Lord Erman's picture
By: Lord Erman, Nafiz Erman
Jul 26 2011 1:07am
Login to post comments



Infinite Insanity

by Nafiz Erman

Hello dear readers and welcome back to Rogue Play. At the start of this week's article, I want to remind you a few basic things about this game we all love so much. 

As we know, Magic is a turn based game. Which means that during our turn we play our cards and then our opponent plays his cards on his turn. And one of the best things we can do (if not the best) in this game is of course to get extra turns. This is why Time Walk is a Power Nine card. This is why Time Warp is a tournament level spell.

But we don't have to play only "you get another turn after this one" spells to get extra turns. Alternatively we can also end our opponent's turn to get the same effect. Cards like Silence, Abeyance or Orim's Chant are the first cards that come to my mind. These cards mean that our opponents will simply "waste" their turn. Time Stop does also the same.

So here's a question for you: If getting extra turns is so good, if all the things I said above are so important, what then do you think is the worst thing that can happen to us? Hmm? Oh yes you're right; we would hate to see all those things I said above happening to us! We would for example hate to see our turn end before it supposed to end.

But not anymore.

Because M12 gave us this:

Now thanks to this card, we want to end our turn before it supposed to end.

But why?

One basic reason is to protect us from harmful spells our opponents might play during our turn. We really don't want them to play a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir at the end of our turn, do we? The same is true for Brainstorm. Basically every time our opponents play some nasty instants, nasty creatures with flash or activates some nasty abilities, we can use Sundial of the Infinite and end our turn.

Of course it also has to be said that this is the perfect sideboard card against those Hive Mind decks as well. Alternatively you can simply "kill" opposing Luminarch Ascensions with this one too (the enchantment will never trigger).

But are these all? Prevent Teferi, prevent Brainstorm, prevent Luminarch Ascension and kill Hive Mind decks. Are these all? Surely there must be more than those. Oh you bet there are!

So let's take a look at what we can do with it.


"Enters the battlefield" creatures

"Enters the battlefield" creatures are a very important part of Magic. But sadly not all of them are Kitchen Finks or Nekrataal. Some of them have very "attractive" bodies but sadly those bodies come with a huge drawback.

Eater of Days Leveler Phyrexian Dreadnought

As a matter of fact, Sundial of the Infinite works the same way as Torpor Orb if we're only looking at creatures with huge "enters the battlefield" drawbacks. And I even believe that Torpor Orb is a better option here because not only it means a Phyrexian Dreadnought for , but it also means that opponent's Vendilion Clique will lose all its game text as well. Sundial of the Infinite can't protect you from Vendilion Clique if the opponent plays it on his own turn.

But still let's take a look at what we have here. The "big three" are as shown above; meaning Phyrexian Dreadnought, Leveler and Eater of Days. Sundial of the Infinite will only be played with those creatures if it also has other uses in the deck. Otherwise it will be always Torpor Orb. Legacy decks will continue playing Phyrexian Dreadnought and in Modern we may see Sundial of the Infinite being used together with Eater of Days. Surely there's a difference between one mana and four mana but I'm sure deck builders for Modern will think of something for it.

Oh and if we're talking about Modern, maybe you wish to try this monster too:

Sky Swallower

That's also... uhm, nice?

And while we're at Ravnica, we should also mention that "Hunted" cycle from that block. Remember these?

Hunted Troll Hunted Horror Hunted Lammasu

These are also perfect creatures to use with Sundial of the Infinite.

And the next "enters the battlefield" creature I want to mention is this Boldwyr Heavyweights. A 8/8 trampler for  (plus the activasion cost of Sundial of the Infinite of course) without a drawback must be nice, no?

Boldwyr Heavyweights

Actually there are tons of such "enters the battlefield" creatures with drawbacks. Hidden HorrorAccursed CentaurWar Elemental, Sleeper AgentGilded Drake, Eviscerator, Zombie Mob, Commander Greven il-Vec, Shivan Wumpus, Bull Elephant... the list goes on and on. 

But as I said, if your only goal is to cheat those big bodies with huge drawbacks into play, then Torpor Orb is a better option. But that's the only use of Torpor Orb. Sundial of the Infinite on the other hand, has many more uses.



In Magic there are those token producers which give you a very powerful token; but the drawback is that you can use it only once.

Not anymore!

Giantbaiting, Heat Shimmer and Elemental Appeal are the first cards I can think of. Those cards give you very nice tokens and with the help of Sundial of the Infinite, you simply keep them. Alternatively you can use these:

Stone Idol Trap Zektar Shrine Expedition Mimic Vat

There are even Feral Lightning, Waylay and Elemental Mastery out there.

