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Brago Artifact Combo - Less Stax, More Speed

Commander / EDH Artifact Combo Infinite Combo WU (Azorius)

antesjosh


PRIMER IS A WORK IN PROGRESS; ANY SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME

A Brago deck without cards like Static Orb, Winter Orb, and Tangle Wire may seem "less than optimal", but consider a few things before writing it off.

  • Comboing with Brago is very quick. Without black, the deck doesn't quite keep up with Flash Hulk or Food Chain decks, but it can definitely hold its own and packs enough disruption without these stax pieces.

  • Brago may be easy to remove, but often times cEDH players aren't packing tons of targeted creature removal, so they may be forced to use specific removal meant for other strategies or to wipe the board instead of targeting Brago. Also, Brago may draw a lot of hate, but mentioning that you aren't playing any of the biggest stax pieces might buy you enough time to find your combo.

  • Despite the "glass cannon" look of the deck, it is actually very resilient. We can take many different strategies to victory, and if we lose key cards like Strionic Resonator, Isochron Scepter, and Dramatic Reversal, we can still come out on top.

  • The incredibly low CMC of the deck allows us to take advantage of any situation and combo off in as little as one turn. Brago may not always make it a full turn around the table, but if we can give him haste or find ways to combo without him on the field, we can win the game with as little as two mana for setup.

- The main plan with Brago is to get his combat damage trigger on the stack with Strionic Resonator on the field and two mana from nonland permanents to copy the trigger. With this, we can:
  • Copy, bounce all of our nonland permanents, and then copy the ability again to secure infinite blinks. After that, our options are nearly endless. If we have Hierophant's Chalice on the field, we can gain infinite life and gun down all of our opponents by looping it's Enter the Battlefield (ETB) ability.

  • If we don't have Chalice on the field, we probably have a card like Prophetic Prism that draws us a card as it's ETB ability. With this, we can draw out our deck. Hopefully we have more than two mana available through artifacts, but if not, there are ways to create mana while our lands are open.

  • Then, we can flash in Shimmer Myr, play a free mana rock (Mox Opal, Mana Crypt) at instant speed and create infinite mana, then make an infinitely large Walking Ballista or instant speed Hierophant's Chalice, and gun down the table that way. Most players will just concede at the sight of you drawing out your deck, so the line we take is rarely important. However, if anybody has any spells or abilities that they want to use whilst we're comboing off, we have infinite mana and our deck in our hand, so we can stop them from doing anything to stop us.

What you're looking for in an opening hand is fast mana and a payoff. Our best draws have the combo pieces already in them, but chances are we're going to need to look for them most of the time. Counterspells are nice too, but they are definitely not essential to keeping a hand. Most likely, we want a way to make both blue and white mana by turn 2, if only as a way to cast Brago in the early game. Depending on what combo lines you have available to you early on, you might want to cast Brago or hold off on him in order to drop something like Isochron Scepter with Dramatic Reversal imprinted and hold up counter magic to keep it on the field. These lines take some practice to spot and take advantage of, but they make the deck what it is. If there was only one combo line, we would have very little defense against removal of artifacts like Strionic Resonator, but with the other combos, we can forget about those lines and go after something that is still available to us instead of searching for ways to get it back.
WHY NOT

Stasis, Winter Orb, Static Orb, Tangle Wire - Not looking to put together a full stax list. This deck has graveyard denial, artifact denial, and counterspells, but personally, I would rather lose to Flash Hulk and Food Chain than play these four cards.

Basalt Monolith, Thran Dynamo, Hedron Archive, Gilded Lotus - I have had most of these in the deck at some point. They are all too slow. Basalt Monolith is borderline, but without Power Artifact and Rings of Brighthearth, it's just okay. I've drawn it too many times in crucial situations where it brought me even on mana. They all have a place in their own decks, but they feel sluggish in cEDH.

Scroll Rack - Honestly, this one is a meta/preference call. I have used it, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for in the deck. With access to blue, we can do much of the same things we do with Scroll Rack as we do for one mana with Brainstorm, Ponder, and Preordain.

Path to Exile - Path is a fantastic removal spell, but in a meta where very few decks rely on single creatures, it isn't necessary.

Mana Leak, Dispel, Spell Pierce, Mental Misstep, Flusterstorm - In the end, these all depend on your meta. I think a case could be made for Misstep over Probe, but that would probably work better in a stax deck. Flusterstorm is also a good choice in a counter heavy meta, but Narset's Reversal serves so many more purposes than just a counterspell and it wins counter-wars just like Flusterstorm.

Sea Gate Oracle, Cloudblazer, Lavinia of the Tenth, Venser, Shaper Savant, Rishadan Cutpurse/Footpad/Brigand, Grand Abolisher, Sun Titan - These are all just a little too cute to make the list. Grand Abolisher is great if your combo is already in place or you can flash it out with Protean Hulk, but it doesn't help us unless we are already winning anyway. Most of the other cards on this list are too expensive and don't get us closer enough to comboing off.

Trophy Mage, Treasure Mage - When I was playing Basalt Monolith, it almost made sense to use Trophy Mage, but considering we're down to one 3 CMC artifact and 0 cards over 5 CMC, it makes little sense to use them. If you're playing Rings/Monolith, Trophy Mage is probably worth playing.

Land Tax - Not playing enough basics, nor am I interested in wasting 1 mana on this when I'm trying to combo off. Play it if you're on a ton of basics and trying to lock down mana with Back to Basics.

Voltaic Key - Tough call, but the only real value in here is untapping our mana rocks that tap for 2+ mana. Stick to Manifold Key.

Tsabo's Web - I've had this in the list several times before, but it doesn't really do much outside of drawing a card upon ETB. There are much better artifacts to run at 2 mana.

Parallax Tide - This card is neat and it does work, but I hate explaining the combo and certain people I've encountered refuse to believe that is how the triggers work. I think it's in the same position as creature Venser though. Same mana cost, gets rid of any permanents, but this does exile whereas Venser bounces to their hand. Use it if you're willing to drag out your explanation until the entire table believes you.

Cursed Totem - Play it if you plan on playing against Najeela, Hermit Druid, or any other troublesome creature abilites. Honestly, it is basically a no-brainer, but I rarely have trouble in those matchups.

Armageddon - This deck has a tough time winning without lands. As great as it is to cripple your opponents, they have Force of Will too.

Act of Authority, Aura of Silence, Grasp of Fate - Each of these cards feels worse than just playing another counterspell. Granted, we're on a proactive strategy that benefits from being ready for anything, but paying 2 white for something in this deck is not exactly in the budget.

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Casual

100% Competitive

Date added 5 months
Last updated 5 days
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.86
Tokens 1/1 Bird
Folders Artifact love
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