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CFB’s Exclusive Dominaria United Preview Card – Vesuvan Duplimancy

Throwbacks in Magic have a spotty history in terms of wide reception, but it seems like the folks in Studio X have figured out just how to dial in the nostalgia these days. Arena zoomers get exposed to the game’s history and served some really exciting cards, and paper boomers like myself get that additional dose of excitement to put these cards over the top. When I opened an email from my editor and saw this gem of a preview cards in my inbox, I was absolutely floored. Here, take a look at Vesuvan Duplimancy!

Dominaria United serves up yet another scoop of sweet sentimentality, bringing me back to my first days of Magic gameplay while also getting me hyped to put this card in a bevy of Commander lists. The callback to Vesuvan Doppelganger goes as far as the name, the symmetrical art and the ability to copy creatures, but from there, things start to diverge pretty seriously.

 

 

Instead of copying a single creature and then being able to change what we’re copying each turn if desired, this card does nothing at all on its own. Instead, you need to play this card and then target just one creature (or just one artifact – more on that later) with a spell to get a copy. A non-legendary copy, to be precise! If the original bites the dust, have no fear – unlike the old mimeograph machine your office still inexplicably uses, Vesuvan Duplimancy interacts just fine with tokens, meaning it can copy a copy copy (or a copy of a copy, etc) just fine.

Right off the bat, I thought of slotting this into an Orvar, the All-Form deck.

Orvar, the All-Form

Plenty of cards that work well with Orvar also synergize strongly with this new enchantment. Repeatable enablers like Mind Games and cheap cantrips such as Cerulean Wisps speak strongly to the theme here, and with a plethora of Archaeomancer-like effects, it’s quite easy to generate a ton of value. You can even go off quite easily with Peregrine Drake and this new enchantment. Here’s one example combo:

With Duplimancy and the Drake on the battlefield, tap five lands to cast Mind Games with buyback targeting Peregrine Drake, leaving one mana floating. Duplimancy triggers, getting you a copy of Peregrine Drake, which untaps five of your lands. Mind Games resolves, tapping your Drake and returning itself to your hand. Now you’re up a Drake and a mana, and you can continue the cycle. You can even keep targeting the original Drake just so your army of copies stays untapped, but once you’ve got arbitrarily large amounts of mana, you might not care. This combo works just fine with Orvar in place of the Duplimancy, so it’s not exactly news, but it’s still relevant. You can also replace Mind Games with Whim of Volrath here. 

That said, with the additional artifact and token synergies available, we can do something a little more exciting than just retread Orvar’s path. When you think artifacts and tokens, who do you think of? Well, I can’t hear you, but I assume you also said Brudiclad.

Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer

Brudiclad already goes off for all the combats you could ever want with Combat Celebrant and Cackling Counterpart (or similar), but you can build in some redundancy with Vesuvan Duplimancy. More importantly though, you can get extra value out of your Mystic Reflection, Masterful Replication, Echo Storm and other goodies. I like to think about the possibilities of copying something like Cloud Key and then turning all of your tokens into cost reducers for the rest of the turn so that you can play your whole deck off Mystic Forge or something, but you can probably do better just by turning your Treasures into Golems or whatever and just attacking. Still, Vesuvan Duplimancy amplifies the power of all of the cards Brudiclad decks already love to play, so it’s a natural fit.

So where else can we take Vesuvan Duplimancy? Well, I think it’s going to fit perfectly into blink lists. Whether you’re in Azorius, Bant, Esper or any other blue-inclusive color identity, targeting creatures with spells like Ephemerate, Blur or the classic Momentary Blink is going to get you the ETB triggers you’re already looking for. Blink your Commander and get an extra copy if you want! Imagine blinking your Ephara, God of the Polis and getting an extra nonlegendary copy in the process – so much more card draw, right? Actually, Oji, the Exquisite Blade is the perfect fit here.

Oji, the Exquisite Blade

Blinking Oji gets you their life/scry trigger again, as does copying them, but the incentives get better – with multiple copies, you get multiple instances of that sweet “second spell each turn” trigger. Just make sure you have some nontoken creatures to blink! You can also make some more copies of Displacer Kitten. That seems pretty nasty, right?

