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06.12.2016

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How does Blood Moon affect the lands / karu land / dual lands? Blood Moon vs Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.


Translated by Lev Kotlyar


Blood Moon

Blood MoonIt is surprising how a card with only four words in the rules text can be so confusing. That’s because these four words change a land card’s type (and cause a lot of headaches in the process).

So, what cards does Blood Moon affect?

If a land card has the supertype Basic then Blood Moon will not affect it. However, if a land card does not have the supertype Basic it is considered a non-basic land even if it has one of the 5 basic land types in its type line or in its name (see Madblind Mountain for further details)

Madblind Mountain Spreading Seas Temple Garden

Madblind Mountain is a Mountain with “Mountain” in its name but is still a nonbasic land.

Spreading Seas turn enchanted land into an Island, but doesn’t grant it the Basic supertype.

Temple Garden has two basic land types, Plains and Forest, however, it is still a non-basic land.

Initially, the only land cards with the supertype Basic were Mountains, Plains, Forests, Swamps, Islands, their Snow-covered cousins and Wastes (the newborn basic land provides colorless mana). However, it is possible for a land to acquire the supertype basic by copying a Basic Land (because the supertype Basic is a copiable value)

Madblind Mountain Snow-Covered Island Vesuva

This old Forest doesn’t have the supertype “Basic” printed on it, but is still considered a Basic Land. As a gentle reminder if you require the official text of any card it can always be found in Oracle database.

A Snow-covered Island is considered a basic land is unaffected by Blood Moon.

Vesuva (first introduced in the Time Spiral Set) could gain the Basic supertype if it copied a Basic Land.

So, now that we can distinguish between basic and non-basic lands. We can now look at how non basic lands are affected when Blood Moon is on the battlefield.

1) A non-basic land loses all abilities generated by its text and any copy effects affecting the land.

2) All non-basic lands gains the Mountain land type and the Mountain’s intrinsic mana ability (they tap for R).

If you prefer a visual representation of how Blood Moon works then think of it like a huge eraser which removes all land types and rules text from a land and then rewrites the land type with Mountain and the adds the following text “{TAP}: Add {R} to your mana pool” to the text box.

Please note that Blood Moon’s ability functions very differently to that of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Prismatic Omen. These cards generate continuous effects that add a basic land type to an existing land type. So how do you tell the difference between adding and replacing? If an effect uses the word becomes then you replace the land type. If an effect says uses the phrase in addition to then you add the land type.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth  ??? Blood Moon Sacred Foundry ??? Blood Moon

Setting a land’s subtype to Mountain doesn’t add or remove the land’s other card types (like Artifact or Creature) or supertypes (Basic, Snow or Legendary) the land card originally had. The name doesn’t change either.

Mutavault Flagstones of Trokair Darksteel Citadel

If Blood Moon enters the battlefield with an animated Mutavault in play, the Mutavault stays a 2/2 creature with all creature types and “gains” the land type mountain (it can also tap for R). However, once the turn ends, the Mutavault will loses both of its abilities and become a non basic mountain named Mutavault.

If Blood Moon is on the battlefield, Flagstones of Trokair will enter the battlefield as a legendary non-basic Mountain. If Flagstones of Trokair is put into the graveyard due to “Legends rule” or because it was destroyed, its ability doesn’t trigger, because it doesn’t exist: it won’t fetch you a Plains.

Darksteel Citadel retains the card type Artifact but stops being Indestructible. Remember, Artifact is a card type and Blood Moon only affects a card’s land type. However, Blood Moon will remove its Indestructible ability because is a static ability generated from rules text of Darksteel Citadel.

Note that Blood Moon’s effect doesn’t remove the abilities granted to a land by other effects (except copy effects):

Inkmoth Nexus Darksteel Garrison Barbed Field

An animated Inkmoth Nexus doesn’t lose Flying or Infect when Blood Moon enters the battlefield. After your turn ends, however, you end up with a nonbasic Mountain named Inkmoth Nexus.

Darksteel Garrison grants its equipped land the key word ability Indestructible. The land will retain its indestructiblility even if Blood Moon is on the battlefield because this ability isn’t generated by the land’s rules text.

Barbed Field grants an enchanted land an ability to “ping"**. This ability stays on the land, because it isn’t generated by the land card’s own text.

The land loses all abilities generated from any copy effects affecting it:

Phantasmal Image Inkmoth Nexus Blood Moon

If Phantasmal Image enters the battlefield as a copy of an animated Inkmoth Nexus it becomes an un-animated Nex with the ability “When Inkmoth Nexus becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it.” If we add Blood Moon to the battlefield the Phatmasal Image/Inkmoth Nexus will lose its triggered ability and can only produce red mana.

So how does Blood Moon interact with other type changing effects? Well, it all boils down to dependancy.

 Dryad Arbor Spreading Seas Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

With the recent changes in the rules Dryad Arbor has lost its color-defining ability and received a color indicator instead. If Blood Moon is on the battlefield Dryad Arbor becomes a green creature land — Dryad Mountain with the mana ability of a Mountain.

Just like Blood Moon’s effect, Spreading Seas’ effect is a type-changing effect. Neither effect depends on the other, so the “winning” effect is the one with the most recent time stamp. If Blood Moon has the most recent time stamp then the enchanted land will be a Mountain, if Spreading Seas has the most recent time stamp the enchanted land will be an Island.”

Urborg’s effect depends on Blood Moon’s one however, Moon’s effect doesn’t depend on that of Urborg. Remember, both are type changing effects, but Moon’s effect changes text of Urborg and isn’t a characteristic defining ability. So, the resulting state doesn’t depend on the permanents’ time stamps. Urborg is a nonbasic legendary Mountain with single mana ability and other lands don’t benefit from its original static ability.

Because Blood Moon’s static ability operates only when it’s on the battlefield and begins affecting any nonbasic lands immediately. In fact, Blood Moon’s effect is so quick that once a non-basic land hits the battlefield it’s going to be affected. Therefore:

  1. c. If a nonbasic land’s has EtB triggered abilities, these will not trigger because the ability isn’t there (it’s gone).
  2. d. However, effects that modify the way the land enters the battlefield are applied. They are applied before the permanent enters the battlefield and ignore the effect from Blood Moon’s ability. As far as the game is concerned this type of effect comes from an “other source” (see CR 614.12).
Madblind Mountain Temple Garden Vivid Creek

Madblind Mountain enters the battlefield tapped, as a nonbasic Mountain with single mana ability and no other.

With Temple Garden you can pay the 2 life if you want Temple Garden to come into play untapped. However it enters the battlefield as a Mountain.

Vivid Creek enters the battlefield tapped and with 2 counters that are useless as long as Blood Moon is on the battlefield.


Azorius Chancery Windbrisk Heights Gemstone Mine

Azorius Chancery enters the battlefield tapped, but its second ability won’t trigger, so you won’t need to return a land to its owner’s hand.

Windbrisk Heights has the keyword Hideaway which contains 2 abilities, one modifies the way a land enters the battlefield, which is applied, and the other is an EtB-trigger that won’t trigger (because it is not there).

Gemstone Mine comes into play with counters, but will be able to produce only red mana. You won’t need to remove counters from it, because it loses its own ability and gains the Mountain’s one.

Don’t forget that lands affected by Blood Moon gain a mana ability, which makes them mana producing even if they normally aren’t.

Wooded Foothills Arena Dark Depths

Fetch lands*** affected by Blood Moon can’t get you a land, but produce red mana.

Arena loses its activated ability and gains a mana one.

Dark Depths becomes a great legendary snow Mountain with counters that don’t do anything.

Finally, the most unusual effect Blood Moon has on Zoetic Cavern.

Zoetic Cavern Zoetic Cavern ????? ???? Zoetic Cavern ??? Blood Moon

While Zoetic Cavern is a face-down creature on the battlefield it is a 2/2 vanilla**** creature and is unaffected by Blood Moon, because it isn’t a land.

However, if you want to turn it face-up (or “unmorph”*****), you’ll need to show its Morph cost, which is simply not there when you turn the card face-up (see the right-hand picture). So, you can’t unmorph Zoetic Cavern as long as Blood Moon is on the battlefield.

This is how face-up Zoetic Cavern looks like with Blood Moon on the battlefield. It’s a nonbasic Mountain without Morph.


* Card supertypes are Basic, Legendary, World, Ongoing and Snow; they precede the card type in the type line printed on the card.

** “Ping” — is a slang word for an ability that deals direct noncombat damage.

*** Fetch lands — is a slang nickname for a cycle of lands originally printed in Onslaught set (another five “enemy-colored” fetch lands were later printed in Zendikar set). All these lands have an ability that requires you to sacrifice them and allows you to search your library for a land card with at least one out of two basic land types and put it on the battlefield (see Wooded Foothills, Arid Mesa etc.) These lands don’t have mana abilities of their own.

**** “Vanilla” is a slang nickname for creatures without abilities.

***** “Unmorph” is a slang nickname for a special action of turning a face-down creature face up and paying its Morph cost.



Irina Samonova © 1999-2017

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