Brawl - No Basis for a System of Government

14 16 5 24

Drowning with Value in Artifact Lake

What do we do when some watery tart throws a sword at us? We wield the supreme power of jank combos to draw and mill through our whole deck and combo opponents out of the game! Are the Monty Python references too much? Quite likely. Will that be the last one? Probably not.

{{Emry, Lurker of the Loch}}

Emry is the first commander I tried building a deck out of in Eldraine. When I first laid eyes upon her textbox, my dredge sense started tingling. Ok so 'dredge senses' is a stretch, I don’t have the money to buy an actual dredge deck, the closest I got was Kanister’s Monoblue Standard Dredge deck that sees some play every now and then (that deck is absolute gas by the way). But boy is it fun to have your graveyard act as a source of card advantage. I’m a simple man, I like drawing cards, I like seeing the cards as fast as I can, and with Emry every artifact you mill from her enters-the-battlefield effect is essentially a card drawn! So let’s check it out!

This deck runs seven cards that are neither artifacts nor colorless. It is extremely focused on synergizing with Emry. Though we are mono blue, the deck ends up having a grey (or brown if youre old school) core with a blue splash. This is not only because we want to extract the most value out of [[Emry, Lurker of the Loch]] as possible, but also due to our other colorless synergies in [[Ugin, the Ineffable]] and [[Mystic Forge]]

The card draw:

{{Witching Well}} {{Tome of Legends}} {{Golden Egg}} {{Guild Globe}} {{Narset, Parter of Veils}} {{Diviner's Lockbox}}

This deck runs few individually powerful cards. While people are out there running [[Oko, Thief of Crowns]], [[Golos, Tireless Pilgrim]], and [[Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God]] stuffed to the brim with the most powerful cards available in the color combinations, we rely on synergy a lot more. As such, we have a lot of artifacts that on their own won’t do much, but make up pieces of a larger Rube Goldberg monstrosity. As such, we desperately need to draw as many cards as possible to find those pieces. For that we have the 4 cheapest card draw artifacts in Standard right now, all of which synergize with our commander by either being sacrificed and replayed, or in the case of [[Tome of Legends]], by the fact that we will be bouncing and playing our commander as many times as possible. We run a [[Narset, Parter of Veils]] because it digs deep into our deck to find a noncreature spell we need and because it makes our opponents feel like they’re being repressed. [[Diviner’s Lockbox]] is a meme, but this deck has quite a few ways to peek at the top of the deck, so it should be quite easy to activate.

The ramp:

{{Arcane Signet}} {{Renowned Weaponsmith}} {{Midnight Clock}} {{Mana Geode}} {{Spinning Wheel}}

Mana rocks in an Emry deck extremely valuable. [[Arcane Signet]], [[Midnight Clock]], [[Mana Geode]], and [[Spinning Wheel]] all count for essentially two mana when casting Emry, both tapping for mana and discounting her casting cost by one. It is quite common to play artifact on turn 1, another one on turn 2, then mana rock into Emry for U on turn 3 - in fact, you should probably be keeping most hands that include these spells and the mana to cast them. They are also quite helpful when you are casting Emry multiple times during a game, for we can tap her to cast these from graveyard if we end up milling too many of our lands or simply need to accelerate to deal with the extremely busted cards being thrown around in the format. A special aspect of [[Midnight Clock]] is that it allows us to go a much longer game if our [[Jace, Wielder of Mysteries]] gets milled or countered. It can be tricky to manage when you need to play for self-mill, mill your opponent, or simply survive - role assessment is one of the most difficult aspects of this deck. Usually the card is not much more than a mana rock since with the right draw we can mill out entire deck much faster than the 5 to 7 turns it usually takes to activate it, but it’s good to have as a backup. [[Renowned Weaponsmith]] is one of the few non-artifact ramp spells but it can tap for 2 colorless to cast the vast majority of our spells, making it a worthy include.

The artifact army:

{{Inquisitive Puppet}} {{Gingerbrute}} {{Steel Overseer}} {{Sorcerer's Broom}} {{Vantress Gargoyle}} {{Clockwork Servant}} {{Salvager of Ruin}} {{Meteor Golem}} {{Stonecoil Serpent}}

The artifact creature package in this deck is mostly here to keep us alive while we play our little game of solitaire. [[Inquisitive Puppet]] and [[Gingerbrute]] make the cut for the small incremental value they give us while discounting Emry’s cost. [[Sorcerer’s Broom]] does a good job at using up our mana when we have put down enough ramp on the field in order to keep our wall of creatures growing in numbers, while [[Steel Overseer]] makes the wall bigger and more beautiful. [[Clockwork Servant]] and [[Salvager of Ruin]] are okay-enough at giving us extra value while clogging the board, with the salvager having fantastic synergy with Emry and the permanents we can sacrifice, allowing us to continue extracting value from our graveyard. [[Vantress Gargoyle]] is a perfect creature for our deck: a magnificent blocker in early turns, a powerful attacker once our opponent has played a few cards, and a way to mill both players further, forcing your opponent to play faster for fear of mill. [[Meteor Golem]] is a spectacular card in most decks, and is especially good in this one with so many ways to bring it back or bounce it to replay it. Finally, [[Stonecoil Serpent]] is our most flexible creature: a decent blocker with reach and protection from multicolored, it can make use of the mana we can generate with artifacts to become a formidable threat to our opponent.

