Fetch Lands in Multiplayer: Crap or Not?

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A question that has been bubbling away in my head for the weekend...

Bloodstained MireFlooded StrandPolluted DeltaWindswept HeathWooded Foothills
Arid MesaMarsh FlatsMisty RainforestScalding TarnVerdant Catacombs


These bad boys routinely go for $10 a copy. Are they actually any good in a multiplayer environment? Outside of the first couple of turns, I find them very situational, and almost dead draws in most decks. I've only ever seen them used effectively in multiplayer in a landfall deck.

Pros
- Land fixing
- Deck thinning
Cons
- Not a good draw once you've got the right colours on the board
- Not an actual mana source, so you usually have to up your deck's land count
- Life loss

Discuss!
~ Guides I Have Been Silly Enough To Write ~
Budget Duals and Fetches in Multiplayer
CadaverousBl00m's Guide To Multiplayer Artifice
Multiplayer Tribal Format

~ Latest Multiplayer Ramblings: Appearing on my blog when I feel like it ~
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Rise of the Eldrazi Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Worldwake Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Zendikar Post-Rotation
Previous Multiplayer Concoctions
Elemental, My Dear Watson (Rainbow Elementals)
Watch The Little Birdies! (Bird Tribal with Proliferate)
Kavu Kavu Kavu Banana (Kavu Predator aggro)
Faerie Bleeder (The "Death By A Thousand Cuts" Faerie deck)
Braaiiins! (Mono-black Zombie control)
Verhexterring (Jinxed Ring / Grave Pact)
Flourishing Blowflies ( -1/-1 Counters)
It's been proven mathematically that there really isn't much deck thinning at all provided by fetch lands. What they give you is choices. I don't think having more choices available to you can ever be thought of as a bad thing, and I would 100% use any fetchlands I had in my multiplayer decks. Unless you're playing a monocoloured deck, there's really no reason not to use them. You don't need to play with more land than normal and they're really no worse than a regular land when your color is "fixed," so I'm a little confused as to why anyone would argue that they're bad. 1 life is nothing. Trading life for a game advantage has always been by far the best trade because you start off with plenty of life and it doesn't matter if you win with 1 or a trillion as long as you win. Paying life doesn't ruin your tempo or set you behind on turns to get combos and locks out. I gladly throw life away like it's nothing in multiplayer, because frankly it ist. You're not going to grind the life total out from everyone else in a compettive MP game, you either go off before someone else does or you lose. Odds are your life total won't matter at all when the game ends because the winner will simultaneously kill everyone else anyways.
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies

It's been proven mathematically that there really isn't much deck thinning at all provided by fetch lands. What they give you is choices. I don't think having more choices available to you can ever be thought of as a bad thing, and I would 100% use any fetchlands I had in my multiplayer decks. Unless you're playing a monocoloured deck, there's really no reason not to use them. You don't need to play with more land than normal and they're really no worse than a regular land when your color is "fixed," so I'm a little confused as to why anyone would argue that they're bad. 1 life is nothing. Trading life for a game advantage has always been by far the best trade because you start off with plenty of life and it doesn't matter if you win with 1 or a trillion as long as you win. Paying life doesn't ruin your tempo or set you behind on turns to get combos and locks out. I gladly throw life away like it's nothing in multiplayer, because frankly it ist. You're not going to grind the life total out from everyone else in a compettive MP game, you either go off before someone else does or you lose. Odds are your life total won't matter at all when the game ends because the winner will simultaneously kill everyone else anyways.

Your multiplayer games are clearly very different from mine, Tich.  People trying to "go off" and win are relatively rare; various flavors of creature, control, and lock decks are much more common.  That's not to say that no one plays combos, but when they do, there are plenty of Counterspells and Disenchants waiting for them, and they'd better be prepared to defend themselves from an awful lot of creature attacks.  That sort of hate keeps the pure combo decks relatively rare (as opposed to creature or control decks that just happen to have a combo thrown in), which I don't think is a bad thing.  If your metagame is different, though, that explains your dislike of spot removal.

