The Dig Through Timeline

Pro Tour Champion Ari Lax digs through time to bring you a humorous postmortem on one of the most controversial spells of the last year!

June 17th, 2014:

In the process of testing a ton of Vintage
, I notice that most of the traditional Big Blue decks suck because they play less big effects than combo and don’t have good ways of drawing enough cards
to override that they are mostly mana. I shrug and decide to play something completely different at Vintage Champs unless a good draw spell is magically

September 15th, 2014:

Carsten Kotter, Eternal prophet, breaks Legacy and via basic induction breaks every other non-rotating format.
Shockingly, most of the comments agree with him in retrospect.

September 26th, 2014:

Khans of Tarkir
is released. Dig Through Time is $3.

September 30th, 2014:

After comparing the card to Sphinx’s Revelation, Shaun McLaren t ells everyone to add more Dig through Times to

Kevin Jones’s Jeskai deck that won the Open Series in New Jersey the previous weekend

. Worth noting: Shaun also liked Dig Through Time twelve days earlier, but
admittedly, it was more a “dinner and a movie and see where it goes” like.

Spoiler: It turns out the “everyone” Shaun referred to included himself two weeks later. Classic Tom Ross style: tell everyone what to do then beat them
with it.

October 12th, 2014:

This article’s narrative is ruined by
Siege Rhino. Eleven copies of Dig Through Time show up in the top 8 of Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir

. The Dig Through Time decks fail to beat the Siege Rhino decks because playing perfect two-for-ones on turn 6, 7, and 8 is worse than playing good enough
two-for- one on turns 4, 5, and 6. Or maybe because every Abzan card is better than every blue deck card at the time except for Dig Through Time.

October 13th, 2014:

Dig Through Time is $15.

October 25th – 26th, 2014:

Legacy Champs


Vintage Champs

feature approximately a million copies of Treasure Cruise.

Legacy Champs Top 8 has six Cruise Delver decks, one dude with green and white cards, and maindeck Leyline of the Void. Unshockingly, the player with four
copies of Treasure Cruise and a history of winning with tempo decks takes the trophy.

Vintage Champs Top 8 is four Cruise Delver decks (of which three only play three Cruise….), one Dig deck, two Shops decks, and one complete fish… who
wins the event (good Storm players are good at the game or something). Worth noting: The Dig Through Time player knows literally nothing about Vintage and
very easily wins a bunch.

Also worth noting:
I play Dig Through Time at Vintage Champs, only lose to decks that play brown cards and don’t let me play spells.
This is admittedly a 4-5 record, but losing to Shops should hardly count as Magic except for match points, which is actually all that counts everywhere.
Except when weighing your own pride a year after the fact.

November 11th, 2014:

I claim [card name="Dig Through Time"]Dig Through Time[/card] is better than [card name="Fact or Fiction"]Fact or Fiction[/card] and [card name="Gifts Ungiven"]Gifts Ungiven[/card], is likely the best card printed since New Phyrexia, is almost as
good as an instant speed [card name="Timetwister"]Timetwister[/card] in Vintage, and is better than [card name="Treasure Cruise"]Treasure Cruise[/card] in any deck that isn’t just play mono-one drops

. It turns out that by design playing a bunch of good one-drops is what they call a “good strategy” and that you might want more than three Dig Through
Time in your deck, but who is counting?

The other good line here: delve is affinity for Dredge. Seriously, it is. Who decided that was okay? Who decided stapling that to instant speed card draw
was also okay? I put 100% of the blame on Gerry.

TARKIR CARDS AND THEN ILL BLAME ADAM PROSAK OR MAYBE JUST GO BACK TO ZAC HILL OR TOM LAPILLE LIKE IT IS 2009 AGAIN THEY STILL WORK AT WIZARDS. [Cedric hates capitalization and thinks it looks unprofessional, but I refuse to change any of this. – Ed.]

November 15th, 2014:

BBD dizzles Tom Ross. The player with more delve spells wins.

Five of the top 8 are playing blue delve spells

(not Set Adrift). One is Philipp Schonegger, who despite playing four Ponder clearly forgot to bring his Dig Through Times with him on his trans-Atlantic
flight. The other two are very interested in not letting their opponent cast spells, either by winning on turn 2 or the more traditional Trinisphere.

I would also like to note that one of the best arguments for Dig Through Time in Miracles at this point, despite the anti-synergy with the permanent-based
lock, is that it lets you Counterbalance opposing Treasure Cruise. Talk about inbred.

January 19th, 2015:

Problem solved,
Treasure Cruise is axed everywhere, both delve spells are axed in Modern for good measure.

Dig Though Time can hang out a bit, because Dig Through Time is “clearly worse” than Cruise and is “fit for Legacy and Vintage consumption.” Really, we
“put a lot of thought into this.” It’s “really the best decision we can make at the time.” No, they really do “care about Eternal formats enough to watch
them closely.”

February 5th, 2015:

My Pro Tour team for Pro Tour Fate Reforged has solidly placed Become Immense as the second best card (still legal) printed for Modern since Pro Tour Born
of the Gods behind Eidolon of the Great Revel. Most of us play Burn, Steve Rubin plays Zoo with both cards.

February 8th, 2015:

Steve Rubin beats a lot of people with +6/+6 and double strike. Tasigur, the Golden Fang proves that it belongs on that that top X new cards list. Gurmag
Angler sits there sadly for a little bit longer. Everyone is reminded that delve is really, really dumb.

