Brian Tinsman (lead)|
Brian Schneider (lead)|
|Art direction||Jeremy Jarvis|
|Release date||October 6, 2006|
or ability words
(121 commons, 80 uncommons, 80 rares, 20 lands,
|Time Spiral block|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Set details[edit | edit source]
Time Spiral contains 301 all new black-bordered cards (80 rare, 80 uncommon, 121 common, and 20 basic lands) and a bonus reprint subset of 121 "timeshifted" cards. Time Spiral was nostalgia-themed. Most of the cards in this expansion reference previous cards in some way. The expansion symbol of the set is an hourglass to reinforce the time themes and to imply the idea that time is running out.
Timeshifted[edit | edit source]
Timeshifted cards make up a 121-card subset comprised entirely of pre-Mirrodin reprints, tying in with the set's theme of revisiting the past. Each card in the subset features the old 7th Edition card frame and has a new purple expansion symbol to denote their unique rarity. One timeshifted card appears in every Time Spiral booster pack, making the cards roughly 50% rarer than rare cards, which also appear once per pack but comprise of only 80 cards. However, in the Time Spiral preconstructed decks, timeshifted cards are treated as though they had their original rarity, as each deck features several of the timeshifted cards that were originally common, including multiples of the same card.
Timeshifted cards are treated as a part of Time Spiral block, thus it is legal in any format that uses Time Spiral's card (Standard, Extended, Block Constructed, Modern).
Marketing[edit | edit source]
Time Spiral was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. All products except the boosters contained a random Pro Tour Players Card. The booster packs featured artwork from Serra Avenger, Sengir Nosferatu, Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and Bogardan Hellkite. Time Spiral is the first set since Alliances to distribute cards in boosters differently from the typical eleven commons, three uncommons and one rare format. Instead, they included ten commons, three uncommons, one rare and one purple-rarity timeshifted card. Tournament decks contained three timeshifted cards, replacing three commons.
Time Spiral was the first set to use a new premium card distribution method. All premium cards were now included in booster packs replacing a common card. Past expansions replaced a card of the same rarity as the premium card. This created the possibility of "three rare" boosters in Time Spiral, as it was possible to find the normal rare, a premium rare and a Timeshifted card that was previously rare in the same pack.
The prerelease events for this set were held on September 23-24, 2006. The prerelease card was a foil alternate art Lotus Bloom. The release card was Sudden Shock. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name by Scott McGough. Additional art for several tokens was created for Magic Online.
Flavor and storyline[edit | edit source]
After more than its fair share of cataclysms, the plane Dominaria is in ruins. Over two hundred years ago, Phyrexia invaded the plane. In the end Phyrexia and its god, Yawgmoth, were defeated, but not before they devastated Dominaria. Salt rains from the sky and the air is poisonous. The trees are gray and rotting and covered with a sickly, fungal kudzu. The elves must subsist on mossy scraps. Their greenseekers roam Dominaria in search of any thriving plant matter, but the plains are dry salt flats blasted by windstorms. Nothing grows there. The swamps are littered with the dripping carcasses of Phyrexian horrors. Mountains are eroded down to obelisk-like spires while seas' acidic waters eat away at the solidified volcanic spurts that dot the waves.
Time also seems to be in trouble, as people, locations and objects from the plane's past seem to appear and disappear on their own.  Teferi returns from his phased-out home and upon seeing the destruction realizes that the connection between land and mana is breaking. He seeks the help of Freyalise to repair the plane.
Rules changes[edit | edit source]
Several rules changes accompanied the release of Time Spiral. Most of the returning mechanics received at least a small update (such as Echo now specifying a cost instead of using the mana cost of the permanent by definition). In addition, the rules governing cards without mana costs were changed to allow a cycle of spells only playable by the Suspend ability, and a new rule was created causing +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters on the same permanent to eliminate each other in order to avoid confusion.
