Too-Specific Top 10 - Extra, Extra!

(Timesifter | Art by Danny Orizio)

Read All About It!

Welcome to Too-Specific Top 10, where if there isn’t a category to rank our pet card at the top of, we’ll just make one up! (Did you know that Timesifter is the only artifact that can give any player an extra turn?)

One of the first things you learn in Magic is the beginner's mantra: untap, upkeep, draw. But what if you could do all that, an attack, and a couple main phases, twice? Well, then, let me introduce you to some of the best extra turn spells around!

Top 10 Extra Turn Cards

  1. Karn's Temporal Sundering
  2. Nexus of Fate
  3. Temporal Mastery
  4. Time Warp
  5. Expropriate
  6. Temporal Trespass
  7. Part the Waterveil
  9. Beacon of Tomorrows
  10. Temporal Manipulation

If you've ever seen any of the above hit the stack, however, you may have found that those around you were less than excited about your powerful play. In fact, not one, but three different Time Walks are on the Commander banned list, most likely to prevent exactly the feel-bads that most everyone remembers from a Standard environment that included Nexus of Fate. So rather than revisit how much we can get a table to groan and look down at their phones as we loop another Time Stretch, why don't we look at some of the extra turn spells that start with a bit of a handicap?

Top 10 Extra Turn Cards (That Aren't Mono-Blue)

I actually started this list with a straight non-blue criteria, but it was a bit too specific, as only 12 cards meet that criteria (and two of them are banned).

With that in mind, then, the stipulations had to be expanded somewhat, but I was pleasantly surprised at how underwhelming the contenders remained despite allowing some blue into the mix. So instead of a long diatribe, let's just jump right into our criteria for the week:

Criteria: Cards with a color identity that is not exclusively blue that can give you an extra turn. As is tradition, all results are ordered by EDHREC score.

10. Gonti's Aether Heart

(1,168 Inclusions, 0% of 396,547 Decks)

As seems to get mentioned every week here on Too-Specific Top 10, artifacts are the most popular theme in EDH, and Gonti's Aether Heart fits right into that mold. Energy, on the other hand, is the 73rd most popular theme on EDHREC. While Gonti's Aether Heart can somewhat stand on its own feet without being a part of that archetype, it's certainly not as strong to have a card that cares about energy all by it's lonesome. On the other hand, making an artifact deck care about energy doesn't seem like a winning combination for the most part, either. Combine all that with a controversial strategy like taking extra turns, and it's no surprise that our number ten pick just barely cracks the 1,000-deck mark.

9. Chance for Glory

(1,244 Inclusions, 1% of 91,501 Decks)

Some might remember Chance for Glory from a recent Standard deck that was so odd, even a non-competitive player like myself got wind of it. The odd thing about Chance for Glory that made the deck work, and even excel, is that if you can manage to get around the "you lose the game" trigger, then there's actually no expiration date for the indestructible effect.

Meaning, if you can get a Lich/Platinum Angel or Sundial of the Infinite effect going, then the creatures you have in play at the time Chance for Glory resolves will be indestructible FOE-EVA!

Is that a lot of hoops to jump through for an extra turn and some indestructible creatures? Absolutely. But we are talking about Boros here....

8. Final Fortune

(1,349 Inclusions, 1% of 190,024 Decks)

Speaking of "you lose the game" triggers, Final Fortune! A true Time Walk at a mere two red mana, Final Fortune gives you everything you could ever want in a game of EDH... so long as you're doing it soon. Still, most games of EDH do come down to a single explosive turn, so taking two of them to go out in a blaze of glory seems like it would have decent results! We're currently seeing it decks like Godo, Bandit Warlord, Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion, and Zada, Hedron Grinder. There is also Heartless Hidetsugu and Prossh, Skyraider of Kher in that mix, too, so maybe the idea of using this card for more than just an extra attack step isn't totally without merit.

7. Magistrate's Scepter

(1,394 Inclusions, 0% of 396,547 Decks)-

Do you have Proliferate triggers in your deck? Would you like to brave the wrath of the table by taking extra turns over and over again? Then Magistrate's Scepter may be the card for you!

Copying activated abilities with Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient and Tawnos, Urza's Apprentice seems to be another avenue for abusing this particular Mercadian Masques gem, but even with the two tactics combined we're still seeing rather low numbers here. I'd suggest that that's incorrect and that this is an underrated card, but we are talking about a card that is basically designed to grant a player multiple extra turns, which is not something that will endear your playgroup to you. Sure, once you've taken your four turns in a row to win the game, you'll have won... but you may have to tear others at the table away from their phones to actually inform them that you've done so.

6. Temporal Extortion

(1,425 Inclusions, 1% of 206,048 Decks)

A favorite of K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth decks thanks to its quadruple black casting cost, Temporal Extortion most often just says "Pay four mana: Target opponent with the most life loses half of their life total." A less unified or more pressured table will often give you the extra turn instead, but no matter how you swing it, that's a decent deal. What does surprise me looking through Temporal Extortion's EDHREC page, however, is the complete lack of spell recursion.

In K'rrik decks, I would have expected Yawgmoth's Will to be an (expensive) auto-include anyway, and throwing in an Ill-Gotten Gains wouldn't be a bad idea, either. Splashing into other colors could be a tad more difficult, but something else I would be excited to try with this would be Archaeomancer or Eternal Witness loops with recursion. Does it fall into the same category as using Magistrate's Scepter over and over again? Probably, but it feels a lot more fair to me given that it comes with a built-in means for your opponents to do something about it.

