Last updated on December 29, 2023
Obeka, Brute Chronologist | Illustration by Jesper Ejsing
Everybody knows extra turn cards. Cards that let you take an extra turn are very powerful because they let you play twice, which means you naturally draw two cards and play two lands over two turns while your opponent doesn’t get to play at all.
But what about a card that says to end the turn? It’s on the opposite side of the spectrum, letting you avoid playing your turn as you should. But when should you play a card like this? Why would you ever want to do that in the first place?
Today I’m looking at all the cards that say “end the turn,” and covering everything you need to know about them. Let’s get into it!
Day's Undoing | Illustration by Jonas De Ro
End the turn cards are cards that, well, end the turn. This is one of the weirdest effects in Magic. I’m specifically looking at cards that have the words “end the turn” printed in the rules text. There are only six cards total that have this text, and the effect started at rare and was moved to mythic rarity.
So what happens when a player casts a spell that says “end the turn,” like Time Stop? First, all the spells and abilities that are on the stack are exiled before resolving. This is important because these spells would usually go to the graveyard. All the damage that was marked on creatures wears off.
Creatures participating in combat are removed from it. All effects that say “this turn” and “until end of turn” wear off. Then the active player discards to hand size and it’s the next player’s untap phase. In terms of MTG rules, you go to the cleanup step which is after the end step.
This can be very confusing (why would you ever want to end your own turn?), so I wanted to give a few examples of situations where it could be very interesting to use this turn-ending power. I’ll focus on triggered effects that say “when,” “whenever,” or “at.”
If you make a creature that lasts until the end of turn, using an “end the turn” cards ensures the creature survive. There are some cards that let you draw and discard at the end of turn, so ending the turn would prevent the discard. Remember that you can end your turn in response to a spell from your opponent. Last but not least, you can end combat that would kill you or be otherwise unfavorable this way.
Basically, you might want to end your turn whenever you don’t want a bad trigger or spell to happen, or if you’d be penalized by an effect at the end of your turn.
#7. Sundial of the Infinite
Sundial of the Infinite is the worst of these “end of turn” effects because it only works on your turn, so it’s not flexible. It still has its uses, though, since it’s cheap.
#6. Day’s Undoing
Look, it’s Timetwister! One of the most powerful Magic cards ever printed and a famous member of the Power 9. Wait, no. Unfortunately it’s just Timetwister with a downside, and this downside is to end the turn.
Day's Undoing and Sundial of the Infinite are the only cards from the list where the “end the turn” effect can’t be used to end your opponent’s turn. This is a little better than Sundial because it gives you cards and shuffles your graveyard.
#5. Time Stop
Although it costs 6 mana, Time Stop has the flexibility to work on your turn and on your opponent’s. It can be used to effectively strip a player of their turn.
#4. Glorious End
The only red card on the list, Glorious End ends the turn but comes with a downside: you lose the game at the end of the next turn, so better win now. Of course, you’re certain to win the game on the next attack if you play Glorious End. At least you should be if you’re playing it.
You’re hoping to find your combo in the next turn, or you buy yourself an extra turn because the opponent would win anyway. Although it has its downside, it’s one of the cheaper ways to end the turn.
#3. Hurkyl's Final Meditation
You're already deep in blue, so if you're playing an artifact-heavy strategy, you may be able to replay most (if not all) of your entire hand once it becomes your turn.
The key here is that Obeka “asks” if the active player wants to end the turn. It can be a political advantage in certain matchups to end an opponent’s turn to help them, but you’ll usually play Obeka to end your turn because it always works for you.
Obeka is the best effect on this list because it can be used time and time again, although only effectively on your own turn.
So you want to play with end the turn effects? Want some cards to put in your Obeka, Brute Chronologist EDH deck? Here are some ideas that will work!
The first things that come to mind are effects like “at the end of the turn, you lose the game.” If you end the turn before that happens then you don’t lose the game. Demonic Pact might lose you the game after a few turns, but you can end the turn before that and stay safe.
Magic has lots of cards that give you a benefit and a downside at the end of the turn. Cards like Ideas Unbound and Avaricious Dragon require you to discard at the end of the turn, and ending the turn before that lets you keep the extra cards.
Red cards that make a token of another creature but force you to sacrifice it at the end of turn like Splinter Twin, Saheeli Rai, and Feldon of the Third Path. Ditto for effects like Act of Treason that say you have to give the stolen creature back to its owner at the end of turn.
Unearth abilities resurrect a creature for good instead of exiling it at the end of turn. You can make a little combo by self-milling, activating unearth creatures from the graveyard and ending the turn.
No, end the turn effects don’t go on the stack. They aren’t considered triggered or activated abilities.
You can’t respond to end the turn effects per se, but you can respond to the spell that has it on the stack.
So if I cast Time Stop, you can respond to the spell, but not to the resolved effect. But there’s one exception. Obeka, Brute Chronologist taps to active its ability, making it an activated ability that can be responded with cards like Tale's End and Stifle.
Obeka, Brute Chronologist can be tapped to end the active player’s turn. The thing is, the active player has the choice to end the turn. This is to prevent the Obeka player from locking someone out of the game.
If I tap my Obeka targeting the opponent who’s the active player, they may end the turn or just decide not to You’ll probably target yourself most of the time if you play an Obeka, Brute Chronologist EDH deck and build around it accordingly.
Sundial of the Infinite | Illustration by Vincent Proce
That sums up all that can be said about this weird effect. End the turn effects are very complicated since they deal with lots of MTG rules layers and WotC doesn’t tamper a lot with that.
What cards do you use with these effects? Have you played against an Obeka, Brute Chronologist EDH deck before? Let me know what cool interactions you might have seen in play with these cards in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
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