Last updated on November 30, 2023
Spirebluff Canal | Illustration by Adam Paquette
I’ve said it time and time again, having an effective and consistent mana base is one of the best things you can do to improve your win rate and success in Magic. Izzet () is no an exception to this rule. And Izzet requires an efficient mana base to support its spells just like any other color combination or strategy.
That’s why today I’m coming to you with a complete breakdown of blue red lands in Magic, including a ranking of the best ones, why each is particularly good or bad, and how to use them best.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
#27. Caldera Lake
First up on today’s rankings is Caldera Lake, an old Izzet dual land from Tempest. This land comes into play tapped and still taxes you one life whenever you tap it for colored mana. This is strictly worse Shivan Reef, and we hate to see this.
#26. Highland Lake + Izzet Guildgate (and more)
Next up is strictly better than Caldera Lake, which is to say any dual that enters tapped and taps for either color for free. This includes cards like Highland Lake and Izzet Guildgate, plus anything that’s the same card under a different name.
I suppose the Guildgates are slightly better since there are plenty of cards that synergize with them, but those are the only exceptions.
#25. Training Center (in 1v1)
Next up we have Training Center, which is equivalent to a Guildgate in 1v1 formats like Modern or Pioneer. These lands were specifically made for Commander and other multiplayer formats, but were given this clause since they’re still legal in Legacy and Vintage.
#24. Silverbluff Ridge
Here we have Silverbluff Ridge, the artifact dual land from Modern Horizons 2. Artifact dual lands are essentially glorified Guildgates. They still enter tapped but also count as artifacts on top of having indestructible.
It’s important to remember that this lands taps for blue, which means it has use in various affinity decks, particularly in Pauper, but not much outside of that. But it’s still better than a default Guildgate.
#23. Volatile Fjord
This means that it works perfectly with cards that care about snow mana or having a specific number of snow permanents on top of being able to be fetched. It’s best-in-show mana fixing in those cases, but it’s nothing special otherwise.
#22. Surtland Frostpyre
Surtland Frostpyre is a tapped red source with an Izzet activated ability. For you can sacrifice this land to scry 2 and deal two damage to each creature. Having a Pyroclasm with two cards worth of information on a land is pretty sweet value, even if it doesn’t tap for both colors.
#21. Swiftwater Cliffs
Swiftwater Cliffs, from Khans of Tarkir, is your standard run-of-the-mill tapped dual land that gains you one life in the process. This isn’t really much of an upside, especially in a color combination like Izzet that has basically no lifegain synergy, but it’s still worth noting.
#20. Prismari Campus
Next up is Prismari Campus, a tapped dual that can scry 1 if you tap it on top of paying four mana. These are sweet in Limited and have some semblance of a home in Pauper control decks.
his is yet again another disappointing attempt at mana fixing other than that. But don’t worry we have much better lands to come!
#19. Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind
Here we have another non-dual utility land, Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind. This land from Guildpact taps for one colorless and allows you to exile the top card of your library for , which you can then cast if it’s an instant or sorcery.
This is okay and has some room for play in casual Commander decks where games go very long and consistent card advantage goes a long way.
#18. Izzet Boilerworks
Izzet Boilerworks is the blue and red bounce land, which means that it enters tapped and requires you to return a land you control to your hand when it enters the battlefield.
But as an upside it taps for both blue and red at the same time. That does mean that you can’t play this on turn 1 in any way since it’ll just end up bouncing itself in the process.
#17. Desolate Lighthouse
Desolate Lighthouse is a utility land that taps for a meager one mana, but it has the ability to draw you a card at the cost of and having you discard immediately after. Having card advantage built into lands is always good. This is best used in casual EDH decks that can repeatedly put this card to use, just like Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind.
#16. Molten Tributary
Molten Tributary isn't much, but it can be fetched! That's super sweet. So even though it doesn't have any extra benefits, this makes it a lot better than some of the competition.
#15. Temple of Epiphany
Next up is the Izzet scry land, Temple of Epiphany, which always enters the battlefield tapped but lets you scry 1 when it does. This is great information that makes it particularly strong in Standard where only a few specific dual lands are legal.
That format is particularly slower than the others, which means having tapped mana with a decent upside on turn 1 or 2 is usually just fine.
#14. Cascade Bluffs
Here we have Cascade Bluffs, which is just Izzet’s filter land. These lands enter untapped but require a blue or red mana on top of that. They then provide you with any combination of blue and/or red. They also tap for one, which helps unlock mana that would otherwise be needed to turn this land on.
