Morophon, the Boundless Changes Commander
Hello and welcome back to Commanding Respect! With Modern Horizons about to shake up the modern format, today we’re going to take a look at how one of the newest commanders could changeling up your next EDH games. Without further ado, let’s check out Morophon the Boundless!
When looking at a new commander, one should always break down each aspect of the card and consider how they work. Morphodon is designed to fit seamlessly into any tribe: since it is colorless you can always cast it if you have the 7 mana to do so, as a changeling Morphodon can benefit from any lord effect, and its “choose a creature type” abilities help you cast any creature with a colored mana cost for less and gives them a simple boost in power and toughness. It is important to note that while Morphodon is a colorless creature, its color identity is WUBRG, so Morophon can only be put in 5 color decks. While this also means that any deck which includes Morophon as its commander can include 5 colors, I think one of the big traps of this card will be attempting to include all 5 colors in a deck just because you can. While some tribes—like Dragons or Eldrazi—have representatives with casting costs spread across all 5 colors, others that one might consider building Morophon for—like Wolves or Merfolk—don’t include cards in 2 or more colors, and thus can cut them out for a more focused and consistent mana base.
Despite the recommendation to consider running Monophoton with 3 or less colors, today we’re going to immediately turn around and look at a 5 color deck. Rather than build Morophon to support a particular tribe, we’re going to build a deck that supports Morophon through all manner of lord effects. Morophon is the only legendary creature with changeling, and aside from Mistform Ultimus is the only legendary creature that starts out with all creature types. This means that Morophon represents the first opportunity to build a 5 color lords deck.
To do this most purely we would play the best lords regardless of creature type and thus sacrifice Morophon’s own lord abilities, however in the interest of building a deck that is more diverse and playable, we’re instead going to build a deck that mostly has lords which are Humans. Humans have the advantage of being represented in all colors and have lords for several creature types, which is exactly what we’re looking for in this deck. We’ll run some standard lords that offer power and toughness buffs like Lovisa Coleyes, Valiant Knight, and Chief of the Edge/Chief of the Scale. We’re also interested in creatures that offer relevant abilities like hexproof and indestructible to protect Morophon, flying, trample, and unblockable to get damage through, and double strike to help us hit commander damage faster. For this purpose, we’re including the likes of Lord of the Unreal, Sylvia Brightspear, and Khorvath Brightflame (one of the few nonhumans in the deck, but worth it for the two keywords he grants and the ability to fetch/be fetched by Sylvia). One set of lords we’re going to include for fun are the splicers from New Phyrexia, as they are not only Humans that grant Morophon keyword abilities, but also create golem tokens which immediately benefit from these.
In addition to more generic lords, we’ll also be including several lords that offer special effects based on creature type. Yuriko,the Tiger’s Shadow lets us effectively draw any time she or Morophon deals damage while also adding some incidental life loss to all of our opponents. We’ll also run Admiral Beckett Brass since Morophon is both a pirate and a ninja, giving us both a pump for Morophon and the opportunity to potentially steal permanents from our opponents.
Najeela, the Blade Blossom comes in and gives us bonus creatures to fill out or warrior suite, and if our mana is right she can potentially give us extra combat steps (you can also theoretically give 1/1 tokens to your opponents when they attack with their own warriors if you wanted to play politically).
We don’t want Morophon to be the one who gets all the fun; while some of our lords will incidentally support other humans, to really get the full benefit of being a Ninja-Illusion-Pirate-Warrior-Golem-Rouge-Advisor and more, it would be hard to support most of those cards individually. Thankfully, there are several nonlengendary changelings that can help us get the most out of all our lords, with more being spoiled every day in Modern Horizons. Special changelings like Shapesharer—which lets us double or even triple up on one or more of our lords—or Mirror Entity—which can lead to an explosive and potentially game winning combat the turn it comes down—provide us value while also benefiting from our other humans.
Using cards like Arcane Adaptation and Blades of Velis Vel, we can even spread some of our lord effects to our regular humans. The former will be played somewhat unusually in this deck, as rather than knowing what creature type you will name when you build the deck, you will instead need to figure out what to call based on what you have on the battlefield/in hand at the time; some of the best choices will probably be Pirate, Ninja, Warrior, Golem, or Advisor. The changelings and creature type sharing effects will enhance several cards in our deck, such as Grim Captain’s Call, which becomes fairly good when it can grab 4 creatures from our graveyard.
