In Magic, there are creature cards with huge mana costs (like 15 for Emrakul, the Aeons Torn), that can hardly ever be paid in a normal game of Magic. Luckily, there are many ways to "cheat" creatures into play. There also cards that can put lands, enchantments or artifacts from the hand onto the battlefield.

Sorceries are also sometimes extremely expensive. Is there any card in Magic that allows one to play a Sorcery or Instant without paying its mana cost?

  • yes, there are plenty of ways to cheat instant/sorcery mana costs.
    – Colin D
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 20:23
  • @ColinD; I know of lots of ways to cast creatures without paying mana costs, but I'm not sure about Sorceries or Instants.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 21:39
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    Almost every question that asks "Does a card exist that does FOO." could be answered with "Learn how to use the advanced search features of the Gatherer." "How do I search for cards that have a specific function?" would be much better in my opinion, but I didn't edit your question because the change would is too drastic.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 21:58
  • @rainbolt That's what I thought first and was going to make a comment to that effect, but then I was unable to find such cards using Gatherer myself, because I didn't know how to look for things that were specific to Sorceries and Instants.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 22:14
  • @GendoIkari Try "AND rules text contains "instant"". That's how I found all of the cards in my answer. Using search engines is always an art form.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 22:34

2 Answers 2


There are a number of such cards. Recently, Omniscience gave you permission to cast any spell (instant, sorcery, creature, whatever) from your hand without paying its cost.

There are even entire mechanics based on it, such as Cascade, or the cycle of Hideaway lands.

Epic Experiment is the instant/sorcery version of Genesis Wave, and Mind's Desire is its predecessor. Master of Predicaments was just released, and Oracle of Bones is recent. Sunforger is older, but one of the most powerful equipment for a R/W deck: not only is the instant you cast free, but you search your deck for it, rather than needing it in your hand.

Heck, Planeswalker's Mischief lets you cast an instant or sorcery spell for free from your opponent's hand.

Note that when you're casting a spell without paying its mana cost, {X} can only be 0, you must still pay any required additional costs, and if you want the effect of something that comes from paying an optional cost (eg, Kicker), you'll need to pay the optional cost. Effects which look at the mana you paid for the spell (such as the hybrid mana spells which care about the colors spent) will see that no mana was spent at all, and Trinisphere will still force you to pay {3}.

  • Similar to Mind's Desire, there is Unexpected Results
    – Matt Ellen
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 7:23
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    Dream Halls turns every spell into a pitch spell!
    – singletee
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 18:10
  • I don't think that the point about Trinisphere is correct. Trinisphere makes the mana cost at least {3}, but you're casting without paying the mana cost so you still shouldn't have to pay.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 18:59
  • @murgatroid99, No, that's not what Trinisphere does. With a Trinisphere in play, finding a spell's cost is done by following several steps; roughly: 1) Determine which cost you're paying for the spell (eg, the alternate cost of "nothing"); 2) Add any cost-increases (eg, Sphere of Resistance); 3) Subtract any cost-decreases (eg, Helm of Awakening), to a minimum of "nothing"; 4) If the spell now costs less than 3 mana, increase the cost by an amount such that the total paid will be 3. (This is actually how spell costs are always done, but the final step only applies with a Trinisphere in play.)
    – Brian S
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 21:59
  • Most importantly, Trinisphere doesn't care whether you're paying something else (eg, "Exile two blue cards for your hand"), only whether you're paying sufficient mana. You can have 30 different non-mana costs attached to the spell, but if you're not actually paying mana, Trinisphere will still tell you to pay {3}.
    – Brian S
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 22:02

Yes. Spellshift allows you to play an instant or sorcery without paying its mana cost. Here are others others that have a similar effect:

Rather than continuing to list all of the cards, I'll teach you how to do it yourself. Find the Advanced Search options on the Gatherer. Try searching for cards whose rules text contains a phrase like "without paying its mana cost" AND "instant". You'll quickly find a whole slew of cards that fit your criteria.

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    Also try searching for the variant "without paying their mana cost", which will pick up a few more examples.
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 16:01
  • I think OP wanted to play his instants and sorceries for less than their converted mana cost, not more.
    – Fax
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 21:48

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