Extra turn spells in Magic the Gathering have always found themselves to be useful in some capacity. Of course, Time Walk for two mana was a bit absurd, but other extra turn spells printed since then have often been good enough to further certain strategies over the years. Alrund’s Epiphany from the Kaldheim set does this in a couple of unique ways.
This extra turn spell, affectionately nicknamed “Time Squawk” by Wizards of the Coast Communications Manager Steve Sunu, costs seven mana (5 generic and 2 Blue) to cast. But, it also has Foretell, meaning you can put into exile face down for two generic mana so that you can cast it on a later turn for six mana (4 generic, 2 Blue). While you do have to exile the Epiphany when it resolves, it leaves behind two 1/1 flying Bird creature tokens, too.
Foretell is a good mechanic on this card for a couple of reasons. First off, you don’t really want a seven mana sorcery in your opening hand. So, being able to put it in exile for a later turn for two mana seems worth it to evade hand discard spells. Even though the Foretell ability only saves you one generic mana in casting it later, there’s something to be said for being able to cast it a turn earlier.
But, this Epiphany is unique in that it gives you the two Bird tokens. One of the inherent difficulties with casting extra turn spells is having something to do with the additional turn. Now, at worst, you’re getting to untap and draw a card with two dorks in play. At best, you’re getting the turn you need to win the game, potentially even needing one or both birds to push for lethal damage.
We’ve seen how powerful extra turn spells such as Nexus of Fate can warp a Standard competitive format. In fact, the Nexus was so good that it was inevitably banned in Standard tournaments. That’s mostly because it would be shuffled into the deck if it were to enter the graveyard, allowing you to reuse it later. Alrund’s Epiphany isn’t quite as good as that. The other big extra turn spell in competitive play is Temporal Mastery, but that card has an alternate Miracle casting cost of just two mana if you happen to draw it as the first card you drew in a turn.
The best way for Alrund’s Epiphany to be good is to be able to copy it. This would include cards like Double Vision and Lithoform Engine. There’s also Lutri, the Spellchaser, who was banned in Commander immediately because of his power level. While Lithoform Engine in particular is quite powerful, it means you’re already playing a particularly clunky combo deck to begin with anyway. However, being that you can Foretell the Epiphany, you essentially have it in hand until you need it without the fear of it being discarded or exiled by an opponent’s card effect.
There’s also Ranar, the Ever-Watchful, who enables Foretell strategies by making that initial Foretell activate cost zero instead of 2 generic mana. Grindy control and midrange strategies can easily muster six mana to cast Alrund’s Epiphany, and since Foretell cards are put into exile face-down anyway, your opponent won’t know that it’s an extra turn spell until it’s likely too late. Ranar is already likely to see play alongside the extremely popular Companion Yorion, Sky Nomad, thanks to Ranar’s additional ability to create flying Spirit creature tokens whenever you have a permanent leave play. So, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Epiphany end up in those decks, which have to play 80 cards anyway in order to run Yorion as a Companion.
It seems unlikely that we’ll see Alrund’s Epiphany in Modern Taking Turns decks, as Time Warp at five mana and Temporal Mastery at seven mana (or its Miracle cost) seem enough for that particular deck. With how many ways Taking Turns has drawing cards on an opponent’s turns, it’s going to favor the Miracle cost of Temporal Mastery. It’s also not a deck that seems keen on paying the two mana to Foretell the Epiphany, as it’s a deck that wants to answer anything an opponent wishes to play.
Alrund’s Epiphany in Commander
Extra turn spells are quite popular in the Commander format, but especially in decks that can copy instants and sorceries. Perhaps the most apparent decks would be those already playing popular extra turn spells such as Temporal Mastery, including God-Eternal Kefnet, Narset, the Enlightened Master, and Medomai the Ageless. Kefnet copies instant and sorceries if they are the first card you draw in a turn. The downside is that to copy that spell you have to pay that spell’s mana cost minus two generic mana. The upside is that it’s only a copy, meaning that the Epiphany itself still goes to your hand for you to cast later.
Narset, the Enlightened Master exiles four cards from the top of your library each time you declare an attack with her. She then allows you to cast any noncreature spells for free from among those four cards that turn. Extra turn spells are good enough with Narset, but one with bodies attached to it makes it even better, adding to Narset’s stable of extra turn spells. Medomai the Ageless is built around taking extra turns herself, so Alrund’s Epiphany just puts two more dorks in the air, which is helpful considering Medomai decks revolve around flying creatures already.
Other Commanders who could take advantage of Alrund’s Epiphany include Krark, the Thumbless in Red paired with Sakashima of a Thousand Faces for Blue. Krark gives you the ability to flip a coin. If you call it right, you get to copy the spell, meaning that Alrund’s Epiphany still gets exiled, but you instead get two extra turns and four tokens. If you lose the flip, it just goes back to your hand. It’s not the best deck for Alrund’s Epiphany, but it works.
There’s also Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign, who can play Alrund’s Epiphany for free thanks to its attack trigger being able to cast cards with odd-numbered mana costs from the top of your library. Of course, popular Spellslinger decks such as Mizzix of the Izmagnus will be happy to copy it, as well.
Will Alrund’s Epiphany leaving two little flying dorks make it a playable extra turn spell in competitive play? With the combination of Foretell and grindy control decks popular as ever, it’s certainly possible. At the very least, it’s another extra turn spell for Commander players to fawn over.
How would you play Alrund’s Epiphany?
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