In MTG Arena, I keep trying to set a stop after my turn so that I can cast during my opponent's upkeep, but it always appears to skip right into their main phase.

It's been a while since I played Magic, but casting spells during opposing upkeep used to be a mainstay of my play (i.e., tapping a land with icy manipulator during upkeep so that the mana isn't available during the main phase).

Is this no longer something you can do in Magic, and if so, how do I set it up to allow me to do it in MTG Arena? Even with full stops enabled, it appears to breeze right past upkeep.

  • Can you explain in what way you enabled full stops? Also, at the time you were performing this test, did you have a spell or ability that you could use during the opponent's upkeep?
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 1:32
  • Well, I've noticed it all of the way around, but I've been testing with a mono blue deck that has plenty of castable cards: merfolk trickster, blink of an eye, etc. I was trying to merfolk trickster a llanowar elf during upkeep to remove the mana production. Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 1:43
  • 1
    Ok, I just figured out how -- you have to shift-control so it shows "Hold Full Control" and it looked like it did it. I had been trying to just hit control to enable it. Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 1:49
  • So, to be sure I understand, are you saying that what you tried before asking the question was pressing or holding control at some point in the game?
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


There're two ways to do this. The first way is to hold full control. The default keys to do this is Ctrl + Shift, and it'll keep full control on until you turn it off.

The other way is to set a stop on your opponent's upkeep. You do this by clicking on the icons under their avatar (not the ones just above the "pass" button on the bottom right), and the game should auto-pause on their upkeep and draw steps.

  • Is there a way to do this from the settings? I use a laptop with a detachable keyboard and frequently play using the touch screen. The top suggestion doesn't work at all, while the second option is annoying with a touch screen.
    – SocioMatt
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 13:34
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    @SocioMatt Not currently, though playable with touch screen Arena doesn't officially have touchscreen support so some features are unavailable without a keyboard. Also playing constantly in full-control mode would be quite arduous on a touch screen (you need to both manually tap your lands, AND manually empty mana from your mana pool). Maybe you will get some more touchscreen support as the game leaves beta :/
    – Malco
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 15:21

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