29, Aug, 23

What is MTG Soulbond?

Article at a Glance

The new Doctor Who crossover, while introducing new mechanics to MTG’s 30-year legacy, also features a ton of returning mechanics. In order to make the experience with the four upcoming Doctor Who Commander decks as nuanced as possible, Wizards of the Coast appears to be pulling out all the stops.

Because of this, there are a lot of returning mechanics revealed to be appearing in the Doctor Who crossover, and one of the new Partner Commanders has access to Soulbond. This is a somewhat complicated mechanic that already has a chance of popping up in your Commander games thanks to the popular card Deadeye Navigator. Without further ado, let’s take a look!

What is MTG Soulbond?

Soulbond is an effect that triggers when a permanent with the keyword enters the battlefield, or is already on the battlefield. You simply pair that creature with another creature you control. Those creatures remain paired as long as you control both of them. Another creature entering the battlefield can also trigger a creature with Soulbond.

Here’s the catch: creatures cannot be Soulbonded once they are already paired with another creature. This goes both ways. You can choose to Soulbond Donna Noble to another creature when she enters the battlefield but, if you do so, you cannot Soulbond her to anything else until that pair is broken.

It is not required to Soulbond with another creature the moment something triggers the ability. You can wait to Soulbond with a creature you plan on playing in the future if you so choose but, until then, you will not have a pair of creatures. You can only choose to Soulbond with a new creature if you are not currently Soulbonded to something else.

Finally, creatures with Soulbond can bond to oneanother. In these cases, the perks that come along with either creature’s Soulbond-related ability can be shared between the two.

Generally, the creature that triggers Soulbond will have an ability that impacts both itself and the creature it is Soulbonded to. In the case of Donna Noble, she cares about when she or the creature she is Soulbonded to takes damage. When that happens, Donna deals that much damage to target opponent, which can help encourage players to leave your permanents alone.

Of course, this can also go both ways, allowing a rogue Blasphemous Act that you cast to deal 26 damage to an unfortunate enemy.

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An MTG Soulbond Summary

Including the newly revealed Donna Noble, there are 25 cards in Magic with the Soulbond keyword. All of these are creatures. While that is the case for the time-being, do keep in mind that we don’t know everything releasing as a part of the Doctor Who crossover yet, so there could be more cards that employ the keyword coming soon.

Deadeye Navigator is definitely the card Commander players will run into the most that employs Soulbond. Since Deadeye Navigator gives both itself and another creature the ability to Flicker themselves, just sneezing on this card can create an infinite combo.

Take Dockside Extortionist, for example. As long as your opponents have three or more artifacts or enchantments in play, the Extortionist will create three Treasure Tokens. Those can be sacrificed for mana.

Since Deadeye Navigator’s Soulbonded ability costs two mana to activate, should the Navigator and Extortionist be paired, you can use two of these Treasures to exile Dockside Extortionist and return it. Dockside enters, creating three more Treasure Tokens and, since Soulbond with Deadeye Navigator was broken, you can pair the creatures together once more. This will generate excess Treasure in each loop, granting infinite tokens and infinite mana.

As demonstrated by Deadeye Navigator, Soulbond can be quite powerful depending on what abilities the creature with Soulbond grants to its pair. The new Donna Noble also looks quite powerful with some setup, easily dealing enough damage to knock a player out of your Commander game. Soulbond is a tad bit confusing but, plays a lot simpler than it seems.

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