Foretell is a new MTG mechanic introduced with Kaldheim. In this article we’ll talk about everything you need to know about it:
- How does foretell work?
- What interactions does foretell enable?
- And more!
This way, you’ll be able to take advantage of this skill-testing mechanic to its fullest.
How Does Foretell Work?
Foretell is a keyword ability.
If a card in your hand has foretold, you can pay 2 mana of any color to exile it face down. You can cast in on a later turn for its forecast cost.
You can also just cast it for its regular mana cost, if that suits you better. So essentially, foretell gives you an option to pay for a card in installments.
Let’s take Alrund’s Epiphany – a new version of Time Walk as an example.
First things first, you can always just cast it for its regular mana cost. So you pay seven mana, and you get two birds and an extra turn.
On the other hand you can – on your turn pay two mana and exile Alrund’s Epiphany face down. (If you’re playing in paper, you announce that you’re foretelling.) Then on any of your next turns, you can cast Epiphany from exile, for its foretell cost – so for six mana.
This means that by spending two mana earlier, you got to save one mana later on, and potentially got to cast Alrund’s Epiphany one turn earlier, which can be quite powerful.
MTG Foretell – FAQ
While this mechanic is pretty straightforward, it can still leave you wondering about some specifics. We’ll try and answer most of the questions you might have here. However, if you have additional questions about foretell, leave a comment below, and we’ll try to answer it as quickly as possible.
Can you cast foretell card in the same turn you exiled it?
No, you can’t. The rules work in a way that if you pay the two mana and exile it face down, you have to wait until the next turn to cast it.
So if you can’t cast your foretell card on Arena, the most likely reason is that you exiled it on the same turn. Keep in mind that you can always just cast it for its regular mana cost.
Can I cast a foretell card on my opponent’s turn?
The wording “Cast it on a later turn for its foretell cost.” might confuse you. This just means that you can’t cast it on the same turn, that you exiled it from your hand.
Regular casting restrictions still apply. So you can cast instants and cards with flash on your opponent’s turn. You can only cast creatures, sorceries, etc. on your own turn.
This means you can pay two and exile Behold the Multiverse on your turn, and then cast it for two mana on your opponent’s turn.
Can I exile a foretell card on my opponent’s turn?
No. You can only exile foretell cards by paying two mana during your turn.
What happens to a foretell card after I cast it from exile?
It goes on the stack. When it resolves, it comes into play, if it’s a permanent. If it’s an instant or a sorcery, it goes to the graveyard, unless stated otherwise.
You don’t get to just keep casting the same card from exile over and over again.
If my foretell card gets exiled in another way, can I just cast it?
No. If you’re opponent would cast Path to Exile and get rid of your creature with foretell, you couldn’t just cast it back for its foretell cost.
You have to pay two mana and exile the foretell card from your hand in order to be able to cast it from exile.
When do “whenever you foretell a card” effects trigger?
Some cards can have a triggered ability, which triggers whenever you foretell a card. (Like Dream Devourer, which gets +2/+0.) That happens whenever you pay the initial 2 generic mana cost.
Can you use forecast ability at instant speed?
Yes. You can pay two mana and exile a card with foretell from your hand at instant speed – but only during your turn.
Foretell – Additional Rules
Before we wrap with the rules’ aspect, here are a couple of things to note, when you’re playing in paper:
You must keep your exiled foretell cards in order. While your opponents don’t know which exact card is turned face down, they should be able to know which card you foretold first, second, and so on.
If you still have any foretold cards in exile at the end of the game, you have to reveal them to your opponent. This is done, so they know you weren’t just making stuff up and tried to bluff them or gain an unfair advantage.
The flavor of this mechanic is pretty straightforward. There were quite some prophecies in the Norse mythology. So something similar is happening here.
Things are being foretold. Your opponents don’t know exactly what’s coming – but something certainly is.
MTG Foretell – Interactions
Here are some of the more notable foretell interactions. If you know about some cool ones, that we didn’t mention, show your Magic knowledge in the comments below.
Ranar the Ever-Watchful
Ranar allows you to exile the first foretell card in a turn for free. It further synergizes with foretell cards by making 1/1 flying Spirit tokens, whenever you exile a card from your hand.
Ranar is available in the Kaldheim Commander decks, and as such isn’t Standard legal. However, it will probably be a key card in a dedicated foretell Commander deck. You can get Ranar in the Phantom Premonition deck from Amazon.
Alrund, God of the Cosmos
Alrund is another Kaldheim card, but it’s from the regular set, so you can build a Standard deck around it.
Alrund can get really big – it counts not only your foretell cards in exile, but cards in your hand as well. Plus it’s a super cool design all around.
Protection Against Discard
Foretell cards usually cost less, when you cast them for their foretell cost. But that’s just one benefit – by exiling the cards from your hand, you also get around discard spells.
So if your opponent is playing Agonizing Remorse, you can try and exile your best foretell cards, before they manage to get rid of it. This way, you’ll still be able to cast it later.