That said, I don't think fetch lands would be bad in my metagame, either.  Establishing a solid defense is much more important than a few points of life, and often people with higher life totals are more appealing targets.  Paying one life to go to 19 might get someone who's still at 20 attacked by that 3/3... it's like draining three of their life, and getting someone else blamed for it!

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
Pros
- Land fixing
- Deck thinning


Agree with Tich in that deck thinning is near negligible.

Also, you should add in Fetches as having synergy with Brainstorm.

Cons
- Not a good draw once you've got the right colours on the board
- Not an actual mana source, so you usually have to up your deck's land count
- Life loss

Discuss!


It does not matter that you've have all the colors you need on the board, but rather that you got them when you needed them. Fetches are fantastic for fast decks that need some crazy mix of colors real soon and/or untapped.

Up your deck's land count by how much? More than 24?
Mana hungry decks only run enough fetches for fixing, and if they'd run a lot of lands it is because they already need to, not because of an inclusion of fetches. Most decks, however, try to run as low of a curve and average cmc as possible, which is why you see them with 6+ fetches and sometimes not even enough lands with which to get with them.
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If your metagame is different, though, that explains your dislike of spot removal.






I hate spot removal from a theoretical perspective. You say that spot removal "stops" combos, but I've never fully understood that argument. If you had to face 8 players playing a combo deck, how far will spot removal take you? You may hinder 1 or 2 decks at best, but the other 6 will still go off. I'd take a card like Contamination or Delirium Skeins any day of the week because they simultaneously stop EVERYONE. That, to me, is what separates real MP decks from glorified duel decks. My deck might not goldfish faster than every deck at our table, but I pack plenty of ways to disrupt/slow the game down to a pace that I can compete in. I've said it 100 times and I'll say it 100 more, but MP decks need to be competitive just like duel decks need to be competitive. If your deck has an abysmally slow clock and no meat, you're going to lose to Jund or Planeswalker Control 99.99% of the time. If you go into an MP game with a duel deck (a deck with an incredibly slow clock and very little meat relative to the format) then you're probably going to lose most of the time. It's no differant from duels. Build solid decks or you're gong to come up short.

A lot of people talk about about MP games that go on for hours, because frankly everyone is playing a duel deck. Duel decks are not able to effectively beat mutliple opponents. Killing one player leaves you vulnerable to lose to another, so there's these big stalemates. If every deck is designed to beat any number of players, games are just as fast as regular duels.

When people support the use of spot removal, they support card disadvantage. I'm surprised that so many players think that card disadvantage is a good thing. If you're facing 10 people, and your Terror kills 1 creature, 8 other players are up a card on you. You're using your mana and your precious cards to stop a single threat from a single player when you could have easily been using Earthquake or Pestilence and the like to not put yourself at a disadvantage. Even better, cards like these have reach that extends beyond creatures to life totals, so even players without creatures are directly affected.

My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
Fetches work well in landfall decks, even when you have the right colors on the board.  Arguably, decks big on threshold and Terravore/Knight of the Reliquary/Countryside Crusher decks would like them.

Tich's above comments sting a bit, but he's right - most of our games run long because they are glorified duel decks, and games are often decided by whomever last picked an opponent to duel.  Thankfully, sometimes bonafide MP cards appear and clean house, speeding games immensely; whether this is from design or dumb luck is unknown.

Cheers!

  



A shout out to Gaming Grounds in Kent, Ohio and Gamers N Geeks in Mobile, Alabama. www.zombiehunters.org for all your preparation needs. http://shtfschool.com/ - why prepping is useful, from one who has been there.
I think that the fetches are worth running in MP simply becasue of the choice. If you combine them with dual lands/shock lands you get easy fixing for less pain than the painlands. They even allow multiple splashes. I use them a ton more in EDH because they really help act as extra dual lands that I can fetch.

Face it, you're pretty much here as a meat shield.

