I have a question about Kess, Dissident Mage and interaction with adventures cards like Brazen Borrower.


When I have my Brazen Borrower in Graveyard and Kess on the battlefield, can I cast Brazen Borrower for its alternate cost?

Instant - Adventure
Return target nonland permanent an opponent controls to its owner's hand. 

If yes where does my Brazen Borrower go? To exile as an adventure (and I can recast it for its creature cost) or to exile by Kess rule?

I tried to search that on internet but there is nothing that explain why it is possible.

Thank you in advance.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can cast an Adventure as an instant with Kess. For those details, see this question. Because that's a duplicate, I'll just focus on the second part.

You will get to choose the order to reply the replacement effects, so as long as you choose to apply the effect from the Adventure first, the card will end up exiled as an Adventure, and you can cast it later as a creature.

We can see that both effects are replacement effects:

614.1a Effects that use the word “instead” are replacement effects. Most replacement effects use the word “instead” to indicate what events will be replaced with other events.

And the rules for choosing which one comes first:

616.1. If two or more replacement and/or prevention effects are attempting to modify the way an event affects an object or player, the affected object’s controller (or its owner if it has no controller) or the affected player chooses one to apply, following the steps listed below. If two or more players have to make these choices at the same time, choices are made in APNAP order (see rule 101.4).

Once the first one of the replacement effects is considered; the other one will not do anything:

616.1e Once the chosen effect has been applied, this process is repeated (taking into account only replacement or prevention effects that would now be applicable) until there are no more left to apply.

You are correct that if Kess, Dissident Mage's replacement effect causes the card to go to Exile, then you will not be able to cast it as a creature later; because the ability to do that is part of the replacement effect on the Adventure itself:

715.3d Instead of putting a spell that was cast as an Adventure into its owner’s graveyard as it resolves, its controller exiles it. For as long as that card remains exiled, that player may cast it. It can’t be cast as an Adventure this way, although other effects that allow a player to cast it may allow a player to cast it as an Adventure.

  • I beg to differ because an adventurer card is a creature card in every zone except the stack, as well as while on the stack if not cast as an Adventure. You have to ignore its alternative characteristics in those cases. For example, while it's in your graveyard, Giant Killer is a white creature card whose converted mana cost is 1. It can't be the target of the triggered ability of Mystic Sanctuary.
    – Narmer
    Apr 23, 2020 at 13:51
  • @Narmer You might be right; trying to find the related questions that were asked about that recently.
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 23, 2020 at 13:54
  • 1
    My previous comment is not related to OP case. Since Kess allows you to cast the spell, rule 601.3e applies, allowing to consider Giant Killer as its alternative characteristics, i.e. Chop Down. Rule 715.4 still applies for Mystic Sanctuary, since you're not casting but changing the Instant zone.
    – Narmer
    Apr 23, 2020 at 14:21
  • @Narmer 715.4 isn't useless - it just doesn't apply in this situation - Kess/Malek changes where instants can be cast from, 715.4 prevents you from finding an adventure with something like Mystic Tutor. You'd also not be able to Snapcaster Mage an adventure card because of how 715.4 works. A way to think of it is you can't target the card as an instant/sorcery in deck or grave, but you can cast it as one if a non-targeting effect allows instants to be cast from those zones.
    – Andrew
    Apr 24, 2020 at 8:09

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