MTG Keywords Explained: Flashback

Card Kingdom Strategy

Time Spiral Remastered is coming out soon, and many longtime Magic players are having flashbacks to fifteen years ago.

Today, we’re talking about a Time Spiral block mechanic called… well, flashback!

What is Flashback?

Flashback is a graveyard mechanic that you’ll find on instant and sorcery cards. When a spell with flashback is in your graveyard, you may cast it from there by paying its flashback cost. This essentially gives you a second use out of your spells with flashback (assuming you cast it from your hand and didn’t put it in your graveyard through other means, like discarding or milling it).

Casting a card with flashback uses the same timing rules you would normally use for that card. So, if the card is a sorcery, you may only cast it for its flashback cost anytime you could normally cast a sorcery.

After you cast a spell by paying its flashback cost, it gets exiled rather than going back to the graveyard. That doesn’t change regardless of whether the spell resolves or gets countered.

Flashback has been printed in a number of sets, so chances are you’ve run into a few cards with this ability. You may also have seen cards like Snapcaster Mage, which allows an instant or sorcery spell in your graveyard to gain flashback for a turn.

Notes on Flashback

  • The spell’s total mana value is still its normal mana cost, not its flashback cost.
  • Any effects that increase or decrease the mana cost of a spell will also affect a spell’s flashback cost.