Myrkul, Lord of Bones
19, May, 22

They Were Bad Enough as Creatures! D&D God Breaks the Boundaries of MTG

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Article at a Glance

D&D’s God of Death has made an entrance into the world of MTG with Baldur’s Gate, and holy, this card is insane. Not only does it introduce two incredibly unique effects that MTG as a game hasn’t really seen before, but the abilities are ripe with ridiculous interactions that will leave your opponent scratching their head in your local Commander group. Allow me to introduce you to Myrkul, Lord of Bones!

Myrkul, Lord of Bones

Myrkul, Lord of Bones is a seven mana 7/5 white, green, black, or Abzan, God. The card is quite costly to play, but its abilities ensure that it can be pretty difficult to remove and that the wait is well worth it.

The first ability states that as long as your life total is at half or less than your starting one, Myrkul becomes indestructible. This is a sweet way to make sure that your seven mana investment is going to be very difficult to deal with. 20 life doesn’t put you in an incredible amount of danger either. The downside to this ability is therefore reasonable, but not ridiculous.

The second ability is something a lot of players are going to have fun playing around with. This commander can exile any of your other nontoken creatures that die and create a copy of it that is only an enchantment. Enchantments, in comparison to creatures, are a lot harder to remove. This can create some unique situations that the game has never seen before. Now that we know what Myrkul does, let’s jump into some options that make use of their abilities the best:

Get to Half Life Fast

There are more ways than this to get to half-life as fast as possible, but paying half your life is a big cost. We may as well get as much as we can out of it. If you’re trying to get on the death god’s level as soon as possible, Toxic Deluge can set all your opponents back while you do it. Underrealm Lich can activate its second ability as many times as you want, and it synergizes well with Myrkul’s second ability. Ebonblade Reaper and Fraying Omnipotence ensure that you don’t take the plunge alone. Infernal Contract is a really silly way to dump your life as fast as possible. Necropotence and Peer into the Abyss can also get you a ton of value for your life, but make sure you have ways to manage all your cards, or at least get value out of them. Torgaar is a really interesting option. You have the potential to sacrifice a bunch of smaller creatures, using Myrkul to turn them into enchantments. Otherwise, Torgaar threatens to enter the battlefield twice because of Myrkul. This will effectively halve two players’ life totals. Whether one of those players is you or not is up to you.

The other suggestions on this list are more geared towards getting value for life spent instead of trying to dump half your life as quickly as possible. Most of the options on here have to do with card draw, which makes sure that you won’t run out of gas. Myrkul also has a huge mana cost, so you will need gas to get to your endgame.

Stop the Bleeding

Since you’re so close to death, you need to make sure that you don’t become one of Myrkul’s playthings yourself. All of these cards are very difficult to remove as enchantments and can put the game into some pretty interesting positions. Enduring Angel was also a point of interest when writing this, but it notably won’t work. Because Myrkul, Lord of Bones creates a token copy, Enduring Angel will cause you to lose the game because it can’t transform.

READ MORE: This Baldur’s Gate Commander Will Storm Your Opponents With a Myriad of Creatures

Making Copies of Myrkul?

The first thing that popped into my head looking at Myrkul was the potential for it to make an enchantment copy of itself. Even with Myrkul being indestructible, there is a good amount of creature removal that can get rid of it. The good news is that there are some ways to make copies of Myrkul in Abzan colors!

Most of them are colorless, but the potential to make a Myrkul enchantment exists. Note that you will want to kill the original Myrkul, Lord of Bones with the legendary rule for this to work. Mirage Mirror and Parallel Evolution are the most straightforward ways to make this happen. God-Pharaoh’s Gift involves a few extra steps (letting Myrkul stay in Graveyard, exiling it to the Gift trigger, and putting it back in the Command Zone as it changes zones, then recasting it), but it eventually gets there. Helm of the Host also works here, but you will instead end up with an army of death gods since the legendary rule is removed.

