Thalia and Shocklands

Welcome back to the Rules Tips Blog! Today we’ll be doing a Modern Monday tip on how everyone’s favorite gloriously-maned Cathar interacts with Modern’s favorite colorfixing! Thalia, Heretic Cathar messes with your opponent’s tempo by making their nonbasic lands, and all of their creatures, come down tapped. That makes it harder to block, and punishes greedy manabases by putting them a turn behind! With the many nonbasics that already enter tapped (Crumbling Necropolis, Izzet Steam Maze, etc) there’s nothing really special, since they end up tapped by their own abilities anyway. But what about the Shocklands (Sacred Foundry, for example) which enter tapped unless their controller pays 2 life? Well, your opponent’s gonna be sad when they play shocklands, but HOW sad depends on their choices. The Shocklands have a replacement effect that modify how they enter the battlefield, which applies independently from other replacement effects like Thalia. This means their land will enter tapped as a default, but they can pay 2 life to override only that specific replacement effect from the land’s own ability. If they do… Thalia’s replacement effect is still waiting in the wings, and forces it to enter tapped anyway! So their land will be coming down tapped no matter what they do, but it is legal (and pointless!) for them to pay that 2 life if they want. Sad times for your opponent, happy times for you!

Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez

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