The Planeswalker’s Apprentice – Sorcery or Instant?


Serj dug deep into the recesses of his mind and thought of the spell he needed to counter his Master’s spell. his hand reached into his satchel and he pulled two orbs into his hand and glanced at both. He winced, both in knowledge that the counterspell he needed was there but did not control the mana needed to cast it, as well from the flaming blast his Master cast was a sliver of a second away from scorching his skin.

“You should have had the counterspell prepared Serj,” his Master laughed, “instead you scrambled at the last second.”

Serj nodded, barely hearing his master from the all the ash in his ears.

Welcome to another installment of The Planeswalker’s Apprentice. Today we will focus on instants and sorceries, some great ways to support your deck and lead you to victory. Let’s dive first into the basics of each card type.

An Instant is a spell that can be played at virtually any time during a game of Magic. Once played players can respond with instants or effects of their own and play then resumes resolving effects or instants on the stack. instants are valued cards as you can play them even during your opponent’s turn.

A Sorcery is a spell that can be played during any of your main steps. Usually the casting cost for these types of spells are a bit lower than instants with the same effects as you are forced to play them only at certain times during your turn and never at instant speed. Because of this players must use of strategy to make use of a Sorcery to it’s fullest effect.

For example, Serj has the card Divination in his deck. Divination is a Sorcery that costs a blue and two colorless mana. For an Instant that is similar he would have to look at Inspiration but this instant costs one additional mana for the connivance of being able to play it at instant speed. Is the additional cost worth it?


In this case, I would recommend that Serj stick with Divination as the lowered cost is not worth the instant speed. To break this down further, take a sorcery in your deck and ask yourself, “Why would I want to cast this at instant speed?” In the case of Divination, there are only so many reasons why instant speed for more mana would be worth it. Also think, if Serj draws two cards during his opponent’s turn for four mana, how much mana would he have to be able to cast an instant he happened to draw? The chances of having the mana and top decking an instant to play are pretty slim so in this case, it wouldn’t be worth it.

Let’s try another example, a player has the spells Giant Growth and Monstrous Growth. Which is better? It should be an easy choice. Giant Growth is a cheaper spell at Instant speed. Think to yourself, when will an additional +1/+1 at Sorcery speed help you? It’s a virtual no brainer.

What about Titanic Growth vs. Giant Growth? Is the additional +1/+1 at instant speed worth the additional mana?

Today, take your decks and look over some of your Sorceries and Instants and debate as to if your spells need an updating. Would casting this Sorcery at instant speed help me? Would an additional mana cost hinder the effects of my spell? Using the database found at Gatherer can help you solve most comparisons.

Aiokii has played the spell Giant Growth since 1995. He also still leaves one Forest untapped just to bluff opponents into thinking he has one in hand but notices the bluff works less as years go on. Contact him on Twitter or Facebook or message or post in the comments below.

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