Hi everyone and welcome to another post about my personal Commander decks!
This time I’m going to talk about my Braids, Conjurer Adept deck: Cheating into play!
It seems that I like to cheat things into play instead of paying their actual mana cost: first a reanimator and a polymorph deck and now I’m writing you about another deck that has putting big things into play without paying mana as its main plan.
The deck is completely built around Braids’s ability, cheating big things into play and mitigating the advantage we are going to give to our opponents. Like Show and Tell deck in Legacy, we are going to get ahead because our deck is built to play with Braids and so we are ready to drop tons of big spell for free; our opponents will be able to cheat something into play but, in most cases, they will not have the same amount of big impactful cards that we have… plus we also run a series of cards to copy or steal their treats, turning also their free drops into our advantage.
The ramp are some pretty standard rocks but I also decided to try and abuse Braids’s ability even here by running big mana rocks like Caged Sun but that can give us the extra boost to close games.
I also decided to run mana rocks that can let us draw like Mind Stone and Hedron Archive: at the final phases of the game, where we are set with our mana, these can give us the extra fuel to win.
Cheating into Play
These are the main things that we will want to cheat into play to try and win the game. Unfortunately Kozilek and Ulamog‘s cast abilities won’t trigger if you put them into play with Braids, but let’s admit that big Eldrazi with Annihilator are nice even without that. Other cards that surely will help you win games (and make your opponents hate you) are Blightsteel Colossus and It That Betrays.
Galecaster Colossus and Tidespout Tyrant are two nice cards to have on the field as they are going to bounce back the various threats that our opponents decide to drop on the field.
Copying and Stealing
Being Braids’s ability is a symmetrical one, so we are going to try to break the symmetry by stealing or copying what our opponent’s are going to put into play. All the cards in this section are also all playable with Braids apart from Blatant Thievery, a big nice spell that will let us steal a permanent from each of our opponents.
Only my Bonus
Another way to make the ability asymmetrical is to make Braids leave the field when it’s not our turn and so we are using these cards to do it.
Tawnos’s Coffin and Vodalian Illusionist can also be used to temporarily remove some of our opponent’s creatures.
After removing the bonus from our opponents and stealing what they played, what else can we do? Obviously getting even more triggers of the ability for us by increasing the number of upkeeps we are going to have. These two cards are here to do this.
To be able to constantly have something to cheat into play we will need to draw a lot and so we run all these big cards that we can also put into play with Braids.
Some of them will also hinder our opponents, like Jin-Gitaxian and The Immortal Sun, and so we will get double the job out of them.
Sometimes we are going to be put in a position where simply copying or stealing our opponents card won’t be enough… so we need to interact with them by removing or countering them.
Two of my favorite removals of this deck, that we can cheat into play with Braids, are Duplicant and Phyrexian Ingester: these two card will get bigger based on what we are going to remove with them, giving us the possibility to drop a huge creature while also removing a threat.
When we are going to play these huge threats we are obviously going to become a target. To protect ourselves we are going to use the big creatures we are dropping on the field, but we also need to protect those creatures and so we are running these cards. The boots/greaves are also great to give Haste to one of the huge creatures we just dropped.
One of the flaw of Braids is that normally her ability will trigger for our opponents before coming to us. Playing at instant speed is the perfect solution to this as we can run these cards to play Braids in the end of the opponent right before us; also the ability to play at instant speed will let us copy or steal a threat as soon as it hits the field.
Sometimes we won’t be able to stop our opponents from using Braids’s ability to their own advantage and so we are going to run a card like Propaganda to make for them more difficult than how already is to attack us.
The card advantage of the deck also is huge and will potentially let us draw a lot, with even the possibility of decking us out. To prevent this and make it into a weapon, we a re running Laboratory Maniac.
The curve of the deck is pretty high with a 4.59 media in the mana cost, but we have to consider that most of the big cards are going to be cheated into play with Braids. We are going to run mostly mana lands but we also have some to draw a bit more like War Room and some other utility lands.
Emergence Zone and Winding Canyons are two more cards to play at instant speed, while Reliquary Tower will let us keep all the cards we are going to draw.
Sometimes our opponents will understand really well how the deck goes and start removing Braids; Riptide Laboratory is a way to save her by bouncing her back to our hand, so we can avoid paying the Commander Tax.
I really like Braids because it can be a blast to some players: my playgroup when I showed her as my Commander all told me that I was crazy and that I couldn’t give such a huge advantage to my opponents… then they watched my drop an Eldrazi Titans after they dropped only a Llanowar Elves and other insignificant stuff.
Don’t be fooled! A Braids deck is ready to play big monstrosity out of the curve while the regular deck isn’t!
I hope this post will help the ones who want to try and build Braids to start cheating the biggest threat into play for free!