MTG Meld: How It Works and What It Does

Magic: the Gathering’s newest set, The Brothers’ War, releases on November 18th. And as always, the new set is bringing us both brand new and returning mechanics! To get you ready, I’ll go over one of the mechanics making its long-awaited return: Meld.

To Meld a pair of cards, you flip both cards upside down and combine the two incomplete halves to create one oversized permanent. The new oversized card serves as an entirely new permanent with its own art and attributes. To elaborate further, Meld cards always come in sets of two: one card that has an activated or triggered ability that activates the Melding, and another card that serves as that card’s counterpart. Once a player controls both specific cards that share the same Meld ability, the two cards can be combined together.

Meld is definitely one of the strangest and most ambitious mechanics in all of MTG. But if it sounds confusing, don’t worry. It’s actually pretty simple, and awesome. Read on for a detailed guide.

What Is It?

Meld is a keyword ability that was first introduced in Eldritch Moon and used most recently in the upcoming The Brothers’ War set. It lets you combine two physical cards together. Each card has half of a brand new Magic card printed on the back of it, in place of the regular card backs. Here’s a look at the official wording:

Meld is a keyword action that appears in an ability on one card in a meld pair. To Meld, turn two members of a meld pair so their back faces are up and combined into one oversized Magic card.

Comprohensive Rule 713

So once you have a matching pair, you simply turn both cards face-down and place them together. A pair of cards combined this way form an entirely new permanent with new attributes. It also has entirely new oversized art, which is really cool.

That’s honestly one of the coolest aspects of Meld cards; getting to see MTG art blown up to twice the size as usual. My personal favorite cards to Meld are Bruna, the Fading Light and Gisela, the Broken Blade, which I play in my Modern Angel/Legendary Tribal Deck. They turn into Brisela, Voice of Nightmares.

How Does It Work Exactly?

Meld works a little bit differently depending on which cards you’re using. So far, all of the pairs we’ve seen either meld together automatically at some point once they’re both on the battlefield, once their controller pays an activation cost.

Once one of those two things happens, then you exile both cards and return them to the battlefield melded together. You now have an entirely new card that’s twice the size of a regular card. You treat the new permanent as its own thing. It ceases to have anything to do with the two cards it melded from.


  • Only two cards that each belong to the same Meld pair can be melded together. Meld cards that don’t mention each other by name cannot be combined.
  • Tokens cannot be melded, even if the token is an exact copy of a Meld card. If a player attempts to combine a Meld pair using a token copy, both cards will be exiled and will not return melded.

The Brother’s War Meld Cards

Urza, Lord Protector / The Mightstone and Wekastone

Urza Planeswalker

urza planeswalker


Quite frankly, these three cards are insane! For just three mana, Urza, Lord Protector makes all of your instants, sorceries, and artifacts cost one less to cast. He has four toughness, so he survives most removal. And he has the ability to Meld into one of the most powerful planeswalkers we’ve ever seen.

To do that, though, you’ll need to get The Mightstone and the Weakstone out first. The Mightstone and the Weakstone is pretty ridiculous as well. If you have Urza out already, you can cast it for just four mana. Then you’ll get to choose between drawing two cards or taking down your opponent’s best creature.

Then, you can use The Mightstone and the Weakstone’s mana ability to help pay for the activation cost to Meld the two into Urza, Planeswalker. And once you do that, it might be game over, assuming your opponent doesn’t have a prompt removal spell.

Here’s the text for Urza, Planeswalker (there’s so much of it, it’s hard to read it all from an image):

Once during each of your turns, you may activate an additional loyalty ability of Urza, Planeswalker. (You may activate the same ability twice.)

+2: Artifact, instant, and sorcery spells you cast this turn cost {2} less to cast. You gain 2 life.

+1: Draw two cards, then discard a card.

0: Create two 1/1 colorless Soldier artifact creature tokens.

−3: Exile target nonland permanent.

−10: Artifacts and planeswalkers you control gain indestructible until end of turn. Destroy all nonland permanents.”

Mishra Claimed by Gix/ Phyrexian Dragon Engine

mishra, claimed by gix
phyrexian dragon engine

Mishra, Lost to Phrexia

While perhaps not as strong as the Urza cards we just saw, these Mishra cards are no joke either! For four mana you get a nice go-wide payoff in Mishra Claimed by Gix. Then for three colorless you get a double-striking 2/2 artifact creature in Phyrexian Dragone Engine that also has the potential to come back from the graveyard and draw you valuable cards.

Once you combine them, however, that’s when things get really nasty. By attacking with both of these creatures together, you can activate their Meld ability and give birth to Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia. Here’s the text for this monstrosity:

Whenever Mishra, Lost to Phyrexia enters the battlefield or attacks, choose three —
• Target opponent discards two cards.
• Mishra deals 3 damage to any target.
• Destroy target artifact or planeswalker.
• Creatures you control gain menace and trample until end of turn.
• Creatures you don’t control get -1/-1 until end of turn.
• Create two tapped Powerstone tokens.

Having six modes to choose from is huge. After all, it’s always nice to have options. Some of the modes are better than others, but still. Once you Meld Mishra and the dragon engine, it should be game over for your opponent, unless they’re somehow way ahead already.

Titania, Voice of Gaea / Argoth, Sanctum of Nature

titania voice of gaea
argoth, sanctum of nature
titania voice of gaea

This trio of cards is hard to predict. It doesn’t seem insanely powerful to me, personally, but these lands-matter effects have proven to be strong in the past. I guess it all depends on the amount of support the cards have, because I don’t think Argoth, Sanctum of Nature’s mill ability is enough by itself to facilitate the strategy, though it does help. And I don’t think the cards themselves are strong enough to build around themselves.

I could be dead wrong though. Only time will tell.

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End Step

These new Meld cards are shaping up to be some of the most powerful cards we’ve seen printed into Standard in quite some time. I think that’s only right given the epic point of the story we’re at in The Brother’s War.

The Brother’s War releases November 18th. Until then, be sure to check back here often for all the latest news and updates.

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Joe Doak

I started playing Magic in 2015 after impulsively buying a fat-pack of Khans of Tarkir. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the game, and it's been a big part of my life ever since. Nowadays, I play moslty Modern, Commander, and Limited, but also enjoy keeping up with Standard. Whatever the format, I always find a way to brew up janky decks, convince myself they're great, get proven wrong, and love every second of it.