Last updated on March 1, 2023

Splendid Reclamation - Illustration by Uriah Voth

Splendid Reclamation | Illustration by Uriah Voth

Oh, shoot! You accidentally milled that Maze’s End, and now your Nine-Fingers Keene deck can’t hit that instant win with only nine gates on the field. What’s a planeswalker to do?

Fear not! Playing lands from your graveyard is easier than you think depending on what colors you’re running. Which colors are best at it? And which cards should you consider for your favorite decks? Let’s jump in and find out!

What Are Replay Land Effects in Magic?

Crucible of Worlds | Illustration by Ralph Horsley

Crucible of Worlds | Illustration by Ralph Horsley

Put simply, replay land effects allow you to play the land cards that have found their way to your graveyard. Whether you’re digging up more Guildgates to finish a Maze’s End combo or you need to return your Rogue’s Passage to finish the game with your Voltron commander, most colors have a way to grab that card and return it to your hand or the battlefield.

Best White Replay Land Effects

#5. Fall of the Thran

Fall of the Thran

Technically Fall of the Thran returns two lands from your graveyard to the battlefield… after destroying every land. True, it destroys your opponents’ lands, but it also returns their lands two at a time alongside your own. This may be worth it if you’re in a tight spot as you can ruin two of your opponents’ turns by neutering their mana base.

You still have eight lands by the time the final chapter of the saga resolves if you play this on turn 6. Assuming you don’t miss a land drop while your lands reanimate.

#4. Sun Titan

Sun Titan

The tried and true Sun Titan has been a staple of white EDH decks for years, to no one’s surprise. It’s most often used to return cheap nonland permanents to the battlefield, but it’ll return basics untapped on its attack trigger in a pinch.

It’s a costly way to return lands from your graveyard at six mana, though. Especially considering you have to wait a turn before activating its ability

#3. The Restoration of Eiganjo

The Restoration of Eiganjo

I love The Restoration of Eiganjo. It basically brought me back into Standard Arena after a long drought. It tutors a Plains to your hand for three mana and sets you up to return a low-cost permanent from your graveyard to play the following turn.

Absent a better choice you can always pitch that Plains to play it to the field for “free” and save your one-land-per-turn play for something else. Otherwise you’ll usually want to use this to dig something special out of your graveyard.

#2. Serra Paragon

Serra Paragon

Dominaria United’s Serra Paragon is the newest white card to give you access to the lands in your graveyard. Its once-per-turn return ability won’t skip your single land-per-turn limit, but it will give those lands a minor lifegain trigger when they’re destroyed a second time.

The likelihood of that happening is slim, though, unless you’ve built around repeatedly sacrificing your lands for value. If that’s you, have at it! This is the best option available at just four mana and no activation cost.

#1. Planar Birth

Planar Birth

Planar Birth is probably the best response available to an opponent’s Armageddon. Everyone gets every basic in their graveyard back into play for a measly two mana.

Its symmetrical effect is reminiscent of white’s “play fair” theme, but you can easily plan for this spell by favoring basics in your decklist or by being the only player with basics in their graveyard.

Best Black Replay Land Effects

#2. Shrouded Lore

Shrouded Lore

Shrouded Lore stretches the definition of graveyard land-play.

Consider that an opponent usually chooses a land first if there’s anything more valuable in your graveyard. They’ll expect you to keep paying mana to dig for something better, but you can surprise them by accepting that first choice and dropping that land this turn!

#1. Yawgmoth’s Will

Yawgmoth's Will

The advantage Yawgmoth’s Will isn’t solely in playing a land from your graveyard, but there’s almost never a case when you wouldn’t play a land when it’s available. Maybe grabbing an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth can suddenly fix your mana to cast into Bolas’s Citadel, or you absolutely need to grab a Strip Mine before you do anything else.

Best Red Replay Land Effect

#1. Trash for Treasure

Trash for Treasure

Trash for Treasure is probably the best and simplest way to execute an artifact land reanimation. You can sacrifice any ol’ cheap artifact like Ornithopter and pull Great Furnace or any of Modern Horizons 2’s bridge cycle lands from the grave.

Best Green Replay Land Effects

#10. Nature’s Spiral

Nature's Spiral

Nature’s Spiral is green’s basic permanent-returning spell. Two mana for the simplest Eternal Witness-style effect isn’t the best way to get a land out of your graveyard, but it beats returning nothing!

