Last updated on March 3, 2023

Brisela, Voice of Nightmares - Illustration by Clint Cearley

Brisela, Voice of Nightmares | Illustration by Clint Cearley

Meld is a mechanic first brought into Magic with Eldritch Moon as one of the methods to evoke the eldritch horrors that Emrakul was raining down upon Innistrad in that set. Well it’s coming back in The Brothers’ War, and the cards we’ve seen so far look pretty exciting.

Wanna know more? Let’s get into it!

How Does Meld Work?

Chittering Host - Illustration by Jason Felix

Chittering Host | Illustration by Jason Felix

Meld is a little like transform, but instead of flipping a single card to its reverse side you turn two separate cards over that join together into a single, bigger card. One of the cards in the meld pair has an ability that specifies what you need to do to trigger the meld. This could be an activated or a triggered ability.

The History of Meld in MTG

We first saw meld in 2016’s Eldritch Moon as part of the Shadows over Innistrad block, where there were three meld pairs (six cards total). The lore behind meld is that the corrupting influence of Emrakul on the plane merged creatures together into twisted abominations under her control.

Meld had a bit of a mixed response when it first came out. It was pretty popular but only shows up on two commons, three rares, and a mythic, so there wasn’t enough of it to really make an impact. Meld hasn’t been seen much in any Constructed formats (yet) and it was generally pretty difficult to pull off in Draft, with only one pair existing outside of rare occurrences.

Eldritch Moon was until recently, the only set with it. It’s coming back in the upcoming The Brothers’ War. We know we’re getting meld on six new cards, doubling the number of meld pairs available.

What Are Meld Cards?

Meld cards are a special type of card which have a counterpart that they can “meld” with. This means they have an ability that turns the cards over, a bit like transform, but they come together to make one double-sized card.

Does Meld Use the Stack?

Yes, meld uses the stack. You can respond to the meld activation as you would most other abilities, like by destroying one of the permanents attempting to meld.

What Happens When a Meld Creature Dies?

If a melded creature dies it goes to the graveyard as its two constituent parts. A similar effect happens if it’s exiled or bounced back to its owner’s hand. The two parts go to the zone separated as their front faces.

If a creature that’s going to meld dies in response to the meld trigger, the meld fizzles.

Are Melded Cards One Card or Two?

A melded card is classed as a single permanent that’s represented by two cards. If a spell or ability targets the melded permanent, then the whole permanent is affected by that spell or ability.

Are Meld Cards the Same as Double-Faced Cards?

Meld cards are a type of double-faced cards just like transforming double-faced cards (TDFCs) and modal double-faced cards (MDFCs), they’re just a different type of double-faced card.

Do Meld Cards Transform?

No, meld cards don’t transform. While meld has similarities to transform, they are separate mechanics.

What Happens to Equipment, Auras, and Counters on a Creature when You Meld It?

As the permanents that are melding are exiled and returned to the battlefield melded as part of the resolution of the ability, anything that’s attached to them falls off. This means that equipment become unattached, auras go to the graveyard, and counters are removed.

Can You Copy a Meld Creature?

Yes, you can create a copy of a melded creature (or a melded planeswalker, in the case of Urza, Planeswalker) just like you can anything else. But copies can’t be used as part of a meld if you create a copy of one of the permanents that’s a part of the meld.

What’s a Meld Creature’s Mana Value?

A melded creature’s mana value is the sum of its two melded cards. If you copy a melded creature, though, the copy’s mana value is zero.

Does Brisela Have a Mana Cost?

Brisela, Voice of Nightmares

Brisela, Voice of Nightmares doesn’t have a mana cost, but it does have a mana value (which is ).

Does Brisela Count as Commander Damage?

Yes, Brisela, Voice of Nightmares can count as commander damage. If you have Bruna, the Fading Light or Gisela, the Broken Blade as your commander and meld them, the melded creature is still classed as your commander.

Gallery and List of Meld Cards

Best Meld Cards

The original meld cards never really saw much play in their time in Standard, but Gisela, the Broken Blade saw some play on its own as a solid beater in midrange decks. That said, Saffron Olive recently took a Brisela deck out for a spin in Pioneer and had some good results.

The newer three meld pairs seem like they’ve been pushed a bit more. This makes sense since they were probably originally held back a little bit in case they broke the game. Now the designers have a benchmark to work from and can let loose a little more.

While the new meld cards still run the risk of having a part of the meld pair removed in response to the meld trigger, most of the cards doing something pretty much as soon as they meld is a big improvement on the original cards.

Decklist: Mishra Meld

Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia - Illustration by Chris Rahn

Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia | Illustration by Chris Rahn

This deck makes the most of Mishra, Claimed by Gix to go wide. It makes use of the power of the aggressive individual creatures that makes up this meld pair, and the meld they can make is a (very substantial) bonus.

This build combines some very powerful and proven cards that currently see heavy play in Standard, like The Wandering Emperor and Wedding Announcement. It also adds the meld pair for a bit of extra spice.

Wrap Up

Titania, Gaea Incarnate - Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

Titania, Gaea Incarnate | Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

Regardless of whether you think this mechanic is fun or not, it’s certainly evocative of the flavor it’s trying to get across. I think it’s pretty cool to flip your cards into a bigger card that physically dominates the board. It really gives a sense of scale to your Brisela when the card is twice the size of anything else on the battlefield on top of likely being the most powerful creature there.

What do you think of the returning mechanic? Are you excited to play with the melded Mishra, Urza, and Titania? Let me know in the comments below or go chat about it in the official Draftsim Discord.

Until next time!

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