MTG Plot Rules: How to Cast Your Cards for Free?

Plot is a new MTG keyword ability, introduced with Outlaws of Thunder Junction. In this article, you’ll learn how the plot rules work, and find answers to any questions you might have about this mechanic, including:

  • What does plot do in MTG?
  • When can you cast cards with plot?
  • Can you use plot cards at instant speed?

Let’s waste no time, and get right to it.

How Does Plot Work?

If a card in your hand has a plot cost, you can pay that cost and exile it from your hand. (At sorcery speed.) You can then play it without paying its mana cost on a later turn.

So, the idea is that you spend mana now, in order to be able to cast it later for free (as a sorcery). Why would you want to do that? There are multiple reasons why you’d want to do that. Take a look at the following example, and try to figure out why plotting would be beneficial.


Here’s Irascible Wolverine, an interesting common with plot.

Irascible Wolverine MTG Plot Rules

You can play Irascible Wolverine for its regular cost, and it’ll come into play right away. Its enter-the-battlefield effect will trigger. You’ll exile the top card of your library, and you can play it that turn. (Provided you have enough mana.)

However, you can also decide to pay its plot cost. With this card, that cost is the same as its regular cost, but that won’t always be the case. If you decide to do so, you exile Irascible Wolverine face up. Now, on any of your later turns, you can play it without paying its mana cost.

With this card, that’s particularly useful, thanks to its enter-the-battlefield effect. Since you didn’t spend any mana on the Wolverine on the turn you played it, you’ll have more mana available. Thus, it’s more likely that you’re able to play the card you exile with it.

Becoming Plotted

This mechanic can also be used in some different ways, as you’ll see from Jace Reawakened.

Jace Reawakened MTG Plot Rules

Let’s focus on Jace’s +1 ability. You can exile a nonland card with mana value three or less from your hand. If you do, it becomes plotted. So, what does that mean?

It’s the same thing, as if the card you choose had a plot cost and you paid it. You can cast it on a later turn without paying its mana cost. Pretty neat, mana savings right? You can pick a three mana card for some fair Magic, or you could get suspend cards such as Ancestral Vision and Crashing Footfalls out ahead of schedule.

MTG Plot – Interactions and Details

Now you know how the basics of MTG plot rules. In this section, we’ll dig into more details, starting with some plotting upsides.

Why to Plot a Card?

Rodeo Pyromancers Plot Rules

With the previous example, you’ve found out one benefit of using a plot ability. However, there are more reasons why it could be beneficial to plot a card:

  • In the set, there are cars like Rodeo Pyromancers, that you see above. Imagine you plot on turn 3, turn 4 you play Pyromancer, then cast the plotted card on turn 5. You could get to seven mana that turn. Of course, that’s something that will mostly come up in draft.
  • In Constructed, it can be useful with the storm mechanic. That one benefits from multiple spells being cast in a single turn. That’s much easier to do when you have free spells available to you.
  • A plotted card can’t be discarded with Thoughtseize. Exile is indeed a safe space.
  • Imagine you’re playing against control. You have some creatures in play, and you could play more. However, they might have a mass removal spell. You could pass your turn, but that would waste all of your mana. However, you can plot a creature. Even if they cast a mass removal spell, you’ll at least be able to deploy a free creature next turn.

However, you don’t want to go too crazy with plotting. If you’re behind on board, it’s probably a better idea to just cast the card for its regular cost.

Plotting in Commander

If you like both this mechanic, and Commander format, perhaps you want to make use of it in Commander. But how? Perhaps the following two legendary creatures will give you an idea.

So, when you plot a card, and then cast it, you are casting it from exile. This works nicely with both Faldorn and Prosper. Both of which are already quite fun Commanders to play.

With plotting, you can play your commander, and immediately follow it up with a zero mana card you’ve plotted before. This way, you’ll be guaranteed some value. Be it a Wolf or a Treasure token.

MTG Plot – FAQ

Here are some answers to questions players often ask about this mechanic.

What does a plot do in MTG?

You can pay a card’s plot cost and exile it from your hand. If you do, you can then play it on a later turn without paying its mana cost.

Can I plot a card during my opponent’s turn?

No, you can only pay plot costs at a sorcery speed.

Can I plot the card, and play it for free on the same turn?

No, you can’t. The soonest you’re able to cast a plotted card is the turn after you’ve plotted it.

Can I plot a card, then cast it on the next opponent’s turn?

No, a plotted card can only be cast at a sorcery speed.

Is it possible to counter a plot cost?

No, plotting doesn’t use the stack. So, when a player plots a card, you can’t counter it. However, you can counter it later, when they actually cast the card from exile.

Why would I want to pay the plot cost of a card?

For various reasons, one being that you save mana on a later turn. It’s not always correct to plot a card, as there are many things to consider. (Such as board position, what’s your opponent going to do on their next turn, etc.)

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you with an answer ASAP.

There’s Always More to Explore in the Wild West

That’s all about MTG plot rules. Hopefully, you’ll now be able to use this new knowledge to your advantage and win many games with it.

Of course, plotting is just one of the many exciting new things coming with Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Do you want to find out more about them? If so, you should check the following articles:

In case you’re excited about the new set, and want to get the new cards on the first opportunity, you might want to preorder them on Amazon.

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Play Booster Box

Until next time, have fun and may your plotting bring you plenty of victories.

8 thoughts on “MTG Plot Rules: How to Cast Your Cards for Free?”

  1. A thing to note is that this has a significant difference from Kaldheim’s foretell ability, in that the card you plot is exiled face up and your opponent(s) will know what you have in store.

  2. If you exile an opponent’s spell with Aven Interrupter, it becomes plotted. Does that mean the opponent can cast it for free, or do you get to cast it for free?

      • With Aven Interuptor on the field though, it would cost 2 to cast from exile right? Which card’s effect overrides the other?

        • To simplify, a cost of a spell consists of: normal or alternate cost + taxes – reductions. So the two mana, is applied as an additional cost / tax. Thus, your opponent will need to pay 2 mana to cast that spell.

  3. If you plot a creature and have something that lets you cast creatures at instant speed, that only counts creature cards from hand, not creature cards in plot; i.e. teferi, mage of zhalfir


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