Throne of Eldraine is finally here, and with it comes a whole slew of new cards that people are hyped to brew around. Some of those cards have a brand new mechanic – Adventures! An Adventure is a special kind of instant or sorcery spell which is attached to a creature card. They work a lot like split cards, but there are a few differences. Let’s jump in:
Magic’s comprehensive rules refer to creature cards that have an Adventure spell on them as “adventurer cards,” so that is how I will refer to them here. Adventurer cards have a two-part frame, separating the card’s normal characteristics from the “alternative characteristics” of the Adventure. When an Adventure resolves, instead of going to the graveyard, its controller exiles it. While it’s exiled, that player may cast the adventurer card as a creature.
To cast an Adventure, a player simply casts the adventurer card and chooses to cast the Adventure instead of the creature. An adventurer card can be cast as an Adventure in any way the card can normally be cast, with one exception: If the card was exiled after resolving as an Adventure, it can only be cast from exile as a creature.
It’s a Creature, Unless it Isn’t
Adventurer cards are first and foremost creature cards. The Adventure that is printed on them is not a part of the creature’s text box (that’s just where the frame puts it); the “mini-card” Adventure represents “alternative characteristics” that the card could have, but only while being cast. That means the only time adventurer cards are Instant/Sorcery spells is when they are on the stack after their controller casts them as Adventures. When the Adventure is on the stack, it has the attributes of the Instant/Sorcery and none of its creature card attributes. This is very similar to how split cards handle being cast, although they are handled differently in other zones. For a detailed breakdown of how casting a split card works, see this article about how to cast a spell.
Elsha of the Infinite allows us to play the top card of our library if it’s a noncreature, nonland card. Adventurer cards are creature cards, but when they’re on the stack as an Adventure they have only their alternative characteristics. That means Elsha will let us cast an adventurer card off the top of our library, as long as we cast the instant/sorcery and not the creature! We even get to exile it afterward, to cast the creature later.
Kess, Dissident Mage allows us to cast an instant or sorcery from the graveyard each turn. Just like with Elsha, this allows us to cast the Adventure part of an adventurer card from the graveyard! The rules don’t check if the card is legal to cast until it’s on the stack as an instant/sorcery, and by then it’s a legal spell so Kess lets it through. Plus, we get an additional bonus: when the Adventure resolves, the card is exiled instead of going to the graveyard. That means we can cast the creature again too, and if that goes to the graveyard Kess won’t exile it because the rules treat it as a different object than the Adventure spell we cast!
Muldrotha, the Gravetide allows us to play permanent cards from our graveyard. For the same reason that Kess does let us play Adventures, Muldrotha will only let us cast the adventurers as creatures. If we try to put one onto the stack as an instant/sorcery spell, Muldrotha will not allow it to be cast.
It is important to remember that adventurer cards are not instant/sorcery cards unless they are currently being cast. For example, if we cast Call to Mind, we can’t return an adventurer card to hand because it is a creature. Similarly, if we have adventurer cards in the graveyard or in exile, cards like Beacon Bolt and Crackling Drake will not count them.
When an Adventure spell is copied (like with Lucky Clover), the copy only has the alternative values that were used to cast the Adventure. That means the copy won’t go to exile and become a creature card when it resolves; it simply ceases to exist.
The fact that a creature has an Adventure is a copiable value, but there is currently only one card for which that is relevant: Mysterious Pathlighter will put a +1/+1 counter on a Clone or similar card, as long as it’s copying an adventurer card.
Congratulations! You’re an expert on the new Adventure mechanic. If you have any other questions, or if we’ve inspired you in some way, let us know in the comments or on Twitter! Thanks for reading, and tune in next time when I’m going to use Thousand-Year Storm and Mastermind’s Acquisition to get seven Seven Dwarves from my sideboard!