This entry is part 3 of 26 in the series Staple Remover

Posted by Chris-B

This week on Staple Remover we are going to take a specific look at Mana Rocks. I’m going to recommend a couple of budget friendly options you can include in your deck once you are fresh out of the more expensive and powerful artifact mana sources like Sol Ring and Mana Crypt. Maybe you just want to stick to a budget and need some effective mana rocks that are under $1.00 a piece or you just want a change of pace. Either way, read on and I’ll present you with a few mana rocks you may not have considered before.


The Usual Suspects

As you probably all know after playing a few games of commander the following mana rocks tend to be quite effective.

Mana Crypt
Mint Copy: $80.00
Pros: Trinket Mageable. Lots of mana ramp for zero initial cost. You get to flip coins.
Cons: Expensive. Potential to slowly lightning bolt you to death. I’ve seen people take a quick 12-18 damage from one of these things on a bad day.







Sol Ring
Mint Copy: $8.00
Pros: Trinket Mageable. Its a Sol Ring.
Cons: You may not have a ton of them if you didn’t get the Precons.








Grim Monolith
Mint Copy: $20.00
Pros: Doesn’t damage you if you fail to untap it. Can be used with other untap effects like Voltaic Key for a lotta ramp.
Cons: Expensive. You may have to blow mana to untap it without a voltaic key type effect.







Thran Dynamo
Mint Cop: $5.00
Pros: No damage or untap draw backs.
Cons: Higher initial casting cost.








Coalition Relic
Mint Copy: $3.50
Pros: Great color fixing. Good interaction with counter doubling effects.
Cons: Doesn’t help as much with instant speed effects since you are limited on when you can grab that extra mana.







Gilded Lotus
Mint Copy: $3.00
Pros: Great color fixing and ramp.
Cons: Higher mana cost.








Mana Vault
Mint Copy: $3.00
Pros: Trinket Mageable. Technically even more ramp than a Sol Ring for the same cost. Works wonderfully with Tezzeret the Seeker.
Cons: Untap fee and small damage penalty mean you are probably going to need support to make the vault really shine.








The Alternatives

You most likely aren’t a stranger to the usual suspects, so now lets take a gander at some other options that are out there for you.  Whether you are looking to get away from using staples or looking to build on a budget the below cards can help inject some variety into your deck building.  Hey not all of us thought to major in Cat Photography in college so we could become internet millionaires and make it rain Sol Rings.

The Fun Option

Spectral Searchlight
Mint Copy: $0.35
Why you should choose this over a staple: There are lots of color fixing rocks out there for 3 mana, but this one has a twist. You can choose to add that mana to someone elses mana pool. Why would you ever want to do that? Has your opponent ever been one mana shy, or locked out of a color that they needed to remove someone else’s big threat that was possibly heading your way? How about throwing an extra mana someones way when they are hitting your opponent with a big X spell? How about helping someone feeling the effects of early game mana screw so that they return the favor later on in the game? Just as a mana rock it isn’t too exciting but it opens up a lot of fun political options.






Mind Stone / Cluestones
Mint Copy: $0.80
Why you should choose these over a staple: Mind Stone is a solid little artifact.  It may not ramp as hard as some other options and provides no color fixing. However, the ability to sac it for card draw is not a bad ability at all. Consider the fact that it can slot into any color deck and then combine that with the option to recur it for some colorless card draw.  We recently also got the cluestone cycle from dragons maze.  If you have a deck that really needs the color fixing these can be a good alternative to Mind Stone.  A deck like Glissa, the Traitor could get some decent mileage out of a Mind Stone even in the late game where other mana rocks would be somewhat dead cards.





Dreamstone Hedron
Mint Copy: $0.25
Why you should choose this over a staple: In the same vein as Mind Stone and the cluestones, Dreamstone Hedron gives you ramp or colorless card draw. Six mana is pretty hefty for a mana rock, but ramping up to 9 or 10 the next turn isn’t too shabby. Once you play that big spell you were holding and don’t need the mana anymore, poof, you get to draw three cards. You will then proceed to draw 2 Forests and an Evolving Wilds and curse my suggestion. Hey that’s life, you can’t always get what you want!







Everflowing Chalice
Mint Copy: $1.00
Why you should choose this over a staple: The chalice gives a deck that doubles counters or proliferates a potent mana rock.  It also has the advantage of being a Trinket Mage target. Not every deck will benefit from the charge counters, but if you run something like Doubling Season or even Contagion Clasp big neon “VALUE” signs start flashing and you win the game.







Keyrune Cycle
Mint Copy: $0.15
Why you should choose these over a staple: Like any cycle some keyrunes are more useful than others, but there is some potential here. The Golgari Keyrune can also be run in a deck that can recur artifacts. Again Glissa, the Traitor comes to mind as a possible culprit to recycle your artifact deathtouch creature. The Dimir version isn’t too shabby giving you an unblockable attack when you don’t need the mana. The Izzet Lootrune doesn’t seem terrible either, but it is on the fragile side. Even if you are mostly using the runes for mana, having the option Manrune it is nice.







Basalt Monolith
Mint Copy: $1.00
Why you should choose this over a staple: Basalt Monolith is very similar to Mana Vault and Grim Monolith in function. It comes down a turn later than Grim Monolith, but costs 1 less to untap the fair way. It’s also about $19.00 cheaper.  Plus you get to draw mana from it, which sounds more fun than adding mana.







Fellwar Stone
Mint Copy: $0.35
Why should choose this over a staple: Three words: Jon Avon art.









Sisay’s Ring / Worn Powerstone
Mint Copy: $0.25 / $1.00
Why you should choose these over a staple: You are fresh out of Sol Rings or you are sick of playing Sol Ring. A fairly costed Sol Ring isn’t quite as sexy, but it can still get the job done in a pinch.








Staple Remover of the Week
Deck: Glissa, the Traitor
Staple Removed: Blightsteel Colossus
Card Added: Myr Battlesphere
I always felt dirty victimizing someone with a Blightsteel.  It was never all that exciting of a victory.  Add in the risk of a Bribery putting you on the wrong side of a Mr. Infect beating and it was time for a change.  Myr Battlesphere gives me artifact tokens to sac to Kuldotha Forgemaster and Krark-Clan Ironworks.  It can also deliver a solid beating and is much easier to cast the fair way.







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