Dack’s Duplicate gets its first reprint in Double Masters 2022, and is one of many four-mana Clones-with-upside that have been printed. The original clone, the appropriately-named Clone, kicked off a long line of creatures that can impersonate other creatures, and some of them have gone on to become very powerful and popular indeed. Let’s have a look at some of the best!
10. Clever Impersonator
The upside on this four-mana clone being that you can copy anything at all – not just creatures – makes it a pretty juicy inclusion in most EDH decks. Why would you play your own huge threats, when you can just copy your opponents’? My all-time favorite use of this card, however, is to use it as a pseudo-Rampant Growth when you’re mana screwed, by copying an opponent’s mana rock to make sure you don’t fall too behind when it comes to mana. It’s never what you’re hoping to do with a clone like this, but it’s a nice get out of jail free card!
9. Body Double
Body Double is a classic combo piece, providing things like infinite death triggers with Sharuum the Hegemon or infinite mana with Vesperlark and Ashnod’s Altar. There’s also a ridiculous nine-card instant win combo that involves Protean Hulk, assuming you have a way to kill the Hulk – Body Double can keep recurring Hulk triggers from the bin until you’ve searched up a convoluted kill with Shrieking Drake and Corpse Knight. All made possible with a Clone that hits the graveyard!
8. Glasspool Mimic
The going rate for clones these days tends to be four mana with upside or three mana with downside, and Glasspool Mimic really fights through its “a creature you control” downside. It’s a land when it needs to be, providing excellent flexibility to a card that needs it – clones are pretty useless on an empty battlefield. It sucks not to be able to copy your opponents’ best stuff, but when it comes to both cost and flexibility, Glasspool Mimic has a lot to offer.
7. Progenitor Mimic
There are plenty of token-making clone effects, but if you want a big, splashy top-end clone that keeps providing value as the game goes on, it’s difficult to look past Progenitor Mimic. You combine this sucker with a Doubling Season and you’re in business, churning out stacks of copies of the best creature on the battlefield. Additionally, combine it with an Archaeomancer and cast a Time Walk effect and you’ve got infinite turns, which is sure to make you a lot of friends at any Commander table.
6. Phyrexian Metamorph
We mentioned how three-mana clones usually have a downside – well, once you get past the payment of two life for the Phyrexian mana, Phyrexian Metamorph actually has upside. It can copy artifacts as well as creatures, and with so many high-powered artifacts flying about in EDH, that usually means you’ll have some pretty spicy options to choose from. Phyrexian Metamorph has been around for a long time and is a format favorite, with good reason – three mana for a clone-with-upside is really strong.
5. Rite of Replication
Rite of Replication is one of those kicker cards – like Josu Vess, Lich Knight or Gatekeeper of Malakir – that you never really want to cast un-kicked. I mean, sure, you can cast a boring four-mana Clone that makes a token, but who wants to do that? No, this card is actually just a nine-drop, powering out five copies of the best creature on the battlefield. And if that creature has an enter-the-battlefield effect? You will be drowning in an absolute flood of value – and that’s not accounting for something like an Anointed Procession!
4. Sakashima’s Student
We’ve talked about the combo potential of some of these clones, but the ninjutsu ability of Sakashima’s Student in particular opens up some juicy combo lines with one specific card: Medomai the Ageless. You can’t attack with Medomai during extra turns, but if an attacking creature turns into Medomai, get ready for all the extra turns you can eat. Attack with something unblockable – Slither Blade, or something like that – while you’ve got Mirror Gallery or Mirror Box out, ninjutsu in the Student as a copy of Medomai, then after dealing damage bounce it with a Crystal Shard or similar. Rinse and repeat next turn, and, voila! Infinite turns. Simple? No. Fun? Absolutely.
3. Spark Double
Spark Double is one of the default “best clones” even though it can’t copy opposing stuff, for a range of reasons. First, because it doesn’t just copy a creature, it also powers it up with extra stats. Second, it can copy planeswalkers, which is huge in any superfriends or otherwise planeswalker-heavy decks. Third, the fact that it creates non-legendary copies means that you can have multiple copies of your commander out, by first cloning it with Spark Double and then cloning that clone, which isn’t legendary, with follow up clones!
2. Phantasmal Image
Never mind three-mana clones with downside, what about a two-mana clone with downside? The thing with Phantasmal Image is that if they can target it with something, it might very well have just been a removal spell that was going to kill it anyway, so you’re not giving up too much value (assuming you’re not playing against Unsummon tribal). And the upside? Huge. Being able to play a proper clone for just two mana is ridiculous, particularly when you use it to copy an eight-drop or the like!
1. Sakashima of a Thousand Faces
Clone deck everywhere are now led by Sakashima of a Thousand Faces, who not only offers you a walking, talking Mirror Gallery, but gives you reliable access to a clone effect from the command zone, so you can copy whatever else you’ve got going on. Like some other clones, it only hits your own stuff, but if you can clone the best threat on the board with something else, Sakashima can then start cloning that for you – even if it’s legendary. So go ahead and copy your opponents’ commanders, and let Sakashima do the heavy lifting as you assemble more copies than your opponent can ever hope to have!