Slightly Budget 3 Color Manabase

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Post by kraus911 » 1 month ago

Obviously it depends on the speed of your deck, the color demands of your deck, and your meta. That disclaimer out of the way, I figured it might be worthwhile discussing the middle ground between budget manabase, basically what's included in the precons, and perfect manabase where even if you don't have abu duals you're still in for several hundred.

I bought the jeskai precon and actually like the deck as built, except for the lands. I decided to upgrade with the price of the deck as a guide thinking, hey, maybe instead of buying 2 precons you buy one and upgrade the lands. Arbitrary but honestly shooting for under $50 seems reasonable.

So what's your <$50 3 color manabase upgrade, assuming Command Tower and the other decent lands included in the precons.

For jeskai I went with the 3 temples, 3 shocks, and 3 checklands and came in at $38.

The temples are my favorite comes into play tapped lands as scry is better than lifegain imo.
Shocks, thankfully, are still fairly reasonably priced.
Checklands can be controversial but I find in a manabase that's going to have a good number of basics, and with the land types on the shocks, they come into play untapped fairly often.

The good fetches just seem out of reach. The Khans ones aren't too bad, averaging about $15, so I could've gotten maybe one for this upgrade. Decided against it.

I could add a painland or two and still come in under 50, or a single Mana Confluence.

I know this isn't a new or original topic, but I figured this might be a helpful twist on it.

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Post by RxPhantom » 1 month ago

I've been thinking of this very topic, and though I do have access to the Onslaught/Khans fetches, my typical mana 3-color manabase looks like:

3 Shocks
3 Checks
3 Temples
3 Fast lands
1 Command Tower
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Tri-Land
As many relevant fetches as possible
As many relevant Battlebond duals as possible
2-3 Utility lands
14-15 basics

First, you say checklands are controversial, but I consider them staples. My love for the fast lands may be a bridge too far for some, but I'm rarely hindered by them. For your situation, there are a lot of options. Pain lands are underrated, and it's probably not unusual to tap them almost exclusively for colorless as the game progresses, if need be. I hate their nicknames, but Battle lands and shadow lands (ugh...those dumb nicknames) are probably better than they look, too.
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Post by WizardMN » 1 month ago

I personally dislike the Fast Lands since they will, relatively often, enter tapped. The Temples always enter tapped. I would go with the Shocks, Checks/Buddy, Pain, Battle/Tango lands as my starting base. I think the pain lands are often overlooked due to costing life, but always entering untapped moves them up in my list. The ally pain lands are more expensive than the enemy ones so it might move those out of "budget".

Command Tower is a given. Beyond those, I either go with some utility lands (Bojuka Bog for example) or just go with basics. Anything running black would benefit from the Tainted cycle. The only lands that always enter tapped that I include in my budget builds are the "Bi-Cycle" lands (Fetid Pools for example). Being able to cycle them away late game can be relevant. They are, of course, better with fetches, so I would put them a little lower in the list.

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Post by Mookie » 1 month ago

Personally, I have a $2/card limit, which means I won't buy most shocks / fetches / good lands. My experience is that the best budget manabases are usually a function of luck and good timing - it's a lot easier to get good fixing lands if you happen to pick them up while drafting / doing a prerelease, or if the price falls following a reprint or around rotation.

Looking at my Kess deck (which is the most recent 3-color manabase I put together, and based off the precon), the upgrades I'm running are....

-shocklands (from drafts)
-checklands (from drafts, but some are also cheap)
-Exotic Orchard
-shadow lands (which I don't actually think to be very good)
-Graven Cairns and River of Tears (were cheap when they were reprinted)
-Lavaclaw Reaches, although I could also run Wandering Fumarole
-battle lands

Tainted lands are also pretty good, if you're running black.

It's actually sort of hard to recommend particularly cheap lands entirely by cycle, since a lot of cycles are high-variance. Compare Graven Cairns to Mystic Gate, or Lavaclaw Reaches to Celestial Colonnade. There are also a lot of cheap one-off duals and fixing lands, such as Krosan Verge and Spire of Industry. I always check prices on reprinted lands, since they usually go down - Yavimaya Coast is really cheap following its reprinting in C19, for example (not that it was very expensive before, but still....). Some decks also care about certain land attributes more than others, especially if you're running green - if you're running Lord Windgrace and have lots of land recursion, Terramorphic Expanse may be more attractive. If you're running miracles or top-of-deck-matters cards, temples may be better.

I will also say that doing a budget manabase for a shard deck is significantly easier than doing so for a wedge deck, mostly because there are so many more fixing land cycles for ally colors than there are for enemy colors. (pointing at the lands mentioned above, 3/7 of the cycles are ally-only)
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Post by bobthefunny » 1 month ago

The best budget lands are basics.

My love for dual lands, and basic-typed lands is absurd, to the point that I personally dislike fastlands and checklands and all those cycles, because they don't have land types, and thus I can't search for them.

That said, I always find it a good practice to keep at least 12-20 of your lands as straight up basics. Aside from being good to have should anyone ever run non-basic hate, the ability to be fetchable makes it absurdly good for fixing, ramp. or whatever have you. Even in non-green, or rather, especially in non-green it becomes important. Things like Sword of the animist, Burnished Hart, Wayfarer's Bauble - it all helps out.