One interesting foretell interaction is with Eldrazi Processors. While this isn’t currently applicable to Standard, you might still get someone in a casual game.
Eldrazi processors use cards that the opponent have in the exile to power themselves up. They do so by moving those cards from exile to the graveyard. This would effectively discard a card that has been foretold, and the player wouldn’t be able to use it – which is a pretty big hit, considering they already spent two mana on the card.
So if you want to try this interaction against your friend, who’s focusing on a foretell mechanic you can also use some of the following Eldrazi creatures:
That’s all about the foretell mechanic. Hopefully, you learned how it works, and you’ll be able to use this to your advantage.
If you want to know more about Kaldheim, you can browse the Kaldheim spoilers page. Also, don’t forget to check if you used all MTG Arena codes here – and once Kaldheim releases, you’ll be able to claim 3 free Kaldheim boosters as well.
Until next time, have fun and may your future be brighter then even the most optimistic fortune teller would foretell.
61 thoughts on “MTG Foretell – Rules and Interactions Explained”
Wait a minute. You explained that the Fortell ability can only be used on a card when it’s appropriate too. Ex) instants anytime, sorcery, creatures, etc on your turn only. Then you go on to explain how this mechanic can save you from having to discard cards. Which is it?
Both can be true. Sure, you won’t be able to use foretell ability in response to a discard spell, unless an opponent somehow cast a discard spell on your turn.
However, let’s say you have Alrund’s Epiphany in your hand. You use the foretell ability on turn two, which means that from that turn on, your opponent can’t discard it with Duress or Agonizing Remorse.
While this won’t matter every time, it could definitely pop up every now and then.
when you say “You must keep your exiled foretell cards in order. ” does that mean you have to play them in the order you foretell them in (example: if you foretell card 1, 2,3 do you have to play them in chronological order or can you play them in any order, for this example say card 2,3 ,1 ?
The latter. You can play them in any order, but your opponent should be able to know if you’re casting the card that you foretold first, second, etc.
Why do they need to know? Does it affect anything?
In theory it could effect your opponent’s decision making. Let’s say that you didn’t use a pump spell, where it would be beneficial for you, while you had a foretold card in exile. Your opponent can now suspect that that card isn’t a pump spell. If you foretell a second card, they’d want to know which card you foretold first, as they have some information about it.
Anyways, it won’t come up often, but it’s the way the rules work.
Can foretold cost be reduced?
Like with goblin electromancer?
You mean the two mana that you have to pay to foretell a card? The cost can be reduced, but not with Goblin Electromancer. Rules text has to specifically state that the cost reduction applies to foretell. Example: Ranar the Ever-Watchful
Would Zirda (and other ability reducers) reduce foretell’s initial 2 mana cost?
Would other casting discounts, such as jet medallion, either reduce the initial 2 or the cast that comes later (or neither)?
No, based on how Suspend works, foretelling the card is a special action from a static ability and not an activated ability, so Zirda wouldn’t reduce the initial 2 mana cost.
Jet Medalion wouldn’t reduce the foretell initial cost, but would reduce the later cost, when you actually cast the card.
The card is exiled face down, so, when can i look into my foretold cards?
You can look at any face-down card you control at any time. Similarly to the morph mechanic, your opponent doesn’t get to look at your face-down cards, but you do.
Dream Devourer gives all non lands foretell. If I foretell a card with no Mana cost like ancestral visions or wheel of fate. Can I cast them even though they had no cost, or does it not work? If it does work, and Devourer is removed from the battlefield, can I still cast them?
No, you cannot cast Ancestral Vision if you foretell it as it as no mana cost, and therefore can’t get the foretell cost.
If I have a dream devourer and foretell a force of will can I still use it’s alternate casting cost of paying a life and exiling a blue card from my hand or do I have to pay the 3UU
No, you can’t. You can only use one alternate cost when casting a card. Foretell is an alternate cost, and so is Force of Will’s alternate cost, so you cannot combine the two.
Can you only fortell 1 card per turn?
No you can foretell as many cards with foretell as you want. Provided that you have enough mana to do so.
If I fortell a card, example Goldspan Dragon. Then on my next turn I play Dragonspeaker Shaman, and I have a Herald’s Horn in play. Would that make Goldspan Dragon cost 3 or 5 less to cast from the fortell exile position?
So if you were to foretell it with Dream Devourer, and you’d have Horn and Shaman in play, they would reduce its cost by 5 generic mana. Since Goldspan Dragon costs 3RR, you’d still have to pay 2 red mana to cast it from exile.
What if I fortold goldspan dragon with dream devourer, the dragon is in exile, then the devourer dies. Can I cast the dragon from exile for its cost 1RR?
Can the Mana from Niko defies destiny’s second Lore (Saga) ability be used to pay the 2 generic mana to foretell a card AND also to pay the foretell cost for the exiled spell?
It can be used to foretell a spell and to cast a spell with foretell from exile. However, you only get two mana from it, so usually, you’ll have to pick which one to invest your mana in.
