Building a Commander deck is a complex construction. Perhaps most difficult of all is the proper proportions of your Commander deck’s mana base. Knowing the ratio of lands to spells is often not enough. Within your deck’s lands, how many should be fetchlands, how many should be filter lands, shock lands, basic lands?
This video will guide you through the process of building a five color Commander manabase, with emphasis on land ratios for each land types. It will offer both a budget and optimal build for your deck.
If you have not already seen my videos explaining what the commander format is, how to construct your first commander deck, or how to choose your commander, you may do so here, here, and here.
Please Note: This video is meant both as a guide for players who do not know where to begin building their mana base, or for players having difficulty with their mana base. It is not meant as the final and only word on the subject, quite the opposite!
Commander is a format with a multitude of options. This video is simply meant to help those who need it, not to dictate hard or absolute rules.
Building a five color commander mana base requires you to understand the average CMC, or converted mana cost of your deck. On average, does your deck have spells with a high CMC, or a low CMC? This will affect many important factors.
If you deck has mostly spells that require a high converted mana cost, such as a 5 color control deck, you should focus on 3 primary colors and consider the remaining 2 “splash” colors. The best way to proceed for such a deck would in fact be to begin with our guide for a tri-color deck, but to add 1 basic land outside those 3 colors that can be fetched, as well as to include the five color lands we will discuss later in this video.
If your deck has a low to medium average converted mana cost, then this guide is for you. Especially for decks such as Slivers which has a multitude of low cmc creatures, or Scion where getting the general out fast and reliably is the primary goal, your manabase must be built to achieve five color access quickly! But how?
Generally speaking, non pun intended, the ratio of lands to spells is
38+ Lands, 8+ Accelerants, for a total average of 46 mana sources. As always, your deck, and its unique mana curve will affect this formula. You very easily could need to run 40 lands instead of 38 in a five color commander deck, and if you find even the slightest trouble playing your five color mana base, the first fix I would recommend trying is increasing to 40 lands.
But this video will work within the template of 38 lands, and 8 accelerants, and you the playing and commander constructor will need to test and adjust if necessary.
So of those 38 lands, in a five color commander deck, what does the ratio look like?