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Molding something out of nothing

Commander / EDH Artifact Budget Tokens UR (Izzet)




The young kestrel was scouring the ground, his sharp eyes searching hungrily for prey. Instead of small mice or large moths, a sudden flash caught his attention. The light was emanating from a narrow opening, hovering some distance from the surface. As the rift was closing a strange creature fell out. The curious kestrel decided to perch on a nearby twig and observe the newcomer. The creature looked somewhat familiar, with a beak resembling his own, but it was much taller and lacked wings. Its four hands were frantically touching the body – a coalescence of exposed flesh and shiny metal, as if searching for something. It was then when the kestrel saw the blue fluid, dripping from a gash on the creature’s side.

“Wounded?” thought the kestrel.

The creature’s right hand soon found the opening, touched it with its claw and made a circular motion around it. The wound’s sides fused together almost instantly and the trickling stopped.


Just as the kestrel was ready to fly away something else caught his eye. On the ground where the blue fluid had dripped mere moments ago, something strange was happening. He saw a trail of ants coming from all directions, seemingly drawn to the fluid, each touching the droplets, that fell on the grass leaves and then joining the rest in one of the three perfect concentric circles that went around the motionless creature. Soon a large purple butterfly landed on the newcomer’s claw and started to drink the leftover fluid from the now closed wound.

Moments later the insect opened its wings and seemed ready to take off. The kestrel, overwhelmed with hunger, saw his opening. His wings barely made a sound as he darted quickly, snatching the butterfly, eating it whole.

“At last” thought the kestrel as he was about to fly away.

“Indeed”, a voice echoed in his mind. Monotone and rasp, it but had a certain clicking to it, as if a human was winding an old pocket watch, that made it sound almost… mellifluous.

The kestrel’s wings turned and he started to go around the strange creature. He wanted to fly away, but that desire was dwindling with each pass he made around it, with each glimpse he caught of its eyes.

He saw that the ants were no longer circling the newcomer, but were instead standing with their front legs extended toward the creature, as if venerating it. Suddenly the insects started to twitch, their limbs enlarging and extending, transforming into wings, covered with purple chitinous feathers, their mandibles, turning sideways and slowly morphing into monstrous beaks. As they took flight the vision of the kestrel started to blur, dividing into hexagons. He felt his mind clearing of all thought, except a single, perfect idea and the solemn desire to see it fulfilled.

“Now you, too, can see”.

The hawk and his new brethren made a final pass around the newcomer, before taking flight toward their new mission. Just before going over the horizon, the voice echoed one last time.

“Together we will make them all see”.

Author: Madcookie (that's me :D)

Date: 22 August 2021

Side Notes

Brudiclad is my favorite commander - I love the flavour, the visuals, the mechanics but the backstory consisting of 2 sentences always felt like a crime. With this short story I aim to expand and extrapolate on the sparse information about his arrival on Dominaria during the Time Spiral crisis. Hope you like it. Cheers!

Deck Goals

Aggro Approach - simple enough strategy - I'm running lots of small/big token generators with the goal of getting as many tokens as possible and turning them into a contingent of Combustible Gearhulks with Brudiclad, or attacking with 10x Scuttling Doom Engines.

Combo Approach - If the stars align (since deck has limited amount of tutors for the key piece) I can make all token become copies of Aetherflux Reservoir, cast 1-2 spells net 100+ life and start lasering down opponents.

Sneaky Win - Having 8 artifact tokens with the same name plus Mechanized Production out on the field is a very inconspicuous way to win the game. (Special shout-out to Thomasin4413 for pointing that Mechanized Production doesn't need to be enchanting an artifact with the same name as the other 8 to win the game!)

Talisman of Creativity --> Mind Stone Slightly better mana rock than Mind Stone.

Brass's Bounty --> Shiny Impetus Impetus wasn't performing as expected and I'll admit that although I wasn't a fan of Brass's Bounty at first it does its job well and on a sufficient scale.

Rite of Replication --> Fact or Fiction - It's one of my pet cards but sadly has to go and make way for Rite of Replication (A card that was on my wishlist for 4-5 years I think)

Call the Skybreaker --> Thopter Assembly Both are similar mana cost fliers, but the sorcery makes a big token immediately (saves a copy effect) and can be used from GY lategame.

Reef Worm - Treasure Mage --> Treasure Mage can't really tutor for essential pieces (Mirrorworks most notably) and thus felt more like 3 mana draw 1.

Replication Technique - Windfall - Windfall was very hit or miss here, sometimes refueling an opponent or drawing 2-3 cards. Swapped for more redundancy in the Big Token front.

Replicating Ring --> Commander's Sphere Very similar mana rocks but replicating ring has much higher ceiling (get 8 tokens in the lategame or sneakily win at spot with Mechanized Production on upkeep (with proper ordering of triggers)

Sky Diamond --> Prismatic Lens Slightly slower mana rock that makes colored mana.

Arcane Artisan --> Soul Foundry Foundry felt too honest as it required full CMC payment for every token. Artisan, while a bit susceptible to removal, has the upside of making a token for only which is a nice mana cheat plus it replaces the card you exile.

In the previous iteration I removed some cards that felt somewhat lackluster in the deck and wanted to test some new paths. (Added in previous iteration (9-April-2020): Arcane Signet, Ugin, the Ineffable, Steam Vents, Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, Sarkhan the Masterless, Drawn from Dreams, Phyrexian Juggernaut.) While most cards turned out to be amazing like the new Ugin and Saheeli, Kasmina's lack of a plus ability, somewhat hindered her game impact. Drawn from dreams, while amazing card selection, proves a bit slow for the deck at 4 CMC at sorcery speed so I wanted to test other options. Below is a list of what I've added and removed:

Shiny Impetus – comes in to replace Prying Blade as it is somewhat the same card, but slightly easier to get the treasure tokens. Also works as pseudo-removal.

