by Kory “Skyfolk” Pelletier
You ever just look at a card and have an overwhelming urge to build a deck around it? Well that urge is basically what defines the Commander format and led me to make a Commander deck of my own. I went through a few different decks before I settled on one but I quickly tired of building each of them. Then one day (about 4 months ago) I was at my local card shop and I was given the extra oversized pre-release Bruna, Light of Alabaster card they had lying around.
Affectionately called “Bubbles”
Now, when I originally saw Bruna I thought she was nothing special.She was just another big flashy angel, boring after the initial coolness. However, something clicked in me when I got that card, I read it and thought “Hmm… I could probably make a pretty cool Commander deck out of this…” and from then it’s all history.
From the moment I started designing the deck I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to focus on taking out one player at a time and my initial build (that I no longer have a list of) did that quite well. The only problem is that without Bruna I was totally vulnerable and I would quickly lose game after game. It was then that I realized I was using the two best control colours in the game and started scouring the Gatherer for everything I could use. To be honest the number of cards I could use was overwhelming at first, but in test after test of my initial bad build I started to notice patterns, main issues and from there I could fix them.
Bruna has some obvious weaknesses that needed to be addressed and dealt with if I were to ever have a deck I could be proud of. I categorized each one and found answers for them quite handily.
- Creature Control – What can you possibly do when you lose your primary damage engine?
- Aggro/Rush – How can one big creature possibly consistently stop an army of creatures, big or small?
- Consistency – What happens when I don’t always get enough auras to push through hard with Bruna?
- Creature Control – Simple, make sure she can’t be touched. Shroud, hexproof, counterspells, indestructibility, damage prevention and deterrents help keep Bruna nice and cozy on the battlefield.
- Aggro/Rush – More creatures and creature removal. Sweepers, big dudes and dudes that love to be enchanted, that way I can win even without Bruna’s help.
III. Consistency – Tutors and draw spells help Bruna stay relevant and consistent.
So now, without further adieu, the list (with a short explanation for each card):
Commander: Bruna, Light of Alabaster
1x Alexi’s Cloak – Instant-speed shroud is never bad.
1x Angelic Destiny – Big self-recuring boost.
1x Auramancer’s Guise – Huge boost, usually +6/+6 or more.
1x Battle Mastery – Double the damage, double the fun.
1x Celestial Mantle – For those long, long games.
1x Copy Enchantment – Two things are usually better than one thing.
1x Corrupted Conscience – Because 21 damage is too much.
1x Eldrazi Conscription – Do I even need to explain?
1x Enchanted Evening – Shenanigans!
1x Ethereal Armor – Like a mini-Guise.
1x False Demise – Can’t have Bruna dying now, can we?
1x Flickerform – Woah where’d she go?
1x Frozen Aether – I don’t like you being able to do things.
1x Ghostly Prison – Pay the toll.
1x Greater Auramancy – Can’t touch these.
1x Indestructibility – Nobody wants to die.
1x Inviolability – Comet Storm all you want, nobody can save you now.
1x Karmic Justice – An eye for an eye.
1x Leyline of Anticipation – Because saying “I flash in Bruna on your end step” never gets old.
1x Leyline of Sanctity – Oh you wanted to target me?
1x Propaganda – Oh you thought that was the only toll?
1x Rhystic Study – “Gonna pay 1?”
1x Righteous Authority – Big hand, big fun.
1x Sphere of Safety – You thought you paid all your dues?
1x Spirit Mantle – What, you wanted to block?
1x Steel of the Godhead – Mmm, good ol’ commander damage.
1x Unquestioned Authority – I like my protection to come with cantrips.
1x Vanishing – Don’t even think about it.
1x Vow of Duty – Political card that can also push that last bit of damage through in a pinch.
1x Vow of Flight – ^
1x Aura Thief – Remember those shenanigans we talked about?
1x Azorius Guildmage – Control engine all on her own.
1x Grand Abolisher – Makes sure my turn goes uninterrupted.
1x Grand Arbiter Augustin IV – Think twice before you play that.
1x Kor Spiritdancer – Bruna’s first understudy.
1x Leonin Arbiter – Just call me the tax man.
1x Meddling Mage – Insta-ban.
1x Mesa Enchantress – Card advantage what?
1x Mother of Runes – Mother is very protective.
1x Sovereigns of Lost Alara – Total synergy with Bruna, perfect.
1x Sun Titan – Bruna’s second understudy.
1x Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir – What can you say about Teferi other than “amazing”?
