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Magic the Gathering Card Analysis Forbidden Orchard



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Name: Forbidden Orchard

Type: Land (Rare)

Set: Champions of Kamigawa

Text:

{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

Whenever you tap Forbidden Orchard for mana, put a 1/1 colorless Spirit creature token onto the battlefield under target opponent's control.

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Strengths / Uses:

Forbidden Orchard belongs to the class of lands that were once prevalent in Ice Age: Painlands. These lands usually have the ability to provide more than one type of mana and in return inflict some kind of disadvantage on the player. For example, City of Brass can produce any kind of mana, but inflicts one point of damage to you in return.

Forbidden Orchard, on the other hand, gives your opponent 1/1 Spirit creature tokens. The good news is that in the kind of multi-coloured decks that you'd incorporate Forbidden Orchard in, you'd have the power of all five colours to choose from to get rid of those annoying 1/1 Spirit tokens one way or another. In the right deck using mana acceleration, you can easily use Forbidden Orchard to always get the right kind of mana. Also remember that you can always block those pesky 1/1 Spirits with your own creatures so you don't need to always be taking damage from them.

Use Forbidden Orchard only when you need to at the beginning of the game to get your deck's multi-coloured theme going and use it sparingly afterwards unless you really need the mana.

Alternatively, you can consider abusing the drawback of Forbidden Orchard with cards like Oath of Druids and Defense of the Heart... In that case, you'd have to design your deck to take full advantage of the fact that your opponent will have more creatures than you in the form of those pesky 1/1 creatures from Forbidden Orchard.


Weaknesses / Limitations:

Against creature decks, those 1/1 creatures can prove to be pivotal in dealing that one or two extra damage that sends your life total to zero. Furthermore, if you're using a combination deck that depends on using your life for a resource, those 1/1 Spirits can make it so that you will not have enough life to execute the killing blow on your opponent.

For two to three coloured decks, better painlands exist that are either more flexible in terms of accepting penalties or have lesser penalties attached. For example, many painlands only penalize you when you use them to give a coloured mana and allow you to tap them for colourless mana without any penalty.

Conclusion:

Forbidden Orchard is certainly a great land to have in four or five coloured decks. The ability to have any kind of mana at will is worth having to deal with the annoying critters that Forbidden Orchard gives your opponent. For two to three coloured decks that don't incorporate cards such as Defense of the Heart, better options exist that give lesser penalties.



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