How They Brew It - Men in the Mirror

Michael Celani • September 26, 2022

Cadric, Soul Kindler | Illustrated by Joseph Weston

You greet them when you start the day. You visit them when you need a break. And you bid farewell to them when you're ready to retire for the night. It's the other you: the one in the mirror. They're just the reflection of an image caused by light waves bouncing off the silver surface into your eyes -- or so they claim.

Think about it. Your duplicate seems a little bit off to you. When you raise your right arm, they raise their left. They appear a bit more green than you are. And they can crawl through the mirror late at night to silently point a gun at you while you're asleep. Now, tell me: does that sound like a mere reflection?

Of course not. The truth is, there's a world beyond the silver precipice, and we're going to need their help for what's to come.

A Little Self-Reflection

Good evening, skeptics. My name is Michael Celani. Have you discovered that not only was the lunar landing faked, but the entire moon was as well? Do you remember when you counted your crewmates and discovered a few extra terrestrials that might be extraterrestrial? Ever wondered why your wife always blamed her pyramid when she's cranky in the middle of the month? If you answered any of these questions, you're ready for tonight's episode of Fact or Fiction.

Mirrors. We all know they're out to get us, but to answer why, we first need to talk about parallel universes. For centuries, mirrors have been a window to a separate plane of existence that just happened to be similar enough to our own that we could apply makeup with it. It was once thought impossible to travel to the mirror world, but new developments in technology have proven that not only can we do it, we can bring things back with us.

For example, Cadric, Soul Kindler crosses through the looking glass and returns with duplicates of the legendary permanents you put onto the battlefield. These "mirror images" may only last a short while, but on the scale of the universe, so do we. The average player only uses 10% of their permanents, but if you choose Cadric, Soul Kindler as your commander, you'll be able to crush your opponents under a full-force 200%.

Infinity Mirror

The mirror world may seem just like our own, but the truth is that it's only a pale reflection of the genuine article. For example, in this alternate universe, the shot at Lexington and Concord is known as "the shot heard 'round the world" instead of the bullet that struck John F. Kennedy. Because of the subtle flaws in that universe's structure, things brought back can usually only last one turn instead of the whole game, and scientists estimate that the mirror world will collapse entirely by 2039. If we build our deck right, though, we can make the most out of their limited time on Earth:

  • Birgi, God of Storytelling pays for Cadric's costs, and if you have enough mana to cast multiple spells the turn she comes in, you can reduce the cost of all your spells by .
  • The Peregrine Dynamo may not be able to copy your commander's triggered ability, but it does work with everything else. Use it to turn a double enters-the-battlefield trigger into a triple, or get the most out of a huge activated ability.
  • You'll be making plenty of tokens a turn. Since Ellyn Harbreeze, Busybody scales with the number of tokens you create, she's a great choice to sculpt your hand or, at the very least, draw you an extra card each turn.
    • Idol of Oblivion works well in this deck, too. Though it won't let you dig into your deck and by proxy your opponents' graves, it's cheaper and creates a gigantic Eldrazi in a pinch.
  • If you reset legendary permanents with Felidar Guardian, Flicker, or Semester's End, you'll trigger Cadric again for another shot at a double feature.
  • Leaving up mana for Synod Sanctum will make your opponents hesitant to interact with you, as you could respond to their kill spell by exiling their target.
  • Activating Sundial of the Infinite at your end step will prevent your duplicates from being sacrificed, but it's a lightning rod for your opponents. Only play this when you're ready to keep a copy of something extremely powerful.
  • Anointed Procession, also known as "setting up two mirrors opposite each other so you can see forever," allows Cadric to travel to additional parallel universes and gather even greater numbers of token copies from them.
  • When two creatures are entering for every one, Cathars' Crusade becomes twice as effective.
  • Finally, though most legendary lands aren't extremely useful when duplicated, there's a few worth noting:

Powering Up

Traveling to a separate reality through your mirror is an energy-consuming process, and dropping your hair dryer into your running sink can only get you so far. Cadric sucks up a lot of mana to venture on his trips, and that's not even mentioning the price of the other legendary cards in the deck. We'll compensate by running a higher-than-average proportion of ramp spells.

Most of these rocks are interchangeable and therefore need no explanation, but we're using mostly -cost cards because they let you to cast Cadric on turn three. Cadric is just expensive enough that casting him kills your entire turn, and running out legendary cards without the opportunity to duplicate them feels bad, so you'll want to cast him as soon as possible to minimize your risk of becoming bored.

Soul Mate

So what can we invade the mirror world for, besides oil? That depends on what's important to you. Sure, you could take copies of Etali, Primal Storm and steal your opponents' decks. Or cast an Atsushi, the Blazing Sky to become rich beyond your wildest dreams. Maybe even double up on Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, the most notorious red legend ever printed. But power, wealth, and fame are vain pursuits, and breaking mirrors seems unflavorful for this article. No, what you want is something worth fighting for. Someone worth fighting for. Forget those dating sites like Match, FarmersOnly or PlatypusLovers; your other half has been with you all this time. Like saying that Finding Nemo was a part of your childhood, it's okay to date yourself. It's time to soul-kindle that spark.

