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Desperate Measures and "out of mana" definition.( Warpath & Smite interaction )

I’m not sure if it’s a bug or a game mechanic I don’t understand,

  • I use Warpath:
    -5/5 “Unchained” (reduced mana cost → free)
    -4/4 “Winds of Justice” (cast Smite while spinning)
  • My Smite:
    -1/1 Desperate Measures (Smite is free when “out of mana”)
    -1/1 Unbalanced Scale (+5* mana)

So when I use Warpath my mana doesn’t change (because my Warpath costs 0 mana) and every second, Smite is triggered (with a mana cost of 8 (3+5*)).
The problem is when I reach negative mana, Warpath continues until I Smite starts casting (which costs mana, I don’t know why it should) and cancels my Warpath with some kind of stun lock.
It does not happen when my mana is equal to 0 or -0.
So I guess " out of mana " refers to a mana strictly equal to 0 ?

The base skill Smite would be free when out of mana, but the proc (Unbalanced Scale) would still cost 5 mana. “Out of mana” should be any mana value at or below 0. I suspect that if you remove the point in Unbalanced Scale you’d still be able to Warpath at 0 mana because your Smite would now be free, though I’ve not tested it.

This doesn’t explain why when I have exactly 0 mana, I can spam Smite for free.

I’d assume that when it checks to see whether you can cast it, it’s not counting the +5 cost of Unbalanced Scale since it’s not part of the skill per se, it’s a subskill so I’d expect that to consume the mana “after” Smite is cast.