#9. Harvest Wurm

Harvest Wurm

The only time I’ve seen Harvest Wurm in play was a janky Pauper Gruul () land destruction deck that floated around my playgroup. The idea was that it’s a great follow-up to a Raze on turns 1 and 2, but it never really took off. It sometimes (rarely) places in events.

#8. Gaea’s Will

Gaea's Will MH2

Gaea’s Will is a sort-of color shifted Yawgmoth’s Will for less mana, but it’s only castable using suspend. Like Yawgmoth’s, you only get one land from your graveyard unless you have access to more than one play per turn, but sometimes that’s all you need.

#7. Creeping Renaissance

Creeping Renaissance

Creeping Renaissance can return all your lands from your graveyard to your hand. It can help if you don’t have too many lands in there and haven’t played a land this turn.

You don’t (usually) want to bring back lands just to discard them, after all. Its best upside is the flashback ability, making it a great inclusion in any deck that plans to mill your library relentlessly.

#6. Life from the Loam

Life from the Loam

Life from the Loam is about the most cost-effective way to return lands from your graveyard, especially considering its dredge ability most likely puts a few lands into your graveyard to begin with.

This card sees varying levels of play across the formats its legal in. It’s one of the best ways to return lands from your ‘yard, though not directly to the ‘field.

#5. Restore


Restore is the cheapest spell green has to return a land to the battlefield, and it has the bonus of grabbing lands from your opponents’ graveyards.

This can get spicy in EDH. It’s a Singleton format with lots of consistency across mana bases, so grabbing a second copy of a valuable land like Field of the Dead or Bojuka Bog can quickly shake things up!

#4. Titania, Gaea Incarnate

Titania, Gaea Incarnate

The flipped and melded form of Titania, Voice of Gaea and Argoth, Sanctum of Nature is Titania, Gaea Incarnate, a Splendid Reclamation on a body, a soup of keywords, and an activated ability to make use of those newly reclaimed lands. This card is a huge threat, and it synergizes well with its constituent parts’ abilities.

#3. Ancient Greenwarden

Ancient Greenwarden

Ancient Greenwarden is both a land reanimator, a big blocker with reach, and a land-based Panharmonicon all at once. It’s a steal at six mana, and its almost essential in any landfall deck.

#2. Splendid Reclamation

Splendid Reclamation

Splendid Reclamation is like the anti-Armageddon. A 4-mana sorcery that returns all lands, not just basics, from your graveyard is amazing, even if they come into play tapped.

#1. Ramunap Excavator

Ramunap Excavator

Ramunap Excavator is basically essential to lands-matter decks with access to it. It’s a cheaper (dollars-wise) alternative to Crucible of Worlds, using the ol’ “put it on a body” trick.

It really doesn’t get much better than this, green’s cheapest constant ability to play lands from the graveyard.

Best Multicolored Replay Land Effects

#7. Riveteers Confluence

Riveteers Confluence

If you choose its third mode all three times, Riveteers Confluence can grab three lands from your graveyard and put them onto the battlefield tapped. You pay for the variety this card gives you: at five mana you’re paying one more than a Splendid Reclamation, and it’s limited to three lands.

It’s probably still worth it in a Jund () deck because each of those abilities comes in handy at some point or another.

#6. Zask, Skittering Swarmlord

Zask, Skittering Swarmlord

Jumpstart 2022’s Zask, Skittering Swarmlord lets you play lands from your graveyard, and it gets insect spells too! This creature is the insect-tribal commander we’ve been waiting for.

A lot of insects have graveyard-centric abilities, like the threshold ability across a handful of Nantuko, or Gleancrawler’s constant mass Disentomb effect.

#5. Kagha, Shadow Archdruid

Kagha, Shadow Archdruid

Kagha, Shadow Archdruid both mills lands and returns them, but only once per turn. A 4-mana 1/4 with deathtouch on attack isn’t very aggressively costed, and there are just better ways to do either of the things Kagha wants to do.

Especially when you consider you have to choose between a land or a spell each turn.

#4. Hazezon, Shaper of Sand

Hazezon, Shaper of Sand

Desert lands are unique and typically find their way to the graveyard through their own sacrificial or discarding abilities, so Hazezon, Shaper of Sand’s ability to play those deserts from your graveyard is fairly useful. Unfortunately there are only 16 deserts in Hazezon’s color identity, so it needs some investment to really pop off.

