Why does spell recursion self exile?

General forum

Posted on March 13, 2017, 9:17 a.m. by Tammy

I was looking for cards that can recur instants and sorceries, cards like Shreds of Sanity, Wildest Dreams and Volcanic Vision. But all of the ones I found exile themselves, why?

There are some that don't like Seasons Past and Eternal Witness but even those don't go to your graveyard when you cast them.

Does Wotc have some sort of grudge against spell recursion? Or is there some hidden combo I am not aware of?

Tammy says... #2

Sorry if I posted this in the wrong thread btw, I don't know if there is a right place for this question.

March 13, 2017 9:19 a.m.

the.beanpole says... #3

My personal opinion is:

That would lend itself to multiple copies being able to recur themselves. Playing the literal same card over and over is likely seen as a "unfun" thing by Wizards. Looping infinitely in that manner doesn't seem necessarily powerful (apart from things like Kolaghan's Command+Snapcaster Mage that are particularly powerful even on their own), but is likely very annoying for newer players.

Also, some of them are inherently abusable in specific circumstances. Example: Pull from the Deep in an opponent's 'yard. They cast Silence on your upkeep. Their turn, they cast another Pull from the Deep, targeting the first one and Silence. Now you are locked out of playing sorcery-speed spells for the rest of the game. Again, not incredibly powerful (there are a number of combos that currently do exactly this) but it leads to "unfun" game-states that require little effort to set-up, and are difficult to disrupt without specific and dedicated hate cards (Rest in Peace, Leyline of the Void, etc.)

It also seems like a safety check for Wizards. The graveyard is likely the most abusable resource in the game, and that leads to a high likelihood that someone finds something super-broken one day that Wizards missed in design/development.


Graveyard is inherently abusable. It is "unfun" to many.

March 13, 2017 9:55 a.m.

ShishkyBob says... #4

There's Noxious Revival and Reap.

In answer to your other question, yes, they do. Rather, they want to keep some kind of cap on unlimited spell casting for most purposes. There are lots of ways to get infinite (or an arbitrarily large amount of) mana. With infinite mana and two Pull from the Deep, you'd be able to infinitely cast, say, Lightning Bolt or Ancestral Recall or always have the best counterspell on hand.

Even non-infinite combos are tough to deal with. A Seasons Past that gets you a ton of instants and sorceries plus ways to easily recur those is just "unfun" for a lot of people. I think that's why Wizards include self-exile, shuffle, or other library tricks.

March 13, 2017 9:55 a.m.

ShishkyBob says... #5

Nevermind - what the.beanpole said

March 13, 2017 9:56 a.m.

Boza says... #6

As one of the unwritten rules in R&D, cards should not be a combo with themselves.

That clause only occurs with cards being able to return more than 1 copy of said card and being able to target themselves. For example, even though it can return itself, Noxious Revival can only return 1 card, so it does not exile itself. Promised Kannushi is another example for the latter - even though it can return multiple cards, it cannot return itself, so it does not exile.

If a card can do both, it becomes dangerous - it can loop itself and any other spell endlessly, presenting a dangerous case.

The other rule regarding that is "no big splashy effects can be recurred" - Volcanic Vision, Temporal Trespass, Part the Waterveil, etc. are examples of that.

March 13, 2017 10:26 a.m.

TheDevicer says... #7

Seasons Past is another variant on the exile clause with less feel bads.

March 13, 2017 11:44 a.m.

Tammy says... #8

Yeah fair enough, Stopping infinite spell casting is probably a good thing. Although I will say, Seasons Past with any tutor spell that can fetch it is a hilarious combo in commander, and that's exactly what it sounds like they are trying to avoid.

March 13, 2017 4:30 p.m.

TheDevicer says... #9

Mate, if you can get me with some Seasons Past loop, I probably deserve it. What would you even run something like that in? Tasigur with Time Warp?

March 13, 2017 5:55 p.m.

enpc says... #10

There are a bunch of sorceries that don't self-exile - Relearn, Call to Mind, Mystic Retrieval, Regrowth for example.

A lot of newer ones self exile typically because they do more than one thing. They either return multiple cards or they do damage or something.

March 13, 2017 7:37 p.m.

Please login to comment