The best one? That dear readers, is none of the above. It's actually this one:

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

With the Sundial out, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker not only breaks a few mirrors but now he also breaks the game apart as well! Oh and the same is also true for Splinter Twin of course.


Cheat'em into play

(and keep'em in play)

This is one of the best things you can do with Sundial of the Infinite. There are so many resurrection spells out there which are relatively cheap (mana-wise) but sadly you don't get to keep the creature and it gets exiled at the end of your turn. There are also other "cheat into play" cards but they either make you sacrifice the creature or return it back to your hand.

Not anymore!

Surely Black is the color where most of the gems lie. Just check these out:

Puppeteer Clique Footsteps of the Goryo Goryo's Vengeance

Alternatively you can use Postmortem LungeGruesome Encore or Apprentice Necromancer in the same way. Oh and you can now cheat Phage the Untouchable into play too. Just get her onto the battlefield somehow and then end your turn when her "you lose the game" trigger is on the stack.

But these are still not all! There are other "cheat into play" cards in other colors. How about Aethermage's Touch for example?

Aethermage's Touch

As you can see, this is actually a four mana Summoning Trap. But the best thing is the fact that it is an instant. Which means that you can play it at the end of your opponent's turn, get yourself your Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, attack with it and annihilate the opponent on your turn, and then use your Sundial of the Infinite and keep the monster on table. Marvelous! Even better than Summoning Trap.

Finally if you play a deck with Red and Green, you may wish to try these two beasts:

Killer Instinct Impromptu Raid

Those two harmless "fun" enchantments are now very deadly. Because the creatures they cheat onto the battlefield, stay on the battlefield!

At this point I have to say that sadly Sneak Attack and Through the Breach don't work with the Sundial. Actually I was so sure that they were going to work and even seeing them not working on the Beta server didn't convince me. I thought that it was a bug and contacted WotC. But sadly a letter from Michael DiPetrillo (MTGO Beta Coordinator) saying "No sir, you can't do that", killed all my dreams of a "sneakier than ever" Progenitus.




If you don't want to play any extra cards to resurrect your creatures, you can always try the Unearth mechanic from Shards Block. A Grixis colored deck should be your choice here and then you can abuse those Viscera Draggers, Sedraxis Specters and Extractor Demons.

Actually I personally wouldn't build an Unearth theme deck just to abuse Sundial of the Infinite. There are much better options out there. But I may use a few Unearth creatures in my Sundial of the Infinite centric Grixis deck. For example a discard deck with Blightning and Sedraxis Specter would be a start. Then you can use Footsteps of the Goryo and such cards to resurrect opponent's discarded creatures. There are more options and I'm going to talk about them in a moment.

Sedraxis Specter


Pump spells

Not all pump spells are Giant Growth. Meaning there are much nastier ones out there. But sadly they have a big drawback (they always do, don't they?); after we pump our creature to a gigantic size, we have to sacrifice it at the end of our turn.

Not anymore! 

So spells like Berserk and Blood Frenzy are now incredibly deadly. Junkyo Bell is not that junkyo(!!) anymore. You don't lose anyone to your Tears of Rage. Dragon Whelp doesn't die if you pump it too many times. Crazed Armodon, Chimeric Coils and Deathknell Kami don't die after you pump them (who uses those creatures by the way?).


Remove them (and never give back!)


White is the master of temporary solutions in Magic. For example you exile something with Flickerwisp but it comes back in at the end of your turn.

Not anymore!

Now you exile something with Flickerwisp and that permanent stays exiled forever! Awesome!

Alternatively you can also use Glimmerpoint Stag, Astral Slide, Turn to Mist, Mistmeadow Witch, Voyager Staff and Otherworldly Journey to get the same effect. There's also Planar Guide too, if you want mass removal.

Speaking of mass removal, it should also be mentioned that Pestilence and Pyrohemia are great with Sundial of the Infinite. In a similar way, Call to the Grave gets much better with Sundial too. Even if there are no creatures on table, you can end your turn with Sundial of the Infinite and keep your Call to the Grave "alive".

But my personal favorite is this duo:

Venser, the Sojourner

How does this trick works? So you first exile something with Oblivion Ring. Then you do all your stuff during your turn. When you're finished, you exile Oblivion Ring with Venser, the Sojourner. When Oblivion Ring goes to the void (void = beneath Venser), its "give what you took back" game text triggers. And that's when you use Sundial of the Infinite and end your turn. The exiled permanent remains exiled forever!

