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Budget Commander #76: Izzet Clone Matters!


Hello all! I hope that you are having a super amazing day today! I wanted to take on a fun challenge for you today - can I make a cheap Budget Friendly Izzet Colored Clone Matters deck? When I saw the price of Shaun, I knew I wanted to build around him, but many Clone matters cards like Spark Double, Vesuvan Doppelganger or the Sakashima or her student are very pricey. Remember at the bottom will be my Index of all previous Budget Commanders! Could I do just budget friendly Clone Matters stuff?

Let's find out!

Shaun, Father of Synths

This five-drop 3/4 body features a fun two triggers. When you attack with another legendary dork, you can Clone it for free! But the Clone is now a Synth and artifact too. It's not attacking, it doesn't have haste, it's not legendary and it's not temporary so it'll stick around with Shaun until he is answered. Shaun is awesome, right? And he only costs 0.99 cents here for the cheapest version. I need to come in under 32.12, my budget for last time's 75th article. As a reminder, all costs posted here are the cheapest near mint version on CoolStuffInc.com as of my writing, not when you are reading this a week or so later. But the basic idea remains. If there is an Asterisk, it's sold out here, I grabbed another site.


Normally I start with my lands and mana stuff, but given how few Clone effects there are in my price range, I am starting with it instead (otag:clone - Scryfall Magic The Gathering Search):

Clones Matter



Mirror Box
Saheeli, the Sun's Brilliance

Let's start with the key essential this deck is built around the artifact above. I tossed it in first after Shaun! The legend rule doesn't apply to your stuff! Then your legendary stuff gets a +1/+1 pump the other ones here like Mirror Gallery are way too much for a budget deck like this one. The Izzet one costs two for a 2/2 Bear that taps for Izzet mana and then makes a token of a dork or artifact but it's now an artifact with haste and dies.

Our most expensive card is Orthion, Hero of Lavabrink taps for two to make a token of something with haste and then gets killed and then a massive nine mana to make five tokens instead, so they level up! Mocking Doppelganger has flash, Clones an opposing dork, and then they are goaded and won't attack back. I also have another flashing Clone in Stunt Double whose cost dropped after getting printed in the Clue set.

Hulking Metamorph
Undercover Operative

Let's finish with this pair! The artifact dork costs nine for a 7/7 or four for a 3/3. Then when it ETBs, you Clone an artifact or dork (you control) but it has this guy's power and toughness. The last rare Clone costs four for a Clone and then when it ETBs, you make a copy that gets a free shield counter to protect it.

With 16 cards, and 15 Clone and Copy effects and my Commander and the Box, we'll stop now, with 10.44 spent! Around a third of my budget.

Next up let's make sure that we have enough mana and land stuff:

Mana, Lands, Ramp


Captain Lannery Storm
Honor-Worn Shaku

Now let's make sure I can cast my stuff! First is the mono-Red bulk rare 2/2 haste legendary! It can be copied, wants to swing, and then makes a Treasure for ramping when it does! Then when you sac a Treasure you pump her power. The Mana rock drops on the third turn, taps for colorless, then you can untap it with tapping a legendary permanent, you control! Nasty!

Stonespeaker Crystal taps for double colorless, then you can spend two to sac it and tap it to draw and then exile opposing graveyards as a break. Bonder's Ornament costs three, is a common, and then taps with four to draw that card and your foe's will draw if they control it too.

Now let's turn to lands that tap for colorless and ETB untapped ready to be used! Great Hall of the Citadel will tap with one to make two mana for legendary spells, so that's mana helping. Desolate Lighthouse taps with three to draw and then discard, so that's card flow in your land base!

That puts us at 17.99 after 9 ramp and 17 lands. Next will be card draw to get your good stuff!

Card Flow


Now let's turn to card flow, ideally on legendary dorks or others to copy. Curie, Emergent Intelligence has a solid 1/3 size and then when it deals combat damage to a foe, you'll draw one, unless her base power rises. We don't have any of those tricks here. Nick Valentine, Private Eye costs three for a 2/2 legendary dork and then cannot be blocked save by artifact dorks, and then when he or other artifact dorks die, you'll make a free Clue to sac for cards? All your copies are artifacts as well as Saheeli so that could be loads when they die! Headliner Scarlett has haste and in your upkeep, you exile, and then cast the top card of your library, so she's Red impulsive card draw.