Tools of trickery:

{{Manifold Key}} {{Wand of Vertebrae}} {{Witch's Oven}} {{Crashing Drawbridge}} {{Corridor Monitor}} {{Folio of Fancies}} {{Mirrormade}} {{Portal of Sanctuary}} {{Mystic Forge}}

Let’s look at these one-by-one:

[[Manifold Key]]: we have quite a few artifacts that tap for good effect. While we don’t have any artifacts that tap for more than one mana ([[Firemind Vessel]] was just a bit too slow but feel free to try it out), we can use this to draw extra cards with [[Tome of Legends]], mill with [[Folio of Fancies]], tap our [[Steel Overseer]] twice a turn, bounce our Emry with [[Portal of Sanctuary]], and much, much more. This card does so much in an artifact deck, if you are not playing it I’d hazard to say you’re doing something wrong.

[[Wand of Vertebrae]]: this one has quite a straightforward point: mill yerself one card a turn. The more artifacts in our graveyard the more options we have with Emry. If the game goes late enough, you can sacrifice this for 2 mana to put your [[Jace, Wielder of Mysteries]] back on top of your deck and win the game from there.

[[Witch’s Oven]]: the synergies with this card weren’t obvious to me at first, but this card does a lot of work. Most of the time you will be using this to sacrifice Emry in response to removal. Why would we do that? Well, by making 1 food we are cutting the commander tax by half every time she dies, as her effect also reduces the tax cost (the most busted aspect of the card). The fact that the food can be sacrificed for life is just extra gravy, and has been really good at keeping us alive long enough to combo through our deck.

[[Crashing Drawbridge]]: who loves haste? Everyone loves haste! Get your Emry value immediately by tapping this card and giving us the ability to cast artifacts form the graveyard the turn she is played. The fact that this is a wall that gets buffed by [[Steel Overseer]] makes it quite a strong inclusion.

[[Corridor Monitor]]: remember when we were talking about untapping artifacts? Turns out that’s quite powerful. This card gives us the effect of 1U, yet allows a sturdy 1/4 body to remain on the field, possibly to get buffed by our artifact lord.

[[Mirrormade]]: This card is tricky, as it can be a complete dud on some games, but run away with the game on others. A second copy of any artifact (or enchantment) in play can be quite powerful, remember that we can always cast this targeting our opponent’s permanents of that type as well!

[[Portal of Sanctuary]]: This is probably the most surprisingly strong card in the deck for me. With enough artifacts on the field, this card can allow us to turbo mill ourselves every turn, multiple times if untapped, by returning Emry to our hand and then playing her for one singular blue mana.

[[Mystic Forge]]: And finally we come to the big daddy of all our artifacts, the most powerful card advantage/go-through-our-deck engine in the deck. Remember, we run 24 lands and 7 cards that are neither artifacts nor colorless. That means that 29, or roughly 48.33...% of our deck is castable off the top when this is on the board. Once you have this in play you will most likely be drawing through your entire deck in 1 or 2 turns.

How do we win?

{{Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer}} {{Jace, Wielder of Mysteries}} {{Karn, the Great Creator}} {{Cavalier of Gales}} {{Ugin, the Ineffable}} {{Shimmer Dragon}}

We gotta win the game somehow, right? Like I previously stated, the [[Jace, Wielder of Mysteries]] win con was a lot more consistent and doable than I first thought with the deck. If that does not work, however, there are a few cards that can help us fight a ‘fair’ game. [[Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer]] is a fantastic low-cost planeswalker that does a great job at dealing with the board, either by shrinking opponent’s creatures or amassing an army of 4/4 fliers. If the games are going slow enough, there are 17 islands in our deck that we could eventually tap to draw a card with her emblem. [[Karn, the Great Creator]] allows us to put our noncreature artifacts to work and gum up the board, while turning off any artifact abilities our opponents may have. Sadly, wishes don’t work in Brawl but he is worth the inclusion simply for the static effect and the +1. [[Ugin, the Ineffable]] cannot be effed with, as he will reduce the cost of the majority of our spells by 2, allowing us to combo even harder off the top if we have a [[Mystic Forge]] in play. Finally, [[Cavalier of Gales]] and [[Shimmer Dragon]] are two incredibly powerful flying beaters that can help us further our ‘draw through our deck’ strategy while dominating the skies.

The mana base:

{{Blast Zone}} {{Castle Vantress}} {{Cryptic Caves}} {{Emergence Zone}} {{Fabled Passage}} {{Interplanar Beacon}} {{Karn's Bastion}}

With so many of our spells being colorless, we can go kinda nuts on our colorless utility lands. [[Blast Zone]] for removal, [[Cryptic Caves]] for card draw, [[Emergence Zone]] for tricky flash-speed plays, and [[Fabled Passage]] to thin out or deck are all lands we can sacrifice, synergizing with both [[Sorcerer’s Broom]] and [[Salvager of Ruin]]. [[Interplanar Beacon]] helps us gain incidental lifegain with the planeswalkers we control, and [[Karn’s Bastion]] has a surprising amount and different types of counters to proliferate, from lands to artifacts to +1/+1s from our [[Steel Overseer]].

All in all, this has to be my favorite deck so far in Brawl. It is by far not the strongest, but the sheer number of options you have available to you at any time really tickles my fancy. I have felt extremely smart AND absolutely asinine while playing this deck, and I know there are a ton of different interactions and combos I haven’t even seen yet. I urge you to give this a shot, make any changes you like, and hopefully let me know. Have fun, and don’t go accepting random swords from weird sexy merfolk.


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Last Updated: 03 Nov 2019
Created: 31 Oct 2019
581 152 0

Commander - 1 cards (1 distinct)


Mainboard - 59 cards (43 distinct)

Creature (14)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (16)
Land (24)
Planeswalker (5)

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