According to the rulings on Gatherer, Blood Moon removes all abilities from nonbasic lands: a Forsaken Sanctuary will enter untapped, and will not tap for white or black.

My question, though, is—why? The rules text says only that "nonbasic lands are Mountains", which seems like it sets subtypes, but doesn't do anything about abilities.

I know that some abilities, like Forests tapping for green, are inherent to their subtype, so it makes sense that an Indatha Triome can no longer tap for green (the ability came from the Forest subtype, and it lost that). But I'm unclear on why changing a land's type removes abilities printed on the card itself.

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    I would guess because basic lands don't have any abilities aside for tapping for mana for the type of land that they are.
    – Joe W
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 20:36
  • @JoeW As far as I can tell, Blood Moon doesn't make them basics, though; they still count as nonbasic as far as other effects are concerned.
    – Draconis
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 20:38
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    @Draconis You are correct- the Basic supertype is something different. Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


This appears to be rule 305.7, which I got from: Gamepedia.

305.7. If an effect sets a land’s subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It loses all abilities generated from its rules text, its old land types, and any copy effects affecting that land, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type. Note that this doesn’t remove any abilities that were granted to the land by other effects. Setting a land’s subtype doesn’t add or remove any card types (such as creature) or supertypes (such as basic, legendary, and snow) the land may have. If a land gains one or more land types in addition to its own, it keeps its land types and rules text, and it gains the new land types and mana abilities.

Note, the old wording, on the original card in The Dark expansion uses "basic mountain." My guess is that this rule was added after.

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    Note that, according to the final sentence, this doesn't happen if the effect specifies "in addition to its other land types" (Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth). It's a pretty unintuitive rule and it probably only works like this because the rules explicitly specify that it does. Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 7:38
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    Yeah, I've never understood what the point of this rule was, if not to keep Blood Moon working with its original wording. I wonder why they never errata'd it to say something like "Nonbasic lands lose all abilities, gain "{T}: Add {R}", and are Mountains." (Maybe that should be a followup question, but I'm skeptical that anyone would actually be able to answer it.)
    – David Z
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 11:12
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    @AugustJanse While the required rules are a bit clunky, I've always found that the result is actually pretty intuitive, even if it's not entirely the same as things work for other types. I basically read it as "they are now mountains" (and conversely, "they are now also swamps").
    – Jasper
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 11:37
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    I think the point of this rule is that it lets cards say "Nonbasic lands are Mountains" which literally means "Nonbasic lands have the subtype Mountain and lose other subtypes" and they can (almost) have the effect "Nonbasic lands are the card named Mountain".
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 17:11
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    There are a few other cards that make use of this rule for the same kind of effect, including mtg:Song of the Dryads and Quicksilver Fountain. But this rule is specific to basic land types, and it is useful mainly because all of the basic land types have a card of the same name that has the desired properties.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 20:48

It makes the lands mountains. It does not provide the 'in addition to it's other types' suffix. So all the non-basics become what the rules says is a mountain which is...

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

Mountain One of the five basic land types. Any land with this subtype has the ability “{T}: Add {R}.” See rule 305.6.

Interesting it does not turn it into a basic land, the lands are non-basic mountains and will still turn on Dryad Sophisticate ability for instance.

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. An object with the land card type and 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.”

  • This doesn't answer the question, which is why the land also loses its other abilities.
    – Hackworth
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 14:00
  • the part because it does not have in addition to its other types absolutely answer the question. If it did have that it would not have any abilities removed.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 14:37
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    @NeilMeyer What you haven't explained or cited is why that difference means it loses all abilities. For example, Cerulean Wisps changing a creature's color to blue does not make it lose all abilities, and a Bestow creature does not lose all abilities despite its rules saying “it becomes an Aura enchantment” (no “in addition to”). There is an actual specific rule that says doing this for a basic land type, and only a basic land type, removes all other abilities, but you haven't described or cited it. Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 14:57

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