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Instant

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The Future Sight symbol for Instant cards.
Comprehensive Rules
Game Concepts
Parts of a Card
Card Types
300. General
301. Artifacts
302. Creatures
303. Enchantments
304. Instants
305. Lands
306. Planeswalkers
307. Sorceries
308. Tribals
309. Planes
310. Phenomena
311. Vanguards
312. Schemes
313. Conspiracies
Zones
Turn Structure
Spells, Abilities, and Effects
Additional Rules
Multiplayer Rules
Casual Variants

Instants, like sorceries, represent one-shot or short-term magical spells. [1] [2] [3] [4] They are never put into the in-play zone; instead, they take effect when their mana cost is paid and the spell resolves, and then are immediately put into the player's graveyard.

Sorceries and instants differ only in when they can be played. [5] Sorceries can only be played during the player's main phase, and only when nothing else is on the stack. Instants, on the other hand, can be played at any time, including during other player's turns and while another spell or ability is waiting to resolve.


From the Comprehensive Rules (Born of the Gods)

  • 304. Instants
    • 304.1. A player who has priority may cast an instant card from his or her hand. Casting an instant as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, "Casting Spells.")
    • 304.2. When an instant spell resolves, the actions stated in its rules text are followed. Then it's put into its owner's graveyard.
    • 304.3. Instant subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: "Instant — Arcane." Each word after the dash is a separate subtype. The set of instant subtypes is the same as the set of sorcery subtypes; these subtypes are called spell types. Instants may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3k for the complete list of spell types.
    • 304.4. Instants can't enter the battlefield. If an instant would enter the battlefield, it remains in its previous zone instead.
    • 304.5. If text states that a player may do something "any time he or she could cast an instant," it means only that the player must have priority. The player doesn't need to have an instant he or she could actually cast. Effects that would prevent that player from casting a spell or casting an instant don't affect the player's capability to perform that action (unless the action is actually casting a spell or casting an instant).

[edit] References

  1. Mark Rosewater. (June 23, 2003.) "Instant Winners", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (May 15, 2006.) "It’s About Time", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Ted Knutson. (July 15, 2006.) "Instant Gratification", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Ben Bleiweiss. (June 27, 2003.) "Best Instants of All Time", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Randy Buehler. (June 27, 2003.) "Instants and Sorceries", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
Card types
Groups Supertypes Card types Subtypes
Spell
(non-permanent)
Instant FUT Instant symbol.png Trap Arcane
Sorcery FUT Sorcery symbol.png
Permanent Basic,
Elite,
Legendary,
Snow,
World
Artifact FUT Artifact symbol.png Equipment, Fortification, Contraption
Creature FUT Creature symbol.png (…)
Enchantment FUT Enchantment symbol.png Aura, Curse, Shrine
Land FUT Land symbol.png (…)
Planeswalker FUT Planeswalker symbol.png (…)
Miscellaneous Tribal (…)
Plane (…)
Phenomenon
Ongoing Scheme
Vanguard
Conspiracy
Obsolete Mono,
Poly,
Continuous
Interrupt,
Mana Source,
Summon