Commander, for those of you who are new to the game, is a casual format that used to be called by its player-given name: Elder Dragon Highlander. Anyone who isn’t up on the old-school terms should learn that Elder Dragons were a series of tri-color legendary dragons in the creatively titled MTG expansion, Legends. The “Highlander” part of the name refers to the movies and TV series about Connor and Duncan MacLeod, two immortals engaged in a time-and-space spanning competition to be the last (immortal) man standing. A major “catch-phrase” from the Highlander storyline was “There can be only one!”, which is how it came to be associated with what is now the Commander format.
What’s really impressive about Riku of Two Reflections is the fact that his ability violates the spirit of the format in a pretty major way. He allows you to copy spells and creatures, providing you with a way to have “multiples” of cards in a format that fundamentally forbids it.
I’m sure that most people who played “Mirror Mastery” this weekend realized that there is almost no “bad way” to use Riku’s ability. If you’re casting a spell, you would rather have two of it than one – though in same cases the second would be redundant. However, as the decklist suggests, Riku’s ability is best employed when you can copy a creature with a great “comes into play” (now, “enters the battlefield”) ability.
While I won’t claim that any one sorcery, instant, or creature is the “best” to copy with Riku, I’ve got a couple ideas about cards that would be especially fun for him to multiply.
First, if I could copy any non-mythic rare creature in Standard, I think it would be Chancellor of the Forge. The Chancellors were sort of a lackluster cycle for New Phyrexia, but I think his comes into play ability would be killer in this particular setting. The triple red in his casting cost makes him difficult to play in a more mana-limited setting, but part of the beauty of this combo is the fact that once you’ve paid his RRR, you only need GU to pay for Riku’s ability.
Chancellor of the Forge will give you a fistful of Goblins (according to the number of creatures you have in play), doubling the number of creatures you control. His token-copy will then hit the battlefield and will double that number again. Because most Commander decks contain multiple board wipes, an army of tokens isn’t likely to live long, but the Chancellor’s little buddies have haste so you’re much more likely to get in one good attack.
I also think that Riku would make a great addition to a Legacy or Commander deck designed to mill your opponent. While it may not be entirely consistent with the strategy of “Mirror Mastery” out of the box, his ability to copy cards like Archive Trap, Traumatize
Traumatize, and other mill staples would greatly accelerate the process of eliminating your opponents library.
That’s all for today’s Killer Combo. Let me know what other ideas you have and look forward to our post on Kaalia of the Vast
Kaalia of the Vast tomorrow.