One of the most common things players run into when having decks of more than two colors is finding ways of reliably generating the mana they need when they need it (which is usually now ). In general, this is done in one of two ways: cards focusing around land fetch (say, Rampant Growth), and cards focusing around creating the desired colors. Both approaches have their uses, and often it comes down to secondary construction considerations such as theme, speed, and/or intent. When it comes to the latter process, often called ‘mana fixing’, there is one that usually lives up to its reputation as being the standard-bearer.
Name: Darksteel Ingot
Edition: Darksteel / MTG: Commander
Focus: Mana Acceleration / Mana Fixing
Highlights: In its category, Darksteel Ingot is the perennial contender, and there are a number of good reasons it was included in the initial Wizards-released Commander Decks:
1. It’s a very economic 3-cost mana producer.
3. Again, because it’s an artifact, it’s colorless nature gives it versatility in just about any deck where mana fixing is needed.
4. It’s indestructible without added cost. Commander is not a shy format for repetitive board wipes, and it’s the extra perk of being immune to most forms of board wipe or artifact wipe that really puts it over the top. Moreover, unlike many cards debuted with the ability of “being super annoying to remove”, this one didn’t incur an additional mana cost as a result. (I’m looking at you, Darksteel Gargoyle…)
(Bonus! – if you happen to be in an unfortunate group that runs land destruction, you also now have a safe mana source. The person who played Armageddon does not. They also likely now have far fewer friends…)
If you are playing a deck with three or more colors, Darksteel Ingot is certainly a card that bears consideration. Fortunately, with the reprinting in MTG: Commander, the price on the little utility gem plateaued, keeping this common in the range you’d expect commons to be (albeit at the upper edges of it). If Darksteel Ingot proves difficult to attain, you could use the indestructible-free version, Manalith, or jump up to uncommons such as Vessel of Endless Rest or Spectral Searchlight for the same effect.
There are plenty of similar mana-fixers out there, and 3 mana is now sort of an accepted cost for mana fixing on an artifact. So, we are hardly saying you don’t have other options if you can’t come across an Ingot or if you’d prefer something more suited to the deck. It just happens to be that unique blend of getting what you want and what you need all at the same time that garners the attention.
Keep an eye out for us to be regularly featuring other more accessible-but-worth-it Commander cards going forward. In the meantime, we’ll keep the light on for you.
Do you have a particular Commander card to suggest for us to shine a future Spotlight on? You can send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org