Last updated on December 28, 2023
Mana Confluence | Illustration by Richard Wright
Pots of gold, a bridge to the realms of the gods, the place to find an all-knowing salmon… Folks from across all lands have wondered what lies at the end of the rainbow.
What we find when we search for the source of all hues in Magic: The Gathering is 5-color lands: lands that, upon certain conditions, can generate the full palette of mana needed to cast MTG spells.
Let's take a trip across the best of those rainbow lands, and see if we find the gold that your multicolor deck may be looking for!
Mirrex | Illustration by Adam Burn
In Magic: The Gathering, lands that tap for all colors are cards with something like “Add X mana of any color” in their textbox. In other words, they can produce mana of any color you could possibly need.
Needless to say, one type of deck that 5-color lands fit in is 5-color decks, but there are two important caveats:
- Any deck that runs more than one color could welcome some of these rainbow lands. Even if your deck includes only red, green, and blue spells, a land that can generate any type of mana could come in handy at any point in your curve by providing lots of flexibility.
- On the other hand, such flexibility comes with costs and trade-offs when compared to lands that tap for fewer colors, or else every deck would just run 5-color lands! So even 5-color decks will often need other multicolor lands like fetch lands, shock lands, and triomes to round up their land base.
Specifically for Commander, there are cards that say something along the lines of “Add one mana of any color in your commander’s color identity.” Since Commander decks can only include cards within your commander’s color identity, these lands serve a very similar role. They provide mana of any color you could possibly need, except for some corner cases like stealing an opponent's permanent with an activated ability outside your commander's identity.
To sort cards for this ranking, we'll look at:
- Popularity in Commander: Commander decks tend to be mana-hungry while needing more lands than 60-card formats (roughly between 38 to 42 lands per deck) and are only able to run a single copy of non-basic lands, so they’re usually the decks that need the most options.
- Speed: Lands that enter the battlefield tapped are worse than similar cards that enter untapped.
- Trade-offs: 5-color lands always have some restriction, drawback, or trade-off associated with them.
- Bonuses: A few of the lands on this list provide a positive for playing them, or using their mana.
- Cost: Lands may cost no mana, but they still cost $$ to buy.
- Formats: For cards with similar effects, we'll give a nudge to cards that are legal in more formats.
Let's start this ranking by noting that it would be very inefficient to only run 5-color lands as your mana base, even in a 5-color deck. As noted, they all have drawbacks and trade-offs. Rainbow lands are very useful for complementing your land base, but the bulk of your lands should be efficient dual-color lands. Depending on your deck's format, look for lands such as shock lands (like Godless Shrine) or bond lands (like Bountiful Promenade).
Also depending on the format, fetch lands like Marsh Flats are another excellent choice. They don't produce any mana themselves, but they’re crucial for any deck that wants different colors of mana, or for 5-color mana bases with shock lands.
Lastly, “copycat” lands such as Vesuva or Thespian's Stage are as good as the best land in play, which in Commander means that they can be a very good land. Despite requiring a bit of setup, they can double down on whatever rainbow lands you have.
Lands like Transguild Promenade or Gateway Plaza are the very minimum of what we're looking for: They are very slow, enter tapped, require you already have a mana source in play, and they burn one mana when played, but they get us the effect we need. They are also dirt-cheap to buy (costing just a few cents) and playable in most non-Standard formats.
This is our baseline for what we want in this ranking – all the following lands are better, and many are much better!
Dirt-cheap, legal in most non-Standard formats, enters the battlefield untapped….
…But Aether Hub can only serve as rainbow land once unless our deck can generate energy counters. There are a couple of similar one-shot lands such as Tendo Ice Bridge that can work in a pinch, but they are far from the best options we have.
Grand Coliseum is a more flexible City of Brass but with the drawback of coming into play tapped. Nevertheless, if you're playing a Commander deck that can take its time and handle the life-loss then Grand Coliseum is a very solid option as a multicolor mana source.
It's only legal in tabletop Eternal formats though, limiting its usability. It's also a bit pricey (north of $3).
MTG has several lands that, rather than generate mana out of thin air, can spend mana to generate mana of another color – these are usually called “filter lands“. Having to spend mana to make mana makes these a bit slow if you need to ramp fast, but can otherwise supply any color you need, and they come with a backup plan (producing colorless mana) that costs nothing.
