In a major announcement from PAX Prime, August 31, "Magic: The Gathering" will be seeing the long-awaited return of the Onslaught cycle fetchlands - Polluted Delta, Windswepth Heath, Wooded Foothills, Bloodstained Mire, and Flooded Strand. So what does this mean for you, the "Magic: The Gathering" player?
The biggest impact the fetchlands make is that it opens the door for many players to now play in the Modern Format. Currently, the only fetchlands available for Modern are from Zendikar. Many great cards came from this block including, but not limited to, Jace, The Mind Sculptor. The set was first printed in 2009. Due to the lack of access to the cards, and the major popularity of the Modern Format, the craze has driven the prices of these cards to as high as $70. The typical deck needs four to play. Doing the math, that would set the average player back at least $280, and that's just for four cards in a 60-card deck - not including the side board.
Current Onslaught fetchlands are the same price as the Zendikar fetchlands. In an increase in supply should cause the price of reprinted versions of the lands to be brought down to at least the $10-$20 mark. The lands that search you blue colored mana tend to be more popular and will probably hit close to the $20 mark. The other colored fetchlands may initially start closer to the $10 mark, but as time passes and players know what they want to play, the non-blue fetchlands will go up in price based on demand.
The fetchlands have always been an extremely popular card to play with. Strategy wise, they are an important part of any player's deck. One of the most important things they do is help thin a player's deck. The fetchlands are called that because they allow a player to search their deck for a specific type of land and put it into play untapped - meaning that the player can use it right away. In regards to numbers, this process will allow a player to remove two cards from their deck - the Fetchland and the land they are searching for - and make it more likely for them to draw into a more proactive card.
In addition to "thinning" a player's deck, the interaction with current Standard cards will be very interesting. Take Courser of Kruphix for example. Fetchlands will allow you to trigger the creatures ability more than once in a turn. Courser was initially a powerhouse, but has since calm down. It's currently sitting at a price point of $10-$11. This is the lowest it has ever been with the highest being at $20. This should drive the price back up if not higher.
Another impact that fetchlands will have on the game is in Limited. One of the most common sayings in "Magic" is that if you want to build a collection and do so quickly, one of the best ways is to draft. There is no doubt this will cause many players and local gaming shops to host more drafts then usual. This is also why the initial price of the lands may be lower than expected. Many drafts will mean many packs being opened.
Coincidentally, the fetchlands will have a major impact on the rest of the cards in Khans of Tarkir. There will most likely be a lack of initial demand for the other cards in the set, and because of the large supply of cards (from all the drafts and miscellaneous packs being opened from people tying to get their hands on fetchlands), prices for other rares and mythics will be skewed on the lower end of the spectrum. This would be your best chance to pick up sets of cards before players realize the potential of everything else in the set.
That's it for now. What do you think of the fetchlands coming back into "Magic?" Do you have your wallets in hand already?