Taking things over to the Simic section, I can think of a commander I’d love to copy:

Adrix and Nev, Twincasters

If you’re already casting some of the new token copy generators like Irenicus’s Vile Duplication along with classics like Quasiduplicate and Cackling Counterpart, adding in Vesuvan Duplimancy is an easy call. Croaking Counterpart gets even stronger here, and it shouldn’t be too hard to get to the point where you’ve got more than enough Biovisionaries to win the game at the beginning of the end step. Create some extra copies of Faerie Artisans for value or bug everyone with your ruling class of Hornet Queens.

Before I leave you, though, I want to get really weird with this one. Let’s try Vesuvan Duplimancy alongside this wacky headliner from Commander Legends:

Gnostro, Voice of the Crags

When you want to cast multiple spells per turn, you’re looking for cards like Cerulean Wisps, Snap and similar. I love the idea of creating a spellslinger list that can copy Guttersnipe, Talrand or Gnostro itself with each spell it casts! I can’t send you home without a list, and I think Gnostro is the perfect option to showcase Vesuvan Duplimancy’s power in a weird, fun way. Let’s go!

Commander: Gnostro, Voice of the Crags
1 Adarkar Wastes
1 Aetherflux Reservoir
1 Ancestral Anger
1 Arcane Bombardment
1 Archmage Emeritus
1 Arid Mesa
1 Bandage
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Birgi, God of Storytelling
1 Brainstorm
1 Cerulean Wisps
1 Chakram Retriever
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Consider
1 Crimson Wisps
1 Defiant Strike
1 Dramatic Reversal
1 Eligeth, Crossroads Augur
1 Elixir of Immortality
1 Elsha of the Infinite
1 Emergence Zone
1 Expedite
1 Faithful Mending
1 Faithless Looting
1 Feather, the Redeemed
1 Fleeting Distraction
1 Flooded Strand
1 Grapeshot
1 Guttersnipe
1 Hallowed Fountain
5 Island
1 Isochron Scepter
1 Izzet Signet
1 Jace's Sanctum
1 Jeskai Ascendancy
1 Jori En, Ruin Diver
1 Kessig Flamebreather
1 Kykar, Wind's Fury
1 Leap
1 Lier, Disciple of the Drowned
1 Mana Confluence
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Monastery Mentor
5 Mountain
1 Murmuring Mystic
1 Mystic Monastery
1 Mystic Sanctuary
1 Niv-Mizzet, Parun
1 Niveous Wisps
1 Opt
1 Path to Exile
1 Peek
3 Plains
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Prismatic Vista
1 Ral, Storm Conduit
1 Raugrin Triome
1 Refocus
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Renegade Tactics
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Sea of Clouds
1 Shadow Rift
1 Shelter
1 Shivan Reef
1 Slip Through Space
1 Snap
1 Sol Ring
1 Sorcerer Class
1 Spectator Seating
1 Steam Vents
1 Storm-Kiln Artist
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner
1 Thought Vessel
1 Thousand-Year Elixir
1 Thousand-Year Storm
1 Timely Interference
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Training Center
1 Twisted Image
1 Underworld Breach
1 Vesuvan Duplimancy
1 Whirlwind of Thought
1 Young Pyromancer

With all of the sweet legendary creatures to copy and so many good targeted effects to use, it’s easy to see how quickly this can get out of hand. I had a great goldfish earlier where I curved Young Pyromancer into Monastery Mentor followed by Vesuvan Duplimancy, and the following turn was an absolute mess of cantrips copying the Mentor itself. Really nasty stuff. Imagine making copies of Birgi, Feather, Kykar or even Niv-Mizzet. Yikes! I happen to think Sorcerer Class really shines here as well.

And of course, I can’t leave without mentioning the best place to find cards like this – that’s right here on ChannelFireball.com. Whether you’re looking for singles or boxes, we’ve got all the Dominaria United you want and plenty more. The set releases on September 9, so place your order today!

 

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