1x Austere Command – Situation sweeper, not many better.
1x Breakthrough – Total brain bomb.
1x Cataclysm – Advantage: me.
1x Cleansing Meditation – Hey look even more shenanigans.
1x Compulsive Research – If you’re lucky it’s like drawing 3 cards and playing them all at once.
1x Divine Reckoning – Voltron staple.
1x Idyllic Tutor – The best fetch.
1x Mind Spring – More card advantage.
1x Three Dreams – The best..er fetch.
1x Trade Secrets – I draw 4 when you draw 2, everybody wins!
1x Winds of Rath – More sweepers because of sweepers.
1x Azorius Keyrune – I don’t think mana rocks need justification.
1x Azorius Signet
1x Coalition Relic
1x Darksteel Ingot
1x Lightning Greaves – Sometimes auras aren’t all you need.
1x Sol Ring – Superior mana rock.
1x Swiftfoot Boots – Same as Greaves.
1x Blue Sun’s Zenith – Instant-speed self-recuring card draw… Wow.
1x Faith’s Reward – Sweepers? Whatever.
1x Hinder – Counterspell that tucks generals? Wow.
1x Return to Dust – Necessity and Who doesn’t love exiling 2 things for the price of one?
1x Spell Crumple – Counterspell that tucks generals and itself? Double wow.
1x Thirst for Knowledge
1x Adarkar Wastes
1x Azorius Chancery
1x Calciform Pools
1x Cephalid Coliseum – Emergency draw on a land, nice.
1x Evolving Wilds
1x Glacial Fortress
1x Hall of the Bandit Lord – Hastey Bruna, away!
1x Hallowed Fountain
1x Maze of Ith – I don’t like it when you attack me.
1x Mystic Gate
1x Nimbus Maze
1x Reliquary Tower – Sometimes having a big hand can save you from rough spots.
1x Sejiri Refuge
1x Serra’s Sanctum – Whole lot of mana.
1x Terramorphic Expanse
1x Thespian’s Stage – Don’t need to explain, I’m sure.
1x Vesuva – I should not need to explain this one.
There, now that we’ve gone through the deck, how about we take a look at some of the synergies going on here?
Some of the most notable synergies are :
While two of these are game-enders, Celestial Mantle gives me tremendous survivability, and paired with Battle Mastery, it gets just plain silly.
Making everything enchantments can be very beneficial in a deck where enchantments matter, and with these three card, Enchanted Evening‘s value is high.
Blowing everything up and getting all your own stuff back usually means game, or or can mean coming back from a potential loss. Either way it’s a devastating combo.
With Bruna on the board, unanswered, Three Dreams can end games simply by grabbing Alexi’s Cloak, Corrupted Conscience and Battle Mastery.
Sometimes you’re missing that one important aura to get the job done, and when that happens, Sovereigns helps you get just what you need.
There are a lot of effective plays you can pull off in the deck, most are fun to do and can turn games around rather quickly, spelling doom for your opponents. A few fun plays are casting a Sun Titan with a Hall of the Bandit Lord, returning a Battle Mastery from the graveyard and attacking, returning a Vow of Flight and hitting in for 16 damage; or Attacking with a Kor Spiritdancer and triggering Sovereigns of Lost Alara, searching for an Eldrazi Conscription and hitting in for at least 13 damage. Even if you find yourself without creatures you can enchant an opponent’s with Corrupted Conscience and something else, hopefully hitting your opponent for lethal.
Nobody wants to stare down a poisonous Eldrazi
This deck has fared well against many-a strategy, I’ve beaten countless archetypes, from 5 Colour Control, to Monogreen Goodstuff, to Reanimator and Ghave. With how I’m taking it up, you might think the deck is a bit too competitive for a casual format, but it really isn’t. It’s almost a glass cannon, though the deck can survive without Bruna, it’s fastest with her. If she gets answered too many times then I’d be hard pressed to beat decks like Mimeoplasm, Riku or Karador. I believe I’ve struck a good balance between a competitive and a casual deck, and I’m rather proud.
There guys are like the big bad bullies of Commander
Remember, you never stop building a Commander deck. You will never have a “final build” as long new sets keep coming out and you’ll never stop refining the deck. Commander is a very dynamic format and I urge all players both new and old to try their hand at it. Get a few friends together and help each other build, 4 player games can be a blast and you can always try new things. Now go out there and pick a Commander!
If you wanna comment on this deck or contact me, check out http://tappedout.net/users/Skyfolk/