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Thop Thop Thump [Breya, Etherium Shaper EDH]

Commander / EDH Artifact Budget Combo Four Color Infinite Combo WUBR

GS10


Description

I very recently bought Breya's Precon Deck, and I am starting to tinker with the list with some cards I have laying around, and others that I specifically know I want to try with Breya. The decklist is still in a very embrionary stage and will suffer mass changes and upgrades during upcoming weeks, maybe months, so please take that in consideration.

I always consider my lists very carefully budget-wise, because I'd rather have a lot of different fun decks and strategies to play, than only one super competitive one. For that reason, and because of adaptability to different playgroups (more or less casual they may be), I tend to have this criteria as a core concern for all my decks. Even so, if I already own cards that fit the deck I'm building I will most likely play them, even if they make the overall value of the deck go over the goal I establish to myself.

I consider this a budget deck, some people won't and will think I'm crazy (and regardless, they're probably right) for running stuff like a foil Blightsteel Colossus or Saheeli Rai in a budget build. My criteria for the budget tag is the overall cost of the deck around 200$, which means each card has an average price of 2$, which isn't that much considering most EDH decks. This deck would be tremendously cheaper without those cards, yes, and you can play it like that - I chose to include them since I already owned copies and they fitted the strategy really well. As soon as I get enough game experience with the deck, I will make a section about budget options (similar to what I did in my Paradox Scepter description) with some well thought options to replace these more expensive cards.

The fact that this is a budget list means that you won't probably see me running something like Lion's Eye Diamond for the bomberman combo, and that the deck is made to function and be able to win consistently without those expensive cards, the same way that it is well equiped to win without Blightsteel Colossus.

This being said, let's go onto a bit of background and the general deck ideia.

Breya, Etherium Shaper

Why did I chose to play Breya, Etherium Shaper?

Breya, Etherium Shaper is that kind of creature that sometimes resembles a planeswalker, granted you need to pay her activation cost, but unlike a planeswalker, if you are willing to pay you can activate her abilities multiple times a turn and that's where things tend to get broken.

When C16 first came out I passed on the opportunity to get my own Breya precon, but the more I looked at her, the more I felt like I should play her. And then AER came out and I opened 3 Planar Bridges out of 5 boosters. That was a strong sign to me that I should do something with those and, turns out, Breya is probably one of the best generals to fit that card in, so I bit the bullet and got my precon which I am now trying to improve on.

Full on Combo VS Control

Very well suited for a combo general, Breya, Etherium Shaper also seems like a very good choice to lead a strong control deck. If you think about it, when you run a combo deck, what you need the most is time to assemble your combo, and Breya buys you that time with her abilities as well.

One thing is certain with Breya: Artifacts matter. So cards like Nim Deathmantle and Krark-Clan Ironworks are easy decisions, while others like Panharmonicon or Torrential Gearhulk require a bit more building around and on that will depend their power level. At this point, I'm going for a heavy creature based deck, with a lot of artifact recursion, artifact token producers, and most interaction based on artifacts as well, not only for the recursion but also as potential fodder for Breya. This way Panharmonicon looks amazing, but Torrential Gearhulk not so much, because the ammount of instants we can hit is underwhelming. While I believe the deck should run more instant speed interaction and less big splashy creatures, that would require a massive overhaul, which I am not prepared to make at this point, especially because I didn't get enough play with the deck as is to fully get the hang of it.

During the next weeks the deck will suffer a lot of changes certainly, and this choice will be defined much clearly. With very limited testing the biggest issue I've noticed is the mana base, which for the first time in all my EDH decks has given me some headaches, a lot of mana intensive cards make my mana hard to fix and completely kill my tempo. Mycosynth Lattice would solve that problem, but I'm not too keen on the card. I might, for my first time ever, run proper fetches, shocks and battle lands sooner rather than later, but the mana requirement of each card is something I need to keep in mind at all times.

Planar Bridge EDH

Is Planar Bridge any good?

