Magic Origins Preview Card: Day’s Undoing!

With official preview season for Magic Origins in full swing, Cedric Phillips is here with a mouth-watering new card that is sure to have an impact across all sorts of formats.

Evaluating new cards is always really tricky. Everyone has their own way of doing it, and that’s what makes spoiler season so much fun. For me, I typically short cut this process by comparing the new card to an older one that looks similar. Take these two cards for example:

The comparisons are easy to make:

  • They both cost 2GG.
  • They’re both 4/4’s.
  • They’re both creature type: Beast.
  • Heck, they’re both Baloths!

But then there are some real differences:

Sometimes, though, there are no cards to compare a new card to. Look at the new flip planeswalkers from Magic Origins:

What the heck are we supposed to compare these to? Nissa is kinda like Borderland Ranger I guess. Liliana is a lifelinking color-shifted Hurloon Minotaur. And Kytheon is a Savannah Lions on steroids. Those aren’t really apt comparisons, I know. And that doesn’t even bring into account that they, ya know, flip into planeswalkers when specific conditions are met.

And yet, that’s what makes these cards so cool. We’ve never seen anything like them before. So my process of simply comparing them to older cards that may be similar is useless here. And I’m actually pretty happy about that because it forces us as Magic players to actually play the game. Because you can’t compare these new flip planeswalkers to anything, the only way you’re gonna find out how good they are is by sleeving them up and playing with them.

What makes my preview card really cool is that how to go about evaluating it is somewhere in the middle. You can certainly compare Day’s Undoing to previous cards, but truth be told we really haven’t seen anything like this before:

So let’s see exactly what’s going on here. If we use my “comparing a new card to a similar old card” process, Day’s Undoing likely reminds you of a piece of the Power Nine:

So, how are they the same:

  • They both cost 2U.
  • They’re both sorceries.
  • They’re both draw sevens.
  • They both can be found with similar tutor effects.

And how are they different

  • When Timetwister resolves, it goes into the graveyard and you get to keep playing your turn.
  • When Day’s Undoing resolves, if it’s your turn, it gets exiled and you end the turn immediately.

If it’s your turn, end the turn? Huh? The only time we’ve ever really seen the terminology “End the turn” on a card has been on Time Stop. And while I love me some Time Stop (it’s one of my favorite pieces of Magic artwork), it didn’t exactly set the world on fire. But the reminder text here is important to note:

Exile all spells and abilities on the stack, including this card. Discard down to your maximum hand size. Damage wears off, and “this turn” and “until end of turn” effects end.

So basically what we’re saying here is that if I cast Day’s Undoing, I get a Timetwister but my opponent gets to use the cards first? That doesn’t seem so good. But If I can some somehow cast Day’s Undoing on my opponent’s turn, I probably get to use the cards first.

But I need to be able to cast a sorcery on my opponent’s turn. Well there are ways to do that…

Let the deckbuilding begin.

So here’s the thing. When WotC prints a card that looks so much like a piece of the Power Nine, they have to be careful. Super careful. Because if they get something wrong, it can really be a nightmare. We as a community get really excited about these cards because cards that resemble the Power Nine are sweet. Remember how crazy we all got about Temporal Mastery? It turned out to be a bit of a flop, but it sure was fun trying to break it for a while. One that resembles a card from the Power Nine that wasn’t a flop?

So you have to imagine that after months of testing with Day’s Undoing, that clause of “If it’s your turn, end the turn” isn’t on there by accident. You’re gonna have to work a little bit to get the payoff you’re looking for, but if Timetwister and cards of its ilk are any indication (hello Time Spiral!), the payoff can certainly be worth it.

You can try to compare this to Timetwister, Time Reversal, or Time Spiral all you want, and there certainly are some similarities here, but at the end of the day this is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. And to me, that’s a good thing. Because the only way to figure out if WotC got Day’s Undoing right or wrong is by sleeving it up and playing with it.

And I for one cannot wait to do just that.