How They Brew It - Suspension Bridge

Michael Celani • March 1, 2022

Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer by Caio Monterio

Good afternoon, agent. Inside the manila envelope is a disassembled tape recorder. It contains your next mission, and will self-construct in 30 seconds.
At 1400 hours A.M., the French hacked the Statue of Liberty. Because of advanced cryptographic techniques, like hole-punching, C++, and liquid nitrogen, the bronze behemoth is now under complete control of the enemy and is barreling towards Congress in what is being dubbed a "150-year Trojan Horse scheme." Preliminary intelligence suggests that the statue is being remotely controlled from within the Louvre. Your mission: infiltrate the enemy hideout, investigate Lady Liberty's backdoor, and assassinate everyone who plans to turn the Capitol into a huddled mass.


Mission: Improbable

Good evening, agent. I'm Michael Celani, and it's my destiny to manifest. The theft of the Statue of Liberty is disheartening, but you'll need to keep a cool head. Stealth is paramount in this mission, and if the enemy doesn't know of a lurking threat, they'll be easy targets. You may wonder how to disguise gigantic creatures so that they appear harmless. Well, don't worry: our overly prepared chemists have a solution for everything.

Manifest is a keyword ability from Fate Reforged that takes a card and puts it face-down onto the battlefield. Face-down cards are 2/2 creatures with no name or abilities by default, but if it was Manifested, you get to turn it face-up for its mana value later on. Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer will draw you a card every time you Manifest something, so you will be supported even when you're deep in the enemy's lair.

It's My Party And I'll Spy If I Want To

As a spy, it's my job to be a master of disguise, and as a host on tonight's Comedy Central Roast, it's my job to be a master of diss guys. Note how in an instant I was a completely different profession; commit this skill to memory. Here's how you, too, can disguise your big threats:

  • Qarsi High Priest sacrifices creatures to Manifest new ones. This triggers Kadena to draw a card, and you can use it to filter out bad Manifests, like lands.
  • If you've got no other backup, Jeskai Infiltrator is guaranteed to be unblockable. If you have a sea of Manifested creatures already, swing out and turn him face-up when he's not blocked to get two Kadena triggers.
  • Whisperwood Elemental Manifests a card at the beginning of your end step, and you can sacrifice it in response to a board wipe to walk away with loads of creatures.
  • Blending removal with stealth, if you turn a card face-up while Temur War Shaman is on the battlefield, you can have it snipe an enemy creature.
  • Thieving Amalgam Manifests a card from the top of your opponents' libraries at the start of their upkeeps, making their tutors less valuable and keeping both your hand and board flush.
  • Though usually a 2/2 for 2, don't be afraid to pump up Wildcall if you have extra mana. The counters stay on the creature when it's turned face-up.
  • Write Into Being is essentially a draw spell stapled to a 2/2, and you're even able to scry the card you'd draw to the bottom.
  • Scroll of Fate is the most powerful Manifest card in the game, as you can choose what you place face-down from your hand. Tutor it with Trophy Mage and try to increase its power with various untap effects.
  • Cloudform Manifests a card and gives it both flying and hexproof. If you were lucky enough to hit a good creature, it'll become a major problem for your opponents.
  • Finally, Primordial Mist rescues you if too many lands or noncreature spells end up on the battlefield by exiling them and letting you play them.

I Expect You To Die

Once you've infiltrated the Louvre, you'll need to radio in its exact coordinates so that we can send backup in the form of gigantic bears. Here are some creatures that are great to turn face-up later:

  • Never complain about big classes again when they're taught by Ruxa, Patient Professor. Face-down cards have no abilities, making them the perfect students.
  • Kamahl, Heart of Krosa will turn all of your 2/2s into 5/5 trampling monsters, and he can animate your lands in a pinch.
  • Though he usually costs nine mana without a Giant, we can cheat Surtland Elementalist's additional cost by turning him face-up instead of casting him directly.
  • And though it looks like an ordinary 2/2, Apex Devastator is actually five times as powerful under his disguise!

