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No Business Like Snow Business


Normally I do like a paragraph or two of preamble before I cut directly to the card I want to build around, but...

Moritte of the Frost

Not today, because I am that excited. I realize that there are sexy rares and mythics being posted every day and I also realize that "good Simic card goodstuff deck" is profoundly boring. Hear me out. You know I love two things in this world (format) and those things are Enchantments and stealing their stuff and I am inclined to do both with this card. "But Jason," I'm pretending you're saying now, "you can only copy your own stuff with Moritte of the Frost!" and I am so glad that I pretended you said that because I totally agree with you. I intend to. What's something I would like to copy with Moritte?

Mind's Dilation

My first thought was this, my favorite Magical card. You can have 2 copies of Mind's Dilation, which is a lot of copies of Mind's Dilation. It's one more than I'm used to having. This isn't going to make your opponents very happy, and that's kind of the point. It's not just this that I want to copy, however. The Enchantment that may get the most use in the deck is actually Green.

Doubling Season

Old "Dubsy Seezy" as it likes to be called, can do quite a bit of work in this deck if we build around it. I'd like to suggest I'm going to do that, and there are several reasons why. Like me to list them for you? Too bad, it's my article.

First of all, Doubling Season doubles the number of counters permanents enter play with. If you copy a creature with Maritte, it will enter play with 4 +1/+1 counters on it. I think that's going to be helpful. Is Doubling Season a bit of a double-edged sword? It can't be. I was actually considering running either Doubling Season or creatures with persist, namely Glen Elendra Archmage, because Doubling Season would put 2 -1/-1 counters on Archmage which would keep killing it over and over when it tried to return to play. Maritte could get caught in a loop if you didn't have another legal target. Then I remembered that Maritte gets 2 counters when it comes in, negating the -1/-1 from Persist. With a sac outlet, you can counter a lot of spells. You can blow up a lot of stuff with Woodfall Primus. You could accidentally mill yourself with River Kelpie. The point is, there are a lot of cool things you can do with Persist creatures and a sac outlet. Well, mostly the 2 useful ones, but I guess I'm saying that playing Doubling Season isn't a nonbo with Archmage, so smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Secondly, Doubling Season will double the number of tokens I make and that seems good considering there are a lot of cards that put copies of creatures into play that are tokens. Progenitor Mimic does, Mimic Vat does, Rite of Replication REALLY does. You can get a lot of value out of doubling the ETB triggers from creature tokens coming into play and if we are running cards that clone our effects, we can load up with good ones. Doubling them is good, doubling them again is ggoooodd. Building the deck with Doubling Season, Primal Vigor and Parallel Lives in mind helps us narrow the card pool and select cards that play well with the cards we want to draw most, and the cards we want to draw most are cards that copy permanents. Our commander could clone creatures, and he very well may do that often, but the ability to copy something like Paradox Haze or Wilderness Reclamation seems too good to pass up.

So, with a healthy mix of ETB creatures, token-creating clone effects, token doubling effects and the basics you need to include in any deck, we're probably getting to be pretty full. We'll want some sac outlets for our Persist creatures and we'll want Cauldron of Souls to make swapping Moritte over to something new to be as easy and as satisfying as possible. We're going to steal as much of their stuff as we can and we're going to have fun doing it. What would a pile like this look like?

Technically Another Squirrel Deck | Commander | Jason Alt

There almost certainly aren't enough ETB creatures in the deck, but I think that's actually OK. You basically only need one to stick around - all of the other creatures are clones for the most part, or strong utility creatures like Master Biomancer, so your commander entering as anything good is positive, and the clones will just copy a good creature. I also think this deck likely has issues with how expensive a lot of the spells are, but I don't know how true that is until I sleeve this up and jam some games. As always, this is a bit of a hybrid build and there are avenues you can pursue to your own taste. Let's talk about the dials we can turn.

You can add more ETB creatures, which would make every clone a value machine. Adding a few cards like Mulldrifter, Venser, Master Thief, and Reclamation Sage would make playing your commander much smoother. We have shenanigans with cards like Primalcrux and Glen Elendra Archmage which are very good with a sac outlet like Evolutionary Leap or Helm of Possession, but having more creatures with good ETB effects makes all of your clone effects better, especially if you have Followed Footsteps and Parallel Lives out. It's possible we need more copy payoff cards than just the few we have like Eternal Witness and Sower of Temptation. My first impulse is to cut Instants and Sorceries, but try subtracting one clone and adding one ETB creature gradually until your mixture feels right.

I added as many ways to create a token that was a copy of their permanents as I could and with the token doublers, we could potentially wreak some real havoc on them. If you went heavier into Enchantments, you could cut some creatures without really feeling the pinch too much. How? By adding cards like Enigmatic Incarnation you can find the creatures you need and go full Enchantress. I like the idea of Persist so much that I basically precluded going full Enchantress, and since it was also what was expected of me, I didn't go that route in this article. However, I'm giving serious thought to building the deck Enchantress in paper. You will have lots of Enchantments to copy and you can also help how mana-hungry the deck is by playing Enchantments that generate mana when attached to lands, copying them in a pinch. Having 2 copies of Enchantress's Presence early wouldn't be terrible, either.

Be careful with the Legend Rule in this deck. There are cases I can't anticipate where the interplay between your commander making a Legendary copy of something and tokens and cards like Doubling Season could cause headaches. I am not sure how bad those scenarios would be - I imagine in a lot of cases you'll make some Legendary tokens you can't keep, but it's something to look out for. I'm not a judge and I occasionally make pronouncements about cards in this series that turn out to be wrong, so I'm going to leave the rules minutiae for others to figure out when they charge into battle with a chaotic pile of triggers that involve legendary permanents. It should be a real hoot.

That does it for me, readers! Thanks so much for coming along with me on this journey and for continuing to read this goofy column. Years ago, when I made an off-hand remark about how I thought I wanted to approach building decks, I never imagined it would turn into the series it has - a series that turns 7 years old the first week of February. I appreciate all of your support and gentle corrections about my rules misunderstandings. Here's to 7 more years! Until next week.

Commander HQ: Decklists and Strategy for Kaldheim's Legendary Creatures!

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