Why not play this card in every EDH deck?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Oct. 31, 2018, 11:45 a.m. by SMASHER101

The humble card Explore, it cantrips and gives you an extra land drop. Would you play this card in every deck if it was blue and cost 0? At that point there is no downside to running it.

Would you play it if it was further changed to untap all your permanents but you could only play it once you had 5 mana?

What if it also gave you an extra combat step, activation of your planswalkers, and another upkeep and end step?

My question, could you ever be wrong putting Time Warp and the other 5 mana extra turn spells in your deck? (obviously ignoring budget and not wanting to be "that guy")

cdkime says... #2

I think there are decks that don't need it, as it will sometimes just read "skip your turn, draw a card and then put a land from your hand onto the battlefield." There are enough decks where the 99 is difficult enough to cull to that you really don't need a card that provides a modicum of advantage, particularly that late in the game.

On a tangential note, I think it's a crying shame to link any version of Time Warp except the Tempest and Starter versions. The flavour text is just too wonderful.

October 31, 2018 12:04 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #3

cdkime I don't know how to do that, and my point is that a free explore is still good and playing effectively 98 card deck is also good.

October 31, 2018 12:07 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #4

There is one significant problem here: big plays in commander draw hate. Taking an extra turn in itself is a big play, so whatever you play on that extra turn is going to look super threatening. That's a quick and easy way to turn the table against you fast.

October 31, 2018 12:07 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #5

Maybe the difference is that my playgroup allready targets me first no matter what, probanly because I say things like "every blue deck should have time warp and gitaxian probe"

October 31, 2018 12:10 p.m.

zebeg says... #6

I'm on the same boat. I don't understand why they aren't played more often. They seem like they could go in any blue deck, but I pretty much never see them in even superfriend or spells-matter decks. I suppose the downside is you won't always get to 5 mana as soon as possible, but a blue deck with a decent ramp package should have no problem with that. I suppose that it creates uncertainty in your opening hand as you don't know what card you will draw to replace it on your extra turn, but you've already drawn like 4 random cards to that point, so it's not that big of a deal. I suppose it can be bad against counterspells, but I'm not even sure Time Warp is that good of a target for a counter until you're late in the game and can get oodles of advantage out of the extra turn, in which case, you're willing to run the risk of it being countered.

October 31, 2018 12:10 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #7

Well, Gitaxian Probe is probably the comparison. It is free, and draws a card, and costs a card (and 2 life, but who cares). Really, unless no one plays countermagic, most blue decks could handle a few, but the blowout of having lost a card and a turn to a single Counterspell is too much for decks that don't abuse the extra turn.

October 31, 2018 12:11 p.m.

zebeg says... #8

It's always good from the time you get 5 mana (which should happen every game) onwards.

October 31, 2018 12:12 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #9

I suppose the answer is "yes, unless you play against counterspell decks a lot", and counterspells aren't that common in commander.

October 31, 2018 12:14 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #10

zebeg exactly. A quote from a random mtgsalvation user quoting his friend "[mtg] is about resources, and the biggest recourse in the game is a turn, so who wouldn't want more of them?"

October 31, 2018 12:16 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #11

The biggest resource depends on the state of the game. People have often skipped turns to slowly mill their opponents under a Stasis lock, while keeping their library nice and thick, having a serious advantage by not taking turns.

Life can occasionally be more important than a turn, if no matter what you do, you will lose on your next turn because they have some Avacyn, Angel of Hope or something in their deck, you are at a low life total and there is no out in your deck, you would rather have 100 life than a single turn.


Also, the question should be more tuned, as if you say counterspells aren't common in Commander, you haven't played against the well-tuned Thrasios/Tymna, Sidisi, Tasigur, Arcum, Jace, Teferi (either version), etc. lists in cEDH. The are some of your best interaction, from Mana Drain even gaining mana, to Pact of Negation, Force of Will, and Mental Misstep being the cheapest mana-wise interaction you can hope for, with minor exceptions being like Slaughter Pact.

If you mean casual EDH, then the issue it that extra turn spells take generally too much time, or break a social contract.

October 31, 2018 12:27 p.m.

cdkime says... #12

SMASHER101 - I am not saying it is necessarily a bad card, just that it's very little return. By the time you have five mana, the extra land's value is diminished some--not to mention, if you don't have a land in-hand, you're not ramping any. While card draw is always welcome, there are better, less risky ways to draw cards.

