Splice

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Splice onto [quality]
Keyword Ability
Type Static
Introduced Champions of Kamigawa
Last Used Modern Horizons
Reminder Text Splice onto [quality] [cost] (As you cast a(n) [quality] spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card’s effects to that spell.)
Storm Scale 8[1]
Statistics 27 Splice onto Arcane cards
{W} 14.8% {U} 29.6% {B} 14.8% {R} 25.9% {G} 14.8%

2 Splice onto instant or sorcery cards
{W} 50% {U} 50%
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Splice onto [quality]"

Splice onto [quality] is a keyword ability that was introduced on certain arcane instants from the Kamigawa block that functions while the card is in your hand.[2] It allows a player to essentially add the rules text of the card to another arcane spell they are casting. Since the card with splice remains in the player’s hand, it can later be cast normally or spliced again onto another spell.

History[edit | edit source]

Splice onto Arcane[edit | edit source]

In the Kamigawa block, the splice mechanic was restricted to Arcane spells, a subtype of instants and sorceries ("splice onto Arcane"), but the rules leave the option for other variants of splice. Splice onto Arcane ended up being too parasitic (only allowing you to play with other cards from the same set) and never quite captured the feel R&D had been hoping for.[3][4] "Splice onto Arcane" is now considered to be the classic example of a parasitic mechanic,[5][6] though that is mostly caused by the "Arcane" part.[7][8]

In design, splice onto Arcane originally worked from the graveyard. Mark Rosewater designed it as "Piggyback": a flashback-like cost that let you graft a kicker effect onto another card.[2] In essence, it would be a portable kicker that lived in the graveyard. Once you cast it once, you could then add it onto other spells. The mechanic wasn't designed for a specific set, but was first considered for Fifth Dawn.[2] Late in design for Champions of Kamigawa, Rosewater realized that it should have been "splice onto instant" but it was too late for development to be able to properly playtest it.[9]

Splice onto instant or sorcery[edit | edit source]

For years, R&D talked about bringing back splice but on instants and/or sorceries. They talked about it for Return to Ravnica, but chose to only have new guild keywords, so it was off the table.[10] That restriction no longer applied for Guilds of Ravnica, so they decided to give splice onto instants and sorceries another try for the Izzet League.[3] In the end, it didn't live up to the hype they had been building up over the years, so they moved on to other options.

"Splice onto instant or sorcery" (As you cast an instant or sorcery spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card’s effects to that spell.) was finally introduced in Modern Horizons with Splicer's Skill and Everdream.[11]

Reminder text[edit | edit source]

The original rules only allowed Splice onto [subtype]. Note that instant and sorcery are types, not subtypes. After introducing Splice onto instant or sorcery, the rules had to be changed accordingly.

The old reminder text was: Splice onto [subtype] [cost] (As you cast an [subtype] spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)

The new reminder text is: Splice onto [quality] [cost] (You may reveal this card from your hand as you cast a [quality] spell. If you do, that spell gains the text of this card’s rules text and you pay [cost] as an additional cost to cast that spell.)

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (October 4, 2019—Throne of Eldraine)

Splice
A keyword ability that lets a player add a card’s rules text onto another spell. See rule 702.46, “Splice.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (October 4, 2019—Throne of Eldraine)

  • 702.46. Splice
    • 702.46a Splice is a static ability that functions while a card is in your hand. “Splice onto [quality] [cost]” means “You may reveal this card from your hand as you cast a [quality] spell. If you do, that spell gains the text of this card’s rules text and you pay [cost] as an additional cost to cast that spell.” Paying a card’s splice cost follows the rules for paying additional costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2f–h.

      Example: Since the card with splice remains in the player’s hand, it can later be cast normally or spliced onto another spell. It can even be discarded to pay a “discard a card” cost of the spell it’s spliced onto.

    • 702.46b You can’t choose to use a splice ability if you can’t make the required choices (targets, etc.) for that card’s rules text. You can’t splice any one card onto the same spell more than once. If you’re splicing more than one card onto a spell, reveal them all at once and choose the order in which their effects will happen. The effects of the main spell must happen first.
    • 702.46c The spell has the characteristics of the main spell, plus the rules text of each of the spliced cards. This is a text-changing effect (see rule 612, “Text-Changing Effects”). The spell doesn’t gain any other characteristics (name, mana cost, color, supertypes, card types, subtypes, etc.) of the spliced cards. Text gained by the spell that refers to a card by name refers to the spell on the stack, not the card from which the text was copied.

      Example: Glacial Ray is a red card with splice onto Arcane that reads, “Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to any target.” Suppose Glacial Ray is spliced onto Reach Through Mists, a blue spell. The spell is still blue, and Reach Through Mists deals the damage. This means that the ability can target a creature with protection from red and deal 2 damage to that creature.

    • 702.46d Choose targets for the added text normally (see rule 601.2c). Note that a spell with one or more targets won’t resolve if all of its targets are illegal on resolution.
    • 702.46e The spell loses any splice changes once it leaves the stack for any reason.

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • You must reveal all of the cards you intend to splice at the same time. Each individual card can only be spliced once onto a spell.
  • If you have more than one card with the same name in your hand, you may splice both of them onto the spell.
  • A card with a splice ability can't be spliced onto itself because the spell is on the stack (and not in your hand) when you reveal the cards you want to splice onto it.
  • The target for a card that's spliced onto a spell may be the same as the target chosen for the original spell or for another spliced-on card. (A recent change to the targeting rules allows this, but most other cards are unaffected by the change.)
  • If you splice a targeted card onto an untargeted spell, the entire spell will not be resolved if the target isn't legal when the spell resolves.
  • If you splice an untargeted card onto a targeted spell, the entire spell will not be resolved if the target isn't legal when the spell resolves.
  • A spell does nothing on resolution only if *all* of its targets are illegal (or the spell is countered by an effect).

Examples[edit | edit source]

Example 1

Glacial Ray {1}{R}
Instant — Arcane
Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to any target.
Splice onto Arcane {1}{R} (As you cast an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)

Example 2

Horobi's Whisper {1}{B}{B}
Instant — Arcane
If you control a Swamp, destroy target nonblack creature.
Splice onto Arcane — Exile four cards from your graveyard. (As you cast an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)

Example 3

Evermind
{CI_U} Instant — Arcane
Draw a card.
Splice onto Arcane {1}{U} (As you cast an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)

References[edit | edit source]