5. Ugin's Nexus

(1,432 Inclusions, 0% of 396,547 Decks)

Ugin's Nexus almost doesn't feel like it fits into the category of extra turn spell as much as it appears that it was designed to protect you from them. Looking at its EDHREC page, however, that old adage about planning around what your opponents are doing not being a great strategy seems to hold true, as basically every top commander playing Ugin's Nexus has a means to get rid of it for the extra turn.

One of the only exceptions to this is actually the most popular commander for this card and is also one of the only cards eliminated from this list that says "extra turn" on it: Emrakul, the Promised End. Emrakul also happens to be the most popular commander for Ugin's Nexus by far, with over 60% of Emrakul decks sporting a copy. The general strategy is that while you're taking another player's turn for them repeatedly, you can then also inform them that due to your Ugin's Nexus, they don't actually get the extra turn to make up for the self-destruction they're watching you commit. Aren't we all having fun?

4. Stitch in Time

(1,735 Inclusions, 2% of 96,605 Decks)

I could go into the various commanders that are playing Stitch in Time at a high rate, but you're probably already aware that most people playing this three-mana extra turn spell aren't actually in it for the extra turn as much as they're into it for the extra coin flips.

Don't get me wrong, you can get more coin flips out of a single Frenetic Efreet or Frenetic Sliver, ad infinitum. But for your average Okaun, Eye of Chaos and Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom deck, an extra turn means an extra combat step, meaning lots more flips in addition to the single one you get from Stitch in Time. It's also an extra draw for you to dig to your Krark's Thumb.

3. Medomai the Ageless

(Helms 109 Decks, Rank #547; 2,207 Inclusions, 2% of 97,918 Decks)

Medomai the Ageless might just be my favorite extra turn card. Sure, it has the typical problem of being easily repeatable and therefore playing a lot of solitaire. However, for the most part, it's under fair conditions and is fairly straightforward about it. Being that your commander is already based around combat damage, it's likely that the rest of your deck will be as well, and, as such, what you'll be doing with your extra turns will at least interact with other players, rather than just taking 20 extra turns to draw your whole deck or find a combo. There's also a built-in grace period where you can't attack with Medomai and therefore can't get his trigger again, so long as the person playing the deck is fairly reasonable and doesn't fill it to the brim with other extra turn spells and Clone effects that don't care about the Legend Rule.

*Looks at Medomai's EDHREC page*

You ever think about how terrible people are?

2. Time Sieve

(2,486 Inclusions, 2% of 109,886 Decks)

If you're looking for the more proper Gonti's Aether Heart to run in an artifacts deck, might I introduce Time Sieve? Granted, you do have to be in Dimir colors to use it, but it's both a sac effect for your artifacts and also a means to take a few extra turns to ensure that you can keep on grinding out value. That is, unless you're in the most popular version of this deck, Breya, Etherium Shaper... in which case you'll most likely untap with a Breya in play, which typically just means the game is over if you're anywhere past turn six.

1. Ral Zarek

(4,379 Inclusions, 5% of 96,605 Decks)

I was halfway to brewing a fun Medomai the Ageless build before realizing that the public has already ruined it for everyone. Luckily, if you're looking to build a fun deck that has a chance to take an extra turn every once in a while without making it into a big, repeatable deal, Ral Zarek is your man! As I'm always wont to point out, you can't really plan around planeswalker ultimates outside of a Doubling Season or a Deepglow Skate, but the first requires a third color and the second requires either an extra turn (ironic) or a massive amount of mana. Whether you pull it off the hard way or the easy way, however, Ral Zarek makes it into a bit of an event with the flipping of coins, and I have personally seen all five of them come up tails.

Outside of coin flip decks, of course. Krark's Thumb doesn't mess around.

Honorable Mentions

If I ever mention another possible top ten list in the introduction that I then don't deliver on, the comment section has trained me via whips, chains, and electric shock that I need to just go ahead and include it. So, here you are:

Top 10 Nonblue Extra Turn Spells

  1. Ugin's Nexus
  2. Temporal Extortion
  3. Magistrate's Scepter
  4. Final Fortune
  5. Chance for Glory
  6. Gonti's Aether Heart
  7. Timesifter
  8. Seedtime
  9. Last Chance
  10. Warrior's Oath
  11. Time Vault (Banned)
  12. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn (Banned)

Nuts and Bolts

Over the series, there have been some questions about how I reach the data to make these lists. With that in mind, I’m going to be trying to implement this section at the end of each of my articles to link the Scryfall search that I used to come up with the contained list. If you have any questions on the commands or shorthand I’ve used to come up with the list included, or have an improved method I could have used to save some work, we would love to hear about it.

What Do You Think?

I think I've made my own feelings about extra turn spells rather plain throughout this list, but I'd still like to know where the wider community comes down on them. Am I overreacting to the amount of boredom and solitaire they create, or are they just another means of winning the game that doesn't take that long if used correctly?

And finally, what decks are you playing extra turn spells in? Are you looping them endlessly, or just saving them for an explosive "turn" to close things out?

Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at the extra table we had to bring out to have enough room for the ill-advised eight-player game.

Doug has been an avid Magic player since Fallen Empires, when his older brother traded him some epic blue Homarids for all of his Islands. As for Commander, he's been playing since 2010, when he started off by making a two-player oriented G/R Land Destruction deck. Nailed it. In his spare time when he's not playing Magic, writing about Magic or doing his day job, he runs a YouTube channel or two, keeps up a College Football Computer Poll, and is attempting to gif every scene of the Star Wars prequels.

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