Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This edition is brought to you by the stream that just revealed a bunch of new cards from The Brothers’ War.
Let’s talk about Mishra. Not that one, the other one, the newest one.
No, not the uncommon one.
Okay, so we’re getting four (technically, five) versions of Mishra and Urza in this set and its Commander set. So far, I am loving every Mishra design, and today I’m taking a look at Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa. For 3BR, you get a 4/4 Human Artificer with some spicy abilities. Let’s see that textbox:
“Permanents you control have ‘Ware – Sacrifice a permanent.’
Each artifact card in your graveyard has unearth 1BR.”
Let’s remind ourselves about Unearth.
“1BR: Return the card from your graveyard to the battlefield. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step or if it would leave the battlefield. Unearth only as a sorcery.”
Important things to note:
- Sorcery speed. There are no instant speed Unearth shenanigans to be had.
- If the permanent would leave the battlefield, it’s exiled. At the beginning of the next end step, it is exiled. BUT if you exile it and return it to the battlefield with a flicker effect, well, it’s already on its way to exile, but it can come back. Shoutout to Sedris, the Traitor King decks!
So why exactly would we want to run this over Sedris? Sedris has an extra colour. That colour is blue. How you felt about that is your answer to the question. If you like that, run Sedris. If you don’t, here’s Mishra. Sedris is one mana more than Mishra and can only unearth creatures. Mishra unearths artifacts.
Let’s have some fun with this. My first thought was Flagbearer creatures, which force opponents to target a Flagbearer if they want to cast spells or activate abilities. This then triggers Ward, which means that they have to sacrifice a permanent otherwise their spell is countered. That said, there are only two Flagbearers, and they’re White, so that’s a little extra spice for Mardu players who want Mishra to party.
Warhammer 40k precon Commander decks gave us a lot of new toys that I really like. I wasn’t particularly high on Biotransference. I liked it fine. What Biotransference can do in the right deck is sublime. For example, in this deck, it turns Mishra into a Sedris basically. All your creatures in your graveyard are artifacts and get to be Unearthed.
This little one mana artifact is a bit of a failsafe for those who really want to try to keep things that they should make peace with losing. By playing an Unearth strategy, you have to be okay with your stuff being gone forever. Synod Sanctum lets you exile one of your Unearthed artifacts. Because it’s already being exiled, it will be exiled with Synod Sanctum and therefore can be brought back with the second ability. You can create a stack for your opponents to worry about under there. Don’t forget to pack the self mill!
One of the most busted artifacts in the game. Entomb this into your graveyard, pay 1BR, and have a hell of a turn. Use Scroll Rack or Sensei’s Divining Top to move around the top of your deck or just draw everything you want, getting rid of lands from the top of the deck with Top. Enjoy the degeneracy, gang!
Paying half mana to play these solid creatures is a great deal. I don’t know what more you need. Noxious Gearhulk kills a creature and gains you life. Combustible Gearhulk either draws you card or mills you into more artifacts to unearth. I think it’s all around win-win with both of these beefcakes who get to swing at your opponents before saying bye forever. But does it have to be forever?
No, it doesn’t. At the beginning of your end step, you can stack your triggers to make Conjurer’s Closet exile a creature (Noxious Gearhulk for example) before the Unearth delayed trigger hits and you lose it for good, thus returning it to the battlefield as a new object that no longer needs to be exiled, as this one hasn’t been Unearthed! Shout out to the Sedris, the Traitor King decks again.
You can also do this with Cold Storage for 3 mana a pop, or Endless Sands, or Safe Haven, or Tawnos’s Coffin, or Voyager Staff. Crew the Golden Argosy and get them back at end step. It’s the same trick with the Synod Sanctum, but with different stuff. Of course, this only happens to one creature per each of these cards and it’s important that they are creatures. But what if you have a crazy turn with a ton of artifacts getting Unearthed?
- Worldgorger combo
Worldgorger Dragon and Animate Dead are a nightmare of a combo that allows you to get infinite mana, flicker a bunch of stuff on your board, and trigger it all. If you have any Unearthed permanents, you can then keep them around if you somehow don’t win the game. Now you see why I’ve included this here.
You need a way to end the game, for sure. This is a good way to do that. Ingenious Artillerist and Reckless Fireweaver will return to play with all the artifacts coming back and ping your opponents for a win.
You need to have everything in place already though because Unearth isn’t instant speed! Remember that!
That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table. If you have a commander you’d like me to cover, let me know on Twitter at @mikecarrozza.