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Keyword Ability
Type Static (1st ability)
Static (2nd ability)
Introduced Odyssey
Last Used Commander 2019
Reminder Text Flashback [cost] (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
Statistics 115 cards
{W} 14.8% {U} 20% {B} 16.5% {R} 27% {G} 20.9% {U/B} 0.9%
per Commander 2019
Scryfall Search

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

History[edit | edit source]

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] It also appeared in Modern Horizons[3] and Commander 2019.[4]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (February 5, 2021—Kaldheim)

A keyword ability that lets a player cast a card from their graveyard. See rule 702.33, “Flashback.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (February 5, 2021—Kaldheim)

  • 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 another that functions while the card is on the stack. “Flashback [cost]” means “You may cast this card from your graveyard if the resulting spell is an instant or sorcery spell 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 601.2f–h.

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • 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. Likewise, when an instant (with flashback) is sent to the graveyard, that player may cast it from the graveyard once more during their opponent's 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.

Examples[edit | edit source]


Ray of Revelation {1}{W}
Destroy target enchantment.
Flashback {G} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

Artifact that alters flashback costs[edit | edit source]

Cards that grant flashback[edit | edit source]


Notable cards with flashback and their applications[edit | edit source]

  • 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 opponent's 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.
  • 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.
  • Dread Return

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (December 12, 2011). "Flashback to the Future". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Zac Hill (December 16, 2011). "Bringing Flashback Back". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Matt Tabak (May 31, 2019). "Modern Horizons Mechanics". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Quinn Murphy (August 6, 2019). "Flashback to Business". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.