With 50 mechanically unique cards promised in each of the four Doctor Who Commander decks releasing next Friday, the MTG community is quite literally getting almost 200 new cards and a series of exciting reprints spoiled to them over this week. A few cards were spoiled ahead of time to give players a tease of what to expect, but a bulk of new content is coming to the community very quickly.
Because the Doctor Who set is primarily constructed of Commander decks (and a few Secret Lair reprints), there are a ton of themes present within the new Doctor Who spoilers. Many of these are, obviously, created with Commander in mind, and one of the more powerful themes in the Commander format is copy effects.
Whether you’re copying ETB effects with cards like Panharmonicon, copying Historic Spells with The Sixth Doctor, or creating a literal copy of something with Spark Double, copy effects are all over casual Commander. This particular article will be focusing on the ladder, as there are some very powerful copy effects coming out in this set!
This is, admittedly, partially because the new Doctor Who decks will be overwhelmingly blue. As stated by various MTG designers, Doctor Who, as it fits into the MTG color pie, shares a lot of predominately blue themes since The Doctor tends to outwit his opponents. Since copy effects are predominately blue, it makes sense that some powerful ones are making an appearance in this set.
Even though Flesh Duplicate is a clone with a downside, it may be one of the most powerful cards printed in the Doctor Who set. Two mana for a clone is absolutely absurd, even if it disappears in three turns, and a few examples should help explain why.
Flesh Duplicate has a rather dismal floor, literally unplayable in the extremely rare case that no one is interested in playing creatures. Considering that this is Commander, and almost every Commander is a creature, this should almost never happen. You can easily avoid this by playing creatures you would be interested in copying with Flesh Duplicate.
The ceiling on this card is almost limitless, capable of generating win attempts for just two mana. Getting a two-mana copy of something like Atraxa, Grand Unifier is absolutely ridiculous. Even if the body doesn’t get to stick around too long, spending two mana to draw a bunch of cards with no downside is already cEDH playable.
On the topic of cEDH, there are a ton of really powerful small creatures that Flesh Duplicate can copy. It’s uncommon for a resolved Grand Abolisher not to end the game in that format, but in the case where this does happen, you can get your own Grand Abolisher and try to go for a win attempt.
Other common cEDH powerhouses include Gilded Drake, Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy (assuming you have fast mana), Dockside Extortionist, Drannith Magistrate, and many more. Many of these cards will pay off immediately, and having the longer-term static effects last for three turns should often be enough time for you to pull off a win attempt.
With the amount of powerful ETB effects in Commander being incredibly numerous, Flesh Duplicate just looks fantastic, and could be cEDH playable. Better yet, the power level of this card scales with what your opponents are pulling off, making this a great fit for many different power levels.
Nanogene Conversion is not the same type of copy spell that Flesh Duplicate is, but this card is capable of making a pretty hilarious splash. It requires some setup, but Nanogene Conversion can do some pretty silly things in the right hands.
The most important thing to note with this card is that it turns all creatures into the target creature that you control, not just yours. This can make using Nanogene Conversion to swing out on an unsuspecting player a bit less effective unless your plan is going wide.
The most obvious candidate for this card is Slivers. Slivers generally care about all other Slivers on the board, so turning all creatures into the same thing can make for some very nasty Slivers. Sliver Overlord, for example, can temporarily let you gain control of a bunch of opposing creatures if you have the mana for it.
Otherwise, abusing attack triggers is a fun way to break Nanogene Conversion. The Haunt of Hightower was particularly harrowing example suggested by this Twitter user. Each attacking Haunt will force an opponent to discard a card and the discarded card will grow all the Haunts.
This aren’t the only ways to abuse Nanogene Conversion, but it is a good start.
Quantum Misalignment is a five mana Sorcery that will typically create two nonlegendary copies of any creature you control. Any deck that wants to have multiple copies of their Commander in play that can run blue will want this card, at least in casual Commander.
An example is Gorion, Wise Mentor. Why copy your Adventure spells once when you can copy them multiple times? Any Commander that plays a significant role in their decks will also want this effect. Still, some other examples of common decks that may want this are Omnath, Locus of Creation, Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice, Miirym, Sentinal Wyrm, Jodah, the Unifier and more.
Auton Soldier is yet another copy effect that can ignore the Legendary rule. Considering how much demand there are for cards like Spark Double and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces, Auton Soldier and other new legendary-ignoring copy effects should easily be able to find a home.
Auton Soldier is a bit more expensive than the other copy effects shown off so far, but the trade-off is that this particular copy card comes with Myriad attached. This makes copying creatures with big bodies or powerful ETB effects even more devastating. Using Atraxa, Grand Unifier from our previous example, having multiple attacking copies of Atraxa that also trigger on entry can easily refill your hand seven and gain you 21 life pretty flawlessly.
Auton Soldier needs a more specific target to abuse his perks as much as possible but, once again, this card is quite adept at creating multiple Commanders. Played alongside effects like Discontinuity and Sundial of the Infinite that can end the turn can also help the tokens created with Myriad stick around permanently.
Read More: New Doctor Who Previews Abuse Time Counters!
There’s a Lot more to See!
With 200 new cards coming to Magic in just a week, the various glimpses we have into new content is really just scratching the surface of what Doctor Who will be bringing to the game. If anything, Flesh Duplicate suggests that a wide range of power levels will be satisfied with some of the contents in the coming set. Keep an eye on Wizards of the Coast’s official page to see what gets spoiled next! Of course, we’ll be sure to highlight the biggest spoilers here on MTGRocks.