Knowledge Vault: Metamorphosis

On the First Friday of every month, we (somewhat satirically) crack into some lesser-known Old School 93/94 cards with the intent to open a dialogue and encourage brewing.  I’m sorry that this month’s was a little late, but I was busy preparing for Hartfordfestivalen.

Anyways, have you ever wanted to turn into a snake?  If so, you’re in luck!  This month’s Knowledge Vault is Metamorphosis.  This card should.look familiar, because I briefly mentioned it in my article Old School Brawl – 93/94 Commander: Mana Dorks, Mana Rocks, and other Mana Acceleration and in [Old School Brawl] Rubinia Ssoulsinger: Brewing a Creature Theft/Sacrifice Combo Deck.








The art for Metamorphosis was created by none other than the late, great Christopher Rush.  It depicts a humanoid metamorphosing into a snake.  It’s metal as fuck.




Metamorphosis differs from another seldom-played card, Sacrifice, in at least four different ways.  Some are good and some are bad:

  1. Sacrifice is more flexible.  Unlike Sacrifice, Metamorphosis is a Sorcery.  Metamorphosis cannot be used after blocks to pull off cute combat tricks or in response to a removal spell.  No, you can’t attack with two creatures and then Metamorphosis the blocked one so as to power up a huge Howl from Beyond on the other one.
  2. Unlike Sacrifice, the mana generated by Metamorphosis cannot fuel a Drain Life, Fireball, or Stream of Life (Woops, sorry Jared).  The mana must be used on a Creature Spell, like a Rock Hydra.  Similarly, you can’t launder the mana through an Initiates of the Ebon Hand.
  3. Metamorphosis is a little better at producing mana.  Upon resolution, Metamorphosis replaces its own mana cost.  Sacrifice does not.  Metamorphosis also produces mana of any one color.  Sacrifice only produces Black mana.  These two advantages give Metamorphosis the leg up as a combo enabler in a Eureka Sneak & Show deck.  You play an early Onulet, attack for two, Metamorphosis the Onulet for two life, and then add 4 Green mana to your mana pool to spend on a bigger guy.
  4. Finally, Metamorphosis is Green.  In regular play, this may be the least important difference.  However, in Old School Brawl, the ramifications are huge.  Your Commander’s Color Identity affects the suite of complimentary cards.  Personally, I’m having a lot of fun with Metamorphosis in the aforementioned Rubinia Soulsinger Brawl deck as a way to sacrifice my opponent’s creature so that I can untap her.  About a month ago, I stole and sacrificed James Rosenblum‘s Sol’kanar and used the mana to cast my own Force of Nature.  James then proceeded to Cyclopean Tomb my Forests so that I died to my own FoN.  That’s Magic!  Thanks to Color Identity, the only way that you could include both Sacrifice and Metamorphosis in the same Brawl deck is if you built BRG (“Jund”), which is a great color combination for Reanimator.  With Adun Oakenshield as your Commander, you can Raise Dead the creatures that you Metamorphosize.  Shout out to Jared Doucette, the man behind the NEOS Online Monthly Tournaments, who has been working on a deck like this for months.


In regular play, to squeeze every last drop of value out of this card, I think the plan is to abuse enter and exit-the-battlefield-triggers.  Triskelion comes to mind.  Imagine paying G and sacrificing a used-up Triskelion to cast a fresh Triskelion.  You can also use it, in conjuction with Animate Dead, as a quasi-Tawnos’s Coffin and “flicker” creatures in and out of the graveyard instead of in and out of exile.  Similarly, you can use it to trigger exit-the-battlefield-triggers: Su-Chi, Onulet, Rukh Egg, etc.  Imagine Metamorphosizing a Rukh Egg, getting a Rukh token, casting a Hell’s Caretaker for free, and then sacrificing the Hell’s Caretaker for the egg.  The deck would play like a weird Atog deck that recycles its old creatures into a new advantage.

Finally, you can use Metamorphosis to recoup some of the value out of a creature that has succumbed to some sort of a negative effect (Paralyze/ Meekstone/Arena of the Ancients/Unstable Mutation/Spirit Shackle/Takklemaggot, etc.) or is actively hurting you or preventing you from doing something (Lord of the Pit, Demonic Hordes, an Elder Dragon, Akron Legionnaire, Evil Eye, etc.).



I don’t know why I even check Gatherer for ideas anymore.

Did I miss something?  Let me know!  I’d be happy to discuss the finer uses of Metamorphosis with you in our Discord or in the comments section.  The intent of the Knowledge Vault series is to open a discussion.  It is not my intent for these articles to be used as deck techs (we have those elsewhere on our site), tier lists, or to cover every single possible known and unknown interaction the subject card has with any other card.

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