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Suppose I have only Force Away in hand, then cast it. It says "you may draw a card then discard a card". Am I able to cast the drawn card which leaves me with no cards in hand to discard, or am I not allowed to cast it? What happens?

marked as duplicate by Rainbolt, Toon Krijthe, Nij, David Z, Benjamin Cosman Feb 11 '18 at 23:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    Perhaps wait a bit before selecting an answer. Discourages other answers... – MarsJarsGuitars-n-Chars Feb 11 '18 at 16:28
  • I also found Can I cast a spell while another spell or ability is resolving? which is probably a better dupe target. – Rainbolt Feb 11 '18 at 17:07
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    @Eric People can still change accepted answers, so I think rather instead it's better to see it as a challenge to provide a better answer. – doppelgreener Feb 11 '18 at 17:16
  • @Doppelgreener. Agreed, but for a new user, less likely. Just a thought. I was on the old Draw3Cards for years and we often promoted the idea of holding off a bit. Point taken, though. – MarsJarsGuitars-n-Chars Feb 11 '18 at 17:18
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No, you can't cast a spell in the middle of that draw-then-discard instruction.

Whilst a spell or ability is resolving, players can't do anything that the spell or ability doesn't tell them to do. This means you draw, then discard, then afterwards you'll get a chance to cast spells. If Force Away was the last card you had, you're back down to a hand size of 0 with no cards to cast.

Magic's system for casting and resolving spells involves some concepts of the stack and priority, which you can read about here. Understanding that system is pivotal to understanding when you can/can't cast spells, and the post I'm linking to there is what had me understand it when I started out playing.

This type of ability is colloquially called "looting" — it's not meant to give you more cards than you had before, it just gives you a chance to swap out a card that isn't useful right now for one that is. It also adds cards to your graveyard which can be helpful. As you might know, Force Away came from Khans of Tarkir which also featured the Delve mechanic — one extra card in your graveyard is one extra card to delve with later.

There's an exception: cards with Madness allow you to cast them for their Madness cost as a result of discarding them. So if you happened to draw then discard Distemper of the Blood, that's an opportunity to cast it, meaning you did wind up with one extra spell to cast.

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    The way you describe madness might be misleading. Madness has two parts: a replacement effect that has you discard the card into exile, and a triggered ability that allows you to cast the spell. So you're not really casting it while discarding it. – murgatroid99 Feb 11 '18 at 17:26
  • @murgatroid99 Oh, right!! They changed it; it was different before SOI. I'll update. – doppelgreener Feb 11 '18 at 17:37
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    They did change Madness in SOI, but not significantly. The only difference is that you can no longer choose whether to discard to exile. It was always a replacement effect and a triggered ability. – murgatroid99 Feb 11 '18 at 17:55
  • @murgatroid99 Oh, huh. The old reminder text makes it look like it used to be just one triggered ability (optionally replace hand->graveyard with hand->cast->stack) – doppelgreener Feb 11 '18 at 18:05
  • @doppelgreener Nope, before it was may replace hand->grave with hand->exile and must cast if you do now it is must replace hand->exile then may cast else exile->grave – Andrew Feb 12 '18 at 17:33

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