Conditions Allow - Myojin of Cryptic Dreams EDH
(Myojin of Cryptic Dreams | Art by Yigit Koroglu)
Discerning the Dream
Hello, and welcome back to Conditions Allow, the series where I take a legendary creature with a drawback and turn it into a strength. Last time, I built a deck around Myojin of Roaring Blades and Tyrite Sanctum. This week I'm continuing with another Myojin that has a much easier time acquiring its indestructible counters, thanks to blue's affinity for clones.
Just like each other Myojin, Myojin of Cryptic Dreams enters play with an indestructible counter if it was cast from your hand. Later, you can remove that counter for a powerful effect. In this case, you'll copy a permanent spell you control three times.
Blue decks are known for copying instants and sorceries in big Storm turns, and Myojin of Cryptic Dreams offers the chance to branch into new territory. After all, who doesn't want four copies of Caged Sun in play?
The problem, as before, is getting that initial counter onto the Myojin. If it's your commander, you can't easily cast it from your hand. In blue, however, we get to take advantage of an interaction I mentioned only briefly with Myojin of Roaring Blades: if you clone Myojin of Cryptic Dreams with Mirror Image (or any other Clone), it will enter the battlefield having been cast from your hand. Therefore, it will enter with an indestructible counter. In Commander, this is by far the most mana-efficient way to get around the Myojins' "cast from hand" restriction.
Once you have your commander in play with an indestructible counter, you can make some explosive plays, but not in the ways you usually think of a mono-blue deck going off. Swarm Intelligence and The Mirari Conjecture are both powerful engines for copying instants and sorceries, but Myojin of Cryptic Dreams only copies permanent spells. That could include Swarm Intelligence and The Mirari Conjecture, but to really benefit from those copies you'd have to include spells that would detract from the main themes of the deck.
Instead, I'm taking cues from Sea-Monster-themed decks and including a couple of big Horrors and Leviathans. The most straightforward of these is Inkwell Leviathan. An unblockable, hard-to-remove 7/11 is impactful enough on its own, but it can quickly take over a game when four hit the field at the same time. A more modern selection is Hullbreaker Horror. Hullbreaker Horror is hard to block, because it returns potential blockers to hand, and hard to remove, because it turns every instant into your hand into a counterspell. Multiply that by four, and your opponents will have a hard time keeping up. Master of Waves also gets an honorable mention as a cheaper creature that puts a lot of power on the board. Even with just a clone of Myojin of Cryptic Dreams and four Master of Waves in play, you'll create twenty-two 5/4 Illusion creature tokens.
If you want to go wide with huge creatures, you'll also need to include Spawning Kraken. Every time any of your big sea monsters deals combat damage, you'll get another 9/9 Kraken token, so with four copies of Spawning Kraken in play, one combat step will net you 16 more 9/9 tokens. My final big beater comes from blue's other iconic tribe: Sphinxes. Sphinx of the Second Sun is groan-inducing on its own, so nothing could be better than having four in play at the same time. That's four extra draw and untap steps on every single one of your turns. You'll only be able to cast instants in those untap steps, but four extra cards every turn, in conjunction with four 6/6 fliers, is a huge amount of pressure for your opponents to overcome.
More Than a Kraken
But Myojin of Cryptic Dreams can copy any permanent. Kiora Bests the Sea God fits neatly into our sea monster subtheme, making tokens and clearing the way for huge attack steps. Normally, it can only target one player, but having four copies makes sure you can attack each opponent without having to worry about being blocked. The last mode is also a huge tempo swing that puts you way ahead. If mana is your concern, then copying Caged Sun is a huge power play. Some Myojin of Cryptic Dreams decks on EDHREC are playing High Tide to help power out your big spells. Caged Sun gives you High Tide's effect permanently, and it can be copied by your Myojin's effect. Plus, it doesn't give your opponents the same mana benefit either, and if you're going wide with tokens, then four anthems will add a lot of damage to the field.
There's also the Sword of Fire and Ice and the Sword of War and Peace. Each deals damage to your opponents when the equipped creature deals damage, turning even a lone Myojin into a real threat. Thanks to the protection given by both of the Swords, you'll usually be able to attack at least one opponent unopposed. Of the two, Sword of War and Peace will deal significantly more damage, but Sword of Fire and Ice drawing cards, and removing creatures potentially has more utility.
Of course, you can also copy any of your clone spells as well. Some, like Mirror Image and Glasspool Mimic, can only copy your own creatures, but most can copy any creature in play. Your opponents are bound to be playing some impressive creatures, and Myojin of Cryptic Dreams lets you play four times as many of them. You don't have to copy the same creature, either. Piecing together the cards your opponents are playing to unlock hidden synergies can be a fun mini-game, and this deck can easily piece together combos from the cards that your opponents are playing.
Once Just Isn't Enough
Clones in blue need no introduction, but there are several tricks you can do with indestructible counters and Proliferation. It is much easier in blue to stack multiple counters on Myojin of Cryptic Dreams, potentially copying a permanent spell six or even nine times. Some of the draw spells, like Contentious Plan and Tezzeret's Gambit, contribute to this plan, but Inexorable Tide will do the most work for you.
Any time you cast a spell, Inexorable Tide lets you Proliferate. You can let that trigger resolve to copy the indestructible counter on Myojin of Cryptic Dreams and then use it to copy the permanent spell still on the stack. This lets you copy every permanent you cast for the rest of the game three times. If you're able to copy Inexorable Tide first and then re-clone Myojin of Cryptic Dreams, you'll be able to copy every permanent you cast for the rest of the game a whopping twelve times.
Inexorable Tide also lets the cantrips, draw spells, and counterspells in the deck build up counters on Myojin for an explosive play later on. This is unlikely to happen very often because you would have to have already cast Myojin of Cryptic Dreams and copied it, which is an eleven-mana investment at a minimum. You won't have a Myojin in play with indestructible counters until late in the game, so you won't have a lot of time to play around setting up even more explosive turns later on.
Speaking of cantrips, draw spells, and counterspells, they're the glue that holds this deck together. Cantrips set up your early turns, ensuring you hit land drops and find ways to ramp up to eight mana in a timely fashion. Draw spells then kick in to find your copiable threats. Between clones and standalone cards, there are over twenty of these in the deck, so finding one shouldn't be a problem. Finally, counterspells ensure you stay alive and that your explosive plays resolve. Board wipes are your biggest weakness, since Myojin of Cryptic Dreams naturally makes targeted removal, and even counterspells, ineffective against your biggest threats.
With all that in mind, here's the full decklist.
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Myojin of Cryptic Dreams opens up a ton of creative deckbuilding space. Most mono-blue decks end up in a defensive posture naturally. The plan is to build up resources over time before unleashing a flurry of spells, either to storm off with Aetherflux Reservoir or draw a ton of cards with Laboratory Maniac. This deck, however, forces you to play with creatures and asks you to be aggressive.
Which isn't to say this deck doesn't still feel mono-blue. It's got all the draw spells, and most of the interaction you're used to, but if you want a different flavor of blue, Myojin of Cryptic Dreams might be what you're looking for.