Desert

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Desert is a nonbasic land type used for cards that depict a sandy or rocky region that is arid because of little rainfall and supports only sparse and widely spaced vegetation or no vegetation at all.

The card: Desert

History[edit | edit source]

The subtype was created in the Eighth Edition rules update when all land types were cleaned up.[1] For a long time, the only card featuring the subtype was the archetypal Desert from Arabian Nights. It was printed as such in Time Spiral/Timeshifted.

Apart from the ability to tap for colorless mana, the original Desert also has the ability to do 1 damage to attacking creatures. The subtype was needed because the Camels and Desert Nomads are immune to damage done by deserts, and refer to them by type.

Amonkhet finally featured four deserts, mirroring the harsh and punishing deserts of Egypt.[2] They were inspired by the original card. Desert isn't reprinted however. According to Mark Rosewater, the card slows games down and isn’t fun.[3][4]

The theme evolved quite a bit with Hour of Devastation, whic features fifteen lands with the Desert subtype and sixteen cards that mechanically care about Deserts (there's some overlap between those two lists).[5]

Ruling[edit | edit source]

  • Desert is a land subtype with no special meaning. It doesn't grant the land an intrinsic mana ability. Other cards may care about which lands are Deserts.

List of desert cards[edit | edit source]

List of cards caring about deserts[edit | edit source]

List of story line deserts[edit | edit source]

Amonkhet[edit | edit source]

  • The Broken Lands

Dominaria[edit | edit source]

Mirrodin/New Phyrexia[edit | edit source]

Rabiah[edit | edit source]

Rath[edit | edit source]

  • Flowstone Desert

Shandalar[edit | edit source]

Tarkir[edit | edit source]

Ulgrotha[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Many lands that are technically deserts are instead typed as plains, such as Esper's dunes or Tarkir's deserts.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Paul Barclay. (July 8, 2003.) “Eighth Edition Rules Update”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (April 10, 2017.) “Amonkhet Down to Business, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (April 11, 2017.) "How come desert is too strong for standard?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (May 1, 2017.) “Amonkhet Talking, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (June 19, 2017.) “Darkest Hour, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.