In the Magic Tournament Rules, the End-of-Match procedure says:

If the match time limit is reached before a winner is determined, the player whose turn it is finishes their turn and five additional turns are played in total.

In a Regular or Competitive REL tournament, does this mean the turn immediately ends (as though Sundial of the Infinite was activated), or does it mean the current player continues their turn through ordinary gameplay and draws it to a speedy conclusion so that the five extra turns can commence?

I've only been to a couple of pre-releases as far as tournament exposure goes, and I'm looking to better understand tournament procedure. I don't want to join a tournament and have an incorrect understanding of this situation cost me a game.

  • 2
    For what it's worth, this rule predates the card Sundial of the Infinite (and indeed its predecessor Time Stop) by at least a decade if not more. At the time this rule was invented, there was no concept of what it would mean for the game state if a turn was ended except inasmuch as drawn to a natural conclusion (by stepping through all the steps/phases and saying "go").
    – Ertai87
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 17:29
  • @Ertai87 I suppose technically winning the game would be another way of ending the turn. Commented May 15, 2019 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


The active player takes the rest of the turn as usual, then the five-turn count begins. This is based on my own experience, but it is likely that if they wanted to end the turn immediately they would have used a wording that matched the corresponding effect template and said "End the turn".

Overall, it would not really make sense to end that turn like that. It would effectively be introducing a somewhat complex effect into a running game from the outside with no respect for the stack, priority, or turn-based actions. It would create arguments about what the game state is and what spells/abilities/effects have already resolved. Plus it wouldn't do much for timeliness because it would effectively say "The active player immediately stops what they're doing and ends the turn, then both players return to playing at their own pace for another five turns". Finally, the active player already has the disadvantage of getting only two of the five turns; adding this further disadvantage to the same player could unreasonably swing the game.

As some comments have mentioned, the quoted section of the Magic Tournament Rules was added before the concept of "ending the turn" was ever created in the Comprehensive Rules. So, the intention at the time that the tournament rules were written could not have been to end the turn in that way.

  • 1
    Might be worth adding a ref to CR 716, Ending the turn as it is used on Sundial, as opposed to plain English tournament rules.
    – Hackworth
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 16:54
  • 6
    I'm just pointing out, saying "it's plain English" doesn't make it as clear as you and others seem to think it might. I mean, I read it, I know it's plain English, I still did not known how to interpret it. Commented May 15, 2019 at 17:43
  • 15
    As for the English interpretation, there are still differences to point out. To me as a non-native, "finishing" something means to bring something to a successful, goal-oriented end, rather than any end. Everything that finishes ends, but not everything that ends finishes, if that makes sense. A finished turn means all steps and phases have been passed normally, while an ended turn can mean either finished or aborted as per CR 716.
    – Hackworth
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 18:08
  • 5
    @Hackworth I am a native English speaker, and my understanding of what "finish" means matches yours.
    – Douglas
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 20:47
  • 1
    When explaining it to new players I use the shorthand that the current turn is Turn 0, and you have five full turns to finish the game otherwise it's a draw.
    – aslum
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 18:44

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