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Mirrormade: Exclusive Throne of Eldraine Preview


In recent spoiler seasons, Wizards has done a really good job of assigning previews that have some additional meaning, rather than just handing out cards randomly, and Throne of Eldraine is no different. As you probably know already, I love Blood Moon and Panharmonicon. While Blood Moon is too unfun (and probably too good) for Standard and we just got a Panharmonicon replacement in Yarok, the Desecrated, in theory, the preview I have for you today (thanks to Wizards being awesome) can be a Blood Moon or a Panharmonicon! Take a minute to reflect on Mirrormade!

 

At its most basic level, Mirrormade is a Clone effect. While it has the drawback of only hitting artifacts (like Panharmonicon) or enchantments (like Blood Moon), it makes up for this by being just three mana, offering a meaningful discount over most copying effects, which are often four mana. Maybe the easiest way to think about Mirrormade is in the context of a couple of past cards, in Copy Artifact and Copy Enchantment. Mirrormade is basically a more flexible version of the effect—hitting either artifacts of enchantments—for just one more mana than Copy Artifact and for the same cost as Copy Enchantment

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While neither Copy Artifact nor Copy Enchantment sees heavy play in tournament formats, they do show up on occasion, with Copy Artifact being in some old Vintage decks and Copy Enchantment showing up in some Modern Zur, the Enchanter builds. Mirrormade is close to a strict upgrade over Copy Enchantment, even if you're not playing any artifacts yourself, just because you might occasionally copy a Wurmcoil Engine, an Ensnaring Bridge, or some other artifact your opponent might be playing. While not quite as efficient as Copy Artifact, Mirrormade will be much more accessible than the Reserved List rare, and especially in formats like Commander, paying one extra mana isn't really a deal breaker.

Standard

As far as Standard is concerned, I'm not really sure where Mirrormade fits into the format. Artifacts and enchantments seem to be a sub-theme of Throne of Eldraine, so it's possible the perfect Mirrormade target is on the horizon and we just haven't seen it yet. But focusing on the sets already in Standard (and surviving rotation), there aren't a ton of exciting targets for Mirrormade

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Artifact-wise, many of the best of the bunch are legendary. While copying your opponent's Bolas's Citadel or Golos, Tireless Pilgrim could be sweet, it will likely be hard to build a deck around copying your own artifacts. A three-mana Meteor Golem could be be powerful, and if we get enough support, maybe there could be some sort of artifact aggro deck featuring Steel Overseer, but the options are limited.

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Enchantments might offer more potential, with cards like Captive Audience, Thousand-Year Storm, and Ethereal Absolution, although I'm not sure how often you really need two copies of any of them since one is often enough to swing the game.

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Copying Smothering Tithe or Leyline of Abundance could offer a lot of mana in the right deck, and Mirrormade is, at the very least, cute with enchantments like Disinformation Campaign and Dovin's Acuity, which you can return to your hand to potentially recast Mirrormade and copy something else.

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Wilderness Reclamation will still be floating around after rotation, and as we've learned over the past year, having two copies of Wilderness Reclamation is better than just having one, although it will be harder to abuse now that Nexus of Fate has finally rotated. Maybe some combination of flash from Leyline of Anticipation and Teferi, Time Raveler along with Finale of Glory or Finale of Revelation could work, although finding additional Mirrormade targets might be a challenge.

The other issue with Mirrormade in Standard is that to really make the card work, we need more than just one good copying target in our deck. Playing Mirrormade with Wilderness Reclamation as our only good artifact or enchantment to copy isn't a very good plan due to the inherent inconsistency. To really make Mirrormade work, we need a deck with a critical mass of artifacts and / or enchantments worth copying. Right now, such a deck doesn't exist in Standard. While it's possible one will develop over the course of Throne of Eldraine Standard, it isn't clear if all of the necessary pieces exist.

All in all, this makes me skeptical of Mirrormade's immediate Standard potential. It might be one of those cards that takes a couple additional sets to really find a home, even though it is a powerful effect. The good news is that there are reasons to be optimistic about Mirrormade's future, especially with the return of Theros in a few months. If our second visit is anything like our first, odds are that the set will be overflowing with enchantments (the return of enchantment creatures would be especially good for Mirrormade). So even if there isn't an Mirrormade deck immediately after rotation when Throne of Eldraine is released, it will certainly be a card to keep an eye on moving forward through the next two years of Standard. 

