Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How's Bayou? A look at the Dual Lands.

Okay, at long last, the promised post on the Dual Lands! When I got done writing this, I realized it was WAY too long, so I have split it up into two posts.

Our saga starts way back in the very first edition of Magic, Alpha. In this original set were introduced 10 rare cards, know collectively as the Dual Lands. Each of these land cards counted as two basic Land types, and could be used to produce mana of two different colors. For example, the Bayou (of which I have one up for auction this week) counts as both a Forest and a Swamp, and could be used to make Green mana (G) or Black mana (B).

Since there are five colors of mana possible (see my previous post on the subject), that's 10 possible combinations, and thus the 10 original Dual Lands. These lands are:
  • Badlands (Swamp Mountain)
  • Bayou (Forest Swamp)
  • Plateau (Plains Mountain)
  • Savannah (Plains Forest)
  • Scrubland (Plains Swamp)
  • Taiga (Mountain Forest)
  • Tropical Island (Island Forest)
  • Tundra (Plains Island)
  • Underground Sea (Island Swamp)
  • Volcanic Island (Island Mountain)

These 10 Lands survived through Revised Edition before they were declared too powerful, and taken out of print. They remain immensely popular, however, and the most recent versions from Revised Edition sell right now in the $25-$30 range; ones from Unlimited Edition in the $30-$45 range; and ones from Alpha Edition and Beta Edition sell in excess of $100.

Since they have been taken out of the set, however, several attempts have been made to create Lands that could make multiple colors of mana, with some limitation to them to make them a little less powerful. I'll look at these other attempts in my next post, Dual Lands Part II

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