Hello and welcome to another edition of A Seat at the Table where I bring you a fun, short look at a Commander and fun inclusions for the 99.
This time, we’re keeping the fun rolling with another legend from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate – Myrkul, Lord of Bones! This Abzan God (who I really wish were a Skeleton God, by the way) offers a very cool new effect that has bent a few engine-minded players’ brains into pretzels. With the SkellyGod out, when non-token creatures you control die, you can exile them and make a token enchantment that has their textbox. That’s crazy!
As someone whose absolute favourite card type in Magic is enchantment, the moment I read Myrkul, my eyes went wide. Whenever you see a great mechanic on a creature, my first thought is that maybe they tested it as an enchantment first and it was busted, so they made it easier to kill.
With a ton of removal in the game, sure, your enchantments can get targeted. However, board wipes? We’re looking at a time where Blasphemous Act is the sweeper of choice in a lot of metas. While there are Farewell‘s and Austere Command‘s lurking about, they’re going to have to contend with your Cosmic Intervention‘s and Teferi’s Protection‘s.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at some fun cards to include in your Myrkul, Lord of Bones decks.
Let’s get these out of the way because you will see them in Myrkul decks for sure. Oddly enough, the most powerful of these is the two mana one in Devoted Druid. When your creatures die, you can exile them to make them enchantments. Enchantments don’t have power and toughness, which means -1/-1 counters don’t do anything to them. Pile on the counters to untap the Druid, Wretch, and Medic as much as you want and create infinite mana, prevent damage to anything, and make your opponents discard their hands (that last one is only on your turn).
Note that the Medic has been errata’d to ANY TARGET! That’s spicy for hose of us Myrkul builders going the Planeswalker route. Speaking of which…
Myrkul is all about cards doing what they aren’t supposed to, turning one card type to another. It’s the real alchemy. Luxior turns your Planeswalkers into creatures. And what happens to your creatures when they die? They get exiled and become enchantments. Your Planeswalkers will enter as enchantments with loyalty counters AND abilities. Don’t you worry about it because they cannot be attacked and loyalty counters no longer come off unless you want them to.
Got just enough to down-tick a Planeswalker but don’t want to lose it? If it’s an enchantment, it sticks around and you can uptick it next turn. Planeswalkers with static effects like Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Liliana, Dreadhorde General are basically closest to enchantment Planeswalkers already. Why not let them fulfill that destiny?
I am a big fan of Threaten effects and run quite a few of them in my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch aristocrats deck. We even got one of my favourite new ones in Battle for Baldur’s Gate in Firbolg Flutist.
The wording on Myrkul is, “Whenever another nontoken creature you control dies, you may exile it.” That means that creatures you don’t own but control dying gets you those effects as enchantments. With the Valkyrie and Athreos on the battlefield, your opponents will do their best to not let their important creatures die. They function oddly like stax pieces, removal, and clone effects all at the same time with Myrkul. Not to mention when these die and become enchantments, they’re still useful and the Valkyrie doesn’t even need Haste. I like this line of play so much, I’m going to talk about two more theft style cards. I’m lumping in Wandering Archaic into this section because it’s a tax effect that lets you copy your opponents instants and sorceries and often stops them from playing them. It’s also a really good card that you should buy now. (3KL should have some copies for you!)
Helm of Possession does double duty in this deck – A sacrifice outlet that steals a valuable creature. Two mana is nothing when you’ve got a few ways to go infinite or go big on mana. There aren’t any restrictions on timing, so you can threaten to activate when being attacked during blockers. You can make deals with other players to take another opponent’s Commander to attack into someone else’s Deathtoucher. This card is very flexible and because it was designed so long ago, a lot of the provisions cards come with these days to keep them from being broken aren’t there. I love this card and will feel both terrified and delighted to see it played.
Ending the list with something fun and silly. This isn’t a great one without a little information, but it can make for some memorable plays. Treacherous Urge for 5 mana at instant speed can give you a surprise attacker or blocker that nobody expects – not even the card’s owner! Maybe a Cyclonic Rift hits the table and you’ve got Myrkul out and enough to play the Urge, you can take your pick of another player’s creatures in hand and get away with turning it into an enchantment with the baked-in sacrifice. This isn’t a spell-heavy kind of Commander. Most Abzan decks I’ve encountered basically use instant and sorcery slots for protection and ramp because permanents are the way to go in this colour combo. But sometimes, you gotta just have a little fun.
Honorable Mention – Enchantment Stuff
Look, it’s an enchantress deck, but it doesn’t cast them, so a lot of stuff is on the chopping block. That doesn’t mean you don’t get some juicy pieces. Draw cards with Eidolon of Blossoms and Setessan Champion. Sanctum Weaver is a great dork, even better when it can tap for mana, get sacrificed, then tap for more. Doomwake Giant kills your opponents’ weenies, but when you go off some turns. This is a one-sided board wipe.
Privileged Position protects your permanents like Greater Auramancy protects your enchantments. Anointed Procession, Parallel Lives, and in Planeswalker versions of this, Doubling Season are solid inclusions, but remain enchantments with heaping load of value.
That does it for me this time. I hope you enjoyed the Sparkly BoneBoy (as I’ll be calling him because I don’t want to be a villain)!
Let me know if I’ll see you at Command Fest in July! Come say hi! Let’s play some games!