I'm playing with a five-color deck, and I cast a Pentad Prism using Green and Red mana.

Opponent responds with Power Sink and, having noticed that I only have four untapped lands available, puts X equal to 5.

He doesn't know that I have in my hand Dark Ritual, which I immediately cast in response, using mana from an untapped Swamp.

However, I don't use all three black mana to cast the Prism (just two of them), but I use the other three untapped lands that I have instead, giving two White and one Blue mana.

Since I have used all five mana colors to cast the Prism, at this point, thanks to that card's sunburst ability, I should have 5 counters on it, one for each color. Is this correct?

  • The question can even be reformulated ... thinking about the possibility of casting a Power sink (or Syncopate,too) on your own spell during the cast of a Pentad Prism... to make it even stronger! I wonder if it will work. Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 11:36
  • Even if what you suggest would work, I can only read "even stronger" as "more than five counters", which won't work because there are only five colors in the game. Also, if you have additional aspects of your question you'd like to have addressed, (amongst other uses for it) please take advantage of the edit function. Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 12:13
  • The casting of PP is already competed before PS is cast, and thus before PS is resolved. PS can't change what already happened!
    – ikegami
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 13:20
  • I had no doubts that you would have canceled my idea of ​​a new tag ... Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


You haven't paid any more than the original GR to cast Pentad Prism, all mana you spent afterwards was on the ability of Power Sink. While you may think of the two as related because one targets the other and affects whether it ends up on the battlefield, they are two separate entities on the stack, and the game doesn't allow for creative interpretation of such connections in any way.

A ruling on Power Sink clarifies this:

10/4/2004 Does not increase the mana cost of the spell. It just requires a separate expenditure in order for it to succeed.

Additionally, here's the relevant excerpt of the casting rules that illustrate how paying costs works:

601. Casting Spells

601.2f The player determines the total cost of the spell. Usually this is just the mana cost. Some spells have additional or alternative costs. Some effects may increase or reduce the cost to pay, or may provide other alternative costs. Costs may include paying mana, tapping permanents, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. [...]

601.2g If the total cost includes a mana payment, the player then has a chance to activate mana abilities (see rule 605, “Mana Abilities”). Mana abilities must be activated before costs are paid.

601.2h The player pays the total cost in any order. [...]

This all happens before you put the respective spell on the stack, and therefore before your opponent may attempt to counter it, and the mana paid for these actions is what the game considers mana paid casting a spell.

Additional and alternative costs would have to be included in the card's text (or another permanent's text), so in order to ever spend more than two mana on Pentad Prism, you have to resort to cost increases, as found on cards like Sphere of Resistance.


Unfortunately not - Power Sink does not make the Pentad Prism more mana, it counters the spell unless you pay X. In the scenario above, you pay {r}{g} for the prism and {w}{u}{u}{b}{b} for the sink - so the prism enters with 2 counters.

  • 2
    as a side note, if there are effects that actually make the prism cost more, such as Sphere of Resistance or Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, you can up the sunburst; while cost reduction makes the prism less powerful
    – Swimmer F
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 12:12
  • 3
    Relevant quote from the Gatherer page of Power Sink: "Does not increase the mana cost of the spell. It just requires a separate expenditure in order for it to succeed."
    – Arthur
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 20:58

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