Copying a modal spell and choosing new targets

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If a custom ability copies a modal spell, can it let the caster change the mode? I know rule 706.2 of the CR says modes are copied, and 706.10c refers specifically to allowing changed targets, but is it possible for a custom ability to say "you may choose new targets and new modes for the copy" and still be within the rules?

All cards I make have artists credited in the appropriate places. Artist names in "quotes" are DeviantArt usernames unless otherwise mentioned.

"I play a Grave Betrayal. I get all your dead things now, mwahahahaha!"
"Okay. I play a Phage the Untouchable. Piss me off and I will sac it."
"... ... ... so guys, remind me again how to sac my own enchantments?"

There's currently no rules support for something like that since no card does that, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't include that ability in a custom set.
Rules Advisor
Okay, well, that's good . I need it for a cycle of sorceries in my Cetibus set that allow you to copy them multiple times. One of those has two possible modes, and I'd like the caster to be able to choose the mode for each copy, so...yeah. I guess I have to explicitly state that, which makes the rules text a bit longer, but oh well.

Thanks! :D

All cards I make have artists credited in the appropriate places. Artist names in "quotes" are DeviantArt usernames unless otherwise mentioned.

"I play a Grave Betrayal. I get all your dead things now, mwahahahaha!"
"Okay. I play a Phage the Untouchable. Piss me off and I will sac it."
"... ... ... so guys, remind me again how to sac my own enchantments?"

word it so that modes are chosen before targets
otherwise you will run into issues
proud member of the 2011 community team
What could be done is something like this:
"Exile target instant/sorcery spell. Copy the card and cast it without paying its mana cost."

Not exactly what you'd like but it's still kind of simple.

Rules Advisor

The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!

How to autocard :
Type [c]Black Lotus[/c] to get Black Lotus.
Type [c=Black Lotus]The Overpowered One[/c] to get The Overpowered One.

Something to consider: What happens if you choose a mode with no legal targets? (There is a specific rule to handle changing targets when there are no legal targets: the targets don't change.)
On a similar note, you should, if possible, word the card so that choosing a new mode requires choosing new targets. It would be odd if you chose a targeted mode for your Esper Charm, then changed it to an untargeted mode without changing its target.
Rules Advisor
Ugh, I really don't want to have to make the rules text extremely long just for such an intuitively simple concept... Does this work?: "Copy the spell. You may choose a new mode for the copy.If you do, choose new targets forthe copy. Otherwise you may choose new targets for the copy."

Ew. That's so long an inelegant. There must be a better way...

All cards I make have artists credited in the appropriate places. Artist names in "quotes" are DeviantArt usernames unless otherwise mentioned.

"I play a Grave Betrayal. I get all your dead things now, mwahahahaha!"
"Okay. I play a Phage the Untouchable. Piss me off and I will sac it."
"... ... ... so guys, remind me again how to sac my own enchantments?"

you could probably get away with "You may choose a new mode for the copy. Choose new targets for it"
if the spell and/or the mode has no targets the last sentence will simply do nothing
proud member of the 2011 community team
If you want simplicity, Zoidberg's Exile, Copy and cast is your best bet.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

So...in the case of my ability which copies for each card in your hand, would this be more workable?:

As you cast this spell, you may exile it. If you do, copy this card for each card in your hand and cast the copies without paying their mana costs.

Does that allow you to change the mode and targets for each copy?

All cards I make have artists credited in the appropriate places. Artist names in "quotes" are DeviantArt usernames unless otherwise mentioned.

"I play a Grave Betrayal. I get all your dead things now, mwahahahaha!"
"Okay. I play a Phage the Untouchable. Piss me off and I will sac it."
"... ... ... so guys, remind me again how to sac my own enchantments?"

yes, that works

I'd copy the first part from Suspend:
If you could begin to cast this card by putting it onto the stack from your hand, you may pay [cost] and exile it with N time counters on it.

so:
If you could begin to cast this card by putting it onto the stack from your hand, you may pay [cost] and exile it. If you do, copy this card for each card in your hand and cast the copies without paying their mana costs.
proud member of the 2011 community team
Okay...so then if I want the card not to be exiled, do I need to add an extra "Then put this into your graveyard" clause? Or with the new wording, could I just say: "If you would cast this spell, you may put this card into its owner's graveyard instead. If you do, copy this card for each card in your hand and cast those copies without paying their mana costs."

