beseech the mirror
17, Aug, 23

What is Bargain in MTG?

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Article at a Glance

It has been made abundantly clear that Wizards of the Coast quite likes the Kicker mechanic. Its quite useful and easy to understand. For an additional cost, Kicked spells can grant additional abilites. Do note that this is different from an alternate casting cost, so casting the initial spell for free still gives players the opportunity to pay the additional kicker cost.

There are a ton of mechanics in Magic: the Gathering that are just additions to or are Kicker in different clothing. Multikicker is literally a version of Kicker that a player can pay multiple times. Sticker Kicker from Unfinity is another very literal application to the original Kicker mechanic.

A lot of other mechanics definitely take a page from Kicker, but in a less direct way. Entwine and Escalate are different kinds of Kicker keywords that, for an extra cost, allows you to apply additional modes on a modal card. Overload changes some text in your effect if you pay an alternate cost (which is usually higher, but not always) and Squad is essentially a version of Multikicker that grants a set reward instead of the reward being on a case-by-case basis.

With all of that out of the way, Wilds of Eldraine introduces yet another take of the Kicker mechanic: Bargain. We already have one card with Bargain that appears to be a bit too good for its own right, so chances are most MTG players will run into this at some point. What is MTG Bargain? Let’s take a look!

What is MTG Bargain?

Beseech the Mirror | Wilds of Eldraine

Much like Kicker, Bargain is an additional cost that can be paid in order to grant an extra effect on a card. Kicker generally has a case-by-case cost and effect. This is not the case with Bargain.

Instead of paying some amount of mana for an extra ability like Kicker does, Bargain demands that the player sacrifices an artifact, enchantment, or token to cast the Bargain spell with an additional effect. This synergizes quite well with the new Role mechanic since it creates Aura enchantment tokens that can be sacrificed to a Bargain cost.

The effect that a Bargained spell can have varies from card to card, just like Kicker. For example, in the case of Beseech the Mirror, which is the scariest card in all of Wilds of Eldraine during spoiler season, paying the card’s Bargain costs results in a huge difference in terms of what the card does. Without the Bargain cost being paid, Beseech the mirror simply searches your library for a card for four mana. While the effect can be quite powerful, four mana is a rather expensive cost to pay for it. Demonic Tutor, for example, does the same thing for two mana.

With the Bargain cost paid, Beseech the Mirror searches your library for a card and casts it for free as long as its mana value is four or greater. This means that Beseech the Mirror could search and cast powerful cards like The One Ring, Sheoldred the Apocalypse, and Suspend spells like Living End or Crashing Footfalls for just four mana. Suddenly, the card becomes way more powerful.

In other words, the big difference between Bargain and Kicker is that Bargain has a set additional cost attached that stays consistent between all instances of the keyword. Kicker’s cost varies between cards.

Read More: MTG Wilds of Eldraine Common Will See Tons of Competitive Play!

Not Every Bargain Spell is the Same

Don’t expect the incredible payoff of Beseech the Mirror to be attached to every single card with Bargain. Some of the payoffs for Bargain are rather underwhelming – making worth paying them a case-by-case basis.

Cards like Ice Out don’t have close to as interesting of a payoff as Beseech the Mirror. In this case, paying the Bargain cost only reduces the cost of the spell by one. This is ultimately better than Cancel in every way, and the Bargain effect can realistically come in clutch. That said, more often than not, this is just that, a Cancel.

It does appear that most Bargain payoffs are worth paying the cost for, however. As long as you pay the Bargain cost of Farsight Ritual, you get to look one card deeper than even a Dig Through Time! Otherwise, this card is a worse version of Memory Deluge that can be copied more effectively (a copy of Memory Deluge finds zero cards) if that matters to you in your deck. This means that there will likely be cases where this is better than some of the competitors that have made themselves known as strong candidates, which is a good thing.

If you’re going to pay eight mana to cast this Tooth and Nail downgrade, you may as well pay the Bargain cost for it. Paying the Bargain costs completely transforms the value of this spell, allowing you to look at the top 20 cards of your library to put a creature onto the battlefield instead of into your hand.

Stonesplitter Bolt is an example of a Bargain cost that you might not always want to pay. If you’re low on mana or need to take out a big threat, Bargain can help make that possible. If the threat you need to take out is small or you have a ton of mana, you might as well save the thing you were going to sacrifice. Notably, this works quite well with Treasure Tokens. If you need to use it, you may as well Bargain it. Instead of one extra damage, it’ll double the damage that Stonesplitter Bolt deals.

While Lich-Knights’ Conquest doesn’t have the Bargain keyword, the Wizards of the Coast employees spoiling the card admitted that it is just a mass Bargain effect. MultiBargain is definitely not a keyword yet, so writing the card like this makes a lot of sense. This is currently the only MTG card that offers Bargain in multiple instances.

Another Kicker

Either way, this concludes an introduction into the new Bargain mechanic and what it does in Magic: the Gathering. So far, while the cost can be somewhat difficult to meet, the payoffs are quite transformative and worth paying most of the time. If you want to read more about the mechanics appearing in Wilds of Eldraine, we talked about them here.

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