Welcome to In Response, my own little Magic corner here at the Gathering. This is where I will be doing things like deck techs, set reviews, talking about new and upcoming products, taking a look at some of my favorite cards from Magic’s past, touching on the latest rumors, the current goings on in the world of MtG and all that fun stuff.

I figured I’d start things out with a look at one of my favorite deck lists, something that I have slowly been putting together over the last several years that I’ve finally gotten to a point where I’m pretty happy with and confident in saying it’s “done”, at least as far as “done” really can be when it comes to a commander deck, am I right? So today we will be taking a look at my fairly fine tuned Breya, Etherium Shaper EDH deck.

The list is divided into categories based on the primary function the cards within serve. There are some that could fall into more than one category so I tried to keep them just to the one that they see the most use under.

The List:

Commander:

1x Breya, Etherium Shaper

So, my girl Breya. She is an interesting one. Part of the 2016 preconstructed commander decks, she was one of the first dedicated 4-color commander cards. Being “sans-green”, her design is very artifact-centric and she lends herself very well to combo oriented builds, which is the direction I have taken the deck.

For WUBR (White, Blue, Black, and Red mana) you get a 4/4 legendary artifact creature, human, that creates two 1/1 blue thopter artifact creature tokens upon entering the battlefield. In addition, you can pay 2 mana of any color and sacrifice two artifacts in order to do one of three things; deal 3 damage to a player, give -4/-4 to a creature, or you gain 5 life. Of the three, the first is definitely the most relevant to us, but the other two modes have their uses as well.

I’ll get a bit more into the specifics later on, but our primary goal is to produce infinite mana, infinite thopter tokens and then use those in conjunction with Breya in order to kill off the table in a single turn. Having access both to a combo enabler and win condition all on the same card in your command zone is very potent.

Land:

1x Ancient Den

1x Arid Mesa

1x Bloodstained Mire

1x Bojuka Bog

1x Cascade Bluffs

1x Command Tower

1x Darksteel Citadel

1x Fetid Heath

1x Flooded Strand

1x Godless Shrine

1x Graven Cairns

1x Great Furnace

1x Hallowed Fountain

1x Inkmoth Nexus

1x Inventors’ Fair

1x Island

1x Mountain

1x Mystic Gate

1x Plains

1x Polluted Delta

1x Raugrin Triome*

1x Reliquary Tower*

1x Rugged Prairie

1x Sacred Foundry

1x Savai Triome*

1x Seat of the Synod

1x Steam Vents

1x Strip Mine

1x Sunken Ruins

1x Swamp

1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

1x Vault of Whispers

1x Watery Grave

Fairly simple land base here. I run one of each basic in our colors because you really should be running basics to some degree because getting hit with a Blood Moon or Back to Basics feels really bad without them. Additionally we run the four on-color artifact lands plus Darksteel Citadel for the obvious synergies they give to the deck. There are times they have been a liability, giving extra treasure tokens to an opposing Dockside Extortionist or falling victim to the random Vandalblast or getting shut down by Null Rod or Stony Silence, but that’s just the risk you take with artifact focused decks. Beyond that it’s pretty typical color fixing, I run all of our on-color shocklands apart from Blood Crypt, I run all of our on-color filter lands (because I am a fan of them and I feel they do a really solid job fixing), as well as a handful of fetches (I’m not a fan of running the “off-color” fetches and of the two additional ones I could run that are in my colors, I just don’t feel like spending the money on a Scalding Tarn right now). I’m running Bojuka Bog because sometimes you just need to exile a graveyard. Urborg does some work with fixing if I just really need black mana and don’t otherwise have it. Command Tower is basically a staple for any multicolor deck in the format. Inkmoth Nexus may be our only source of infect in the deck, but it can be an artifact if I need one in a pinch and sometimes it just gets there.

