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The Big Brawl


For this week, I decided I wanted to do “something with Equipment.”

There’s an idea I’ve had floating around for a while, and there’s a quirky plan I just came up with recently, and they both have to do with Equipment. There’s not really any other overlap, but hey, why not combine them anyway?

Progenitor Plate Mail

I’ll start with the simpler and less splashy combo, though it can be quite potent given enough time—oh, and it’s also Standard-legal.

Progenitor Mimic
Haunted Plate Mail

These two don’t appear to have much in common—or even much synergy—but if you animate a lone Haunted Plate Mail, it becomes an acceptable copy choice for the Mimic. The Mimic, unaffected by any animating continuous effects, will just be an artifact, and every upkeep, you’ll make another unanimated Haunted Plate Mail. Artifacts are generally harder to kill than creatures, and though Progenitor Mimic usually has a large target on its head, there might not be much your opponents can do about it, leaving you to create an army of haunted armor. You could equip a bunch of them all to one animated Plate Mail, but that’d be very mana-intensive.

Instead, how about using the normal Haunted Plate Mail trick? You see, Haunted Plate Mail’s activated ability can only be activated if you control no creatures, but it can be activated at instant speed, and it doesn’t check to see whether you control any creatures as it resolves. That means if you have two or more Haunted Plate Mails, you can activate each in response to the previous, giving you a bunch of 4/4s for the turn. And with Progenitor Mimic, that could mean big game.

So, that’s a cute little combo to set up, and I’ll probably throw a copy of Haunted Plate Mail into one or more of my Commander decks that already have Progenitor Mimic just in case I’m able to pull it off one day.

Battlemaster Brawl

Bludgeon Brawl
Vulshok Battlemaster
Mycosynth Lattice

Let’s cut to the chase.

Control Bludgeon Brawl and Mycosynth Lattice; that makes every noncreature permanent an Equipment, and because of the Lattice, that even includes Bludgeon Brawl granting +3/+0 to whatever it’s equipped to. Oh, and Mycosynth Lattice can be wielded for a hefty +6/+0.

Play Vulshok Battlemaster, and all of those permanent will becomes attached to her—even everyone’s lands, though they’ll only give +0/+0. Note that they can still function normally as lands, as can any other equipped artifacts, but it’s still funny to imagine all your opponents’ mana producers attached to your Battlemaster.

Playing with these cards means we’ll want a bunch of noncreature artifacts to become Equipment for our Battlemaster to swing around. Mana-producing artifacts seem like a great fit, and since we’re playing a bunch of colors, those artifacts can help out with fixing as well.

Actual Equipment pieces are a little less valuable with Bludgeon Brawl around, as they can be wielded just as well or better once the 3-mana red enchantment shows up; regular artifacts can fulfill other roles in the meantime. However, Haunted Plate Mail is a pretty nice piece to have around for said meantime. It can jump in for 4 damage every once in a while or pump up an otherwise small creature with a big ol’ +4/+4.

In addition, we’ll want a couple finishers. A well-equipped Battlemaster should have enough power to win the game, but it might not have an actual path to victory. I’ve thrown in two pieces of Equipment to solve that problem in the form of Whispersilk Cloak, for one big, unblockable swing, and Surestrike Trident, for a one-shot, trident-tossing activation.

With all the artifacts running around, Vedalken Archmage and Thoughtcast will help dig deeper for more artifacts and combo pieces. Austere Command can blow up opposing threats while you set up, and if you need to, you can really blow up a lot of stuff in conjunction with Mycosynth Lattice. The modes will give you a lot of flexibility. And since the Lattice only makes permanents on the battlefield into artifacts, you can follow up your Command with Open the Vaults to just return a bunch of your own stuff.

Finally, I’ve included one copy of Karn, Silver Golem in the list, although you may want to be careful with his superpower. With Mycosynth Lattice, you can pay 1 to turn an opponent’s land into a 0/0 artifact creature, thus destroying it. “1: Destroy target land,” is a very potent ability, and with great power comes great responsibility. However, paying 1 to make a Darksteel Ingot into a 3/3 indestructible blocker—or attacker I guess—is quite nice.

The Cutoff

Here are a few cards that didn’t make the cut.

Kemba, Kha Regent
Carry Away With Bludgeon Brawl and Mycosynth Lattice, Carry Away will allow you to gain control of any noncreature permanent. It’s not as good as Confiscate, Take Possession, or Volition Reins, but with the Brawl and Lattice in our deck, Carry Away can be much cheaper. And it’s always much funnier.

Kemba, Kha Regent, Loxodon Punisher, Puresteel Paladin, Quest for the Holy Relic, Steelshaper Apprentice, Steelshaper's Gift, Stoneforge Mystic, Stonehewer Giant White has a great suite of Equipment-loving cards. Listed here are most of them. However, this deck doesn’t actually run a lot of natural Equipment, so the various triggers and bonuses won’t help us out too much. However, I could certainly imagine an incarnation of this deck that played some or all of these great white spells.

Helm of Kaldra, Shield of Kaldra, Sword of Kaldra I love these types of cards, as they’re very flavorful and give cool rewards for playing them all together. I’m a little sad assembling an Equipment deck without assembling Kaldra, and I’m sure my white version of the deck with all the above Equipment stuff would include the Kaldra armory.

Mirrorweave Remember how I said the Vulshok Battlemaster would have every noncreature permanent attached to it? Also, do you remember the trick with Progenitor Mimic and Haunted Plate Mail? By copying an animated permanent that’s normally not a creature, the Mimic becomes not-a-creature. Similarly, if we Mirrorweave an animated Haunted Plate Mail, every creature will become an unanimated Haunted Plate Mail. If we then cast the Battlemaster, every single permanent on the battlefield will be attached to her . . . except our one lone 4/4 Plate Mail. Also, though, that means our opponent(s) has nothing with which to block. Hmm. Now that I mention it, I’m not sure why Mirrorweave didn’t make the cut.

Andrew Wilson


fissionessence at hotmail dot com

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