MTG Keywords Explained: Splice

Card Kingdom Strategy

Once more through the breach! We’re continuing our journey through Kamigawa block’s mechanics, this time with one of the most complex.

What is Splice?

Splice appears on instant and sorcery cards, and it allows you to pay a little extra to add more effects to your spells. Sounds like kicker, right? Well, this mechanic is way more complicated rules-wise, although not so much in practice.

Splice will always be written as “Splice onto ____”. Currently, there are only two types of spells you can splice onto: arcane spells, and instants and sorceries.

You’re probably familiar with instants and sorceries, but what’s arcane?

Arcane is a subtype that appears on instants and sorceries from the Kamigawa block. As you cast a spell with arcane, you may reveal any cards you wish to splice onto it from your hand, paying their splice costs in addition to the cost of the original spell. If you do this, you’ll get the effect of the spliced cards when the original spell resolves. All of this is done as you cast the spell; after you’re done splicing, your opponent will have an opportunity to counter your spell and all the effects you spliced onto it. Regardless of whether the spell resolves or not, the spliced cards remain in your hand, to be cast or spliced again later.

A few more notes on how splice works:

  • Each individual card can only be spliced onto a given spell once.
  • You can’t pay the splice cost multiple times to get more of the same effect — although, if you have more than one of the same splice card in your hand, you can splice all of them onto the same spell.
  • You can choose different targets from the original spell for the spliced effects, but if all the targets for the spell are illegal when the spell goes to resolve, all of it gets countered.
  • You can’t splice a card onto itself as you cast it. It’s on the stack and not in your hand at that point.

Most importantly, you don’t have to splice a spell if you don’t want to. In fact, some of the most powerful cards with “splice onto arcane” are still playable on their own.

Splice is a mechanic that allows you to cast some truly ridiculous spells, if you have the resources to make it work. Check out all the cards with splice here!