1

Suppose I wanted to author a homebrew spell that would require paying just the colored portion of another card's mana cost as an additional cost. Is there a "proper" way to format that with the rules as written?

For example, imagine a creature with the following ability:

{T}, Reveal a creature card from your hand and pay the colored part of its mana cost: Put the revealed card into play under your control.

Using this ability should give me a Terastodon for {G}{G}, or a Blightsteel Colossus for free.

I know there are cards that refer to the number of colored mana symbols of permanents (devotion), but I don't know any that refer to them while they are cards or spells.

  • 1
    For an effect like this, I would suggest borrowing from Brain in a Jar's template for something like "{Cost}: You may cast a creature card from your hand for the colored part of its mana cost". It avoids some weirdness with the fact that players can respond between activation and response, and that the card wouldn't stay revealed during that interval. – murgatroid99 Oct 3 '16 at 23:37
  • 2
    Should it give you Kozilek, the Great Distortion for {C}{C} or free? (Do you mean "colored" or "non-generic"?) – Cascabel Oct 4 '16 at 0:12
  • 1
    Might want to bear in mind there are cards with no mana cost like Ancestral Vision (which is meant to be cast with its Suspend ability instead); different wordings will either let you cast it straight away for free or prohibit casting them at all. – doppelgreener Oct 4 '16 at 11:01
4

The rules don't directly define a term for this part of the cost, but they do use a relevant term in one of the rules describing cost reductions, 117.7a:

Effects that reduce a cost by an amount of generic mana affect only the generic mana component of that cost. They can’t affect the colored or colorless mana components of that cost.

So, "colored mana component of the cost" is a reasonable term to use for the colored part of the mana cost.

You could also get a functionally equivalent effect by borrowing the wording of the Emerge ability:

{T}, Reveal a creature card from your hand and pay its mana cost reduced by its converted mana cost: ...

  • The rules for cost reductions (117.7) also say "generic mana component," "colored mana component," and "colorless mana component." – Cascabel Oct 4 '16 at 2:14
  • "mana cost reduced by its converted mana cost" is not functionally identical, as it will reduce increases in costs imposed by other sources, which isn't intended the way I read the original question. – TheThirdMan Oct 4 '16 at 9:18
  • The way it's written in the question and in my suggestion, cost increases are never applied in the first place. So it doesn't matter that they're reduced. – murgatroid99 Oct 4 '16 at 15:08
2

We can accomplish your goal without using any unusual terminology:

{T}, Reveal a creature card from your hand and pay its mana cost reduced by {X}: Put the revealed card into play under your control.

How does this work?

When you begin to activate the ability, you reveal a creature card and you also choose a value for {X}.

107.3a If a spell or activated ability has a mana cost, alternative cost, additional cost, and/or activation cost with an {X}, [-X], or X in it, and the value of X isn’t defined by the text of that spell or ability, the controller of that spell or ability chooses and announces the value of X as part of casting the spell or activating the ability. [...]

Then, you pay the cost of creature card reduced by the value chosen for {X}. This only affects the generic part of the cost, and not the colored part.

117.7a Effects that reduce a cost by an amount of generic mana affect only the generic mana component of that cost. They can’t affect the colored or colorless mana components of that cost.

You are left paying the non-generic part of the cost. This will usually* be the colored part of the cost. Also, you could technically choose a small enough value for X that you end up paying part of the generic cost.

*A small handful of cards have actual colorless mana in the cost. The colorless part of the cost would not be reduced.

  • 1
    @doppelgreener This wording doesn't really help {X} cost spells since the {X} in the cost of the ability and the {X} in the cost of the spell are unrelated to each other. So if you pick 100 as X for your 0/0 hydra that costs {X}{G} it will reduce the cost to {G} but it will still die immediately on entering the battlefield – diego Oct 4 '16 at 18:13
  • @Rainbolt Do you mean the "reduced by {X}" to indicate it should be an actual {X} value (which is effectively the same as just casting the spell in the first place), or do you mean that an author should replace that "reduced by {X}" with something like "reduced by {8}"? – doppelgreener Oct 4 '16 at 18:27
  • @diego My mistake, misread the effect. – doppelgreener Oct 4 '16 at 18:28
  • @doppelgreener By the time you get to the point where you pay costs, you must have already chosen a value for {X}. So at that point, {X} is just whatever you chose. If you chose {X} = 8, then you pay the mana cost of the creature card reduced by {8}. – Rainbolt Oct 4 '16 at 18:34
0

The term would be 'colored mana cost'

Although there is no specific definition of such a term because no card uses it, rule 601.2b mentions the term "colored mana cost" in the context of Phyrexian mana symbols:

601.2b [..] If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes Phyrexian mana symbols, the player announces whether he or she intends to pay 2 life or the corresponding colored mana cost for each of those symbols. [..]

The wording on your card could be:

{T}: You may pay the colored mana cost of a creature card in your hand. If you do, put that card onto the battlefield.

Revealing the card would be omitted as a step because you would put the card onto the battlefield anyway, where everyone can see it and check that the appropriate amount of mana has been paid.

  • 1
    That quotation shows that the "colored mana cost" of a symbol is the mana value of that particular symbol, but it seems like a bit of a leap to conclude that the "colored mana cost" of an entire cost would be only part of that cost. – murgatroid99 Oct 3 '16 at 23:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.