Conditions Allow - Inga Rune-Eyes EDH

Ben Doolittle • June 29, 2021

Inga Rune-Eyes | Art by Bram Sels

Finding the Path with Inga Rune-Eyes EDH

Hello everyone, welcome back to Conditions Allow, the article series where I take a legendary creature with a drawback and build a deck to turn it into a strength. This week I'm exploring the nine realms and charting new paths between the branches of The World Tree with Inga Rune-Eyes EDH.

When it comes to Inga Rune-Eyes EDH, it's a mono-blue commander that will feel more familiar to mono-black players. Whenever she enters the battlefield you'll get to scry three, but it is her ability when she dies that is intriguing. When Inga Rune-Eyes dies, if three creatures have died this turn, you get to draw three cards. Of note, Inga will count herself among those three creatures, and they don't have to be creatures you control. If an opponent wipes the board while two other creatures are in play, you'll draw cards.

I don't like playing Inga as Wrath of God insurance though. Not only do you not have control over when your creatures die, Inga Rune-Eyes will cost more every time you have to cast her from the command zone, limiting your ability to actually cast the cards you're drawing with her effect. I'd much rather sacrifice my creatures on my own terms. Blue isn't typically associated with an aristocrats game plan, but that doesn't mean there aren't  established archetypes to build from.

Planning the Itinerary

One of the first cards I thought of when I sat down to start brewing was Clone. Having Clone enter the battlefield as a copy of Inga Rune-Eyes gives you her death trigger without having her actually die. But why stop at just one copy of your commander? If you make multiple copies of Inga at the same time, you'll be forced to immediately sacrifice all but one. Kicking Rite of Replication makes five copies of Inga Rune-Eyes which will immediately die. They'll all see that three creatures have died this turn, and you'll draw fifteen cards.  Sakashima's Will can go even bigger, scaling with however many creatures you have in play. Make enough tokens and it could win the game with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries.

Another card I thought of right away was Krark-Clan Ironworks. Artifact decks built around KCI play exactly like an aristocrats deck, sacrificing and recurring artifacts to bury their opponents in a mountain of triggered abilities. Along with Krark-Clan Ironworks itself these decks are built around Myr Retriever and Scrap Trawler, using one to recur the other in a continuous loop. This easily fulfills the three creatures dying clause on Inga Rune-Eyes' second ability. All you need to do is turn her into an artifact so Krark-Clan Ironworks can sacrifice her, and Myr Retriever can get her back.

Gathering a Crew

Enter Phyrexian Metamorph. Phyrexian Metamorph is a clone that is also an artifact. This means you can use cards like Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Academy Ruins to pull it out of your graveyard again and again, filtering through your deck each turn. Trading Post is another great card to recur Phyrexian Metamorph. Most of the creatures in the deck will be artifacts and creatures, so you'll always have the choice to draw a card you left on top of your library, or get Phyrexian Metamorph to check the next three cards.

Combining Phyrexian Metamorph with Scrap Trawler is even more powerful, since you'll automatically get to return any artifact with mana value less than four to your hand. Grab Myr Retriever and sacrifice it with Ashnod's Altar to return Phyrexian Metamorph with Myr Retriever's own ability along with another artifact thanks to Scrap Trawler. If you have an Ornithopter you can sacrifice it to make two more mana and recast Phyrexian Metamorph as a copy of Inga Rune-Eyes. It'll die to the Legend Rule again, and you'll scry three, draw three cards, and get Myr Retriever back in your hand again.

Going in Circles

That loop isn't infinite, however. Because you can't sacrifice Phyrexian Metamorph for mana, you'll have to pay for Myr Retriever each time. You'll also have to pay two life to cast Phyrexian Metamorph, although you'll likely run out of mana before you run out of life.

Unless, of course, you can make extra mana with each loop. Foundry Inspector reduces the cost of Myr Retriever and Phyrexian Metamorph, saving two mana per loop. Sai Master Thopterist accomplishes the same thing by creating an extra artifact token whenever you cast an artifact, which you can sacrifice for the missing two mana.

As for the life payment, you can offset that with Aetherflux Reservoir which also acts as a win condition as you continue to cast spells. For a more budget option, Forsaken Monument gains you two life for every colorless spell you cast. This won't count Phyrexian Metamorph, since that Phyrexian mana pip makes it blue, but it does count Myr Retriever and Ornithopter.

Preparing for the Unexpected

This combo has a lot of moving parts, so I'm including a number of tutors to find the most important cards as reliably as possible. The first card you should tutor for is always Phyrexian Metamorph. The extra scry you get is great for finding the next part of the combo, and it sets you up to grind value with Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Academy Ruins if you find them instead.

The deck doesn't have to actually combo off, either. With Emry, Lurker of the Loch to recast Phyrexian Metamorph every turn and Sai, Master Thopterist producing tokens you can aim to play the long game. When you draw Sakashima's Will, you should have enough tokens to draw the rest of your library, winning with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries.

I'm also going to include God-Pharaoh's Gift as a secondary engine. This is the most flexible way to recur creatures from the graveyard in mono-blue, and helps you to sacrifice Inga Rune-Eyes without having to pay quite as much commander tax. You definitely don't want to exile Phyrexian Metamorph or Scrap Trawler though, so I'm also including Gurmag Drowner and Champion of Wits. These are both solid pieces of card filtering that come with a body if you go for that Sakashima's Will win.

Here's the list for Inga Rune-Eyes EDH!

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I'm actually surprised at how useful and versatile the Inga Rune-Eyes EDH options turned out to be.  One important thing to keep in mind is that it will usually be best to put all three cards on the bottom of your library when you scry with Inga. Unless you find a tutor or combo piece, you get the most value by clearing the top of your deck as often as possible. This is especially true when you start looping Phyrexian Metamorph, as your opponents will quickly see the loop you are trying to form, and attempt to stop you.

This deck ended up focusing more on artifacts, but I think you could make a fun Clone deck with Inga at the helm as well. What direction would you take her in? Let me know what you think in the comments, and thanks for reading!

Ben was introduced to Magic during Seventh Edition and has played on and off ever since. A Simic mage at heart, he loves being given a problem to solve. When not shuffling cards, Ben can be found lost in a book or skiing in the mountains of Vermont.