One thing is common when it comes to all decks in magic; they need land (landless legacy Dredge is not real magic). Unfortunately, this often causes decks’ prices to rise due to the constant demand for specific cards across multiple decks in multiple formats. EDH, especially on the competitive side, is no exception to this. Does this mean you have to drop hundreds of dollars on your land base just to create a successful and consistent deck? No. Does it help? Yes, but it definitely is not a requirement. EDH has access to a wide variety of extremely playable and effective lands, and not all of them are expensive. While I definitely encourage you as an EDH player to fine-tune your land base, there is one card I believe pretty much every EDH deck should contain: Thespian’s Stage.
Unless your deck is running just basic lands, you should be running a Thespian’s Stage. This inexpensive land from Gatecrash has so much versatility that it can only ever benefit a deck. It allows you to double any non-legendary utility land that you are already playing in your deck, as well as help you in tight color situations. How can you make a Command tower better? Make a second one. What is safer than one Maze of Ith? Obviously two! (You get the picture). Of course this is just the forefront of what the card is capable of.
A very strong interaction that Thespian’s Stage offers is using it to ramp you into more mana. When you copy lands like Temple of the False God, Scorched Ruins, or any of the bounce lands (Izzet Boilerworks, Karoo, etc.) you can quickly find yourself untapping with more mana than your opponent’s might have anticipated. This is especially true when one of your opponents plays one of these lands. When this happens you get to benefit off of their land that they had to bounce or sac to get.
The fact that this land lets you copy any players land is what makes it so strong. Another player’s expended tutor or lucky draw for a high impact land just continues to develop your board state. Lands that you would not usually run in your list but another deck might now present themselves as an option for your field. Very often you will also find another player dropping a land that you want and are searching for. In these instances you can stop searching and start using the land you needed. Ultimately when you do find your copy of the land in question, Thespian’s Stage can become something else or double as a back up for the land you are using.
When you do play with this land it is good to know that you should try and leave it up with mana able to activate it. This does not mean you should play three mana behind until you have found a valid land to copy, it just means that if you can spare the mana to reserve you should.
Thespian’s Stage is an all around versatile and useful utility land that helps improve just about any land base for EDH. It also has combo potential with lands like Dark Depths. It will help keep your lands on the same playing field as your opponent’s, give you the edge you need to enable a combo one turn earlier, or hold off an opponent while you search for an answer for a problem. I promise that with a little testing, you will find this little land to be quite the powerhouse.