Hidden Strings - Mirrorweave

Luca Appi • July 5, 2023

(Mirrorweave | Art by Jim Pavelec)

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

Hello everyone, and welcome to another installment of Hidden Strings, the article series where we build decks whose commanders don't need to be planeswalkers to have a signature spell.

Ever since discovering the joys of casting Shields of Velis Vel or activating Mirror Entity for one mana just to go all out on leveraging some kind of typal reward, my love for their big brother has really skyrocketed. The number of silly things you can do with it is sizeable already, and it keeps growing with every new release (which means pretty often, if you haven't noticed). To me, the fact that the card fundamentally breaks the main limitation of Commander (and does so in the most over-the-top way possible) further adds to its appeal.

As always, finding the perfect oathbreaker commander to support our spell of choice is the first crucial step in the process of building around a pet card, and sometimes that requires a bit of an inventive solution.

...Who's the Unfairest of Them All?

To this day, the only commander that allows to directly search your library for an instant card is Kaho, Minamo Historian. Unfortunately, under the current rule on hybrid cards' color identity, she isn't able to support our beloved instant. A bunch of mono-black commanders also exist that can find any card we want, but that's not exactly a step forward with regards to color identity.

It looks like this time around we have no easy option and, as we all know, desperate times call for desperate measures: I'd say today we can maybe take a page from cEDH, borrowing one of its tricks and adapting it to foster a much more casual gameplan:

In what ultimately is a happy coincidence, the walking, talking book that terrorizes competitive tables with its hyper-fast Ad Nauseam wins has a number of features that perfectly match our needs. First of all, it poses no restrictions on color identity, allowing us not only to run Mirrorweave, but also to freely choose the direction in which we'd like to take the deck. Moreover, the mana produced by its ability provides us with a super efficient play pattern, of which the following is a quick rundown: get Codie on the battlefield, wait a turn cycle, activate its ability, and then cast an instant or sorcery with mana value of one, eventually "Cascading" into Profane Tutor, which you'll be able to cast for free; this will grant you access to Ad Nauseam Mirrorweave, which you'll be able to cast using the remaining five-minus-one mana from Codie's ability.

Thrill of Possibility

To fully understand Mirrorweave's extreme flexibility, it should suffice to think about the fact that it can also be pointed at our opponents' creatures, easily unlocking a sea of unexpected interactions for fun and profit. This versatility, coupled with the low number of deckbuilding restrictions imposed by Codie, allows us to explore many different paths while concocting a decklist.

This is somewhat of a novelty with respect to my previous articles, where the decks' themes were narrow enough that an informative sample list could actually be compiled and presented in a compact way. In this case, though, I feel like such an exercise would greatly undersell the amount of deckbuilding freedom that our secret commander has to offer. For this reason, today I'll drop my usual article structure and, instead, I'll go through each color, covering its potential strengths and weaknesses as well as listing some of the cards you could run. This way you can pick the style and color combination you like the most and create your own build accordingly (or maybe even try a modular one)!


White is a solid support color and one that I recommend running in any non-blue iteration of the deck (which, as we'll learn, is probably the right way to go about it). This is mainly to ensure that we're able to cast Mirrorweave should we happen to draw it, and it's made easier by the fact that white covers almost all of the bases required for the deck to operate smoothly.

The first step for a successful Mirrorweave turn is having a lot of creatures on the battlefield, and this is something that white excels at: Sram's Expertise, Call the Coppercoats, and Battle Screech are a very good baseline, while Secure the Wastes and Alliance of Arms (in a moment we'll see why you might want to give creatures to your opponents, too) double as one-mana spells that can enable our Codie line in a pinch. Lastly, Priest of the Blessed Graf and Doomed Artisan also double as token-generators and potential Mirrorweave targets, with the idea of either populating the board even more or turning it into an exhibition of giant angry Sculptures.

Speaking of Mirrorweave targets, white has a decent number of them. Many of those are lord-type creatures or variations thereof, so a curated list of the most interesting ones shall be more useful than spending a thousand words on each one:

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Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

As for more particular effects, Hammers of Moradin stands out as a cheap and effectively evasive beater with an impressive damage output rate, while Hero of Bladehold and Silverwing Squadron are game-enders that attack for a ton of damage and simultaneously populate our board with a lot of threats.

Taking a look at support cards, white offers a nice assortment of useful one-mana spells: Loran's Escape and Blacksmith's Skill can protect Codie as well as our precious Mirrorweave targets; Flower and Safewright Quest act as lands that enter the battlefield tapped, while also triggering Codie on occasion; Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile and Fragmentize should need no explanation.

Aether Shockwave and Githzerai Monk round out this section as alpha-strike-enablers, and Firemane Commando wins the award of favorite card within the color due to how perfectly it combines with Mirrorweave, even taking advantage of our opponents' creatures.


In a surprising twist of events, blue is probably the weakest color when it comes to Mirrorweave shenanigans. First of all, aside from Grand Architect, it lacks in meaningful acceleration pieces that can profitably interact with the instant, and while this is true of white as well, blue offers very little to make up for that. Secondly, while Seafloor Oracle, Research Thief, and Archmage Emeritus allow this color to go big on card draw (you don't say!), its main form of interaction are counterspells, which are harder to fire off as a way to activate Codie. One-mana cantrips will do a much better job at that, as will Rapid Hybridization and Pongify, whose downside can sometimes turn into an upside given the right circumstances, which leads us to the next section:

You should now see that the main appeal of running blue is to go for an "achievement unlocked" kind of build. Ensuring that our opponents have sizeable armies on their side of the field can be beneficial if our plan is to 'weave our Lord of Atlantis, and if we feel like going real deep, we could also target our Zubera right before casting a boardwipe: drawing the cards is mandatory, and the triggers are put onto the stack in AP/NAP* order, meaning your opponents will all get rekt decked right before you.

