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Keyword Ability
Type Static (1st ability)
Triggered (2nd ability)
Introduced Torment
Last used Modern Horizons 3
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.)
Storm Scale 8[1]
61 cards
{W} 3.3% {U} 11.5% {B} 47.5% {R} 31.1% {G} 3.3% {B/R} 3.3%
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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 primary in black and red, secondary in blue, and tertiary in white and green.[2]

History[ | ]

Madness was introduced in the Odyssey block in Torment,[3][4] and has been featured in Time Spiral block[5] and Shadows over Innistrad.[6] In the latter set, it is tied to the Vampire tribe. Madness also appeared in Commander 2019 and Modern Horizons 2.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9][10] The mechanic also featured in the follow up set Eldritch Moon.[11]

One-off appearances of the mechanic were featured in March of the Machine: The Aftermath and Modern Horizons 3.

Rules[ | ]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

A keyword ability that lets a player cast a card they discard. See rule 702.35, “Madness.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 702.35. Madness
    • 702.35a 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 their 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, they put this card into their graveyard.”
    • 702.35b Casting a spell using its madness ability follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2f–h.
    • 702.35c After resolving a madness triggered ability, if the exiled card wasn’t cast and was moved to a public zone, effects referencing the discarded card can find that card. See rule 400.7k.

Rulings[ | ]

  • Cards are discarded in a Magic game only from a player's hand. Effects that put cards into a player's graveyard from anywhere else do not cause those cards to be discarded.[12]
  • Madness works independently of why you're discarding the card. You could discard it to pay a cost, because a spell or ability tells you to, or because you have too many cards in your hand during your cleanup step. You can't discard a card with madness just because you want to, though.
  • A card with madness that's discarded counts as having been discarded even though it's put into exile rather than a graveyard. If it was discarded to pay a cost, that cost is still paid. Abilities that trigger when a card is discarded will still trigger.
  • A spell cast for its madness cost is put onto the stack like any other spell. It can be countered, copied, and so on. As it resolves, it's put onto the battlefield if it's a permanent card or into its owner's graveyard if it's an instant or sorcery card.
  • Casting a spell with madness ignores the timing rules based on the card's card type. For example, you can cast a sorcery with madness if you discard it during an opponent's turn.
  • To determine the total cost of a spell, start with the mana cost or alternative cost (such as a madness cost) you're paying, add any cost increases, then apply any cost reductions. The mana value of the spell is determined by only its mana cost, no matter what the total cost to cast that spell was.
  • If you choose not to cast a card with madness when the madness triggered ability resolves, it's put into your graveyard. Madness doesn't give you another chance to cast it later.
  • If you discard a card with madness to pay the cost of a spell or activated ability, that card's madness triggered ability (and the spell that card becomes, if you choose to cast it) will resolve before the spell or ability the discard paid for.
  • If you discard a card with madness while a spell or ability is resolving, it moves immediately to exile. Continue resolving that spell or ability, noting that the card you discarded is not in your graveyard at this time. Its madness triggered ability will be placed onto the stack once that spell or ability has completely resolved.

Examples[ | ]


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[ | ]

Card that grants Madness[ | ]

Card that interacts with Madness[ | ]

Non-related cards with Madness in name[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (2022-07-27). "May I request some Birthday Trivia about my favourite mechanic Madness...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. Mark Rosewater (February 26, 2024). "Which colors can have madness for sure, and which absolutely cannot within pie?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  3. Mike Elliott (January 21, 2002). "Initial Stages of Madness". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Paul Barclay (January 28, 2002). "Rules Primer:Madness". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Aaron Forsythe (October 2, 2006). "Piecing Together the Timeshifted Mosaic". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Sam Stoddard (April 1, 2016). "A Fond Memory of Madness". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Jess Dunks (June 4, 2021). "Modern Horizons 2 Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules Changes - Coldsnap to Time Spiral. Yawgatog. Retrieved on March 7, 2016.
  9. Matt Tabak (March 7, 2016). "Shadows over Innistrad Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater (March 14, 2016). "Chasing Shadows, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Matt Tabak (June 27, 2016). "Eldritch Moon Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Jess Dunks and Matt Tabak (January 6, 2023). "Dominaria Remastered Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]