Time Spiral

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Time Spiral
TSP logo.jpg
Set symbol
TSP symbol.png
Symbol description
Design team
Brian Tinsman (lead)
Aaron Forsythe
Devin Low
Mark Rosewater
Development team
Brian Schneider (lead)
Michael Donais
Aaron Forsythe
Devin Low
Matt Place
Art Director
Jeremy Jarvis
Release date
October 6, 2006
Themes and mechanics
Timeshifted cards,
Keywords and/or ability words
Split second,
Set size
(121 commons, 80 uncommons, 80 rares, 20 lands,
121 Timeshifted)
Expansion code
Development codename
Time Spiral Block sets
Time Spiral Planar Chaos Future Sight
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Coldsnap Time Spiral Planar Chaos

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 seperate bonus subset of cards. While recent Core Sets include a small subset of cards, these were only included in introductory packages and were not distributed in boosters.

Set details[edit]

Time Spiral contains 301 all new black-bordered cards (80 rare, 80 uncommon, 121 common, and 20 basic lands) and a bonus reprint subset of "timeshifted" cards. Time Spiral was nostalgia-themed. [1] Most of the cards in this expansion reference previous cards in some way. [2]. The expansion symbol of the set is a hourglass, to reinforce the time themes and to imply storywise that “time is running out”. [3]


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. [4] [5] [6] Each card in the subset features the old 7th 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% rarer than 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.


Time Spiral was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. [7] 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 and Bogardan Hellkite.[8] Time Spiral is 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 a Sudden Shock. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name by Scott McGough. Additional art for several tokens was designed for Magic Online. [12] [13] [14]

Flavor and storyline[edit]

Main article: Time Spiral (novel)

After more than its fair share of cataclysms, Dominaria lies in ruins. [15] [16] [17] Salt rains from the sky and the air is poisonous. The trees are gray and rotting. The only vegetation that survives is a sickly, fungal kudzu that covers everything. The elves must subsist on mossy scraps. [18]

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. [19] [20] 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. [21]

Rules changes[edit]

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 coexisting on the same permanent to eliminate each other in order to avoid confusion.

Mechanics and themes[edit]

The theme of the expansion is the past. [22] Many mechanics and themes that appear in Time Spiral also appeared in past expansions. [23] These include the keywords buyback [24], echo, flanking, flashback, madness, morph, shadow [25], and storm. Returning creature-type themes include rebels, slivers, spellshapers and thallids [26]. Three new time-related mechanics were introduced in this expansion; they are flash, split second and suspend. Another theme are the "timeshifted" cards, each of which is a reprint of a card from Magic's past which carried 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 removing a card from the game for a number of turns and then playing it, normally at a reduced cost. Some cards had other ways to reduce the time taken before they were played. [27] [28] [29]
  • Split second freezes time for a moment, preventing spells and abilities from being played while a spell with split second is on the stack. [30] [31]
  • Flash slows down time for the mage, allowing the spell to be cast at instant speed. The ability had been on earlier cards, although not using the keyword spelling it out as "You may play ~ any time you could play an instant". Flash has since become an evergreen keyword.

Creature types[edit]

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

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.


Time Spiral has 20 cycles:

Sliver cycles[edit]

Notable cards[edit]

Theme decks[edit]

The preconstructed theme decks are: [36]

Theme deck name
Colors included
White Blue Black Red Green
Fun with Fungus
Hope's Crusaders
Reality Fracture
Sliver Evolution


Main article: Time Spiral/Trivia


  1. Mark Rosewater. (September 4, 2006.) "Blast from the Past", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brady Dommermuth. (November 13, 2006.) "The Legends of Time Spiral", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) "Ask Wizards", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (September 25, 2006.) "Purple Reign", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (October 02, 2006.) "Timeshifting Into Gear", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Aaron Forsythe. (October 02, 2006.) "Piecing Together the Timeshifted Mosaic", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana. (September 18, 2006.) "More Time Spiral Product Shots", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic Arcana. (August 09, 2006.) "Time Spiral Product Shots", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Wizards of the Coast. (March 9, 2006..) "Announcing Time Spiral", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Brian David-Marshall. (September 18, 2006.) "Time Spiral Prerelease Primer", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana. (August 23, 2006.) "A Special Time Spiral Preview", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana. (September 11, 2006.) "Time Spiral Token Art #1", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana. (September 14, 2006.) "Time Spiral Token Art #2", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Arcana. ( September 26, 2006.) "Time Spiral Token Art #3", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Wizards of the Coast. (September, 2006.) "Return to Dominaria", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Rei Nakazawa. (September 04, 2006.) "Time (Spiral) Is On My Side", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Doug Beyer. (October 23, 2006.) "The Italicized World of Time Spiral", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Magic Arcana. (October 02, 2006.) "Time Spiral Style Guide: Green", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Wizards of the Coast. (September, 2006.) "Time in Ruins", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Wizards of the Coast. (September, 2006.) "Temporal Deluge", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Wizards of the Coast. (September, 2006.) "Heroes of History", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Aaron Forsythe. (October 27, 2006.) "The Themes of Time Spiral", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Mark Gottlieb. (September 20, 2006.) "Too Cool for Rules", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Anthony Alongi. (September 05, 2006.) "Can I Get An Amen?!", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Aaron Forsythe. (September 08, 2006.) "Overseer, Overboard. Bringing back the “forbidden” mechanic", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Devin Low. (September 22, 2006.) "Fungus Among Us", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Mark Rosewater. (September 11, 2006.) "Needing a Little Time", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Mark Rosewater. (October 16, 2006.) "Between a Grok and a Hard Place", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Aaron Forsythe. (October 20, 2006.) "Wait For It...", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Mark Rosewater. (September 18, 2006.) "Plenty of Time", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Magic Arcana. (October 09, 2006.) "Split Second Visual Cue", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Aaron Forsythe. (November 10, 2006.) "Time Spiral Q&A", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Mark Rosewater. (February 11, 2003.) "Split Decisions", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Aaron Forsythe. (September 15, 2006.) "Shifting Shapes", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Mark Rosewater. (November 13, 2006.) "Name Dropping", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Magic Arcana. (September 21, 2006.) "Time Spiral Theme Decks", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.

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