Then at the end of your opponent's turn Oblivion Ring returns back to the battlefield from beneath Venser, and exiles another permanent. You do the same trick. You do all you want to do during your turn and when you're finished you exile your Oblivion Ring with Venser, the Sojourner. And once again when the "give it back dude!" game text of O-Ring is on the stack, you end your turn. Then you rinse and repeat of course!


Drawing cards with the Sundial

Of course it's not Sundial of the Infinite that draws extra cards. But there are some cards around which all of a sudden turn into killer card drawing spells with it. Such as this one:

Psychic Vortex

Awesome, isn't it?

You can also use Grafted Skullcap the same way (but I would prefer Psychic Vortex myself).

Or you can play your Mulldrifter with its evoke cost, get your two cards and end the turn. Wouldn't it be nice too? Or how about Ideas Unbound? Draw three cards and when the trigger of Ideas Unbound goes to the stack at the end of your turn, simply use your Sundial and discard nothing. Fantastic!

Speaking of Mulldrifter...


Evoke creatures

I mentioned Mulldrifter above but it also has to be said that all the other creatures with evoke work with Sundial of the Infinite. How about a permanent Cloudthresher for ? How about a permanent Shriekmaw for just (plus the cost of activating Sundial of the Infinite of course)? How about a one mana 3/3 creature as in Ingot Chewer? Even Glarewielder and Inner-Flame Acolyte turned into playable cards now!



"Champion a creature" creatures

These creatures could have been much better had they not asked for a sacrifice. Well, thanks to Sundial of the Infinite you can cheat that sacrifice part.

And that means that creatures like Lightning CrafterUnstoppable Ash, Changeling Titan, Thoughtweft Trio or Nova Chaser have a whole new meaning. Would we see those in tournament decks? Most probably not, but these are some very nice and casual ways to abuse Sundial of the Infinite



Hecatomb on its own deserves a separate section in my opinion.


So you play your Hecatomb and when it enters the battlefield its "Sacrifice it unless bla bla" game text triggers. You use your Sundial of the Infinite and end your turn. And what do you have now? Oh yes, you have your Black version of Koth of the Hammer (kind of)! So unless your opponent finds a way to destroy your Hecatomb, he will suffer a painful death by your Swamps!

"Dude, I just lost to a Black deck."
"Sorry to hear that. Was it Phyrexian Obliterator?"
"It was Tombstalker then."
"Dredge then. Was it Bridge from Below?"
"No, it wasn't Dredge either."
"Dude what was it then?! Vampires? Dark Confidant? BitterblossomHypnotic Specter? Tendrils of Agony? Consume Spirit?! I mean what was it that killed you?"
"Swamps. I died to his Swamps. He had too many of them. And he kept tapping them."

A very deadly wincon.

So how about a Black deck with some serious amount of tutors, discard, hand disruption, Sundial of the Infinite (of course) and then some nice targets for it such as Hecatomb and Phyrexian Dreadnought. Maybe even Hunted Horror as well (that's a "maybe").

Splashing to Blue is of course a very logical thing to do; not only because of counterspells and card drawing, but also for Stifle as well (we would hate to auto-lose to an Extirpate targeting our Sundial of the Infinite, wouldn't we?).


Get meaner! It's combo time!

There are several very mean things you can do with Sundial of the Infinite. One is Smokestack. You can skip your turn and sacrifice nothing while the opponent is losing everything he has to your Smokestack. Solitary Confinement works the same way. Just end your turn and skip the hefty payment cost of it.

Oh and you can also add Psychic Possession to your deck. Just because you're ending your turns during your upkeep, you will not be able to draw any cards. Psychic Possession helps you greatly overcoming that problem.

Psychic Possession
Helps with draws if you're ending your turn during your upkeep.

But those two cards above (Solitary Confinement and Smokestack) are not the only options. They are not even the best options either. So how about combining these two:

Djinn Illuminatus Pact of the Titan

So I will play my Djinn Illuminatus and then get me... uhm... well, I will get me like five thousand six hudred forty nine 4/4 Giants with it! And thanks to Sundial of the Infinite, I will not pay anything to those Pact of the Titans.

Mean enough for you? No? Okay cool. So how about this one?

Final Fortune Isochron Scepter

Most of the options I showed you in this article can only be used in casual games. But not this one. This one is actually something very serious. Legacy doesn't have Time Vault. And there Final Fortune will become Time Vault. I don't want to get into too much detail now about this combo and the possible deck that can be built around it. That dear readers, will be the subject of a future article.