Five mana is a significant amount, particularly in a competitive game. When I'm looking at adding a five mana or more spell to a deck, I want it to do two things: be valuable the turn I play it; and be worth casting at the earliest moment I can.

Time Warp fails these tests for me--it does very little the turn it is played, particularly if it is being played as soon as it could be (as you're not getting to fire off a more exciting spell on the first turn and spells on the second).

I did not think about SynergyBuild's post about counterspells, but think that is a brilliant comment. Counterspells might not be as popular in commander as in other formats, but there's still enough of them running about that, in a multiplayer game, there's a significant chance you'll be wasting your Time Warp and thus your entire turn. While the same can be said of any card, the risk v. reward ratio for Time Warp just doesn't seem worth it.

Back to my sidebar: Linking specific sets is easy--it's just a jump to the left, and then a step... Wait. That's the other thing.

You can go to the "Cards" tap in the site's menu bar to find the code for each set. Then you put the code in a parenthetical after the name when linking the card:

CODE-KWP0TP
October 31, 2018 12:30 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #13

This is a high powered casual edh discussion I guess.

October 31, 2018 12:31 p.m.

zebeg says... #14

Yeah, I don't really do any competitive EDH, so I was going off of what I see on my somewhat casual games on untap.in. I do get your point, edkime, that although I don't see a high chance of failure/risk in the meta I play in, the reward actually isn't as good as one might initially think if played t5. As far as cEDH, I can see why it wouldn't be played, as it's weaker in regards to all the counters in a meta where all the cards are generally more powerful than casual play to begin with.

October 31, 2018 12:36 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #15

Extra turn spells are particularly only good if you can abuse them, take Narset for example, however nearly any command that has a good value-oriented ability that can trigger once-per turn or a set number of times per turn will appreciate them, Azami, Lady of Scrolls can be built wih extra turn spells in mind specifically because the additional untap allows them to draw many more cards, given an appropriately sized field, and the ability to draw another extra turn spell, rinse and repeat will be incredible advantage, commonly an instant win.

If you don't have a consistent engine for maximizing the value of a card like Time Warp, many decks that would still run it use it for one of a few things. If you can double up on spells, such as with effects like Fork, or have some amount ability in using the cast trigger, like with a commander like Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder, it can be worth it. If none of these are true, like Gitaxian Probe, don't run it.

October 31, 2018 12:39 p.m.

zebeg says... #16

Doing some more philosophical thinking, and isn't a casual meta just a way of saying 'let's play to have fun (and often save costs)'? In that case, is Time Warp really that fun? I suppose it can be if you go off on turn 8+, but turn 5 makes everyone else wait longer for their turn at a time where the game isn't that dynamic, and you probably don't end up doing a whole lot with the extra turn anyways. Then again, just the act of taking an extra turn could be delightful. I think I've done enough pondering for now.

October 31, 2018 12:42 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #17

I would also add mana sink commanders like thrasios to the list of when you should run extra turns, which with some ramp can consistantly take more that one turn at a time while activating thrasios a lot.

October 31, 2018 12:54 p.m.

jordybear2002 says... #18

It depends on your strategy. In my Azami, Lady of Scrolls deck I run 2 extra turn spells so that I can get to my Laboratory Maniac sooner for the win.

October 31, 2018 1:23 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #19

I'm pretty sure everyone knows extra turns are really good but I think if one thing is going to turn the whole table on you it is extra turns. For some of us this is already reality but most people are not auto-targeted when they sit down.

October 31, 2018 4:21 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #20

jordybear2002 Thank you, Azami turns is one of muly favorite extra turn decks! To conserve space in my list Nexus of Fate is my only turn zpell, but it is so efficient I just tutor it out most games and eventually it is the only card in my deck, so I don't even need a Laboratory Maniac cluttering my deck!

October 31, 2018 4:28 p.m.

DuTogira says... #21

There are a ton of reasons not to play "take an extra turn" cards in commander, regardless of the format:
1) If you are playing at a casual table, turning the game into solitaire is how you get your casual friends to stop playing with you. No-one wants to wait 1/2 an hour for you to kill them.
2) Because 1 is true (winning w/extra turns can take forever) most people will target a turns player because the former does not want to lose, or at the very least would prefer to lose before they are 80.
3) You are in blue. Instead of paying 5 for an extra turn, you could pay 2 for Counterspell to nullify your opponent's turn. Ultimately the two cards have nearly the same effect on the game, but the Counterspell is cheaper and therefore more valuable. Counter magic also has a much higher floor regarding how useful it is.
4) Most metas (maybe not yours, but most) have at least 1-2 decks which play counter magic. If you spend all of your resources on a Time Warp just to have it Counterspelled, you managed to go from "take 2 turns" to "waste 1 turn" in the span of a few seconds. That's not worth the risk, and the more competitive your deck/meta are (and by extension, the more valuable your time warps), the more likely you are to run up against counter magic.