Expensive card mana-wise. Definitely there are cards that would get me whatever I needed for cheaper mana investment than Planar Bridge - much higher price tag though - but they would also require more dedicated slots in the deck and some build around to ensure I could play them over and over if I needed that. We are trying to win with some combo and Planar Bridge will get us all those combo pieces and put them on the battlefield! The edge that Planar Bridge gives us is the ability to tutor those multiple pieces in a pretty swift manner once you get it out. Yes, it costs 8 mana per activation and usually has one activation per turn, but when you just need 2 permanents with it to win the game on the spot, it seems to me like a fair price to pay.

Also, did you see Blightsteel Colossus? That's not a combo piece, but also a great target for the Bridge, and a giant death certificate that demands immediate answers and even so keeps coming back, and at a discounted rate even, thanks to Planar Bridge.

Good guy Tezzeret

The Combos

If you've played Breya or against her, even the precon deck, you'll know that the deck doesn't need to go infinite to win a game. The decklist might seem perfectly fair, you might not even see anything too broken in it, but Breya is a surprisingly good general even outside of any combos, which makes her deck much more resillient than it would seem at a first glance.

But of course, if I'm playing Breya, I'm not just looking for that versatility, that's an added feature! The deck's main win conditions are, obviously some game ending combos. These are the ones I currently run:

This is the most outspoken combo envolving Breya. Sac Breya and the 2 thopters to the altar, to make mana, pay for Nim Deathmantle, Breya comes back with 2 thopters and keep mana floating, rinse, repeat, you have infinite mana and now you can pay for Breya's ability, sacking her and a token to herself, and paying for Deathmantle, to keep bringing her back and Lightning Bolt everyone to death.

Special thanks to Kai-Erik for calling my attention to this one. With the previous sac outlets we can generate mana, to activate Eldrazi Displacer targeting Breya, Etherium Shaper, bringing her and 2 tokens back, which we sac again for additional mana. Each time we activate Eldrazi Displacer we are only spending , which leaves us with unused mana per cycle. This makes infinite colorless mana, which we can then use on Breya to sac tokens and bolt people, alternating with the Displacer, to keep making new tokens and be able to activate Breya infinitely.

For either of these combos, you don't even need to activate Breya if you have a Reckless Fireweaver, Disciple of the Vault or Marionette Master in play, just bringing Breya back into play and sacking tokens infinitely to the altars will kill the table. In most situations any mass token producer will also work instead of Breya.

By now everyone knows how this one works, Standard has been a very good exposition. Either you play it or you hate it. I wanted Saheeli anyway because all of her abilities are relevant in this deck, so while I don't change the whole core of the deck, it seems like a given to include the cat. Not only that but Felidar Guardian works great on its own, being able to blink Breya or some other permanent with a relevant ETB when it's not going infinite.

If you can somehow make 16 mana in one turn, and you have Planar Bridge, get the Guardian, blinking the Bridge, tap it again for Saheeli and in one turn you've assembled the combo out of nowhere.

One blue mana to make Pili-Pala blue with Grand Architect, use Grand Architect's second ability tapping Pili-Pala to make mana and use it to untap Pili-Pala with it's own ability, making one mana of any colour. Repeat that as many times as you want and you have infinite mana in any combination of colors. Infinite mana is always good, but in this deck it's enough to win. Worst case scenario, just sac Breya to her ability infinite times, casting her over and over again with Pili-Pala's colored mana.

Again, the deck is still in its most embrionary stage, so this is the least combos you will ever find in this chapter. These are fairly easy to assemble, and there are more than a few ways to get the needed pieces even without adding some tutors and similar effects in Kuldotha Forgemaster and such. The best way to get any of these combo pieces is the previously mentioned Planar Bridge at this point.

Additional Notes

I've updated the decklist with custom categories, you can scroll to those if you wish so you can measure which cards function towards each goal. I've listed Trinket Mage as targeted removal, as it finds us any of the capsules or Aether Spellbomb (not just those, but those are usually the more relevant). I decided to keep a category for blink effects even though they're still few, since they are very relevant and really versatile. Eldrazi Displacer and Felidar Guardian will work towards various goals, either making additional tokens, reset planeswalkers, repeat relevant ETB abilities, and so on.

