Take the 2-minute tour ×
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. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My friends and I are relatively new to magic, and we're confused as to how mana cost reduction works — i.e. the effects which say something costs X less mana.

Can mana cost reduction reduce the colored portion of a mana cost, or can it only reduce the uncolored portion? If so, how does it interact with the mana cost?

I think some examples will make this clearer:

  1. Can Nemesis of Mortals potentially be free to cast, or does it always cost at least 2 green mana?
  2. Suppose I have Animar, Soul of Elements with two counters, meaning creature spells cost {2} less to cast. If I cast Lazav, Dimir Mastermind:
    • Does Lazav now cost less than UUBB to cast?
    • Can I choose to pay only UU to cast him, and let the discount take away the BB portion of the cost?
    • Can I choose to pay UB?
  3. If I have Animar out with two counters, and I choose to cast Nemesis of Mortals instead, can I discount the forest mana and pay only the remaining 4 of any color?
share|improve this question
2  
For an example of a card that reduces the 'colored' component of mana cost: gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=43513 –  Colin D Nov 8 '13 at 15:12
1  
Covered by [CR 117.7] –  ikegami Nov 12 '13 at 16:18
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Mana cost changes affect specific elements of a mana cost only. If a reduction says "spells cost (1) less to cast" this will only affect colorless portions of a mana cost. If a reduction says "Spells cost {U} less to cost" it can make spells cost {U} less or a corresponding amount of colorless mana.

a good illustrative example is Khalni Hydra, which has a mana cost reduction specifying colored mana symbols (in this case green), this mana reduction can pay for colorless mana costs (in the event an additional mana cost is added by another effect), however, the same is not true for colorless reductions paying for colored mana symbols. This behaviour functions in exactly the same way as generally paying for spells, you can pay colorless mana costs with any color of mana (or colorless) but you cannot pay color costs with colorless mana.

To summarise, Colored mana costs can only be reduced by effects that specify they will reduce that color of mana. Colorless costs can be reduced by colored manacost reductions OR colorless ones. All of this functions just like spending mana to cast spells.

to answer your specific examples:

  1. Nemesis of mortals will always cost at least 2 green mana.

  2. Lazav's mana cost will be unchanged. The mana cost reduction is colorless only, and he has no colorless mana in his casting cost.

  3. You could discount 2 from the colorless cost, but you would still have to pay the green portion of the mana cost. If you have 2 creatures in the graveyard and Animar with 2 counters, you will get a total mana cost reduction of 4 colorless.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you! I've replaced the Council with another card which does affect creature spells, so as to have decent examples. –  Jonathan Hobbs Nov 8 '13 at 13:12
1  
@GendoIkari i missed that, I will change to Khalni Hydra –  Patters Nov 8 '13 at 15:11
2  
117.7a If a cost is reduced by an amount of colored mana, but its colored mana component doesn't contain mana of that color, the cost is reduced by that amount of generic mana. –  Jefromi Nov 8 '13 at 15:46
1  
the power of communal response! –  Patters Nov 8 '13 at 16:03
1  
To prevent confusion like this (and probably to prevent the rules from being broken), the comp rules do make a distinction between colorless mana (actual mana which has no color) and generic mana (in costs, can be paid by any type of mana). –  Jefromi Nov 8 '13 at 16:09
show 8 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

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.