17, Mar, 24

MTG Karlov Manor Bear Commander Sees Extensive Eternal Play!

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Article at a Glance

Over the years, the vast card pool associated with Eternal formats has continued to grow larger and larger. Not only do we get a multitude of premier sets per year, but we also get to utilize cards from Commander sets in formats like Legacy. Universes Beyond cards and Commander cards often end up playing major roles in Eternal formats even if they aren’t designed as such.

For instance, Triumph of Saint Katherine is quite a strong card alongside Brainstorm, showcasing the power of the Warhammer 40k set. Meanwhile, Broadside Bombardiers from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander decks has become a staple in Legacy Goblins decks.

Today, we are going to focus on an interesting Commander card from the Murders at Karlov Manor. Interestingly, Duskana, the Rage Mother of all cards is making its presence felt in Legacy. It serves a potent role in many Dredge decklists and can help end the game the turn it comes into play!

To fully understand Duskana’s role in the deck, it’s important to focus on the deck’s main gameplan in conjunction with Bridge from Below, the engine of the Legacy Dredge deck.

The Need for Speed

Faithless Looting

At first glance, this deck looks like it has a lot of moving parts. Clearly, the goal is to get Golgari Grave-Troll and Stinkweed Imp into the graveyard and start Dredging. What’s interesting, though, is that a lot of the typical supporting cast for Dredge decks in Modern and Vintage is nonexistent in this Legacy variant.

For instance, Prized Amalgam is nowhere to be found. You won’t find Creeping Chill either. Instead, this deck is much more heavily centered around winning the game in one swing.

Both Careful Study and Faithless Looting enable you to get your Dredge cards into the graveyard in an efficient manner. Once your Dradge cards are in the graveyard, you can utilize them and start filling your graveyard in short order. The absolute fastest starts for this deck, though, typically involve Lion’s Eye Diamond.

Lion’s Eye Diamond provides an easy way for you to pitch your Dredge cards while also providing you mana to either Flashback Faithless Looting, or better yet, activate Cephalid Coliseum. Getting to Dredge three times by simply sacrificing a Land is big game, and thanks to Lion’s Eye Diamond, attaining Threshold is trivial. The question then becomes: without cards like Prized Amalgam, how does this deck actually go about closing the game?

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Maximizing Bridge From Below

Bridge from Below

As mentioned, the main engine for this deck is Bridge from Below. Bridge from Below can provide a sea of Zombies without ever needing to be cast. The key is finding ways to get Creatures into play and sacrifice them. Luckily, Narcomoeba enters the battlefield for free while you are Dredging over your deck.

Once you have churned through a good portion of your library, chances are you will have some copies of Narcomoeba in play and Bridge in your graveyard. You should also have copies of Cabal Therapy and Dread Return in your graveyard that you can use to start flooding the board with Zombies.

Start by using Cabal Therapy to clear the way of any potential interaction from the opponent, such as Force of Will. By sacrificing Narcomoeba, you will end up netting Zombies for each copy of Bridge in your graveyard. Using Cabal Therapy’s Flashback ability will even trigger Poxwalkers to return to play, adding to your board presence. In some games, these Zombies will be enough to win on their own. However, once you find Duskana and Dread Return, you can usually end the game on the spot.

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Duskana and Dread Return

Duskana, the Rage Mother

Despite only appearing as a one-of in Legacy Dredge decklists, Duskana serves an important purpose. Once you have Dread Return and Duskana in your graveyard and Zombies in play, Duskana can help you draw/Dredge the rest of your deck. Start by casting Dread Return and sacrificing three Creatures. Assuming you have some Zombies left over, when Duskana enters the battlefield, you can start Dredging a bunch. Just be careful not to end up drawing from an empty library.

The goal in returning Duskana to play is two-fold. First and foremost, by Dredging over the rest of your deck, you will be able to find the one-of copy of Anger. In conjunction with your Zombie tokens from Bridge from Below, you can now attack for a bunch of damage and win the game. Second, Duskana’s ability to let your Zombie tokens attack as 5/5s can be quite important in some spots. This large power boost means that you won’t need quite as many Zombies in play to actually end the game.

All things considered, Duskana isn’t quite as impactful as some other Commander cards like Broadside Bombardiers. That being said, it’s incredibly interesting to see a multi-color Commander card designed to be paired with face-down Creatures see Legacy play in a completely different context. The fact that Bridge from Below happens to make 2/2 Creatures specifically makes Duskana a real threat. Thanks to Dread Return, there’s no need to worry about the expensive, multi-color casting cost, either. This card truly showcases the importance of not glossing over cards from supplemental sets or products, even for Constructed afficionados.

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