Hello again and welcome to another edition of A Seat at the Table, the Commander-focused column here at The Bag of Loot.
With Dominaria United in full swing and the Legends Retold series rip roaring, giving brewers whiplash, it’s time to party with one of my favourite iterations of a new legend.
The Ever-Changing ‘Dane is a 3/3 legendary shapeshifter for Esper mana (white, blue, black). Look at this textbox.
“1, Sacrifice another creature: The Ever-Changing ‘Dane becomes a copy of the sacrificed creature, except it has this ability.”
Important details: you must sacrifice another creature and Dane becomes a copy of that creature. It’s gated behind a simple mana, so we’ll need creatures you want to die and keep around at the same time, but also lots of mana. Let’s see what’s up.
Teysa Karlov is one of the most popular Orzhov commanders ever and for good reason. When she was spoiled, she was nicknamed Deatharmonicon after Panharmonicon for her ability to double death triggers. The token lord ability isn’t going to come into play much, but it will definitely matter sometimes.
You want to explore her EDHREC page for more suggestions. Stuff like Pitiless Plunderer and Grim Haruspex are the veggies to this deck. You need them to function well and, if it’s functioning, you’ll get plenty of cards and Treasures. Life Insurance is a new card from New Capenna Commander that deserves another look for this deck.
Recursion is super powerful in this deck. If you have Mikaeus and Broodmoth out at the same time, make Dane sacrifice a legendary creature with an amazing death trigger and unless somebody responds to this, that’s game over, probably. There’s a cycle of beefy creatures that definitely put the screws to the opponents when they die.
Mikaeus is known to be a combo enabler and it’s no surprise that Broodmoth has followed its steps price-wise, but if you want a card that does something similar without breaking the bank, check out Cauldron of Souls. Of course it doesn’t happen automatically and you get one activation to give creatures undying and you don’t have ways to loop, but if you’ve got enough solid death triggers, just getting two out of a creature can be backbreaking!
Maybe you don’t want to lose your legends! Maybe you want a bunch of copies of Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. You sack the original one to Dane, then Body Double copying Elesh Norn before targeting the original with Coffin Queen, boom, that’s +6/+6 to your creatures and -6/-6 for your opponents as long as you’ve got one of these cards out. Mirror Box even gives them an additional +1/+1 for each one that shares a name! Isn’t that nifty.
Dragon Spirits from Kamigawa
This is my favourite part. There are six eligible legendary dragon spirits from Kamigawa, each with amazing death triggers – three of them actually have modal death triggers that you get to pick from!
In White, we have Ao, the Dawn Sky and Yosei, the Morning Star. One allows you to dig through your deck and get 4 mana value out of stuff or add +1/+1 counters to your board and the other locks up an opponent’s precious resources. These are your value and insurance spirits.
In Blue, it’s Kairi, the Swirling Sky and Keiga, the Tide Star. One is a hard to target flyer who bounces 6 mana worth of nonland permanents, or lets you recur instants and sorceries. The other straight up takes away a creature your opponent controls and if they try to take it back, you can use Dane to sacrifice it and keep a copy for yourself. These are your utility dragons.
In Black, Junji, the Midnight Sky and Kokusho, the Evening Star are the heavy hitters. One reanimates a non-Dragon (you should have plenty) and forces your opponents hands while draining them for two. The other is one of the most feared commander of yesteryear, a formerly banned beast who terrorized kitchen tables for years! These are your game enders.
Pick up your copies now. Trust me. Especially the white and black ones because…
Newly spoiled, Ratadrabik of Urborg makes a nonlegendary copy of any legend that dies and gives it vigilance by virtue of its anthem effect for zombies. It’s hard to target and will definitely do a lot of work for you. Anointed Procession if you feel like it, but the fact that this does not exile the creature dying to make you a copy of it means that the reanimation plan is still on.
I’m already considering Ratadrabik for Dihada, Binder of Wills and as a commander himself. Kethis, the Hidden Hand would love to have this in the 99. All in all, maybe keep an eye out for another article from me about THIS commander!