Cards with cascade like Maelstrom Wanderer say "...You may cast it without paying it's mana cost." Does this include mana costs added from sources like Sphere of Resistance, or would it always be cast for free, regardless of additional costs?

  • This is an alternative cost, and Total cost = (Mana cost or alternative cost) + (additional costs and cost increases) - (cost reductions)
    – ikegami
    Jan 31, 2019 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


You must pay additional costs separately, so you would still have to pay {1} for Sphere of Resistance.

Casting without paying is an alternate cost:

117.9. Some spells have alternative costs. An alternative cost is a cost listed in a spell's text, or applied to it from another effect, that its controller may pay rather than paying the spell's mana cost. Alternative costs are usually phrased, "You may [action] rather than pay [this object's] mana cost," or "You may cast [this object] without paying its mana cost." Note that some alternative costs are listed in keywords; see rule 702.

Additional costs are added separately from alternate costs:

117.9d If an alternative cost is being paid to cast a spell, any additional costs, cost increases, and cost reductions that affect that spell are applied to that alternative cost. (See rule 601.2f.)

  • Ah, so "cast without paying mana cost" falls into an alternate cost type, treated as 0?
    – The Man
    Jan 30, 2019 at 19:09
  • @ShadowZ. Right; it's something that you can pay rather than paying the normal cost. It just happens to be that "nothing" is what you pay.
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 30, 2019 at 19:12
  • Look at a spell like Fling, the spell does not work if you don't pay the additional cost, since the sacrificed creature sets a value in the effect.
    – Andrew
    Jan 31, 2019 at 16:18

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