The “vanilla” version of these lands is Shimmering Grotto, with several others like Crystal Grotto, Study Hall, Hall of Oracles, or Great Hall of the Citadel providing different bonuses when played or when their colored mana is used.
Lotus Field is legal in most non-Standard formats and is such a workhorse in Pioneer that it defines a whole deck (named, wait for it… Lotus Field) and crucial to another ( Control), and you can get a copy for about $5.
Lotus Vale is only legal in tabletop Eternal formats, and you'll need to spend a pretty penny to buy it.
We'll find a couple of lands in this ranking that require your deck to have artifacts. Glimmervoid has the strictest requirement, which makes it both risky and a bit slow to set up, though it sees play in several formats and it's quite popular in Commander.
It plays well with Power Depot, which we'll see in a bit.
Certainly not the mana source your deck wants if you want to play the long game, but Gemstone Mine sure gets the quick jobs done. Unlike several other options in this ranking, it comes into play untapped, and other than its short shelf life it has no drawbacks, conditions, or trade-offs.
Mirrex is flexible enough to see play in several decks across different formats, from Aggro and Control in Standard to some versions of the Indomitable Creativity deck in Pioneer. Although if we're just considering its uses as a mana fixer, then its opportunity window as 5-mana land is fairly slim.
A fairly scarce card, having been printed only once, but it's still very affordable and popular. As long as you have enough creatures to tap, Survivors' Encampment is a solid rainbow land.
Printed in Modern Horizons 2 and very cheap, Power Depot is the first non-creature card with Modular. But even if your deck isn’t interested in this keyword, Power Depot just needs an artifact-focused deck to be worth it.
It works very well with Spire of Industry, another artifact-matters land that we’ll see in a bit.
This is a cycle of five lands with similar text: They tap and remove a charge counter to generate mana of any color. They include:
Not a long-term solution for your multicolor mana needs, but good enough to buy you time until you find other options. They all also generate mana of a specific color as a fall-back plan rather than colorless, as many other lands in this list do, and you can get them for fairly cheap.
Dragon decks are the most common 5-color decks in Commander by a huge margin – with Haven of the Spirit Dragon playing an important role in getting your fire-breathing, bat-winged lizards into play ASAP.
A very flexible card, playable in all formats (including Standard), and often seen in Amulet Titan decks in Modern, The Mycosynth Gardens is what's commonly called a filter land– a land that can spend mana to generate mana of another color. Its flexible secondary use makes it stand out from other filter lands in this ranking.
While most 5-mana lands can be useful in dual- or tri-color decks, The World Tree is particularly useful in 5-color decks, becoming a Chromatic Lantern when you reach six lands – you’re pretty much guaranteed to fulfill all your multicolor mana needs at that point.
It does enter the battlefield tapped and takes a while to activate though, pushing it down in this ranking.
If you're playing Commander, also note that this is one of the few lands on this list with a specific color identity: You can only play it with 5-color commanders. Then again, nearly every 5-color commander will be happy to bark at this tree!
A very affordable option at roughly 50 cents, Spire of Industry turns into City of Brass as long as your deck includes the proper synergies. It plays well with Power Depot, which is both a land and an artifact.
Spire of Industry is very popular in Commander, where the life payment is less of a problem and the two most popular cards, Sol Ring and Arcane Signet, happen to be artifacts (the latter also being a source of 5-color mana).
Cavern of Souls and Secluded Courtyard provide interesting bonuses, while Unclaimed Territory is the vanilla version, so we'll find the former two a bit higher in this ranking. They’re all legal in Pioneer, Modern, and Eternal formats.
A strictly better version of Unclaimed Territory, with the small bonus of allowing the activation of abilities.
Fairly cheap and legal in most formats, Courtyard will pull its weight in any deck that can meet its typal requirements.
If we were to just look at its effect and lack of drawbacks aside from coming into play tapped, then City of Ass would be one heck of a good land, above all in formats where you can play more than one copy.
Path of Ancestry is one of the most popular lands in Commander. It's very cheap at just a few cents, provides any color a Commander deck may need, and comes with a nice upside that typal decks will be able to profit from (and your commander happens to share creature types with itself).
