Deathcap Glade | Illustration by Sam Burley
Golgari () is and has always been one of my favorite color combinations to build and play. Black is my favorite color in Magic and green just brings out the best in it. Golgari decks often focus on swarming, reanimating, and sacrificing. Today’s lands will fit into a lot of these play styles, as well as in many of the tri-color decks that involve green and black.
I’m going to highlight the green and black dual-color lands. Think of this as a tool to help you in deckbuilding by giving you an idea of which green and black dual lands can help individual builds.
Without further ado, let’s adventure into these dark Forests and overgrown Swamps!
#27. Skemfar Elderhall
Skemfar Elderhall doesn’t provide you with the option of black or green mana. It’s included on the list because of its activated ability that requires black and green mana.
#26. Tainted Wood
The stipulation for Tainted Wood is manageable, but it might be annoying at times. You can only tap this land for colored mana if you control a Swamp. It’s very easy to make this happen, but why risk the potential stall to your tempo?
#25. Twilight Mire
We’ll call Twilight Mire an insurance policy. The idea is that if you have a lot of cards that have two of the same mana symbol, you have a plan to play those cards. This enables you to quickly play some same mana symbol cards like Kalastria Highborn or Werewolf Pack Leader.
I like having ways to make sure I can always stay on my curve, but I don’t believe this card is necessary to achieve that. There are far too many draw and mana fixers out there to care about this card.
#24. Undergrowth Stadium
Here’s a great card for those Friday Night Magic events at your local card shops. It’s ideal for those 4-player Commander battles. I’d consider this in a Golgari Commander deck and not much else. Undergrowth Stadium is just meant to be seen by a gathering of people.
#23. Golgari Guildgate
Here we have the Guildgate for the green and black colors. All the Guildgates give you two color options, but enter the battlefield tapped.
Golgari Guildgate doesn’t have much value in Modern and Commander. But it might be a good addition for Limited formats, and possibly Pauper. I love the guild storylines for MTG as a whole, but we can find better land cards for our decks.
#22. Foul Orchard
#21. Darkmoss Bridge
Darkmoss Bridge is a great addition to a Pauper deck looking into green and black. It always comes into the battlefield tapped, so it slows down your tempo.
#20. Golgari Rot Farm
Golgari Rot Farm has some interesting interactions. It enters tapped and you also have to return a land to your hand when it does. This may seem like a bad interaction that slows down your tempo, but it has some interesting synergies.
#19. Witherbloom Campus
Witherbloom Campus and the other scry lands from Strixhaven are a welcome addition to Standard. You get the benefit of scrying in the late game to set up the cards you need. Cards like Sedgemoor Witch could use cards like this to help get to the instants and sorceries you need.
#18. Pine Barrens
Pine Barrens isn’t as useful as a lot of the other Golgari lands. In fact, there’s a strictly better version of it down the list.
This isn’t legal in many formats and it enters the battlefield tapped. I consider that two strikes against the card and would much rather use some lands that have little to no downside.
#17. Gilt-Leaf Palace
If you’re thinking of a tribal build, can I suggest Golgari elves? The green and black colors go well with some of the elves’ combos and tribal synergies. Gilt-Leaf Palace enters the battlefield tapped unless you reveal an elf card from your hand, so it doesn’t have much value outside of an elf tribal deck.
This ranks higher than some of the other Golgari lands that enter tapped because it has a way to enter untapped. This card is legal in Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Commander.
#16. Temple of Malady
A straightforward card that’s legal in most formats isn’t a bad thing. You know exactly what you’re getting when you put Temple of Malady in your deck: you hope to get it early, and it helps you dig for your best cards.
#15. Jungle Hollow
Jungle Hollow is legal in all formats, so we definitely need to talk about this dual land. It allows you to get the colors you need and, as an extra benefit, you gain a life. The downside is that it enters the battlefield tapped and doesn’t have any extra abilities like some of the other Golgari lands.
#14. Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar Wastes can be tapped for colorless mana at anytime, and you can pay one life to get either a green or black mana. I don’t mind the loss of life to get the colors I need, especially in the early game, and especially with some of the lifegain abilities in Golgari.
#13. Nurturing Peatland
Here we have another card that’ll cost you some life to get the mana you need, but Nurturing Peatland also has a great activated ability to help you in the later game: you can sacrifice the land to draw a card. This has huge payoffs when you’re in a battle with your opponent to see who draws the card that will turn the tides of war.
I like this card a lot, but it’s only available in Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Commander. It would be near the top of my list if it were available in all the formats I want to play.
