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. These lands are unlike nonbasic lands in that any number may be included in a deck. 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.
Basic Land Types
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: : Add to your mana pool.
- Island: : Add to your mana pool.
- Swamp: : Add to your mana pool.
- Mountain: : Add to your mana pool.
- Forest: : Add 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
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.