February 15th, 2015:

Multiple things that give control decks the ability to stabilize well are printed. Dig Through Time immediately wins a Grand Prix. The games it wins
look really miserable, like the player trying to beat Dig Through Time is running into the classic control wall of dying to Wrath of God if you try to jam
on them and dying to Fact or Fiction if you try to position well.

February 22nd, 2015:

It happens again.
Even Steve Rubin, Alex Majlaton, Brad Nelson, and Ben Stark are helpless against 1990’s style Blue Magic.

April 9th, 2015:

In testing against Dig Through Time decks, we start realizing games come down to planning when you play your early spells. Not because you can duck around
their answers that just say “Counter target spell” or “Destroy target creature” at instant speed, but because you might be able to keep their graveyard
small enough to draw an out to Dig Through Time before they can play it plus an answer in the same turn. And by out, I literally mean Thoughtseize or

We also realize this is slightly better than the way you played around Sphinx’s Revelation, which was hope they don’t draw lands.

April 12th, 2015:

Dig Through Time decks make the top 8 of Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir

. A fourth finishes in ninth place. A quarter of the 8-2 or better decks are Esper decks with Silumgar’s Scorn and Dig Through Time. Unlike the top 8
decks, these players play all of the Dig Through Times they are allowed to play.

Counterspell and Fact or Fiction, back together for the first time since the early 2000s. A red deck featuring six 1/1s for R and a quarter of the maindeck
making 1/1 Goblins beats the blue decks, this time like it’s the 1990s. Welcome to the alternate timeline where Magic never changed.

April 19th, 2015:

The Legacy Grand Prix Kyoto occurs.

The top 8 is six
Dig Through Time decks and two decks that have changed around five cards in the last five years.

It is one-upped by Grand Prix Krakow. While dominating Standard is a little easier than dominating Legacy, we still see six Dig Through Time decks… and a
Treasure Cruise deck. The lone holdout is Sam Pardee who got stuck listening to Craig Wescoe somehow and bringing white creatures to a counter fight. Okay,
maybe one of those white creatures was Dragonlord Ojutai and his deck was actually good, but I liked my version better.

May 2nd, 2015:

We figured it out.

By we,

I mean not the Brazilians who let Paulo and
Dig Through Time win again

. If you just play all the discard spells and return them to your hand over and over, you can take all the Dig Through Times out of your opponent’s hand
and they die because they can’t cast it. You can then add whatever you want to your Den Protectors, Thoughtseizes, and Duresses.

You just want Siege Rhino? Well…I can’t argue with that. Do what you want.

May 24th, 2015:

Hooting Mandrills wins the Modern Premier IQ at the Worcester Open.
9/22 delve cards in Magic have seen serious Constructed success. No, Jon Finkel playing the deck at a Pro Tour does not mean that count includes

July 4th, 2015:

Grand Prix Lille occurs. The top 8

is five decks with
Dig Through Time and three Life from the Loam decks

. The finals is again two decks that have Dig Through Time to counter an opponent’s Dig Through Time via Counterbalance.

There is also a Become Immense in the top 8 again after first showing up in Legacy Infect at Grand Prix New Jersey. It’s like Treasure Cruise, but you
always draw two Giant Growths and a blank!

August 22nd, 2015:

Legacy Champs Top 8

is six
Dig Through Time decks split between combo and tempo.

Literal Splinter Twin makes the top 8 because it’s a good deck for Dig Through Time and Pyroblast, which is the best counter for Dig Through Time.

Vintage Champs Top 8

is five
Dig Through Time decks and three decks that don’t play spells with colored mana costs.

Literal Dragonlord Dromoka beats literal Consecrated Sphinx in the finals because when you are chaining draw spells you can play whatever you want!

Uh oh. They figured it out.

This can’t be good.

September 28th, 2015:

Dig Though Time is gone.
Good riddance. I’m convinced that Wizards woke up when they realized that the next Legacy was in Seattle and they would be relatively close to the angry
mob when the full 32 Dig Through Times made top 8.

Okay, maybe there would be a few less. Miracles only plays a couple to Counterbalance opposing Digs.

October 2nd, 2015:

Battle for Zendikar
rotates into Standard. Dig Through Time is still legal. That control guy who thinks they are so good because they play draw-go and “blue cards are hard to
play” gets really upset that “Wizards is powering down spells.” Except Dig Through Time and Sphinx’s Revelation rivaled old school instant speed card draw
on power level and brought back the exact same “card indifferent” stack-only control decks that Wizards has worked so hard to power down over the last
decade and a half. Answer your irrelevant thing with card that stops anything, do it again, and again, oh and this turn your thing doesn’t matter so I’ll
hit the EOT GG button.

The Future

October 20th, 2015:

I finish with my Pro Tour testing schedule and go to play Vintage at the local shop. I play Storm with a Dig Through Time for value to “relive the glory
days” where I got to play multiple end of turn 2-mana draw-sevens. I quickly realize that it is far less glorious than Mind’s Desire and that no, you
cannot warp your gameplan to always Tutor for Dig Through Time regardless of if it is right because it is just cool.

April 9th, 2016:

A currently unknown set is released. Dig Through Time rotates out of Standard to hopefully be forgotten just like Skullclamp and other major offenders
before it.

No, seriously. The last time prior to Khans of Tarkir that a card was axed out of every format this way was Mental Misstep. Before that?
Skullclamp. They didn’t even restrict those ones in Vintage. They still let you play with Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, the Mind Sculptor in Legacy.

Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time are messed up on a really unique level.