Basic

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Basic is a supertype found on basic land cards.

History[edit | edit source]

Basic was added to the basic lands in Eighth Edition in order to help players understand what exactly the term meant, as the basic subtypes (Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain and Forest) were not always associated with basic lands (e.g. in the case of the original dual lands). The subtypeless Wastes was introduced in Oath of the Gatewatch.[1][2]

Lands with the basic supertype[edit | edit source]

The main lands with the five basic land types:

Their snow counterparts

and

Significance[edit | edit source]

A Basic land 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. It is mostly a marker or modifier, so that, for example, R&D can limit the type of land you search for.[3]

Breaking the four card maximum[edit | edit source]

Lands with the basic supertype are usually not bound by the usual four card maximum rule in constructed decks. In contrast to what most people think, this is not caused by the basic supertype itself.[4] Instead, the relevant lands are called out specifically as such in the rules.[5]

Wastes is the notable exception. R&D decided not to allow players to add any number of Wastes to their decks (e.g. from a Land Station), but to limit players to what they open in their sealed pool or pick in a draft.[6]

Relentless Rats and Shadowborn Apostle also break the four card maximum rules. Although they share that deckbuilding quality with most basic lands, they don't have the supertype for the reason mentioned above. Rules issues, along with potential player confusion, have been cited as reasons for restricting the usage of the supertype.[7][8]

Nonbasic[edit | edit source]

  • Nonbasic refers to every land without the Basic supertype, or "special lands".[9]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Guilds of Ravnica (October 5, 2018))

  • 100.2a In constructed play (a way of playing in which each player creates their own deck ahead of time), each deck must contain at least sixty cards. A constructed deck may contain any number of basic land cards and no more than four of any card with a particular English name other than basic land cards.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Guilds of Ravnica (October 5, 2018))

  • 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 (Guilds of Ravnica (October 5, 2018))

  • 305.5. Land subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash. Land subtypes are also called land types. Lands may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3i for the complete list of land types.

    Example: “Basic Land — Mountain” means the card is a land with the subtype Mountain.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Guilds of Ravnica (October 5, 2018))

  • 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],” 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. See also rule 605, “Mana Abilities.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (Guilds of Ravnica (October 5, 2018))

  • 305.8. 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.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Guilds of Ravnica (October 5, 2018))

Basic
A supertype that’s normally relevant on lands. Any land with this supertype is a basic land. See rule 205.4, “Supertypes.”

References[edit | edit source]