What IS Bargain?!

Bargain – MTG Mechanics Explained

Card KingdomStrategy

A cousin to mechanics like Offering, Casualty, Devour, and Exploit, Bargain is an additional cost that could theoretically be attached to any nonland card type. As you cast a card with Bargain, you may sacrifice an artifact, enchantment, or token, and if you do…something extra will happen, but that is exactly is going to depend on the card.

That’s the basic idea, but there’s a bit more that goes into it:

  • Sometimes Bargain works as a straight discount to a spell, and to make that work in the rules, you have to choose whether or not to Bargain as you’re casting the spell.
  • On creatures, Bargain often functions as an additional enters-the-battlefield effect. If you don’t pay the additional cost, the creature will simply enter the battlefield and the additional effect won’t trigger.
  • On instants and sorceries, look for the word “instead.” if that word is there, it replaces whatever effect it’s attached to, but pay attention to where it appears – line breaks mean an entriely new effect is happening, that the “instead” might not apply to.
  • The token you can sacrifice can be literally anything, as long as it’s a token. Creature, artifact, enchantment, land, Planeswalker – as long as it’s a token, you can sacrifice it here.

Bargain is a fairly flexible mechanic, and enhancing the effects of your spells is usually a pretty popular thing for a mechanic to be doing. The name is tied to the fae of Eldraine, but fairies can exist in many places, and so could Bargain.

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