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Keyword Ability
Type Static (1st ability)
Triggered (2nd ability)
Introduced Lorwyn
Last Used Modern Horizons
Reminder Text Evoke [cost] (You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)
Statistics 21 cards
{W} 23.8% {U} 19% {B} 19% {R} 23.8% {G} 14.3%
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Evoke is a keyword ability that allows a player to pay an alternate cost for a creature spell that possesses this ability; however, if the evoke cost is paid, the creature is sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.

Description[edit | edit source]

Evoke was introduced in Lorwyn [1][2] and expanded upon in Morningtide.[3] All creatures in Lorwyn with evoke have a "enters the battlefield" ability.[4] The creatures with evoke in Morningtide all have "leaves the battlefield" effects.

Evoke is similar, but not identical, in concept to channel. Both are associated with powerful immortal creatures (elementals and spirits, respectively), but where channeling a spirit merely allows a planeswalker to tap into that spirit's power without actually summoning it, evoking an elemental actually brings the elemental into existence for a very brief time, whereupon its power is expended in a single moment.

Frank Karsten wrote of evoke:

“  Evoke is a new Lorwyn mechanic that represents an alternative cost. In short, it allows you to play the spell for its evoke cost rather than paying its mana cost, but if you do that, you have to sacrifice it when it comes into play. Now why would you do that? Each Lorwyn creature with evoke has a come-in-play ability. So evoke lets you pay a cheaper cost to just get the creature's comes-into-play ability. You can read the more detailed and more boring rules notes in the box.[4]  ”

In theory, the rules would allow Evoke to appear on other permanents than creatures.[5]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (November 20, 2020—Commander Legends)

A keyword ability that causes a permanent to be sacrificed when it enters the battlefield. See rule 702.73, “Evoke.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (November 20, 2020—Commander Legends)

  • 702.73. Evoke
    • 702.73a Evoke represents two abilities: a static ability that functions in any zone from which the card with evoke can be cast and a triggered ability that functions on the battlefield. “Evoke [cost]” means “You may cast this card by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost” and “When this permanent enters the battlefield, if its evoke cost was paid, its controller sacrifices it.” Casting a spell for its evoke cost follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2f–h.

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • Casting a creature by paying its evoke cost will result in two enters-the-battlefield abilities: The sacrifice ability from evoke, and whatever other ability the creature has. The creature's controller chooses in what order to put them on the stack. Both abilities can be responded to as normal.
  • Evoke doesn't change the timing of when you can cast the creature that has it. If you could cast that creature spell only when you could cast a sorcery, the same is true for casting it with evoke.
  • If a creature spell cast with evoke changes controllers before it enters the battlefield, it will still be sacrificed when it enters the battlefield. Similarly, if a creature cast with evoke changes controllers after it enters the battlefield but before its sacrifice ability resolves, it will still be sacrificed.
  • When you cast a spell by paying its evoke cost, its mana cost doesn't change. You just pay the evoke cost instead.
  • Effects that cause you to pay more or less for a spell will cause you to pay that much more or less while casting it for its evoke cost, too. That's because they affect the total cost of the spell, not its mana cost.
  • Whether evoke's sacrifice ability triggers when the creature enters the battlefield depends on whether the spell's controller chose to pay the evoke cost, not whether they actually paid it (if it was reduced or otherwise altered by another ability, for example).
  • If you're casting a spell "without paying its mana cost," you can't use its evoke ability.

Examples[edit | edit source]


Wispmare {2}{W}
Creature — Elemental
When Wispmare enters the battlefield, destroy target enchantment.
Evoke {W} (You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (October 1, 2007). "And the Rest". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (October 08, 2007). "Before and After". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (January 14, 2008). "But Wait, There's More". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Frank Karsten (September 19, 2007). "Threshers and Blades". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (November 26, 2019). "Is Evoke specifically a creature mechanic?". Blogatog. Tumblr.