With all of the fun interactions between the various creatures we can play, we need to ensure that we actually get to play them, preferably as fast as possible. Helping us out is one of the most exciting cards for Morophon: Jodah, Archmage Eternal. With Jodah and Morophon out at the same time, every creature of the type you named is free to cast (and because we will be naming Human, we get the added benefit of being able to cast Jodah for 1 colorless mana when Morophon is out). If you’ve fixed your mana properly, you might even be able to use Jodah to cast Morophon early. Any Morophon deck should strongly consider Jodah and the similar Fist of Suns, regardless of the creature type you plan to be naming. While not as effective as Jodah or Fist of Suns, Grand Arbiter Agustin IV is another human that can help reduce the colorless cost of some of our spells, making many spells with White or Blue in their casting costs free for us to play. We’ll also add some human mana dorks like Aztocan Seer, Rattleclaw Mystic, and Noble Hierarch both to help ramp out Morophon faster and to fix our mana.
Our primary strategy with this deck is to win through commander damage with Morophon or combat damage with our other creatures, but as EDH is a wildly diverse format where all manner of things can happen, it is always good to include a contingency plan or two in case we are prevented from winning in this way. Above I mentioned that it might be favorable for us to name Advisor for Arcane Adaptation, and that’s because this deck includes a single copy of Persistent Petitioners to give us a mill option in case our opponents get too greedy drawing cards or gaining life. Morophon and the changelings are advisors thanks to their abilities, and some of our humans like Augustin IV and Kambal, Consul of Allocation additionally have that type, meaning that the Petitioners should be able to reliably mill 12 cards an activation even without Arcane Adaptation (and after Adaptation hits the board we should be able to activate this ability more than once between untaps).
We’ll also include Cloudstone Curio to help us recast certain humans for value, possibly stealing multiple cards with Hostage Taker, or bouncing Burning Tree Emissary and another creature that is free with Morophon to generate infinite red and green mana. To maximize value from these ETB triggers we’ll toss in spells like Beast Whisperer and Guardian Project to keep us drawing cheap and/or free humans to play.
With all the value we get from our humans, we want to ensure that we have a few noncreature spells to support and keep them safe. We should expect all EDH decks to run some board wipes (even this deck runs a few just in case), so it is important for us to find ways to get around them. Some cards can help make our creatures indestructible to escape wrath effects, like Ready//Willing and Unbreakable Formation. Additionally, cards like Faith’s Reward and Thrilling Encore can help us immediately come back from one of our opponent’s board wipes or a particularly violent combat step (Garna the Bloodflame is also one of our humans with a similar effect). A few counterspells will help with boardwipes that exile instead of destroy, and additionally protects us from other spells we might not like. When we’re not protecting ourselves, some tutor effects and spells like Mass Appeal can help us to draw lots of cards to go off faster, and ramping effects like Kodama’s Reach can help us get Morophon out faster.
Once we’ve added all those components together we’ll throw in some lands and wind up the decklist below!
End of Turn Brainstorm
One of the joys about EDH is building a decklist suited to your needs and interests, and Morophon’s abilitites in particular lead to an incredible amount of options for decks. Dragons are one of the most exciting tribes in magic, and Morophon’s cost reducing ability helps deal with the high converted mana costs of these creatures. It may be possible to build a mostly red manabase with Morophon and depend on only a few spells like Sarkhan, Fireblood and Dragon’s Horde to help fix your mana for off color dragons when you commander isn’t out. But, like I said above, you do not have to run 5 colors to use Morophon successfully.
When talking about the benefits of limiting Morphodon decks to 3 or less colors I made a point to mention Wolves and Merfolk because while these tribes have lords such as Tolsmir, Friend of Wolves and Kumena,Tyrant of Orzaca, they both stretch into 3 colors that are not completely covered by their 2 color legends. While Morophon lets you play literally any tribe you want, I think one of the card’s real strengths will be filling out established tribes that have to sacrifice a color in order to play their best lords as commanders. In addition to Naya Wolves and Bant Merfolk, Azorius Sphinxes, Jund Goblins, and Mardu Angels come to mind when thinking about the tribal options Morophon opens up. In addition to these options, it might be a blast to run an Elemental based deck centered in Temur colors, using Animar Soul of Elements as a secondary commander in the 99 to ensure that all of your creatures are free to play.
And that’s it for today’s article! I hope that you have an amazing time in your next game letting Morophon be whatever you want it to be. If there’s a particular tribe you’re interested in using Morophon with—or if you have anything else you’d like to say about this article—let us know in the comments below. Until next time!
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