One of the best things about Commander is casting big, splashy spells with big, splashy effects. It's even better when someone else pays for it. With that in mind, hold onto your hat for our exclusive Commander 2014 preview card:
Dualcaster Mage lets you do something that you don't normally get to do too often with red: sit back and wait for someone else to do stuff. For just three mana, it goes with Wild Ricochet and Reverberate to form a foundation of red copy cards that promise to make sure everyone thinks twice before cutting loose with a big X spell or extra turn-taker. There's nothing like getting a Time Stretch, entwined Tooth and Nail, or giant Genesis Wave for only 1RR. Of course, that's only the start to the kinds of tomfoolery you can engage in with Dualcaster Mage.
Wait for someone else to cast Decree of Pain to whip out your Dualcaster. You'll get to draw all the cards and they'll be left with nothing since the copy will resolve before the original. If someone casts Wrath of God or Planar Cleansing then responds with Boros Charm, you can make all of your things indestructible as well (note that you can't change modes on a spell you're copying, but in this case, you really wouldn't want to anyway). The same would go if they cast Ghostway. If an opponent tries to use Cyclonic Rift to set up a big finish, you can make it truly symmetrical.
Be careful if you're playing it with Lurking Predators. If it's an instant or sorcery which triggers Lurking Predators and puts Dualcaster Mage into play, you can copy it since the original spell is still on the stack. If it's anything else, there won't be a valid target to copy. Once the Dualcaster Mage enters the battlefield, you can't sneak in an instant of your own because by the time you get priority to cast the instant, the opportunity to target something with the trigger will have passed.
There are two cards in particular I'm itching to play with Dualcaster Mage. The first is Cloudstone Curio. I like the idea of being able to use it multiple times, but more importantly, for other players to know that it's in my hand-which will potentially give them dead cards in their hands. It's definitely going into my Animar, Soul of Elements deck. The second is Draining Whelk. It's obviously something I can go fetch when someone casts Tooth and Nail. It'll be an even bigger blowout off of a copied Genesis Wave. How insane would it be to copy someone else's Villainous Wealth (for at least six) and get their Draining Whelk?
You don't need to wait for the big spells to get value out of Dualcaster Mage. Someone's end of turn Opportunity can turn into extra cards for you as well. You can also get good value out of other people's targeted removal spells. Use their Vindicate to get rid of something that's irritating you.
Dualcaster Mage doesn't need to be simply reactive. Obviously, you can copy the same big stuff of your own that other people might cast, but let's get a little more creative. You might be able to knock out two different players by copying Fling or Rite of Consumption. If everyone else has been getting greedy with lands, you might be able to wipe them out with Acidic Soil. If you've cast Momentous Fall, you can get double the pleasure of cards and life. If one Rakdos Charm isn't enough to kill someone, maybe two will get the trick done.
There are a few things that Dualcaster Mage can't do. It can't copy a Genesis Wave or Villainous Wealth that brings the Dualcaster into play. The ability triggers as soon as it enters the battlefield, but doesn't go on the stack until a player gets priority-which is after Genesis Wave resolves. When it goes on the stack, the G-Wave isn't there to be targeted. It also won't get double value off of Deflecting Palm. The copy and the original will resolve, setting up the damage prevention shield. Whichever one prevents the damage will invoke the "if damage is prevented this way" clause on the other.
Here's a final caveat about Dualcaster Mage. The choice to make the copy isn't optional (note that there isn't a "may" in there anywhere), so make sure you want to copy something on the stack before you cast it.
Dualcaster Mage will make an excellent addition to nearly every one of your decks with red in it. Its ability to copy the format's crazy large instants or sorceries will make you the person to watch when you leave 1RR untapped.