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Sorcery symbol
Card Type
Subtype Spell type
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Sorceries, like instants, represent one-shot or short-term magical spells.[1][2]

Description[ | ]

Sorceries are never put onto battlefield; instead, they take effect when their mana cost is paid and the spell resolves, and then are immediately put into its owner's graveyard. Sorceries share the timing restrictions as all permanent spell types, that is, only be during the player's main phase, and only when nothing else is on the stack.[3] Instants are similar in this regard, differing only in when they can be cast.[4] From this, sorceries and instants are grouped, colloquially (but confusingly) as "spells".

Rules[ | ]

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

A card type. A sorcery is not a permanent. See rule 307, “Sorceries.”

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

  • 307. Sorceries
    • 307.1. A player who has priority may cast a sorcery card from their hand during a main phase of their turn when the stack is empty. Casting a sorcery as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”)
    • 307.2. When a sorcery spell resolves, the actions stated in its rules text are followed. Then it’s put into its owner’s graveyard.
    • 307.3. Sorcery subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Sorcery — Arcane.” Each word after the dash is a separate subtype. The set of sorcery subtypes is the same as the set of instant subtypes; these subtypes are called spell types. Sorceries may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3k for the complete list of spell types.
    • 307.4. Sorceries can’t enter the battlefield. If a sorcery would enter the battlefield, it remains in its previous zone instead.
    • 307.5. If a spell, ability, or effect states that a player can do something only “any time they could cast a sorcery” or “only as a sorcery,” it means only that the player must have priority, it must be during the main phase of their turn, and the stack must be empty. The player doesn’t need to have a sorcery card they could cast. Effects that would preclude that player from casting a sorcery spell don’t affect the player’s capability to perform that action (unless the action is actually casting a sorcery spell).
      • 307.5a Similarly, if an effect checks to see if a spell was cast “any time a sorcery couldn’t have been cast,” it’s checking only whether the spell’s controller cast it without having priority, during a phase other than their main phase, or while another object was on the stack.

Subtypes[ | ]

The subtype for sorceries is called spell type and shared with instants.

Legendary sorceries[ | ]

Dominaria debuted legendary sorcery cards that capture extraordinary moments from characters' pasts. These powerful spells can be unleashed only with the assistance of a legendary creature or planeswalker on your side of the battlefield.[5][6]

You can't cast legendary sorceries unless you control a legendary creature or a legendary planeswalker. Once you begin to cast a legendary sorcery, losing control of your legendary creatures and planeswalkers won't affect that spell. Other than the casting restriction, the legendary supertype on a sorcery carries no additional rules.[7] You may cast any number of legendary sorceries in a turn, and your deck may contain any number of legendary cards (but no more than four of any with the same name).

While Dominaria overall was very popular, legendary sorceries were one of the least liked elements of the set. That makes their return less likely.[8]

Sorcery tokens[ | ]

Sorcery tokens were featured in the Mystery Booster set, where the test card Time Sidewalk lets you create four Time Walk tokens. That set also featured Gunk, a colorless sorcery card with no mana cost that has cycling {4}. In only appears as tokens created by Gunk Slug

Friendly to sorceries[ | ]

Blue and red are the two colors that most appreciate instants and sorceries and reward the player for playing them.[9][10]

Sorcery speed[ | ]

The informal term "sorcery speed" means "whenever you would be able to cast a sorcery". This is spelled out as "when the stack is empty on your main phase". Abilities with such limitations used to phrase it as "only any time you could cast a sorcery" of which reminder text sometimes truncated it this to "{keyword} only as a sorcery". Starting with Strixhaven: School of Mages, the card text was shortened to "activate only as a sorcery."[11]

For example: Equip can only be performed at sorcery speed.

The opposite of sorcery speed is instant speed.

References[ | ]