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Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer: Act 2


Last week we took a deep dive with Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer. What did we learn?

  1. Brudiclad costs a lot. There will need to be plenty of ramp to recast it or protection to keep it on the battlefield.
  2. Want plenty of ways to make token copies of opponent's creatures.
  3. Want plenty of ways to make a lot of tokens, creatures or otherwise.

Let's get started!


Given the usual Commander deck runs close to ten ramp spells, and we know our commander is a little pricey, so we are going to want at least that many. When it comes to deck-building, I have a strong affinity to cards that can do more than one thing. When you start looking at ramp, card draw and removal, if you don't have some cards offering overlap, you aren't going to have any spots left in the deck for any of the cards that will justify the commander you chose. The problem I have is that the most effective ramp is the cheapest ramp. If you can tap an artifact for one mana, or to draw a card, or to destroy a creature, but it costs eight mana, is it really a ramp card?

Here is a list of the many of the cards I considered for the deck in the ramp slot:

Of the bunch I lean strongly toward the two or less casting cost ramp. There is also the reality of deck-building to consider: which of the cards do I already own. Mana Vault would be a great card, but I'm not buying it any time soon. I want to mention a couple of the cards on the list:

Arcane Signet
Fellwar Stone

Arcane Signet: This card is better than an Izzet Signet in this deck. It is going to be a staple in Commander and assuming Wizards reprints it (a lot), I expect it to be almost as ubiquitous as Sol Ring.

Fellwar Stone: I have been loving this card for a very long time. With multiplayer games, Fellwar Stone is usually a two-mana artifact that taps for any color of mana with no downside. Now consider the Chromatic Lanterns and Vivid lands and other lands that can tap for any color, and Fellwar Stone is even more reliable. At least some of the cards I intend to copy from my opponents will have mana costs with their abilities. Fellwar Stone will go a long way to helping me be able to cast those cards.

Card Draw

Every deck needs some card draw, but this is a deck that does a lot with what you already have. Once Brudiclad and a few tokens are on the battlefield, you really aren't looking to go too much further. This has led me to minimize the card draw a little. Just a little. When your deck relies on token creatures to do most of the work, getting blown out will happen, and you'll need to recover quickly. That's what card draw is all about.

I want to stress the importance of bluffing in this deck. Having answers is great, but bluffing the answer is even better. You aren't using the cards you have and burning through resources to build or protect your board state and that is invaluable. It is awfully hard to bluff with no cards in hand. It is easiest to carry off the bluff if you have a full grip. This is just one more reason why you don't want to overplay and go for a monster swing. This deck is going to do plenty of crazy; let it happen bit by bit so your opponents feel like they can't stop you.

When it comes to card draw, adding cantrips (cards that draw a card to replace themselves) is great, but I prefer to rely on cards that can give consistent card draw. There are some of both in the list of cards I considered.

There are all sorts of goodies when it comes to card draw. There are a couple I wanted to mention specifically.

Broodbirth Viper
The Locust God

Broodbirth Viper: While the myriad ability doesn't combo well with Brudiclad the card draw can be very real. Copying this card with another card, turning five tokens into Broodbirth Vipers and attacking with all means drawing a ton of cards. I'm not sure if this makes the cut as that starts to sound a little like Magical Christmas Land, but it is certainly interesting!

The Locust God: This is going into the deck. It draws cards and makes flying token creatures. My only concern is that a deck like this can warp around a powerful card like Brudiclad pretty quickly. I will want to be careful to keep the deck true to its spirit when The Locust God finds its way onto the battlefield.


Whenever you are looking at a deck with Blue, I include bounce effects as removal. It isn't ideal, as so many creatures have enter the battlefield triggers, but with a deck that we hope to see win games with ten copies of a big creature, one turn can make a huge difference. Here are the cards I looked at including:

I'm not sure if I wanted more artifacts and creatures as sources for removal, since I can copy them, but the ones on the list destroy using ETB triggers. I will have cards that can copy them, but when I change all the tokens into something, the tokens are already on the battlefield, so several copies of Meteor Golem are simply 3/3 creatures. Nothing to scoff at, but there are some limitations. I couple on the list that deserve special mention:

Crush of Tentacles
Zndrsplt's Judgment

Crush of Tentacles: This was made for this deck. Yes, your stuff all goes to your hand, but you'll have an 8/8 Octopus on the battlefield. I know the likelihood of then casting Brudiclad, and getting some tokens onto the battlefield before your opponents deal with the 8/8 is pretty slim, it would be a shame not to include it!