Mechanics and themes[edit | edit source]
The theme of the expansion is the past.  Many mechanics and themes that appear in Time Spiral also appeared in past expansions.  These include the keywords buyback, echo, flanking, flashback, madness, morph, shadow, and storm. Returning creature-type themes include rebels, slivers, spellshapers and thallids. Two new time-related mechanics were introduced in this expansion, namely split second and suspend, and additionally flash was keyworded. Another theme is the "timeshifted" cards, each of which is a reprint of a card from Magic's past and features a special purple rarity symbol. Alongside the direct reprints of old cards, there was a cycle of 'callbacks'; cards that had the same effect as extremely powerful older cards but which could only be played by suspend and never directly cast.
- Suspend sends a spell into the future by paying a reduced cost and waiting a number of turns before casting it for free. Some cards had other ways to reduce the time taken before they were played.   
- Split second freezes time for a moment, preventing spells and abilities from being played while a spell with split second is on the stack. 
- Flash slows down time for the mage, allowing a non-instant spell to be cast at instant speed. This was simply the keywording of an existing ability. Flash has since become an evergreen keyword.
Creature types[edit | edit source]
The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Advisor, Angel, Archer, Artificer, Assassin, Avatar, Bear, Beast, Bird, Cat, Centaur, Cleric, Construct, Demon, Djinn, Dragon, Druid, Dryad, Elemental, Elf, Eye, Faerie, Fungus, Gargoyle, Giant, Goblin, Gorgon, Homarid, Horror, Hydra, Illusion, Insect, Kavu, Kithkin, Knight, Kor, Kraken, Leech, Merfolk, Nightmare, Orc, Pegasus, Rebel, Rogue, Scout, Serpent, Shaman, Shapeshifter, Skeleton, Sliver, Snake, Soldier, Spellshaper, Spider, Spike, Spirit, Treefolk, Vampire, Viashino, Wall, Warrior, Wizard, Wurm, Zombie.
Cycles[edit | edit source]
Time Spiral has 20 cycles:
- Mana-costless suspend spells: Rare spells with the Suspend ability, no mana cost, and an effect of a powerful spell from Magic's past — Restore Balance (Balance), Ancestral Vision (Ancestral Recall), Living End (Living Death), Wheel of Fate (Wheel of Fortune), Hypergenesis (Eureka) and Lotus Bloom (Black Lotus). 
- Buyback: Rare spells with Buyback, some of them based on classic powerful spells. — Evangelize (Preacher), Walk the Aeons (Time Walk), Demonic Collusion (Demonic Tutor), Reiterate (Fork) and Wurmcalling.
- Flash auras: Common Auras with flash — Temporal Isolation, Ophidian Eye, Feebleness (Weakness), Ghitu Firebreathing (Firebreathing), and Æther Web (Web).
- Allied-color flashback spells: Common instants with a flashback cost that includes the allied color that follows in the sequence WUBRGW from the color of the spell — Momentary Blink, Mystical Teachings, Strangling Soot, Ancient Grudge and Thrill of the Hunt.
- Rare split second: Rare instants with split second — Angel's Grace, Trickbind, Sudden Spoiling, Word of Seizing and Stonewood Invocation.
- Uncommon split second spells: Uncommon spells with split second — Celestial Crusader, Wipe Away, Sudden Death, Sudden Shock and Krosan Grip.
- One-mana suspend creatures: Common creatures with suspend costs of M — Ivory Giant, Viscerid Deepwalker, Corpulent Corpse, Keldon Halberdier and Durkwood Baloth.
- Common Spellshapers: Common spellshapers with an activated ability resembling a common card from Magic's past — Icatian Crier, Tolarian Sentinel, Urborg Syphon-Mage, Flowstone Channeler and Greenseeker.
- Magi: Rare Human Wizard creatures with the converted mana cost and abilities of a powerful artifact from Magic's past — Magus of the Disk (Nevinyrral's Disk), Magus of the Jar (Memory Jar), Magus of the Mirror (Mirror Universe), Magus of the Scroll (Cursed Scroll) and Magus of the Candelabra (Candelabra of Tawnos).
