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The mana value of an object is a number that determines the total amount of mana in its mana cost.

History[]

"Mana value" was originally known as "casting cost" or "total casting cost" prior to Sixth Edition. With the Sixth Edition rules changes, "casting cost" became "converted mana cost" (or "CMC" for short). The term "mana value" was introduced in Strixhaven: School of Mages.[1][2] Thereafter, all cards prior to this set, have their oracle text updated to reflect this change.[3]

Rules[]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

Mana Value
The total amount of mana in a mana cost, regardless of color. See rule 202.3.

From the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

  • 202.3. The mana value of an object is a number equal to the total amount of mana in its mana cost, regardless of color.

    Example: A mana cost of {3}{U}{U} translates to a mana value of 5.

    • 202.3a The mana value of an object with no mana cost is 0, unless that object is the back face of a transforming double-faced permanent or is a melded permanent.
    • 202.3b The mana value of a transforming double-faced permanent’s back face is calculated as though it had the mana cost of its front face. If a permanent is a copy of the back face of a transforming double-faced card (even if the card representing that copy is itself a double-faced card), the mana value of that permanent is 0.

      Example: Huntmaster of the Fells is a transforming double-faced card with mana cost {2}{R}{G}. Its mana value is 4. After it transforms to its other face (Ravager of the Fells), its mana value remains 4.

      Example: A Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of Ravager of the Fells. Its mana value is 0.

      Example: Insectile Aberration is the back face of a transforming double-faced card whose front face has mana cost {U}. It becomes a copy of Ravager of the Fells. Its mana value becomes 0.

    • 202.3c The mana value of a melded permanent is calculated as though it had the combined mana cost of the front faces of each card that represents it. If a permanent is a copy of a melded permanent (even if that copy is represented by two other meld cards), the mana value of the copy is 0.
    • 202.3d The mana value of a split card not on the stack or of a fused split spell on the stack is determined from the combined mana costs of its halves. Otherwise, while a split card is on the stack, the mana value of the spell is determined by the mana cost of the half that was chosen to be cast. See rule 709, “Split Cards.”
    • 202.3e When calculating the mana value of an object with an {X} in its mana cost, X is treated as 0 while the object is not on the stack, and X is treated as the number chosen for it while the object is on the stack.
    • 202.3f When calculating the mana value of an object with a hybrid mana symbol in its mana cost, use the largest component of each hybrid symbol.

      Example: The mana value of a card with mana cost {1}{W/U}{W/U} is 3.

      Example: The mana value of a card with mana cost {2/B}{2/B}{2/B} is 6.

    • 202.3g Each Phyrexian mana symbol in a card’s mana cost contributes 1 to its mana value.

      Example: The mana value of a card with mana cost {1}{W/P}{W/P} is 3.

Obsolete terminology[]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

Converted Mana Cost (Obsolete)
An obsolete term for mana value. Cards printed with this term have received errata in the Oracle card reference.

Description[]

The mana value of an object is an integer and is always greater than or equal to zero. Mana value is determined by converting the symbols of the card or spell's mana cost into numbers and calculating the sum of those numbers. Mana symbols represented by a number, including monocolored hybrid mana symbols ({2/W}{2/U}{2/B}{2/R}{2/G}), are converted into that number. All other mana symbols are converted into 1. Cards without a mana cost, such as lands, have a mana value of 0.

The only case in which a spell's mana value can ever vary is for spells with {X} in the mana cost. When an object with X in the mana cost is on the stack, X equals whatever value was chosen for it when it was put on the stack. In any other zone, X equals 0.

Examples:

  • Spells with mana costs of {S} and {1} each have a mana value of 1.
  • Spells with mana costs of {2}{G} and {1}{G}{G} each have a mana value of 3.
  • Spells with mana costs of {4}{C} and {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} each have a mana value of 5.


Cards with multiple sets of playable characteristics (split cards, adventurer spells, and modal double-faced cards (MDFCs)) may have different mana values in different zones. While on the stack, the mana value is determined by the spell that was put on the stack; in the case of fused spells, this is equal to the sum of the two halves. Split cards in any other zone have a mana value equal to the sum of the component spells. Adventurer cards in any other zone, including the battlefield, have the mana value of the creature spell. MDFCs have the mana value of the face-up side while on the battlefield, and the mana value of the front face in any other zone.

Odd or even mana cost[]

Some cards care about if the mana value is odd or even.

^* Features the reminder text: zero is even.

Cost matters[]

Scryfall search: oracle:"mana value"

"Cost matters" was a theme in Scourge that encouraged players to use spells with high mana values. In addition to providing numerous creatures and other spells with mana values 6 or greater, several cards were printed that enhanced or facilitated them. This theme returned as the green-blue mechanic in Commander Legends and as the Prismari mechanic in Strixhaven: School of Mages.

References[]