5 Underrated Commander Cards From Mirage

5 Underrated Commander Cards from Mirage

Jacob LacknerCommander

Mirage is an important set for Commander players. Impressively, it features 9 cards that appear in 5% or more of the EDHRec decks they are eligible for.  Its most notable contributions to the format do one of two things that are highly desirable in the format – tutor, or ramp your mana. The powerful tutor trio of Enlightened, Mystical, and Worldly Tutor made their debut in this set, and these are worth using in just about any deck with a color identity that allows you to play them.

And when it comes to ramp, the set features the original printing of Diamond Cycle and Rampant Growth, with the latter the most important Commander card in the set by a wide margin.  According to EDHRec, Rampant Growth is the 8th most heavily played card in the entire format!

I’m not here to tell you that these cards shouldn’t be heavily played. They should be. They are great cards that slot into a wide variety of decks. However, the idea that the list of useful Mirage Commander cards ends with these eight cards is illusionary. In this article, I’m going to outline five cards from the set that deserve to see more play than they currently do. 

Underrated Commander: Hakim, Loreweaver

Hakim, Loreweaver
The 1,601st Most Popular Commander on EDHRec

Hakim is all about Auras, making him a very unique mono-Blue Commander. His ability to reanimate them and put them on himself has a ton of potential, especially because he has Flying. 

Now, there are certainly some restrictions there. First, you can only use the ability during your upkeep, and second Hakim can only use the ability if he doesn’t already have an Aura attached to him. So the Auras you really want to reanimate are the kind that turn Hakim into a threat all on their own.

Blue isn’t exactly a color that comes to mind when you think of powerful Auras, but Hakim has access to enough of them to make it work. Eldrazi Conscription and Octopus Umbra should be at the top of your list. Conscription effectively turns Hakim into an Eldrazi, complete with a massive stats boost and Annihilator. Meanwhile, Octopus Umbra makes Hakim into an 8/8, protects him with Totem Armor, and get blockers out of the way. 

In addition to going for Auras that make Hakim into a threat, you can also use him as a value engine of sorts. You can do this by reanimating Auras that have ETB effects, then destroying them with Hakim’s other ability, and getting them back every turn. 

Auras that help you find your more powerful Auras  Rousing Read is probably the best Aura in this category for Hakim, since it not only digs you deeper into your library, it helps you put Auras into your graveyard.

If you’d like to go even wackier with Hakim, you can go for more of a Mind Control theme. Some of the best Blue Auras out there let you steal opposing permanents. However, because Hakim reanimates the Auras attached to himself, you need to include cards that let you move Auras around. Luckily, there are several of those in Blue. This strategy is admittedly janky, but it’s a lot of fun!

Early Harvest

Early Harvest
Played in 0.033% of Green Decks on EDHRec

I’ve already established that Mirage features some powerful ramp that is heavily played in EDH, but Early Harvest is a ramp card in the set that has largely been overlooked. Untapping all of your lands at instant speed for only three mana is an amazing effect. 

However, the reason Early Harvest doesn’t see more play is because it only lets you untap basic lands. That can be a pretty big restriction in Commander, but the upside is absurd, especially if you combine it with mana multipliers like Vorinclex or Nyxbloom Ancient.

The restriction to only nonbasics does limit the card somewhat, but you should be playing the Harvest in any deck where your Commander already cares about basic lands. Good homes for Early Harvest include Titania, Nature’s Force and Karametra, God of Harvests. Both of these Commanders love lands, and basic lands especially.

Shallow Grave

Shallow Grave
Played in 0.032% of Black Decks on EDHRec

Shallow Grave is one of the most efficient reanimation spells in the game. However, that low mana cost does come with a couple of downsides. First, the creature you get back only gets in for a single swing before getting exiled. Second, Shallow Grave only lets you reanimate the top creature of your graveyard. While the flavor there is awesome, that is certainly a frustrating restriction. So, keep those downsides in mind when trying to decide whether it’s the right reanimation spell for you.

However, it has one upside that very few reanimation spells do – it’s an Instant. This means it has the ability to reanimate creatures even if they have a trigger that would normally make it hard to reanimate them. That’s right, you can cast Shallow Grave in response to Kozilek or Worldspine Wurm’s graveyard triggers. Those also just happen to be creatures who are devastating even if they only get to attack once. This is especially true if you find a way to sacrifice the Wurm.

Phyrexian Purge

Phyrexian Purge
Played in 0.018% of Rakdos Decks on EDHRec

Ever wanted to pay 4 mana for a one-sided Wrath? If so, Phyrexia Purge is the card for you! For only 4 mana, you can wipe out as many creatures as you want! Of course, you do have to pay 3 life for every creature you choose to eliminate, but if you play Purge in a deck that likes paying life anyway, you can turn that into upside!

After the Purge, you can use Rowan, Scion of War to drastically reduce the cost of all of your spells, or you can attack with a massive Greven. Either way, your opponents probably just lost the game.

Cadaverous Bloom

Cadaverous Bloom
Played in 0.09% of Golgari Decks on EDHRec

Lastly, there’s Cadaverous Bloom. This Enchantment can give you some serious ramp, provided you’re willing to give up cards in hand for it. While this isn’t always an ideal thing to do, there are situations where this mana can break games wide open.

This card has left quite the mark on the history of competitive Magic, because at 1997’s Pro Tour Paris, it was a key cog in competitive Magic’s very first combo deck. The idea was to use the Bloom mana to draw a lot of cards with Prosperity. Then, once you had enough cards in hand you’d exile them all for a lethal Drain Life.

This combo potential is also available in Commander, and based on how little Cadaverous Bloom is played, it’s going largely untapped. While Drain Life only lets you target a single player, you can switch it out for cards like Exsanguinate or Debt to the Deathless, which can make all of your opponents lose life!

End Step

Those are my picks for five underrated Commander cards from Mirage. I hope I introduced you to a few obscure cards that will upgrade your deck! Do you think I left out any overlooked cards from Mirage? Let me know on X.