- Totems: Uncommon artifacts with ": Add M to your mana pool" and an activated ability to turn the card into a creature on the Reserved List with a cost of that creature's mana cost — Thunder Totem (Thunder Spirit), Chronatog Totem (Chronatog), Phyrexian Totem (Phyrexian Negator), Foriysian Totem (Two-Headed Giant of Foriys) and Weatherseed Totem (Weatherseed Treefolk).
- Storage lands: Uncommon lands with ": Add to your mana pool. , : Put a storage counter on [this]. , Remove X storage counters from [this]: Add X mana in any combination of M and/or N to your mana pool." where M and N are allied colors — Calciform Pools, Dreadship Reef, Molten Slagheap, Fungal Reaches, and Saltcrusted Steppe.
- Rancor-like Auras: Uncommon Auras that grant the enchanted creature an ability and have "When [this] is put into a graveyard from play, return [this] to its owner's hand." — Spirit Loop, Fool's Demise, Fallen Ideal, Undying Rage and Aspect of Mongoose.
- Morph creatures: Rare creatures with morph and abilities that allude to cards from Magic's past — Weathered Bodyguards, Vesuvan Shapeshifter, Liege of the Pit, Fortune Thief and Thelonite Hermit.  
- Uncommon "main phase matters" instants: Uncommon instants with improved effects when cast during their owner's main phases — Return to Dust, Careful Consideration, Haunting Hymn, Sulfurous Blast, and Might of Old Krosa.
- Two-color legendary creatures: Rare legendary creatures with mana costs that include MN, where M and N are allied colors of mana. Each of these legendary creatures represent characters from Dominaria's past — Ith, High Arcanist; Dralnu, Lich Lord; Kaervek the Merciless; Stonebrow, Krosan Hero; and Saffi Eriksdotter .
Sliver cycles[edit | edit source]
- Common Slivers: Common 1/1 slivers — Sidewinder Sliver, Screeching Sliver (or Shadow Sliver), Mindlash Sliver, Two-Headed Sliver and Gemhide Sliver.
- Common Slivers: Common slivers — Watcher Sliver, Shadow Sliver, Basal Sliver, Bonesplitter Sliver and Spinneret Sliver.
- Uncommon monocolored Slivers: Monocolored uncommon slivers — Quilled Sliver, Telekinetic Sliver, Vampiric Sliver, Fury Sliver and Might Sliver.
- Uncommon multicolored Slivers: Uncommon slivers with MN in their mana cost, where M and N are allied colors of mana — Opaline Sliver, Dementia Sliver, Ghostflame Sliver, Firewake Sliver and Harmonic Sliver.
- Rare Slivers: Rare slivers that grant slivers the abilities of a rare creature from Magic's past — Pulmonic Sliver, Psionic Sliver, Plague Sliver, Sedge Sliver and Fungus Sliver.
Notable cards[edit | edit source]
- Academy Ruins, used as a regrowth mechanic for artifacts, specifically in Extended to severely hurt or even lock the opponent under a Mindslaver.
- Ancestral Vision, a very cheap but delayed draw spell
- Ancient Grudge, a high quality card due to Flashback, as such used in decks that dump their library in the graveyard, e.g. Friggorid.
- Dread Return also card widely used in Reanimator decks, especially after Narcomoeba came along two sets later.
- Empty the Warrens, an alternate win Condition for storm decks when they can't target the player.
- Gemstone Caverns, a card designed by Tsuyoshi Fujita during the 2005 Magic Invitational which was voted on by users of the Wizards of the Coast homepage to be the one they'd want to see the most in a set (though changed in functionality due to playtesting later on).
- Greater Gargadon, a long term threat used in R/G aggressive decks, which sacrifices permanents if the opponent attempts to destroy them. It was later used in combo decks as a sacrifice outlet, e.g. with Saffi Eriksdotter and Reveillark.
- Hypergenesis and Living End, two cards which would later be abused with the Cascade mechanic to clutter the battlefield with a number of large and/or utility creatures that are hard to kill.
