How Splice Works

Welcome back to the Week of Modern here at the Rules Tips Blog! Today we’re going over a core card in another deck archetype- Grishoalbrand. More specifically, we’re looking at Goryo’s Vengeance and Nourishing Shoal and how the Splice mechanic works. Splice was a mechanic introduced in the Kamigawa block about 11 years ago, and it lets you sort of build your own spell! Both Goryo’s Vengeance and Nourishing Shoal have the subtype “arcane”, which is good because Splice cares about subtypes (technically it only cares about Arcane right now, since the only Splice cards that exist are Splice onto Arcane). So how does that WORK? Pretty easily- any time you’re casting an Arcane spell, you can add effects onto it from the cards in your hand that have Splice Onto Arcane. As you’re casting an Arcane spell (Nourishing Shoal in this case), you may reveal as many cards with Splice onto Arcane as you want. You’ll add the full rules text of each card you reveal onto the ‘base’ spell, and have to pay an extra cost when you get to paying for the spell- in this case, 2B for Goryo’s Vengeance, since that’s the Splice cost. Effectively this lets you get multiple uses out of your spells- you can cast a Shoal and splice Vengeance onto it, then cast Vengeance itself the next turn if you want!

A few of the finer details on Splice: you can’t splice the same card onto a spell more than once, but you can splice multiple copies of it (if you had a single Glacial Ray in hand, you could only splice it onto Shoal once; if you had three, you could splice all three, assuming you can pay the costs). The text is the ONLY thing added to the base spell- you won’t transfer over color, mana cost, name, types or subtypes, etc; what this means is you could splice Glacial Ray onto a non-red Arcane spell to tag a creature with pro-red! You always carry out the ‘base’ spell’s instructions first, and then decide the order of the spliced spells effects; if you cast Shoal and splice on a Glacial Ray and a Goryo’s Vengeance, you’ll always gain life first, but you decide as you’re casting the spell whether you want to do damage before or after bringing back the creature. Finally, Splicing is an ADDITIONAL cost- even if you’re paying an ALTERNATE cost for the base spell (for example, exiling a green card for Nourishing Shoal rather than paying the mana cost), you do still have to pay for Splice. You’re not gonna get a free 10 life AND a free Griselbrand just by pitching a Progenitus!

Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez

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