Breaking Brudiclad, Token Engineer in Commander
When I first got into Commander I started trying to brew a Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice deck. I really liked the idea of making tokens, gaining life, and then populating a huge token. While I am sure someone has a really fun Trostani deck it just never felt like it did what I wanted and the deck wasn’t really fun enough despite my love for tokens. The token idea has sat around for awhile but everything changed when 2018 attacked. Wizards releases Battlebond and sure enough Regna and Krav entered the ring as cool mix of token, lifegain, and Voltron Commanders. One set of sweet token commanders just wasn’t enough and with the release of Commander 2018 Brudiclad is ready to complete every token for the glory of New Phyrexia!
Wizards often uses the Commander product to fill in gaps where archetypes are missing but to me Brudiclad is less a new approach to token making as much as it is feels like everything I wanted from Trostani, minus the life gain. Let’s take a look at what Brudiclad does for us.
- Creature tokens we control have haste. This is a really great piece of text for how we are going to be building the deck. One of the struggles of any creature based deck is making sure we get value from our creatures right away and attacking with them is one way to do that.
- Each time we go to combat we get a 2/1 myr and then we can change all of our tokens into different token! ALL THE POWER!!!!!!
There are a couple ways to use that second ability the first, and where we will be going today, is to turn our tokens into better creature tokens. The second, is to turn the tokens into noncreature tokens and use those tokens for added value. It is worth noting that we don’t get to split our token and choose to leave some as one thing, all must be changed for New Phyrexia. The ability is all or nothing. Our focus for this take is going to be to win with creature tokens. There is also an artifact subtheme for the deck but this sub-theme could be steered into a lot harder if you wanted. Let’s take a look at the decklist and dig into the cards by category (you can find the list here if you want to see it broken out by category).
Our Stand Alone cards are the ones that are the big threats. Purphoros, God of the Forge and Siege-Gang Commander are great a blasting our opponents while Ulamog is just amazing. We are running a package of cards that create a token of any creature so Combat Celebrant, Fleet Swallower, and Wurmcoil Engine are all fantastic targets of those spells. We will even get infinite combats with a token Combat Celebrant and if our life is low enough we can get a ton of combats with a token Scourge of the Throne. Mechanized Production is a great wincon in this deck since all tokens have the same name but we do have to risk waiting till our upkeep.
For this deck I am defining “Enablers” as cards that can make tokens that are creatures and have a power/toughness ratio of at least 2/2. Mimic Vat lets us continually churn out creature tokens and Clone Legion lets us turn an opponent’s creatures against them on a massive scale. Utvara Hellkite and Desolation Twin both make huge tokens (though Desolation Twin will probably end up getting cut from the deck and should probably just be Ancient Stone Idol). Brudiclad is probably too expensive to make Echo Storm work but it is worth a shot. Helm of the Host is kind of “magically Christmas land” but it is a pretty awesome way to turn all of our tokens into Brudiclads so we can Brudiclad while we Brudiclad.
Our Enhancers create tokens are either 1/1 creatures or noncreature tokens. Krenko, Mob Boss gets snowballing and Myr Battlesphere can get big as we use our tokens to pump up its power. Confirm Suspicions and Spell Swindle are far from competitive counterspells but they are fun ways to get extra value from our counterspells. Hanweir Garrison creates tokens as it attacks (and occasionally melds into an awesome creature). Sai, Master Thopterist has been growing in hype lately and does work in this deck. He might not pull as much weight as he would in a more artifacted themed deck but the ability to sacrifice our tokens to draw cards is nice! I have chosen to include Sai here instead of in card draw since we aren’t really going to be able to go infinite with the second ability. These tokens make great fodder for Brudiclad’s ability and even upgrading 1/1 servos into 1/1 thopters can have a pretty big effect on the game.
There are some fun ways to do card draw when you have access to a steady stream of tokens. Skullclamp is amazing since we will be making so many 1/1’s and Brudiclad will make 2/1’s if we don’t have anything else going on. The Locust God and Bident of Thassa work well with our token swarm strategy as does Tezzeret, Artifice Master with our artifact subtheme. We also have some proven standbys in this category like Rhystic Study, Mulldrifter, Daretti, and Consecrated Sphinx. While it might not be the best way to use our Enablers I really want to create a ton of copies of Consecrated Sphinx to draw a bunch of cards!
Ramp, Removal, and Lands
There isn’t a ton I specifically want to call out in these categories as much as just say that they are really vital to our gameplan. If you wanted to you could run a lot more treasure generation, though regretfully we can’t run Revel in Riches, but I haven’t really gone far in that direction. While it isn’t ideal we can also use Pongify or Rapid Hybridization our own creatures to get an extra token and I really like the idea of creating a token of Gilded Lotus with Saheeli’s Artistry then creating some insane mana. If you wanted to go that route using some sort of draw engine would be the way to go! In the lands category the big things I want to call attention to are Mirrorpool and Hanweir Battlements. Mirrorpool comes into play tapped but it gives us the ability to great a token of one of our creatures from the land slot. I think we can consistently make colorless mana to activate the ability but that may be something that needs to be tuned more. Hanweir Battlements serves the dual purpose of giving our non-tokens haste and melding like we talked about above.
Final ThoughtsI really think Brudiclad brings some interesting new dynamics to the token deck and was not what I was expecting from the Izzet artifact deck. The fact that it can go either into the artifact theme or into a general token build is pretty cool and I am excited to see how people make those decisions. I do find it strange that so many of the new commanders from Commander 2018 go infinite with two other cards though and that worries me, especially when the cards that go infinite are so cheap. I really want Wizards to continue to push into new areas for their legendary creature design but all these combo worry me. Back to Brudiclad, you can sound off in the comments what you think about the deck! What are your favorite cards in the deck? What did I miss that you think is an auto-include? Who is your favorite commander from the new precons? Make sure to check back regularly for more great Commander content!
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