I just wanted some clarification here, but is an ability to convert into a creature (from a land or an artifact) regarded the same as a casting "creature spell" (as an instant I guess) in terms of "color creature spells you cast cost 1 less to cast"?

Does that makes sense?

If I wanted to convert a land into a 3/3 creature would an artifact with this ability allow me cast that conversion (as a creature spell) for less mana?

  • Abilities aren't spells. Abilities aren't cast. Abilities don't have a card type. Abilities don't have a color.
    – ikegami
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 18:17
  • 1
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    – Malco
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 18:52

3 Answers 3


No, you said it yourself: it's an ability, which is different from a spell. If you get a discount on creature spells, it won't affect abilities.

  1. Spells

111.1. A spell is a card on the stack. As the first step of being cast (see rule 601, "Casting Spells"), the card becomes a spell and is moved to the top of the stack from the zone it was in, which is usually its owner's hand. (See rule 405, "Stack.")

  1. Abilities

112.1a An ability can be a characteristic an object has that lets it affect the game. An object's abilities are defined by its rules text or by the effect that created it. Abilities can also be granted to objects by rules or effects. (Effects that grant abilities usually use the words "has," "have," "gains," or "gain.") Abilities generate effects. (See rule 609, "Effects.")


112.1c An ability can be an activated or triggered ability on the stack. This kind of ability is an object. (See section 6, "Spells, Abilities, and Effects.")

  1. Activating Activated Abilities

602.1. Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as "[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]"

  • 112.1a-c seem to be more relevant with regards to what an ability is vs what a spell is.
    – Hackworth
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 19:59
  • I considered citing them, but I hate the circular definition in 112.1c with a passion.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 20:03
  • It might also be worth addressing why a token producing spell is not a creature spell. Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 20:18
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    @Glorfindel I wouldn't say the definition is circular. An ability as per 112.1c is an object on the stack that was created by an ability as per 112.1a.
    – Hackworth
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 21:53

Even if it were a spell and not an ability, a creature spell is a spell of type creature, not any spell that causes a creature to be on the battlefield. So, for instance, Resurrection is a sorcery, Animate Land is an instant, and Aquatic Incursion is an enchantment. None of these are creature spells, even though they cause there to be creatures on the battlefield.

  • Life and Limb, or any genju or any zendikon would be a better enchantment and Verdant Touch would be a better sorcery to use as an example in this question, since these animate lands rather than create tokens or return creatures from the grave.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 0:30
  • @Andrew My intent was to give examples showing that regardless of how a creature comes onto the field (card moved from another zone, token created, existing permanent turned into a creature), if the spell that puts it there isn't labelled a creature spell, then it's not a creature spell. Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 15:24

If you're talking casting a spell with Awaken, like Ruinous Path then this is an alternate cost for a spell but it still is a non-creature spell, so it could have the cost to cast reduced by things like Jet Medallion but it won't be reduced by Bontu's Monument. Other spells will also animate lands, like Life and Limb this too can be reduced in cost by Emerald Medallion but not by Rhonas's Monument. Wall of Resurgence is the only thing close to a creature spell that will turn a land into a creature, because it turns a land into a creature when it enters the battlefield.

If it's an activated ability of some creature that will animate the land, like Clan Guildmage's ability, there are cards that can reduce the cost, like Heartstone and Training Grounds.

If it's an ability of the land itself, then there is nothing I know of that reduces the cost of a land's activated ability.

None of these are casting a creature spell, only the first is a spell at all but those are instants or sorceries.

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