The Inferno, Canto 21 by Gustav Doré (1857). Tezzeret, Artifice Master by Josh Hass.
Today's column isn't going to be another decklist. I'm going to talk about the 10 weirdest and dumbest things I can think of doing with one of the new alternate Commanders out of the Exquisite Invention precon deck. My hope is that at least a few of these will be new to you. Before we leap into it, let's take a look at it.
Brudiclad is a 4/4 legendary artifact creature who costs a hefty , but brings some pretty neat tricks to the party. It gives your creature tokens haste, but that's not the fun part. At the beginning of combat on our turn we create a 2/1 Blue Myr artifact creature token. That's pretty good, but it gets better. Then we may choose a token we control and each other token we control becomes a copy of that token.
This commander isn't exactly hard to build around. It practically builds itself. Run some token generators. The tokens can be clues, treasures, goblins, drakes, or a mix of all of the above. I'd probably run with Siege-Gang Commander and a goblin theme whilst secretly lamenting the fact that I wasn't building Myr tribal. I'd also run Chancellor of the Forge as a way to make lots of tokens. If my list was heavy enough in Blue Master of Waves might fit in nicely, but chances are good I'd lean more toward Red than Blue.
By the time we get Brudiclad out we should have a decent little assortment of creature tokens.
Next we make one big, scary token.
Desolation Twin will give us a 10/10 colorless Eldrazi which is sadly lacking the Annihilator keyword. Titan Forge will give us a 9/9 colorless Golem artifact creature token. If we're willing to sacrifice a little power for evasion, Lathliss should be able to give us 5/5 Red dragon tokens, though we'd have to build with at least a minimal dragon theme. There are others of course, but I think we should aim for at least 5 power.
Sadly, Dark Depths produces a legendary creature token and Elbrus, the Binding Blade is actually a Black card and can't be run in Brudiclad. If we were in Green and Black, Vraska the Unseen makes some pretty dangerous 1/1 assassin tokens. A five color "hidden commander" deck built to abuse Brudiclad might be a lot of fun to build, but today we're staying in Blue and Red.
That's all well and good, but it's also boring.
Rather than build yet another Brudiclad list, I'm going to take a look at 10 stupid, goofy things you can do in a Brudiclad deck and one stupid thing you sadly can't do with Brudiclad.
Our Brudiclad Core
Any Brudiclad deck will need ways to generate tokens over and above the ones that Brudiclad will generate. There are a few additional toys that we need to give Brudiclad if we're going to try to do really dumb stuff with it.
Prototype Portal is a 4-drop artifact that will let us imprint an artifact card from our hand onto it. Then we can make a token copy of the card by paying its mana cost and tapping it, and for as long as our opponents are foolish enough to allow us to keep it on the battlefield. If they have two brain cells to rub together they will see what we're doing well ahead of time. This isn't a sneaky or a subtle plan.
If we want to work with creatures, not artifacts, we can use Soul Foundry, or for one less mana, Mimic Vat can imprint a creature when it goes to the graveyard. Soul Foundry will require us to pay the original creature's casting cost, but Mimic Vat only costs three mana. Mimic Vat creature tokens get exiled at the beginning of the next end step but for our purposes both should do just fine.
Not all of our clever plans will require one of these, but enough of them will that it's worth going over them here at the outset.
Karn, Scion of Urza should be in every Brudiclad deck ever made.
For -2 you get to create a 0/0 colorless Construct artifact creature token that gets +1/+1 for each artifact creature you control. It's about as good as you can get for Brudiclad. It's a little goofy. It's powerful. The only negative might be that everyone else building Brudiclad has probably already put Karn into their list.
You take your army of tokens, turn them all into 0/0 Karn Constructs and they'll all have a power and toughness equal to the number of artifacts you control.
If adding Karn to Brudiclad isn't novel or exciting, it's powerful and it's definitely worth mentioning.
For this option, I'm not even going to worry about making tokens of our own creatures. Why do that when we probably have an opponent with the annoying habit of building up an army of their own?
For the low, low cost of mana, this sorcery will give us a token copy of every creature target opponent controls. We're in Izzet so if we're making enough mana to cast this, we might even be able to Fork it.
The goal isn't just to steal someone's army of 1/1 goblins. The goal is to copy someone's army of 1/1 goblins AND their Malignus. We want to copy an army that comes with something big and juicy for us to turn all of our tokens into when we attack.
The downside of this plan is that we're at the mercy of what our opponents are running. Usually that will work well, but if we're at a table with combo decks that don't care a bit about developing their board, this could be a dead card.
The Hive-iest of Minds
I can't claim credit for this one, but my daughter suggested the following bit of madness.
This is actually quite simple. You cast Hive Mind. You cast Mycosynth Lattice to turn Hive Mind into an artifact. Then you cast Stolen Identity to make a token copy of Hive Mind. Now you use Brudiclad to make all of your tokens into a token copy of your token Hive Mind.
Go ahead. Cast something. It'll be fun.
Let's Make Mana
One card I've been fascinated by ever since I saw it is Dominaria's Powerstone Shard.
It's not worn - it's broken and it doesn't seem like a particularly good fit for a Commander deck. However, if you imprint Powerstone Shard on Prototype Portal and make a token Powerstone Shard, you can make all of your tokens into Shards.
If you have 7 token Shards, each will tap for 7 mana. With 49 mana all you need is two Red mana and you should be able to kill the table with a little mana to spare using Comet Storm.
