MTG Wiki
Time Spiral

Time Spiral
TSP logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Hourglass
Design Brian Tinsman (lead)
Aaron Forsythe
Devin Low
Mark Rosewater
Development Brian Schneider (lead)
Michael Donais
Aaron Forsythe
Devin Low
Matt Place
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date October 6, 2006
Plane Dominaria
Themes and mechanics Timeshifted cards, Rebels, Slivers, Spellshapers, Thallids
Keywords/​ability words Buyback, Echo, Flanking, Flash, Flashback, Madness, Morph, Shadow, Split second, Storm, Suspend
Set size 301 cards
(121 commons, 80 uncommons, 80 rares, 20 basic lands)
+121 Timeshifted cards
Expansion code TSP[1]
Development codename Snap
Time Spiral block
Time Spiral Planar Chaos Future Sight
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Coldsnap Time Spiral Time Spiral
For other uses, see Time Spiral (disambiguation).

Time Spiral is the fortieth Magic expansion and was released in October 2006 as the first set in the Time Spiral block. Time Spiral is the first expansion to include a separate bonus subset of cards.

Set details[ | ]

Time Spiral contains 301 all new black-bordered cards (121 commons, 80 uncommons, 80 rares, 20 basic lands) and a bonus reprint subset of 121 "timeshifted" cards. Time Spiral was nostalgia-themed.[2] Most of the cards in this expansion reference previous cards in some way.[3] The expansion symbol of the set is an hourglass to reinforce the time themes and to imply the idea that time is running out.[4]

Timeshifted[ | ]

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.[5][6][7] Each card in the subset features the old Seventh 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% as rare as 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 cards (Standard, Extended, Block Constructed, Modern).

Marketing[ | ]

Clock Time Spiral ACD

Time Spiral promo wall clock given by ACD (game distributor) for a qualifying. Manufactured by Franklin Instrument Company

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, Undying Rage, and Bogardan Hellkite.[8] Time Spiral was 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.[9][10] The prerelease card was a foil alternate art Lotus Bloom.[11] 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.[12][13][14]

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

Main article: Time Spiral (novel)

After more than its fair share of cataclysms, the plane Dominaria is in ruins.[15][16] 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.[17] 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.[18] Their greenseekers roam Dominaria in search of any thriving plant matter,[19] but the plains are dry salt flats blasted by windstorms. Nothing grows there.[20][21] The swamps are littered with the dripping carcasses of Phyrexian horrors.[22] Seas' acidic waters eat away at the solidified volcanic spurts that dot the waves.[23] Freyalise's seemingly graceful placement of the Skyshroud Forest was backed by brutal force, causing the Skyshroud rift to drain the green and red mana from Skyshroud and Keld.[24] Though Skyshroud's green mana was slower to drain, Keld's mountains all either caved in or withered to spires resembling obelisks.[24]

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.[25] 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[ | ]

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[ | ]

The theme of the expansion is the past.[26] Many mechanics and themes that appear in Time Spiral also appeared in past expansions.[27] These include the keywords buyback,[28] echo, flanking, flashback, madness, morph,[29] shadow,[30] and storm. Returning creature-type themes include rebels, slivers, spellshapers and thallids.[31] 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.[32][33][34]
  • Split second freezes time for a moment, preventing spells and abilities from being played while a spell with split second is on the stack.[35][36]
  • 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.[37] Flash has since become an evergreen keyword.

Creature types[ | ]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Assembly-Worker and Triskelavite.

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[ | ]

Time Spiral has twenty cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Suspend spells Restore Balance
Ancestral Vision
(Ancestral Recall)
Living End
(Living Death)
Wheel of Fate
(Wheel of Fortune)
Rare spells with the Suspend ability, no mana cost, and an effect of a powerful spell from Magic's past.[38]

Lotus Bloom can be seen as the 6th card of this cycle and emulates Black Lotus.

Buyback Evangelize (Preacher) Walk the Aeons (Time Walk) Demonic Collusion (Demonic Tutor) Reiterate (Fork) Wurmcalling (Ivy Elemental)
Rare sorceries with buyback.
Flash auras Temporal Isolation Ophidian Eye Feebleness (Weakness) Ghitu Firebreathing (Firebreathing) Aether Web (Web)
Common auras with flash.
Allied-color flashback spells Momentary Blink Mystical Teachings Strangling Soot Ancient Grudge Thrill of the Hunt
Common instants with a flashback cost that includes the allied color that follows in the sequence WUBRGW from the color of the spell.
Rare split second Angel's Grace Trickbind Sudden Spoiling Word of Seizing Stonewood Invocation
Rare instants with split second.
Uncommon split split second Celestial Crusader Wipe Away Sudden Death Sudden Shock Krosan Grip
Uncommon spells with split second.
One-mana suspend creatures Ivory Giant Viscerid Deepwalker Corpulent Corpse Keldon Halberdier Durkwood Baloth
Common creatures with suspend costs of M.
Common Spellshapers Icatian Crier Tolarian Sentinel Urborg Syphon-Mage Flowstone Channeler Greenseeker
Common spellshapers with an activated ability resembling a common card from Magic's past.
Magi 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) Magus of the Candelabra (Candelabra of Tawnos)
Rare Human Wizard creatures with the converted mana cost and abilities of a powerful artifact from Magic's past.
Totems Thunder Totem (Thunder Spirit) Chronatog Totem (Chronatog) Phyrexian Totem (Phyrexian Negator) Foriysian Totem (Two-Headed Giant of Foriys) Weatherseed Totem (Weatherseed Treefolk)
Uncommon artifacts with "{T}: Add M" and an activated ability to turn the card into a creature on the Reserved List with a cost of that creature's mana cost.
Rancor-like Auras Spirit Loop Fool's Demise Fallen Ideal Undying Rage Aspect of Mongoose
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."
Morph creatures Weathered Bodyguards Vesuvan Shapeshifter Liege of the Pit Fortune Thief Thelonite Hermit
Rare creatures with morph and abilities that allude to cards from Magic's past.[39][40]
Uncommon "main phase matters" instants Return to Dust Careful Consideration Haunting Hymn Sulfurous Blast Might of Old Krosa
Uncommon instants with improved effects when cast during their owner's main phases
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Storage lands Calciform Pools Dreadship Reef Molten Slagheap Fungal Reaches Saltcrusted Steppe
Uncommon lands with "{T}: Add {C}. {1}, {T}: Put a storage counter on [this]. {1}, Remove X storage counters from [this]: Add X mana in any combination of M and/or N." where M and N are allied colors
Two-color legendary creatures Ith, High Arcanist Dralnu, Lich Lord Kaervek the Merciless Stonebrow, Krosan Hero Saffi Eriksdotter
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.[41]

