If I were to sacrifice Warden of Evos Isle as part of the Emerge cost of Wretched Gryff, would its cost be 1U?


Yes, it would cost 1U.

First, when casting a spell, you choose modes and cost. In this case, it's the alternative cost by casting it with Emerge (5U). But, since it's a spell with flying, that cost is reduced by {1} down to 4U.

Then, you pay the costs of the spell. The cost is set at 4U, so by sacrificing the Warden, you're left with 1U remaining to be paid.

The rules actually have an example in 601.2h:

Example: You cast Altar’s Reap, which costs {1}{B} and has an additional cost of sacrificing a creature. You sacrifice Thunderscape Familiar, whose effect makes your black spells cost {1} less to cast. Because a spell’s total cost is “locked in” before payments are actually made, you pay {B}, not {1}{B}, even though you’re sacrificing the Familiar.

This answer to a different question shows how you can set costs before actually paying.

  • This makes sense, I didn't think of costs being "locked in" before payments are made prior to seeing this. – MervYEEEEAOUGH Jun 16 at 19:09
  • @MervYEEEEAOUGH Yeah, there are a lot of things you "just do" when playing that are actually laid out in an orderly fashion. – JonTheMon Jun 16 at 19:15
  • There's a ruling on the Gatherer page for Wretched Gryff (I assume, all creatures with Emerge) that starts: "The creature chosen to be sacrificed is still on the battlefield up through the time that you activate mana abilities. Its abilities may affect the spell’s cost,..." (my emphasis) – Mycroft Jun 16 at 20:46
  • Did that mean that the cost reduction from the sacrificed creature technically happens before the creature is sacrificed? – Arcanist Lupus Jun 17 at 5:36
  • @ArcanistLupus Yes, since you calculate costs, then you pay them. – JonTheMon Jun 17 at 14:46

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