Remember fifth-grade math class? Or maybe freshman-year French?
"Maria! Eyes on your own paper!" my teacher would shout.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I would reply, sighing. "I know, I know. Copying is bad."
It was a lesson pounded into my head from day one.
Copying is bad. Copying is bad. Copying is bad.
...Except when it's not.
...Except when it's good.
Really, really good.
And today's newest Eldritch Moon preview card likes to copy. Like, a lot.
Everyone, meet Mirrorwing Dragon.
That's right, we have our very first Dragon in the new Innistrad block! And, good news, it's a sweet one!
If you know me, you know I love Dragons. My very first memory of playing Magic back when I was a kid involves casting a big Dragon and attacking. I didn't really know the intricacies of the game back then, but I knew the Dragon was the best card in my deck. If you're lucky enough to open Mirrorwing Dragon in Draft or Sealed, it's likely to be the best card in your deck, too.
Why is it so good? Let's think about Limited first. First of all, it's a 4/5 flyer for five mana, which is a heck of a deal.
I'm talking neighborhood-lemonade-stand good deal.
I'm talking business-having-a-fire-sale-the-day-after-Christmas good deal.
I'm talking your-brother-in-law-owns-a-garage-so-he-has-to-give-you-a-deal-on-those-tires good deal.
But the solid stats and respectable casting cost aren't the only great things about this card. As I alluded to in the beginning of this article, it loves to copy!
Anytime you cast an instant or a sorcery that only targets Mirrorwing Dragon, you get to copy that spell and use it on each other creature you control. If you think that sounds like a one-way ticket to Value Town, you'd be correct.
I'm willing to take on the double red in the casting cost to throw this in at the top end of my curve and smash face. By that time, my mana should be in order and I should have some pump effects in hand, if I've managed to draft around this card correctly.
Here's my ideal scenario: Open Mirrorwing Dragon pack 1, pick 1. Start prioritizing instants and sorceries that buff the rest of my team as well as any token creators. Think pump spells like Rush of Adrenaline, Strength of Arms, or, if you're feeling extra spicy, Uncaged Fury. If your draft goes particularly well, you might even pick up Hanweir Garrison or Devils' Playground to make lots of creatures for your pump spells to target.
Here's the other, and perhaps even more amazing, thing about our flying friend. Not only does it copy your spells that target it, it copies your opponent's spells, too.
Imagine you're the one sitting across from a Mirrorwing Dragon. "No problem," you tell yourself. After all, you have a pretty respectable board presence and a copy of Angelic Purge in hand. You can kill that Dragon and get on with your life.
That's when the realization hits you. If you cast Angelic Purge on the Mirrorwing, you'll be exiling your entire team as well. Let's take a look at this card's rules text again.
That's right! Mirrorwing Dragon has some amazing protection built right in. It threatens to destroy your opponent's entire team if they try to destroy it. It's basically the concept of mutually assured destruction that the Cold War was built around. (See, I didn't copy in every class.)
It goes without saying that a Dragon that Wraths your opponent if they kill it is an absolute nightmare to play against. And really, when we're drafting, isn't the goal to have the deck that's a nightmare to play against?
I should point out that there are some corner cases where Mirrorwing Dragon could work against you. If your opponent manages to build up a bigger army and has opened a couple of combat tricks, they could potentially target Mirrorwing Dragon to pump their entire team and swing in. It's not exactly an ideal scenario, but it could get the job done. It's definitely something to keep in mind.
Will Mirrorwing Dragon see Standard play? Only the future knows the answer to that question. But I will just say this: it beats both Archangel Avacyn and Gisela, the Broken Blade in a fight. And that's not nothing.
For me, the most fun part of the card is its copying ability. I decided it would be fun to build a Standard deck around that ability. Don't ask me if this deck is good or not—I don't know the answer to that question. What I do know is that it looks amazingly fun.
This deck's plan is to go wide and go big. It uses cards like Hangarback Walker, Hanweir Garrison, and Dragon Fodder to storm the board with tokens. Then, as soon as you land either Zada, Hedron Grinder or Mirrorwing Dragon, you target your whole board with a pump spell, spelling the end for your opponent. You can even go off with Expedite—drawing approximately a billion cards to find your Rush of Adrenaline and give everybody trample. I call it "Build Your Own Overrun."
If you manage to build a great deck around Mirrorwing Dragon, give me a shout @MtACast—I'd love to hear about it! Until then, enjoy every sweet preview card that comes your way...and hopefully our Dragon will find a few more Dragon friends.
Oh, and one last thing: eyes on your own paper!