- Krosan Grip, a valuable sideboard card against blue decks that are dependent on a specific artifact or enchantment, e.g. Counterbalance or Vedalken Shackles
- Lotus Bloom, a card to be played for free and adding mana 3 turns later, especially widely used in Storm decks.
- Saffi Eriksdotter, becoming a card due to it's popularity from the Flavortext of Lhurgoyf.
- Smallpox, a variation of Pox which still saw wide play due to its strong effect depriving the opponent of multiple resources at once.
- Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, a representation of Teferi after he lost his Planeswalker spark in a spell to heal the time rift near his home continent of Jamuraa. Saw widespread tournament play due to his ability to shut down opposing Control decks and being searchable with Mystical Teachings, also from this set.
- Avalanche Riders, Shadowmage Infiltrator and Voidmage Prodigy were all reprinted Magic Invitational cards.
- Dragonstorm, unlike its first appearance in Scourge inspired a whole new deck, partially because of the inclusion of Bogardan Hellkite and Lotus Bloom, both also from this set, creating the so called Dragonstorm deck.
- Tormod's Crypt, a reprinted graveyard hate card to combat graveyard based decks such as Friggorid which were widespread in the Extended Environment at the time.
Theme decks[edit | edit source]
|Fun with Fungus||B||G|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Mike Gills. (December 21, 2009.) "Time Spiral Block (TPF) Sealed Deck Tournament II", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 4, 2006.) "Blast from the Past", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth. (November 13, 2006.) "The Legends of Time Spiral", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) "Ask Wizards", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 25, 2006.) "Purple Reign", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (October 02, 2006.) "Timeshifting Into Gear", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe. (October 02, 2006.) "Piecing Together the Timeshifted Mosaic", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (August 09, 2006.) "Time Spiral Product Shots", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast. (March 9, 2006..) "Announcing Time Spiral", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brian David-Marshall. (September 18, 2006.) "Time Spiral Prerelease Primer", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (August 23, 2006.) "A Special Time Spiral Preview", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (September 11, 2006.) "Time Spiral Token Art #1", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (September 14, 2006.) "Time Spiral Token Art #2", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. ( September 26, 2006.) "Time Spiral Token Art #3", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Rei Nakazawa. (September 04, 2006.) "Time (Spiral) Is On My Side", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (October 23, 2006.) "The Italicized World of Time Spiral", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (November 21, 2006.) "Time Spiral Style Guide: How to draw Phyrexians", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (October 02, 2006.) "Time Spiral Style Guide: Green", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (April 12, 2007.) "The Greenseeker's Travels", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (October 12, 2006.) "Time Spiral Style Guide: White", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (April 24, 2007.) "Saltskitter: Salt Plains Survivor", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (November 07, 2006.) "Phyrexian Wreckage in Time Spiral", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (March 12, 2007.) "Blue's Slag Islands", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (November 13, 2006.) "Sketch Quickies: Time Spiral Legends", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe. (October 27, 2006.) "The Themes of Time Spiral", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Gottlieb. (September 20, 2006.) "Too Cool for Rules", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Anthony Alongi. (September 05, 2006.) "Can I Get An Amen?!", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (October 24, 2006.) "Hidden “Morph Spiders”", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe. (September 08, 2006.) "Overseer, Overboard. Bringing back the “forbidden” mechanic", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Devin Low. (September 22, 2006.) "Fungus Among Us", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 11, 2006.) "Needing a Little Time", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (October 16, 2006.) "Between a Grok and a Hard Place", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe. (October 20, 2006.) "Wait For It...", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 18, 2006.) "Plenty of Time", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (October 09, 2006.) "Split Second Visual Cue", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe. (November 10, 2006.) "Time Spiral Q&A", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (February 11, 2003.) "Split Decisions", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe. (September 15, 2006.) "Shifting Shapes", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (November 13, 2006.) "Name Dropping", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (September 21, 2006.) "Time Spiral Theme Decks", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
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