Zndrsplt's Judgment: This card either lets me get a creature back to my hand so I can recast it for the ETB trigger, or makes a copy of a creature that I control. It also creates token copies of creatures for opponents to make it easier for me to steal it then make a ton of copies. Admittedly, most times I'll be using it to eliminate one of their blockers while adding another dude for me to swing with, but it is flexible and I've been looking for a deck that can really abuse it. This is it!


This is usually a boring part of deck-building for me. Either I don't really need it so I ignore it, or I'm going with the usual Lightning Greaves/Swiftfoot Boots combo and call it a day. With this deck, I opened up the options a little.

I didn't include any counterspells but know that any that are included in the deck are part of this package.

Padeem, Consul of Innovation
Command Beacon

Padeem, Consul of Innovation: If Brudiclad is going to be more at risk because it is an artifact, then why not take advantage of it being an artifact creature. Giving all my artifacts hexproof is great with this card. Opponents will be forced to use mass removal to deal with Brudiclad and that limits their options. I don't know how often I'll draw cards since most of my artifacts will be tokens, but if I draw a card or to, that is great.

Command Beacon: This might seem strange to include here but the whole point of protecting Brudiclad is to avoid the commander tax making it untenable to use it any longer. Command Beacon gives me another crack at Brudiclad when the cost is just prohibitive. It isn't protection, but it achieves the goal, so here it is.

Mass Tokens

The whole point of making cool tokens is so Brudiclad can then turn that one token into ten copies. These are the cards that will get us to that essential first step. Not only was I looking for a bunch of tokens, but finding ones that can fly (thopters and insects) or make mana (Treasure) or do something else cool was important. There are going to be times when there just isn't a way to copy that Eldrazi token an opponent controls, so I want these tokens to be able to stand on their own if they have to.

I definitely leaned toward creatures that produced tokens. My thinking was that I could then make a copy of the creature itself, then make all the tokens a copy of the creature. Not only do I love to say Sharding Sphinx, but if I had eight copies of the Sphinx and four of them did combat damage, I'd have 32 Thopters for the next round that would all become Sharding Sphinxes. Forty Sharding Sphinxes should end a game, and would be disastrous for the nearest toilet.

Tilonalli's Summoner
Tempt with Vengeance

Tilonalli's Summoner should be interesting. With the low casting cost it can come out early. Reaching the city's blessing should be easy with a handful of lands, the Summoner, and just a few Elemental creature tokens. The Summoner doesn't work immediately with Brudiclad as you don't get the tokens until it attacks, but as long as don't get exiled at the end of the turn, it should be fine. My major concern is whether I'll get to attack more than once with Tilonalli's Summoner. A 1/1 is vulnerable to practically everything.

Tempt with Vengeance is just a sorcery that gives me X 1/1 Red Elemental tokens for X and one Red mana. Everyone can see you are running Brudiclad and the 1/1 Elementals will certainly be something bigger. There is no way anyone accepts your offer unless then are planning a Cyclonic Rift or something similar.

Cool Tokens

These are the cards that make token copies of other things. I tried to focus on getting tokens of opponent's stuff, but some cards just copy your stuff. I plan to have several creatures in the deck that would be fun in multiples, so we'll be running a few of those too.

Faerie Artisans will be in the deck. The card does exactly what I want it to do. I know that your opponent can limit how useful it is, but I'll take that chance.

Clone Legion
Helm of the Host

Clone Legion costs a ton. I probably won't get to play it most of the times I draw it. I can see it getting countered a lot... and I don't care! One opponent with an awesome creature and a pile of goblin tokens will be weeping when you clone their forces, then make all those tokens into copies of the one dragon they have. The same is true of the soldier deck, elf deck, saproling deck, etc. Clone Legion will also lead to a lot of sacrificing of creatures, just to prevent me from getting a copy of it. This is going to be a lot of fun!

Helm of the Host seems almost underpowered in comparison to the other options, but it makes a copy of a legendary creature that isn't legendary. You can then use Brudiclad to make all your tokens a copy of that legendary creature. The worst use of this would be to copy Brudiclad. Ten copies of Brudiclad all making 2/1 artifact creatures on the next turn that are all going to be Brudiclad tokens. And this is the worst case scenario. Picture ten copies of Atraxa, Praetor's Voice. Or Ghired, Conclave Exile. Or Krenko, Mob Boss. Can't wait!

The Deck

So what did I finally decide to run?

Brudiclad, the Great Imitator | Commander| Bruce Richard

Part 3 will involve the play-testing! We'll look at what worked and what didn't, and what changes we'll be looking to make!



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