Single Card Discussion: The Myriad Cycle

 

Hello and welcome back to the Single Card Discussion series! After my pieces on Pure // Simple and Cultural Exchange, it’s time to take a look at yet another multiplayer gem that I feel has been sadly overlooked.

Originally, I was going to go over some cards from Masters 25, but I’ll be honest, most of the spoilers from that set were rather meh, so I’m leaving that alone for now.

Today’s card is actually multiple cards with one ability that I’ve thought was useful in multiplayer since it was first spoiled a few years ago, and though it does see play, I’m shocked that more players haven’t looked at this for EDH. Today’s featured ability is myriad from Commander 2015, and today’s spotlighted cards are Blade of Selves, Herald of the Host, Warchief Giant, Banshee of the Dread Choir, Broodbirth Viper, and Caller of the Pack.

Let’s take a deeper look at these unusual cards!

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FOF

Thus far in my Single Card series, I’ve looked at some great multiplayer gems.

• I started the series with Utter End, my favorite spot removal spell from Khans, here.
• I looked at a red card, Outpost Siege, my overall favorite card from Fate Reforged, here.
• Another red card, Greater Gargadon, a fantastic sacrifice outlet, here.
• I looked at the first monowhite card, the tricksy Seht’s Tiger here.
• The first blue card of the series, Gilded Drake, a potent thievery effect, here.
• I went over white control card World Queller and how to use its powerful effect here.
• I looked at the once-restricted blue recursion card Recall, the only blue card that can recur dead planeswalkers (plus any other type of card), here.
• I went over the first black card of this series, Commander 2014’s Flesh Carver, an excellent sacrifice outlet here.
• As part of my week-long look at Modern Masters 2015 cards, I looked at Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, and his token-making prowess here.
• We went over the red sweeper Magmaquake, which hits all planeswalkers at once, here.
• I looked at Shrouded Lore, a strange black recursion spell, here.
• We discussed the power of tapping down opposing creatures with a trio of white cards: Glare of Subdual, Sandsower, and Diversionary Tactics, here.
• I took a look at two green recursion creatures, Hua Tuo, Honored Physician, and Loaming Shaman from Ravnica, here.
• I looked at an Innistrad favourite, Reaper from the Abyss, an excellent card for killing off opposing creatures, here.
• I looked at the powerful Magic Origins card Chandra’s Ignition, a mighty Wrath effect/player killer, here.
• I spotlighted Vorinclex’s potent new win condition and mana-ramp spell, From Beyond, and the possibilities of an Eldrazi sideboard here.
• I looked at my favourite modal spell from Commander 2014, the deceptively useful Wretched Confluence here.
• I looked at new Ally tribal leader General Tazri and how she would interact with the Allies here.
• I looked at the Mana Reflection/Soul of the Harvest love child, Zendikar Resurgent here.
• I looked at the super Purify slash big dude, Kalemne’s Captain, here.
• I went over one of my favorite lands from Shadows Over Innistrad block, Westvale Abbey (and its flip side, Ormendahl) here.
• I took a look at Amonkhet’s new powerhouse card drawing spell, Pull from Tomorrow, which is deceptively good, here.
• I went over the aftermath all-star, Commit // Memory, a powerful and flexible bounce spell and draw 7, here.
• I looked at a third Amonkhet card, as I looked at a second aftermath card, Dusk // Dawn here.
• I took a look at a fourth Amonkhet card, Mouth // Feed, which was the third aftermath card that I really liked, here.
• I shared my thoughts on the simple-but-powerful Commander 2013 land, Opal Palace here.
• I looked at Hour of Devastation’s graveyard-hosing Scavenger Grounds here.
• I delved into Commander’s Verdant Confluence here.
• I looked at Theros’s Bow of Nylea here.
• I took a look at a removal spell that has aged very well, The Dark’s Ashes to Ashes here.
• I looked at a simple, yet deceptively powerful Equipment card, Bloodforged Battle-Axe, here.
• We went over the surprisingly useful split card Pure // Simple, the bane of Equipment, Auras and multicolor creatures, here.
• Finally, we looked at super fun “swap my team for yours” card, Cultural Exchange here.

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Commander 2015 was a strange batch of EDH precons. I thought at the time (and still do) that Wizards’ choices of reprints were bland and uninspiring in those precons, and yet, the original cards that made first appearances in those decks have made their presences felt time and time again at my EDH table.

From generals Ezuri, Claw of Progress to Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas, to the cycle of Confluences (Mystic Confluence, Fiery Confluence, etc), to Thought Vessel, to the super-useful utility card Bane of Progress, and mono-green Wrath effect Ezuri’s Predation, all of these cards have made and continue to make huge waves in any game we play, and so I have always been impressed with the original cards made just for this set.

Which brings us to today’s spotlighted cards, all of which have the myriad ability.

Myriad is a simple enough ability — Whenever the myriad creature attacks, for each opponent other than defending player, you may create a token that’s a copy of that creature that’s tapped and attacking that player or a planeswalker he or she controls. Exile the tokens at end of combat.

Whenever you attack one foe, you attack them all.

However, that’s only the simplest level of myriad.

Just by attacking, a myriad creature gives you X “enters the battlefield” and “when a creature dies” triggers, where X is the number of opponents. With cards like Soul Warden/Angelic Chorus and the like that care about creatures coming into play, and with ways to sacrifice the tokens, cards like Kresh the Bloodbraided, Deathreap Ritual, and Murder of Crows caring about if creatures die, there are lots of ways to use the myriad tokens other than just attacking with them.

Myriad just so happens to work really well with “if you hit an opponent with a creature, do X” cards, like Coastal Piracy/Bident of Thassa or Saskia the Unyielding, giving you lots of triggers in only a single attack.

Any card that doubles your damage works overtime with myriad creatures, letting you hit everyone super hard (these would be cards like Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Furnace of Rath, Dictate of the Twin Gods, or the aforementioned Saskia the Unyielding) Along the same line, any Overrun effect that pumps your team can also lead to big attacks with myriad creatures, and any extra attack step card (Relentless Assault and the like) will also lead to silly amounts of damage.

Finally, even though the myriad tokens will eventually go away, there are any number of uses for them: sacrifice them to other cards for beneficial effects, cards like Greater Gargadon, Phyrexian Vault, or Goblin Bombardment.

All of this is just looking at the myriad mechanic itself, and the ways to use it. This is without saying just how silly the myriad Equipment card Blade of Selves can be, since it grants the ability to any creature, rather than just having it on the vanilla dudes like Herald of the Host. It is far scarier, say, to have Grave Titan suddenly gain myriad and attack you than to have Warchief Giant attack you. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the other nutty creatures you can give myriad to to exploit their “into-play” triggers, like Nekrataal, Eternal Witness, and Mulldrifter.

I personally have used myriad cards to good effect in my Saskia the Unyielding deck, where they tend to do a ton of damage if left unchecked (especially with Saskia herself boosting damage against one foe). I have always liked this mechanic, and I’d love to see it make a return. I have also played Banshee of the Dread Choir in our now-defunct Nath of the Gilt-Leaf deck, and Blade of Selves in our Ally tribal deck.

Whichever way you play the myriad cards, they are deceptively powerful, versatile, and fun. (And I promise, I’m totally not bringing these up because I’m going to be looking at them again in a few months for my multiplayer Cube!)

So that’s a quick look at the myriad mechanic! If you have a deck that could use it, I’d definitely urge you to give one of these cards a try!

 

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