Commander on a Budget: Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer
- Ryan Scicluna
If you ever wanted to play with a powerful Izzet commander but did not want to break the bank doing so, check out this budget build of Brudiclad. Here's a deck focused on making copies and tokens of powerful threats to overwhelm your opponents. The best part is that the whole thing costs just about 37 euros.
An Artificer from a Different Time
Brudiclad is a six-mana commander that gives our tokens haste while creating one such token, a 2/1 Myr, at the beginning of our combat step. That's pretty good; however, that is not all. Brudiclad also allows us to choose a token we control and transform all our tokens into copies of the chosen one. Quite a unique ability, it gives blue-red a very different game plan from the usual spell-slinging storm or artifact-builder builds.
Cloning and making copies has always been around in the color combination — more blue than red — but mostly limited to one creature at a time. When we get to turn each of our tokens into whatever target we want, this becomes a very powerful yet easy to underestimate ability. For example, we can decide to turn multiple Treasure tokens into an army of creatures ready to attack or vice versa we can turn creatures into Treasure to pay for something more useful.
Creating Copies and Teeming with Tokens
In order to make full use of Brudiclad's ability we need to be able to generate tokens of the creatures or permanents we want. This is where copy spells that specifically create a token come into play. I am referring to cards like Saheeli's Artistry, Cackling Counterpart, and Quasiduplicate. These spells create a token copy of a target we already control. Cards that only become a copy, for example Clone, have no place in a deck like this. We want token copies so that Brudicald can turn all other tokens into copies of the same. The only exception I will make in this category is for Vizier of Many Faces. The Vizier becomes a clone when it enters the battlefield, but it also has embalm. This means that when the Vizier dies we can create a copy of the Vizier from the graveyard by exiling it and paying the embalm cost. This new version of the Vizier will be a token and thus interacts with Brudical's ability after all.
We also need cheap spells that create tokens without necessarily making copies. Cards that create Thopters or Treasure tokens such as Whirler Rogue, Thopter Assembly, and Brass's Bounty provide extreme value. We can either use the tokens for blocking and/or ramp or let these become big threats later on in the game. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin and Siege-Gang Commander can generate a lot of Goblin tokens, which in turn we can transform into anything we copied. An important thing to consider is that Brudicald creates Myrs, so why not include Myr Battlesphere? This can be good when we do not have token copies as we can use the Myr tokens to deal a bunch of damage with the Battlesphere.
The Carbon to Copy
So what can we pick to get maximum value with Brudicla's copy ability? The best creatures to copy are those that have an ability trigger upon attacking. Since tokens will already be on the battlefield, enter-the-battlefield triggers won't work, so instead we're looking for other value options. All our tokens will have haste thanks to Brudiclad, so just turning all our tokens into big beefy creatures will already engineer many situations where our opponents can't possibly deal with all the threats. But cards like Inferno Titan and Frost Titan are even better and can end the game on the spot. Imagine having five to eight Treasure or Thopter tokens all of a sudden become one of the Titans and attack. Inferno Titan will deal three damage when it attacks. Now multiply that by the number of tokens you have and this can easily kill off a player out of nowhere. Frost Titan on the other hand can tap down any permanent for this and the following turn. Imagine being able to tap most lands your opponents control. Such happened to me, and trust me, people don't last long when the 6/6s come crashing in.
Bane of Bala Ged is another good option to copy, as it makes our opponents exile permanents when we attack. Desolation Twin creates a token copy of itself when it enters the battlefield, so we can turn all our 1/1s and Treasure tokens into 10/10 creatures. Another spicy target is Hellrider. This can turn a modest board of tokens into a deadly army as well. When we attack with a bunch of Hellriders, they'll all trigger each other. Consider attacking with five Hellriders, which will deal 25 damage even before blocker declaration.
Some Secret Tech
Sometimes we will not have a spicy creature to make all our tokens become copies of it, so we will end up with a bunch of 1/1 fliers or 2/1 Myrs. But what if all those small tokens become 4/4 Dragons with flying? An overloaded Dragonshift can turn our miniscule creatures into a serious force. Another cool interaction I have included in the deck is the enchantment Back from the Brink, which lets us exile a creature card from our graveyard and re-cast it as a token copy. This creates a backup plan if our big copy targets are being subjected to a lot of removal. Opponents will think they are safe looking at a big threat in our graveyard as Izzet doesn't usually have graveyard recursion, but they'll surely be surprised when we make a token copy of that threat.
Lands can also create tokens. Kher Keep, Spawning Bed, and Springjack Pasture create small tokens, which we turn into bigger stuff later on. When we end up with leftover mana and nothing we can play, why not use that mana to create a token? Whether that token is a 0/1 Kobold or a 0/1 Goat doesn't matter as that can transform into any of our game winning pieces before long.
Brudiclad is a fun and super cheap commander. The whole thing only costs around 37 euros. When playing the deck, the first priority is to try and generate some tokens. In the early stages of the game it doesn't really matter what these tokens are, as their main purpose is to transform into something more relevant later. If Brudcilad is not dealt with immediately, it can steal games out of nowhere.
However, this highlights one of the major weaknesses of the deck. It relies heavily on the commander being present on the battlefield. My advice is to cast Brudiclad only when you can make full use of its ability. There is no need to cast the commander on curve, on turn six or earlier, unless we can turn our tokens into something big. The moment our opponents see us creating six Titans they will always keep an eye on our board, so we must be vigilant as well. Ideally we should try to win during the turn when we cast Brudiclad.
What do you think of this deck in particular and about building Commander decks on a budget in general? Do you like the direction into which I took this izzet commander? Let me know in the comment section below!
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