Land cards—they form the base of the long-running collectible card game Magic: The Gathering and are generally used to generate mana, the resource required to play other cards. However, over the years, many lands cards have been created with unique abilities that can alter the course of the game dramatically in your favor.
With over 25 years of cards to parse through, Magic has a truly incredible number of special, unique, and powerful land cards. However, some of them truly stand out from the others as the best. Let's now take a look at the 10 most powerful land cards ever made for Magic: The Gathering.
10 Rishadan Port
First on our list is Rishadan Port, a land that can be put in any deck as it has no color restrictions. It can tap for a colorless mana, but most players will prefer to use its second ability - paying one mana and tapping it to tap another target land.
This isn't the flashiest power, but it can absolutely shut down an opponent's strategy. Whether it comes from tapping their only land of a particular color to ensure they can't cast certain spells or shutting down some of the other lands on this list, Rishadan Port is an excellent control card for any deck.
9 Lake Of The Dead
Lake of the Dead is a black mana land that can provide great power, but only at great cost. When it enters the battlefield, you must immediately sacrifice it unless you sacrifice a swamp. Since lands provide you the ability to play your cards, this is absolutely a risky card to play.
However, while Lake of the Dead can tap for a single black mana, it also has the ability to tap for four black mana if you sacrifice another swamp. This means that you can effectively produce five mana with two lands, producing dangerous threats early on in the game.
Wasteland is another colorless land that can be used in a similar fashion to Rishadan Port to deny your opponents their powerful lands. It can also be tapped for one colorless mana if needed, although this is not the main draw of Wasteland.
Wasteland's second ability lets you tap it and sacrifice it to destroy any nonbasic land. While this may not be the most effective when it comes to denying your opponent their basic mana generation through basic lands, it can be devastating against any special or unique lands.
7 City Of Brass
City of Brass is a classic Magic card that has been reprinted multiple times over the years. It represents the ideal form of mana fixing, allowing you to play your powerful cards without having to worry about drawing the right lands to do so.
City of Brass can tap for one mana of any color - white, blue, black, red, or green. This powerful effect does have a drawback, though, as City of Brass deals one damage to you whenever it becomes tapped. While this means that a well placed Rishadan Port can quickly turn into a ticking clock, the benefits of having access to all colors of mana are still worth the risk.
6 Mishra's Workshop
One of the most powerful strategies in Magic is that of mana ramping - playing small cards that can generate more mana in later turns. A land that can simply produce more mana from the start is extraordinarily powerful, then.
Enter Mishra's Workshop, a colorless land that taps for three colorless mana. While this mana can only be spent on artifact spells, this restriction doesn't matter if played in the right deck. A turn one Mishra's Workshop can be used to quickly ramp up your mana production and play big threats early on without giving your opponents the chance to prepare.
5 Maze Of Ith
Another Magic classic card that has seen numerous reprints, Maze of Ith can find a place in many different decks as it isn't associated with any particular color. One small drawback is that the Maze of Ith cannot tap for mana, which may like a disadvantage, but its ability more than makes up for this.
Maze of Ith can be tapped to remove a creature from combat. It then prevents all combat damage that creature would deal - and it prevents any damage that would be dealt to it. This makes it a versatile card. While the obvious use it to prevent your opponents' large creatures from hurting you, it can also be used in a pinch to preserve one of your own creatures if something unexpected happens.
4 Library Of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria is yet another colorless land, which means it can go into any deck. This card, like others on the list, can be tapped for a colorless mana, but again this is not where its real power lies. Library of Alexandria can be tapped to draw a card, if you have exactly seven cards in hand.
This may seem a little unwieldy, given the restriction to seven cards, but there are ways to circumvent that. Magic has many cards that can be used to draw additional cards, meaning that Library of Alexandria can easily be used to its full effect with just a little bit of timing.
3 Gaea's Cradle
Gaea's Cradle has only seen on printing, in the Urza's Saga set, and for good reason. This card can be used to generate an insane amount of mana, which can then be used to overrun your opponent in any number of ways.
Gaea's Cradle has a relatively simple ability - it can tap to add one green mana for each creature you control. This can quickly spiral out of control, especially in decks that create large numbers of small token creatures. This can lead to a ridiculous amount of mana, which in turn leads to more creatures, creating a loop to overwhelm your foes.
2 Strip Mine
Strip Mine is, in essence, an upgraded Wasteland. It shares many features with Wasteland, including the ability to tap for a colorless mana. However, its second power is what sets it apart and what makes it more powerful. Whereas Wasteland can only destroy nonbasic lands, Strip Mine can be tapped and sacrificed to destroy any land.
This may be only a slight change in wording on the card, but it makes a huge difference. It can destroy any land, including those on this list, but it also has uses against decks that don't run nonbasic lands. Whether it's shutting down powerful lands or simply shutting down basic lands, Strip Mine is a versatile threat.
1 Tolarian Academy
Finally, we come to what may be the most powerful and most notorious land card in all of Magic: The Gathering: Tolarian Academy. Its power is similar to Gaea's Cradle in that it can tap to add a blue mana for every artifact you control, rather than creature.
There are a couple aspects that make this card so powerful - mostly the ways in which blue spells synergize with artifacts that makes this feedback loop so threatening as playing artifacts gives players more mana, which leads to more artifacts. It also lets blue players keep more mana up, which anyone can tell you is always dangerous, making Tolarian Academy the single most powerful land card from Magic: The Gathering.