[c]Sundial of the Infinite[/c] has the unique ability to end your turn. At least for Modern there is no other card that can do this. Intrigued by this, the question for me was how to benefit from that.
How can we break this card? Why is ending your turn a good thing? What does it do?
The short answer is the stack will be emptied which means that everything on the stack will be countered. This includes abilities and spells that usually cannot be countered.
First let’s have a look at what you can do with this without combining it with other cards.
Ending your own turn is beneficial if your opponent tries to fetch a land at the end of your turn (your opponent won’t get any land if you respond to the trigger from the fetch land). You can counter flash creatures by ending your turn which forces your opponent to play [c]Restoration Angel[/c] or [c]Deceiver Exarch[/c] or [c]Pestermite[/c] in their own turn forcing them to tap out (which makes it harder for them to counter spells that you play in your own turn).
So in itself the Sundial is an okay card against [c]Splinter Twin[/c] combo. Moreover, you can prevent undying or persisting creatures from coming back – which I most of the time use against [c]Kitchen Finks[/c]. And last but not least you will be able to counter instant removal of your creatures.
But I did not want to build a true combo deck that is centered totally on [c]Sundial of the Infinite[/c] because in my opinion non-blue combo decks always struggle to get their pieces together. There is just not enough quality card draw or tutoring in Modern and it is difficult to force the combo through without counterspell backup. So I wanted a synergy-deck that has combo potential but all the individual pieces should work together but not be worthless on their own.
After some thirty matches my actual list looks like this:
[d title=”Breaking Sundial (Modern)”]
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Clifftop Retreat
4 Sacred Foundry
1 Rugged Prairie
1 Temple of Triumph
2 Akroma, Angel of Fury
2 Blade Splicer
1 Sun Titan
3 Wall of Omens
4 Glimmerpoint Stag
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
3 Path to Exile
4 Æther Vial
4 Sundial of the Infinite
3 Mimic Vat
4 Rest in Peace
1 Path to Exile
4 Anger of the Gods
4 Leyline of Sanctity
The deck itself is a RW Midrange deck. [c]Lightning Bolt[/c], [c]Lightning Helix[/c], and [c]Path to Exile[/c] are in it to keep you alive by eliminating early threats.
[c]Aether Vial[/c] makes your creatures hard to counter – and you can use the Vial to enter [c]Glimmerpoint Stag[/c] or [c]Flickerwisp[/c] at the end of your opponents turn to exile a permanent. The exiled permanent will come back at your end step so it will be away for a whole turn which sometimes is a very good thing. This is also good for countering things like [c]Arcbound Ravager[/c]’s ability or the casting of [c]Splinter Twin[/c]. The idea is borrowed from Hatebears where it works well.
[c]Wall of Omens[/c] draws you a card, blocks early aggression, and helps a lot to improve the matchup vs [c]Birthing Pod[/c] and [c]Monastery Swiftspear[/c]. Also the wall is a very good target for Flickerwisp and Glimmerpoint Stag.
[c]Flickerwisp[/c] and [c]Glimmerpoint Stag[/c] are the all-stars of this deck – they interact with everything. They pair very well with [c]Blade Splicer[/c] by giving you extra golem tokes and if you use them on a morphed [c]Akroma[/c] you get her back face-up which is pretty good.
It is even more fun when you get the Sundial. The “return the exiled permanent” trigger of both Flickerwisp and Glimmerpoint Stag will only trigger once. By using the sundial’s ability in response to the return trigger you will empty the stack and the permanent will stay exiled forever. So you can remove anything including lands.
Add [c]Mimic Vat[/c] to the mix. Together with the Sundial the Vat is just broken. For three mana you get a token with haste, usually some sort of awesome ETB effect, and then for one more mana, you end your turn with Sundial and the token, which would have been exiled, gets to stick around for good. Awesome.
Loose Ends: Sun Titan and the Mana Base
Right now I am unable to decide if [c]Battlefield Forge[/c] is better than [c]Clifftop Retreat[/c]. And I don’t know if [c]Arid Mesa[/c] might be better than both of them. I decided against fetch lands because of the Sundial (I did not want to be in a situation where I have to end the turn while my fetch trigger is on the stack).
[c]Sun Titan[/c] is some sort of a wild card. It is expensive. It is defensive. But so far it won me every duel in which I could resolve it. Still my mind is not settled on this card.
A Look at the Sideboard
[c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c]: Good vs Burn, the discard/rack deck, and [c]Ad Nauseam[/c] combo. Mediocre but better than nothing vs [c]Scapeshift[/c]. I usually board out Sun Titan and Path to Exile.
[c]Rest in Peace[/c]: Comes in vs Cruise Control and [c]Dig through Time[/c]. It is great against [c]Living End[/c] and it’s okay if your opponent is heavily relying on [c]Snapcaster Mage[/c]. Also helps against [c]Gifts Ungiven[/c]/[c]Unburial Rites[/c] combo. The Sun Titan and the Mimic Vats are replaced because Rest in Peace shuts them down.
[c]Anger of the Gods[/c]: If the eleven removal spells from the main deck just aren’t enough then this will help. It comes in vs random aggro decks like Zoo or the occasional Goblins or Merfolk decks and it helps against Affinity. I replace Sun Titan, both Akromas, and a Glimmerpoint Stag with it.
[c]Wear / Tear[/c]: I use it against Affinity because I cannot use [c]Stony Silence[/c] (it will lock down my own artifacts). It is good vs [c]Splinter Twin[/c] and [c]Birthing Pod[/c], too.
[c]Path to Exile[/c]: Sometimes the three damage of Lightning Bolt or Lightning Helix are not enough – either because the creature I kill comes back or because the toughness is four or greater. In these situations I bring in the Path.
That’s it for now. I hope you will give this (cheap) list a try and come up with some improvements. If you want to try it out I recommend using a “stop” in your own end step.