Enchantment Support

Enchantments are already significantly more difficult to remove than creatures. Protecting Myrkul’s payoffs ensures that our game plan is more foolproof. Sterling Grove allows for our enchantments to become untargetable. Combine this with a Fountain Watch that has gone through Myrkul’s treatment, and you get an untargetable board. This, specifically, will make an Indestructible Myrkul enchantment an absolute nightmare to remove.

Because we are not casting enchantments, most enchantress effects will not work. Eidolon of Blossoms is the exception to this rule since it only cares about enchantments entering the battlefield. Once it dies, it can also become an enchantment version of itself if Myrkul is in play. If your opponent insists on destroying your stuff, play Karmic Justice to make them second guess themselves.

Mana Ramp!

Creature-based mana ramp has a smaller downside with Myrkul than with other decks. Most of the time, you will want to ramp up to your commander. Therefore, a lot of these won’t be getting value out of Myrkul most of the time. Regardless, Sakura-Tribe Elder can come back and find you another land with Myrkul in play. Other enter the battlefield, or ETB, ramp like Topiary Stomper also have a chance of coming back. Mana dorks are less risky to play here. They can come back as an enchantment that can tap for mana without summoning sickness.

Blink and Enter

A blink deck that uses creatures that can blink ETB abilities for value is another direction you can take. Having Emiel or Eldrazi Displacer die isn’t the worst thing when they can come back as enchantments. The same thing will happen to all your other ETB creatures.

Enchantments Don’t Care About -1/-1 Counters

This gets into the category of being oppressive, but the cycle of Shadowmoor untappers can untap infinitely because of how Myrkul interacts with them. You can put as many -1/-1 counters on the enchantment versions of these cards without them being affected. This allows Devoted Druid to make infinite green mana, Barrenton Medic to prevent infinite damage, and for Cinderhaze Wretch to discard as many cards as you please.

READ MORE: Become The Powerful All Seeing Wizard With This NEW D&D Commander

They Were Bad Enough as Creatures

Hate bears get a major level up in this deck. To remove the effects that they provide, you need to kill them twice. The options here are pretty endless. Here are some of the stronger options that I thought about when considering what to turn into an enchantment (not all of these are hate bears). These can get pretty oppressive, so consider what your playgroup is ok with before shutting off their entire deck.

The Other Gods are Still Good

Because Myrkul takes away the creature subtype from a creature, traditional devotion-based Gods will not be able to become creatures as tokens. If you choose to play the other gods and add a tribal theme to your Myrkul deck, remember this.

Sacrifice Outlets

If you’re after turning your creatures into enchantments as soon as possible or trying to maximize various ‘enter the battlefield’ triggers, investing in creatures that act as sacrifice outlets may be in your best interest. You’ll generally get free triggers from them sacrificing themselves to turn into enchantments, and any Aristocrat(ish) effects like Blood Artist will be more difficult to remove.

How to Beat Myrkul

So your friend has this sleeved up and is doing all the nasty things that Myrkul gives them access to. What does Myrkul struggle against? The two things that make Myrkul tick are that enchantments traditionally are pretty difficult to remove and that creatures need to die for Myrkul to turn them into enchantments.

Running board wipes like Akroma’s Vengeance, Cleansing Nova, and Dismantling Wave ensure that you can deal with a Myrkul board that is out of control. These cards can do work against other decks as well. All is Dust takes things a step further, even destroying an Indestructible Myrkul, enchantment or not. Single target non-destruction removal like Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile are good for taking care of Myrkul when it enters the battlefield. These cards were also reprinted in recent Commander Precons, making them easily accessible. Cards like Rest in Peace, Anafenza the Foremost, and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet can stop Myrkul’s creatures from dying, therefore preventing them from becoming enchantments. The two creatures featured here would be good in a Myrkul deck too.

I will be sleeving up some version of Myrkul for my table. What it will end up being likely depends on what is considered to be going too far. Regardless, this is an awesome card that introduces a new way to play Commander.

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