Modern

As far as Modern is concerned, the most likely home for Mirrormade is as a one-of tutor target in decks that care about enchantments (and to a lesser extent, artifacts). An easy example of this is Zur the Enchanter decks.

Mirrormade is perfect for Zur, offering a ton of flexibility in a package that is cheap enough to find with Zur the Enchanter's tutoring ability. Having a tutor target that can be another copy of Runed Halo, Detention Sphere, or Journey to Nowhere, depending on the situation, is quite powerful. Meanwhile, Greater Auramancy is one of the best ways to protect enchantments, and getting two copies on the battlefield makes a hard lock of protection from targeted removal thanks to the Greater Auramancies giving each other shroud, but it's hard to actually find room for two copies of Greater Auramancy in the main deck. Mirrormade gives us a second copy of Greater Auramancy when we need it that can also be more removal, card filtering, or lock pieces if we don't need the extra protection of two copies of Greater Auramancy

Another possibility is a build of Enduring Ideal that splashes into blue, where Mirrormade offers the same flexibility and tutorability it does in Zur. Having one card that can be another Oblivion Ring to kill a planeswalker, another Sphere of Safety against creature decks, or another Rest in Peace against dredge seems perfect for the deck. Again, this would be more of a one-of than the foundation of the deck, and it is fair to question whether it's worth rebuilding the mana just to take advantage of Mirrormade, but Mirrormade does seem perfect for the strategy. 

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Other than replacing Copy Enchantment in decks that currently run it, it's hard to figure out exactly what to do with Mirrormade in Modern. Obviously, being able to copy Panharmonicon and Blood Moon is sweet, although a second Blood Moon isn't always that important, and I'm the only person who plays Panharmonicon in Modern. On paper, a deck like Hardened Scales has plenty of targets, with Mirrormade being an extra Hardened Scales or an extra Arcbound Ravager or Steel Overseer. But in practice, it seems unlikely that many Modern decks will warp their mana bases and builds to take advantage of the card, especially when both Clever Impersonator (basically Mirrormade with upside for one more mana) and Copy Enchantment have already been floating around in the format for years without seeing significant play.

Commander / Brawl

While the Standard future of Mirrormade is murky and Modern is probably a long shot, one format where Mirrormade is almost assured to shine is Commander (and also Brawl). While a random clone effect isn't going to create any new archetypes or significantly change the power level of a Commander deck, it will likely be an easy inclusion in both artifact and enchantress-style decks in the format.

It's in Commander that the flexibility and power of the "copy artifact or enchantment" text will really shine. Take an enchantress-style commander like Estrid, the Masked. Copy Enchantment is already a solid card in Estrid, the Masked, allowing you to copy your best enchantment, most likely for a significant discount. But what Mirrormade does that Copy Enchantment can't is randomly copy a Signet, Sol Ring, Skullclamp, or Gilded Lotus an opponent plops onto the battlefield. While this might not sound like a huge deal, there will likely be times where Mirrormade saves the day by copying something of the opponents that offers mana while you are missing land drops or card draw while your are empty-handed.

Using Copy Artifact and Copy Enchantment as our guide, here are some of the commanders where Mirrormade should be an auto-include (or at least under heavy consideration).

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Apart from copying Isochron Scepter as a weird sort of build-your-own combo (and even here, Isochron Scepter is the true combo piece), the challenge of writing about Mirrormade in Commander is that it's basically a value card. Its floor is a three-mana Sol Ring or Signet, which isn't an exciting card, but when you consider the upside of randomly copying a Mirari's Wake or Wurmcoil Engine, it is the type of card that you want in your deck a lot of the time. Its power is dependent on the power of artifacts and enchantments already on the battlefield, which means it will usually be pretty powerful in Commander since powerful artifacts and enchantments are sort of the core of the format, but this still means there isn't much more to say.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Thanks again to Wizards for hooking us up with a sweet preview card! What do you want to copy with Mirrormade? Let us know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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