Say I control a Sphinx of the Second Sun. At the beginning of my post-combat main phase an additional beginning phase is added after that main phase. Now I activate Aggravated Assault during my post-combat main phase and get an additional combat phase and post-combat phase.

The ruling on the Sphinx states clearly that

If multiple phases are added to the same point in your turn, the most recently created phase happens first.[...]

Thus, as I understand it, the added combat phase and post-combat main phase would take place before the additional beginning phase (adding a second additional beginning phase). Most importantly, since Aggravated Assault can only be activated at sorcery speed, I can't use the land which is untapped during my additional untap steps to chain combat phases, post-combat phases and beginnings phases into eternity.

Most other people seem to argue that the beginning phase would happen before the combat phase, or at least before the additional post-combat main phase, hence chaining phases forever should work. Which is correct?

  • "mana which is untapped during my additional upkeeps" mana is usually untapped in the untap step, right before the upkeep. Not during the upkeep itself.
    – Arthur
    Dec 1, 2021 at 15:21
  • @Arthur are you just nitpicking at my wording, or is there something of genuine concern with my question?
    – Erik
    Dec 1, 2021 at 15:28
  • That depends on whether you already knew this and that was typo, or if I actually told you something you didn't already know. But no, it's not directly related to the question you ask.
    – Arthur
    Dec 1, 2021 at 16:22
  • 4
    @Arthur If we're being precise, mana isn't untapped, land is. Dec 1, 2021 at 17:42
  • @Accumulation This is also true. Along with every other permanent, barring effects to the contrary.
    – Arthur
    Dec 1, 2021 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


You are correct here. Phases are added into the turn order the way you describe. So when activating Aggravated Assault once in the post-combat main phase your entire turn's phases will look like this:

  1. Beginning (normal)
  2. Pre-Combat Main (normal)
  3. Combat (normal)
  4. Post-Combat Main (normal)
  5. Combat (added by AA)
  6. Post-Combat Main (added by AA)
  7. Beginning (added by sphinx in AA post-combat main)
  8. Beginning (added by sphinx in normal post-combat main)
  9. Ending Phase (normal)

This ordering of extra phases is covered by rule 500.8 in the Comprehensive Rules (emphasis mine):

500.8 Some effects can add phases to a turn. They do this by adding the phases directly after the specified phase. If multiple extra phases are created after the same phase, the most recently created phase will occur first.

As you said, since AA can only be activated at sorcery speed (on your turn, in your main phase, when the stack is empty), it can't be used until the Sphinx trigger has already resolved in your post-combat main phase. It will add the second combat phase before the added beginning phase - it cannot be used to gain infinite phases if you need that untap for the mana. Also note that the multiple beginning phases will happen back-to-back, with the most recently added phase happening first.

If you had 10 mana to spend, you could make it work by activating AA twice:

  1. Post-Combat Main (normal)
  2. Combat (added by 1st AA)
  3. Post-Combat Main (added by 1st AA)
  4. Beginning (added by sphinx in 1st AA post-combat main)
  5. Combat (added by 2nd AA)
  6. Post-Combat Main (added by 2nd AA)

These 6 phases can form a loop if you activate AA twice every cycle. You get the creature untap twice in phase 4, and not at all in phase 6, but you get a full untap step as part of phase 7 (normally this won't matter unless there's effects that modify what untaps in an untap step like Intruder Alarm or Bind the Monster)

  • 1
    But... it would work if I activated AA twice, wouldn't it? At the beginning of my second postcombat mainphase, the second additional upkeep is added, which then takes place before the third combatphase is entered. Hence I enter my third postcombat main with untapped mana, could use AA twice again, etc.
    – Erik
    Dec 1, 2021 at 15:26
  • I don't see how it's a loop. A loop is where you end up in the same board state, other than the things you did in the loop. If you play AA, then at the end of the "loop", the board state is different, because you don't have that copy of AA in your hand, unless there's some other part to this loop you aren't mentioning. Dec 1, 2021 at 17:45
  • 1
    In your first paragraph did you mean "...in the postcombat main phase..." (instead of precombat)? Otherwise I don't think the first list of phases makes sense.
    – David Z
    Dec 1, 2021 at 18:03
  • 1
    BTW @Acccumulation I think the assumption is that AA has been on the battlefield the whole time (presumably having been cast on a previous turn).
    – David Z
    Dec 1, 2021 at 18:05
  • @Acccumulation Since everything involved is a permanent, at point 9 you are in the same position (or better than) you were at point 4, at least with regards to the cards involved. You have sources for at least 10 mana (4 of it red) untapped, you have AA and Sphinx on the battlefield, so you can activate AA twice again and repeat this process. The premise of the question assumes you have the cards required for this in play already.
    – Andrew
    Dec 1, 2021 at 18:14

The Gatherer page for the Sphinx covers more or less this exact rules question:

If multiple phases are added to the same point in your turn, the most recently created phase happens first. For example, say you control Sphinx of the Second Sun and its ability triggers during your postcombat main phase. Later during that same main phase, another effect gives you an additional combat phase after this main phase. The additional combat will happen first, followed by the additional beginning phase.

The only difference is Aggravated Assault also adds an additional post-combat main phase.

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