It’s still a fun commander, and I encourage folks to build around it!

#3. Wrenn and Six

Wrenn and Six

Wrenn and Six is just about the cheapest way to get a land out of your graveyard. It’s one of the best planeswalkers, and it’s probably the only playable 2-mana one (sorry Tibalt). You need to have a land in your graveyard the turn it comes down to really capitalize on it. The value it generates is well worth it if it sticks around.

#2. Soul of Windgrace

Soul of Windgrace

Four mana 5/4? Check. Grabs a land the turn it enters and each turn it sticks around? Check. Gets around the one land per turn maximum? Check. And it has a great way to chuck lands into the graveyard? Gold mine!

Dominaria United’s Soul of Windgrace gives Muldrotha, the Gravetide a run for its money as the best lands-in-graveyard commander.

#1. Muldrotha, the Gravetide

Muldrotha, the Gravetide

Muldrotha, the Gravetide is a menace to Commander playgroups everywhere, and I’m tired of pretending it’s not. Muldrotha isn’t only in the best colors to self-mill, it’s also probably the best way to cast spells from your graveyard and play a land each turn.

It doesn’t circumvent the single land-play per turn, but that won’t matter when you’re milling into those Azusa, Lost but Seekings and Dryad of the Ilysian groves.

Best Colorless Replay Land Effects

#5. Scaretiller


I’ve only seen Scaretiller played in a Reaper King deck as an extra scarecrow, but in all honesty, it’s not a bad common. Its biggest downsides are its 4-mana cost and requiring an attack trigger with a less-than-threatening body.

It gets around the single land-play restriction, so it’s not too shabby.

#4. Lodestone Bauble

Lodestone Bauble

AlliancesLodestone Bauble has a unique and decidedly “old-Magic” effect. A 0-mana artifact with a 1-mana activation ability, it grabs up to four basics from a graveyard, puts them on top of their owner’s library, and lets that player draw a card at the beginning of the next upkeep.

This cantrip-ish artifact is another simple way to recur basics from your graveyard, although it locks you into those next few turns worth of draws. Not perfect, but not unusable either.

#3. Petrified Field

Petrified Field

Petrified Field can trade itself on the field for a land back to your hand. Its biggest upside is coming into play untapped, so you can get that land immediately this turn.

It does cost you your land drop for the turn, though. Still, requiring no mana to activate means it can always be useful when you have other spells to cast.

#2. Drownyard Temple

Drownyard Temple

Why complicate reanimating your lands when you can just use Drownyard Temple to return itself to play? This land makes a great sacrifice target for spells like Aggressive Mining or Army Ants.

Three mana really isn’t too expensive for this ability, especially considering you still have a land drop available that turn.

#1. Crucible of Worlds

Crucible of Worlds

Crucible of Worlds is the number one way to play lands from your graveyard. It’s both easier to cast and harder to remove than Ramunap Excavator, and it’s available to lands-matter decks of all colors.

At the very least you can use it to recur fetch lands and filter the basics out of your library. At its very best it gives quick access to your graveyard in self-mill decks.

Best Replay Land Effect Payoffs

The best way to get value out of your spells and abilities that play lands from your graveyard is to put lands in your graveyard! Aggressive Mining and Lotus Vale and the Crop Rotation– and Harrow-like effects all require sacrificing lands as part of their costs, and getting those lands right back is the best way to keep your deck’s engine running.

Having lands enter the battlefield from your graveyard can also help you to capitalize on landfall effects. Even once you run out of lands in your hand, you can recur cheap cards like Evolving Wilds or Terramorphic Expanse to keep triggering a Retreat to Hagra or Lotus Cobra over and over.

Wrap Up

Sun Titan (Magic 2011) - Illustration by Todd Lockwood

Sun Titan (Magic 2011) | Illustration by Todd Lockwood

Whether you’re milling through your own library or just desperate for some extra landfall triggers, you can’t go wrong by including a few ways to play lands from your graveyard. Land destruction is often frowned upon, but it’s become a popular enough response to ramp decks that protecting those land drops can be essential.

What sort of spells will you be using to play lands from your graveyard? What sort of restrictions could we see on a blue or red effect that returns lands? Let me know in the comments or over on Draftsim’s Twitter.

Thanks for reading, and have a good one!

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