Kristen takes us through her journey brewing a Miirym, the Sentinel Wyrm EDH deck. In this Deck Tech, she shares her thoughts on the deck’s potential and some future upgrade ideas.
It’s always a major choice to brew a Commander that costs six mana, but I think Miirym might be worth it. Miirym essentially gives you Double Dragons, which is honestly really damn cool. The best part? You make non-legendary copies of legendary Dragons, so it doesn’t stop you from jamming all of your favorites, from Kamigawa Spirit Dragons to Drakuseth, Maw of Flames.
What takes Miirym to the playable level, though, is the ward 2. I think adding ward 2 to expensive Commanders is the way forward in a format that encourages running a low curve, especially when your deck revolves around them. I wonder how many older legendaries would come with ward 2 if they were printed now? Something to think about.
When I sat down to brew Miirym, I went into it feeling fairly confident. This is a Temur deck, so it wasn’t going to be hard to build something consistent. We have arguably the best access to mana and to card draw in these colors, and a multitude of tricks to mess with our opponents.
There are multiple ways to build this deck, and indeed, one version is probably “Oops, all Clones!”, concentrating on cloning your Commander. While min-maxing the deck could certainly lead you here, it’s not for me. I just want to jam my favorite big dragons. As such, while clones are important – and I aimed to run a few – they weren’t the main part of the game plan.
Decks like this need lots of mana and card draw to put the pressure on, and so this was huge for me in brewing the deck. Luckily, Temur colors let us put ramp and draw on the same card. Kiora, Dragon’s Hoard, and The Great Henge are all fab for this, and were high on the list of what to include.
One element I knew I wanted in abundance was Haste. Haste is what pays the bills for decks that can win via combat, and so it’s wise to pack plenty of enablers. I was super pleased to find a deck for Goro-Goro, the Dragon Weeb. Look at him, so committed to his fandom. He also helped me zone in on one of the win conditions I wanted to run: Aggravated Assault.
Once I had my piles of potential playables, it was time to decide on some win conditions. The first is the aforementioned Aggravated Assault, which we can power with Savage Ventmaw, Ancient Copper Dragon and Old Gnawbone. Given we’re able to make such big mana, I wanted other outlets for it. Hellkite Charger is another infinite combat engine, and Goro-Goro can let us sink our mana into making 5/5 dragons as long as we attack with a modified creature.
+1/+1 counters are the easiest way to achieve this, so we’re running The Great Henge, Jade Orb of Dragonkind, Neoform (which gets us our mana-Dragon and modifies it in one easy step), and our clone of choice: Spark Double. Spark Double gives us not one, but two non-legendary Miirym to really get things going.
Next up, the burn strategy. Between Terror of the Peaks, Scourge of Valkas, Dragon Tempest and Red Dragon, we can do a serious amount of damage to our opponents – damage that stacks in multiples. Lozhan is another part of this puzzle, and we’ll be throwing fireballs around with ease in this deck. On that note, Knollspine Dragon can also fill our hand super easy with our burn-engine.
Cursed Mirror and Astral Dragon, which goes infinite, is also included in the deck. Both are respectable pieces in their own right, but the chance to have another way to end things – through a big combat swing, or through lots of extra impact damage, is too hard to pass up. If I end up struggling to pull off an 8-mana Dragon in further testing, I might consider adding Dockside Extortionist to help.
We’re not done yet, though – there’s one more cute synergy I included. Wrathful Red Dragon makes blocking a nightmare for the opponent, but more than that? It makes damage-based wraths lethal. Our two wraths are damage wraths, naturally, because sometimes you just gotta wipe everything out in a hail of dragonfire.
THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
The final cuts of any EDH deck are always painful, and cutting cards from Miirym to get to the ~63 or so spells was as hard as ever. With the amount of tokens we’re making, Rhythm of the Wild doesn’t do its best work for us. Quicksilver Amulet is cute, but felt like it took valuable space. Greater Good and Momentous Fall might yet make it back with some playtesting; much like with Lathliss, I need more gameplay to see the average game. In this case, it’s whether our average hand size and Dragon size is worth it; with Lathliss, how often we draw enough Dragons. Tamiyo’s Safekeeping was beaten out by Bolt Bend and Fierce Guardianship, but is an otherwise fine option.
