Alternative cost

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An alternative cost (alternate cost, alternate playing cost, or APC) is another way to pay for a spell besides its normal mana cost. Cards with alternative costs were first introduced in Alliances, with the pitch spells.[1]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Ravnica Allegiance (January 25, 2019))

Alternative Cost
A cost a spell may have that its controller can pay rather than paying its mana cost. See rule 117, "Costs," and rule 601, "Casting Spells."

From the Comprehensive Rules (Ravnica Allegiance (January 25, 2019))

  • 117.9. Some spells have alternative costs. An alternative cost is a cost listed in a spell's text, or applied to it from another effect, that its controller may pay rather than paying the spell's mana cost. Alternative costs are usually phrased, "You may [action] rather than pay [this object's] mana cost," or "You may cast [this object] without paying its mana cost." Note that some alternative costs are listed in keywords; see rule 702.
    • 117.9a Only one alternative cost can be applied to any one spell as it's being cast. The controller of the spell announces their intentions to pay that cost as described in rule 601.2b.
    • 117.9b Alternative costs are always optional.
    • 117.9c An alternative cost doesn't change a spell's mana cost, only what its controller has to pay to cast it. Spells and abilities that ask for that spell's mana cost still see the original value.
    • 117.9d If an alternative cost is being paid to cast a spell, any additional costs, cost increases, and cost reductions that affect that spell are applied to that alternative cost. (See rule 601.2f.)

Types of alternative costs[edit | edit source]

Below are all of the possible costs one can spend in order to lessen or supplant a card's mana cost:[2]

Alternative Cost Keywords[edit | edit source]

This is a list of alternative costs that are common enough to exist as keywords:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (August 19, 2002). "Free Play. The design of APC cards". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (July 21, 2014). "At All Costs". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.