8, Sep, 21

The Coolest Parasitic Commander Mechanics

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Article at a Glance

Some of the best commanders are the ones with the biggest restrictions and generally speaking, those tend to be the ones built around parasitic mechanics.

These are the commanders that are built to support a mechanic that only appeared within a single set, or is generally only used sparingly in MTG. They’re hard to add cards into because they’re good at a weird thing, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a huge amount of fun. So, we’re going to look at these mechanics and the commanders that fit them, just in case you want a deck that may never change.

Morph – Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer

There are few Commanders in MTG that manage to feel like you’re playing a different game quite as efficiently as Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer. Kadena allows you to play one morph card each turn for free, basically, and there are a plethora of options in Sultai that basically means you get to shout “YOU ACTIVATED MY TRAP CARD” to literally whatever an opponent does, and get away with it. It’s just a shame we’re not getting any more morph or megamorph cards any time soon.

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Dungeon – Sefris of the Hidden Way

Now, we know we’re getting more Dungeons & Dragons cards with the Commander Legends set next year, but for now Sefris of the Hidden Ways is all we have, dungeons ain’t gonna be appearing in any other sets. Dungeons as a whole are just a fascinating mechanic, and a big part of what makes Adventures in the Forgotten Realms so enticing. They’re not only fun to blitz through, but also offer some interesting lines of play, and allow for a surprising degree of flexibility too.

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Mutate – The Apex cycle

Mutate is an incredibly silly and incredibly fun mechanic that should really have a five-color commander, but Brokkos, Illuna, Nethroi, Snapdax, and Vadrok are all excellent commanders in their own right. Mutate is such an oddity in MTG, and it’s a bit like a few other mechanics, but weird and wonderful. Mutate isn’t likely to be seen again any time soon, but we do love it, and we are sad that we won’t be getting more.

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Foretell – Ranar the Ever-Watchful

Before we talk about this, Ranar the Ever-Watchful not being Esper sucks, because Dream Devourer in the deck would have boosted the potential so much it would have made everyone sick with happiness. Anyway, the foretell mechanic is a bit like the morph mechanic, but it also includes nonpermanent spells, so it can be more flexible. It’s a fascinating time, and being able to reduce costs and also protect your hand from disruption is fun. However, without access to Black, Ranar the Ever-Watchful is probably going to stop watching soon.

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Madness – Anje Falkenrath

While discard as a theme has existed for a while, Anje Falkenrath puts a focus on madness that is truly revolutionary. Madness is a mechanic that basically rewards you discarding cards, and it’s an interesting one to work into your decks, because it turns something that’s designed as a drawback into a huge win. Anje Falkenrath lets you discard and draw cards by tapping them, but untaps if the discarded card had madness. As long as you’ve got mana, you can do some truly obnoxious things with this, and while we saw a couple of new madness cards recently, we’re unlikely to see any again unless Innistrad: Crimson Vow comes in clutch.

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Ninjutsu – Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow

This is one of those commanders that should have been printed ages ago, but didn’t appear until the 2018 Commander decks, and even then it was tucked away in an Esper deck instead of being front, centre, and shouted about from the rooftops. Ninjutsu is one of those mechanics that’s just pure good old fashioned fun, and finally having the chance to not only benefit from the mechanic, but Ninjas in general, with Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow was wonderful. While this is on the list at the moment, we’re probably going to see a huge new influx of cards thanks to the upcoming Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and we can’t wait.

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