Casual Friday–The End of Time

Posted by DJ - August 5, 2011 - Blog - 5 Comments

Sundial of the InfiniteThe most exciting things about new sets are always cards that do brand new things in Magic. Artifacts are a great place to find unique abilities that don’t fit into any of the 5 colors of Mana. The artifact that has people thinking up the most new ideas for it would certainly be the Sundial of the Infinite
Sundial of the Infinite
. This card immediately ends the turn which sounds pretty great, but you can only use it on your own turn. Why would you want to end your turn? Well, it turns out that ending your turn can be pretty great too.

First it’s important to realize just what ending the turn does. As the card says, all the usual stuff like discarding down to your maximum hand size and removing damage from creatures happens immediately. Effects that last until the end of the turn also end. By far the best ability of this card is that the end of the turn exiles all spells and abilities, removing them from the game without allowing the effects to activate effectively countering the spell or ability.

This kind of ability can quickly put a stop to any opponent that tries to do some tricks on your turn. A Leyline of Anticipation
Leyline of Anticipation
that belongs to your opponent becomes a little less useful when they know they can’t wait until the end of their turn to use their spells. If they try to use a spell on your turn that you don’t like, you can just end the turn and their spell fizzles. Of course you do have to give up your turn to counter a spell, but exiling the spell is one of the few ways to counter spells that state they cannot be countered. Similarly, if your attack isn’t looking good because your opponent cast a spell or did some trick you didn’t anticipate you can end the turn and all your creatures will stop their attack.Ball Lightning

Ending the turn on command can be used for more than just countering your opponent’s tricks. You can counter your own abilities too. Specifically, this card is most useful with cards that have abilities that trigger later, such as Ball Lightning, which you normally would have to sacrifice at the end of the turn. If you can have it survive its attack for 6 damage you can end the turn when the ability to sacrifice it is on the stack. Then you get to keep it around for another turn to deal another 6 damage. However for cards like this you do have to be able to end the turn early every time if you want to keep it around. With abilities like unearth there is only one trigger to sacrifice the creature and if you exile that ability then you get to keep them around for a while longer. But they do still go to exile once they are finally destroyed again.

These are some of the simplest ways to use the Sundial of the Infinite. It can stop your opponents tricks during your turn and stop some nasty abilities from affecting you. Nearly any trigger that has you paying an extra cost or sacrificing a creature could probably be exiled on your turn with the Sundial of the Infinite. What are your favorite combos with the Sundial?

5 comments

  • Mom Clark says:

    Excellent info, I feel i might get the hang of this.

  • Miguel says:

    Actually, the Ball Lightning example is wrong.
    Ball Lightning says:
    “At the beginning of the end step, sacrifice Ball Lightning.”
    As you can see, at the oponent’s end step you would have to sacrifice the Ball Lightning because it triggers every turn.

    • Joshua says:

      Ball Lightning does say that, but as the author also states, “you have to end the turn early every time.”

      Without going into a ton of extra detail, you would have to use a Time Stop to continue the effects for ball lightning specifically.

      It would get expensive, but we aren’t talking tournament here anyway.

    • DJ says:

      Here’s a better alternative: Crumbling Colossus. He’s a big 7/4 with trample that also needs to be sacrificed, but only after it attacks. You can end the turn in response to that sacrifice trigger and save your guy.

    • Malekoda says:

      @Joshua

      A more parsimonious explanation is that the author, DJ, simply misread Ball Lightning and thought that activating Sundial of the Inifnite on each of your own turns was sufficient.

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