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Morophon, Lord of Squirrels

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Morphon is a shapeshifter and in some ways, an amibguous, shapeless blob is exactly what Rorschach (the doctor, not your weird cousin's twitter avatar) used in his psychological test where he created a series of ink blots that look like my Mom yelling at me. When you leave something vague, people can tell you about who they are by what their brain imposes on the ambiguous shape. When I saw Morophon, a potential commander for any Magic tribe, even one that may already have a commander, I saw who I was. Before we get into how I would build, let's look at Morophon, shall we?

Morophon, the Boundless

This art is going to look amazing in foil and this card is going to look amazing in foil in my command zone. Morophon is a little pricey to wing out there, but once it hits play, the tribe of your choice gets a big boost - you can choose Eldrazi and start winging them out with a considerable discount if you can make wubrg. If you're feeling really frisky, you can include Jodah, Archmage Eternal or Fist of Suns in your deck to make any creature spell in the chosen tribe cost zero mana (Fist makes the alternate cost of the spell wubrg which Morophon reduces by that amount). You also have a Glorious Anthem attached to Morophon. Not bad for seven mana. One aspect that everyone intuitively knows but rarely lists as one of Morophon's assets is the fact that he is sometimes better in a tribal deck if that tribe already has a good commander because Morophon's color identity is wubrg. It's something we all know as commander players but if you consider the amount of design space this opens up, you may just jam your current tribal commander in the 99 somewhere and start playing around with the new color(s) to which you now have access. That's not what I did, though.

No, when I saw this beautiful, shiny, iridescent, shapeless mass of a commander, my brain instantly said "Finally, you can play Glare of Subdual and Opposition in the same Squirrels deck" and I guess that's who I am.

If you're going to play Squirrel Nest/ Intruder Alarm/Opposition/Glare of Subdual, what does the rest of the deck look like? Well, we're going to tell ourselves we're a tribal deck, so we'll run all of the Squirrel cards it makes sense to run and probably some tribal enablers so we can have squirrels capable of doing battle as well as being tapped to Glare of Cryptolith Rite. We fill in the rest with cards that are generally good in Commander and probably don't run any Red or Black unless we want to. Mostly Bant is fine for this deck, I think. We also want to make sure their stuff either comes into play tapped or has a tough time untapping so our Glare and Opposition do more work and we may even consider a few enchantment tutors if we promise to be good and use them as toolbox cards. In fact, we're going to run a ton of enchantments which means a card like Sterling Grove is going to be very important. Also, who hasn't dreamt of using Opposition and Starfield of Nyx in the same deck?

Our Squirrel makers are pretty cheap and we won't run a ton of other creatures, so we're not really leveraging Morophon to the max, but I think we're happy enough to have fatter squirrels and access to any color we want. What does this deck end up looking like?

A nest of Vipers but the Vipers are Squirrels | Commander | Jason Alt


NO SOL RING?!

That's right, I went with mana dorks and mana enchantments for my lands so I could run a brand new card I'm excited about, Collector Ouphe. How excited am I for collector Ouphe. Well, if I could have run artifact mana, I could have included a card that was previewed Monday by my podcast, Brainstorm Brewery called Talisman of Curiosity.

Talisman of Curiosity

I'm not playing my own preview card, so you know I'm excited to be eschewing artifact mana. This lets me shut down their rocks with Null Rod and Ouphe. I also included Cursed Totem and Linvala, Keeper of Silence to shut down mana dorks. I have mana dorks myself, but I also have Overgrowth and Earthcraft comboing off to keep me in the mana, so I'm not concerned with tapping my Birds of Paradise to untap a land rather than just tapping it for mana. I'm pretty sure Cryptolith Rite gives the creature an ability which Totem shuts off, but I'm not overly worried, we should be fine on mana.

In general, I think cards like Wild Growth as a touch underplayed and since we can draw cards off of them with our Enchantress effects and get around cards like Null Rod, I think this deck is a great place for them. Remember, we're not trying to hard lock our opponents per se, just inconvenience them a lot. By the time you have enough enchantments to shut all of their mana off, you probably have enough squirrels to end it.

If you want to go more squirrel-heavy, cut some stax cards and add cards like Adaptive Automaton, Obelisk of Urd, Eldrazi Displacer, and Acorn Catapult. You could be more effective in battle but a little less effective at being a Nest/Oppo deck (which is fine). Customize how many creature tokens you want. Do you want to add Beastmaster Ascension and cut Carpet of Flowers? Be my guest! I'm merely suggesting a template for your own first draft of the deck.

The mana curve is on the high side and if you're not reliably getting your enchantment mana, maybe add some land to the deck or consider Trace of Abundance, a non-Bant card you can add because of who the commander is. Cards like Urban Utopia and Lush Growth only help fix, not ramp, and I therefore didn't consider them, but Trace of Abundance could be just what you need. I would avoid the temptation to jam Sol Ring in the deck - this isn't a 99 card format if you have Ouphe access.

One area of deck design space I didn't play with as much involves flickering. It's great with Hermits, especially the new one, Deep Forest Hermit, which has Vanishing rather than echo, but it also can untap ETB creatures for use with Glare or reset ETB creatures if you have them. Cards like Conjurer's Closet can be value engines in the deck. I don't know if there's room, but I certainly liked casting flicker spells on Deranged Hermit back in my 60 card casual days (I annoyed everyone in the lunchroom games by gaining a ton of life with Congregate and then Squallmongering everyone to death) and I'm sure I'll love it, now. I had to include Deadeye Navigator at the very least in my build.

What do we think? Are the squirrels a distraction? Too Staxy? Should I take advantage of Seedborn Muse and run Stasis? Should I cut Winter Orb since I can tap it with Opposition right before my turn starts? How would you build Morophon Squirrels? Let me know in the comments section. Until next time!

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