You’ll notice a few of these marked with asterisks, those are sorta “flex slots” if you will. They do the job well enough, but were I to put a bit more into upgrading the deck they would be the first things to go. Reliquary Tower is a fairly popular card and not having to discard down to hand size is certainly nice (most of the time, some decks would rather discard), but it’s use really depends on how often you’re really finding yourself holding more than 7 cards and it’s an easy cut to make long-term. The two triomes are great fixing, they are fetchable and if drawn late game can even be cycled away for something potentially more useful…but they always come into play tapped, which can be a big drawback if you really need the mana right now and you have no other lands to play. If you were to cut these three I’d look to cards like Ancient Tomb, Scalding Tarn, Marsh Flats, Blood Crypt or Gemstone Caverns.

Ramp:

1x Mana Crypt

1x Chrome Mox

1x Mox Opal

1x Sol Ring

1x Talisman of Progress

1x Talisman of Dominance

1x Talisman of Hierarchy

1x Talisman of Creativity

1x Talisman of Conviction

1x Arcange Signet

1x Dimir Signet

1x Boros Signet

1x Chromatic Lantern

1x Etherium Sculptor

Lacking access to green and the strong land and creature based ramp that comes with the color, we instead turn towards artifacts to do the majority of our acceleration, which kinda works out since we want a surplus of artifacts in the deck anyways. So, first and foremost are our net positive mana rocks. Things like Mana Crypt, Chrome Mox, Mox Opal and Sol Ring all produce more mana than they cost to play and they will lead to our most explosive starts if we are lucky enough to have them in our opening hand. Additionally we run Arcane Signet, a very efficiently costed “any color” sort of rock, as well as two of the Ravnica block guild signets (in this case Dimir and Boros, which grant us access to all four of our commander’s colors as long as we have two mana available to activate them). The 2-drop talismans are also very efficient rocks, allowing you to tap them for colorless or paying one life for one of two colors gives them utility that you do not get from the guild signets, which cannot produce mana on their own. However, you can only get a single color out of a talisman at a time so it’s a bit of a trade off. Chromatic Lantern is just some much needed color fixing for a 4-color deck. Etherium Sculptor doesn’t ramp necessarily in the same way that the rocks do, but being an artifact-focused deck it is really good to get spells at a discount.

Tutors:

1x Enlightened Tutor

1x Mystical Tutor

1x Vampiric Tutor

1x Demonic Tutor

1x Goblin Engineer

1x Tribute Mage

1x Grim Tutor

This is a combo deck so having quick access to the cards we need when we need them is vital. It’s also good to be able to grab an answer if something problematic is on board or if someone else is about to go off or maybe you need to grab a counter in order to protect your own combo when you’re going off.

Not much to say here, we run about as efficient a suite of tutors as we can. Enlightened and Mystical Tutor are both cheap and can grab either a combo piece or an answer/protection respectively, Vampiric can grab us any card in our deck. Demonic and Grim Tutor do much the same, but cost slightly more and are sorcery speed. Goblin Engineer can dump any artifact into our graveyard, but his second ability only allows you to bring back one under a certain mana cost. Tribute Mage can grab any two-cost artifact card and put it into our hand. Lucky for us, most of the artifacts we would want to be tutoring for cost two or less.

Card Draw/Selection:

1x Skull Clamp

1x Sensei’s Divining Top

1x Dark Confidant

1x Rhystic Study

1x Mirrodin Besieged

1x Padeem, Consul of Innovation

1x Fact or Fiction

1x Yawgmoth, Thran Physician

Tutoring isn’t the only way to find the cards you need, sometimes you just gotta get lucky and draw into them and maximizing the amount of cards we can draw in a turn helps us further our plans. In a deck that makes and sacrifices a bunch of tokens, something like Skull Clamp just does work. It turns the two thopters that Breya makes into four cards for only two mana, or you can stick it on something bigger and at least get a little something back if it ends up removed. The card is a staple and definitely lives up to its reputation. Sensei’s Divining Top isn’t necessarily card advantage as you give up the top in order to draw, however being able to look at and rearrange the top few cards of your library any time you have a single mana available can be huge, especially if you run enough shuffle effects to not be locked in to the same few cards, and being able to keep a counter or removal spell on top of your library that you can draw at instant speed in order to answer something will always be a great and invaluable trick. Dark Confidant, good ol’ Bob himself, just always been one of my favorite creatures and does a great job getting me extra cards and eating a hit if I really need him to, he can even swing a sword in a pinch.