Summatively: Time Warp effects aren't bad, but they don't have a good place in commander as auto includes. At casual tables they ruin friendships, while at competitive tables they can get you "blown out" too easily, unless you have a deck which is specifically built to abuse extra turn effects.

October 31, 2018 5:08 p.m.

ERoss8 says... #22

I only half followed the conversation (even that’s probably generous), but my 2 cents on the issue.

I don’t run any because I never run blue. However, I see this a decent amount in my playgroup, which I’d describe as not cEDH, but competitive enough that something like 10 minute combo-turns happen sometimes, control decks and combo are fairly prevalent, and is overall fairly battlecruser-y. Extra turn spells show up in the deck that takes a while to win (but usually wins if it takes that long), or in the control builds. They’re effects range anywhere from extra card, extra land drop, do whatever you were going to the turn before to extra card, extra land, untap my lands to respond to your stuff to copying it ten times and I should basically win.

I think the effect is fine, but it paints a huge target on your head usually. I wouldn’t use it without purpose, unless it’s basically Explore + Rude Awakening in blue. It’s worse than Seedborn Muse imo because someone can point a removal spell at the muse, but noone can retroactively deal with the extra turn (and the muse doesn’t otherwise advance your board).

As long as it doesn’t drag the game on to forever, I’m fine with it, but I don’t really consider them “must includes”

October 31, 2018 10:11 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #23

Going specifically from my blue decks:

Arcum Dagsson should be winning on his 5 mana turn, not trying to take another turn.

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic is built to take advantage of other people's turns, so the cards basically do nothing.

Animar, Soul of Elements. If it's not a creature spell, I don't want it.

Muldrotha, the Gravetide. If it's not a permanent spell, I don't want it.

Bruna, Light of Alabaster I probably should run some.

As you can see, there are many different reasons to not run extra turn spells. I also think that the argument "OMG this card is so powerful" loses a lot of credibility when you have to preface it with "but not powerful enough for competitive play". You are basically asking why a card that is right at the edge for your group's power level isn't run in every single deck.

Easy, a vast majority of groups are either slightly lower power level than yours and those cards break the social contract or are high enough power that extra turn cards no longer seem insanely powerful. Combine this with the fact that many players in the central power distribution could, and do, play at higher power levels as well and would rather run cards they find fun/funny/interesting instead of min/maxing a deck that is intentionally sub-optimal.

October 31, 2018 10:52 p.m.

Rabid_Wombat says... #24

On it's own, gaining an extra turn is sweet but to make it truly game winning you need to add value - such as getting extra damage through Vile Smasher's ability when you cast it and then follow up with taking an opponent out of the game in your extra turn through making big plays.

November 1, 2018 6:10 a.m.

SMASHER101 says... #25

Gidgetimer I think muldrotha should have extra turns because it lets you reuse the muldrotha ability and you're probably running that 2 mana sac to bring back an instant or sorcery which ends up being a win combo.

November 4, 2018 10:45 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #26

Explore is not the only card that I feel should be in every EDH deck that allows it; I personally feel that every green EDH deck should have Seedborn Muse and that every multicolored deck should have Chromatic Lantern, as there is really no good reason to not include them in any deck that allows them.

November 18, 2018 6:39 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #27

There are plenty of 2-3 color decks that don't run Chromatic Lantern. Once you get to well tuned decks 3 mana rocks are not used at all.

November 18, 2018 8:39 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #28

Both Seedborn Muse and Chromatic Lantern are slow in a Thrasios, Triton Hero and Tymna the Weaver deck that is trying to go Flash + Protean Hulk turn 1-3 and win on the spot.

Also, budget players often cannot afford them, some decks like Oath of Druids combo can't run any creatures, some decks like Madcap Experiment can't run any non Platinum Emperion artifacts in the deck, some decks are multicolor, but are creature-based stax decks that hate on artifacts with Stony Silence/Null Rod effects.

November 18, 2018 9:16 p.m.

Please login to comment