With dual lands you want to use the versatility of two different colors you need with as much ease as possible. It doesn’t get much easier than just playing and tapping. Bayou can be tapped for green or black mana as soon as it’s played.
This is a must-have for any green and black deck. The only problem is that it isn’t legal in most formats. If you’re playing in these formats, then take a trip on down to the Bayou.
#11. Darkbore Pathway / Slitherbore Pathway
Darkbore Pathway isn’t a dual-color land, but it does give you the option to play the color you need. The great part of this land is that it isn’t slowed down by any constraints and comes onto the battlefield untapped.
Choosing a single color does give you a little less versatility, but the fact that it enters untapped and with the color you need makes this a great support for your next Golgari deck.
#10. Woodland Chasm
A snowy landscape to aid your Golgari build. Like many of the dual lands on this list, Woodland Chasm enters the battlefield tapped. What distinguishes this card from some of those others is the fact that it is a snow land. A lot of permanents like Conifer Wurm, Spirit of the Aldergard, and Abominable Treefolk benefit from the number of snow permanents you control.
#9. Hissing Quagmire
Before I get into Hissing Quagmire itself, let me tell you that I love the visual and skin-crawling feeling I get when I hear the name “Hissing Quagmire.” It has great art and wording to create emotions and a story.
Emotions aside, Hissing Quagmire seems like a lot of the dual lands that enter the battlefield tapped. What’s important about this land in particular is its activated ability. Turning a land into a creature is a bomb strategy for plenty of deck styles. Getting a creature with deathtouch for three mana will give you a massive defense that isn’t easily removed.
#8. Blooming Marsh
Blooming Marsh is a great dual-color land from Kaladesh. It enters untapped if you have two or fewer lands on the battlefield. Playing a dual-colored land untapped is a great advantage for you to use the exact color you need in the early game.
This is a great addition to any Golgari deck, or even some of the tri-color decks like Jund () and Sultai (). A flexible card that only gets a slight downgrade if it’s used on turn 4 or 5.
#7. Grim Backwoods
Moving on, Grim Backwoods doesn’t provide you with the colors of mana you may need, but it does offer up another advantage for you. Sacrificing a small creature in the later game to draw a card is a great ability from a land. An even better ability when you take into account that this may be done at instant speed to better use a chump blocker after blocks have been declared.
#6. Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
Svogthos, the Restless Tomb doesn’t provide you with any of the mana colors you may need, but its activated ability makes up for it. You can pay five mana for this land to possibly turn into a massive creature.
#5. Necroblossom Snarl
Necroblossom Snarl enters the battlefield untapped if you reveal a Swamp or Forest card from your hand. This isn’t too big of a deal as I think it is safe to say that most opponents will assume you have at least three lands in your hand at the start of the game.
#4. Overgrown Tomb
I love Overgrown Tomb, and all the dual lands from the Ravnica block. It’s a versatile card that allows you to play to your deck’s tempo and needs. You have the option to have it enter tapped, or pay the two life if you need the mana to play your bombs right away.
This is a great addition to any non-Standard deck. The loss of life isn’t a back breaker and can be easily navigated around to get the mana you need. Because of the legality and versatility of this card, it’s a great option for your next Golgari build.
#3. Woodland Cemetery
This allows you to have both, or several, of your colors by turn 2 and play some turn 2 creatures like Skullbriar, the Walking Grave or Chevill, Bane of Monsters. A great dual land card that’s legal in all the non-Standard rotation formats.
#2. Verdant Catacombs
Verdant Catacombs is a nice fetch land to set you up in the early game. What sets this apart from lands like Evolving Wilds and Riveteers Overlook is that the land you fetch enters the battlefield untapped. This allows you to play a turn 1 card, or keep your tempo in the middle game.
#1. Deathcap Glade
The dual-color lands from the newest Innistrad block are absolute staples for deckbuilding. They get the colors you need without too much of a hindrance. Playing Deathcap Glade tapped in the first couple of turns likely won’t hurt you, and after turn 2 it comes in untapped. It gives you all the versatility of getting the colors you need and the immediate ability to tap for those colors in the mid game.
This gets the top rank because it checks all the needs you may need from a land. It gives you whatever color you need between black or green, and it usually comes into play untapped. It’s also legal in the Standard and older formats, so you may use it in almost every one of your Golgari builds.
Golgari Guildgate | Illustration by Eytan Zana
There you have it, all the best lands that produce or require green and black mana. Dual-colored lands are an essential part of a good mana base, and you have to be able to get the colors you need as quickly as possible to compete. So choose your lands wisely depending on your desired format.
That’s all from me. I might just have to go build myself a Golgari deck now. If you enjoyed this or have any comments, please leave them below or over on Twitter.
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