If I discard Avacyn's Judgment, can I choose to cast it with madness with X = 0? My goal is to be able to cast it just to increase my storm count; I expect the spell itself to do nothing in this case. Is this possible?

  • 0 is always a valid choice for X, unless the effect forbids it, like some cards time spiral block
    – Neil Meyer
    Dec 22 '20 at 9:33

Yes, you can generally choose any value for X, including zero. Exceptions apply, though not in this case.

There are cards where you can't choose X to be zero, or where X is already defined. Those will always be noted on the card itself. Otherwise, you're free to choose any value zero or greater for X.

107.3a If a spell or activated ability has a mana cost, alternative cost, additional cost, and/or activation cost with an {X}, [-X], or X in it, and the value of X isn’t defined by the text of that spell or ability, the controller of that spell or ability chooses and announces the value of X as part of casting the spell or activating the ability

If you cast a spell "without paying its mana cost", X must be zero.

107.3b If a player is casting a spell that has an {X} in its mana cost, the value of X isn’t defined by the text of that spell, and an effect lets that player cast that spell while paying neither its mana cost nor an alternative cost that includes X, then the only legal choice for X is 0. [..]

  • And in my case, how many targets can I choose? Can I choose zero targets? Can I choose as many targets as possible, even though nothing will happen?
    – Pedro A
    Dec 22 '20 at 5:48
  • You can choose any number of targets, regardless of your choice of X.
    – Hackworth
    Dec 22 '20 at 6:50
  • 2
    What about 601.2d? Dec 22 '20 at 7:13
  • 4
    @PedroA You have to choose no targets, as per 601.2d: "If the spell requires the player to divide or distribute an effect (such as damage or counters) among one or more targets, the player announces the division. Each of these targets must receive at least one of whatever is being divided." Also, Conflagrate (a card with a very similar effect) includes the ruling "If X is 0, Conflagrate has no targets and deals no damage" on Gatherer.
    – Arthur
    Dec 22 '20 at 8:25
  • 1
    Thank you!! @Hackworth could you add this info about the targets into your answer?
    – Pedro A
    Dec 22 '20 at 15:44

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