Simic is a color pairing that’s brimming with powerful commanders, even at a budget level.
It’s no surprise that it’s so popular, either, thanks to the incredible ramp and card draw on offer. Today, we’ll be looking at a new card from Kaldheim that has the potential to become one of the most popular Simic commanders ever printed: Moritte of the Frost!
One of a Kind
Moritte is a pretty reasonable rate for a Clone effect, especially one that you can play from the Command Zone. It’s rare to be able to copy any permanent you control, so you can copy creatures, lands, or anything else that takes your fancy. This flexibility can really be embellished with powerful permanents that have great enter the battlefield triggers.
Many Simic staples happen to lean heavily into this, in the form of classic creatures like Acidic Slime or Eternal Witness. You can even lean more towards combo by copying cards like Peregrine Drake, if you wish. There are a number of lands that you can duplicate for value, too: Mystic Sanctuary and Field of the Dead are great targets for Moritte to copy.
You can also take advantage of flicker spells to reset Moritte at instant speed. Cards like Ghostly Flicker and Teferi’s Time Twist become almost toolbox spells, allowing you to either reuse enter the battlefield triggers or transform Moritte into a different threat.
There is one unique thing that separates Moritte from many other Simic commanders, however: they work unusually well with creatures that have the persist mechanic.
Let’s say Moritte becomes a copy of Glen Elendra Archmage, for example. Now, for just one blue mana, you can Negate a spell by sacrificing Moritte; they will return to the battlefield thanks to persist, but one of the +1/+1 counters will cancel out the -1/-1 counter. So you can sacrifice them again for a single blue mana, counter another spell, and start the process over again.
There are a number of persist creatures that you can use in the same way as Glen Elendra Archmage, but they have no inherent way to sacrifice themselves. To really maximize this interaction, you’ll need some sacrifice outlets.
No Progress Without Sacrifice
Ashnod’s Altar, Altar of Dementia, and Blasting Station are all fantastic ways to sacrifice your creatures, and they work beautifully here. The key to this interaction is to sacrifice Moritte instead of the original creature, allowing them to undo the -1/-1 counter as explained above. By doing this, you can go infinite in a number of ways, depending on which sacrifice outlet you use. Using Ashnod’s Altar will generate infinite colorless mana, which you can then use to cast Blue Sun’s Zenith, for example. Altar of Dementia can infinitely mill your opponents, or you can even mill yourself to win with Thassa’s Oracle. Finally, going through this loop with Blasting Station will result in infinite damage that you can direct wherever you like.
It’s an extremely resilient and potent combo, but it can be stopped in a few different ways. Your opponent may exile the persist creature, exile your graveyard, or remove the sacrifice outlet while Moritte’s persist trigger is on the stack. Thankfully, you have the ability to protect the creatures with counterspells, or if the creature gets killed, you can just let persist trigger as normal; you can also reclaim the sacrifice outlet with cards like Eternal Witness, or replay your commander if anything happens to them.
Persistence is the Key to Success
With the sacrifice outlets covered, let’s take a look at some of the persist creatures that are available in Moritte’s colors!
Woodfall Primus is a ridiculous creature to be able to recur infinitely; you might not be able to hit creatures with its ability, but in most cases, destroying all of your opponents’ lands is a reliable path to victory. River Kelpie will draw you as many cards as you’d like, which will let you find a more concrete way of winning the game, like Thassa’s Oracle. Even seemingly weak creatures like Lesser Masticore still fit the bill nicely, as persist is the most important part. You can use the Masticore to go infinite with one of the payoffs on your sacrifice outlets, or you can incorporate additional ways to win the game.
Essence Warden is a cheap way to gain infinite life in these combos; it may not win the game then and there, but it’s a great buffer against more aggressive decks. Genesis Chamber can generate an infinite number of tokens, if you’d prefer to win through combat, and Altar of the Brood can mill your opponents to win on the spot.
While I believe Moritte is best used as a combo-focused commander, there are countless other unusual ways to build a deck around them. Here are just a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
Why not try a Simic Enchantress deck? There are plenty of powerful enchantments and enchantress effects, even on a budget. Focusing on enchantments is a fantastic way to ensure Moritte has plenty of powerful targets to copy. You can even add in some persist creatures and make use of the combo with Greater Good as the sacrifice outlet!
Everyone loves Clone-like cards; they’re as good as the most powerful effect in play, but they’re limited by the power of the table. There’s an abundance of cards that copy other permanents or spells, and most of them are in blue. If you were to make Moritte into a copy tribal deck, you can use green for your ramp spells and blue for your copy spells. You don’t just have to focus on copying permanents, either: cards like Strionic Resonator and Insidious Will are great for copying different things on the stack.
This is more of a casual or fun build idea, but it’ll never play out the same way more than once. Just be sure to have some paper or labels handy so your opponents can tell what you’ve copied!
In the 99
Moritte of the Frost doesn’t have to be your commander to be extremely valuable. They would fit perfectly into almost any deck that contains Simic colors.
In Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca decks, Moritte can be a second Merfolk Mistbinder or Master of Waves; similarly, enchantress decks like Tuvasa the Sunlit can make great use of the ability to copy any permanent. If you’re feeling particularly chaotic, you could even add them to Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder and see what you get off cascade before choosing what to copy.
One deck in particular that I’d love to see with Moritte is Tribal Tribal. This monstrosity is essentially a five-color deck full of lords and tribal effects for all sorts of creature types, and it plays changelings to take advantage of all of them. It’s a labor of love from BudgetCommander (Tomer over at MTGGoldfish), and considering how excited he is about Masked Vandal alone, I’m sure this will make the cut!
Sometimes, you need a powerful deck to keep up with your playgroup, and other times, you’ll find yourself just looking for a fun new deck to play a few silly games with close friends. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a tight budget or are willing to spare no expense, you can certainly do much worse than Moritte of the Frost.
Scott is an Irish content creator and the Head of Budget Magic for the Izzet League. He focuses on affordable decks in Pioneer, Modern, and Pauper, particularly ones that stray from the mainstream. When he’s not writing about his favorite decks, he can be found talking incessantly about them on Twitter and on The Budget Magic Cast.