Rhystic Study really depends on the environment you’re playing it in. In more casual circles you’re likely going to be drawing multiple cards a turn cycle off of it, in more competitive groups it acts more as a taxing effect as players are much more likely to pay the extra mana per spell to keep you from drawing cards. Either way, it’s useful. Mirrodin Besieged offers a couple of modes depending on what you’re looking for. If you just feel like amassing a token army, it can do that and I have used it for that before. I think the Phyrexian mode, however, is far more useful, it’s an extra card at the end of each of my turns and I can use it to fill my yard should I need something specific in there. It can even win the game in rare instances, something I have managed to pull off but don’t exactly count on it to do. Fact or Fiction is a very skill intensive card, unlike most “punisher” style effects though the final choice does ultimately come down to you, which is why it doesn’t suck like they do. Good ol’ big daddy Yawgmoth is a very versatile draw engine that can kill things, draw cards, add counters to things (be they my creatures or planeswalkers or even poison counters if I am going the Inkmoth get there route).

Control:

1x Mana Drain

1x Counterspell

1x Dovin’s Veto

1x Cryptic Command*

1x Force of Will

1x Swords to Plowshares

1x Chaos Warp

1x Anguished Unmaking

1x Cyclonic Rift

1x Toxic Deluge

1x Supreme Verdict

1x Austere Command

1x Maze of Ith

Cards that just sing to my inner control player. These are your counterspells, your removal spells, your wraths, things that are going to stop your opponents from doing the things that they want to do or stop them from stopping you from doing the things you want to do.

I run 5 pure counterspells in the deck. Mana Drain, Counterspell, Force of Will basically speak for themselves. Dovin’s Veto is a bit more situational, but it’s uncounterable and hits most of the relevant things in higher level play. Cryptic Command, as you may have noticed, is asterisked. It’s a card I hold near and dear and in a lower power game it can do some serious work with all of its modes, but it is certainly something that can be cut when upgrading this list and I do plan on eventually replacing it with Force of Negation when the time comes.

Spot removal is a bit underplayed in the format, sometimes you just need to answer a very specific card right then and there. Swords to Plowshares is about as efficient as 1:1 removal gets in the format. Anguished Unmaking costs a bit more and hurts to cast, but it hits a wide range of targets and for the most part deals with them permanently. Chaos Warp is a little bit more versatile, you can use it on your opponent’s cards of course, you can use it on your own to try and trade up or in order to protect something you rather not see exiled or stuck in the graveyard. This does come with a risk though, sometimes you turn a small threat into a much bigger threat, but that’s red for ya. Cyclonic Rift sort of straddles the line. While it’s most common use is as an incredibly powerful one-sided wrath, you can’t sleep on it also being a two mana bounce spell that can make a huge difference when you need it to.

As for more proper wrath effects, Toxic Deluge is probably the second strongest wrath in the format after Rift, allowing you to deal with indestructible creatures and being able to scale in such a way you can potentially protect your own board. Supreme Verdict has the bonus of being uncounterable and Austere Command gives you options, which is something I always like.

Then we have Maze of Ith, the land that just doesn’t count as a land (unless you have Urborg or Chromatic Lantern out anyways), but stopping a troublesome attacker every turn cycle or even using it as a bit of a combat trick to give pseudo-vigilance or for creatures with untap effects gives it some great versatility.

