Top 10 Rebound Spells in Magic: The Gathering

Updated on September 1, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

How Does Rebound Work in Magic?

A few instants and sorceries in Magic have the valued rebound trait. This exiles the spell after it's cast, then lets you recast it for free during your next turn's upkeep (heading to the graveyard afterwards like normal).

Basically, each rebounded spell activates twice, harassing foes with continuous assaults. But with dozens of two-part units available, which reign supreme? These are the ten best rebound spells in Magic: The Gathering!

Prey's Vengeance mtg
Prey's Vengeance mtg

10. Prey's Vengeance

CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 1

This inexpensive instant gives a creature +2/+2 for the turn, letting you overwhelm an enemy after blockers have been declared. Then, rebound lets you recast Vengeance at your next upkeep, again giving a creature +2/+2 for the turn.

Admittedly, your second casting won't have the surprise factor of your first, but it's still a fantastic way to score a net boost of +4/+4.

Surreal Memoir mtg
Surreal Memoir mtg

9. Surreal Memoir

CMC: 4

Memoir simply returns an instant at random from your graveyard to your hand. Of course, if you only have one instant, you know what you're gonna get. And if you have enough mana, you can even cast that instant again before Memoir rebounds, letting you reclaim it again and eventually cast the same card three times!

Profound Journey mtg
Profound Journey mtg

8. Profound Journey

CMC: 7

This expensive simply returns any permanent from your graveyard to the field. Comparatively, many black sorceries can revive creatures for just four or five mana, but Profound can restore any permanent type, activates twice, and lets you dip into revivals without needing black mana.

World at War mtg
World at War mtg

7. World at War

CMC: 5

War provides a second combat phase and third main phase during the turn. Plus, at the start of your bonus combat, it untaps all creatures that attacked earlier, so you don't need vigilance to have units strike twice.

It's as simple as that; two extra combat phases (and main phases) across two turns can really deplete opposing life points.

Taigam, Ojutai Master mtg
Taigam, Ojutai Master mtg

6. Taigam, Ojutai Master

CMC: 4

Okay, so Taigam himself is a 3/4 creature who doesn't have rebound, but he can apply it to other cards. If you cast an instant or sorcery from your hand during a turn where Taigam attacked, he automatically gives it rebound.

This lets you double up on all types of one-offs, and as a bonus, Taigam prevents your instant, sorcery, and dragon cards from being countered, ensuring they resolve without fail.

Virulent Swipe mtg
Virulent Swipe mtg

5. Virulent Swipe

CMC: 1

Similar to Prey's Vengeance, Swipe is a one-cost instant that gives a creature +2/+0 for the turn. This time, they don't get a toughness boost, but they receive deathtouch, ensuring any amount of damage is enough to defeat a blocker.

Again, when Swipe reactivates with rebound, you'll lose the surprise factor. But even when rivals know what's coming, that extra power and deathtouch often let you score a free direct attack.

Staggershock mtg
Staggershock mtg

4. Staggershock

CMC: 3

Staggershock deals two damage to any target, a more-expensive version of "Bolt". But unlike Bolt, you can freely cast it from exile on your next turn, hopefully killing two birds with one stone. And remember you can also hit planeswalkers or players when needed.

Emerge Unscathed mtg
Emerge Unscathed mtg

3. Emerge Unscathed

CMC: 1

At instant speed, Unscathed gives a creature protection from the color of your choice during that turn. This can fizzle out a removal, help slip by blockers, or let your own blocker guard a big threat without dying. Rebound means you'll get two doses, and don't forget you can find a similar effect on white's "Mother of Runes".

Distortion Strike mtg
Distortion Strike mtg

2. Distortion Strike

CMC: 1

One of the best unblockable-providing spells in the game, Distortion Strike gives a creature +1/+0 for the turn and prevents it from being blocked. Of course, the same thing happens again on your next turn thanks to rebound.

Scoring regular combat damage is always nice, but this works particularly well for piling on commander damage or poison counters.

Consuming Vapors mtg
Consuming Vapors mtg

1. Consuming Vapors

CMC: 4

Vapors forces an opponent to sacrifice a creature (of their choice), then gives you life equal to its toughness. The effect triggers again at your next upkeep, meaning that for four mana, you're landing two removals plus at least two life (and probably much more).

You can even activate Vapors if an opponent only controls one creature, which dissuades them from casting more during their upcoming turn (and hopefully wastes that turn's mana). An easy pick for my own black decks, Vapors is also surprisingly cheap, costing less than a single dollar!

Which card do you prefer?

See results

Supporting Rebound in Magic

While they don't have specific supports, rebound spells can benefit from generic instant and sorcery tools like "Baral, Chief of Compliance". And you can use the free dose of a rebounded spell to discount cards with surge (which are cheaper when you've already cast something that turn).

Rebound's a fun and competitive mechanic that I hope future sets revisit. But for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next batch of twice-activating spells, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Jeremy Gill

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      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        13 days ago from U.S.A.

        Thanks, Jeremy. I'm reading and learning from your work. Admiration and respect.

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