You Lika The Juice? Unpacking the Mirror Mastery Commander Deck

Bennie soups up the preconstructed “Mirror Mastery” Commander deck to be more competitive! What cards hit the skids (and what cards get slotted in) to turn a fun deck into a sleek engine of copying?

This week, I finish reviewing the Commander decks, “unpacking” the cards and explaining how I might go about updating each deck with additional cards.

Keep in mind this is different than how I’d go about building a deck around the Commander from scratch — the goal is to start by keeping the best cards
in the deck and then replacing the other cards, basically trying to power up the deck with a minimum of new cards to buy or trade for. Naturally, as
time goes on you’ll want to tweak and adjust the deck with more powerful and fun cards as you acquire them, but I hope this provides a good base for
people just getting into the format!

Previously, I’ve unpacked Counterpunch,
featuring Ghave, Guru of Spores as the Commander;

Devour for Power

, featuring The Mimeoplasm as the Commander; and Heavenly Inferno
, featuring Kaalia of the Vast; and Political Puppets, featuring Zedruu the Greathearted.

This week I’m going to do Mirror Mastery, which features an incredibly powerful Commander — Riku of Two Reflections — and here’s the decklist out of
the box:

A deck built with Riku of Two Reflections is going to be primarily interested in playing creatures, instants and sorceries worth copying, with a
secondary consideration of having lots of extra mana available to pay for the copying. Let’s see what cards we have to work with right out of the box.

The Staples

These are the cards that nearly any Commander player will be thrilled to have in his card stock to build decks around. The beauty of the five Commander
decks is that they’re high on the staple count. Once you tire of playing a few games right out of the box and decide to cannibalize them for cards,
there’s a treasure trove of good stuff here. Mirror Mastery has a large number of great staples!

Riku of Two Reflections; Animar, Soul of Elements; Intet, the Dreamer

All three of these creatures are solid inclusions for most of the Commander decks that can support these colors. What’s particularly nice about Mirror
Mastery is that the two alternate Commanders support Riku so well — both Animar and Intet can potentially let you cast spells for much cheaper than
their mana cost, allowing you to pay the extra cost to copy them.

Artisan of Kozilek, Deadwood Treefolk

Both of these are solid recursion creatures, with Deadwood Treefolk being a particularly good creature to copy if you have enough mana.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest

I’d like to have more evasion creatures to really make Edric hum, but as a political tool he’s pretty sweet for encouraging players to attack each
other rather than you.

Fierce Empath, Nucklavee

Whenever a creature says “enters the battlefield” it’s going to be sweet with Riku, and these two are particularly nice for setting up a powerful next

Hydra Omnivore, Magmatic Force

These two new Commander exclusives are great options to have in your toolbox. The Hydra Omnivore is scary, powerful and efficient, especially if you
can reliably give it trample and lifelink. Magmatic Force is a little less potent, but if your opponents like to play lots of smaller creatures it can
really do a fine job of picking them off. Of course, the more players (and upkeeps) there are around the table, you can really pile on some damage if
you focus the Force on one opponent’s dome.

Chain Reaction

If you want a Wrath of God effect in red, this one comes pretty close.

Command Tower, Sol Ring, Cultivate, Kodama’s Reach, Gruul Signet, Izzet Signet, Simic Signet

These are Commander staples for mana acceleration and color-fixing, and Riku definitely wants plenty of each. However, I’d be tempted to replace the
Signets with more sorcery spells like Rampant Growth that you can copy with Riku if you draw it later on.

Krosan Tusker

Tusker is just a nice green source of card advantage and color-fixing (or a large creature in a pinch).

Lightning Greaves

A deck that wants to focus on its Commander needs to protect its Commander, and Riku is terribly fragile. He needs protection.

Hull Breach, Ray of Command, Spell Crumple, Tribute to the Wild

These are all good solid utility spells you want to have in your Commander decks, and all worthy of being copied!

Vow of Flight, Vow of Lightning, Vow of Wildness

I really love the cycle of Vows in the Commander decks; they’re really well designed. Auras are traditionally pretty lame, but there are certainly some
good ways to find and reuse them if you have Auras you want to play with.

I just love how these can neutralize threats to you, while beefing up those threats for other opponents. How many times have you had to kill something
you wanted to keep in play because it was a threat to the big bad at the table, but if it turned your way you were just dead to it? It’s just a
fantastic multiplayer design. I’m not sure that they are ideal in a Riku deck being that they aren’t a creature, instant or sorcery that can be copied.
This will be one of the rare decks where they sit on the bench.

Garruk Wildspeaker

He doesn’t play well with the primary focus of a Riku deck, but he does help with mana acceleration and color-fixing to a degree (with lands
that produce more than one color of mana). Garruk is a solid Planeswalker you’d be glad to run in just about any green Commander deck.

Homeward Path

Many blue mages don’t grok that stealing is much less Commander-friendly than copying, so play this card to make them sad.

Gruul Turf, Izzet Boilerworks, Simic Growth Chamber, Vivid Crag, Vivid Creek, Vivid Grove, Rupture Spire

I consider these some of the best affordable color-fixing lands in Commander. They have the lone drawback of costing you some tempo when you play them,
which seems minor; however, there are some Commander groups that play a very cut-throat style, and these sorts of lands are like catnip to those
players. They won’t be able to resist pouncing with pinpoint land destruction and pressing that temporary advantage to try and take you out. I’d say
most Commander players would find that sort of play distasteful and will generally save LD for specific threats like Gaea’s Cradle, Maze of Ith and
Cabal Coffers, but be aware that your mileage may vary depending on the group.

The Gems

are also cards that nearly any Commander player will be glad to have available in their card pool to build decks from, though I think the cards are too
narrow to be considered “staples.”

Conundrum Sphinx

A fun yet dangerous card; if your table’s rife with Sylvan Library and Sensei’s Divining Top, I’d think twice about playing it. However, it can play
nice with Riku if you’re playing ways to know what’s on top of your library.

Magus of the Vineyard, Veteran Explorer

These are classic “group hug” staples, so if you want to build that sort of deck, you got ‘em.

Simic Sky Swallower

This guy is big and scary… and I almost never see him played in Commander decks. I’m not sure why…

Trench Gorger, Collective Voyage

While these are more Commander card exclusives, I don’t know that I’d necessarily want to play either in a Riku deck.

Brainstorm, Electrolyze, Fire / Ice, Prophetic Bolt, Invigorate

These are decent little utility cards but most of them don’t usually make the cut in group Commander games… however, they get much better when you can
copy them with Riku.

Explosive Vegetation, Firespout, Vengeful Rebirth

Similarly, decent enough sorceries that don’t usually make the cut in group Commander games.

Hunting Pack

Rarely is this going to be worth running, but if you’ve got some engine that can up the Storm count but not actually kill people, then you might
consider running the Pack. (And if you’ve got a way to give ‘em haste, then maybe it’s your actual kill card.)


I’m not generally an advocate of mass land destruction in Commander, but pulling this out of your pocket occasionally can keep Mr. Suitcase and his
zillion-dollar manabase honest.

Armillary Sphere, Evolving Wilds

Decent but sub-optimal mana/color-fixing.

Death by Dragons

A pretty cool multiplayer card that can certainly “rally the troops” against one player who’s pulled ahead. Particularly fun with Riku, since you can
copy it to really pile on!

The Extras

Aethersnipe, Avatar of Fury, Baloth Woodcrasher, Chartooth Cougar, Elvish Aberration, Faultgrinder, Rapacious One, Spitebellows, Valley Rannet, Call
the Skybreaker, Colossal Might, Disaster Radius, Prophetic Prism, Savage Twister, Fungal Reaches, Kazandu Refuge, Temple of the False God

I was originally going to call this “the chaff” — as in, what’s left behind once you harvest the usuables from the deck — but honestly, in Commander,
just about any card can make the cut in the right circumstances. Perhaps the card plays into the theme you’re building around, or perhaps you’re going
for style points. Copying Colossal Might to let someone’s Lord of Extinction turn lethal against someone who’s turtled-up can be a game-winner!

If you want to know more about why certain cards ended up in one of these categories feel free to ask me in the comments below and I’ll explain my

Updating the Deck

Okay, so I’m going to walk through how I’d go about updating this deck with my own collection. Here are the cards I’d keep from the original build:

1 Riku of Two Reflections

1 Brainstorm

1 Sol Ring

1 Gruul Signet

1 Hull Breach

1 Izzet Signet

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Simic Signet

1 Tribute to the Wild

1 Animar, Soul of Elements

1 Fierce Empath

1 Cultivate

1 Kodama’s Reach

1 Spell Crumple

1 Chain Reaction

1 Ray of Command

1 Garruk Wildspeaker

1 Prophetic Bolt

1 Deadwood Treefolk

1 Hydra Omnivore

1 Intet, the Dreamer

1 Nucklavee

1 Death by Dragons

1 Krosan Tusker

1 Artisan of Kozilek

1 Command Tower

1 Gruul Turf

1 Homeward Path

1 Izzet Boilerworks

1 Rupture Spire

1 Simic Growth Chamber

1 Vivid Crag

1 Vivid Creek

1 Vivid Grove

The original build is stuffed to the gills with mana; forty-one lands plus artifact mana and other acceleration. That’s to be expected when you need
extra mana to constantly copy stuff. The mana curve was a bit bloated, so when looking for cards to add to the mix I tried to bring in lower-cost

Here are the new cards I’ve added to the deck:

Protect Riku: Swiftfoot Boots

You want to keep Riku around long enough to be worth the trouble, so Boots give you a backup to Greaves.

Enters the Battlefield Creatures: Coiling Oracle, Wall of Blossoms, Elvish Visionary, Riftsweeper, Loaming Shaman, Stingscourger, Eternal Witness,
Man-o’-War, Raven Familiar, Sea Gate Oracle, Obstinate Baloth, Clone

These are all good-quality creatures that are particularly nice to copy.

Evoke Creatures: Mulldrifter, Briarhorn, Ingot Chewer, Cloudthresher

Just like the ones above, but since you can cast these at a discount you can double the effect even if you can’t double the creatures.

Play it again, Sam: Cloudstone Curio

Since you had so much fun casting these creatures the first time, why not do it again? And again? And…

Non-creatures to copy: Preordain, Gitaxian Probe, Whispers of the Muse, Explore, Arcane Denial, Gaea’s Blessing, Manamorphose, Cerebral Vortex,
Snakeform, Harmonize, Storm Seeker

To round out the deck, I went looking for cheap instants and sorceries than were cantrips or would be particularly useful to copy.

Free spells: Jhoira of the Ghitu

I considered the Suspend spells for a while, because playing spells for free makes it much easier to pay to copy them — but when your own upkeep comes
around so slowly (particularly when you have three or four other upkeeps standing in between each one of your own), I decided against them. However,
adding Jhoira to the mix seems like a good idea. If you have Sylvan Library and Sensei’s Divining Top to put in the deck, you should also consider

Mo’ Mana: Carpet of Flowers, Mana Geyser, Bloom Tender, Seedborn Muse

I thought it might be good to go ahead and add some more mana producers to the mix. In addition, Seedborn Muse helps you to really capitalize on all
that extra mana you produce.

Lands: Reflecting Pool, Exotic Orchard

The deck is pretty color-intensive, so I think Reflecting Pool to go with the Vivid lands can help things. Exotic Orchard will nearly always provide at
least one of the colors you need.

Here is the final decklist:

The mana curve is awesome — and even better than it appears, due to the evoke creatures and the cycler. If you have old-school dual lands like Taiga,
Tropical Island, Volcanic Island, Stomping Ground, Breeding Pool and Steam Vents, they would certainly tighten up your mana and make multiple Riku
activations easier. Also, keep an eye out for Hinterland Harbor and Sulfur Falls from Innistrad!

So what do you think? What would you do differently? Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on Facebook.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend everyone!

Take care,


starcitygeezer AT gmail DOT com

Make sure to follow my Twitter feed (@blairwitchgreen). I check it often, so feel free to send me
feedback, ideas, and random thoughts. I’ve also created a Facebook page
where I’ll be posting up deck ideas and will happily discuss Magic, life, or anything else you want to talk about!

I’ve started a blog
! It’s not Magic-related but you may find it fun to read and comment on. I update at least once a week so check on it often and let me know what you

New to Commander?

If you’re just curious about the format, building your first deck, or trying to take your Commander deck up a notch, here are some handy links:

My current Commander decks
(and links to decklists):

Previous Commander decks currently on hiatus:

· Uril, the Miststalker ( my “more competitive” deck)