Just one thing about it: You don't have to play all your combo pieces in one single turn. For example you can get your Isochron Scepter out and imprint your Final Fortune onto it and activate it. That's already four mana but don't worry; you just got yourself an extra turn. And during that extra turn you can play your Sundial of the Infinite in calm and use it.


Some unsorted creatures that are great with the Sundial

Okay we're nearing to the end of the article. Now it's time to show you a few random creatures that get very interesting with Sundial of the Infinite.

1- Other "enters the battlefield" creatures: There are more than just the ones I mentioned at the beginning of the article. But most of them are casual stuff. Such as Denizen of the Deep, Rathi Dragon and Jokulmorder. If Dragons and Serpents and Leviathans are your thing (or Hounds as in Lava Hounds), then you may wish to consider Sundial of the Infinite in your decks.

2- Dross Harvester: Oh look a 4/4 for three that gives you two life for every creature that dies and it even has protection from White. Surely there has to be a drawback, it can be just that plain silly. Normally there is a drawback but hey; we're playing Sundial of the Infinite, remember?

3- Erg Raiders & Nim Abomination: You don't have to worry about opposing Pacifism Auras if you have these dudes out. Just end your turn and don't lose life.

4- Stenchskipper: The foul stench of itself is enough. Thanks to the Sundial, you don't need to add unbearable Goblin stench to it anymore (I'm not so sure about this one by the way, it needs testing).

5- (I'm not sure about this one either) Starke of RathI don't know whether this works or not. Is it possible to kill something and end the turn immediately before Donateing Starke or not?

6- Tidal Wave: It's a shame that it gives a Wall. Otherwise it would have been at least a bit more playable.

Dross Harvester

7- Nacatl War-Pride: I'm sure someone will put Sundial of the Infinite in their Cat Tribal deck and will abuse Nacatl War-Pride with it. I will hate to be the one on the other side of the table when that happens.

8- Tempting Wurm: So I pay and get me a nice 5/5 while the opponent helplessly watches me ending the turn before he can get himself anything. Nice? Yes. Fair? Absolutely not. Do I like nice and unfair things? Yessss!!

9- Fog Elemental: I don't know why one would want to play this but it's there in case someone does. Fog Elemental still dies when it blocks but now it doesn't have to die after it attacks. 

And let's talk about some noncreature spells that can be used with Sundial of the Infinite.


Some other unsorted cool stuff that get very interesting with the Sundial


1- Antagonism & Impatience: No, they don't hurt you.

2- Angel's Trumpet: No, it doesn't hurt you either.

3- False Memories: You don't have to exile anything from your graveyard after using this.

4- Thran Quarry: A five color land without any drawback... okay, I'll take it!

5- Rainbow Vale: Another five color land without a drawback. Cool!

6- Domestication: It is now truly Control Magic.

7- Wastelanding a fetchland: Oh yes, it's now possible. If your opponent doesn't crack his fetchland on his turn, now you can destroy it with your Wasteland on your turn. You activate your Wasteland (on your turn!) targeting his fetchland, the opponent cracks the fetchland in response and voila; you end the turn and the fetchland dies! Cool trick, huh?

8- Thawing Glaciers: Now you use it, get your basic land but the best thing is that it never returns back to your hand.

9- Permanents with Echo costs: If you're fine with Time Walk-ing yourself, then you can end your turn before paying the echo costs of your permanents. This may be not worthy for most of those cards but maybe Volcano Hellion could be interesting. Double interesting if you're also using Personal Sanctuary in that deck.

Okay that's all dear readers. I'm sure I'm forgetting something but this was the best I could come up with. And I hope it was satisfying for you. Oh and one final thing: 


My apologies in advance if...

... one or more of the cards I mentioned in this article don't work the way I think they would. I tested a lot of the cards I mentioned here with a friend on the M12 beta server but I didn't have the chance to test them all. So some cards I mentioned in the article may not work the way I think they would; and if you come across such a card, please let me know.

So my apologies in advance if you see one such card (or more).


Things that don't work with the Sundial

Ball Lightning and its kin don't work with Sundial of the Infinite. If Ball Lightning can't sacrifice itself at the end of your turn, then it does so at the end of your opponent's turn.

Temporary theft spells also don't work with it. Cards like Threaten, Conquering Manticore or Ray of Command give back the creature they steal.

Also don't get any funny dreams with Recycle or Null Profusion. Even if you end your turn, you will be forced to discard back to two cards.

Also there were a few cards I thought they would work and one of them was Corpse Dance. Sadly it doesn't. So if you think of a card that would work with the Sundial, my personal advice is to test. Because only testing will tell you whether it's working with it or not. I tested Sneak Attack for example and saw that it wasn't working.

