6

There are some effects that allow players to spend mana as though it were mana of any color, e.g. Mycosynth Lattice.

... Players may spend mana as though it were mana of any color.

There are also cards that care about the colors of mana spent to cast them, notably Sunburst/Converge, and some others. e.g. Azorius Herald.

When Azorius Herald enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless {U} was spent to cast it.

If I cast an Azorius Herald with {G}{G}{G}, can I spend it 'as though' it was {W}{U}{U} or similar, so that I don't have to sacrifice it?

7

No, that does not work. Mycosynth Lattice lets you spend mana as though it were mana of any color, but the spell cares about what types of mana you actually used to cast it.

Rule 609.4 says

Some effects state that a player may do something “as though” some condition were true or a creature can do something “as though” some condition were true. This applies only to the stated effect. For purposes of that effect, treat the game exactly as if the stated condition were true. For all other purposes, treat the game normally.

In this situation, that means that you can treat the mana you're spending as any color while paying a cost, but that effect doesn't extend to when you're resolving a spell or ability, and you want to check the colors spent.

The card Celestial Dawn has a similar ability:

You may spend white mana as though it were mana of any color. You may spend other mana only as though it were colorless mana.

And there is an official ruling about it that applies to the situation in question:

You may use a different color mana than the color required for spells and abilities that require a specific color. If you do, and the spell or ability checks the actual color of the mana, it can tell the difference.

This conclusion is supported by a few rulings from the level 3 judge who runs the "Ask a Magic Judge" tumblr blog:

How would Mycosynth Lattice work with converge spells - would "use mana as though it were mana of any color" satisfy "each color of mana spent"?

Not very well.

While you can spend colorless mana through the lattice as though it were any color, it’s still colorless mana as far as Converge is concerned.


Mycosynth Lattice in EDH: spending colorless mana AS IF it were mana of any color doesnt break 903.9.... right?

Correct.

However, you’re still not spending mana of that color, so something like Sunburst or Firespout will know the difference.


If I control Mycosynth Lattice, then cast Skyreach Manta spending WWWWW as though it were WUBRG, how many +1/+1 counters will the Manta enter the battlefield with?

One.

Sunburst always knows what you actually paid.

5
  • 609.4. Some effects state that a player may do something “as though” some condition were true or a creature can do something “as though” some condition were true. This applies only to the stated effect. For purposes of that effect, treat the game exactly as if the stated condition were true. For all other purposes, treat the game normally.
    – diego
    Aug 12 '16 at 17:32
  • 1
    So you can spend it 'as though' it were any color, but it isn't actually that color so things that look for the color of mana spent only see what was actually spent
    – diego
    Aug 12 '16 at 17:33
  • 2
    I'm not sure if that rule is specific enough to be helpful here, because it doesn't define the scope of "the stated effect". We know from the rulings here that in this particular case, "the stated effect" covers "paying for a cost" but not "checking how a cost was paid", but I'm not really sure we can conclude that just from the rule.
    – murgatroid99
    Aug 12 '16 at 17:38
  • 1
    Is there any reason the 'stated effect' would effect anything other than when you actually spend mana? Since that is that is what you are doing 'as though' something else were true. Resolving spells or abilities isn't part of the spending mana so it looks at what actually happened. Also Celedtial Dawn has a ruling that is relevant if you want to add that to your answer.
    – diego
    Aug 12 '16 at 17:49
  • That's a fair point. And thank you for mentioning the Celestial Dawn rulings. I searched for rulings related to it online, but I forgot to actually look at the official rulings.
    – murgatroid99
    Aug 12 '16 at 18:04

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