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I found this year old question on a blog.

Anthony controls Wild Evocation. At the beginning of his upkeep, he triggers and begins resolving Wild Evocation's triggered ability, revealing Disaster Radius. Disaster Radius has a mandatory additional cost of revealing a creature card from your hand.

Is Anthony required to pay the mandatory additional cost of revealing a creature card from his hand if he is able?

  • While the game does have rules such as revealing face-down cards when the game ends to prevent cheating by casting a non-morph creature as if it were a morph creature, such rules really aren't necessary. All game rules are already written with the assumption that players won't cheat. Saying you have no creatures in hand if you actually do in this case is the same as sneakily drawing 2 cards instead of 1 when you draw. It's simply cheating; even if the rules don't have a built-in mechanism for stopping you from doing so. – GendoIkari Jan 21 '15 at 18:22
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    @Gendolkari To demonstrate that the Magic rules, even the comprehensive rules, were written with cheating in mind, I quote the Magic 2014 Rules Update explanation for the introduction of rule 117.8c: "We don't want you to have to call a judge to verify that you're being honest about the contents of your hand." – Rainbolt Jan 21 '15 at 20:11
  • @GendoIkari Players are actually allowed to lie about hidden information, and effects that care about hidden information don't require the player to "find" anything. For example, a player can play Rampant Growth and not find a land, even if there are remaining basic lands in the deck. This is not considered cheating. – aebabis Jan 21 '15 at 21:10
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    @acbabis The rules update adding 117.8c even said "We don't want you to have to call a judge to verify that you're being honest about the contents of your hand." - before that rule was added, the rules in this case really did force you to be honest about hidden information, because you're required to do what cards say to do. – Cascabel Jan 21 '15 at 22:45
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    @acbabis The rule that applies to tutors is 701.14b, which begins "If a player is searching..." so it applies specifically to cards that say "search", which is basically everything... except situations like this that sort of implicitly make you "search" without actually saying so. – Cascabel Jan 22 '15 at 0:28
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To summarize the other answers and comments:

Under current rules, you are not required to reveal a creature card from your hand, even if you actually have one. However, if you do not, you will not be able to cast Disaster Radius.


The relevant rule is 117.8c, which reads:

117.8c If an effect instructs a player to cast a spell “if able,” and that spell has a mandatory additional cost that includes actions involving cards with a stated quality in a hidden zone, the player isn’t required to cast that spell, even if those cards are present in that zone.

"Reveal a creature card from your hand" is an action ("reveal") involving cards with a stated quality ("creature") in a hidden zone ("your hand"). Thus, rule 117.8c says that you are not required to cast Disaster Radius, even if directed to do so "if able".

This rule was introduced in the Magic 2014 rules update, specifically to deal with cases like this:

This new rule was added to cover cases where you are instructed to cast a spell with a mandatory additional cost that includes actions involving cards with a stated quality in a hidden zone if able. That's a mouthful. For example, say you're forced to cast Disaster Radius if able. The game doesn't really know if you have a creature card in your hand or not. We don't want you to have to call a judge to verify that you're being honest about the contents of your hand. So, in the spirit of the "fail to find" rule, now you don't have to pay that additional cost and cast the spell.

Technically, before this rule was added, you would have had to reveal a creature card from your hand if you had one; if you did not, you would not have had to reveal your hand to prove this — but you might have been required to ask a judge to inspect your hand and confirm it, if your opponent did not trust your word.


Ps. The "fail to find" rule referenced in the commentary is 701.15b, which says:

701.15b If a player is searching a hidden zone for cards with a stated quality, such as a card with a certain card type or color, that player isn’t required to find some or all of those cards even if they’re present in that zone.

As Jefromi notes in the comment, this rule already covered any situation where one was told to "search" for a card, which is most of them; what it did not cover were a few oddball situations, like this interaction of Wild Evocation with Disaster Radius, that essentially told you to search for a card, but without actually using the word "search". Rule 117.8c patched that hole.

  • I accepted this answer over the top voted one because of its finding of rule 701.15b, which is just interesting, and because of the description of what would have happened before 117.8c was introduced, which helped me understand. – Rainbolt Jan 22 '15 at 19:45
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If Anthony can pay the cost, and it isn't a mana cost, and it doesn't involve cards with a specific quality in a hidden zone, it must be paid if able. If it is a mana cost and there is enough mana in his mana pool to pay it it must be paid, otherwise he has the option to activate mana abilities to pay for. If the cost involves cards with a specific quality in a hidden zone Anthony may choose to pay for it if he wants to, but is not required to. If the cards mandatory additional costs can't be paid, or he chooses not to pay an additional mana cost the card is uncast and stays in his hand.

117.8c. If an effect instructs a player to cast a spell “if able,” and that spell has a mandatory additional cost that includes actions involving cards with a stated quality in a hidden zone, the player isn’t required to cast that spell, even if those cards are present in that zone.

From the Gatherer Rulings:

If casting the revealed card involves paying a mandatory additional cost (such as the one Fling has), the player casting that card must pay that cost if able. If he or she can't, the card remains uncast in his or her hand. If the mandatory additional cost includes a mana payment, the situation is more complex. If the player has enough mana in his or her mana pool to pay the cost, that player must do so. If the player can't possibly pay the cost, the card remains uncast in his or her hand. However, if the player has the means to produce enough mana to pay the cost, then he or she has a choice: The player may cast the card, produce mana, and pay the cost. Or the player may choose to activate no mana abilities, thus making the card impossible to cast because the additional mana can't be paid.

  • This is probably a separate question, but does anything prevent Anthony from cheating by claiming he has no creature cards in his hand when he really does? As far as I can tell, neither judge nor opponent would have a way to catch it. – Rainbolt Jan 21 '15 at 18:16
  • @Rainbolt From the blog you linked to: "A rule introduced with Magic 2014 will cover this precise situation. The new rule will be that the player will not be forced to reveal hidden information (and thus, if the player chooses not to, he or she doesn't cast the card.)" – diego Jan 21 '15 at 18:18
  • An extension of the very old rule that you aren't forced to find something when searching. – ikegami Jan 21 '15 at 18:57
  • The Magic 2014 rules update indeed added 117.8c, and in the update they explicitly mentioned Disaster Radius as an example and compared to "fail to find" as ikegami mentioned. – Cascabel Jan 21 '15 at 19:03
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You must reveal a creature card from your hand to cast Disaster Radius in this fashion (as detailed below). If you have no creature cards in your hand, you are unable to pay the cost to cast Disaster Radius, so you are unable to cast Disaster Radius.

If you do have a creature card in your hand, you may chose not to reveal it[CR 117.8c]. If you don't, you are unable to pay the cost to cast Disaster Radius, so you are unable to cast Disaster Radius.


To paraphrase 601.2e,

total cost to cast a spell
= mana cost or alternative cost
+ additional costs
+ cost increases
- cost reductions.

"Without paying its mana cost" is an alternative cost[CR 117.9].

"As an additional cost to cast Disaster Radius, reveal a creature card from your hand" is an additional cost[CR 117.8].

So,

total cost to cast Disaster Radius using Wild Evocation
= alternative cost (free)
+ additional costs (Reveal a creature card from your hand)
+ cost increases (none)
- cost reductions (none)
= Reveal a creature card from your hand


117.8c. If an effect instructs a player to cast a spell “if able,” and that spell has a mandatory additional cost that includes actions involving cards with a stated quality in a hidden zone, the player isn’t required to cast that spell, even if those cards are present in that zone.

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