 

If you are at Georgian Court Univeristy or Monmouth Univeristy PM me. If you are out by York College of PA, I can help you reach the group there.

A lot of people talk about about MP games that go on for hours, because frankly everyone is playing a duel deck. Duel decks are not able to effectively beat mutliple opponents. Killing one player leaves you vulnerable to lose to another, so there's these big stalemates. If every deck is designed to beat any number of players, games are just as fast as regular duels.

MP games that go on for hours frequently do so for the same reason that some duels can go on a very long time - people are afraid to attack.  If people play aggressive decks and attack, games will end.

When people support the use of spot removal, they support card disadvantage. I'm surprised that so many players think that card disadvantage is a good thing. If you're facing 10 people, and your Terror kills 1 creature, 8 other players are up a card on you. You're using your mana and your precious cards to stop a single threat from a single player when you could have easily been using Earthquake or Pestilence and the like to not put yourself at a disadvantage. Even better, cards like these have reach that extends beyond creatures to life totals, so even players without creatures are directly affected.

Yes... on the other hand, a problem with playing cards that can take on a whole table is that frequently you will have to.  If I have to kill you quickly to win, I'm going to try.  If half the table has to kill you quickly to win, we're probably going to succeed.  Pestilence is fine, but it costs a bunch of mana and gets Disenchanted; Earthquake is sorcery speed, so you have to cast it before you know if those creatures are going to attack you or one of your opponents (which is actually better for you than killing them would have been).

The issue here is that if everyone is playing a combo deck, then no, some countermagic or spot removal isn't going to help you much.  You might as well play a combo deck too.  On the other hand, if almost everyone is playing more aggressive or controlling decks with a bit of spot removal, and you try to combo, then they'll probably all jump on you.  You'll be better off playing a creature or control deck with some spot removal for cards that particularly threaten you.  That's what I mean by metagame - the types of decks that thrive in one meta may not work in another, and vice versa, without the players in either circumstance being at fault.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
If you have synergy with fetch lands (Crucible of Worlds, Sensei's Divining Top, landfall, etc, etc) they are very very good. Even the cost of 1 life is worth it in those cases (and the landthinning can become meaningsome if you can recur them easily).

Otherwise it depends on how badly you need certain colours and how many colours you play and if you have acces to basic land type duals (Tropical Island and friends or Temple Garden and friends).
I wouldn't use them in a mono or two coloured deck but in some three or more colour decks they are vital. I have 4 Windswept Heath, 4 Temple Garden, 4 Hallowed Fountain and 4 Breeding Pool as well as 2 Mistveil Plains and some basic lands in my Bant deck. It makes hitting all colours as soon as I have 3 mana much much easier (and it is needed in that deck). The little bit of life it costs me is a small price to pay because that little bit of life has never cost me a game but being colour screwed has cost me games (and being colour screwed is so not fun).
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
Duallands allow you to play your stuff.  Thus, they are good.  Ones that allow you to play different lands untapped are extremely valuable.
Great points, all.

To clarify, I'm coming from a playgroup that has traditonally been slow and combo-heavy. A decade ago, our games were "Let's all sit around until someone goes off. Then we'll gang up on them, kill them, and repeat the cycle until someone wins". As much as our playgroup has progressed greatly from this (particularly thanks to our relatively new guy who adores green aggro, and took all of our heads in six turns in his first game), there is still an element of "sit around and wait for the right cards, deal with the threats while you wait". In other words, my playgroup usually gives you the time you need to setup your manabase regardless of whether you need fetches to do so or not.

But I also have to admit starting to get a taste for duals and the utility they afford (also an expensive taste, I fear). I can definitely see the benefits of fetches early on, but given the traditional style of my playgroup, I fear topdecking one later on in the game where I don't really need the manafixing abilities. Does that make it a dead draw? Could my deck be doing something more productive in its place? Who knows. That said, I do definitely agree that they are worth it in decks with synergy, especially landfall (having rocked two of them at the Zendikar prerelease, and having a ball with a 12/12 Baloth Woodcrasher on multiple occasions).