*Active Player / Non-Active Player


The above scenario can be more reliably replicated with the help of black. Creatures like Skemfar Avenger tend not to have as much draw power as the Zubera (since they rarely count your opponents' creatures), but they more than make up for that with the addition of life loss. Six critters getting turned into Undead Augur right before being wiped off the map are enough to deal 36 damage to their controller. The creatures that can enable such a play are many, and, despite having slightly different wordings, they'll all be lethal more often than not. We just need to be careful about when to go for the boardwipe ourselves and when to wait for someone else to pull the trigger and act in response, ensuring that we take advantage of the order of resolution of the triggers.

Aside from a higher consistency, black also offers other upsides, like an extremely deadly snake, the possibility to Suspend a drawn Tutor, and the general versatility of its one-mana spells: cards like Burnt Offering and Village Rites allow us to sacrifice Codie after having activated it so as not to be hindered by its static ability once the effect of Mirrorweave wears off; similarly, pieces of single-target removal can double as massive card draw spells if we aim them at our book-shaped copy of a Midnight Entourage.

P.S. If you're in it for a good laugh, remember to include in your deck a single copy of Relentless Rats, Rat Colony, and Shadowborn Apostle, alongside some kind of Demon to go fetch.


While not necessarily the most powerful color, red is easily the most flexible one, having access to at least some versions of almost any type of effect we've seen so far. Want to fill your board with tiny creatures? Try Hordeling Outburst. Want to fill your opponents' boards with tiny creatures and keep them tapped? Send a Goblin Spymaster. Need a one-mana instant that functions as a tapland? Here's Spikefield Hazard. Want to mill out your opponents? A Blasphemous Act on a battlefield clogged with Rundvelt Hordemaster will do that for you. Want to sculpt the perfect hand? Just Exert a bunch of Battlefield Scavenger. Need a sacrifice outlet for Codie that also grows your board? Gleeful Demolition is waiting to be picked up.

In case you couldn't tell, I could go on for a while here, so instead let me just drop this hand-picked list of the most interesting beaters available:

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Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

Sprinkle in some useful effects, like granting haste to Codie, turning an attack into a one-sided boardwipe, and having access to one-mana sorceries that can also deal a ton of damage (more on this in the next section), and we suddenly have a very well-rounded deck.


If you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed that one important category was left out by all of the previous colors.

That's right! As it often happens, ramping and fixing are the main reasons why you'd want to put green cards in your deck. I know, I know: mana rocks, Treasures and other form of ramp exist. However, green has mana creatures that can also interact with Mirrorweave and instantly go from harmless dorks to game-ending mana engines.

Once you start tapping your five Priest of Titania for 12 mana each, you can see how the red X-spells mentioned above can come in handy: channeling such an enormous amount of mana into a Fireball should usually win us the game or at least kill one or two players without ever going through the combat phase. Just be wary not to run into any counterspell, as our opponents will get access to comparable amounts of mana at the exact same time as we do.

Typically green are also the cards that allow us to shuffle part of our graveyard into our library. Those turn out to be particularly useful due to Codie being able to access Mirrorweave in our library just as easily as we can cast it from our hand. Then, having a mana value of one makes cards like Turn the Earth and Serene Remembrance preferable to pricier spells that would put the instant back in our hand.

Everything else in this color is made of our usual suspects: a couple creatures that can draw a ton of cards, some protection spells, a whole bunch of Lay of the Land variations, and a list of beaters whose triggers look like you need a math degree to carry out the calculations (luckily for you, I really enjoy that part, so you can ask me questions about specific cards in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them!):

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Buy this decklist from TCGplayer


Aside from the benefit of mixing and matching their strengths and covering their weak spots, playing multiple colors gives access to a few interesting gold cards. Naya Charm, the two mutations, and March of the Multitudes are fine role-players, but those are not exactly exciting.

As for Mirrorweave targets, Resolute Survivors is probably the most unassuming and yet most broken of the bunch, working much in the same vein as Hooded Blightfang. Epistolary Librarian looks pretty strong too, and capable of enabling some crazy Storm turns (especially considering that you can play instants in between the resolution of the various triggers). Midnight Pathlighter is another example of a perfect interaction with Mirrorweave: since all creatures will lose their legendary supertype, your team will be unblockable and you will glide through dungeons at the speed of light. Biovisionary closes this section as what's gotta be the least salt-inducing "Oops, I Win" ever.

Final Parting

And there you have it! A somewhat detailed overview of the main cards that you could run in a Mirrorweave shell.

Did you enjoy it? Did you hate it? Let me know in the comments! And while you're at it, feel free to share how you'd personally build such a deck.

Until next time!

Luca picked up a random Scourge pack in a game store at age 9, and hasn't looked back since. An inventive deckbuilder trapped inside the skin of a competitive player, he resorts to Commander whenever he needs to scratch his creative itch—which is pretty often. When he is not brewing decks in his head, he can be found shoving inefficiently cute synergies into his draft pile and enjoying the satisfying snapping sound of card flicking. Yes, he is a monster.