Board & Card Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who like playing board games, designing board games or modifying the rules of existing board games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just stumbled across a card I've never seen, Piracy.

UU, Sorcery
Until end of turn, you may tap lands you don't control for mana. Spend this mana only to cast spells.

This would have been interesting back in the days of mana burn, but now it seems like this card boils down to "Tap all mana-producing lands your opponents control". I can't see a situation where the opposing player's correct response wouldn't be to simply tap all their lands. If they don't, Piracy's controller can just do it. Or can they?

Spend this mana only to cast spells.

Does this mean they can't just float the mana and not use it? I would think that you could since it says spend which implies that the restriction is only on what you actually spend the mana on.

Is my take on this card correct? (and is there anything interesting you can do with this?)

share|improve this question
I think this is a bit of a rules history question - for example, mana burn was around when Piracy was printed in 1999 (and long after). The stack was just added to the rules earlier that year! The card plays a lot differently now than in 1999. – Jefromi Aug 24 '13 at 5:37
Are Portal/Starter cards legal now? – o0'. Feb 19 '15 at 9:31
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The correct response as an opponent is to tap all lands they control.

No, fizzle means to counter a spell on resolution. This is the result of a spell having zero legal targets. This spell isn't targeted, so it cannot fizzle. Since the Magic 2010 rules changes, mana burn no longer exists, so your opponents can just tap all their lands for mana to prevent someone else using the mana to cast their own spells.

If your opponents allow the spell to resolve and take no actions, the player that cast Piracy is likely the active player, which means that they would receive priority to cast spells. This would allow them to use any opponent's land to pay for casting their own spells.

No, there isn't anything interesting you can do with this spell now, it is a {U}{U} spell that taps your opponents out.

share|improve this answer
Nothing interesting short of really improbable scenarios, anyway. Mindslaver, control your opponent on their turn; somehow cast Piracy at instant speed during their turn (say, Alchemist's Refuge); use all the mana! (After using seven of yours to make it happen...) – Jefromi Aug 24 '13 at 5:43
there isn't anything interesting you can do - I disagree. It still taps lands, which is interesting. Useful with Psychic Venom, Static Orb, storage lands, Gemstone Mine, pain lands... – ire_and_curses Aug 24 '13 at 15:48
@ire Would pain lands damage the owner or the person who cast Piracy? – Wesley Murch Aug 24 '13 at 15:58
@ire_and_curses, Mana Short does nearly the same thing and is an instant. Improbable scenarios withstanding, I don't see this card as interesting or useful. – user1873 Aug 24 '13 at 17:15
@user1873 Oh, never mind, I think you're right - though it's an activated ability, not a triggered ability. 109.5 "... For an activated ability, this is the player who activated the ability. ..." – Jefromi Aug 24 '13 at 17:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.