Sliver cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Common Slivers Sidewinder Sliver Screeching Sliver Mindlash Sliver Two-Headed Sliver Gemhide Sliver
Common 1/1 slivers
Common Slivers Watcher Sliver Shadow Sliver Basal Sliver Bonesplitter Sliver Spinneret Sliver
Common slivers
Uncommon monocolored Slivers Quilled Sliver Telekinetic Sliver Vampiric Sliver Fury Sliver Might Sliver
Monocolored uncommon slivers
Rare Slivers Pulmonic Sliver Psionic Sliver Plague Sliver Sedge Sliver Fungus Sliver
Rare slivers that grant slivers the abilities of a rare creature from Magic's past.
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Uncommon multicolored Slivers Opaline Sliver Dementia Sliver Ghostflame Sliver Firewake Sliver Harmonic Sliver
Uncommon slivers with MN in their mana cost, where M and N are allied colors of mana.

Notable cards[ | ]

Theme decks[ | ]

The preconstructed theme decks are:[42]

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Hope's Crusaders W
Reality Fracture U R
Fun with Fungus B G
Sliver Evolution W R G

Trivia[ | ]

Main article: Time Spiral/Trivia

References[ | ]

  1. Mike Gills (December 21, 2009). "Time Spiral Block (TPF) Sealed Deck Tournament II". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (September 4, 2006). "Blast from the Past". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Brady Dommermuth (November 13, 2006). "The Legends of Time Spiral". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (September 25, 2006). "Purple Reign". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (October 02, 2006). "Timeshifting Into Gear". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Aaron Forsythe (October 02, 2006). "Piecing Together the Timeshifted Mosaic". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic Arcana (August 09, 2006). "Time Spiral Product Shots". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Wizards of the Coast (March 9, 2006.). "Announcing Time Spiral". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Brian David-Marshall (September 18, 2006). "Time Spiral Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (August 23, 2006). "A Special Time Spiral Preview". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana (September 11, 2006). "Time Spiral Token Art #1". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana (September 14, 2006). "Time Spiral Token Art #2". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Arcana (September 26, 2006). "Time Spiral Token Art #3". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Rei Nakazawa (September 04, 2006). "Time (Spiral) Is On My Side". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Doug Beyer (October 23, 2006). "The Italicized World of Time Spiral". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Magic Arcana (November 21, 2006). "Time Spiral Style Guide: How to draw Phyrexians". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on May 3, 2008.
  18. Magic Arcana (October 02, 2006). "Time Spiral Style Guide: Green". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Magic Arcana (April 12, 2007). "The Greenseeker's Travels". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Magic Arcana (October 12, 2006). "Time Spiral Style Guide: White". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Magic Arcana (April 24, 2007). "Saltskitter: Salt Plains Survivor". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Magic Arcana (November 07, 2006). "Phyrexian Wreckage in Time Spiral". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Magic Arcana (March 12, 2007). "Blue's Slag Islands". Archived from the original on May 3, 2008.
  24. a b McGough, Scott. (2006). Time Spiral. Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Magic Arcana (November 13, 2006). "Sketch Quickies: Time Spiral Legends". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Aaron Forsythe (October 27, 2006). "The Themes of Time Spiral". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Mark Gottlieb (September 20, 2006). "Too Cool for Rules". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Anthony Alongi (September 05, 2006). "Can I Get An Amen?!". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Magic Arcana (October 24, 2006). "Hidden “Morph Spiders”". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Aaron Forsythe (September 08, 2006). "Overseer, Overboard. Bringing back the “forbidden” mechanic". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Devin Low (September 22, 2006). "Fungus Among Us". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Mark Rosewater (September 11, 2006). "Needing a Little Time". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Mark Rosewater (October 16, 2006). "Between a Grok and a Hard Place". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Aaron Forsythe (October 20, 2006). "Wait For It...". Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Mark Rosewater (September 18, 2006). "Plenty of Time". Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Magic Arcana (October 09, 2006). "Split Second Visual Cue". Wizards of the Coast.
  37. Mark Rosewater (March 8, 2021). "27 Things You Might Have Not Known About Time Spiral Block". Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Aaron Forsythe (November 10, 2006). "Time Spiral Q&A". Wizards of the Coast.
  39. Mark Rosewater (February 11, 2003). "Split Decisions". Wizards of the Coast.
  40. Aaron Forsythe (September 15, 2006). "Shifting Shapes". Wizards of the Coast.
  41. Mark Rosewater (November 13, 2006). "Name Dropping". Wizards of the Coast.
  42. Magic Arcana (September 21, 2006). "Time Spiral Theme Decks". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]