That planeswalker's spark.

Every single planeswalker ever printed is legendary, meaning every single planeswalker has a looking-glass counterpart. When you cast a planeswalker spell, if you duplicate them, you'll get to activate their loyalty abilities twice that first turn -- once on the mainwalker, and once on their reflection. If you're usually too nervous to spend loyalty because you're afraid the planeswalker will die, this is the deck that will finally let you play them to their full potential.

There are three broad categories of planeswalkers whose hearts and also bodies we'll steal away from the mirror world:

The Support

These are the planeswalkers that support other planeswalkers or otherwise ramp you. Chandra, Acolyte of Flame and Ajani Steadfast both represent two additional loyalty counters when you cast them, which could be enough to push an unthreatening board state into a ultimate one. Karn, Living Legacy creates Powerstone tokens that pay for Cadric trips. Finally, Elspeth Resplendent is capable of putting a few low-cost permanents onto the battlefield, which can act as ramp.

The Tanks

Any planeswalker capable of defending itself is a tank. Most of our deck falls into this category, because Boros planeswalkers tend to create tokens as a primary defense mechanism. These additional tokens synergize really well with Cathars' Crusade and Anointed Procession, and will feed into the third category we'll talk about later. Here are your primary tanks:

  • Ajani, Strength of the Pride makes a weak Ajani's Pridemate token, but is also capable of exiling a substantial portion of your opponents' boards right out of the gate. If you have a dream team of twenty or so tokens, it's feasible to gain life with the mainwalker and exile with the clone.
  • Comet, Stellar Pup doesn't always do what you tell him, but most of his modes are relevant in one way or another. You won't be getting much out of rolling a 3, but Squirrel tokens and direct burn are both decent stalling tactics.
  • Elspeth, Sun's Nemesis is the cheapest of the tank Elspeths and previews her trend of making boards of tokens from thin air. This particular Elspeth is notable for her ability to cast from the graveyard, so don't be afraid to use up that loyalty.
  • Karn, Scion of Urza's Construct grows with your artifacts and your other Karn tokens, making them more resiliant than a lot of the other tokens on the list. He also has one of the best card draw abilities on a planeswalker stapled to him, and if your opponent decides to bin something valuable off a mainwalker +1, such as Resourceful Defense, you can get it back with the reflection that turn.
  • Serra the Benevolent, like Ajani, only makes one token, but unlike Ajani, that token is a full-fledged Serra Angel. Creating two of them on the turn she comes in should be enough to discourage all but the most reckless of attacks.
  • Elspeth, Sun's Champion is the most popular white planeswalker for a reason. Her uptick creates three 1/1s, meaning that with her mirror world counterpart you'll make six of them. She can also purge the board of large threats, but be wary with this mode as it also affects Cadric.
  • Elspeth Tirel is half Ajani and half Elspeth, taking a few abilities from both of them but mastering neither. She still makes three tokens for a total of six on the first turn, but it's a minus ability now, limiting her potential. If you can search up a planeswalker from Djeru, With Eyes Open, it's usually better to get one of the composite parts instead of this amalgamation.
  • Ugin, the Ineffable creates a 2/2 token, which is middling, but those tokens compensate by drawing you cards when they die. Ugin can also destroy most permanents, and he discounts every artifact and Karn in the deck to free the turn he comes out, making him extremely flexible and a good draw at any point in the game.

The Nukes

The nukes win games.

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and his reflection should both immediately be cashed in for a permanent, uninteractable +2/+2 buff to all of your creatures. With the density of Elspeths in the list, this is a much bigger deal than it seems, and if you can copy this ability, you've basically become a brick wall. Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast turns your tokens into threatening engine pieces as well as Yomiji, Who Bars the Way, a creature that makes your planeswalkers fundamentally invincible. Chandra, Awakened Inferno starts by shocking your opponents each turn and upgrading to a Bolt the next and is capable of sniping almost any creature in a pinch. Of course, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon needs no introduction, but one way to play him is to use the reflection to wipe the board while ticking up the mainwalker to maintain your control afterwards.

Catch You On The Flipside

Now that you know about the world on the other side of the silver screen, you're prepared for anything. Familiarize yourself with the signs of a mirror world replacement. Your son or daughter could be a mirror person and you might not have even known it. Remember, the hammer is the most effective way of breaking a mirror, and if it turns out they were real, at least you don't have to wait seven years for your bad luck. You've been watching Fact or Fiction, brought to you by The Skeptic Tank, and since we promised it last time:

If you enjoy How They Brew It, please check out the Discord and my other projects at my website and vote on which decks you want to see next. We also do giveaways every so often and have a robust deck-tech community. Come join us!

Men in the Mirror (Cadric, Soul Kindler EDH)

Commander (1)
Planeswalkers (17)
Creatures (9)
Sorceries (8)
Instants (7)
Artifacts (16)
Enchantments (5)
Lands (37)

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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.