Null Profusion



What conclusion?! What conclusion could there possibly be other than the fact that Sundial of the Infinite is broken?!

So here's what I think about it: Sundial of the Infinite will be banned. It should be banned! Sooner or later this will happen. This card is absolutely crazy.




Okay, as always I might be exaggerating things a bit. Maybe it doesn't have to be banned. But one thing is sure: This card does something that no other card can do. So it's unique. And this kind of cards always scare me. Imprinting Final Fortune onto Isochron Scepter and getting infinite turns may not sound too broken for you now. But who knows what the future holds?

(Joshua's Note:  This article was submitted before the Starcity Open Series in Seattle. During the coverage, the event staff covered a Sundial deck played by Andrew Johnson.  He went 1-3 with the list, but it goes to show in my mind that there is potential for the Sundial to see tournament play.) 


I Command You, Part IV

I prepared one fun Commander article for you and next week we will talk about mono Red in Commander (while we are all waiting for M12). So a Blue mage (being me) will be playing mono Red. Now that will be a scene to watch! But hey; I will play Red "the Blue way". And what exactly does that mean? 

That dear readers, you will see next week.

Thanks for reading.

See you online
Nafiz Erman, aka Lord Erman


As I understand sundial of by StealthBadger at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 06:05
StealthBadger's picture

As I understand sundial of the infinite, it works with stone idol trap, but not mimic vat or zektar shrine expedition. I'm pretty sure in each of those cases the token will be exiled at the end of the opponent's end step?

EDIT: same with kiki-jiki?

Sundial works with all the by Lord Erman at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 06:35
Lord Erman's picture

Sundial works with all the cards you mentioned. Including Kiki-Jiki and Splinter Twin.

So you keep your Splinter Twin token, you keep your Mimic Vat token, as well as your Stone Idol Trap token, your Zektar Shrine Expedition token etc...


Kiki-Jiki's oracle text;Tap: by StealthBadger at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 06:57
StealthBadger's picture

Yah, I checked this, you're correct.

It's about cards with delayed triggers, rather than tests during the end step. It's a pretty comnfusing card for a core set, in my opinion.

As I now understand it, it should be going in my Sedris EDH deck?!

Cool article! Oh, and Corpse by ForestFire0 at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 09:25
ForestFire0's picture

Cool article!

Oh, and Corpse Dance should also work with Sundial. If it doesn't, I would blame a programming glitch.

Also, Sundial and Unearth only half work. Even if you don't have to exile it at the end of your turn, it will still be exiled if it would leave the battlefield. So Unearth doesn't like Sundial as much as other mechanics do.

Oh, and Pestilence, by ForestFire0 at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 09:39
ForestFire0's picture

Oh, and Pestilence, Pyrohemia, and Call to the Grave don't work very well with the Sundial since they will trigger on your opponent's end step as well. Unless he or she feels like helping you keep your enchantment, they can just not play a creature that turn and you'll lose it then.

You're of course right about by Lord Erman at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 10:08
Lord Erman's picture

You're of course right about Unearth. If you try to, say, Unsummon an already unearth-ed creature, it will get exiled. So you have to be careful with them.

About Pestilence: I know I wasen't clear enough in the article and I was expecting this comment actually. So Pestilence doesn't get destroyed at the end of your turn if you kill all creatures with it because you use your Sundial. And during your opponent's turn he may not play a creature and then Pestilence gets destroyed of course.

But just to destroy your Pestilence (or your Pyrohemia) your opponent didn't play a creature on his turn. So in a way you just Time Walk-ed him. I know I didn't say all those things in the article but this is why I said that they are good with the Sundial.

Thanks for the comments by the way.


Great stuff. by apaulogy at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 12:31
apaulogy's picture

I really like your articles and your angle for deck building.

Nice comprehensive look at this very unique card. If nothing else, when I see this card now I will know someone has shenanigans. It sort of forces removal due to the under costed brokenness it allows you. The only problem I can see, potentially and aside from artifact removal, is actually getting it in hand.

Great article, sir.

Great card by Undeadgod at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 12:57
Undeadgod's picture

I also have been staring and staring at sundial as my #1 pick from m12 (at least for my style of play).

My main combo with it will be Sneak Attack however. Just far far too good to pass up. I gave great thought to the Final Fortune on a stick, but I got that combo out of my system with Magosi, the Waterveil.

