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Mirrorwing Dragon – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

Mirrorwing Dragon has long been more than a nifty toy for Zada,Hedron Grinder or Scion of the Ur-Dragon EDH decks. This is an extremely powerful Dragon that can find a home in several different decks. He can provide game-winning power while being extremely resilient to removal. It’s very similar to Zada in its ability, but only affects creatures the controller of the cast spell controls already.

With the release of Feather, the Redeemed as a powerful new Commander who allows you to use instants or sorcery spells that target creatures over and over again, Mirrorwing Dragon is more relevant in EDH than ever. Let’s find out how this former bulk mythic rare can cause pump spell decks to get a bit out of control in Commander.

Mirrorwing Dragon and Feather, the Redeemed

Feather, the Redeemed is an Angel who was popular the moment that she was revealed in War of the Spark spoilers. Not only is she a 3/4 flyer for only 3 mana, but she has one of the more powerful abilities that you’ll find in Red and White.

Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell that targets a creature you control, exile that card instead of putting it into your graveyard as it resolves. If you do, return it to your hand at the beginning of the next end step.

Zada, Hedron Grinder and Shu Yun the Silent Tempest go from being the premier Commanders for pump spells to having great competition from Feather. Zada becomes part of Feather’s strategy and Feather becomes a boon for Shu Yun decks. Mirrorwing Dragon benefits the strategy by essentially being a second copy of Zada, Hedron Grinder.

The key difference between the abilities of Mirrorwing Dragon and Zada, Hedron Grinder is that Mirrorwing can copy any spell that targets it. However, don’t worry about a removal spell wiping out your whole board. That spell is copied by the player casting it and affects the creatures on his or her board, not yours. While this can certainly backfire, played correctly, there is so much potential to be realized. Many EDH / Commander players found this out before, so many were quick to realize that Mirrorwing Dragon will be essential to a Feather, the Redeemed deck’s success. Now, not only can you pump your whole team, but you can even get back the spell you targeted Mirrorwing Dragon with at the end of the turn.

Zada and Mirrorwing Dragon 

Before the release of Feather, the Redeemed, the most obvious home for Mirrorwing Dragon was in a Zada deck. Mono-Red has plenty of pump spells such as Brute Force, Run Amok, Temur Battle Rage, and Titan’s Strength.

Essentially, Mirrorwing Dragon just becomes a second copy of Zada. The big difference is that Mirrorwing isn’t open to targeted removal in the way that Zada is, which is pretty nifty. People don’t usually want to wipe out their entire creature lineup to deal with a non-Commander. It’s a really good fit alongside Zada and it can help you win the game without Zada in play.

Unfortunately, there is no infinite combo between Zada and Mirrorwing Dragon targeting each other infinitely. This is because their abilities only occur when the spell is actually cast, and not copied.

Zada, Mirrorwing Dragon, and Chandra’s Ignition

Many players excited about Zada often tried to play Chandra’s Ignition and they did the same with Mirrorwing Dragon. Chandra’s Ignition is a five-mana sorcery that makes a target creature you control deal damage equal to its power to each other creature and each opponent. The thought was that while Ignition will wipe out all of your creatures, including the Dragon itself, your opponents are likely going to be dead, as well. This would be with the line of thinking that you’d have a trigger for each separate creature, therefore sending all the damage at your opponents and potentially killing the table.

Unfortunately, Chandra’s Ignition doesn’t work that way. That’s because after the first or second copy, all the creatures are already dead. Even though you technically make all of the copies, since the creatures are all dead at that point, the other copies of Chandra’s Ignition will have no legal target.

The one way around this is to make your creatures indestructible, of course. That way, all that damage wouldn’t kill them. Then, yes, you could deal a whole ton of damage depending on if you have enough creatures with enough power to kill all of your opponents. You’d have to jump through a lot of hoops to do all this, though. So, playing Chandra’s Ignition in a deck just to use with Zada or Mirrorwing Dragon isn’t going to get you an instant-win combo. It’s not a bad card, but it’s not really going to do what you’d like it to do most of the time.

Mirrorwing Dragon and Scion of the Ur-Dragon 

There isn’t really a great fit between Mirrorwing’s ability and Scion Dragon Tribal decks. The only real advantage to including Mirrorwing Dragon in a Scion deck is that he’s a bit tricky to kill. Being able to put Mirrorwing Dragon in the graveyard at instant speed to make your opponent’s targeted removal backfire is a cute trick, though. I’d include Mirrorwing just for this corner case scenario, honestly.  

Mirrorwing Dragon, Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest, and Prowess 

Unfortunately, the copies of spells that Mirrorwing Dragon creates do not trigger Prowess. However, this doesn’t mean that Mirrorwing Dragon isn’t excellent alongside the ultimate Prowess Commander, Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest. In fact, Mirrorwing is a great companion to not only Shu Yun himself, but his companion creatures such as Monastery Mentor (and his Monk Tokens), Talrand, Sky Summoner (and his Bird Tokens), and Young Pyromancer (and his Elemental Tokens).

The Kaladesh Enchantment Metallurgic Summons is also a great include in the Shu Yun deck, and the Mirrorwing Dragon plays nicely with the Construct tokens it creates. Shu Yun decks also play Rite of Replication, which copies (along with its kicker) for each creature you control. Talk about taking over the board! 

Mirrorwing and Atarka, World Render 

Another great place for Mirrorwing Dragon is EDH is in Atarka, World Render decks. It’s a solid inclusion in some builds of Atarka that cast pump spells like Stonewood Invocation, which gives a creature +5/+5 and hexproof until end of turn. If your Dragons are already getting double strike from Atarka’s ability, chances are you’re very close to winning the game. Become Immense is particularly nasty with Mirrorwing, also. Plus, casting Hunter’s Insight on Mirrorwing while you have a few other Dragons out means you’ll be drawing a nice amount of cards. 

There’s also the Mirrorwing Dragon combo with the Wolf Silverfur Partisan. While it hasn’t really become a combo in Commander, it was a fun Standard deck. Basically, the Partisan creates a 2/2 Wolf Token each time a Wolf or Werewolf is targeted by a spell. Because Mirrorwing Dragon copies spells to target each of your creatures, you end up creating a whole bunch of Wolf tokens.

There was a Red/Green Standard deck that played Zada , Mirrorwing, and Partisan that could steal some wins. But this combo isn’t possible in a Zada deck, being that Silverfur Partisan is green. It’s technically possible in Commander, but it would go best built it into an Ulrich of the Krallenhorde Werewolf Tribal deck and Mirrorwing Dragon would feel awfully out of place.

Mirrorwing Dragon and Heroic

You may have heard of players building Heroic-themed decks around Anax and Cymede and including Mirrorwing Dragon. Unfortunately, Heroic is a mechanic that only triggers on cast. So, although the copies of spells made by Mirrorwing Dragon target, your Heroic creatures won’t have their abilities activated. 

However, despite this fact, people will include Mirrorwing Dragon anyway. There are times where you’ll cast a pump spell that’s so potent in certain board-states that Mirrorwing Dragon (or Zada for that matter) will actually help you win the game without even needing to trigger Heroic. So, there actually is synergy between the Heroic strategy and Mirrorwing Dragon, although not with the Heroic cards themselves.

As time goes on, Mirrorwing Dragon will probably find its way into even more EDH decks. It makes for a powerful complementary piece to “go wide” strategies complemented by powerful targeted instants and sorceries. While it may never make waves in Standard or Modern, it will definitely be a Dragon to watch out for in EDH for years to come.

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Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy. Personal Website: https://www.thephoenixdesertsong.com

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