This might end up bringing me to another post for the forum... nonbasic land manabases on a budget. Hmmm....
~ Guides I Have Been Silly Enough To Write ~
Budget Duals and Fetches in Multiplayer
CadaverousBl00m's Guide To Multiplayer Artifice
Multiplayer Tribal Format

~ Latest Multiplayer Ramblings: Appearing on my blog when I feel like it ~
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Rise of the Eldrazi Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Worldwake Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Zendikar Post-Rotation
Previous Multiplayer Concoctions
Elemental, My Dear Watson (Rainbow Elementals)
Watch The Little Birdies! (Bird Tribal with Proliferate)
Kavu Kavu Kavu Banana (Kavu Predator aggro)
Faerie Bleeder (The "Death By A Thousand Cuts" Faerie deck)
Braaiiins! (Mono-black Zombie control)
Verhexterring (Jinxed Ring / Grave Pact)
Flourishing Blowflies ( -1/-1 Counters)
This might end up bringing me to another post for the forum... nonbasic land manabases on a budget. Hmmm....



Seeing as you haven't made this forum yet I would like to adres it a little bit here.

The main difference between an expensive mana base and a budget one is often just the enters the battlefield tapped clause. In slower games this is less of a problem and I sometimes find it quit annoying when you draw that land you need but you can't use it yet.

For 2 colour decks you should have no problem using mainly basic lands. Then there are the vivids, alara tri lands, budget fetch, Rupture Spire and many many others for more colour decks.

I started buying expensive duals when I made a very cool RWU deck and I wanted to use Eternal Dragon as my mana fixer. I playtested the deck for a while with the lands as proxies and eventually I bought 4 Hallowed Fountain and 4 Sacred Foundry. I still love to play that deck and I never regretted spending the money to buy those lands.

For budget players I recommend investing in good lands because lands will always find a place in a deck. They will never sit idle in your closet for a long long time (unless you stop playing ofcourse). And the investment doesn't even have to be expensive duals, there are enough other good options but for example the alara tri lands are pretty expensive for an uncommon land but they are a good investment in my eyes.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
This might end up bringing me to another post for the forum... nonbasic land manabases on a budget. Hmmm....




Seeing as you haven't made this forum yet I would like to adres it a little bit here...



Ha! I was going to let this thread percolate for a little bit before I started a new discussion. But your awesome reply has forced my hand! Off to create a new thread now.
And great points, by the way. The more I play with decent nonbasics, the more I appreciate them.
~ Guides I Have Been Silly Enough To Write ~
Budget Duals and Fetches in Multiplayer
CadaverousBl00m's Guide To Multiplayer Artifice
Multiplayer Tribal Format

~ Latest Multiplayer Ramblings: Appearing on my blog when I feel like it ~
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Rise of the Eldrazi Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Worldwake Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Zendikar Post-Rotation
Previous Multiplayer Concoctions
Elemental, My Dear Watson (Rainbow Elementals)
Watch The Little Birdies! (Bird Tribal with Proliferate)
Kavu Kavu Kavu Banana (Kavu Predator aggro)
Faerie Bleeder (The "Death By A Thousand Cuts" Faerie deck)
Braaiiins! (Mono-black Zombie control)
Verhexterring (Jinxed Ring / Grave Pact)
Flourishing Blowflies ( -1/-1 Counters)
I was actually just thinking about Fetch lands in multiplayer.  I just finished building a Gwb Treefolk deck, and realized that Armageddon might go well with my Timber Protectors.  However, I might not draw them, or any opponent might kill them, so redundancy is a good idea - I thought of Tilling Treefolk.  The Treefolk can't just sit there waiting for me to accidentally kill my own lands, though - I need to proactively put lands into my graveyard too.  Terramorphic Expanse is one option, but Verdant Catacombs (for example) puts lands into play untapped, and can also fetch Murmuring Bosk (the only souce of white or black in the deck that survives Armageddon).
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
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