Fun Article,

Thanks for the read

big article one card by BOBBAKAKE at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 14:38
BOBBAKAKE's picture

thats a big article for one card. I like how psychic vortex was mentioned. thats my favorite card. my pic of all the combos would be the phyrexian dread cuz the combo can go in any color scheme. plus the last set is phyrexian. i hope karn does somthing bout those guys...

Great article as always by Paul Leicht at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 17:31
Paul Leicht's picture

Great article as always LE...Yeah Sundial seems like an oddball at first and then wow...the tricks! oye... :D

Great article. I knew there by themonkey at Tue, 07/26/2011 - 17:42
themonkey's picture

Great article. I knew there were lots of shenanigans surrounding this card, I just didn't realize how many. The good thing is that someone builds a Commander deck around Sundial an Into the Core or Return to Dust should be a pretty effective neuter.

caterpillar's picture

I was going to post a comment describing a complete classification system for applications of the Sundial and how it interacts with other cards and mechanics, but I deleted it. Instead I'll just agree with StealthBadger's comment above that it's a damned complicated card to include in a core set.

The one part of the whole classification idea that I do want to mention, though, to address his comment, is that there are various different wordings for things that happen generally in the end step. Each of the different ways of wording things is actually handled in a slightly different way by the game mechanics and it's probably very confusing to players to figure out which one applies in any given situation, and how the Sundial will interact with that.
Here's how I understand the various templates:

"until end of turn" effects (eg, Giant Growth) or "this turn" effects (eg, Writ of Passage) don't use the stack or triggers so the Sundial doesn't interact with them at all

"at the beginning of your next end step" sets up a one-time trigger, which uses the stack. When these triggers are on the stack you can use the Sundial to ignore them and you'll never have to worry about them again. If you end your turn before the end step, the triggers will come back when you next have an end step.

"at the beginning of the next end step" is also a one-time trigger, and if it happens to go on the stack at the end of your turn, you can use the Sundial to stop it from resolving. As with the "your next end step" template, if you end your turn before your end step then it merely delays the trigger from resolving. For example: Kiki-Jiki, Corpse Dance.

"at the beginning of the end step" (no "next") sets up a trigger that puts an effect on the stack at the beginning of each end step, not just yours. If you use the Sundial with these effects any time in your own turn, you avoid the effect in your turn, but they will still trigger at the end of each of your opponents' end steps. For example: Pestilence, Minion Reflector.

I think they're the only four flavours of "end of turn" effects, so if you can understand those you should be able to understand how any given card should interact with the Sundial.

Unearth deserves a special mention. It's a combination of "your next end step" and "if this leaves play, exile it" effects. So as with Kiki-Jiki or Corpse dance, as above, you can stop the one-time trigger that would cause you to exile it at the end of your own turn. The Sundial can't help with the other exiling clause, though, so if the creature dies or is bounced (though not, as an aside, if it's phased out) then it's exiled instead of going to those other zones.

The only fly in the ointment for trying to figure out what each card should do when interacting with the Sundial is that the way that cards have been templated has changed over time. For example, you have a picture of Killer Instinct, and is says "sacrifice it at end of turn". You'd have to check with gatherer or in the client to find the current wording which is "at the beginning of the next end step" which is a one-time trigger (= good with Sundial) and not an "every turn" one as the printed card would suggest on first reading. The same goes for Kiki-Jiki. The mismatch between printed and Oracle text is a bit annoying but on the whole it's probably better to have clear templating and errata to bring printed cards into line with the Oracle text, even if that's not what's printed on the card. Let's hope they don't do a "Winter Orb" on Kiki-Jiki and friends to errata them back to being what's actually printed on the card, or else a lot of the Sundial's combo potential gets wiped out. So my final point in this long post is just to make sure you check the oracle text/game client text rather than the printed text.

other options by caterpillar at Wed, 07/27/2011 - 11:24
caterpillar's picture

Some other cards that come to mind that can be abused with the Sundial:
Herald of Leshrac: don't pay upkeep, then end your turn when its leaves play trigger is on the stack; you lose a turn, but you've got their lands permanently. Alternatively, use a bounce effect like Vedalken Mastermind or Crystal Shard later in your turn to get more value out of it.
Wormfang Manta: neuter the ETB trigger to save up a turn; by use of bounce and clever stacking you can go infinite in turns for an upkeep cost of 6UU. Final Fortune on a stick is a lot cheaper, though, and has the same number of moving parts.
Lord of Tresserhorn: another one of those creatures with hefty ETB drawbacks.

