Surge – MTG Mechanics Explained

Card KingdomStrategy

Surge can appear on any non-land card, and represents an alternate casting cost that you can use if you or a teammate has already cast a spell that turn – the spell is cheaper if you’ve already cast something else. As you may be able to tell from the word teammate there, this is a mechanic that can function quite fine in regular Magic, but is designed with Two-Headed Giant in mind. That’s largely it, but a few notes:

  • While all Surge cards have the alternate cost letting you cast the card at a discount, some cards have additional abilities that occur only when they cast for their Surge cost.
  • The spell cast before a Surged card only needs to have been cast, it doesn’t need to have successfully or fully resolved.
  • If you copy a Surged spell on the stack, the copy will also be treated as if it was cast for its Surge cost.
  • Casting a spell for its alternate cost does not change its total mana value.

While not an out-of-the-park home run, Surge was liked well enough by players when it debuted. It’s flexible and easy enough to understand that it’s quite likely to see a comeback or two, it’s simply a matter of when.

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