On the other hand, it enters the battlefield tapped, it's not really a rainbow land, and it's sort of just a Wastes with extra steps in other formats. That’s going to keep it out of reach of our top 10.
An obscure, meaner, more painful City of Brass, Tarnished Citadel will only work well in decks that need both colorless and multicolor mana, since dealing three damage to yourself every turn is too painful even for the 40-life cushion of Commander games. It’s quite pricey at that, and only legal in Eternal formats.
If that happens to be your deck, then this is a very flexible option to growl “no pain, no gain” through clenched teeth, and get the colors you need ASAP.
There's a deckbuilding hoop to jump through here, so not every deck will be able to use Plaza of Heroes, but it will be a welcome addition to any pile of cards with a good proportion of legendary spells (including your commander of course).
[cardPlaza of Heroes[/card] also comes with a very nice alternative use: Giving hexproof and indestructible to your wincon is not to be underestimated. Besides Commander, Plaza of Heroes sees play in Pioneer (like Greasefang decks) and Standard (like Legends decks).
Now this is a spicy one! Forbidden Orchard’s effect is exactly what we're looking for. To give a few examples, you can mitigate the downside if you’re running Toxrill, the Corrosive as your Commander, or welcome it if you plan to be “generous” with a commander like Grismold, the Dreadsower.
A great choice for Commander decks and a staple in cEDH, Exotic Orchard gets better the more opponents you have since it taps for a color that they can generate. It’s only a few cents and has recently been reprinted in Commander Masters.
If you would rather not count on your opponents' lands producing the mana you need, then you can take matters into your own hands: Reflecting Pool is the same effect as Exotic Orchard, but self-centered.
Unlike Orchard's price, which is just a few cents, Reflecting Pool costs around five bucks.
If you want a high-risk, high-reward option, look no further than Gemstone Caverns. You have to have luck on your side and then pay quite the price to reach its ceiling, but said ceiling is huge: You're effectively one turn ahead from the get-go.
It's quite pricey at above $40 at the moment. However, it's playable in Modern (for example in Cascade Crash decks) and the tabletop Eternal formats, and its chances to go off get much lower in Commander.
If you're playing Commander, then this is the windmill slam-dunk best multicolor land in MTG. It’s all we're looking for, with zero drawbacks or trade-offs. And it's very cheap to buy, too!
The reason why Command Tower is #3 in our ranking is that it's not really a 5-mana land (just a “your-commander's-identity-mana” land) and pretty useless in other formats, thus not deserving of the very top spots.
We'll all die in the long run, so drink and be merry, and don't mind the self-pings!
And be comfortable with the risk of your foes being able to harm you, should they have a way to tap your lands.
Fairly expensive financially, but playable in all non-Standard formats, this is overall the best MTG land if you need a reliable source of 5-color mana.
Yes, they can.
There's not much point in including them in mono-color decks unless they provide some other benefit or synergy. For example, if you play mono-blue you really don't need a City of Brass to generate blue mana; just any plain ol' Island would do. But you can still play it if you want.
On the other hand, for any deck that wants different colors of mana, even if just two or three, lands that can generate any color provide very good fixing.
The exception, for Commander, are lands with an identity that doesn't match your commander's. Most of the lands in this ranking have no identity and therefore fit any Commander deck, but cards like The World Tree do, so you can only run them with a 5-color commander.
For a 5-color Commander deck, the optimal mana base will probably require 10x fetch lands (like Marsh Flats), 10x shock lands (like Godless Shrine), 10x bond lands (Bountiful Promenade), a handful of the best 5-color lands, and a few Triomes (like Jetmir's Garden).
For 5-color, 60-card decks, the format will dictate which lands you have access to – but as far as the number of lands to include goes, it doesn't deviate from the usual 24-26.
City of Brass | Illustration by Kirsten Zirngibl
And that would be it – the 30 best 5-color lands in Magic!
Most rainbow lands must have drawbacks and trade-offs when compared to other lands. They are the most flexible and therefore must be balanced accordingly. But such flexibility is often worth the cost for decks that run 3+ colors and is sometimes welcomed in dual-color decks. Just remember that even if you run a proper 5-color deck, you optimally won't fit more than a handful of rainbow lands in it – having every land be a 5-color land would ramp up the associated drawbacks far more than your mana, so choose wisely.
May you always find the pot of gold, and good luck out there!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: