Burning Earth only triggers if the land is tapped for mana, not for any other abilities.

In this Standard format environment where it seems like nobody is running a single basic land, Burning Earth might seem like a neat trick in an aggressive deck. Just be aware that it has a specific trigger condition of “Whenever a player taps a nonbasic land for mana…” That means it only triggers when a player activates a mana ability of a nonbasic land (any land without the word “Basic” in its type line) that includes the tap symbol. Remember that a mana ability is one that produces mana, as opposed to an activated ability that costs mana to activate.

So if a player taps Vault of the Archangel for 1 mana, that will trigger Burning Earth. If that player pays 2WB to activate the Vault’s ability that gives creatures lifelink and deathtouch, Burning Earth won’t trigger (unless that player used nonbasic lands to pay that 2WB, of course!).

Today’s Rules Tip written by Josh Stansfield

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