When I started to play Magic The Gathering competitively and build build decks in the Modern format, I knew I would need to buy the fetchlands at some point. But with the price of Magic cards jumping up and down, it was confusing to knew when to buy fetchlands and if there was recommend buying window that would help me save money.
As a general rule, the best time to buy fetchlands is after they have been reprinted. Magic The Gathering cards always decrease in value on the secondary market after a card is reprinted. The more copies of a fetchland that is reprinted, the lower its price will become.
That’s the simple answer if you are looking for one, but simple doesn’t always equal best – especially when it comes to fetchlands in particular.
If you are reading about “Fetchlands” for the first time or are not entirely confident about what they are in MTG, you can check out my beginner-friendly post on the topic that will tell you everything you need to know – What Are Fetch Lands? MTG Fetch Lands: Types, Rules, List
While I would love to be able to tell you to wait until we see a large reprinting of fetchlands before you go out and pick up your playsets, there are a few important things to know about fetchlands that might not make that the best option for you.
Fetchlands: Reprints and Prices
In a perfect world, you should wait until fetchlands are reprinted again into Standard before going out and buying your playsets of fetchlands.
You only have to take a look at the price of cards like “Polluted Delta” before and after its reprinting into standing during the “Khans of Tarkir” set back in 2014.
If that doesn’t show the impact of reprinting fetchland lands on their prices, I’m not sure what will!
The release of Khans of Tarkir, essentially made it $100 cheaper to buy a single fetchland – That’s $400 saved if you were looking to pick up a playset of Polluted Delta.
This should make it clear why the best time to buy fetchlands is after they have been reprinted in Standard.
However, fetchlands getting reprinted in Standard doesn’t happen often and there is a change moving forward that reprints for fetchlands won’t have the same effect on their prices as they once did.
Fetchland Reprints Are Mythical
The last reprint for the 5 Allied Fetchlands was in the “Fate Reforged” set back in 2015.
In this set, we saw the printing of the following fetchlands:
- Flooded Strand (W/U)
- Polluted Delta (U/B)
- Bloodstained Mire (B/R)
- Wooded Foothills (R/G)
- Windswept Heath (G/W)
When we move over to the 5 Enemy Fetchlands we can see their last reprinting into a Standard set was…
As of this moment, the following Enemy fetchlands only have a single Standard-legal printing which was their original printing in the “Zendikar” set – Over 12 years ago in 2009!
- Marsh Flats (W/B)
- Scalding Tarn (U/R)
- Verdant Catacombs (B/G)
- Arid Mesa (R/W)
- Misty Rainforest (G/U)
While fetchlands have been reprinted in sets and products outside of Standard, these non-Standard legal prints do no effect the prices of fetchlands in the same way a regular printing would.
If you want to know more about fetchlands and if they will never be reprinted, you can check out my post about it here – “Will Fetch Lands Be Reprinted? (Everything We Know)”
Needless to say, with Fetchlands not being seen in Standard for the last 5 years, the prices of these cards have continued to rise and will keep doing so.
This leaves us players in an awkward situation.
We want to buy fetchlands, but we don’t want to pay more than we need to for these cards.
Unfortunately, my honest answer to this problem is, if you NEED fetchlands, you should probably buy them now!
Don’t make my mistake. I was foolish enough to be playing Magic The Gathering when the Allied Fetchlands were reprinted into Standard during Khans of Tarkir.
I was still somewhat new to Magic’s finance culture at the time and didn’t understand the importance of the fetchlands being reprinted in such large amounts.
What would have cost me $300 for an entire playset of all of the Allied fetchlands at that time, would now require me to pay closer to $1000!
If you are looking for more information on why fetchlands are so expensive, you read all about the reasons on my other post here – “Why Are Fetchlands So Expensive? Magic The Gathering Guide”
Even though fetchlands getting reprinted into some of these premium products like “Secret Lair” don’t affect the price of fetchlands as much as we would like, the release of these products is probably the best we are going to get.
If you are looking to pick up a playset of fetchlands, I would wait until we hear news of the fetchlands you want being reprinted – in any fashion – and then put up your copies on the secondhand market after the release of the reprinting.
At this point I can’t advise waiting for fetchlands to be reprinted into Standard if you need to buy them as we simply have no idea if they will ever be reprinted into Standard again – The chances of that aren’t looking good from everything Wizards of the Coast has announced recently.
However, not everyone needs fetchlands and you shouldn’t feel pressured into getting a playset of fetchlands if you are the type of player that doesn’t need them.
Who Should Buy Fetchlands?
First things, first – there is no point spending large amounts of money on thigs you don’t need.
If you are new to Magic The Gathering and wondering if you really need to add fetchlands to your collection, here are a few things to ask yourself before pulling out your credit card.
Do You Play Magic The Gathering Arena?
If you recently started playing Magic The Gathering, you may have been introduced to the game through the digital version of the game, MTG Arena.
Currently, fetchlands are not legal within any of the formats that see play on Magic The Gathering Arena.
This is important to be aware of as if you are planning on moving into playing Magic in paper as well as digital, you may not need to buy fetchlands at all.
If you enjoy the formats currently offer by MTG Arena, and don’t have any interest in some of Magic’s older formats such as Modern or Legacy, then it might be better for you to save your money and take a pass on buying fetchlands.
A word of warning though. If you think you may become interested in playing Magic’s older formats down the line, then you may want to think about picking up some fetchlands for your collection, just in case.
The reality is, the longer you wait to buy fetchlands, the more expensive they will become.
However, if you only play formats that are available on MTG Arena, then you are probably safe to ignore fetchlands for now.
On the off chance that fetchlands ever make their way onto MTG Arena, it will likely due to them being reprinted in Standard again – When that happens, you can just pick up your copies of the fetchlands then in paper and online at a much cheaper price.
Do You Play Commander?
Unlike a lot of the other Magic The Gathering formats, Commander is a singleton format.
That means you only need 1 copy of whichever fetchland you need for your commander decks – Saving yourself 75% of the cost!
If you only have 1 Commander deck…
If you have 20 Commander decks, then you could end up spending way more than the average competitive Magic The Gathering player would on fetchlands.
Here is the thing though, for the most part – Commander is a causal format that you play with friends just to have fun.
Although some hardcore Commander players may disagree with me, I would recommend buying a single copy of each of the fetchlands and using a proxy of it in each commander deck that you want to use it in.
Don’t only will this save you a huge amount of money if you are planning to build a lot of Commander decks, but it also saves you having to constantly take fetchlands out of one deck and put them into another every time you want to play one of your other commander deck.
It’s best to check with your playgroup first if it’s find for you to use proxies of cards that you actually own in your commander deck, but if you take your binder collection of fetchland singletons with you when you play, most reasonable people will be find with you using proxies in your Commander decks.
Do You Just Play Magic Causally?
If you are just playing older Magic formats like Modern and Legacy with friends causally, then there really might not be a need to go out and spend a large amount of money and getting fetchlands.
There is almost an endless amount of causal decks you can build in these formats that don not require the use of fetchlands.
It is true that most competitive decks in these formats use fetchlands, and for good reasons, but if you plan to just play now and then with friends and family, adding fetchlands to your collection really won’t increase the level of enjoyment you get from playing the game all that much.
However, if you are thinking about playing in these formats competitively and are still on the fence as to whether fetchlands are even worth the cost of a place in your tournament-ready deck, then read this post on what makes fetchlands see play in almost every competitive deck.