Below are my own notes regarding the upgrades being made, most of it is just for me o keep track of what has been moving in or out. These are probably of no use to you unless you also have a precon that you are trying to improve.

IN

Even though some of these will probably get cut in the long run, I'm focusing on whatever useful upgrades I can make based on my own collection and cards I know I can pick up.

OUT

Some of these cards are really good, they just don't fit as well within the main strategy, or I pulled out most of the support cards that made them useful (for instance Loxodon Warhammer is great equipment, but when I took out all lifegain cards except Breya herself, it feels out of place), others are a personal choice based on meta (Grip of Phyresis for instance, since most equipment my playgroup runs are Boots and Greaves, and I don't feel like I need Grip just for those)

These cards are being considered as potential inclusions but up to now they were deemed suboptimal. Some of them because they are not as explosive as I wanted them to be by themselves, others because the deck doesn't fit their use just yet (Torrential Gearhulk and Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip for instance). There are also some that I simply don't own yet and am still pondering if the investment is worth it and others that I know that will be in the deck ASAP, but are not at this point (these are marked in bold) either because I'm testing cards that I am not so sure of to see how they play, or because I am still to get copies from friends' trade binders, instead of purchasing all of them.

Artifact Generation

Artifact Synergy

Control

Additional ETB

Alternative WinCons

  • Phyresis - If I'm not mistaken, this on Breya would make a 4 activation KO, even without combat damage. The problem here is that it is both narrow in usage and prone to make me a target for the rest of the table.

  • Magister Sphinx - especially relevant due to two massive lifegain decks in my playgroup.

  • Mechanized Production - Enchanting Breya, and sacking the copy to the original for one activation and eventually winning with 8 thopters on the field seems fine.

C-C-C-COMBO!

(These are not necessarily cards that only work within their own combos, but if I chose to bring one up, I might look at bringing the whole combo. The main reason for not including these right away is budget only. Most cards needed are pricy and I don't own any copies. Cards in italic are already in the list.)

By now it became quite clear that Impact Tremors is a huge enabler for almost everything we can do. We might as well use Purphoros, God of the Forge or Altar of the Brood in that role, but the God is on a higher CMC (and price) and while comboing off the additional point of damage won't be relevant, and the Altar won't be as good or as effective pressuring opponent's in most situations, so I favor Impact Tremors. If we have extra available spots in the deck, there is nothing against going with multiple of these enablers.

Note: At some points Chinese marked cards might show up in the list. Those represent upgrades that I still need to pick up, which are at the time either proxied in the deck or being replaced by a different card as a placeholder until I get my copy.

If you read through all of this, don't forget to leave your thoughts below and THANK YOU!

Panoramic Land Art MTG

This is my very first approach to budget options regarding this decklist, so in time I will develop this much further.

I usually stick to the current numbers for budget comments, but in this deck I am going to go over a bit of market speculation, and how and when you can purchase these more expensive cards, if at some point you feel like you want them. Keep in mind that I am not an expert, and this is not set in stone, I'm sharing my thoughts and my personal criteria when moving into cards like these. Let me know if this is something you want to see more or not.

  • If you aren't running Planar Bridge there is no particular pressure to run Blightsteel Colossus (even if you own one), because it will eat removal and will be a huge mana commitment each time you find it. Planar Bridge makes it a lot more of an imminent and persistent threat. Blightsteel Colossus is likely to keep its pricetag for the foreseeable future, but Planar Bridge will only rise. It is not played in any rotating format, but it's potential for EDH and the fact that it is a mythic rare will make it more and more rare of a find as time goes on. It won't likely go over 10$ (because it is not a core piece of any combo), but look at Nim Deathmantle or Basillisk Collar (before the reprint), even without seeing much play other than EDH, they kept a very high cost for only rares, and only after a few years.