Elrond, Lord of Rivendell
Akal Pakal, First Among Equals

Let's finish with this mono-Blue three drop pair! The former has a 3/2 body, when it or another dork ETBs, you scry one for card selection unless this is the second time then you draw! The latter one has a blocky 1/5 body and then at each player's end step, if an artifact ETBs on your side? Dig two, and then put one in your hand and the other to your graveyard! All of your Synth tokens will trigger! Nasty pair there!

With 11 cards that puts our total at $24.03. Now let's turn to answers to make sure we can stop stuff!



Now let's turn to answers! I normally start with answers to answers in a going wide brew here like answers to Shaun killing your Synth tokens or your tokens with targeted or mass removal, but we are not in those colors of White or Green, so I am running many cheap counters instead. The best and cheapest is Negate, counters anything we care about, and is a bulk common. Confirm Suspicions will counter anything, make you three Clues for card draw, and then stop anything.

Access Denied
Overwhelming Intellect

The first counter here is sold out here so I went with a good price elsewhere, and then it costs five too, and then makes 1/1 artifact (Nick) tokens with flying equal to your countered spells mana cost. Nasty win-con tethered to a counter. The uncommon costs six, will only counter dorks, but will draw you a ton of cards equal to the cost! That's nasty here.

Let's finish with burning removal. Drakuseth, Maw of Flames costs seven for a 7/7 flying winning body. Then when it attacks, you shoot one for 4, two more for 3 split. Nasty removal of smaller stuff or foes. And legendary for Synth copying. Mizzium Mortars overloads for six, and then shoots all opposing critters for damage equal to four but not yours. I always like having a few mass removal when needed, like this.

10 puts me at 27.64 with 13 cards left, about $5 left.

Synergies and Winning Conditions


Now let's turn to synergies, and we'll start with Doctor Who cards. Adric, Mathematical Genius can tap with three mana to copy an activated or triggered ability of yours. Nasty copying of your copy makers or attack triggers. Then you can sac him with two mana to counter an ability.

Gimli of the Glittering Caves

Now let's turn to Red stuff for the rest of this section, and we'll start with this Dwarf Treasure pair that each cost three, Gimli and Gloin! The 3/3 will turn casts of historic stuff into Treasures for ramping. Just once/turn though. Then you tap and sac a Treasure to goad a foe's dork to stop it from attacking you. The 1/1 has double strike. When another legendary ETBs, you toss a +1/+1 counter here to kill fast. No breaks like once/turn here. Then when it deals that sweet combat damage you'll make that sweet Treasure, so that can be twice, and then make Treasures for the 3/3's tap or to pump Captain Lannery above.

Rising of the Day costs three, and it's a better Fervor since your legendary stuff gets a power boost, and giving your team haste with your attack triggers are nasty here, so it's a necessity. Eomer, Marshal of Rohan haste naturally and then when your stuff dies while swinging? If they were legendary, you get a free Relentless Assault! Just once per turn though, and quite likely here. Love this final pair of swingers loads!

I have 5 slots left and I am at 31.08 which is around a buck. Now what?

31.02 with 57 cards. 10 cents under. Now let's make some land into stuff that matters swaps.

Are Buried Ruin or Command Tower worth a bulk rare slot here? But what? I really like card draw/mass removal if needed .49 Ill-Timed Explosion or a bulk rare legendary to copy like Arcanis tapping for card flow:

Replication Technique costs five, and then you make a free token that copies any permanent you control from lands to artifacts to dorks! Then you can copy this for another copy spell and a foe gets one too! Nice! Arcanis the Omnipotent costs a massive six mana with a 3/4 size and taps to draw a massive three cards and can be saved from removal and such by spending four mana to self-bounce. Love it loads!

Let's look at my decklist:

Shaun's Clone Matters | Commander | Abe Sargent

Card Display

100 cards and 31.12 cash later we are done! Other cards to add are Rite of Replication, the Sakishimas, Kiki-Jiki who can tap to copy the copies, Quantum Misalignment, Mirror Gallery, Relic of Legends, Cursed Mirror, Academy Ruins, Rivendell, Mines of Moria, Plaza of Heroes, Rose, Cutthroat Raider, The Reality Chip, Coastal Piracy effects, Machine God's Effigy, and many others!

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