Obsidian Charmaw only didn’t make the cut because it’s an effect I can slide into my mana base to make an easy cut – I otherwise love the card. Drakuseth was a little pricey for me, but might make it back in if I add a Dockside Extortionist, and especially if my average land count in games tends toward pretty high. It’s a similar reason why Astral Dragon and Ancient Silver Dragon were dubious includes. I could see them working with Sneak Attack, but I ended up sliding away from that, keeping new Purphoros who is a little harder to remove but still gives us a cost reduction. I prefer Sneak Attack in the Mardu sphere where it’s easier to reanimate.*
One thing I’d like to note here is that none of these cards are bad. EDH is subjective, it’s modular, it’s customizable, and most importantly, it’s a format to play the cards you have. If you don’t own some of the more expensive cards in my list, then many of the above are fine replacements. I might even add some of them back in.
* Purphoros does, however, only sneak in red creatures. The vast majority of my list features red Dragons, so do double check on that one.
We obviously had to play Spit Flame, because it’s just that flavorful. It’s also easy to recur in loops when you have tokens and non-token Dragons entering the battlefield sequentially.
Given we can make treasure with Dragons, I opted to add Tireless Provisioner to the mana base. We need explosiveness, and combining Provisioner with land-based ramp like Harrow and Oracle of Mul-Daya is a way to help with that explosiveness.
I opted for An Offer You Can’t Refuse over Swan Song, as flying blockers make us sad. Ghostly Flicker also made it in over Tamiyo’s Safekeeping for utility reasons, and I opted for Seal of Primordium so I wasn’t holding up mana in the mid to late game. It also gives virtual card advantage by making opponents choose whether to play things.
Resilience is a big theme for me with this deck, so I went for Thassa Deep-Dwelling over Conjurer’s Closet, Purphoros over Sneak Attack, Klothys as some graveyard hate, and even Adrix and Nev, Twincasters over Parallel Lives. We need to invest a lot to the board, so I want it to be hard to remove.
Finally, I went with a recursion suite that lets us play Ground Seal. If we don’t need to target to return cards, we can make it asymmetrical. Seasons Past and Kairi, the Swirling Sky don’t need to target. I just think that’s pretty neat.
What stands out to me about Miirym is that it’s a deck that can win via combat, but doesn’t have to. Hell, it can sit and block if it needs to while it draws into the best Dragons it needs to close a game. Don’t underestimate this about the deck – it’s a hidden strength, and will help preserve your life total.
So far in the few test games I’ve managed with the deck, I’m enjoying it. It’s punchy and explosive, and it can put out some real damage. I don’t generally enjoy UGx decks, and this one feels much more enjoyable to me; I think mainly because it feels so red.
The main thing missing is, of course, Utvara Hellkite. Particularly with my strategy of aggro Dragon-burn, Utvara would happily bolster the power and punchiness of the deck. Likewise, a Dockside Extortionist wouldn’t go amiss, especially when I run cards like Double Major. I only have a couple that are in other decks, so maybe I’ll see about this Double Masters 2 reprint.
On the more budget end of the scale, both Winged Portent and Determined Iteration have caught my eye after chatting with fellow Miirym enthusiast MunsuLight on my Discord server. He has a decidedly more budget build at ~$185, and I honestly forgot Winged Portent existed. Probably because I dismissed it when it wasn’t UW identity, honestly. I’ll probably cut Ancient Silver Dragon for it when I get one. Once I playtest the deck more and figure out how often I get my Commander in play, I’ll consider Determined Iteration, as it seems excellent.
One combo I didn’t include was Curiosity and Niv-Mizzet, Parun. Putting Curiosity onto any of our damage dealing dragons that can deal damage to face is a sure fire way to keep topped up on cards, and the chance at a non-combat win condition was pretty spicy. When I was looking for cuts for Astral Dragon and Cursed Mirror at the advice of my pal Stormgrad,they seemed like easy cuts.
Like with most of my brews, I want to get at least fifteen games in with it before making any major edits. I’ve quickly decided to add Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer, though – that thing seems bonkers value for us. We can turn all of the treasure we make playing the deck into Dragons! So good. Maybe I’ll try Steely Resolve – it seems a good insurance policy for all the removal I expect to see. Oh, and Sarkhan’s Triumph is a good way to grab Wrathful Red Dragon or Terror of the Peaks – but maybe it’s better as a Chord of Calling.
Kristen is a lover of both Limited and Commander, and can most often be found championing the Boros Legion when called upon to sit down and shuffle up. As a member of the Commander Advisory Group, Kristen lives and breathes Commander. When she’s not playing Magic, she works as a freelance writer and editor in the UK.