I Play While You Watch
Taking Turns is a combo deck all about stalling out the game as long as possible to eventually take every turn without letting your opponent do anything, aside from watching. Comboing off feels like that time you played Mario Kart with your younger sibling when you unplugged their controller and kept driving. They couldn’t do much about it because you were older, so they just sat there pouting and watching.
This guide will show you how this niche deck works and why it can compete against the top decks of the format.
Howling Mine Effects
Let’s start with the main engine: The Howling Mine Effects.
Howling Mine and Dictate of Kruphix let each player draw an extra card in their draw step. These effects might seem weird as they help your opponent as well, but this deck is all about breaking the symmetry and using those cards to their fullest. The Mine is better than at first glance, but Flash on Dictate makes it worth gold. You are able to hold up mana and play it at their end step or even Flash it in during your upkeep to immediately draw etra cards during your draw step.
Now let’s get to the namesake cards of the deck: The Turns.
Taking extra turns costs a lot of mana, but rewards you with an untap, more draws, more plays and another combat step - all things we want to abuse here. The combo we aim to execute slows the opponent down and gives us a few draw engines to play extra turn effects turn after turn without letting your opponent get even one.
The most consistent card here is Time Warp. For only five mana, get another turn, which often leaves you with enough mana to follow up with a Howling Mine to set up the next turns. Very important to note is that it doesn’t exile itself on resolution, so you are clear to recast it from the graveyard with the help of other cards later on.
Temporal Mastery is less consistent, but flashier. Like a true Miracle, it gives you an extra turn for a mere two mana, which is reminiscent of the original Time Walk. Getting this insane deal in Modern lets you unload all your draw engines to set up future turns. Paired with the Scry 2 from Serum Visions, it can even be put right on top of your deck. While paying the full cost of seven seems out of reach in the early stages, Mastery is still important to keep the combo going in later turns.
Lastly, we have a card that not only grants you another turn, but also acts as the primary wincon: Part the Waterveil. While paying six mana for another turn without any discounts sounds just decent, the Awaken clause gets you a 6/6 creature for just three more mana. This 6/6 beater often runs in uncontested during each of your additional turns.
As you likely noticed, casting extra turn spells is very costly. Modern being a fast format, you would expect this deck to lose a lot before casting the first one. That’s what the rest of the deck is for. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Modern 101 - Taking Turns in which we discover spells that act as pseudo extra turns for a fair cost. We will also tell you the reason why this deck is a great option for the current meta-game!
Written by Malte Smits