The captain leaves the attached to the until it is played, at which point, as a cost, the is returned to the captain's hand and the is played for . The may be played at any time it would otherwise have been eligible if it had been played normally. So an with a Phase Restriction can still only be played in the appropriate phase. Note, there's nothing to stop you from playing the immediately, if no other condition prevents it.
So Contingency serves three separate, but related purposes:
- It lets you search for an , which can be a handy way to solve a particular problem.
- You have , you can get an from your discard pile, so if you ended up expending it for or using it, you can get it back.
- It reduces the cost to by returning the attached . Of course, you'd have to pay to bring that out again if you wanted to, but there are instances where bringing a card back to your hand may be advantageous. For instance, if they have an ability that generates on being played...