How would layline of anticipation or vedalkin orrary affect foretell? Would a foretold sorcery be able to be cast on an opponent’s turn?
Yes, you’d be able to do so.
What would be the foretold card’s CMC after playing it from exile? Like If I had a Shark Typhoon on the field.
It would be the same as the regular CMC. Behold the Multiverse would make a 4/4 Shark token, even if it was cast from exile for two mana.
So how does fortell work with Bell Borca, Spectral Seargent?
Would it note the cmc of the foretold card because it was exiled?
No it wouldn’t work, since the foretold card was exiled face down. The face down cards don’t have any characteristics. So Bell Borca doesn’t see them having any CMC.
If I have Elsha of the Inifinite in play, can I foretell cards at flash speed from the top of my library?
No, you can only foretell cards from your hand, and from no other zone.
How does foretell interacts with cards like Crackling Drake or Beacon Bolt? They care about instants and sorceries in exile, but foretold cards are face down, so?..
They don’t count them, as face down cards don’t have any characteristics.
If I fortell zagras, their of heartbeats, does the party mechanic also bring down the cost to play zagras from exile?
Yes it does.
What happens if you foretell a card with suspend? For instance, you use “Ethereal Valkyrie” & foretell “Restore Balance”… It has a suspend cost but no casting cost. When foretold does it resolve suspended? Or does it resolve as if a sorcery played without being suspended? Do you pay the suspend cost? Or can you play the foretold card at no cost?
Apologies if the answer is obvious, but I was curious with the remastered time spiral about to drop.
No need to apologize, there are no stupid questions.
So, Valkyrie sets the foretell cost to the card’s mana cost – 2 generic mana. Restore Balance has no mana cost, so it won’t have a foretell cost. This means you can never play a foretold Restore Balance.
Hey so let’s say if one of my foretell cards was exiled by one of my opponents cards, can I still play it from exile for it’s foretell cost?
No you can’t, the card has to be foretold in order for you to play it from exile.
Will deathmist raptors ability trigger with fortell ?? When a permanent you control is turned face up , return to battlefield face up or down .
No. The card is cast from exile, it doesn’t become a permanent before it hits the battlefield, and once it’s on the battlefield it’s already face up.
Can I cast cards for the foretell cost with cards like Showdown of the Skalds or Magmatic Channeler?
No, you can only foretell cards that are in your hand.
How does foretell interact with X Spells?
Ex. I foretell Exsanguinate on my turn with a Dream Devourer. I later pay 7 in addition to the BB to cast the Exsanguinate. Would this then have X=9?
Yes, it would.
What if I fortold goldspan dragon with dream devourer, the dragon becomes, then the devourer dies. Can I still cast the dragon from exile for its cost 1RR ??
Yes, you can still cast it for 1RR, even if Devourer dies.
Does cataclysm remove the foretold cards or are they immune to such effects?
Foretold cards aren’t permanents. So, no, Cataclysm doesn’t affect them.
Can you counter a foretold spell
EX in response to some one foretelling
Or in response to casting it from exile?
Foretelling is a special action which doesn’t use the stack, so you can’t counter foretelling a spell.
However, you can cast it once it’s cast from exile. You can also counter it if a player just plays it from their hand for its full cost.
What if… I have a card that lets me cast spells from my graveyard… eg dread horde arcanist or any other card that lets me cast a spell from my graveyard and if I would go to the graveyard this turn exile it. Would using foretell “count” as casting it but since it is not going to graveyard turn, when I finish the other half of using it on another turn it does go to the graveyard ?
No, you can only foretell cards that are in your hand.
With Ranar the ever watchful could you foretell a card from your hand into exile for free then the following turn play that exiled card for free by paying its foretell cost with Ranar the ever watchfuls ability ? Essentially cast a spell for free over the course of two turns using his ability.
No, that wouldn’t work. Ranar only reduces the foretell cost to zero – that’s the two mana that you have to pay to foretell card. You still have to pay the other cost to actually cast the card.
Does Quakebringer have a foretell cost? Card doesn’t specify. Just says foretell 2 colorless and 2 red total 4 mana. Is there still a 2 colorless foretell cost?
Yes, it does. No foretell cards actually needs to mention the first two generic mana – it’s only mentioned in the reminder text.
Cards of higher rarities sometimes lose the reminder text, so that the text box doesn’t get too crowded. That’s the case with Quakebringer as well.
New MTG player here. When playing with Ranar the Ever Watchful, what happens to the foretold cards when Ranar is returned to the command zone?
Nothing much, actually. They are still foretold, and you can cast them for they foretell cost.
While playing Xanathar, Guild Kingpin can you foretell a card from the top of the opponents library or no because foretell generally needs to be in your hand? If you can, do you still controller it from exile?
As you correctly assumed, the card with foretell needs to be in your hand for you to foretell it. So you can’t foretell a card from your opponent’s library with Xanathar.