Recursion:

1x Reanimate

1x Snapcaster Mage

1x Yawgmoth’s Will

1x Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Sometimes things end up in the yard and you need them back. Sometimes you put things in the yard with the intention of getting them back or out for much cheaper than they would have cost otherwise. Reanimate can be the best creature in your yard or the best creature in your opponent’s yard. The life lost from it can be huge, but for only one mana having the best thing on the board (or getting back a combo piece) it is a small price to pay. Good ol’ Snapcaster Mage lets you double up on what would otherwise only be one time effects, and having flash allows for access to already spent answers at critical moments. Yawgmoth’s Will, what can I really say about Yawgmoth’s Will? The card is commonly referred to as “Yawgmoth’s Win” for a reason. Even if you’re only getting a few additional cards out of it, the kind of value it generates at its worst still makes it worthwhile and at its best it just wins the game on the spot. Lurrus is a bit of a new addition to the deck, a card so powerful it saw a ban both in Legacy AND in Vintage, Lurrus is an incredibly strong engine in decks that make use of lower cost permanents, of which we have plenty (including several of our accelerators and win conditions).

Combo Pieces:

1x Disciple of the Vault

1x Thopter Foundry

1x Sword of the Meek

1x Nim Deathmantle

1x Bastion of Remembrance

1x Sculpting Steel

1x Phyrexian Metamorph

1x Urza, Lord High Artificer

1x Krark Clan Ironworks

1x Sharuum, the Hegemon

1x Wurmcoil Engine

Here is where things get real. The core that the deck is built around, the cards we are most likely going to be tutoring for or hoping to draw into, the things that we want to cheat out, the cards that will win us the game.

As I said towards the beginning of this deck tech, the general goal is to generate infinite mana and inifnite tokens in order to kill our opponents with Breya’s activated ability. We have a few ways that we can do that and many of those can be interchanged or can be played out into a different combo entirely.

The two key cards to several combos in this deck are Krark Clan Ironworks and Nim Deathmantle. These two alone will allow us to go infinite with Breya. You sacrifice Breya and her two thopters to Krark Clan Ironworks, generating 6 colorless mana. You use 4 of this mana to pay for Nim Deathmantle’s triggered ability, which will put Breya back into play and create two more thopters. You can repeat this process any number of times, resulting in +2 colorless mana each time. Once you have infinite mana you can continue the loop until you have infinite thopters. You then use this mana to activate Breya, sacrificing the thopters and killing the table. You can also sub in Wurmcoil Engine in order to produce infinite mana and infinite tokens, but without some sort of outlet for that mana or a way to swing in with those tokens it’s not going to result in a win on the spot. We do, however, have another way for this loop to result in victory.

Bastion of Remembrance and Disciple of the Vault both give us a way to kill off our opponents if we do not have an outlet for the mana produced by the KCI and Nim Deathmantle loop. You will be sacrificing a lot of artifact creatures, these will quite quickly result in more than enough triggers to just kill the table.

Ironworks also plays into another very common combo for the deck that involves Sword of the Meek and Thopter Foundry. Ideally you have at least one mana open prior to starting this loop, but depending on your board you can still get it popping off (it just takes an extra step). You pay 1 and activate the Foundry, sacrificing your Sword of the Meek and creating a 1/1 thopter token. This token triggers Sword of the Meek in the graveyard and returns it to the battlefield. You sacrifice the thopter to KCI and the Sword to Foundry and repeat this process and generate infinite tokens, infinite colorless mana and infinite life. You can combine this with Urza, Lord High Artificer in order to use that infinite mana to play your entire deck (he also allows you to tap your artifacts for blue mana, giving you potential counter backup should you need it or a way to generate mana to start the combo in the first place).

The other major combo in the deck pairs up Sharuum, the Hegemon with either Sculpting Steel or Phyrexian Metamorph. In order for this combo to result in a kill you will need either Bastion or Disciple in play. Then with either Sharuum on the battlefield or with either Sculpting Steel or Metamorph in the yard you either cast Sculpting Steel or Metamorph targeting Sharuum or you cast Sharuum and bring back Sculpting Steel or Metamorph. Using the legendary rule you can then create a loop of sacrificing and returning that combined with Bastion or Disciple will kill the table.

