I've been playing for very long time right now (with long breaks though...) and I happen to find some uncertainties about mana pool/tapping etc.

  1. When you usually play with your friends do you argue about untapped lands? For example You forgot to untap them during your untap step and then you want to use them in the following main phase. Do you let it go?
  2. What if I have 2R&2W lands -> I am spending 2R on a spell card (draw a card) with 1R/1C cost. I happen to draw a spell card with 1R cost which I currently lack because I stupidly tapped it before. Can I just mention that in the reality I spent 1R+1W previously and now use that 1R land again?

For one: I could just tap them all at the beginning as there is no long mana burn rule and no one should argue about what I just spend for what card... But at the same time this kind of mechanics adds some spice to the gameplay because you must think more about random things etc...

4 Answers 4


Under normal circumstances, you cannot forget to untap lands because it's not an optional action. As for rules enforcement in your own group: that's entirely your group's call.

Untapping lands is not optional. It's a turn-based action that happpens automatically. If you forget to do that, your group may handle that situation any way you decide to. The document Judging at Regular Rules Enforcement Level (REL) can provide guidelines on how such things are handled at the lowest level of rules enforcement, for example at Friday Night Magic. For forgetting to untap things, you can just rewind the game state to that point.

  1. Turn-Based Actions

703.1. Turn-based actions are game actions that happen automatically when certain steps or phases begin, or when each step and phase ends. Turn-based actions don’t use the stack.

703.4. The turn-based actions are as follows:

703.4b Immediately after the phasing action has been completed during the untap step, the active player determines which permanents they control will untap. Then they untap them all simultaneously. See rule 502.2.

As for your second question: within the rules of the game you could not undo your choice of how to pay for costs, even if you put all your mana into your mana pool and just skip over that detail. After you have paid a mana cost, you have to announce what mana still remains in your mana pool:

106.4a If any mana remains in a player’s mana pool after mana is spent to pay a cost, that player announces what mana is still there.

If your group allows retroactively changing how costs have been paid, then that's entirely up to you.


In casual play, I would let 1. slide, but not 2.

The first is (roughly) a missed mandatory trigger, which iirc at REL:Regular isn't punished above a warning.

The second is backing up game state from new information. Part of the balance of multi-colour decks is matching the colour(s) of costs with the colour(s) of mana abilities.

Who's to say the caster of the CR + R spells doesn't also have some WW spells they would cast if they didn't draw the second red spell?

  1. Yes, untapping is NOT optional, is ok if you forgot to untap something and doing it in your main phase, but please don't do it repeatedly.

  2. For casual games with friends, you can allow it between you, but it must be agreed by all of you. If you do this in an "official match", you screwed it up, you cannot rectify.

Note that all the mana in your mana pool that has not been used, it ceases to exist at the end of each phase.


For #1, because uncapping is mandatory, not optional, your lands should be considered untapped once you get past the untap step of a turn. If your opponent notices that you forgot to untap a land, they should inform you, because this wasn’t a legal decision you made. The land should become untapped as soon as you realize that it wasn’t untapped.

The second one is different. The question of whether to spend 2R or 1R 1W is a strategic decision. You made that decision based on not knowing what you would draw... you could have drawn a spell costing 2W instead. Some more casual players ay still let you take it back, but you made a strategic decision based on unknown information, and are wanting to changing it after learning new information. That generally isn’t something you would be allowed to undo.

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