Everyone can’t afford dual lands, fetch lands or even shock lands. Why spend lots of money on one card for your Commander Deck when you can have a complete mana base including mana ramp and card draw for under $2.
This is intended for budget two color Commanders. In this case we are using blue and green as the colors (aka Simic) but the basic set of cards will be the same for any two color pairs. Just make sure you get the proper colors for your commander.
You will notice that this is half of a commander deck. It doesn’t have to be quite that much, but in our case we are building 100 Commander decks to give to new players. So we needed a good starting point.
Let’s cover lands first:
We have 38 total land in these decks. If you want to play a land each turn, don’t go less than 38. It’s important. The first 3 are what we call tap lands. They enter the battlefield tapped, but they give you the ability to tap for either of your two colors on the next turn. These are considered to be slow, but they are easy to get and very cheap. If you upgrade your deck, these are often the first to go.
The lands in the deck that tap for any color are Command Tower. This use to be an expensive card, but since Commander Legends came out these are now inexpensive. There is also Rupture Spire, but it has the downside of coming in tapped and you have to pay one to keep it on the field. You can alternately use Gateway Plaza, but We really don’t want to have more than one in the deck. (Edit: I think a better option that is still inexpensive is Unknown Shores Less downside.)
We’ve decided to add Opal Palace to the land because it doesn’t come in tapped, you can use it immediately for a colorless mana and if you want it can be used to give your Commander a +1/+1 counter. Very nice.
The last two are the Temples. The Temple of Mystery is the most expensive land in the deck. It is a bulk rare so you can often get it for less than $.25. It comes in tapped, but you get to look at the top card of your library and Scry.
The Temple of the False God use to be an auto include in every Commander deck. Now it’s “too slow” for the more competitive casual players. So these are really cheap now. It’ll give you two colorless after you have 5 land on the battlefield.
Now for the Artifacts:
The other 12 cards are Artifacts that will help you ramp for more mana and some card draw. With 4 of them being creatures. Burnished Hart can be sacrificed for two basic land.
The Copper Myr or Silver Myr can be tapped for an extra mana. We really only need one of these in the deck. It depends on what color you use the most in the rest of the deck. We opted for green in this case.
The Filigree Familiar will gain you some life and when it dies you get to draw a card. Card draw is very important and this is very effective and cheap.
The Skyscanner is similar, but it’s a flyer, so it’s good for blocking flying creatures, but when it enters the battlefield you get to draw the card.
The other 8 artifacts really add to the mana and a couple have card draw ability that most people forget about. Those are the Commander's Sphere and the Simic Locket. I’ve often used them for card draw and even people who have played for years forgot that you can draw the cards off of these.
The Fountain of Ichor is like a Command Sphere, but instead of sacrificing it for a card draw, you can turn it into a Dinosaur. It can become a surprise blocker. Believe me when I say that most players forget its second ability.
The Spectral Searchlight is like a Command Sphere with no added ability other than you can give the mana to another player. Most of the time the “target” player is going to be you, but there are a few instances when giving an opponent extra mana can be to your advantage.
The final cards are Prophetic Prism which will draw you a card and can turn one of your mana into another color. And Traveler's Amulet is probably one of my favorite. If you have this in your opening hand, you can use it like an evolving wilds to get an extra basic land for only one. In a lot of respects I think this is far better than the now very expensive Wayfarer's Bauble.
That’s it for the 50 card mana base plus mana ramp and extra card draw. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Are there any other inexpensive cards that you think would be better in this mana base? Remember, these cards cost less than $2 for the lot of them.
Here’s the full list of 50 cards:
|Artifact Creatures (4)|
1 Burnished Hart
1 Copper Myr
1 Filigree Familiar
1 Commander’s Sphere
1 Fountain of Ichor
1 Moss Diamond
1 Prophetic Prism
1 Simic Locket
1 Sky Diamond
1 Spectral Searchlight
1 Traveler’s Amulet
1 Cave of Temptation
1 Command Tower
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Opal Palace
1 Rupture Spire
1 Simic Guildgate
1 Temple of Mystery
1 Temple of the False God
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Thornwood Falls
1 Woodland Stream