#13. Sulfur Falls
Up next we have Sulfur Falls, which enters tapped unless you already control an Island or Mountain. These check lands are pretty decent fixing, especially in formats where shock lands are readily available and legal. These can work well in both dual and tri-color decks!
#12. Wandering Fumarole
Wandering Fumarole is the Izzet manland, which enters tapped, can tap for blue or red, and for can become a 1/4 elemental creature with the ability to become a 4/1 for . That’s a lot of text, but put simply: this is bare minimum mana fixing with an incredible activated ability.
Manlands are supremely important in control decks, which otherwise don’t have many ways to actually win the game. And this one does that pretty well.
#11. Stormcarved Coast
Into the top 10 now, and Stormcarved Coast is here to start us off. This is the Izzet slow land, meaning it enters tapped unless you have two or more other lands already in play. This makes it a decent turn 1 land if you have nothing to play, but is otherwise reserved for turns 3 and onward.
Don’t be mistaken, this is good mana fixing, but having mana on those critical first few turns is the most important part. This is why the Coast is ranked a few places lower than its faster counterpart.
#10. Restless Spire
Restless Spire is a sweet creature land. It only costs to activate, and becomes a 2/1 with first strike (if it's your turn), and gets you a scry when it attacks. It's not a whole lot for a creature, but it's cheap, effective, and can work wonder in tempo decks. Cool!
#9. Riverglide Pathway / Lavaglide Pathway
The Pathways are some of the most unique and efficient dual lands in the game. The Izzet iteration, Riverglide Pathway, is a 2-faced card that enters as either a red or blue source. These work well with other nonbasic lands since they can help mold to what colors you’re missing.
#8. Frostboil Snarl
Frostboil Snarl is the Strixhaven dual land that enters untapped if you reveal an Island or Mountain from your hand. This works great in conjunction with other lands, specifically Steam Vents and lands that count as basic land types.
But it’s still decent in formats without much fixing where you’ll be playing more basics outside of that.
#7. Spirebluff Canal
Next up is Spirebluff Canal, the fast land for Izzet, which means it enters untapped if you have two or fewer other lands. Having access to mana on turns 1 through 3 is of the highest importance since it allows you to actually play your spells, interact with your opponent, and help set the pace of the rest of the game.
#6. Shivan Reef
Shivan Reef is a simple pain land in the Izzet colors. It enters the battlefield untapped, which is great, and costs one life to tap for blue or red. It can tap for one for free, which can be life-or-death in matchups where every life point matters.
But the most important thing is that this land offers either color the turn it comes in at any point in the game.
#5. Fiery Islet
Starting off the top five is the power crept Izzet pain land, Fiery Islet. This land taps for either color or taxes you one life when it does, but it has an important upside. For just one mana and sacrificing the land you can draw a card at instant speed. This is a great 1- or 2-of in Legacy or Modern Izzet delver where tempo is king.
Drawing a card is the best thing you can do in just about every deck, and one mana to draw is unbeatable late game when you have more lands than you can use.
#4. Training Center (in multiplayer)
Training Center is the Commander dual land that taps for both blue and red and enters untapped if you have two or more opponents. This is obviously really strong since it has no clear downside in Commander pods where there are three opponents.
It’s also only based on three opponents, which means you’re not stuck with a pseudo-Izzet Guildgate if one player has died or left early.
#3. Scalding Tarn
In the #3 spot on today’s Izzet land rankings we have Scalding Tarn, which is the blue and red fetch land.
#2. Steam Vents
Next up in the #2 spot is budget Volcanic Island, better known as Steam Vents. This is the Izzet shock land, which means it counts as both basic land types and can enter the battlefield untapped if you pay two life.
Not only does it offer both colors on turn 1, but you can also fetch this land on your opponent’s turn to avoid paying the tax if it isn’t necessary.
#1. Volcanic Island
It’s the best dual land you can possible have not only because it enters untapped and offers both colors without compromise, but it also acts as both an Island and a Mountain. This means you can reveal it as well as fetch it, making your mana base in eternal formats spectacular.
Izzet Guildgate | Illustration by Kirsten Zirngibl
That wraps up just about all of the red and blue lands! I enjoy doing these rankings and love finding niche or older duals that I never considered or knew of, which them promptly go into some of my Commander and Pauper decks.
What did you think of the rankings? Where there any choices I made that you’d change around, or exempt from the list all together? I want to hear your thoughts, so let me know down in the comments or over in the official Draftsim Discord.
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