities target, which means they do nothing without a legal target. You can't tap the Shaman for mana with no lands to exile, or gain life with no creatures in graveyards.

Read more.

You have to name a color when you add “one mana of any color” to your mana pool.

If something instructs you to add 'one mana of any color' to your mana pool, you have exactly five options: the five colors of magic. You can pick White, Blue, Black, Red, or Green, and you must name a color when you add 'one mana of any color' to your mana pool. You cannot add a 'mana of not-yet-chosen color', and have it function as whatever color you want later on, nor can you pick colorless. If you plan to float mana, you've got to make it known what mana you will have floating. A judge probably

Read more.

Abundant Growth gives the land an extra ability, but doesn’t let it produce extra mana.

Green is never short of mana fixing when new sets are released, and Innistrad block hasn't been the exception. When Innistrad came out, we had , then we got in Dark Ascension. One of the cards that accomplishes this role in Avacyn Restored is . It only costs one mana, fixes your manabase, and it lets you draw a card! Pretty good, huh? But there's a catch. Abundant Growth does not generate extra mana from your lands like would; the added ability of the enchanted land allows its controller to

Read more.