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Thread: More casting spells timing questions

  1. #1

    More casting spells timing questions

    Are costs set before costs are paid? Or can you do it in either order?

    In mtgo and in paper you can tap your lands and creatures for a Chord of Calling and then announce the X. Is that accurate or just an acceptable shortcut?

    Specifically, if I have B floating and a untapped Trinisphere, can I use the Trinisphere and B to cast a Battle at the bridge X=1?

  2. #2

    Re: More casting spells timing questions

    Costs are set before they are paid. So you can use a Lotus petal to effectively pay for 2 of Emry, Lurker of the Loch's costs. Full rules text here - bolded parts are the relevant ones, if I did it right.

    Edit - I won't take my answer as gospel on your example, but my interpretation is that the 3ball locks the cost in at 3 total, so you would not be able to cast bridge for 1B (but could for 2B if you were able). Since it isn't tapped until you go to pay for the spell.


    601.2. To cast a spell is to take it from where it is (usually the hand), put it on the stack, and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Casting a spell includes proposal of the spell (rules 601.2a-d) and determination and payment of costs (rules 601.2f-h). To cast a spell, a player follows the steps listed below, in order. A player must be legally allowed to cast the spell to begin this process (see rule 601.3). If a player is unable to comply with the requirements of a step listed below while performing that step, the casting of the spell is illegal ; the game returns to the moment before the casting of that spell was proposed (see rule 723, "Handling Illegal Actions").

    601.2a. To propose the casting of a spell, a player first moves that card (or that copy of a card) from where it is to the stack. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has all the characteristics of the card (or the copy of a card) associated with it, and that player becomes its controller. The spell remains on the stack until it resolves, it's countered, or a rule or effect moves it elsewhere.

    601.2b. If the spell is modal, the player announces the mode choice (see rule 700.2). If the player wishes to splice any cards onto the spell (see rule 702.47), they reveal those cards in their hand. If the spell has alternative or additional costs that will be paid as it's being cast such as buyback or kicker costs (see rules 118.8 and 118.9), the player announces their intentions to pay any or all of those costs (see rule 601.2f). A player can't apply two alternative methods of casting or two alternative costs to a single spell. If the spell has a variable cost that will be paid as it's being cast (such as an {X} in its mana cost; see rule 107.3), the player announces the value of that variable. If the value of that variable is defined in the text of the spell by a choice that player would make later in the announcement or resolution of the spell, that player makes that choice at this time instead of that later time. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes hybrid mana symbols, the player announces the nonhybrid equivalent cost they intend to pay. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes Phyrexian mana symbols, the player announces whether they intend to pay 2 life or the corresponding colored mana cost for each of those symbols. Previously made choices (such as choosing to cast a spell with flashback from a graveyard or choosing to cast a creature with morph face down) may restrict the player's options when making these choices.

    601.2c. The player announces their choice of an appropriate object or player for each target the spell requires. A spell may require some targets only if an alternative or additional cost (such as a kicker cost) or a particular mode was chosen for it; otherwise, the spell is cast as though it did not require those targets. Similarly, a spell may require alternative targets only if an alternative or additional cost was chosen for it. If the spell has a variable number of targets, the player announces how many targets they will choose before they announce those targets. In some cases, the number of targets will be defined by the spell's text. Once the number of targets the spell has is determined, that number doesn't change, even if the information used to determine the number of targets does. The same target can't be chosen multiple times for any one instance of the word "target" on the spell. However, if the spell uses the word "target" in multiple places, the same object or player can be chosen once for each instance of the word "target" (as long as it fits the targeting criteria). If any effects say that an object or player must be chosen as a target, the player chooses targets so that they obey the maximum possible number of such effects without violating any rules or effects that say that an object or player can't be chosen as a target. The chosen objects and/or players each become a target of that spell. (Any abilities that trigger when those objects and/or players become the target of a spell trigger at this point; they'll wait to be put on the stack until the spell has finished being cast.)

    Example: If a spell says "Tap two target creatures," then the same creature can't be chosen twice; the spell requires two different legal targets. A spell that says "Destroy target artifact and target land," however, can target the same artifact land twice because it uses the word "target" in multiple places.

    601.2d. If the spell requires the player to divide or distribute an effect (such as damage or counters) among one or more targets, the player announces the division. Each of these targets must receive at least one of whatever is being divided.

    601.2e. The game checks to see if the proposed spell can legally be cast. If the proposed spell is illegal, the game returns to the moment before the casting of that spell was proposed (see rule 723, "Handling Illegal Actions").

    601.2f. The player determines the total cost of the spell. Usually this is just the mana cost. Some spells have additional or alternative costs. Some effects may increase or reduce the cost to pay, or may provide other alternative costs. Costs may include paying mana, tapping permanents, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. The total cost is the mana cost or alternative cost (as determined in rule 601.2b), plus all additional costs and cost increases, and minus all cost reductions. If multiple cost reductions apply, the player may apply them in any order. If the mana component of the total cost is reduced to nothing by cost reduction effects, it is considered to be {0}. It can't be reduced to less than {0}. Once the total cost is determined, any effects that directly affect the total cost are applied. Then the resulting total cost becomes "locked in." If effects would change the total cost after this time, they have no effect.

    601.2g. If the total cost includes a mana payment, the player then has a chance to activate mana abilities (see rule 605, "Mana Abilities"). Mana abilities must be activated before costs are paid.

    601.2h. The player pays the total cost in any order. Partial payments are not allowed. Unpayable costs can't be paid.

    Example: You cast Altar's Reap, which costs {1}{B} and has an additional cost of sacrificing a creature. You sacrifice Thunderscape Familiar, whose effect makes your black spells cost {1} less to cast. Because a spell's total cost is "locked in" before payments are actually made, you pay {B}, not {1}{B}, even though you're sacrificing the Familiar.


    601.2i. Once the steps described in 601.2a-h are completed, effects that modify the characteristics of the spell as it's cast are applied, then the spell becomes cast. Any abilities that trigger when a spell is cast or put onto the stack trigger at this time. If the spell's controller had priority before casting it, they get priority.
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    Re: More casting spells timing questions

    Specific to your question of if I have B floating and a untapped Trinisphere, can I use the Trinisphere and B to cast a Battle at the bridge X=1? the answer is no.

    From Trinisphere's Gatherer: To determine the total cost of a spell, start with the mana cost or alternative cost you’re paying, add any cost increases, then apply any cost reductions. Finally, apply Trinisphere’s effect if the mana component of the spell’s cost is less than three mana. The mana value of the spell remains unchanged, no matter what the total cost to cast it was.

    So Trinisphere will set the cost to 3 no matter what if it's untapped.

    Then from Comp Rules: 702.126b The improvise ability isn’t an additional or alternative cost and applies only after the total cost of the spell with improvise is determined.

    So if you propose casting Battle at the Bridge, you will be asked to determine X. If X=1, then the CMC is 2 and Trinisphere will bump the cost up to .
    Now you will have the opportunity to pay costs and use improvise, but the cost is set and it doesn't work like you want.
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    Re: More casting spells timing questions

    Ok thanks guys. I guess you can’t “float” improvise like you can mana.

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    Re: More casting spells timing questions

    All of the Improvise type effects are worded the same now, so your observation with Convoke on Chord of Calling when you appear to "float" convoked creatures does seem to be just an acceptable shortcut.
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