Ranking 2020 with EDHREC: Mana Rocks – EDHREC


(Jeweled Lotus | Art by Alayna Danner)

Hey, y’all, I’ve a swell thought! Let’s all return and reminisce about what occurred in 2020!

Wait! I didn’t imply it like that. Come again!

Yes, sure, I’d most positively be one of many first individuals to say that 2020 was… not an important 12 months… however it did give Commander gamers a ton of latest toys to mess around with. It’s straightforward to get desensitized because of the price at which playing cards preserve coming at us, however look what cards came out this year! 2020 was an important 12 months for Commander!

And, in fact, my shtick is to rank each card of a sure subtype, resembling lands, mana rocks & planeswalkers (and in addition Equipment, however that’s a story I’m nonetheless telling). However, after I began most of these collection, a variety of these 2020 playing cards hadn’t been printed but, or if that they had, they had been so new that I couldn’t actually decide how a lot play they had been gonna get.

So, now that we’re a good bit out from 2020 (thank goodness), I figured it might be enjoyable to rank the lands, mana rocks, and planeswalkers that got here out final 12 months, and see the place they stack up in comparison with all the pieces else that exists.

Let’s begin with the subset that obtained the least quantity of playing cards added to it in 2020: mana rocks.

Mana Rocks of 2020

  • Eligible Sets: Ikoria, Commander 2020, Core Set 2021, Jumpstart, Zendikar Rising, Zendikar Rising Commander, Commander Legends
  • Previous variety of Mana Rocks: 115
  • New Additions from 2020: 7
  • New Number of Mana Rocks: 122

First off, for these of you which are confused why Theros: Beyond Death isn’t eligible, that’s as a result of I did this mana rock collection again in April of 2020 after TBD had been out some time.

Now, earlier than we contact on the brand new stuff, let’s briefly discuss all the opposite mana rocks, as a result of to determine the place these new mana rocks went in relation to all the pieces else, I needed to rerank all 115 mana rocks over again with up to date information.

Hello, sure, I’m insane.

Anyway, the purpose is that the rating I’ve now could be completely different from the rating I wrote ten articles a few 12 months in the past as a result of playing cards are continuously gaining or shedding decks for quite a lot of causes. For instance, Arcane Signet was fifth after we ranked it in August, however now, because of some reprints, it’s virtually doubled in decks and is now proper behind Sol Ring!

I discover all this tremendous attention-grabbing, however I actually need to spend time on all the brand new playing cards, so I’m not going to spend a lot time right here speaking in regards to the previous playing cards.

However, it felt like a waste to not do something with this data, so for every of those articles, I’m going to hyperlink to companion Reddit posts known as Odds and Ends that may go over a number of the main modifications in the remainder of the record. It’ll have the present high ten mana rocks, a verify in on my Overplayed and Underplayed lists, and another random oddities I discovered whereas updating. You don’t have to have a reddit account to view it, so I hope you’ll have a look!

Anyway, sufficient rambling. We’ve obtained new playing cards to rank. Seven mana rocks obtained printed, so let’s see the place they stack up, beginning with…

94: Lavabrink Floodgates: 755 Decks

Is Lavabrink Floodgates even a mana rock? Am I purported to be enjoying this as a four-mana ramp rock like Hedron Archive? Tapping for coloured mana is kinda a plus, however I don’t assume it’s going to be price enjoying over even Gilded Lotus for simply the flexibility to make mana.

So I assume now I’m purported to try to consider the harm potential, and I don’t know the place to begin. I’ve seen this get in comparison with Coercive Portal, Boompile, and Nevinyrral’s Disk, however the issue is that none of them match as much as this nonsense. You have sufficient energy over Floodgates to make use of it, however not sufficient to abuse it. The solely manner that is getting popped with out your consent is that if a number of opponents work collectively to get sufficient doom counters on this. However, on the flip facet, additionally, you will by no means have the ability to break this dam by your self. You want the desk, and the desk wants you.

You’re principally on the whims of politics right here. Sometimes Floodgates will likely be early-game ramp that is also an emergency Wrath, which is fairly ludicrous, however simply as usually, it is going to shoot you within the foot once you’re the one with the most important board and opponents conspire to observe you burn. It’s unpredictable, random, and not possible to parse with out enjoying with it.