Another thing that strikes me is the list of existing cards that the Sundial is like:

Torpor Orb: as you mentioned. Sundial is sometimes better because you can end the turn before a Naturalize targeting it resolves when you've got a Leveler or somesuch on the stack.
Stifle, Trickbind, Voidslime: you mentioned Stifle.
Vanishing/Reality Ripple: very different cards in many ways, but also have overlaps, mainly to do with avoiding turn-end triggers
Illusionary Mask: avoids ETB triggers.
Time Stop: Sundial can do it in each of your turns for a whole lot less.
Defense Grid/City of Solitude: Sundial can stop opponents playing stuff in your turn, but at a steep cost

Any of these cards are probably worth looking up for deck ideas. I'm sure quite a few of them could be retooled to use the Sundial instead.

sneak attack by caterpillar at Wed, 07/27/2011 - 11:13
caterpillar's picture

I don't understand how this didn't work. It's a one-time "at the beginning of the next end step" trigger. If you activate the Sundial at the end of your turn when the trigger is on the stack, the sac effect should never resolve. Did you try something different or get any more explanation back from Wizards than "you can't do that?"

This was bugging me so I put together a test deck with Sneak Attack and Time Stop in it. I actually got mixed results. I was able to stop time with the sacrifice trigger on the stack and my creature didn't die there and then. But then at the end of my next turn (this was a solitaire game) the trigger happened again. This makes no sense to me since as far as I was aware "at the beginning of the next end step" triggers only happen once.

In fact, I looked this up and found this page on the wizards site: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/jc6
To quote from it:

Q: What's up with last week's Time Stop / Waylay thing?

A: Ok, here's how it works… Things that say “at end of turn” will trigger the next time the game reaches the end of turn step [CR 313.1]. Permanents tend to have a triggered ability that will apply regardless of the turn. Spells (like Waylay) and abilities (like Sneak Attack) tack on a trigger but only once. If you Time Stop early, that delayed trigger is still ready to go off [CR 404.4b]. If you let the trigger event occur and Time Stop before it resolves, the delayed trigger will have gone off and not trigger again—you'll keep the tokens (or the Sneak-y creature).

Which is, to me, unequivocally saying that Sneak Attack + Time Stop/Stifle/Sundial should work to keep the creature in play without there being any more triggers to contend with. I hope we can get a ruling on this and, if needs be, an update to fix the problem...

I think the problem is due to by Paul Leicht at Wed, 07/27/2011 - 15:44
Paul Leicht's picture

I think the problem is due to the unintuitive and somewhat ambiguous history of timing rules. The End of Turn triggers all need to be rewritten for m10 rules. M10 changed the end step so that it has a clearly delineated beginning and then cleanup. Because of this since the beginning is never achieved it looks for the next available beginning and starts the trigger.

But wait you say the sundial ended the turn before said trigger could be recorded. But that isn't how certain cards work. If a card says the text on it (until the next end step or the like) it will keep checking until the trigger happens even though you'd think not. (Sundial doesn't negate these which is why Corpse Dance once would have worked this way but now does not since its errata to avoid broken combos with it back in the day.)

thanks for the response, Paul by caterpillar at Thu, 07/28/2011 - 08:11
caterpillar's picture

I was actually aware of the changes to the end step and how we now have a cleanup step and how some cards got "at the beginning of the end step" and "next end step" type rewordings. I mentioned them in my rather long post above.

What I actually did was to wait until the sac/exile trigger was on the stack, during my end step. So the trigger had already had its chance to go on the stack and I didn't skip any end step. I think you were suggesting that I had actually skipped an end step?

I still maintain that both Corpse Dance and Sneak Attack should work with Sundial/Time Stop/Stifle even though they don't work in the client. We get one extra turn out of the creature, but then at the beginning of the next end step (the second one) another (spurious, I think) trigger goes on the stack forcing me to sac/exile.

I wasn't able to find any definitive answer to this on the wizards site apart from the link I mentioned, which is quite old and predates the M10 rules changes. However, I did find several casual forums where people agreed that the combo should work.

I guess the thing that bugs me is that things like Mimic Vat and the others that Lord Erman mentions work--I've tested some of them, just to be sure--but Corpse Dance and Sneak Attack don't even though they've got exactly the same templating, ie they all say "at the beginning of the next end step".

I think in the end, I'll raise a bug report with them and see what they say. I'll post back here if/when I hear something.

That's probably a good plan. by Paul Leicht at Thu, 07/28/2011 - 14:36
Paul Leicht's picture

That's probably a good plan. Even if you're wrong it doesn't hurt to let them know (again) how uninituitive the whole timing issue is.