  • If you do run Planar Bridge, then you can look into some huge beaters (so you can either find combo pieces or a huge finisher with the Bridge) like Hellkite Igniter, Metalwork Colossus (which has always a nice discount in this deck) and such, and this will drop the cost of the whole deck significantly already.

  • Saheeli Rai is at her most expensive price tag right now, and you can easilly run any other card in here, and take out the whole combo. Obviously, if you are making space in the deck, Padeem, Consul of Innovation should be in here, and while she doesn't do anything alike Saheeli Rai, it should have a place in the deck. I would try to get a copy soon as Saheeli drops anyway (due to either standard rotation, metagame shift or a standard ban, I'd recommend her inclusion. I wouldn't buy into her higher than 3,5$ for this purpose though). She is viable in modern, but not that competitive, so Standard has a huge influence in her price and while building on a budget this is something we should always keep in mind.

  • Cyclonic Rift is still one of the pricy cards in the deck, but this is a staple in the format, and the recent reprint in MM3 made it drop a lot in price, so move in on these soon.

  • Smuggler's Copter is a personal choice, it will likely keep costing a couple of bucks, so if you are willing to get one, this is the fair price, if you don't want to, it is not vital in the deck.

  • Krark-Clan Ironworks is at a ridiculous price for an uncommon, mostly due to Breya. It is in most other decks worse than Ashnod's Altar, but due to its availability, the price is still rising. It is not the perfect time to get copies if you don't own them, but they add consistency to your combo package. Excluding it wouldn't kill the combo, but IMO the inclusion is worth it (especially because at this point there is no product in sight where its inclusion is expectable - and best case scenario that would happen in the next EDH Precons or Masters set, which are not even announced yet). Again, look at Planar Bridge - this one is an uncommon that is enclosing 10$ after more than a decade without a reprint, if Planar Bridge isn't reprinted in a long time (and as a mythic rare) it will likely see a similar price tag.

All your suggestions, comments and experiences about Breya, Etherium Shaper that you want to share are welcome! If you like this deck, leave your upvote, it's heavily appreciated!

Updates

Comments

Kai-Erik says... #1

You actually have another set of infinite combos in there that you could mention, Eldrazi Displacer goes infinite with either Krark-Clan Ironworks or Ashnod's Altar and Breya. Blink her to produce infinite thopters and mana, then sac and burn.

I see you have Padeem, Consul of Innovation in your maybeboard and I must say that I think he and Lightning Greaves should be auto includes in any Breya list. They protect each other so well and he draws you cards! I've had people scoop to those two cards hitting the board. What are you gonna do? Wait and hope to draw into a boardwipe while I finish setting up my combo?

Plus with you running Planar Bridge, you're going to want to protect your high mana sink artifacts as best you can.

Just my thoughts, aside from that I love the more creature based approach. +1!

March 23, 2017 2:31 p.m.

GS10 says... #2

@Kai-Erik,

First of all thanks a lot for your insights!

Let me try to answer everything. Eldrazi Displacer is actually much better than I remembered (by the time OGW came out I was playing a clanky abzan deck made for the Emperor format that used it with Siege Rhino to kill everyone playing as the emperor!) and for some reason when I wrote this description I was thinking it said "exile... and bring it back tapped EoT." which would have prevented that infinite loop. In the meantime I realized that (I believe while looking at your own deck) but didn't update the description so far. Definitely that was something that I would have noticed while playing, but I didn't have the chance to test the deck properly so far.

