Madness

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Madness
Type: Static (1st ability)
Triggered (2nd ability)
Introduced: Torment
Last Used: Eldritch Moon
Reminder Text: Madness (cost) (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)
Statistics: 40 cards
{B}50% {R}25% {U}15% {G}5% {W}5%
Gatherer search for "Madness"

Madness is a keyword ability on spells that allows a player to cast that spell for an alternate cost if the card is discarded. It is primarily found in black.

History[edit | edit source]

Madness was introduced in the Odyssey block in Torment[1][2], and has been reprinted in Time Spiral block[3] and Shadows over Innistrad.[4] In the latter set, it is tied to the Vampire tribe.

Torment's madness cards inspired a deck known as "Wild Mongrel", or "UG Madness", which, using the signature card Wild Mongrel, enabled instant-speed discard, allowing cards with Madness to be played at instant-speed. Wild Mongrel also enabled other abilities such as flashback and the seven-card Incarnations (Anger, Brawn, Filth, Genesis, Glory, Valor, and Wonder).

Each reprinting of the mechanic has brought minor updates to the rules for the keyword. The Time Spiral update was part of a sweeping cleanup to the formatting of the Comprehensive Rules, and did not change the gameplay of the ability.[5]

However, the Shadows over Innistrad update did subtly alter the process of discarding a card with madness. Previously, a player discarding a card with madness made two choices. First, that player could choose to discard the card into exile rather than the graveyard. Then, if the card was discarded into exile, that player could choose to cast the spell immediately for its madness cost, or to let the card continue to the graveyard as usual. The first part of this process is no longer optional: a card with madness is always discarded into exile, after which the player can choose whether to cast it, or let it continue to the graveyard.[6][7] The mechanic also featured in the follow up set Eldritch Moon. [8]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Conspiracy: Take the Crown (August 26, 2016))

702.34. Madness

  • 702.34a Madness is a keyword that represents two abilities. The first is a static ability that functions while the card with madness is in a player’s hand. The second is a triggered ability that functions when the first ability is applied. “Madness [cost]” means “If a player would discard this card, that player discards it, but exiles it instead of putting it into his or her graveyard” and “When this card is exiled this way, its owner may cast it by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost. If that player doesn’t, he or she puts this card into his or her graveyard.”
  • 702.34b Casting a spell using its madness ability follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2f–h.
From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Conspiracy: Take the Crown (August 26, 2016))
Madness
A keyword ability that lets a player cast a card he or she discards. See rule 702.34, “Madness.”

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • When you discard a card with madness, you discard it but the card goes into the exile zone instead of the graveyard. Then, you may cast it, or you may put it into your graveyard. Casting a card with madness is just like casting an instant from your hand, except you pay the spell's madness cost instead of its mana cost. It goes on the stack like any other spell and it can be countered like any other spell.
  • When you cast a card with madness, it still counts as being discarded, but it doesn't actually get to your graveyard before you cast it. That means your opponent can't exile it "in response" to stop you from playing the spell. Abilities that trigger on a card being discarded, however, will still trigger.
  • When you cast a spell by paying its madness cost, its mana cost doesn't change. You just pay the madness cost instead.
  • Effects that cause you to pay more or less for a spell will cause you to pay that much more or less for its madness cost, too. That's because they affect the total cost of the spell, not its mana cost.
  • Madness works no matter why you're discarding the card. You could discard to pay a cost, because a spell or ability tells you to, or even because you have too many cards in your hand at the end of your turn. You can't discard a card with madness just because you want to, though.
  • If you choose not to cast a card with madness when the madness triggered ability resolves, it goes to your graveyard. You don't get another chance to cast it.

Example[edit | edit source]

  • Psychotic Haze - {2}{B}{B}
    Instant
    Psychotic Haze deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.
    Madness {1}{B} (If you discard this card, you may cast it for its madness cost instead of putting it into your graveyard.)

Notable cards with madness[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mike Elliott. (January 21, 2002.) “Initial Stages of Madness”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Paul Barclay. (January 28, 2002.) “Rules Primer:Madness”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Aaron Forsythe. (October 2, 2006.) “Piecing Together the Timeshifted Mosaic”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Sam Stoddard. (April 1, 2016.) “A Fond Memory of Madness”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. "Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules Changes - Coldsnap to Time Spiral". Yawgatog. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  6. Matt Tabak. (March 7, 2016.) “Shadows over Innistrad Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (March 14, 2016 .) “Chasing Shadows, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Matt Tabak. (June 27, 2016.) “Eldritch Moon Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External link[edit | edit source]