One of the new Kaldheim cards, Blessing of Frost, has the text:

Distribute X +1/+1 counters among any number of creatures you control, where X is the amount of {S} spent to cast this spell. Then draw a card for each creature you control with power 4 or greater.

and a ruling of:

If Blessing of Frost is copied, no mana was spent to cast the copy, so no +1/+1 counters will be distributed. You may still draw cards if your creatures are large enough.

But rule 706.10 says:

A copy of a spell or ability copies both the characteristics of the spell or ability and all decisions made for it, including modes, targets, the value of X, and additional or alternative costs. ... If an effect of the copy refers to objects used to pay its costs, it uses the objects used to pay the costs of the original spell or ability.

So why doesn't the snow mana of the original spell count for the copied spell?

(I know the spell and the rules both refer to X, but I'm not concerned about the X of the rules, mostly why the cost of the original spell can't be considered for the resolution of the copied spell)

3 Answers 3


When they say "the value of X" in rule 706.10, they mean specifically the value of a mana cost of X, the way it appears in, say, Hurricane. This X is an inherent part of a spell on the stack; as you cast a spell with X in its mana cost, you choose X at the same time you would for instance choose to pay for kickers and other alternate / optional additional costs, and the X is included in the converted mana cost as long as the spell is on the stack. As such, that value will be copied if the spell is copied.

However, the X in your Blessing is just another way of writing "Distribute a number of +1/+1 counters among creatures you control, equal to the amount of snow mana used to pay for this particular spell." And if you copy a Blessing, no snow mana was used to pay for the copied spell. That X isn't part of the spell itself. It is only part of the effect that happens when the spell resolves.

  • 1
    You know, I totally didn't connect that X was being used twice. Once as the snow value, and once as a variable casting cost. It's not the X that I'm confused about, but rather that the originally spent mana isn't copied over.
    – JonTheMon
    Jan 29, 2021 at 22:33
  • @JonTheMon As the Gatherer rulings say, when the copy resolves, and asks itself "How much snow mana was paid to cast me?", the answer is 0.
    – Arthur
    Jan 29, 2021 at 23:38
  • 3
    @JonTheMon It's because "mana spent to cast the spell" isn't in the list of things that get copied in rule 706.10. Note that it doesn't count as "objects used to pay its costs", because mana is not an object. That refers to things like tapping or sacrificing a permanent to pay a cost.
    – murgatroid99
    Jan 30, 2021 at 0:59

Rule 706.10 'X' refers to an 'X' in the casting cost of the spell. There is no 'X' in the casting cost of Blessing of Frost; it's only part of the resolution. Therefore, you may not distribute any +1/+1 counters. One way to see this is that you can only copy Blessing of Frost while it's still on the stack; the 'X' hasn't come into the equation yet.

  • On resolution of the copy, why doesn't it remember the mana spent on the original?
    – JonTheMon
    Jan 29, 2021 at 22:39
  • 1
    I have no idea, perhaps just a case of rules being rules.
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 30, 2021 at 9:16
  • @JonTheMon Nothing asks about the mana spent on the original; the copy asks how much was spent casting the copy (this spell). It doesn't matter if it "remembers" how much was spent casting some other spell (e.g. the original).
    – ikegami
    Feb 4, 2021 at 10:34

Assuming your confusion stems from this passage:

If an effect of the copy refers to objects used to pay its costs, it uses the objects used to pay the costs of the original spell or ability.

This rule does not apply to mana spent on the original spell, as mana is not an object. (Rule 109.1: "An object is an ability on the stack, a card, a copy of a card, a token, a spell, a permanent, or an emblem.") This passage instead refers to things like creatures sacrificed as part of the casting cost for the original spell; without this rule, their last known information would be unavailable to spell copies.

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