The Toolbox – Mirage Mirror

(Mirage Mirror | Art by Craig J. Spearing)

All Around Me are Familiar Faces…

Welcome back to The Toolbox! Here, we take a look at underplayed cards and evaluate where they ought to see more play. Today we’re taking a look at a bit of a wild card that will quite literally have different applications in every single game: Mirage Mirror!

This is probably one of the most open-ended cards in the game. It’s a cross between Thespian’s Stage and Phyrexian Metamorph that also happens to hit enchantments. I remember when Hour of Devastation came out, Mirage Mirror was so hyped up because of the versatility in our format, and it does currently show up in over 13,000 decks according to EDHREC. However, I will submit that this number is still too low. I see it get chopped as the 101st or 102nd card when people are brewing decks, and I’m here to encourage you to get it into the 99 for good. Personally, Mirror is a card that has stayed in my toolbox, and every single time I play, I discover another new interaction with it.

I wish that I could remember the exact board state when I was playing Neheb, the Eternal, but the important parts were that I had a Ramunap Ruins, Mirage Mirror, and Furnace of Rath in play. Going into my turn, my opponent was at about 15 life with a Gilded Lotus and Gonti, Lord of Luxury in play, and had tutored that turn, so I knew that it was do or die time. I top-decked Dictate of the Twin Gods, which would help me with lethal damage, but was one mana short to win…. until I saw the line. I cast Dictate, then activated Mirage Mirror copying Dictate. Holding priority, I activated Mirror a second time targeting my opponent’s Gilded Lotus. With the original activation still on the stack, I was able to effectively net one mana. After the original activation resolved, I had three damage-doublers in play, and exactly enough mana to activate Ramunap Ruins to steal the game! To date, this is one of my favorite Powerful Magic™ stories (see North 100) and perfectly illustrates the raw potential of Mirage Mirror.

So let’s get right into it and take a look at the top commanders from EDHREC to see where Mirage Mirror is played!

Starting off with the impostor, himself, Sakashima, the Impostor is all about copying creatures, so it’s easy to see how Mirage Mirror fits into a deck like this. Judging by percentage, we also see Mirage Mirror show up in a lot of decks like Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper + Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist, whose EDHREC page shows a lot of cards that copy enemy creatures. There’s also Halfdane, which is a very shapeshifter-themed deck, a perfect home for the Mirror.

Judging by numbers, Mairsil, the Pretender and Kozilek, the Great Distortion have also made great use of the Mirror. Mairsil can copy its ability, which is a whole new level of trickery, and Kozilek gets a lot of use out of copying other players’ permanents, to gain access to effects that a colorless deck usually can’t acquire.

Now that we’ve seen the top decks for Mirage Mirror, let’s get into the decks that should play it more often!


Judge!

While Isperia, Supreme Judge may not be a qualified Magic judge, she is still the judge of the Azorius and of most games that she’s in. For those that missed this Sphinx, she is a force to be reckoned with that slowly makes any action that your opponents take worse as the game goes on. If you would like a full explanation on how she does this, I highly recommend taking a look at Mason Brantley’s Underdog Corner article. Now, let’s take a look at why I think that she should be playing Mirage Mirror!

First off, in control decks I personally think that versatility is one of the most important things to consider in terms of being able to interact with the table. So with a card like Mirage Mirror, you can have a second Windborn Muse or Maze of Ith at the drop of a hat to protect yourself. You can also beat down by copying a Dream Trawler and gain a buffer of life.

There’s also the option of getting of copying an opponent’s Smothering Tithe or Consecrated Sphinx in response to a Wheel of Fortune to keep pace. An important note is that because Mirage Mirror‘s effect lasts until end of turn, you can beat down with it as a creature, and still hold it up as an interactive piece on your opponents’ turns! The list goes on, but the point is simply that having such a versatile card that can act as a threat and as interaction in the same turn cycle is just amazing to me. Take a look at the decklist to see all the things that you can copy with Mirage Mirror!

Judgment Day

Commander (1)
Creatures (22)
Instants (13)
Sorceries (6)
Artifacts (11)
Enchantments (10)
Planeswalkers (2)
Lands (35)

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Quiet in the Library

Etrata, the Silencer, much like a librarian, just wants her targets to be quiet… though a little more permanently. If Etrata hits her mark three times on a given opponent, they instantly lose. So why would an Assassin like Etrata, the Silencer want a Mirage Mirror?

Well, actually accomplishing this goal can be quite difficult due to the clause of shuffling Etrata into your deck once she hits her mark. One way to work through this issue is by using Mirror Gallery and Clones to effectively have multiple Etratas! Mirage Mirror deserves a slot as one of these effects, and the reasons are twofold. First off, it dodges traditional Wrath of God effects that would otherwise wipe an army of Etratas out. Secondly, another common Etrata workaround are Ninjas, such as Fallen Shinobi, which can bounce Etrata back to hand in response to her trigger. (Yes, Ninjas can replace unblocked attacking creatures even after combat damage has already been dealt. Ninjas are sneaky like that.)

Mirage Mirror not only gives the versatility of interacting with opponents, but also has greater implications within the deck, itself, such as becoming a copy of a Spark Double of Etrata. There is also the opportunity to act as a second Strionic Resonator or Blade of Selves! I truly think that Mirage Mirror has a home here.


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The Best Creature Types Ever!!!

Seriously, there is not much that can even come close to Neheb, the Eternal being a Zombie Minotaur Warrior. Neheb is a beefy Minotaur that wants to do two things: deal a lot of damage and generate a lot of mana. He’d really appreciate my story of dealing 16 damage with Ramunap Ruins, but for now let’s get into why I think Neheb works well with Mirage Mirror.

In Mirage Mirror‘s art, Neheb, the Worthy is looking into the Mirror, and sees his potential self in Neheb, the Eternal. The flavor win is just too perfect to dispute there, section done, that’s a wrap!

Seriously, though, getting what is effectively a two-mana copy of any threat in play—that again dodges removal such as Wrath of God—is almost worth it even without any other application. This includes highlights such as a Tectonic Giant, Inferno Titan, and Angrath’s Marauders. Two mana, and you have a second copy in play.

The bonus of being able to get a second Dictate of the Twin Gods, Furnace of Rath, or even Sunbird’s Invocation out of nowhere just makes this pairing insane to me. It can also become a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, a Caged Sun, or a Gilded Lotus in a pinch to cross that finish line. I cannot express how shockingly overlooked Mirage Mirror is for an aggro-style deck, and if you disagree, you just have to take a look at the decklist for yourself!


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Mad World

Thank you all for your continued support of the series! I hope that you all enjoyed reading this installment, and I hope that you have found a new home for Mirage Mirror. Do you think that these commanders pair well with Mirage Mirror? Do you think that I’m overestimating this card, or do you agree it’s highly underrated? What other cards are you hoping to see get their place in the limelight? Let’s talk about it in the comments below. Everyone please stay safe and have a great week!

Elijah is a mildly obsessive EDH player from Georgia. He started playing during Battle for Zendikar with Green/Black Eldrazi Aristocrats and still pays tribute to the plane with his Omnath, Locus of Rage storm brew. He is always excited to innovate and try new things in Magic and Life. Elijah is currently a full time student looking to go into Computer Engineering but also has a bit of an artistic streak.