With the reprinting of the "shockland" dual lands of the original Ravnica block at rare as well as the Guildgates at common, as well as Innistrad's enemy-color "checklands" and the allied-color versions from Magic 2013 in Standard, Return to Ravnica block might be the most multicolor-friendly environment ever. Not since Shards of Alara block have manabases been this diverse, and the third set of the block is slated to make the shocklands and Gates more widely available.
A new core set, Magic 2014, is also coming out in a few months. And it would be inconceivable not to see dual lands at core. The current core set duals (the allied checklands, that is) have been in use since Magic 2010, and R&D probably wants to change that up in time for the twentieth-anniversary core set. At the same time, they obviously want to be careful not to further saturate Standard with easy mana fixing. So there are three possibilities:
- Keep the original checklands. As boring as this seems, it's probably the most likely move on the part of the designers and particularly the developers. Too much access to every type of mana erodes the meaning of the mana system itself, and the last thing anyone wants is for Standard to degenerate into everyone playing the same kinds of Five-Color Good Stuff decks.
- Create a new dual land cycle. There are four ready-made new cycles sitting right in front of our noses. I, of course, refer to the Future Sight dual land cycle. While Graven Cairns spawned a cycle in Shadowmoor and its enemy-color version in Eventide, Nimbus Maze, River of Tears, Grove of the Burnwillows, and Horizon Canopy all await expansion into full cycles. Now, some of these might be disappointingly weak and others too dangerous for Standard, but they certainly would be exciting to see. Still, this idea would be quashed in Development long before it made it to a core set, especially now. Don't count on seeing new duals this year, and probably not next year either.
- Reprint the Innistrad checklands. Everyone seems to want this one to happen. Enemy color duals are typically not core set fare, and were last seen when Tenth Edition reprinted the entire painland cycle, both the allied and the enemy colored versions. But if any core set would mix the usual formula up, it would be Magic 2014. This seems like the way R&D wants to go, but we'll see how the land mix actually turns out.