On today’s Good Morning Magic, Gavin Verhey detailed the history of full art lands and answered a few popular questions.
According to Verhey, the decision to introduce full art lands in the original Zendikar was based on the set’s “lands matter” theme, where set mechanics like Landfall were huge. The set designers wanted players to open a pack, see the full art land, and immediately know that it would be important.
The overwhelmingly positive response to these full art lands in sets where “lands matter” motivated designers to try and include them in sets where lands were relegated to a more basic role, thus they were included in Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation.
After a lackluster response from players, it was decided that full art lands are best utilized in sets where the basic lands can play a bigger role, like with Landfall in Zendikar Rising, fit a theme, like the return of snow basics in Modern Horizons or be included in specialty products like Secret Lair drops.