If I have Grand Arbiter Augustin IV in play, can Zur the Enchanter's triggered ability pull a card like Æther Storm from my library, which would originally have a converted cost of 4, but which is lowered by the Grand Arbiter's ability?

  • FYI - You can make use of the site's autocard feature. If you use the syntax [mtg:Card Name], the cards will automatically become links to the Gatherer. It fails in some cases, such as names with apostrophes (like Black Sun's Zenith), and names that are part of another name (such as Sun Titan and Sundering Titan). Someone went ahead and did it for you this time.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 14:32
  • The adjusted value is called the "total cost" to cast the spell.
    – ikegami
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 14:49
  • I'm tempted to vote for all CMC questions as duplicates.
    – tsuma534
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 12:18

3 Answers 3


You can not find Æther Storm with Zur. This is because Augustin's cost reduction ability only effects casting the card, it doesn't apply at any other time. "White spells you cast cost 1 less to cast".

Also, the only thing that can change the CMC of a card is chooseing the value of 'X' while casting it. This is because CMC is what is printed on the top right of the card, not what you actually pay for it.

For example Divine Deflection costs {X}{W}, when you cast it you pick a value for X (let's say X = 5). That makes the CMC of the card 6 (5 from {X} + 1 from the {W}) even though with the Grand Arbiter out you only need to pay {4}{W} because of the cost reduction.

202.3. The converted mana cost of an object is a number equal to the total amount of mana in its mana cost, regardless of color.

  • I think the only way to be really clear about X is an example: if the card says {X}{W} and you choose X=5 so it would normally cost a total of 6 mana, but have a cost reduction of 1 so you only pay 5, the CMC while it's on the stack is still 6.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 17:41
  • 1
    With regards to {X}, it is counted as 0 for CMC while the card in question is not on the stack, and {X} when cast. Payment for {X} may be reduced by Arbiter or similar effects.
    – steenbergh
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 10:55

No. The converted mana cost is always the cost that is printed on a card; it is not changed cost reduction or alternate costs.

  • It is changed by decisions about "X", though. 202.3b When calculating the converted mana cost of an object with an {X} in its mana cost, X is treated as 0 while the object is not on the stack, and X is treated as the number chosen for it while the object is on the stack.
    – ikegami
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 14:48
  • 2
    It's better to say that converted mana cost is a function of the printed cost, because even cards without mana costs have CMC.
    – Hao Ye
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 17:58

Nope the CMC has to do with the mana cost as it is printed on the card itself. There are many cards that may add or reduce the actual mana spent to cast a card but that does not change the CMC.

There is one exception. When you have cards that have X in there mana cost X is considered 0 in regards to the CMC everywhere except when the spell is on the stack.

So for instance a Blaze with X equal to four is a legal target for Disdainful Stroke (because it has a CMC of five while on the stack.) but for all other purposes Blaze has a CMC of one.

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