Both these question confuse Mana and Land in .

Do I have to take mana from my deck or hand when tapping a dual land?

How do dual lands and their mana work?

Is it worth making one of these the cannonical QA for this type of question?

  • 2
    Someone has taken it upon themselves to provide such a question: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/45595/… Mar 21, 2019 at 15:18
  • Usually we wait until someone asks the question and then you answer it and it will eventually become the dupe target (if the quesiton is common enough dupes don't take that long to pop up). If someone wants to preempt things, or thinks that existing Qs aren't good dupe targets, then the usual course of action is to make a meta Q first and then build the Q and A on the main site.
    – Malco
    Mar 22, 2019 at 13:51
  • this is different from if you just want to ask a Q and self answer, since that doesn't involve going through the site and closing a bunch of other questions.
    – Malco
    Mar 22, 2019 at 13:52
  • 2
    It's hardly preemptive when there are multiple examples of the problem already on the site, is it?
    – Nij
    Mar 26, 2019 at 5:34
  • @Nij but none of them aimed to be authorities, canonical question and answers. Mar 26, 2019 at 5:42
  • That doesn't make this preemptive - meaning before the thing has happened that it aims to prevent or avoid.
    – Nij
    Mar 26, 2019 at 6:59
  • @Nij normally a canonical question arises naturally because of the large number of questions, that is what this is aiming to pre-empt. Look at Malco's comment: " Usually we wait..." Mar 26, 2019 at 7:32

2 Answers 2


I think so.

For most questions, a "pre-emptive" canonical is overkill. I agree with Malco's comment: "Usually we wait until someone asks the question...and it will eventually become the dupe target."

But this question is somewhat unique, because it is highly unlikely that a player who misunderstands lands & mana would ever ask a question about the difference between them. Most players who misunderstand it do so because they don't know there is a difference.

So even though we might end up with a good, organic canonical answer, it will probably be an awkward question to use as a dupe target. For a beginner, it would be confusing to have your (hypothetical) question titled "Can I use the Forest from tapping Llanowar Elves in the same turn?" closed as a duplicate of "Do I have to take mana from my deck or hand when tapping a dual land?" There are many questions that could be closed as a dupe of this canonical, but it would make little sense to close them as duplicates of each other.

A good canonical for this topic introduces the concept behind the underlying misunderstanding, and then provides a central place to put amazing answers. And I think Zags' post is doing an excellent job of that.

For a similar case, consider the canonical stack and priority question. Somebody who understands the stack is unlikely to have questions about responding to instants, but somebody who doesn't understand the Shock/Giant Growth interaction will have no idea that the answer has to do with the stack.


I made a new question (What is the difference between lands and mana?) as the canonical question for the sake of clarity. I was motivated by a similar argument espoused by @BJ Myers. While the questions were the same and had good answers, a lot of the question and answer were spent describing and clearing up the asker's particular confusion rather than answering the question in general.

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