Card of the month – As Foretold

Written by Vuk Gavrilovic
Level 2, Italy

Written by Vuk Gavrilovic
Level 2, Italy

This enchantment from Amonkhet allows us to do something that players usually like a lot: cast spells without spending mana. There are diverse cards and abilities that let us do that, like Cascade or the recent Expertises, and Torrential Gearhulk.

As Foretold, despite its effect isn’t really new (check: Fist of Suns and Omniscience), has some peculiarities that earn it the honor to be the first card of the month from the Amonkhet block.

As Foretold has two abilities, a triggered and a static one.

The triggered ability let us put time counters on the card. It has to be mentioned that such counters are identical to the ones from the Time Spiral block, and cards like Fury Charm or Dust of Moments can interact with them.

The second ability is much more interesting. It lets us cast spells with converted mana cost equal or lower to the quantity of counters, paying {0} instead than paying its mana cost. But let’s proceed with order.

We are talking about an ability that gives us the possibility to pay an alternative cost, rather than the mana cost of the card we are going to play. The total cost of a spell it’s determined by its mana cost, plus additional costs (e.g., Sphere of Resistance ), minus cost reductions (e.g., Goblin Electromancer). As Foretold, therefore, replaces the original mana cost of the spell (but not its CMC) with an alternative one of {0}. We need to add any additional costs and subtract any cost reductions.

It is good to underline that As Foretold’s effect does not change the timing nor the zone from where we can cast a spell. We will follow the normal game rules and turn timing to play our spells, the enchantment’s support only occurs when costs have to be paid. We can’t, therefore, use its effect to cast a sorcery during our opponent’s turn, but we can if we want to cast an instant.

Let’s have a look at some practical interactions to understand how this works.

Alternative costs

Seen that it’s an alternative method to pay the mana cost, we won’t be able to apply any other alternative costs, nor alternative casting methods. While we are casting a card, we will choose one, and only one, of the possible casting or paying methods to cast that spell.

If we choose an alternative method different from As Foretold’s one, we will have to pay its corresponding cost. If we choose to use As Foretold’s alternative cost, we will not be able to apply any other one.

We can’t, thus, cast Mulldrifter with Evoke and pay {0}.

We can’t play a face down Morphed card paying {0}.

We can’t cast a spell with Flashback from our graveyard and pay {0} (we will need to pay its Flashback cost).

It is worthy to mention Jace, Telepath Unbound‘s second ability appears similar to Flashback, but is very different. Jace lets us cast a card from our graveyard: it changes only from “where” we are able to cast it but does not represent in any form an alternative casting method – therefore, unlike Flashback, it works well with As Foretold and we will be able to choose to pay {0}  for the card targeted with Jace’s ability.

Additional costs

Mandatory additional costs will have to be paid, and optional ones only if we want. None of the two gets “discounted” by As Foretold. A “mana cost” and an “alternative cost” are two different things (even though this last one requires mana). Our enchantment will replace only the mana cost and has no impact on alternative costs.

To cast a Lightning Axe, therefore, we will need to pay the additional cost spending {5} mana or discarding a card. As Foretold saves us only the {R} of the mana cost.

While Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is in play, we will need to pay the extra {1}, in addition to the {0} of the enchantment.

If we want to pay optional additional costs (like Kicker, Multikicker or Buyback) we’ll have to pay them in addition to the {0}.

If we want our Burst Lightning to deal 4 damage, we’ll need to pay the extra {4} of the Kicker cost.

An Everflowing Chalice already costs {0}, therefore it is not needed to pay its cost with As Foretold because it won’t reduce the Multikicker, that we’ll have to pay with mana.

These increases (or possible reductions) of a spell’s casting cost do not impact on the converted mana cost of the spell. They are not relevant to determine if we are able to cast the spell with As Foretold. To determine this we only look to the printed mana cost on the upper right corner of the card and ignore effects like Thalia’s one or other additional costs.

Split cards and cards with Aftermath

Q: I control As Foretold with 3 time counters. In hand I have Boom // Bust and no available mana. Can I cast one of the two splits using As Foretold?

A: You can only cast the split with the cost equal or lower of the time counters on the enchantment. Therefore you can cast Boom but not Bust.

Although Boom//Bust converted mana cost while in hand is 8, and we only have 3 time counters, at this moment As Foretold doesn’t care. The effect cares about the converted mana cost of the card only when you need to pay the costs, not when you start casting it.

Following the casting process of a spell, first of all, we put the spell on the stack, where only one half of the card will exist. When we’ll have to pay the costs we’ll verify the converted mana cost of the card and the possibility to cast it with As Foretold.

In our case, if we put Boom (cmc=2) on the stack, we can pay {0}, instead if we put Bust (cmc=6), we will not be able to apply the enchantment’s effect that only has 3 time counters.

With cards that have Aftermath, a similar thing happens. They work almost like normal split cards, but we’ll have to consider the zone from where we are allowed to cast them and that As Foretold does not affect in any manner.

Let’s take as an example Onward // Victory: we can cast Onward from our hand or Victory if it’s in our graveyard. Once this is determined and the appropriate spell is put on the stack, we evaluate if we want to apply As Foretold’s effect, as said above.

Cards with X in their casting cost

Q: I have Blaze in my hand and As Foretold with 4 time counters. Can I cast Blaze and deal 3 damage?

A: No, you can cast it only to deal 0 damage.

In the case of cards with {X}  in their mana cost (where X isn’t defined by the text of the card), the only legal choice for X is 0, in this case.

Even though the converted mana cost of Blaze on the stack is 4 (if we want to deal 3 damage, X=3) and would satisfy the condition to apply As Foretold, we can’t do it because the rules forbid it.

The same principle is valid for cards like Chalice of the Void. If we want it to enter the battlefield with some counters, we’ll need to pay mana.

Cards with no cost

Q: Can I cast Ancestral Vision from my hand if I have As Foretold with 0 counters?

R: Yes.

Some cards, like Ancestral Vision and Living End, have no mana cost. This usually prevents us from casting them from our hand, because we don’t have the possibility to pay a cost that doesn’t exist. As Foretold, gives us the chance to pay {0}, so we will be able to cast them from our hand.

Obviously, these cards have a converted mana cost of 0 and can be cast using As Foretold with no counters on it.

Several times 0

As Foretold’s effect has another restriction other than the converted mana cost linked to the number of counters: its effect can be used once each turn.

During our turn, we can use it only once, whenever we want. We can then use it again, only one time, during our opponent’s turn.

The effect, moreover, gets “reset” if the enchantment leaves the battlefield to come back. “Blinking” it with a Felidar Guardian, allows us to use it again (keeping in mind that it will have 0 counters).

In conclusion, if we have more than one As Foretold on the battlefield, we will be able to cast a spell for each of them (considering the number of counters that they have respectively).

This is all for As Foretold. See you next month with a new Card of the Month!


Fabio Pierucci

Fabio Pierucci

Aruna Prem Bianzino

Aruna Prem Bianzino

Brook Gardner-Durbin
Translation reviewer

Brook Gardner-Durbin
Translation reviewer