How Many Land Does a Magic The Gathering Deck Need?

When you’re playing Magic, few things can be more frustrating than “mana screw”. Drawing too few lands, or even too many, can slow your deck to a screeching halt! Once you’ve finished building your Magic deck, here’s how to estimate the right amount of land to include in your deck:

How Many Colors?

A mono-color deck will generally need fewer land than a multi-color deck. If playing multiple colors, consider including lands that can provide more than one type of mana. If you have a lot of cards with more than one colored mana symbol, your land mix will need to be heavier toward that color as well.

Use Mana Acceleration

Using mana-producing artifacts can sometimes be more beneficial than adding extra land, as artifacts do not count toward your one land per turn limit. Being able to gain an extra mana resource early in the game can help you cast a crucial spell one turn sooner if you get the right draw!

How Much Mana Do I Need?

If your deck can function fine with only three or four land out, you probably won’t want to include more than 20-22 land. If you need massive amounts of mana, you may include 26-28 land. Knowing how your deck works, and lots of playtesting will help you find the right number for your deck.

Add More Land, or Blame Bad Luck?

No matter how many or how few land you include in your deck, you’re not always going to draw the right number that you need. This makes it important to both shuffle your deck well, and test it a fairly large number of times before drawing a conclusion that your deck is either too heavy or too light on land.

There Is No Magic Number

Since there is no universal equation to finding out how many land your deck needs, the best you can do is to estimate and tweak your deck as needed. If you’re playing a mono-color deck, start with 22 land. For a two-color deck, 24 land. Take ten “test draws” and see if the amount of land looks right. If not, change it up as needed.