And I find it irresistible!

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Live slightly. Enjoy the fireworks on this factor.

87: The Crystals: 1,280 Decks

(Raugrin Crystal: 2,690; Savai Crystal: 1,272; Zagoth Crystal: 918; Ketria Crystal: 779: Indatha Crystal: 741)

The lopsided member of this cycle is precisely the one you’re pondering and for precisely the explanation why. Yep, Raugrin Crystal is likely one of the greatest mana rocks Gavi, Nest Warden can play as a result of it isn’t a mana rock, it’s a zero-mana cantrip. You would possibly as effectively separate this cycle into two: Raugrin Crystal, and the opposite ones.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: As for the opposite ones, they’re effective. I initially wrote out an extended entry evaluating them to the Tarkir Banners, a la Jeskai Banner, however I don’t assume anybody is ever gonna need to make that alternative. If you personal the Crystals, they’re completely playable, however in the event you don’t personal them, don’t trouble in search of them out.

80: Manascape Refractor: 1,713 Decks

As a defender of three-mana ramp, (or Manalith variants, as a result of I am a nerd), this 12 months kinda vindicated me by making two three-mana ramp playing cards that you have to be enjoying far more of, beginning with Manascape Refractor!

Sure, early on, Refractor might be simply going to be a Sky Diamond that prices yet one more mana. If you’re actually devoted to hurry, you’d reasonably have the early sport ramp, however Refractor is a far more highly effective card than Sky Diamond in 99% of video games. Any bounceland, or Ancient Tomb, or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx performed by anybody, and Refractor completely justifies the additional mana to forged.

But that’s not even moving into the true energy right here, as a result of Refractor can be Scavenger Grounds, or Kher Keep or Maze of Ith. It’s War Room, and Cephalid Coliseum, and Strip Mine. It’s Buried Ruin, it’s Inventor’s Fair, it’s Mirrorpool, it’s Alchemist’s Refuge, and also you don’t even need to be enjoying any of these playing cards. This card has pure potential principally simply by present on the board!

In case you couldn’t inform, I am keen on this factor. Manascape Refractor is a card for any deck that doesn’t want their ramp down ASAP, and you will get it for lower than a $1! When its worst case state of affairs is a effective if gradual mana rock, why are you not enjoying it for the possibility of doing one thing candy?

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: The reality this solely has 1,700 decks is a travesty. Most underplayed mana rock by a mile.

76: Bonder’s Ornament: 1,949 Decks

From top-of-the-line Manaliths of all time, to a Manalith that is completely serviceable. Bonder’s Ornament might be by no means going to attract anybody however you a card, so it’s principally only a Manalith with a Jayemdae Tome hooked up.

I believe I’m most likely extra into this card than most, however even I believe the cardboard is okay at greatest. It’s similar to Mana Geode for me. It’s low-cost, it ramps you, and it’s obtained some minor upside. I believe in the event you obtained nothing else, it is a effective space-filler, however you may also most likely do quite a bit higher.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: At least it’s not Spinning Wheel.

48: Skyclave Relic: 6,276 Decks

Alright, I promise to cease rambling about Manalith after this card, however relaxation assured, I like Skyclave Relic, too, and I advocate for it seeing far more play. Heck, if I had been feeling actual spicy, I’d advocate for it over stuff like Hedron Archive in some situations. Take Gilded Lotus, and Manalith, smoosh them collectively, and also you principally get Skyclave Relic.

Granted, not each deck needs Gilded Lotus or Manalith, however there’re loads of decks that do. If you’ll want to rise up to seven/eight/9 or extra mana, then Relic can try this for you whereas additionally having the ability to come down on flip three in the event you want it to. That’s not even desirous about stuff like Esix, Fractal Bloom or Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer that synergize with the bizarre quirks of this factor. I actually assume there are some decks enjoying playing cards like Star Compass that may very well be enjoying this as a substitute. Again, in the event you don’t have to get to 4 mana ASAP, then the flexibleness and energy of this card is well worth the lower in velocity.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Underplayed: It’s quite a bit simpler to argue for three-mana ramp when playing cards like Skyclave Relic exist.

