Inoculation is the most common grain refining technique during metal/alloy castings. However, only a small fraction, typically 1~2%, of inoculants serve as nucleation sites while most of them do not participate in the nucleation event and hence they are usually termed ‘inactive’ inoculants. But ‘inactive’ does not mean ‘useless’. Our recent studies revealed some extra merits of these ‘inactive’ particles in Mg-Al-Y cast alloys. The current results represent a new approach to microstructure design through manipulation of inoculated particles during castings.