A third DNA base pair, which is synthesized efficiently and selectively, would have wide ranging applications from synthetic organisms to nucleic acids biotechnology. Hydrophobic unnatural nucleobases offer a promising route to such a pair, but are often limited by inefficient extension, defined as synthesis immediately following the unnatural pair. Here, we describe a simple screen which enables the characterization of large numbers of previously uncharacterized hetero base pairs. From this screen, we identified a class of unnatural base pairs which are extended more efficiently than any unnatural base pair reported to date. Screening, when complemented by further kinetic analysis, can improve the understanding of the determinants of efficient extension as well as identify viable hetero base pairs.