46: Chromatic Orrery: 6,424 Decks

So Chromatic Orrery is absolutely two playing cards stapled collectively. One card is a mana rock that prices a brilliant quantity of mana and makes a silly quantity of mana. Not nearly as good as one thing like Boundless Realms, however one that may go in any deck, and is an artifact on your Bosh, Iron Golem, or Daretti, Scrap Savant to abuse. Boring, however effective.

The second (and vastly extra attention-grabbing) piece of our Orrery right here is principally the third (and third most damaged) potential on Mycosynth Lattice. I’m all the time slightly shocked how a lot of a market there may be to spend mana as if it had been mana of any colour. It’s not even totally bizarre stuff like Rasputin Dreamweaver. Like, Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix is a “real” commander, and he or she loves this factor. The problem with Kydele isn’t the quantity of mana, it’s the truth that she solely makes colorless mana, and Orrery simply throws that drawback within the rubbish. There are a stunning variety of decks that may make a bunch of colorless mana, and Orrery will not be solely an outlet for that mana, however it results in some extremely silly turns. I virtually marvel how far more play Orrery would see in the event you eliminated all of the textual content apart from that first potential, and made it a creature that price, like, three mana. I’m glad they didn’t, however I discover the thought very humorous.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Only place I’m not into Orrery is in decks like Golos, Tireless Pilgrim to activate the WUBRG potential. Just run Chromatic Lantern.

35: Jeweled Lotus: 10,143 Decks

Honestly, one of many benefits of doing this collection months after these playing cards come out is that it makes me sound quite a bit smarter than I really am. When I first noticed Jeweled Lotus, I positively thought it was a totally busted mistake with no constructive attributes. Can you blame me? They made Black Lotus Commander-legal, for crying out loud!

Even after cooler heads prevailed and loads of individuals outlined why Jeweled Lotus was really way more niche than it first appeared, I nonetheless wasn’t comfortable about it. Yeah, there’s tons of commander-supported or commander-agnostic decks the place Lotus doesn’t do sufficient to be well worth the slot. I acknowledged the cardboard isn’t really damaged or price banning, however what did we acquire by this card present? Now some video games are simply going to begin with flip one Urza, Lord High Artificer or perhaps a flip two Chulane, Teller of Tales. Even if that’s solely gonna occur, like, 1 out of 100 video games, that’s nonetheless 1 out of 100 video games which are simply miserable to take part in. I just about concluded I used to be by no means gonna even take into account enjoying this card.

And then, months later, I used to be writing this text, and as I used to be desirous about Jeweled Lotus, and a thought began to percolate in my head:

This could be actually humorous in Braids, Conjurer Adept.

Yeah, after I take into consideration Jeweled Lotus within the context of dumb, silly, and downright janky commanders, I really kinda prefer it. Turn 1 Urza is a miserable finish to a sport earlier than it begins; flip 1 Gallowbraid is a narrative that makes the sport memorable, and any good playgroup goes to respect that distinction. I wouldn’t put Lotus in my Xenagos, God of Revels deck as a result of that deck doesn’t want Lotus to be good, however I might completely think about placing it in my deck the place each card begins with the letter J as a result of that deck wants all the assistance it will possibly get. I can’t say something about this card’s impression on cEDH, however for informal EDH, I believe it may be enjoyable in very particular decks. You ever heard the sentiment “use powerful cards for stupid things”? Treat Lotus like that.

Over, Under, or Just Right? Just Right: Look, I’m nonetheless not comfortable the cardboard exists, however there’s nothing we will do about that now, so let’s see if can individuals do one thing enjoyable with it.

That’s My Garbage Take for the Evening!

One down, two to go! Next time we’ll be wanting on the planeswalkers of 2020! In the meantime, try the Odds and Ends reddit post for this article, and let me know what you concentrate on these rocks. Can we let Jeweled Lotus out of jail? Is the age of the Manalith lastly upon us? Let me know within the feedback. Until subsequent week!

Joseph began enjoying in Theros Block however determined that one of the simplest ways to play the sport was to study each single card and hope that may by some means make him good at Magic. It hasn’t. He is a university scholar in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in addition enjoys studying and different video games of all sizes and styles.

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