Game Features Guide

The Mercadian Masques set doesn't add any new rules to the Magic: The 
Gathering environment. However, some of the card abilities may be a little 
confusing to players who haven't encountered them before. Here's a quick 
guide to those abilities.

Alternative Play Costs
Some card give you the option to pay an alternative cost to play the card 
instead of paying its normal mana cost. For example, Romosian Rally says "If 
you control a plains, you may tap an untapped creature you control instead of 
paying Romosian Rally's mana cost." These substitute costs are paid at the 
same time you would pay the normal costs. If another card requires you to pay 
additional mana to play a spell, you still have to pay that extra amount even 
if you use the alternative costs. Cards that check the mana cost of a spell, 
like Spell Blast, still check the normal cost, regardless of how you play the 

      Example: High Seas ("Red creature spells and green creature spell cost 
more to play") is in play. You play Rushwood Legate ("If an opponent controls 
an island and you control a forest, you may play Rushwood Legate without 
paying its mana cost"). You control a forest and your opponent controls an 
island, but you still have to pay to play the Legate, because of the High 
         Your opponent could then play Spell Blast for to counter your 
Legate. The X in Spell Blast's cost is 3 because the normal mana cost of the 
Legate is - it doesn't matter whether you played the Legate by using its 
alternative play cost. 

Additional Play Costs and Choices
The phrase "As an additional cost to play *card name*" indicates an extra 
cost to play a spell. The extra cost must be paid when you play the spell, 
just like the normal cost. If you can't pay the additional cost, you can't 
play the spell. If the spell is countered, you'll have already paid the 
additional cost.
   The phrase "As you play *card name*" indicates choices made when you play 
the spell. The phrase "As *card name* comes into play" indicates choices or 
costs that are requried as part of putting a permanent into play. These apply 
regardless of how the permanent is put into play; it doesn't matter whether 
it's created directly by a spell or brought into play by another effect.

"All-Play" Abilities
A few cards have abilities that may be played by any player, not just by the 
card's controller. (This matters only if another card bases its effects on 
the controller of an ability. For example, some abilities trigger if a spell 
or ability controlled by another player forces you to discard.)

      Example: Your opponent has Scandalmonger (": Target player discards a 
card from his or her hand. Any player may play this ability but only if he or 
she could play a sorcery.") and Spiritual Focus ("Whenever a spell or ability 
an opponent controls causes you to discard a card, you gain 2 life and you 
may draw a card.") in play. If you play the Scandalmonger's ability to make 
your opponent discard, you opponent will draw a card and gain 2 life. This is 
because even though your opponent controls the Scandalmonger card, you 
control the ability you played.

"Search Your Library"
Some cards let you search your library or your opponent's library for cards 
meeting some requirement and then do something with them. If you don't find 
what you're searching for, you do nothing. You're not required to search 
thoroughly; in fact, you may choose not to find what you're searching for, 
even if it's there. 

© 2009 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a division of Hasbro, Inc. All rights