Now many of these cards can also function just fine out of their combos as well. Wurmcoil Engine remains one of the best 6-cost creatures in the game, Urza is an insane card all on his own, Ironworks can generate stupid amounts of mana in a pinch or in response to removal, Sculpting Steel can copy any artifact in play, Metamorph does the same but hits nonartifact creatures as well. Very few of these pieces are completely useless on their own.

A quick aside, there is a fantastic combo that as of the time of writing I am not running in this build of the deck (but do plan to incorporate in the near future) and that is Isochron Scepter with Dramatic Reversal as another means to generate infinite mana. It is a very popular and widely used combo in the competitive scene and both pieces function fantastically in the deck on their own as many of the others already mentioned here do.

Uncategorized:

1x Hangarback Walker

1x Master Transmuter

1x Steel Hellkite

1x Sword of Fire and Ice

1x Sword of Feast and Famine

1x Tezzeret the Seeker

1x Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

1x Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge

1x Teferi, Master of Time

So these are the cards that are kinda just here as ‘goodstuffs’ cards, some are just cards I like and am sort of running as pet cards or they don’t quite fit into a category well or I feel they span too broad a spectrum to otherwise define.

Hangarback is a bit of a relic from an earlier version of the deck. It’s still an entirely decent card that can generate some value over time, it can provide a body and later multiple bodies, plus I really like having the Mechagodzilla promo version in my deck. Master Transmuter not only represents the first printing of Breya on a card (seriously, look up the lore on Breya and compare it to the art on Master Transmuter and see why it HAS to be her), she’s also just a really good engine on her own. She can both protect cards by returning them to your hand, but you can use her to abuse certain ETB effects or generate value out of mana positive rocks, you can cheat out bigger threats like Wurmcoil Engine or to put a combo piece into play. Steel Hellkite is a solid beater that can double as removal. Sword of Fire and Ice and Sword of Feast and Famine are among the best equipment cards in the game and serve multiple roles from drawing cards, removing smaller threats or enabling massive plays and the protections they grant can be very relevant at times.

The planeswalkers, honestly for the most part I’m running the Tezzerets because I am a huge Tezzeret Stan and I just want to include him in my artifact focused deck. I actually used to run several more variations of him in the deck before trimming down to just these three, but these three do add quite a bit to the deck. Seeker allows me to find any artifact I could want, basically serving as a 5 mana tutor most of the time, but he’s a solid value engine if he sticks around. Agent of Bolas digs through my library, which has certainly backfired at times, but I can usually get something out of him. Being able to turn an artifact into an artifact creature however, is a generally more useful ability and can turn Inkmoth Nexus into a two-shot machine if I really want to get there with it. Master of the Bridge grants affinity, which is huge in this deck and his ability to just drain through my opponents’ life totals while buffing my own has won games that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to (usually if key combo pieces were removed and exiled). The ultimates on these guys, minus maybe Seeker, also tend to just win the game on the spot as well or put me at a serious advantage if not. Teferi, Master of Time is the newest addition to the deck and I’ve yet to get too much time in actually playing with him on board, but this card is just nuts in a multiplayer format because you get 4 total activations out of him per turn cycle and that time stretch ultimate definitely should be a game winner if you happen to pull it off. He’s dangerous, because he definitely paints a target on your head, but you’re playing Breya, you’re gonna be targeted anyways.

If you want a closer look at the deck I do have the list available here onĀ Tapped Out.

Hope you guys enjoyed this, maybe learned a little something. This is my first time actually writing up a deck tech so do forgive any issues you may have found with the formatting or if anything was missing or could have been better elaborated. I didn’t want to bog things down too much by getting especially technical with it. I do have another deck tech coming soon I am looking forward to sharing with you all, I will also be doing a set review for the recently released M21 so watch out for those.

Much love, play blue.