In this experiment, we strike with a pair of disasters using shimmering heat and cackling.
Magic: The Gathering—Commander (2014 Edition) is coming, and with it come a bunch of new cards. Among them, there bounds to be some potential for combos. Indeed, the revealed Dualcaster Mage performs a very powerful effect in a form that’s easily abusable. Normally, Fork effects are on spells, and spells are hard to recur; meanwhile, because of how hard spells are to recur, copying a spell can be very strong. Dualcaster Mage copies a spell but does so in the form of a creature—and creatures are eminently easy to recur or otherwise repeat.
Today, we’ll copy spells that create creature token copies in order to copy more spells—and repeat.
Infinitycaster Mage ? Casual | Andrew Wilson
- Spells (21)
- 2 Dig Through Time
- 2 Turnabout
- 4 Cackling Counterpart
- 1 Howl of the Horde
- 4 Divination
- 4 Heat Shimmer
- 4 Izzet Signet
That’s the deck I ended up with, though of course you can borrow concepts, rebuild completely, or just toss a few of these cards into your Riku of Two Reflections Commander deck.
The Dual Plan
Let’s start with an empty stack. We control Dualcaster Mage.
Heat Shimmer targeting Dualcaster Mage. In response to our own spell, we cast another Dualcaster Mage and let it resolve. Its trigger copies Heat Shimmer, targeting one of our Mages. That creates a new Mage with haste, and we can copy Heat Shimmer again. Repeat ad nauseam.
At this point, we have to hope there is a creature on the battlefield that’s not a Dualcaster Mage. Let the final Heat Shimmer copy target that creature, let the original Heat Shimmer resolve and the final Dualcaster Mage token’s trigger fizzle.
We now have an army of hasty 2/2s ready to kill our opponents.
If there had been no creature on the battlefield that wasn’t a Dualcaster Mage, we’d have been forced to copy a Dualcaster Mage with our Heat Shimmer. We’d then have been forced to copy a Heat Shimmer with the new Dualcaster Mage’s trigger, and so on. Unfortunately, unless someone were able to interrupt this loop, the game would end in a draw. So be careful when you try this at home (or in a tournament)!
Cackling Counterpart in lieu of Heat Shimmer. The downside is that we won’t be able to attack for infinite damage that turn. The upside is that we’ll be able to keep our 2/2s. Cackling Counterpart can also stand in for the second copy of Dualcaster Mage that we would cast in response to whatever initial copying spell we’re using.
We can also use Howl of the Horde in lieu of a second Cackling Counterpart or a second Dualcaster Mage. By casting Howl of the Horde first, when we cast Cackling Counterpart or Heat Shimmer, the Howl will copy that spell, and then our Dualcaster Mage tokens can create copies of that Clone spell. Unfortunately, the raid ability doesn’t do much for us here, so a Fork or Twincast would work just as well for the combo, but Howl of the Horde is new and interesting, and it can enable some powerful stuff with our other spells.
Nivix Guildmage application I mentioned above, it can do another very powerful thing here.
While it’s not new, and while it has nothing to do with Dualcaster Mage, Nivix Guildmage can generate infinite mana with Turnabout. As long as we can pay the upfront and have at least five lands, we can cast Turnabout, copy it with the Guildmage’s ability, untap our lands, and repeat for as much mana as we want.
From there, we can use the mana to activate the Guildmage’s first ability to dig through our library for everything we need. And once we have the Heat Shimmer and Dualcaster Mage, we can win the game.
And More Spells
A few more cards round out the deck.
Divination – This is the default draw spell, and it will help us early to find relevant pieces. We can reuse it with Mnemonic Wall and/or Nivix Guildmage.
Mist Raven – With so many creature-copying spells, I wanted to make sure to have creatures with good enters-the-battlefield abilities. For defensive power, Unsummon is quite useful, and when we want to block opposing flyers or turn on raid for Howl of the Horde, the Raven’s flying will be relevant. This deck has an interesting conflict between wanting more spells for the Guildmage, Mnemonic Wall, and so on and between wanting creatures with spell-like abilities for Cackling Counterpart and Heat Shimmer.
Dig Through Time – This new Khans of Tarkir card is very powerful and is seeing a good bit of Constructed play. It’s also quite useful for finding combo pieces, and its cost-reduction mechanic means it will be easier to copy (as we can save mana casting it and spend that mana on the copy spell). Of course, it doesn’t synergize super-well with Mnemonic Wall’s superpower, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay here.
If you love creatures with flash, if you love copying spells, if you love attacking with infinite 2/2s, or if you love all three, give this deck a try.
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