Your ramp will play a large role in determining your manabase as well. If you're counting on a lot of green ramp spells, you'll need to skew your manabase more green (since green can get the others), which means less non-typed duals, and more basics to be able to fetch.

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Post by Serenade » 1 month ago

If my deck has green and at least some basic fetching, I'll use checklands (and tainted).

If not and/or it is artifact-based, I have found painlands and filters together spit out all the colors I need.

I really try to not run any CIPT duals.
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Post by Morganelefay » 1 month ago

Path of Ancestry > Any other CIPT land. It's not the cheapest anymore but still.
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Post by xeroxedfool » 1 month ago

I like the check lands, some are for or against, I use them in every multicolor deck I have. I find them to be fairly consistent in entering untapped. They are legal in standard currently, and their prices will probably go down some when they leave. I would consider them worthy of some of your 50$ budget.

The Bi-Cycle lands are cheap and useful. I wouldn't run them myself, but when considering budget they could be good. They have basic land types to boost your check lands and cards that search.

I feel the same about the Battle Lands as I do the Bi-Cycle lands.

The filter lands are good if the rest of your manabase is good. I don't think they're worth the price as some of them are expensive.
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Post by Skello496 » 1 month ago

The checklands are disliked by people with greedier mana bases. If you're trying to do a budget upgrade and you can only grab those and the shocks, you'll be in a great spot with checks, because most of your lands will enter untapped, which is hugely important. I'm very against lands entering untapped.
One budget upgrade I would immediately go for is Ghost Quarter. Targeted land removal is important.
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Post by kraus911 » 1 month ago

I forget this, though whenever we draft my friend's commander cube where the dual lands you can only get through drafting I find that a couple of duals and mostly basics still supports a 3 color deck decently well. Fast decks and color intensive decks like Niv-Mizzet need a more dual land base, but as long as I have some green ramp/color fixing or talismans and signets there's usually no problem.
bobthefunny wrote:
1 month ago
The best budget lands are basics.

My love for dual lands, and basic-typed lands is absurd, to the point that I personally dislike fastlands and checklands and all those cycles, because they don't have land types, and thus I can't search for them.

That said, I always find it a good practice to keep at least 12-20 of your lands as straight up basics. Aside from being good to have should anyone ever run non-basic hate, the ability to be fetchable makes it absurdly good for fixing, ramp. or whatever have you. Even in non-green, or rather, especially in non-green it becomes important. Things like Sword of the animist, Burnished Hart, Wayfarer's Bauble - it all helps out.

Your ramp will play a large role in determining your manabase as well. If you're counting on a lot of green ramp spells, you'll need to skew your manabase more green (since green can get the others), which means less non-typed duals, and more basics to be able to fetch.

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Post by pokken » 1 month ago

I'm sure this is weird but I've really come around on ravnica karoos for budget decks. The virtual card advantage they provide of letting you hit an extra land drop in one card is nice.

I only play them in one deck but they function great in that deck at reducing my need to tutor.

I also really like holdout settlement lands in many decks.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

I think for a relative budget build check lands are excellent value. I've had pretty good experiences with tango lands too, my most recent tri-colour upgrade being my Varina build. They do really well there.

Fast lands I've found too niche for my liking. The chances are just too high of entering tapped for me.

Being slightly more findable via tutor I like the battle lands and bicycle lands (battle>bicycle).

Terrain Generator seems a great budget upgrade although I'm sure it's deck dependent. Command Tower goes without saying, and Exotic Orchard I've found great for the price of it.

Running any sort of land recursion, Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse are surprisingly good. Especially considering they're chump change to grab. They're no fetches but they'll do if you don't have the alternative.

In terms of things that are often included but ought not to be, I think the number of decks that run Reliquary Tower and shouldn't is pretty high. People tend to overestimate their draw ability, and overestimate how much use they can get out of hands bigger than 7, when the reality is they don't have near the resources to cast everything they want to. In most cases this inclusion is much better even as a basic to my mind.

I'm not personally a fan of the Ravnica bounce lands, but I can definitely recognize that in the right place they can do good things. Likewise with the Mirage Karoo lands.

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Post by Sinis » 1 month ago

For my three-colour budget piles, I have had the following:

Command Tower
Opal Palace
Check lands
Vivid Lands
Khan/Shard
Terramorphic Expanse
Evolving Wilds
+ A lot of basics.

You can go very far with basics. I frequently also play Wayfarer's Bauble, Armillary Sphere, and sometimes Renegade Map/Wanderer's Twig/Traveler's Amulet.

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Post by GloriousGoose » 1 month ago

Painlands are amongst the most underrated budget lands in the format. They don't come into play tapped, period, and always help to fix your colors, period. No hoops to jump through and the life loss is pretty marginal. If you don't have fetches I would say they're just slightly worse than Shocklands, and that's because of the existence of Checklands.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

Yeah, painlands are really good. Most decks won't care about the life loss, and if you have your colours you can tap them for no problems.


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Post by GloriousGoose » 1 month ago

NZB2323 wrote:
1 month ago
Budget Jeskai land base:
I assume you're being generic on purpose, but this is almost certainly wrong for a typical deck. Very few decks will have an even split between their color requirements, which means a simple split like this would be inadequate. You have to look at the color requirements of your spells as well as at what stage of the game you'll need those colors. For example, if you're in green, you might find green mana as being more valuable due to a) cheap land ramp gives you something to do on your early turns and b) that cheap land ramp also fixes your mana.

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