All cards I make have artists credited in the appropriate places. Artist names in "quotes" are DeviantArt usernames unless otherwise mentioned.

"I play a Grave Betrayal. I get all your dead things now, mwahahahaha!"
"Okay. I play a Phage the Untouchable. Piss me off and I will sac it."
"... ... ... so guys, remind me again how to sac my own enchantments?"

sure, Discarding works as well
they will then be cast from the graveyard, so for example Secrets of the Dead triggers for each
proud member of the 2011 community team
Honestly, that's okay with me. As long as the mechanic works :D Thanks for all the help!

All cards I make have artists credited in the appropriate places. Artist names in "quotes" are DeviantArt usernames unless otherwise mentioned.

"I play a Grave Betrayal. I get all your dead things now, mwahahahaha!"
"Okay. I play a Phage the Untouchable. Piss me off and I will sac it."
"... ... ... so guys, remind me again how to sac my own enchantments?"

you could probably get away with "You may choose a new mode for the copy. Choose new targets for it"
if the spell and/or the mode has no targets the last sentence will simply do nothing



On the other hand, if you keep the mode the same and that mode does have targets, this wording forces you to change the target(s) - you can't just let the copy target the same thing as the original. That's a functional change that may not be wanted.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Actually, 114.6d indicates that targets can be left unchanged, even if they're no longer legal. However, what we'd have is a case where the number and type of required targets change after the spell has been cast. There's no precedent for that, and the rules assume it won't happen.
Honestly, that's okay with me. As long as the mechanic works :D Thanks for all the help!


If you want the copies to be cast from your hand you could try:
'If you could begin to cast this card by putting it onto the stack from your hand, you may reveal it and pay [cost]. If you do, copy this card for each other card in your hand and cast the copies without paying their mana costs if able. Then put this card in your graveyard.'
Or, if you want the orginal to be cast alongside the copies:
'If you could begin to cast this card by putting it onto the stack from your hand, you may reveal it and pay [cost]. If you do, copy this card for each other card in your hand and cast the copies without paying their mana costs if able. Then cast this card without paying its mana cost if able.  If you don't, put this card in your graveyard.'
Honestly, that's okay with me. As long as the mechanic works :D Thanks for all the help!


If you want the copies to be cast from your hand you could try:
'If you could begin to cast this card by putting it onto the stack from your hand, you may reveal it and pay [cost]. If you do, copy this card for each other card in your hand and cast the copies without paying their mana costs if able. Then put this card in your graveyard.'
Or, if you want the orginal to be cast alongside the copies:
'If you could begin to cast this card by putting it onto the stack from your hand, you may reveal it and pay [cost]. If you do, copy this card for each other card in your hand and cast the copies without paying their mana costs if able. Then cast this card without paying its mana cost if able.  If you don't, put this card in your graveyard.'

Except those both take up an entire card's worth of rules text...and it would only be the reminder text. It's worse than banding.

All cards I make have artists credited in the appropriate places. Artist names in "quotes" are DeviantArt usernames unless otherwise mentioned.

"I play a Grave Betrayal. I get all your dead things now, mwahahahaha!"
"Okay. I play a Phage the Untouchable. Piss me off and I will sac it."
"... ... ... so guys, remind me again how to sac my own enchantments?"

Actually, 114.6d indicates that targets can be left unchanged, even if they're no longer legal.


Debatable, since that rule says "allow" and it could be argued that this wording forces you to change targets. Normally, such effects include a "may" in the wording.
However, what we'd have is a case where the number and type of required targets change after the spell has been cast. There's no precedent for that, and the rules assume it won't happen.

I don't follow. It sounds like you are now back to talking about the scenario where modes as well as targets are changed, which I explictly wasn't referring to.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
l think that just means that a mandatory "choose new targets" is currently undefined.
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