Fan Favorite Friday #24: Evolving Wilds

Hello friends, and happy Friday to you all! I hope you’ve had a great week, and that you’ve been staying warm! It’s been a cold, rainy week here in good ol’ Boise Idaho. I’m in the middle of finals prep for the end of my semester at school, and I’m super looking forward to winter break! No more four tens for this guy over break, I’ll be here at ABU 9-5 during the week like a normal person!

This week for Fan Favorite Friday I asked the Boise Magic Players Facebook group to help choose the cards that would face off this week. There were a lot of awesome suggestions, and then there was the suggestion that actually won (via likes): Evolving Wilds VS Terramorphic Expanse! Not wanting to be the guy who went back on his word, we ran it! You all voted, and it was actually a pretty close race with the hackneyed and much maligned Evolving Wilds seizing victory this morning with 53% of the votes.

Before we dig into the most commonplace of “fetch lands” we need to announce the winner of last weeks black cards! There were a TON of great comments this time around, and I know Thanksgiving is over and all, but I’m thankful for all of you taking the time to check the article out and leave awesome comments! I let the all-knowing Google random number generator decide, and Mikel Alan Morris – you’re the winner! Congratulations! Hit me up in the comments or message our page on Facebook with the best way to get the cards to you.

What can you win this week? Well, gobs of Evolving Wilds of course! Look at all those chickens:

Oh crud, I grabbed the wrong thing! Ah well, they’re the same card anyway right?

All you have to do to win is:

  • Like the ABU Games Facebook Page
  • Like the post announcing the giveaway
  • Comment on said post telling us what would have been a better choice than Terramorphic Expanse VS Evolving Wilds, or tell us why you love one of the two cards!

Now, let us dig in.


Evolving Wilds was first printed in Rise of the Eldrazi, which released in April 2010. After some casual investigative journalism, it appears Magic players at the time were separated into fairly distinct camps. In combing gatherer comments, it appeared that some people were just completely disgusted at yet another Terramorphic Expanse (the loser this week – for those keeping track), some were super angry that the functional reprint wasn’t just another Terramorphic Expanse, and there was a huge number of people who were incredibly stoked that their casual landfall decks had just gotten way better.

For me, I’ve never cared much about Evolving Wilds or Terramorphic Expanse. I’ve drafted my fair share of Evolving Wilds and been thankful for the fixing – I’m not trying to throw shade by any means. At one point in my magic career, I was gifted a long box that was full of Evolving Wilds – and each one of them was sleeved in dark green Dragon Shields. There were over a hundred of them. I guess the store owner didn’t want to deal with that part of the collection he had just bought, so I got some new sleeves for a deck I was working on and all I had to do was unsleeve all the Evolving Wilds.

Or, I mean, they might have been Terramorphic Expanses? Who knows.

Is This Card Cool?

Sure, man. Evolving Wilds is sweet! Who doesn’t love mana fixing? You can sac it and get any basic land (which includes Wastes!). The only downside is you have to wait a turn because that land comes in tapped. When you’re drafting and end up being in more than one color this can be pretty useful, and it helps thin the deck a bit which is nice. Plus, there are EDH decks that benefit from being able to run it alongside it’s older sibling Terramorphic Expanse.

On my quest to find out what people really thought of this card, I went back to our buylist department to get a quote from Derek, who is the one responsible for making the suggestion that these two cards fight it out in the first place. He stared at me in silence right up until it was getting uncomfortable, and then started to talk.

My favorite part about Evolving Wilds is that it can get you any basic you need! It's a utility land!

He laughed, and then asked if I wanted a “real” answer. I did, of course. His voice lowered, and he beckoned me closer as if about to divulge a precious secret.

There's some subtle nuances between the two (Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse - he voted for the Wilds) that might not be visible to the untrained eye. But experience with each will show you all the minor differences, their weaknesses, and their strengths.

I expected more, but he slid his giant headphones on and spun around back to his work, never to mention the matter again. Derek is a man of mystery.

Ben, an awesome newcomer to the upstairs here at ABU, chimed in from across the room as an argument broke out about whether Terramorphic Expanse or Evolving Wilds was better.

Evolving Wilds is better because you can run four different arts and really tick off your opponent.

Simple and to the point, that man.

I didn’t want to contribute to any more arguments in such a tight-knit office, so I ran down to retail to quiz Lance about his feelings on Evolving Wilds and see if I could stir up some trouble downstairs instead. He was more than happy to rattle off some answers.

It's the fetch of Pauper! It's what you use when it's the only garbage you can find! At least it can get colored lands! It's better than that one bad fetch cycle! And it's basically an Island right? That's the best card in Magic.

You heard it here folks, Evolving Wilds is basically the best card in Magic.

What Decks is this Card Played In?

Lance did have a point though, Pauper is really where I feel like Evolving Wilds gets to shine! Land fixing at common isn’t the most… common thing around, and plenty of the top decks of the format make use of the Wilds.

Check out this Izzet Delver (one of the top decks in the format right now) that runs four of them:

Or if combo is more your style than you should check out the Inside Out Combo Deck that also features four Evolving Wilds:

And of course, many Commander decks run the card. I don’t have any lists handy, but I have it on good authority that Evolving Wilds is a good fit for many three or more color Commander decks.

In Conclusion:

Huh, this week’s article was actually way more fun to write than I anticipated. Thanks, Derek! I guess.

What do you think? What should I cover next week? I bet you can come up with a better idea than Derek did! I DARE YOU!

Take care of yourselves, and I’ll catch you next week. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube – I’d love to chat about Magic or alien conspiracies!


As an addendum, Dane has a less cynical sounding, nostalgia-tinged story about Evolving Wilds he told me right before I published:

So there it was, Prerelease Dragons of Tarkir. One lonely boy in Nampa, there, destined to beat them all... They had a dice game set up where you had to try to knock over as many dragon figures as you could with one of the promo d20s, and I got the highest score you could possibly get - winning myself the promo Evolving Wilds and the sweet Foe-Razer Regent. I ended up doing so well at the game at all six prereleases I did that weekend and scored 6 Evolving Wild promos! I was so pumped, they were in all of my standard decks for a while after that.

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Joe Davidson is the Content Production Manager at ABU Games. When he's not playing Modern, Legacy, or following around Team ABU with a camera he's pursuing a BFA in Fiction at Boise State University. He loves Goblins, casting burn spells, and writing about Magic. You can find him on Twitter @MTGJoeD.