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Type: Static
Introduced: Odyssey
Last Used: Dark Ascension
Reminder Text: You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.
Statistics: 113 cards
Manar.gif26% Manag.gif21% Manau.gif19% Manab.gif17% Manaw.gif14%
Artifact 2%, Multicolor 1%
Gatherer search for "Flashback"

Flashback is a keyword ability on instants and sorceries that allows the player to pay an alternate cost to play the spell directly from his or her graveyard. The spell card is exiled when the spell leaves the stack. Flashback's equivalent for permanents is unearth.

The first tournament-legal cards with flashback were printed in Odyssey block, but the mechanic returned in both the Time Spiral block and the Innistrad block.[1][2]

Comprehensive Rules[edit]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Khans of Tarkir)

  • 702.33. Flashback
    • 702.33a Flashback appears on some instants and sorceries. It represents two static abilities: one that functions while the card is in a player's graveyard and the other that functions while the card is on the stack. "Flashback [cost]" means "You may cast this card from your graveyard by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost" and "If the flashback cost was paid, exile this card instead of putting it anywhere else any time it would leave the stack." Casting a spell using its flashback ability follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e-g.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Khans of Tarkir)

  • 601.2b If the spell is modal the player announces the mode choice (see rule 700.2). If the player wishes to splice any cards onto the spell (see rule 702.46), he or she reveals those cards in his or her hand. If the spell has alternative or additional costs that will be paid as it's being cast such as buyback or kicker costs (see rules 117.8 and 117.9), the player announces his or her intentions to pay any or all of those costs (see rule 601.2e). A player can't apply two alternative methods of casting or two alternative costs to a single spell. If the spell has a variable cost that will be paid as it's being cast (such as an Manax.gif in its mana cost; see rule 107.3), the player announces the value of that variable. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes hybrid mana symbols, the player announces the nonhybrid equivalent cost he or she intends to pay. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes Phyrexian mana symbols, the player announces whether he or she intends to pay 2 life or the corresponding colored mana cost for each of those symbols. Previously made choices (such as choosing to cast a spell with flashback from a graveyard or choosing to cast a creature with morph face down) may restrict the player's options when making these choices.
  • 601.2e The player determines the total cost of the spell. Usually this is just the mana cost. Some spells have additional or alternative costs. Some effects may increase or reduce the cost to pay, or may provide other alternative costs. Costs may include paying mana, tapping permanents, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. The total cost is the mana cost or alternative cost (as determined in rule 601.2b), plus all additional costs and cost increases, and minus all cost reductions. If the mana component of the total cost is reduced to nothing by cost reduction effects, it is considered to be Mana0.gif. It can't be reduced to less than Mana0.gif. Once the total cost is determined, any effects that directly affect the total cost are applied. Then the resulting total cost becomes "locked in." If effects would change the total cost after this time, they have no effect.
  • 601.2f If the total cost includes a mana payment, the player then has a chance to activate mana abilities (see rule 605, "Mana Abilities"). Mana abilities must be activated before costs are paid.
  • 601.2g The player pays the total cost in any order. Partial payments are not allowed. Unpayable costs can't be paid.
    Example: You cast Altar's Reap, which costs Mana1.gifManab.gif and has an additional cost of sacrificing a creature. You sacrifice Thunderscape Familiar, whose effect makes your black spells cost Mana1.gif less to cast. Because a spell's total cost is "locked in" before payments are actually made, you pay Manab.gif, not Mana1.gifManab.gif, even though you're sacrificing the Familiar.


  • You must still follow any timing restrictions, including those based on the card's type. You can only cast a sorcery using flashback when you could normally cast a sorcery. Also visa versa when an instant (with flashback) is sent to the graveyard that player may cast it from the graveyard once more during their opponents turn.
  • Casting a spell using flashback doesn't change the mana cost (or converted mana cost) of the spell. You just pay the flashback cost instead.
  • Effects that cause you to pay more or less when casting a spell will also affect what you pay when casting the spell using flashback.
  • A spell cast using flashback will always be exiled afterward, whether it resolves, it's countered, or it leaves the stack in some other way.


  • Ray of Revelation - Mana1.gifManaw.gif
    Destroy target enchantment.
    Flashback Manag.gif (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

Artifact that alters Flashback costs[edit]

Cards that grant Flashback[edit]



Plane card that grants Flashback[edit]

  • Otaria (instant and sorcery cards in graveyards)

Notable cards with Flashback and their applications[edit]

  1. Cabal Therapy has been (understandably) referred to as the "greatest discard spell ever printed." In the hands of a skilled player, it has the ability to strip an opponents hands of relevant cards while still being able to view the rest of their hand. The flashback cost can also be a boon in the correct deck, thus making Cabal Therapy a threat most decks do not wish to see.
  2. Call of the Herd was a tournament staple from the very onset. Offering a reasonably costed 3/3 token the first time it is cast, the card advantage from flashing back the card is still very powerful. It also allowed many beatdown decks of the era to recover after a Wrath of God or other global removal. It was used in extended Rock.
  3. Dread Return


  1. Mark Rosewater. (December 12, 2011.) "Flashback to the Future", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Zac Hill. (December 16, 2011.) "Bringing Flashback Back", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit]