Doctor Who Commander brings a ton of new commander choices to our format, and though many of them work best when surrounded by other Doctor Who-themed cards, quite a few are powerful and interesting enough to just pick up and build a deck around with cards that exist in other sets. One that jumped out to me was The Master, Multiplied, which takes a really cool multiplayer mechanic – myriad – and takes it up a couple of notches!
Red has a ton of ways to make token creatures that are normally on the battlefield temporarily; they usually have haste, and then they go away either at the end of combat or at the end of the turn. The myriad mechanic is the perfect example—when a creature with myriad attacks, you create a copy of that creature that’s tapped and attacking each other opponent, and you’ll exile the tokens at the end of combat. The Master, Multiplied takes away the temporary nature of those token creatures with its rules text: “Triggered abilities you control can’t cause you to sacrifice or exile creature tokens you control.”
Myriad and other ways to make temporary copies of creatures don’t typically work well with legendary creatures, since the “legend rule” will make you choose one of the legendary copies to keep and sacrifice the rest, but The Master, Multiplied has you covered there too! “The ‘legend rule’ doesn’t apply to creature tokens you control.” The rules text of the card add up to a commander that can truly get out of hand over the course of a few attack steps, since each copy of The Master will also have myriad and all that other text, so once you’ve got copies made, pinpoint removal won’t be able to stop your march to victory.
Justifiably, The Master, Multiplied costs a whopping six mana to cast, and your opponents will be well-incentivized to ensure they kill it before you have a chance to attack, so ways to give The Master haste the turn you cast it will be quite useful. I’d also put in temporary mana boosts to get The Master on the battlefield (hopefully with haste) ahead of time, and hopefully during a window when nobody can kill it immediately. Cards like Dark Ritual and Seething Song seem worth card slots in your deck.
I have to admit, one of the biggest draws for this card is the opportunity to break out my StarCityGames.com personality tokens, which depict a Copy and flooding the battlefield with “Agent Smith” duplicates! That definitely strikes me as capturing the vibe of The Master, Multiplied!
Okay, let’s dig in!
Other cards with myriad seem great here, since they’re already balanced to be solid creatures all on their own, and they just become busted once The Master hits the battlefield. The new cards Dalek Squadron and Cybermen Squadron add to the mix of myriad creatures you can tap into. I love that Elturel Survivors scales up as the game progresses and hit even harder when players land ramp a bunch. Firbolg Flutist itself doesn’t have myriad, but it’s awesome at temporarily taking control of the best creature on the battlefield and letting you attack with it and gain myriad copies of it too, and if The Master is on the battlefield, you’ll get to keep those copies after your combat step.
Extra Attack Steps
Extra attack steps are another good way of leveraging The Master’s myriad ability, and red has a ton of good ways to do it. Karlach, Fury of Avernus is one of the best since the extra attack “has haste” – you get the ability even if Karlach has entered the battlefield and can’t itself immediately attack, because your other creatures do. Plus, the attacking creatures gain first strike, which makes it more likely your attackers can survive any blocks to attack again. This will be awesome with any myriad creatures you’ve cast earlier in the game. I also like Savage Beating here, recently reprinted in Commander Masters so that it’s much more affordable now; if you’ve got The Master on the battlefield and enough mana to cast this with entwine, that’s going to be your game-ending Craterhoof Behemoth-style finisher.
Attacking Multiple Opponents Matters
I went looking for cards that benefit from attacking multiple opponents in a single turn, given our focus on myriad creatures, and didn’t find too many that would be worth the slot. Grim Hireling and Professional Face-Breaker give you sweet, sweet Treasure tokens whenever you deal combat damage to a player, so when you attack all of your opponents, you’ll get even more Treasures. Grim Hireling can leverage those Treasures into creature removal, while Professional Face-Breaker can cash in Treasures to exile the top card of your library, which you can (hopefully) play this turn.
Myriad brings up to three additional copies of a creature onto the battlefield, so something like Terror of the Peaks can go nuts with triggers. Cards with the alliance keyword, like Witty Roastmaster, enjoy the new creatures too. If you’ve got one of these on the battlefield when you’re getting extra attacks with The Master and myriad, all that extra damage can really add up.
Tokens That Sacrifice
I then started looking for sources of tokens that are normally temporary in nature to put into the deck. Magical Christmas Land would be using Orthion, Hero of Lavabrink’s second ability to make five copies of The Master with haste to go absolutely nuts, but even making just one copy will be super-sweet. Feldon of the Third Path’s ability to copy a dead myriad creature will be awesome too. Rakshasa Debaser is a cool card on its own, but late-game, if you get to use its encore ability with The Master on the battlefield, you’ll be living the dream!
Tokens That Exile
I love Delina, Wild Mage so much I have a Commander deck built around her, but I’m going to love running her in the 99 of this deck, because who doesn’t love rolling that d20 to see what’s going to happen? I’ve also been looking for a place to run Mirage Phalanx, and this seems perfect. Are you still sad that Splinter Twin is banned in Modern? Enchant The Master with the Aura and have a ball!
Mordor on the March isn’t available yet; it’ll be coming out with the holiday re-release of Tales of Middle-earth Commander. Still, it seems like an excellent card to add to the mix when you can pick up a copy.
Green and white tend to have a lot more token synergies, but there are a few you can put into this deck. Mirkwood Bats adds life drain to your token creation, and even if you need to sacrifice the tokens, you can drain the life then too. The new bargain mechanic lets you cash in tokens to get an extra effect, as illustrated by Beseech the Mirror. Even though Lich-Knights’ Conquest doesn’t technically have bargain, it’s quite similar in that you can cash in your tokens to bring a bunch of creatures back from the graveyard.
If you’re running enough creatures with myriad, Idol of Oblivion becomes a nice little card-draw engine.
I think giving The Master haste is of utmost importance, so I’d likely run all of these cards in the deck to ensure it. As an enchantment, Rising of the Day will be more resilient to removal than creatures, and I like that it gives a small power boost to any legendary creatures you control. I have to say I didn’t even know Tuktuk Rubblefort existed before I was researching this article – it’s a common from Zendikar Rising, but I think it’s worth running in Commander decks where attacking is important. It even has reach, which can randomly help keep small flying creatures from harassing your life totals.
Akroma’s Memorial is a monster of a card that can positively house some decks; in fact, I’d be a little nervous running it here, since if it gets copied or stolen, it would give protection from red and black to that opponent’s creatures, and that’s bad news for a Rakdos deck! Still, it’s likely worth the risk.
It’s hard to keep up mana for a spell to protect your commander when it costs six mana, so if you have Deflecting Swat, this deck would be an excellent place to run it. Thankfully, its Commander Masters reprint means its price tag has come down a little bit, so now is a decent chance to pick one up or trade for it.
Saw in Half is a fun card already, so casting it on your own copy of The Master for hilarity and hijinks sounds perfect for Commander.
If commander tax has gotten a bit onerous, just let The Master go to your graveyard and bring it back with Goryo’s Vengeance. Sure, you’ll need to exile The Master and put it back in your command zone, but you’ll still have the myriad tokens to continue the mischief.
Lastly, don’t leave home without Sundial of the Infinite, which will do fun things with your myriad creatures before you get The Master onto the battlefield. Put the myriad exile trigger at the end of combat on the stack, end the turn with Sundial, and voilà! You get to keep the myriad copies. Just make sure you make your plays for the turn before your combat step.
What other cards would be awesome in this deck? Which are your favorite non-Doctor or companion legends from the set?
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