I must congratulate you by grandpoobah at Wed, 07/27/2011 - 23:38
grandpoobah's picture

You actually managed to find a few things that hadn't occurred to me. The only thing of consequence that you missed (that I know of at any rate) are the Cumulative Upkeep cards, Glacial Chasm in particular.

would this make by howlett23 at Thu, 07/28/2011 - 14:09
howlett23's picture

for a one sided Illusions of Grandeur? Similar to the Donate interaction, by just ending turn when the -20 hits..or does it?

PS I'm leaning to yes, but too lazy to check.

BlippyTheSlug's picture

Creatures (18)
4 Death's Shadow - o.O/OMG for B
4 Hunted Horror - 7/7 Trample for BB
2 Hunted Lammasu - 5/5 Flier for 2WW
4 Shiekmaw - Doom Blade on 3/2 Fear legs
4 Simian Spirit Guide - Mana acceleration

Other Spells (22)
3 Dark Tutelage - Keep those cards coming! Feed the Shadow!
4 Final Fortune - Put this on a stick.
4 Isochron Scepter - Stick FF on this.
3 Phyrexian Unlife - Cuz sometimes ya just gotta be dead to win.
4 Sign in Blood - More cards, please! Feed the Shadow!
4 Sundial of the Infinite - Tick... tick... tick... tick...

Lands (20)
8 Fetches
4 Godless Shrine
2 Leechridden Swamp - It's land type is Swamp, so it can be searched out w/fetches.
6 Swamp


(Scepter/FF) + Sundial = Infinite turns

With "Hunted" or Evoke creatures, simply end the turn before the opponent's creatures, or sacrifice, resolve.

You don't care about fetches & shocklands & signing yourself; once you're below 13 life, Death's Shadow get's bigger. You should be at infinite turns stage by now anyway. Besides, you have Unlife.

Nice Article but... by Treamayne at Fri, 07/29/2011 - 14:35
Treamayne's picture

Starke of Rath doesn't work. It is a two part single trigger effect without a "Then" clause. You can cancel (Sundial, Time Stop, etc) the whole effect, but not just the switch allegience portion. Good if you use Starke and they sac in response, but not good enough to destroy something and just keep Starke. For that you need something like Witch, so you can flicker him with the ability on the stack and he's not in play to switch sides when it goes off.

Your description of how the Wasteland/Stripmine combo was vague, so for other readers, you are forcing the sac and preventing the search. Strip/Waste does not kill the land, but the end result is the same as if it had.

Stenchskipper will look for goblins on the Opp's turn too, so that doesn't work (except as a 1 time blocker)

Sneak Attack, corpse Dance and Kiki all have the same "next end step" clause, so they should be able to be canceled once on the stack. But for another way to abuse them, try Teferi's Veil. Attack, phase out, phase in and attack again, rinse and repeat. Also works with Ball Lightning and the like - and the creatures can't be WoGed.

One thing the classification missed above. An effect can check the next end step, or it could give the creature/token/permanent the text of "at the beginning..." and I think there is a slightly different effect between the two. Granted, if the text is being added to a permanent, it shoudl be templated like Ball Lightning and not use the word "next". It'll either be "At the begining of your end step" or "at the beginning of the end step" depending on if it triggers only on your turn or on every turn.

All in all a very nice and thorough article.



You know, that Option Nr. 6 by Tom at Wed, 08/06/2014 - 10:38
Tom's picture

You know, that Option Nr. 6 is actually a BUG-USE (CHEAT) which can lead to permanent account banning?

Flickerwisp's ability says: "at the beginning of the next end step". If you skip your turn with the sundial, then guess what: The next end step is the end step of the next player. (I asked some judges about that).

Its a BUG in MTGO, that it doesnt act that way, and instead exiles the cards forever. This should not be used or you risk your account!

This is wrong wrong wrong by doc_brietz at Wed, 08/06/2014 - 13:45
doc_brietz's picture

This is wrong wrong wrong wrong.

"Ending the turn this way means the following things happen in order: 1) All spells and abilities on the stack are exiled. This includes spells and abilities that can't be countered. 2) All attacking and blocking creatures are removed from combat. 3) State-based actions are checked. No player gets priority, and no triggered abilities are put onto the stack. 4) The current phase and/or step ends. The game skips straight to the cleanup step. The cleanup step happens in its entirety."

However, if you end the turn before the things are triggered, this happens: "If Sundial of the Infinite's ability is activated before the end step, any "at the beginning of the end step"-triggered abilities won't get the chance to trigger that turn because the end step is skipped. Those abilities will trigger at the beginning of the end step of the next turn. The same is true of abilities that trigger at the beginning of other phases or steps (except upkeep)."