Basic lands

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In Magic: The Gathering, basic lands are lands that possess the supertype "Basic" in their type line and may be tapped to produce mana of one color in Magic. [1]

Description[edit | edit source]

A deck may contain any number of basic land cards To date, there are two basic lands for each color — Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest and their snow-covered versions for white, blue, black, red, and green, respectively. Each basic land has the basic land type of the same name; e.g., Plains have the Plains land type.

Basic lands are thought of as the cornerstones of Magic design, and no lands should be printed if they are strictly better than basic lands, with the sole exception to this rule being the dual lands from Alpha/Beta/Unlimited/Revised. Consequently, other, nonbasic lands feature drawbacks, in addition to the fact that no more than four copies of nonbasic lands may be played in a deck. [2]

The basic land's text box was changed to a giant mana symbol for Portal and Sixth Edition onwards. [3]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Battle for Zendikar (September 26, 2015))

205.4c Any land with the supertype “basic” is a basic land. Any land that doesn’t have this supertype is a nonbasic land, even if it has a basic land type.

Cards printed in sets prior to the Eighth Edition core set didn’t use the word “basic” to indicate a basic land. Cards from those sets with the following names are basic lands and have received errata in the Oracle card reference accordingly: Forest, Island, Mountain, Plains, Swamp, Snow-Covered Forest, Snow-Covered Island, Snow-Covered Mountain, Snow-Covered Plains, and Snow-Covered Swamp.
From the Comprehensive Rules (Battle for Zendikar (September 26, 2015))

305.6. The basic land types are Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest. If an object uses the words “basic land type,” it’s referring to one of these subtypes. A land with a basic land type has the intrinsic ability “{T}: Add [mana symbol] to your mana pool,” even if the text box doesn’t actually contain that text or the object has no text box. For Plains, [mana symbol] is {W}; for Islands, {U}; for Swamps, {B}; for Mountains, {R}; and for Forests, {G}. See rule 107.4a. Also see rule 605, “Mana Abilities.”

Basic land types[edit | edit source]

The basic land types are Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain and Forest. Each basic land subtype implicitly grants the ability to tap for one mana of its corresponding color:

  • Plains: Tap.gif: Add Manaw.gif to your mana pool.
  • Island: Tap.gif: Add Manau.gif to your mana pool.
  • Swamp: Tap.gif: Add Manab.gif to your mana pool.
  • Mountain: Tap.gif: Add Manar.gif to your mana pool.
  • Forest: Tap.gif: Add Manag.gif to your mana pool.

Any land with a basic land type has the appropriate ability. A land with multiple basic land types has each corresponding ability and can tap for any of the appropriate colors. However, a land with a basic land type is only a basic land if it has the Basic supertype.

References by other objects[edit | edit source]

Any object that refers to one of more of the basic land types refers to any land with that land type, not to the Basic land of the same name. For instance, if a card says "Search your library for a Plains", you can find a Savannah, as it has the Plains basic land type. If a card needs to refer to the Basic land by the same name, it will say "a card named ...".

Any object that refers to a "Basic land" refers only to lands with the Basic supertype and not any other land with a basic land type.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Michael Yichao. (October 6, 2015.) "Evolution of the Basic Land",, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (March 31, 2003.) "This Land Is My Land", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (October 04, 2004.) "Change For the Better", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
Basic lands PlainsIslandSwampMountainForest
Concepts Barry's LandCave/City
No (colors of) mana GuildhomesLociUrzatron
One color of mana Artifact landsDepletion landsSac landsStorage lands
Two colors of mana Battle landsCheck lands • Depletion dualsDual landsFilter lands
GatesKaroo landsPain landsSac landsScry landsShock lands
Slow landsStorage dualsTainted landsTaplands
Three colors of mana Triple lands
Miscellaneous ManlandUtility land (Fetch lands)