They’re not always exciting, but lands are an essential part of Magic: The Gathering, especially if they do something other than tap for mana. In formats like Commander you can often find yourself looking down a battlefield blasted apart by Planar Cleansing or Worldslayer, so having a few lands that do a little extra work can be a blessing when you have to recover your board state.

Not every utility land fits in every deck, however, so your mileage out of these cards may vary. Don’t worry though, we’ll have plenty of lands here to help practically any player smooth out your late game with some snazzy tools.  

Mystic Sanctuary

There is an incredible amount of value locked behind this little land. When Mystic Sanctuary comes into play, it will check on whether or not you have three or more other Islands in play, entering tapped if you don’t. 

You’ll want to wait until you hit that three Island threshold since Mystic Sanctuary also lets you put an instant or sorcery card from your graveyard back on top of your library, giving you pretty good odds to draw it next turn. You can use it to loop Time Warp over and over again if you pair it with Trade Routes to lock your opponents out of the game while you’re at it. Remember, you can get this off of any fetchland which can find islands, such as Scalding Tarn.

War Room

Any land that draws you cards is almost certainly worth a consideration, and War Room can be good depending on what you’re building. You can pay three mana and tap it to draw a card at the potentially steep cost of paying life equal to your commander’s color identity. 

So if your commander is Jeskai (white, red, and blue) you have to pay three life, which isn’t ideal. However if your commander is only one color, or no colors, War Room suddenly becomes a much better choice when it comes to getting extra draws.

Kessig Wolf Run

It’s hard to deny the amount of power Kessig Wolf Run provides you. For just two mana and whatever you put into X, you give a creature +X/+0 and trample for the turn. You can do this at anytime during the game so you can wait until after blockers have been declared before you start pumping one of your creatures us.

Even better, you can choose to pay zero for X, simply giving a creature of yours trample if you need it, possibly helping push some infect damage or baiting your opponent into blocking with a small creature before you over run them.

Karn’s Bastion

An amazing tool that can come in handy in a variety of places, Karn’s Bastion comes loaded with a four mana ability which lets you proliferate at instant speed. While it might not seem like much unless you’re playing with lots of +1/+1 counters or in a Planeswalker or infect deck, theres tons of potential for the card.

Say one of your opponents has a random card which adds a stun counter to something, now you can keep ticking it up turn after turn. Maybe your opponent plays a Battle card or two, you can pick those to proliferate up and make it harder to flip. While these are corner cases, being able to proliferate whenever you like gives you plenty of chances to mess someone’s game plan up.

Thespian’s Stage

When you think of Thespian’s Stage, you might immediately think of the classic Dark Depths combo but it’s not just limited to copying one land. Once you pay the two mana to copy a land, Thespian’s Stage keeps the ability to keep copying lands, letting it become an extra copy of the best land any player has out.

You can keep it as one land, maybe someone has a Gaea’s Cradle out and you need the mana, or you can keep swapping from land to land like to a War Room if you need to draw an answer badly. The downside is that you have to tap it to copy, making it a somewhat slow way to get there. But with a Wilderness Reclamation out, you can do practically anything you want.

High Market

One life probably isn’t going to make or break a game of Commander, not when there are all sorts of massive creatures and combos running around dealing massive damage. But what High Market is good for is the sacrifice outlet.

Just by tapping High Market, you can sacrifice a creature to gain one life. You can use this to trigger effects that happen when a creature dies, like Dictate of Erebos, or Archon of Justice, or use it to sacrifice creatures locked down by Pacifism effects.

Maze of Ith

The definition of a utility land, Maze of Ith doesn’t tap for mana at all. Instead, you can tap it to untap an attacking creature, preventing any and all combat damage that it would do or done to it.

You can of course use Maze of Ith to stop incoming attacks, using it to stop unblockable attackers or even monstrous creatures like a Blightsteel Colossus from knocking you out in one attack. You can also use it to remove your own creature from combat, like if you need to attack with a Kaalia of the Vast to cheat something bigger into play, you can still keep them safe.

Arch of Orazca

Like an upgraded version of War Room, Arch of Orazca let’s you draw a card for five mana once you gain the City’s Blessing. You get this once you have ten or more permanents in play, triggers its ascend ability.

Five mana isn’t cheap, but getting to the City’s Blessing is pretty easy in Commander, and being able to draw a card whenever is great. It’s an easy piece to throw in most decks as a backup or a great way to use mana when there’s nothing else going on.

Boseiju, Who Endures

Odds are pretty good you’ll never use Boseiju, Who Endures as an actual land unless you’re in a pinch. What makes it so good is it’s channel ability, letting you discard it for two mana to destroy an artifact, enchantment, or nonbasic land.

This ability can’t be countered through most means since you’re not casting a spell. Sure, you ramp your opponent up a bit in doing so, but it’s worth it when your opponent locks you out of the game with any silly enchantment or threatens to blow up the board with any number of artifacts.

Arcane Lighthouse

It might not be flashy, it might not be super exciting, but once you face down a Narset, Enlightened Master or any other creature that has a Swiftfoot Boots slapped on it, you’ll be thankful you packed Arcane Lighthouse.

For just one mana you can tap it to turn off hexproof and shroud from all your opponent’s creatures for the turn. Yours will all keep their protection, Arcane Lighthouse only affects your opponent’s creatures, making it a strong inclusion to shut down your opponent’s plans.

Ryan Hay (he/him) has been writing about Magic: The Gathering and video games for years, and loves absolutely terrible games. Send him your bad game takes over on Twitter where he won’t stop talking about Lord of the Rings.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.