If you know me, you know I love lands that provide value (after all, who doesn’t?). The good news for lands fans is that there’s a cycle coming Forgotten Realms, and it’s an interesting take on creaturelands. Let’s take a look at a couple of the ones we’ve seen so far:
|“Hall of the Storm Giant”|
|If you control two or more other lands, “Hall of the Storm Giant” enters the battlefield tapped.
T: Add U
5U: Until end of turn, “Hall of the Storm Giant” becomes a 7/7 blue Giant creature with ward 3. It’s still a land.
Translation credit to Scryfall.com
These lands all have a mechanic in common, which is that they enter tapped if you control two or more other lands. That has a few effects as a result:
- These lands are better in lower curve decks, as taplands are less painful if you aren’t trying to play expensive cards
- They don’t combine well with other taplands (as you want to play these early instead), which is another small factor that points towards aggro decks wanting these more than control
- Monocolor decks will be able to use them better than multi-color decks, because they are single-color lands that mostly enter tapped, which have a lot of competition in multi-color decks.
What I like about the above effects is that they are all small pushes in direction, not huge ones. For an example of a huge one, take Faceless Haven. Haven almost guarantees you have to be mono-color and playing a ton of basics (Izzet Dragons being the only exception to this we’ve seen). It’s a hugely restrictive drawback, and heavily pushes Haven decks into being monocolored aggro.
On the other hand, this cycle of lands will play a little better in monocolor decks with a low curve, but will still do just fine in other places. They don’t force you in a direction, even if they give you some small nudges. That’s really promising, and will lead to a lot more interesting deck diversity than Haven does.
Let’s talk about the lands individually (as of writing this, we don’t have the green or white ones).
This is a strong addition to aggro or midrange decks, as it makes multiple attackers and isn’t that expensive. It’s five mana total, counting itself, and gives you four power across two bodies, which also gains you value over time (as it keeps making Goblins). I really like this in red aggro or a red/black sacrifice shell, and anticipate Den of the Bugbear making a solid impact.
Hive of the Eye Tyrant is a little less powerful. It does have menace, which points towards aggro decks wanting this, but the exile ability isn’t all that useful. I’ll take the extra utility, but I don’t see this replacing Faceless Haven in Mono-Black, and two-color decks will probably want the other creatureland the deck has access to over this. There just aren’t that many places where an exile ability or a 3/3 menace is that critical.
This one looks awesome. It’s pricey (and blue), which definitely makes it a control card, and it’s exactly what control decks want. For seven mana, you get to whack them for seven, and the creature is hard to kill on top of that. Control decks may not want more taplands, but this is one worth making an exception for, and it’ll go a long way in helping these decks close out games. Win conditions are often one of the weakest parts of any control deck, and getting some free 7/7’s out of your land slots is incredible. This looks like the strongest of these so far, and is a very different take on creaturelands than we typically see – I’m excited to try it.
I love it when they stick the landing, and this cycle looks great. I can’t wait until Forgotten Realms releases, and cycles like this are definitely a part of that.