Why is it a MAJOR misconception to pay then announce the spell?

Asked by gary1976us 6 years ago

I was just curious why it's considered a MAJOR misconception when someone thinks they're supposed to pay before announcing the spell? For instance, I announce that I'm going to Tinker an artifact and the opponent Counterspell 's it. I still have to sacrifice the artifact and pay the casting cost of Tinker. It would be the same if I paid first or after I stacked it. Why is it considered a major misconception?

Boza says... Accepted answer #1

Well, this is not really a rules question, but here it goes:

The last step of actually casting a spell and starting the next round of priority is the payment of all costs. All costs must be paid before an opponent has a chance to respond to your spell, including additional ones like sacrificing a permanent.

Knowing that Tinker will be countered before you pay the costs can alter your decision on what to sacrifice. Alternatively, a knowledgeable and wise opponent will respond to "I am casting Tinker, does it resolve?" with "Ok, what are you sacrificing?". Things like that can alter decisions.

July 23, 2014 9 a.m.

nobu_the_bard says... #2

Note that you can't sacrifice an artifact and add that to your mana pool the way you can tap an Island and add U to your mana pool. Just wanted to mention it.

July 23, 2014 9:08 a.m.

gary1976us says... #3

Ok so it can alter decisions. That's all I was wondering because the only example of where it would make a huge difference (to me) is where someone paid a green to cast Lightning Bolt (which never happens) then they "technically" wouldn't be able to untap that land if they paid first .(I would still let them but some ppl wouldn't). @nobu_the_bard : yeah I'm not a complete newb lol. I was just wondering because in most circumstances it doesn't really make a difference except that it separates the technically sound players from the not so technically sound (which, of course could be the difference in winning or losing a match).

July 23, 2014 9:23 a.m.

KrosanTusker says... #4

Also for Lion's Eye Diamond (and cards like it, if there are any others): you can announce the spell, then discard your hand (not including that spell) for the mana to pay for it.

July 23, 2014 9:47 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #5

Most of the time it doesn't make any difference, except for very technical plays. Sometimes it's just easier to tap lands first because it means you don't have to put down and pick back up either the spell or the rest of your hand while casting something.

@KrosanTusker: The "activate this ability only any time you can cast an instant" errata in the current Oracle text for Lion's Eye Diamond doesn't allow you to activate it during the mana-ability step of the casting process. There was a time when that trick worked, but the loophole was closed by the errata many years ago.

July 23, 2014 10:18 a.m.

KrosanTusker says... #6

Oh. That's a shame. It was a cool trick.

July 23, 2014 10:19 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #7

Some decks with LED do something that looks kind of similar: cast Infernal Tutor (paying the cost some other way), then respond with LED so that when the Tutor resolves you can get any card and pay for it with the LED mana you made.

July 23, 2014 10:22 a.m.

This discussion has been closed