How Many Lands to Put in Your MTG Deck (Magic the Gathering)
Land selection is a topic that MTG players have argued for ages! Some say it is an exact science and that you must run X lands in your deck, others say that it depends on your meta and can run anywhere between X and X, and others just look for guides that tell them how many to run. Welcome to one such MTG guide!
While there are exceptions, a basic guideline is to set aside your non-land cards in your deck and count up your total converted mana cost. Once you have that, divide that number with the total of non-lands in the deck, and that should give you an average of non-land CMC.
This can be tricky, however, as cards like Gitaxian probe use Phyrexian Mana which allow you to pay life rather than mana for the card. Other cards, you maybe don’t ever want to hardcast because of abilities like Delve or Convoke and allow you to use other means to help pay for the cards. Some, like Street Wraith, will never be cast and will always cycle for 2 life, so it will can count as 0 rather than 5 cmc. To get the actual number for cards like these will require some playtesting, by you or others, though, and varies from game to game, but let’s assume the lowest possible CMC for them. A deck with an average CMC of 1.5 or less will want to start with 20 lands as a maximum.
If you see your CMC get closer and closer to 1, you can consider running fewer lands by going down 1 or 2 but rarely going below 16. With a higher CMC of 2, 23 lands. 22 or 24 lands will vary if you go north or south of 2 CMC, but 23 is usually the way to go. Once you get to 2.5 CMC, start at 25.
Though this is a very rough guideline for a 60-card build, it is just that: a guideline. The hands you should keep with how many lands to mulligan for, draft formats where your deck size is 40 or Commander where you’re in a 100-card format will require future guides and a lot of other things to take into consideration, for now however, tap out and cast those spells!
That’s really all there is to it! Get out there and start building your MTG deck! If you need any more help with Magic the Gathering, leave a comment below!
This post was originally authored by Alex Cruz.