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Type: Static (1st ability)
Triggered (2nd ability)
Introduced: Torment
Last Used: Shadows over Innistrad
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: 22 cards
{B}59% {R}14% {U}9% {G}9% {W}9%
Gatherer search for "Madness"

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

History[edit | edit source]

Madness was introduced in the Odyssey block in Torment [1][2] and was later revisited in the Time Spiral block.

In Shadows over Innistrad block it was revisited again, but this came with a change in the rules. Prior to that, you could choose to discard the card normally to the graveyard. But with the rules change, the discarded card is always put temporarily into the exile zone.

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).

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Oath of the Gatewatch (January 16, 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 may exile 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.

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}
    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", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Paul Barclay. (January 28, 2002.) "Rules Primer:Madness", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.