Nemesis of Mortals says:

Nemesis of Mortals costs 1 less to cast for each creature card in your graveyard.

and Generator Servant says:

Tap, Sacrifice Generator Servant: Add 2 to your mana pool. If that mana is spent on a creature spell, it gains haste until end of turn.

Say I have 3 creature cards in my graveyard and a Generator Servant on the field without summoning sickness. I wish to use the mana from the Generator Servant to summon the Nemesis of Mortals so that it will have haste. However when I sacrifice the Generator Servant I will have 4 creatures in the graveyard and Nemesis of Mortals no longer needs generic mana to summon.

Do I determine the cost of the spell before or after I generate the mana?

2 Answers 2


Do I determine the cost of the spell before or after I generate the mana?

Either! You can generate mana at any time during your main step, before starting to cast a spell. However, you can also generate it during the spell-casting process:

601.2e 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 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.

601.2f 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.

So in this case, you could determine the total cost (which would include 1 generic mana), then activate Generator Servant in order to produce mana, thus spending 1 of those 2 mana on the Nemesis of Mortals

And to show that Generator Servant's ability is indeed a mana ability:

406.1. A mana ability is either (a) an activated ability without a target that could put mana into a player’s mana pool when it resolves or (b) a triggered ability without a target that triggers from a mana ability and could produce additional mana. A mana ability can generate other effects at the same time it produces mana.


You can sac the Generator Servant at any time during your main phase, the mana it produces only leaves your mana pool if you either use it, or go to the next step in your turn.

Between sacrificing the Generator Servant and casting the Nemesis of Mortals you can do all kind of fun things, like play a land or whatever.

Edit: Gendolkari has the better (and faster) answer :-(

  • This is true, but the OP's goal is actually to determine the cost before sacrificing it, so that they're able to spend the mana it creates, thus granting the Nemesis haste.
    – Cascabel
    Jul 30, 2014 at 16:16
  • I was not trying to imply that was impossible.
    – Ward
    Jul 30, 2014 at 16:18
  • 2
    You missed the concern in the asker's question: you can do all kinds of fun things once you sac the Generator Servant, but then Nemesis of Mortals won't cost untyped mana and Generator Servant's mana won't be able to be used in summoning it. Jul 30, 2014 at 22:44

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