Extraction Point

Thank you for your service, agent. Your contributions will not be remembered by history, for history cannot remember us. But know deep in your heart that you're the reason the world keeps turning. Your next mission: join the Discord, where you can vote on what's covered next. Until then, lay low. We will contact you again once your services are needed.

Double Agent

The CIA wanted you to do what?

Oh, never! Those fellows have quite the sense of humour. What a pitiful list of payoffs! No wonder everyone's complaining about the minimum wage across the pond. Your orders are this: once you've taken control of the Louvre, you're going to drive the Statue of Liberty over to Stonehenge, where it belongs.

There's one trick we Brits have those Yanks don't, and that's that there's more to Manifest than just turning creatures face-up. You want to get big instants and sorceries onto the battlefield so you can manoeuvre them onto the stack.

With Suspend and Release to the Wind, you'll easily be able to cast some of the most threatening spells the world's ever seen. Take a butcher's at these:

  • Army of the Damned fills your board with thirteen tapped Zombies, and an additional thirteen once you flash it back. They're also perfect companions for Ruxa, Patient Professor, because they're almost certain to knock out whoever you swing at.
  • Ezuri's Predation creates 4/4s for each creature your opponents control. It's a one-step solution for building a board out of nothing.
  • Clone Legion is a much more targeted approach to building a sudden presence, but if you target yourself with a Scholar of the Ages on the field, you're going to be able to get it and your copy of Release to the Wind back.
  • If that's not enough for you, or if one of your Manifested spells dies before you can suspend it from the battlefield, Mnemonic Deluge lets you cast that card three times.
  • Reshape the Earth is a mote less powerful, but ten lands - not even basic lands - will put you substantially ahead on resources for the rest of the game.
  • Apex Devastator still gets its Cascade triggers when cast from exile, so Suspending grants you four more powerful spells.
  • Finally, casting Emergent Ultimatum can tutor you any of these powerful spells and casts them for free.

The Sun Never Sets

Thank you for your service. Your contributions will not be remembered by history, for history cannot remember us. But know deep in your heart that you're the reason the sun has never set on the British Empire. Your next mission: join the Discord, where you can vote on what's covered next. Until then, stay safe; we will contact you again once your services are needed.

Triple Agent

MI6 wanted you to do what?

Look, PREPCON needs to blow up this section of the planet by 13562.3, and if we're off schedule, then we're not going to be able to import everyone into Drift in time for the singularity. You wouldn't want to be the reason everyone actually dies, would you?

Listen, if all your powerful spells are out on the field and suspending them one at a time isn't cutting it, just go ahead and suspend them all.

If we turn a face-down creature into a copy of Epochrasite, then when it dies it will suspend itself from the battlefield. With Sakashima's Will, Polymorphous Rush, and Echoing Equation, this should be easy. Then, you just wait three turns, and you've got a shiny new Apex Devastator!

There's just one problem: face-downness applies just after copy effects, so if we turn a face-down creature into a copy of something else, it will remain a 2/2 with no abilities. We could theoretically turn that creature face-up to fix this, but that would cost a lot of mana, and if it's represented by an instant or sorcery card, it would be revealed instead and left face-down.

So we have a problem in that we need to turn an instant or sorcery card face-up to make it an Epochrasite, but we're legally prevented from turning an instant or sorcery card face-up to make it an Epochrasite. Is there any way to turn a face-down creature into a face-up creature without turning it face-up?

That's right: if you Mutate a creature on top of a face-down creature, the entire resulting merged permanent is now considered face-up. Only then can you turn the merged permanent into a copy of Epochrasite and sacrifice it, causing every permanent in the stack to become suspended!

For Real This Time

Listen buddy, I'm just a frycook at Wendy's. I think you've all been emailing the wrong guy. Go play your card game. I have to make this burger.


Suspension Bridge (Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer EDH)

Commander (1)
Creatures (24)
Sorceries (17)
Instants (10)
Artifacts (10)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (34)

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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 https://discord.gg/xWWqD2G8Fj and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.