Bonus Round – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

It’s not hard to understand why Magic the Gathering spellslingers love Bonus Round, a sorcery card from Battlebond, a set designed exclusively for Two-Headed Giant play. In Two-Headed Giant, you have two teams of two players that share a life total and work together to defeat the other team. This three-mana sorcery (1RR) makes it so all instant and sorcery spells can be copied by the players that cast them. While this means that the casting player gives opponents the ability to copy their own spells during that turn, that drawback isn’t that bad.

Naturally, Bonus Round is especially good in Two-Headed Giant, where your teammate can copy his or her spells, too – the reason this card was designed in the first place. But, because your opponents can benefit from the effect, too, Bonus Round is a pretty fair card.

Bonus Round Magic the Gathering Card

Are There Other Magic Cards Similar to Bonus Round?

Bonus Round is similar to, but better than, Howl of the Horde, a sorcery from the Khans of Tarkir set that only copied your next instant or sorcery spell. It also cost three mana, but also had a Raid ability that allowed you to copy that next spell an additional time if you attacked with a creature that turn. While that’s not a bad card, Bonus Round is certainly superior.

Bonus Round is a great compliment for Mizzix’s Mastery in Commander. That card lets you exile an instant or sorcery card from your graveyard and cast a copy of it. But what makes Mastery really good is that you can pay its Overload cost instead to cast every card in your graveyard. Bonus Round allows you to then copy every spell you’d get off of Mizzix’s Mastery. It’s a pretty sweet combo.

Is Bonus Round Better Than Reverberate?

The two-mana Reverberate (RR) copies just one instant or sorcery spell, but it’s at instant speed and allows you to copy a spell cast by any player. Some players feel that despite the potential power level of Bonus Round, Reverberate is actually the better card. Is that true?

The combo potential of Bonus Round is huge. But cards that can do big things like Bonus Round can be very situational. Reverberate is quite versatile. So, unless you’re building a deck that likes to cast a whole bunch of spells in one turn, Reverberate is probably the better card. But when Bonus Round is good, it’s very good.

Would Bonus Round Be Good in Legacy Storm Decks?

Legacy Storm may not need a card like Bonus Round, but it’s an interesting thought. Doubling your spells in that kind of deck is excellent, but can this card actually fit into the deck? How would you find the room for this three-mana card in that deck or in Ad Nauseum Tendrils, the two competitive Legacy decks which would most benefit from an additional spell doubling effect. It would be better in U/R Gifts Storm in Modern; alas, Bonus Round isn’t legal in Modern.

How Good is Bonus Round in EDH (Commander)?

Early homes for Bonus Round were easily found in Mizzix of the Izmagnus and Melek, Izzet Paragon spellslinger EDH decks. Adeliz, the Cinder Wind and Kess, Dissident Mage are two other Commanders who would also use this card a fair but, due to casting lots of instants and sorceries in a turn, too. Bonus Round is right at home in these decks, since there will be plenty of occasions when casting it will be most advantageous for the caster.

By 2022, Bonus Round still sees considerable play in the Commander format, especially in other spell-doubling powerhouses such as Birgi, God of Storytelling, Krark, the Thumbless, and Syr Carah, the Bold.

What’s the Best Way to Play Bonus Round?

While Commander is the format that has suited Bonus Round the most, Bonus Round is particularly awesome in Two-Headed Giant, the very format for which it was designed. Bonus Round is great for helping your teammate to cast instant spells with greater effect. While Bonus Round may be more powerful in Commander overall, it’s probably the most fun to cast in Two-Headed Giant, where a well-timed cast can win you and your teammate the game.

Kudos to the Battlebond design team for creating a really good card that’s both fair and extremely powerful in the right context. While there’s little doubt that EDH will be the most popular home for this card, Bonus Round is definitely a great card, even beyond the format for which it was created to be played.

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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