Can cards discarded to activate Lion's Eye Diamond be played for their madness cost with the mana produced by Lion's Eye Diamond?

For example:

  1. I play Lion's Eye Diamond.
  2. I have Alms of the Vein in my hand.
  3. I crack Lion's Eye Diamond, discarding Alms of the Vein, getting {B}{B}{B}.
  4. Can I play Alms of the Vein with the produced mana?

2 Answers 2


Yes. Lion's Eye Diamond is a mana ability (it produces mana, it doesn't target, and it isn't a loyalty ability), so you don't have to wait for it to resolve. LED is special among mana abilities in that it has a timing restriction, but that only limits when you can activate it.

  • 1
    lol, even the ruling on Gatherer says "yes, this is a bit weird".
    – GendoIkari
    Mar 24, 2018 at 20:14
  • Even if it resolves instantly, shouldn't the cost be paid first, meaning that the hand is already discarded at the time the mana is given? In the same way that you cannot active [mtg:Mana Prism]'s effect with it's own mana? Mar 25, 2018 at 20:09
  • @SimonKlaver yes, it is discarded, that's the point. This is a question about madness. Mar 26, 2018 at 7:03
  • 1
    Just to have that pointed out, the restriction on the mana ability is there because usually you can play mana abilities as part of the process to pay for another ability or a spell. This would, of course, let you say "I'm casting X from my hand. In order to pay for it, I must sacrifice the diamond and discard the rest of my hand", which goes against how the diamond is supposed to work. Or maybe that wouldn't work (I'm not entirely sure when, during the casting of a spell, the card leaves your hand compared to when you pay mana costs, but with the restriction it doesn't matter).
    – Arthur
    Mar 27, 2018 at 12:06
  • 1
    @sinsedrix, yes, a judge would give you the same answer.
    – Brian S
    Mar 28, 2018 at 20:06

Lion's Eye Diamond will have produced the mana before you actually need to pay the madness cost, so you will be able to cast (and pay for) the Madness card discarded to activate Lion's Eye Diamond.

Notably, Lion's Eye Diamond has a mana ability, which means that it resolves immediately, while the Madness ability is a triggered ability that uses the stack to resolve.

From the comprehensive rules (2019-10-04) (emphasis mine):

405.6c Mana abilities resolve immediately. If a mana ability both produces mana and has another effect, the mana is produced and the other effect happens immediately. If a player had priority before a mana ability was activated, that player gets priority after it resolves. (See rule 605, “Mana Abilities.”)

605.1a An activated ability is a mana ability if it meets all of the following criteria: it doesn’t require a target (see rule 115.6), it could add mana to a player’s mana pool when it resolves, and it’s not a loyalty ability. (See rule 606, “Loyalty Abilities.”)

Then the replacement effect and triggered ability of Madness kick in after you already have the mana in your mana pool, with the triggered ability going onto the stack:

702.34a Madness is a keyword that represents two abilities. The first is a static ability that functions while the card with madness is in a player’s hand. The second is a triggered ability that functions when the first ability is applied. “Madness [cost]” means “If a player would discard this card, that player discards it, but exiles it instead of putting it into their graveyard” and “When this card is exiled this way, its owner may cast it by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost. If that player doesn’t, they put this card into their graveyard.”

Finally, the Madness triggered ability resolves, at which point you can use the mana that Lion's Eye Diamond has added to your mana pool and/or any other mana sources in order to pay the alternative Madness cost to cast the spell from exile.

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