Understanding & Breaking Down Mana-Base

I am going to take a look at mana bases as it pertains to legacy but with the re introduction to fetchlands into standard. Some of this will apply. The specific list i am going to us in question is my current Team Italia list(BWR) its a BW mid range list that splash’s Red for Value. Here is the list with out the Mana Base:

Now how do we figure out what and how much mana will i need to make this deck work.

There is a few things we need to take into consideration. First this deck wants to be able to cast Hymn to Tourach on turn 2 and Liliana of the Veil turn 3 so that is 2 double black spells early in the game.

But at the same time we would like to be able to cast either [crad]Stoneforge Mystic[/card] on turn 2 or lingering souls turn 3. So the break down is this

Turn 1 need Black man for Deathrite Shaman

Turn 2 need Black Black for Hymn to Tourach or White Black for Stoneforge Mystic

Turn 3 need Black Black Colorless for Liliana of the Veil

Now we need to calculate what are the chances of us drawing any of these 2 cards to appear in are opening hand. The statistics for us have a double black spell in are opening hand is around 50% of the time so that means that 1/2 games we need to have access to double Black for turn 2 or 3

Now to figure out how much of what color we are going to look at the color break down in percentages. this deck is about 60% Black and 30 % White with a 10% red splash. So from that we can infer that we will be having a heavier black mana base.

So I took all this information and worked out the first mana base

This was the starting point. after testing I found out that I have access to to much Red mana and I was super susceptible to being wasteland so I changed it to this

So now I still have access to the double black easily plus I have access to all my colors even threw Wasteland.

With this mana base I have 15 black sources, 8 white sources, Red sources. This includes fetchlands which is what you need to do when considering everything this your mana base. Which covers everything I would need for this specific list.

The following is just some statistics that show the correlation between the number of lands and the percentage of drawing less than 2 land or more than 4 in a hand of 7.

Number of Land in 60 Card Deck Percentage
19 33.00%
20 31.30%
21 28.90%
22 27.50%
23 26.30%
24 25.50%
25 25.10%
26 25.30%

This is some food for thought for you to consider when playing and when constructing a deck.

The last Table that I will use is this gives you a starting point for how much mana should be in your specific style of list which is something that also needs to be taken into consideration when build and testing mana bases.

Number of lands Strategy of deck Mana Curve
Less than 20 Hyper Aggressive 0-2cc only
20 Aggressive Beatdown 32 or more 0-2cc; 8 3cc or up
22 Aggressive Mid-range 20-28 0-2cc ; 10-18 3cc or up
24 Mid-Range 10-20 0-2 cc ; 16-26 3cc or up
26 Control Combo should start here

The above tables give you some information that will be useful to you when looking to build and evaluate your mana base now everything I have told you isn’t hard fast rules but more guidelines for you to work out what you need.

Building a Mana base is something that comes with experience and testing. So not getting it right the first time isn’t the worst thing ever magic is a game of great depth and understanding so don’t give up on your pet deck or project just because it isn’t part of the current “meta” .

I hope this was instructive and useful for you. If you have any questions or concerns let me know either in the comments below. I will do my best to answer any and all questions for you.

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