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Joined: 8/19/2014

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Question Player casting a spell without paying its mana cost 3/23/2018 2:59:34 PM

Can a player ever cast a spell without paying its mana cost? An opponent told me that they can cast a spell first, without tapping their mana, so that if the target has hexproof or he has to rewind, or someone wants to counter it, his mana is then not tapped, and is available to use for other tricks. Is this true?


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Bug Hunter

Joined: 11/17/2004

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RE: Player casting a spell without paying its mana cost 3/23/2018 7:50:44 PM

No, that is not allowed. Step one of casting any spell is paying the appropriate costs; mana and otherwise. The only case where "rewinding" is permitted is when the play is deemed to be illegal; in which case, you only rewind to the point where the illegal action occurred and undo it.
my decks need attention


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Joined: 5/21/2004

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RE: Player casting a spell without paying its mana cost 3/24/2018 12:49:25 AM

Where the confusion may be (or intentional obfuscation) is that you don't need the mana in your mana pool when you start the process of casting a spell (601.2). That said, you can't cast the spell and fish for responses before you decide whether or not you'll pay the mana for it - you pay the costs when you cast it, not when it resolves. A few other notes:

- Only once all the steps to cast a spell are complete do other players get a chance to respond.
- Casting a spell targeting an opponent's creature that has hexproof or is otherwise an illegal target can't even be done, as part of casting a spell is choosing any necessary legal targets for it. This is a "rewindable" situation.
- A game-state can only be "rewound" if you illegally cast a spell, not if the targets become illegal afterwards.

I would be wary of anyone that repeatedly tries to cast spells illegally trying to bait out information about counterspells or other responses only to take it back with "Oh, I guess I actually can't cast that," or the like.
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