Tuesday, 02 November 2021 09:23

A Look into the Power Nine: Timetwister

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A Look into the Power Nine: Timetwister WOTC/MARK TEDIN

Magic Untapped has looked at a couple of Magic: The Gathering's fabled "Power Nine" cards thus far, including the Black Lotus and Ancestral Recall.

On tap today is Timetwister.

Like all the other Power Nine, Timetwister has a fun history and legacy. Out of the nine, Timetwister is actually considered the weakest of the nine largely due to it being useful only in certain situations (though that is not to say that the card is "weak" by any sort of standard).

TimetwisterAccording to the card's original rules text: "Set Timetwister aside in a new graveyard pile. Shuffle your hand, library, and graveyard together into a new library and draw a new hand of seven cards, leaving all cards in play where they are; opponent must do the same."

Or, for the more modern (and cleaned-up) oracle text: "Each player shuffles their hand and graveyard into their library, then draws seven cards. (Then put Timetwister into its owner's graveyard.)"

So, it can be a bit of a roll of the dice (as it were) to use, but if you know what your opponent has and you have nothing, it can be a severe gamechanger.  It's also an easy card to build into, providing you (the caster) many more opportunities to pull off your same-turn shenanigans. So while there are limitations, under the right set of circumstances you can make the game yours by disrupting your opponent's plans and furthering your own.

Like all the other power nine in existence, there were 22,800 printed. But unlike the others, which either tap for mana, draw cards, or provide an extra turn, Timetwister is actually it's fairly complex.

Usually the story of Power Nine cards ends here. Well, the in-game stories.

They were banned in all play except for very limited Vintage uses and at-home games, and are now seen more as investments rather than playable cards. But, Timetwister bucks this trend. It's actually still legal in Commander and, when it is used, it can cause a huge tide to turn. It also played a large role in Cyrille de Foucaud's 1994 World Championship winning deck, which ran all nine of the Power Nine.

The card is also semi-responsible for getting another card temporarily banned as it's interaction (along with that of Wheel of Fortune) got the Legends card Underworld Dreams banned for a while in Type-I/Vintage play.

And that's not even getting into the monetary value. Like all the other Power Nine this can run up into the thousands if you want an original Alpha Limited version, with signed and tournament used ones going for as high as $30k.

Timetwister remains an oddity to this day and, despite it ranking ninth out in the Power Nine according to many, it still one of the most iconic cards in Magic.