The Locust God - Geode Golem seems good but here it casts the commander after combat so he makes no token, has low toughness and just eh. Locust God makes tokens is a solid creature on its own and with the added card draw he can even make a huge token swarm…pun intended.

Reconnaissance Mission - replaces Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor as a very solid source of card draw.

Windfall – comes in to replace Drawn from Dreams

Chandra, FlamecallerHate Mirage is fun but it is match-up dependent and there are games where it feels like Dragon Fodder. Chandra feels more versatile, being token maker, disco-draw engine and boardwipe all in one package.

Whir of Invention – oftentimes when casting Saheeli's Directive I found myself thinking "I hope in these 10 cards I see this card or that card", but then again why take a chance when you can just choose.

Fierce Guardianship - replaces Trophy Mage to add more interaction and extra protection for Brudiclad.

I want to thank everyone who saw, liked, added to folder, upvoted or commented the deck during the past year or so. It may not seem like much, but this amazing recognition for a deck that fully lives to its title, made from what limited card pool I have available means a great deal to me and I highly appreciate it.

For me it is a testament that putting dedication and care when building a deck can truly make something out of nothing.

Once again, thank you!

Added a few more token generators of various sizes, removed some underperforming cards.


  1. Feldon of the Third Path (One of my favourite cards, great lore)
  2. Dragonmaster Outcast (a bit slow, but very high payoff)
  3. Desolation Twin (late game potential finisher)
  4. Soul Foundry (I love Prototype Portal and this allows me a big more freedom when it comes to copying creatures)
  5. Hate Mirage (big high-roll potential)
  6. Idol of Oblivion (free draw, possibly 10/10 token)
  7. 2x Mountain (just to be on the safe side)
  8. Bloodforged Battle-Axe, Prying Blade and good old Meloku the Clouded Mirror added for testing
  9. Lightning Greaves for more protection for the commander and other important creatures


  1. Blinkmoth Urn (too slow);
  2. Drift of Phantasms (too slow)
  3. Followed Footsteps (too fragile)
  4. Mirage Mirror (my pet card, but wasn't happy with it here)
  5. Orochi Hatchery (never worked out as i hoped, rather cast it for 0 to copy with Mirrorworks or Prototype Portal)
  6. Sensei's Divining Top (not a control deck, no shuffles)
  7. Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang (50/50 workout rate, replaced for Dragonmaster Outcast)
  8. Whir of Invention (not a combo deck, the only thing I'd want to fetch is Mirrorworks or a gearhulk for whopping 9 mana)
  9. Thaumatic Compass   and Staff of Nin while fun to play seemed to slow for what I aim to do
  10. Foundry Inspector and Etherium Sculptor - while painful, I decided to remove them for more synergistic cards. Mana discount was nice in theory, but in practice it wasn't anything to write home about.

Side notes: I tried Ghired's Belligerence and it sat in my hand 2 games, the third I used it to kill only 1 creature, so Saheeli's Directive came back in the deck.

I've done extensive playtesting on XMage, strictly on casual tables (meaning no stax/cEDH deck style turn 3 wins). The deck is very fun to play and has quickly become my favourite. On top of that it has a very solid winrate in that environement and can both hold it's own and win out of nowhere, despite encountering a few auto-losses (Aura Shards + Whitemane Lion bouncing itself repeatedly and most notably Energy Flux in the somewhat popular Estrid decks). 33 lands seems to work just fine so far, but adding 1 more is definitely a consideration.

Overperformers: Mirrorworks (MVP), Saheeli's Artistry, Darksteel Juggernaut, Aetherflux Reservoir, Saheeli's Directive,Mechanized Production, also the mage cycle.

Underperformers: Myr Matrix / The back-up Isochron Scepter combo (with the lack of my beloved black transmute cards the combo is rather unreliable)

If you liked the deck give it a thumbs up +1 Upvote. Have a nice day! :)


Updates Add

Added a few new cards

+1Mystical Tutor /// -1Muddle the Mixture - more reliable tutor

+1Legion Warboss /// -1Accomplished Automaton - more reliable token generator

+1Jace, Cunning Castaway /// -1Skullclamp - clamp just didn't perform as strong as in my other decks (eg Edgar markov) + tokens are way too important in this deck to just draw 2

+1Counterspell /// -1Swiftfoot Boots - boots also didn't perform as strong as expected and mostly sat + removing Muddle the Mixture leaves the deck with too few way to interract.

+1Negate /// -1Negate - most folks don't like Jace, but ever since the Ixalan storyline I really started to like him + the art is amazing bling


Top Ranked
Date added 3 years
Last updated 3 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

47 - 0 Rares

13 - 0 Uncommons

10 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.15
Tokens 5/5 UR Token Creature Elemental, Clue, Construct 4/4 C, Construct 6/12 C, Copy Clone, Dragon 4/4 R, Dragon 5/5 R, Eldrazi 10/10 C, Fish 3/3 U, Goblin 1/1 R, Illusion 1/1 U w/ Flying, Insect 1/1 UR, Kraken 9/9 U, Myr 1/1 C, Myr 2/1 U, Replicated Ring, Servo 1/1 C, Spirit 2/2 C, Thopter 1/1 C, Thopter 1/1 U, Treasure, Whale 6/6 U
Folders Artifact, decks i like, Commander, Cockatrice, etc, Brudiclad, I'm Clad You're Here, Refrence, Artifact Decks that look cool, Possibly wanna get, See all 49
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