Also, you'll have done a goofy, stupid thing that probably won you the game!
Let's Do More Math
This is a trick I've pulled off with a kicked Rite of Replication, but I expect it would be just as much fun with Brudiclad.
How many damage doublers does it take to kill a table by targeting each opponent with 1 damage from Grapeshot?
That's the question we'll be trying to answer with this Brudiclad trick.
If you have six Fire Servants your 1 damage will do 64 damage when it resolves.
The real fun comes in finding out how many tokens we can make and how high we can push our damage output.
Masters of the Universe
Well, maybe not Masters of the Universe, but definitely Masters of Etherium.
With either Prototype Portal or Soul Foundry you can imprint and make a token copy of Master of Etherium. If you've got 7 other tokens, and you have Brudiclad make them all copies of Master of Etherium they will all be at least 10/10 because Brudiclad and your token generator are both artifacts. They will also get +7/+7 because they will all pump other artifact creatures by +1/+1.
Sure, they have no evasion, but it could be a pretty deadly threat if you're able to amass a big enough token army before you pull this off.
Making Energy Great Again
To be honest, I don't think Energy was every really that great to begin with, but with this combo you might just be able to turn a dollar rare from Aether Revolt into a wincon. Full disclosure - this is another one from my daughter. I didn't think of this nifty little wincon on my own.
Again we use Soul Foundry but this time we're going to imprint and make a copy of Lightning Runner. We make a token copy of it and then make all of our tokens into Lightning Runners. When each one attacks we get 2 energy counters. As long as we attack with at least four of them, we can pay 8 energy to untap all of our creatures and attack again as many times as we like.
Infinite combat steps might not win the game. Blockers can kill our attackers but if there are no blockers that won't be a problem. How do we do that? Well, if we've loaded up on clue and treasure tokens we don't need creatures on the field when we start our winning turn.
Helm of the Obvious
This one might be a little... obvious, but Helm of the Host is a wonderful way to make nonlegendary creature tokens from legendary creatures. We may be restricted by being in Izzet colors but there's still plenty of trouble we can get up to.
We'd have to play enough Red permanents to give Purphoros, God of the Forge sufficient devotion to turn him into a creature, but if we can equip Helm of the Host to "Big Red" we can make a token copy of him.
If we have 8 other tokens and can use Brudiclad to turn them all into copies of our Purphoros token, each creature we cast will do 20 damage to our opponents. There are easier ways to win with Purphoros, but this is definitely one you'd remember for a long time.
Kazuul's Axe Collector
Sometimes doing something goofy doesn't have to blow up the table or win the game.
Sometimes it just needs to kill one opponent. This is one of our options that doesn't even rely on Portal or Foundry - just one very odd piece of equipment.
Bloodforged Battle-Axe gives the equipped creature +2/+0 and whenever the equipped creature deals combat damage to a player we create a token that's a copy of Bloodforged Battle-Axe. All we need to do is hit one player once and we'll be ready to have some fun.
If we have a ton of other tokens we can use Brudiclad to turn them all into copies of Bloodforged Battle-Axe and then pay 0 to equip them all to Kazuul's Toll Collector. It's good dumb fun, but we'll probably want something like Rogue's Passage to make him unblockable. It might not even kill an opponent, but this would still be high on my "things to do with Brudiclad" list.
This last might be my favorite because I suspect opponents wouldn't see it coming until it was too late.
This is yet another Soul Foundry trick. We imprint and make a token copy of Stalking Vengeance. Then we use Brudiclad to make all of our tokens into copies of Stalking Vengeance. Then we drop a meteor on someone's land, dealing 20 damage to each creature on the battlefield.
6 deaths x 5 triggers = 30 total triggers.
30 triggers x 5 damage = 150 total damage.
That should be enough to kill most tables provided nobody has hexproof.
How Much Do You Hate Jace?
Some dreams may never be realized. This last idea is one that I don't think there's any way to actually make happen.
Have you ever wished there were more Jaces in a game?
Jace, Cunning Castaway has a -5 loyalty ability that will let you make two token copies of Jace, Cunning Castaway. If you had a way to make a ridiculous number of tokens, you could theoretically use Brudiclad to make a ridiculous number of Jaces.
The problem with this plan is that there is no way that I know of to get loyalty counters onto them in time to keep them from dying as soon as they turn into Jaces. A planeswalker with no loyalty counters immediately goes to the graveyard. A planeswalker's initial loyalty counters are put on them when they enter the battlefield, but these tokens are already on the field.
If you really, really hate Jace, maybe this is the plan for you.
Find a way to make an infinite number of tokens.
Turn them into Jaces.
Watch them die.
On some level you will be "winning" even if you wind up being the first player eliminated from the game.
The beauty of some of these Brudiclad strategies is that they if you keep the key creature cards in your hand or imprinted on a token-generator and you're spamming non-creature tokens, you can win after a boardwipe pretty easily. You also have some degree of resilience, as another boardwipe won't destroy your Soul Foundry or Mimic Vat. Also, you're in Blue and Red so you should be able to run counterspells to protect your shenanigans.
That's all I've got for you today. If you've been working on a Brudiclad build of your own, I hope there was something in here that sparked your imagination. Winning is really pretty easy if that's your only goal. Winning with style and in a way that your opponents will remember for a long time is much, much harder.
That's all I've got for you today. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week!