Commander Staples – Mirror Entity

Hello out there, Commander players! I hope you’re all safe and using Magic the Gathering and other diversions to keep you inside and coping nicely! Today I’m covering a card that functions like an old keyboard that stamps letters through an ink ribbon onto a fortunate sheet of paper. Sounds like a typewriter to me. As much as Johannes Gutenberg imagineered movable type back in 1439, he never could have envisioned the Magic changeling mechanic, where one type is every type. And today’s Staple wants to make like a million monkeys, and type out everything that’s worth typing. Hide your Helvetica in the Helvault, because it’s time to reflect!

Mirror Entity stands tall among the MTG changelings, which is a pretty …tall order. You might even say that it is the face of type. The changelings as a whole have an interesting distinction which may not be immediately obvious. They clearly have tribal synergy, being all types at once, and unlike the popular clone archetype, they’re synergizing in the library, in the graveyard, and even in your hand. Wherever they are, they’re your type. But what if your type is something like Otters, or Nobles, or Hyenas, all actual MTG types? The distinction I mentioned is that Changelings are often the best of these types. Once you break it down by colour, Mirror Entity is in the conversation for best white (type) card for dozens of types. Which includes some more developed ones, too. Is there a better white Zombie? Faerie? Merfolk? In many of these types, it’s not only the best white option, but the best creature overall.

It isn’t just the type-affinity that makes Mirror Entity so good, of course, it’s the activated ability. Like many strong activated abilities, it has a number of moving parts to exploit. The X mana boost to your creatures’ power and toughness is a juggernaut of an ability by itself. It’s easy to put 4-5 mana into it with 4-5 creatures and take a serious chunk out of someone’s life points. Even a couple of creatures can be lethal with enough mana, and when you consider Commander Damage, even the puniest of legends can be a game-ender with Mirror Entity on board.

Since the ability doesn’t require a tap, it can be cleverly timed for best results. It can be used the turn Mirror Entity arrives, with some sort of haste outlet, to pull off a deadly ambush. Mirror Entity’s low CMC sure helps that strategy. It can also be used in any phase of combat, like after blockers are declared. That sort of versatility is a threat in itself and might make opponents stop the presses just on the rumour that you might use it and blot out their carefully laid out plans.

The ability is great as a defensive measure as well, in response to an Earthquake or similar damage-based sweeper. And it can even be used to rewrite the power and toughness of your creatures to a number that synergizes with something else you’re doing, like casting Dusk.

Mirror Entity does a lot for any go-wide strategy, even if type synergy has nothing to do with the overall plan. It’s super easy to make the ability work as a mana-sink, as pumping 5-6 mana every turn into it is going to make a formidable force out of any random creatures. And 2 mana doubles the power of an army of 1/1s. That’s a deal.

When you throw a lord or two into the mix, the ability gets another degree better. Since all your creatures have all the types, any lord effect, like Knight Exemplar here, is going to give their bonuses to the whole team. Add another lord, and you start stacking up effects real fast. The lords will also boost each other, if they didn’t already. Mirror Entity has an automatically synergistic link to every borderline tribal effect Wizards will ever print. And will share it like a font of generosity.

Where it can get really sneaky, is with a card like Atla Palani, and an activation for 0. I’ve seen a deck built around doing just that, making Atla, the Entity and whatever miscellaneous creatures you have by turn 4 or 5 into 0 toughness eggs. The deck runs very few creatures and those are mostly Eldrazi titans. It’s kind of like Leggacy Oath of Druids decks. Eggs into Eldrazi…. Watch out when doing stuff like this, or your opponents will want to redact you!

So why wouldn’t you play Mirror Entity? Considering the ability to turn a Commander into an X/X based on how much mana you have, the card can go in any deck that can cast it. White decks often gravitate towards go-wide, and many go tall as well. Lots are tribal, and tribes like Allies, Cats, Soldiers, Knights, Humans, etc. all have a large presence in white. These decks all like Mirror Entity. However, if your synergy is unrelated to combat, or very tightly based around a handful of other cards, it might not fit. One argument I’d make against it in my own deckbuilding process is that it has been in, and continues to be in, a lot of my decks. You can definitely spend too much time looking into the mirror.

When I started playing Commander, Mirror Entity was expensive, mostly because the power level was high and obvious, and there weren’t that many printings. Times have changed. Like many Staples, Wizards reached into the inkwell and put it in Commander precons and Mystery Boosters, making an already decent enough price into about a dollar. It may not last, and the price may settle on double that or so, but it’s still reasonable considering the power level to be had. Future printings are likely, too. Foils are around $5 for the Modern Masters printing, and over $10 for the classic Lorwyn version.

In summation, sometimes the best thing you can do with a great mirror is put a beautiful frame around it. In this case, the Mirror is an Entity, and the frame is made of typed-out words, but what could be better for the most typed-out creature in Magic? Whether it’s go-wide, go-tall, go-tribal, or even go-Commander-go, Mirror Entity does it all for a cheap cost. With recent printings, it’s easy on the wallet, too. Like mirror images, each one of these printings is a perfect reproduction of an amazing original. An editor’s dream, and a true Staple. Thanks for reading!

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