As for Lightning Greaves + Padeem, Consul of Innovation, definitely worthy inclusions (the greaves to such an extent that I never bother including it in a maybeboard because I know they should be there) but I still didn't get my copies: Padeem because I could trade it with a friend who I know has one up for trade and greaves, because I have one or two decks with one copy in that I'm about to strip to pieces or repurpose, so I'm going to get one of those into this list in time. By the way, Padeem is a woman! I wouldn't have guessed it unless someone pointed it out on youtube at some point eheh. But back onto the deck itself, my problem at this point is to define what is relevant or not in this deck, and most times at my own lists I try to figure this out by cutting some autoincludes for other more doubtful cards, until I understand which one underperforms, so then I can bring in the proven overperformers. Since my playgroup is pretty casual, this is rarely a big handicap for me, and IMO is a great way to test some cards you are not so sure about. Say I'm in doubt between Hanna, Ship's Navigator and Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer (which is not the case, at least before getting some games under my belt). Wouldn't they be kind of cannibalizing each other's function? I'd rather test both at the same time, than choose one over the other and never have the chance to properly compare nor test how they synergize between them, even if they were seemingly worse cards on their own. I know Padeem is going to be vital to keep me safe in many situations, and Greaves are always worth including except when shroud is an handicap because of auras and such, so these are cards that I know I want, but first I want to figure out for sure which ones I can live without.

March 23, 2017 3:58 p.m.

RobelCL says... #3

hi! i really like your deck. What do you think about Thopter Spy Network ?

March 27, 2017 12:19 a.m.

Kai-Erik says... #4

Thopter Spy Network + Mindslaver + Goblin Welder + 4 mana = steal infinite turns

March 27, 2017 2:27 a.m.

GS10 says... #5

@ RobelCL

I was convinced I had it in my maybeboard (it is one of the cards I have sleeved, stored right beside the deck). It was one of the first cards I included while throwing cards together from my collection, and one of the last I cut to make way for others that I thought were more effective.

I really like the card, and I try to include it in way too many decks - which is probably why I end up cutting it from most decks, because I think too highly of it more often than not. In this deck, more than one thopter a turn, the card advantage clause is where the true value might be for this deck, helping find combo pieces quicker.

I have to play the deck a few times and I am sure that in the long run I will find a few underperformers, and by then almost surely I'll try Thopter Spy Network, I honestly don't know if it will be as good as I hope, better or worse. But I do like it a lot and it is surely one autoinclude for more budget oriented decklists - since it is dirt cheap and can take the place of other expensive cards while still being very synergistic with the deck.

Thanks a lot for your comment!

March 27, 2017 5:58 a.m.

GS10 says... #6

@Kai-Erik,

Thanks again for the awesome insights!

Just like Thopter Spy Network, I do own a sleeved copy of Mindslaver right beside the deck. The problem with it is hate. I love combos around Mindslaver and I tried numerous ways to build my old Glissa, the Traitor deck so I could take advantage of it. The problem is that both new and old players will see Mindslaver as a big target on me. It can end the game just the same way Thopter Assembly + Time Sieve do, but the fact that it does it by stealing turns vs taking extra turns is percieved more negatively, at least in my circles. For this reason I tend to keep my decks as politically correct as possible. I have a Narset deck that I can't play in my regular playgroups because everyone feels miserable playing against it and my killing floor Meren of Clan Nel Toth is as close of that status as it can be - one more upgrade will probably make it unplayable with my friends. For this reason I tend to be very cautious with my win conditions (and I still don't know if Blightsteel Colossus won't have the same effect, but I've been telling everyone I play it and how I can get it, so they all know how to prepare for it before actually facing it, so no one is salty if I win with it).

Of course things change, and if my playgroup develops in a way that most people end up trying to run for a combo, of course I will include that one with no reserves whatsoever. And I hadn't thought of a way to go infinite with it, which definitely makes it much better than just leaving a big warning sign on the table or stealing one turn here and there, since the game ends quickly that way. But since I am the only player within the group that usually goes full on combo, I try to be sensible about the ways I win and give people ways to have fun, even when I'm winning - again, this only happens because my playgroup is pretty casual. If I played frequently in a more cutthroat group, I'd definitely run each and every different combo and win con I could fit together, so I will add it to my maybeboard and keep it in mind as well - especially because it's the cheapest combo for me to get at this point, since I only need Goblin Welder which I should be running regardless.

March 27, 2017 6:15 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 1 week
Last updated 4 hours
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.24
Tokens 1/1 Servo, 1/1 Thopter, Daretti, 1/1 Myr
Folders Actual EDH Decks
Top rank #45 on 2017-03-28
Views 467