Magic: The Gathering – What Is Myriad?

The best defence in Magic: The Gathering is often a good offence. You could have the fanciest equipment and the holiest of enchantments, but when push comes to shove, nothing works better than just pummelling your opponents in their face.

In Commander, few mechanics work as well for this as myriad. Why have one creature attacking one opponent, when you could have three of them attacking everyone instead? Here is everything you need to know about Magic's myriad mechanic, and how to best use it.

What Is Myriad?

Myriad is a keyword ability found exclusively creatures that represents a triggered ability that triggers whenever the creature with myriad attacks.

When a creature with myriad attacks, you create token copies of that creature that are tapped and attacking each other opponent you have in the game. For example, in Commander's four-player games, attacking one opponent with a myriad creature will make two token copies, each attacking a different opponent.

Those tokens only last for the duration of the combat phase. When you go from combat to your second main phase, the tokens are exiled and can't be used for any other purpose. If you want to find other ways to use a creature, such as sacrificing it, you'll need to be able to do it at instant speed during the combat phase.

As an attack trigger, myriad only goes off when a creature is declared an attacker in the declare attackers step, before any blockers are decided and damage is calculated. This means that the token copies that come in, although they are attacking, aren't being declared as attackers and therefore don't trigger myriad again. No endless token loops for you.

It's also important to note that part of the rules text for myriad means the tokens come in tapped and attacking. Even if the original myriad creature has vigilance and doesn't tap when attacking, the copies still come in tapped.

Finally, if you're only playing against one person, myriad is completely defunct. You will not make any token copies if there are no other opponents to attack, which makes it pointless in formats like Standard or Modern. Instead, this mechanic is designed almost entirely with Commander in mind.

How To Use Myriad

Myriad is an incredibly powerful mechanic for two reasons.

The first is fairly self-explanatory: myriad gives you more attackers. With just one creature, you can hit all three players simultaneously, and, under the right circumstances, can be enough to close the game in your favour.

The second benefit is that, although they don't get any attack triggers, myriad creature tokens still enter the battlefield. Any enter the battlefield effects they may have trigger when they're created, and you can stack them in any way you like.

For example, if you have a Terror of the Peaks and give it myriad through a Legion Loyalty, when the other copies enter, you will deal 15 damage from the original Terror and ten damage from each of the token copies who see the other two enter alongside them. That's big damage before your opponent even has time to block.

As the token copies exile at the end of combat, you won't get any death triggers when they leave. That's such a waste of a perfectly good disposable creature. To work around this, you may want to hold on to a few sacrifice outlets to ensure they die before they're exiled, such as an Ashnod's Altar, Viscera Seer, or Deadly Dispute.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of creatures who have myriad baked in. To get around that, you'll need to find ways to grant other creatures myriad instead. So far, only four cards do this: Blade of Selves, Duke Ulder Ravengard, Legion Loyalty, and Firbolg Flutist.

What Colour Is Myriad?

Before Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate, there weren't very many cards with myriad. However, as the mechanic is one of the central themes of the set, we expect to see a lot more of them throughout Baldur's Gate's preview season.

At the time of writing, there are 12 cards that either have myriad or grant it to something else. Ten are mono-colour: three white, two blue, two red, one black, and one green. There is also one multi-coloured card with the Boros (red/white) Duke Ulder Ravengard, and one colourless with Blade of Selves.

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