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Top 10 Best Five-Color Lands in MTG – Riley Ranks

Even at this early stage, one of the most popular cards emerging from Dominaria United is Plaza of Heroes, and for good reason. While its Standard playability might be a little iffy, it looks like the sort of card that is going to be a big player in EDH. Commander is famous for its multicolor decks, with five-color lists stretching their mana bases to be able to cast spells with the most stringent requirements imaginable. Necessarily, these mana bases are filled with lands like Plaza of Heroes: lands that can produce all five colors. There are many such lands, but which ones make the cut? Let’s have a look at some of the best five-color lands.

 

 

10. Aether Hub

Aether Hub

Aether Hub is an extremely narrow five-color land, but even in decks without dedicated energy subthemes, it has played a role as a Tendo Ice Bridge-style card, able to produce any color once before being little more than a Wastes. In energy decks, however, Aether Hub was very important. In Standard, Temur Energy wanted to curve Longtusk Cub into Whirler Virtuoso, and Aether Hub helped to grease those wheels when other lands couldn’t. It’s not the most flexible or sustainable five-color land ever printed, but Aether Hub is still worth a second look – especially if you have ways to generate extra energy. 

9. Glimmervoid/Spire of Industry

GlimmervoidSpire of Industry

While both these cards are still played in fringe Affinity builds in Modern, before the banning of Mox Opal lands like these were absolute staples of one of Modern’s most powerful and enduring archetypes. Despite being a largely colorless deck, Boomer Affinity with Mox Opal was able to splash cards from more or less any color, whether it was Galvanic Blast, Metallic Rebuke, Thoughtseize or Dispatch (did Affinity ever splash green cards?). A big part of Affinity’s ability to play cards of any color was lands like Glimmervoid or Spire of Industry – in addition to Mox Opal, of course – because of the incredible flexibility they offered at (almost) no cost to a deck filled with cheap artifacts. 

8. Gemstone Caverns

Gemstone Caverns

Man, this card is a weird one. The distance between its floor and ceiling is absolutely colossal, one of the biggest in Magic: it’s either a Wastes or a five-color land that you have in play as the game starts. Sure, you have to have lost the die roll and exile a card from your hand in order to hit that ceiling, but still, you’re a full turn ahead of your opponent in mana production and can start casting two-drops on turn one. Currently, Gemstone Caverns sees most of its play in Crashing Footfalls in Modern, where it allows you to cascade into the Footfalls as early as turn two. Not bad, especially when the fail case for this card is a Wastes.

7. Forbidden Orchard

Forbidden Orchard

Forbidden Orchard tends to crop up in two kinds of decks these days. First, group hug decks in commander, led by cards such as Phelddagrif or Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis, where everyone is drawing extra cards, making extra mana and being given all sorts of free stuff, like the tokens from Forbidden Orchard. How nice! In these decks, opponents are very happy to see a Forbidden Orchard. Its other home, however, isn’t quite as friendly: in Vintage, where it’s played in Oath of Druids decks. Oath lists use Forbidden Orchard to give opponents a creature so as to trigger the Oath and flip into a Niv-Mizzet or a Griseldaddy on turn two. More often that not, that’s enough to win on the spot.

6. Ancient Ziggurat

Ancient Ziggurat

Powerful, yes; flexible, not so much. Having an untapped land produce all five colors usually comes with a significant downside, and Ancient Ziggurat certainly has one: you can only cast creatures with the mana it produces. No noncreature spells, no activating abilities, nothing – just creatures. In some decks, this is a compromise that’s easy to make: old Five-Color Humans lists in Modern would happily play Ancient Ziggurat, while in today’s EDH, creature-focused archetypes like Slivers or Animar, Soul of Elements don’t find the drawback on Ancient Ziggurat to be all that punishing. 

5. Gemstone Mine

Gemstone Mine

It’s not often that a four or five-color deck becomes truly competitively viable, but when it does, and when you simply cannot accept anything other than perfect mana, it might be time to look into including Gemstone Mine. Gemstone Mine has a huge upside, with three turns of perfect mana, but comes at a significant downside, with only three turns of perfect mana. In EDH, Atraxa can help you get around that by proliferating, but in Modern decks like Dredge or Ad Nauseam, Gemstone Mine is here for a good time, not a long time. While it’s unplayable in any deck looking to go long, if your deck has demanding color requirements and can win the game quickly, Gemstone Mine is the perfect facilitator. 

4. Plaza of Heroes

Plaza of Heroes

In a format so dominated by legendary creatures, Plaza of Heroes is already very close to another Commander super-staple, Command Tower (Command Tower is not, technically speaking, a true five-color land, and so isn’t on this list). Plaza of Heroes will excel in five-color legends decks, of course, but I’m reasonably sure it’ll be good enough to be played in any three-color EDH deck. Not only does it help you cast your commander, and provide another Command Tower once your commander is out, it also has the added upside of saving your general from point removal and sweepers. R&D wisely made Plaza exile itself so it can’t be recurred with Crucible of Worlds, but all the same, even a four-mana one-shot protection effect is a huge cherry on top of an already great card. 

3. The World Tree

The World Tree

One of the weirder five-color lands, The World Tree offers a colossal payoff to any color-intensive deck that isn’t all-out aggro. Any deck that’s happy to have six or more lands on the field – which is to say, more or less every EDH deck ever built – gets a free Chromatic Lantern effect, and as a result there aren’t many five-color decks that don’t want to play The World Tree. Shrines, five-color Dragons, Esika/Sisay legends, Jodah, Archmage Eternal: these are all decks that have a strong need for the best mana possible, and The World Tree doesn’t ask all that much of you before providing literally perfect mana for as long as it sticks around. 

2. Cavern of Souls

Cavern of Souls

Along with Unclaimed Territory and Secluded Courtyard, Cavern of Souls is an important addition in any tribal deck (particularly one built across four or five colors), but making creature spells uncounterable in addition to providing all five colors is just ridiculous. Given it taps for colorless as well, Cavern of Souls doesn’t have much of a downside – unlike other creature-focused lands such as Ancient Ziggurat, Cavern of Souls can still help you cast critical noncreature spells like Collected Company.

1. Mana Confluence/City of Brass

Mana ConfluenceCity of Brass

For the longest time, City of Brass was the classic five-color land. Sure, says City of Brass, you can have perfect mana, but it’ll cost you one life each time – and if your opponent has a way to tap lands, you’re in big trouble. Mana Confluence is the slightly upgraded version that your opponents can’t cheese extra life loss out of, and both work together in five-color EDH decks to smooth out your mana base and help you cast those demanding spells. Besides, in a format where you start with 40 life, paying one life to activate these cards isn’t a particularly steep cost. Thanks to their relatively low cost and high upside, Mana Confluence and City of Brass are best friends to five-color mages everywhere!

 

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