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Budget Commander: $20 "Invent Superiority" Upgrade


We're back with part 4 of a 5-part series on the new Commander 2016 preconstructed decks where we help you guys choose the right deck for you, including an analysis of the unaltered deck, along with suggestions on how to upgrade them on a budget. Be sure to check out the previous article if you haven't already: Stalwart UnityBreed Lethality, and Entropic Uprising.

This time we'll be inspecting the Invent Superiority deck, which is all about artifacts and the numerous layers of synergies between them.

You might like the deck if ...

  • You love artifacts
  • You want a deck theme that has lots of support and synergies both within the deck and tons of upgrade potential
  • You enjoy complex board states with tons of options
  • You like tinkering and durdling for value
  • You like playing Control with a sprinkling of Combo

You might NOT like the deck if ...

  • You hate artifacts
  • You want to play an aggressive deck that comes out of the gates swinging
  • You'd rather play a simpler deck with a more straightforward strategy
  • You want to play a deck with Green

If this deck sounds cool to you, then great! Let's take a closer look, starting with the full preconstructed list:

Invent Superiority is all about artifacts and cards that care about artifacts: Etherium Sculptor ramps out your artifacts, Shimmer Myr gives your artifacts flash, Silas Renn, Seeker Adept returns artifacts to your hand, Skullclamp turns all the goat tokens you make with Trading Post into sweet card draw, and so on. This deck —and all other Artifact decks— have you tinkering with your board, abusing your cute little artifact synergies for incremental value until you build up to truly scary board states. If you like discovering 101 neat little ways your cards interact with each other, then you'll love Invent Superiority!

 

All the Artifact Colors

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Back in the day, the Artifacts archetype was first supported in Blue. Then when Wizards really started pushing the archetype, we saw a lot of support for Artifacts in Esper (Blue / White / Black). Most recently, we now see Artifacts supported in Red, since Wizards decided that Red is allowed to have nice things outside of Burn. The result is that there's a ton of Artifact support spread across the non-Green colors. That's where Breya, Etherium Shaper comes in: she is the only commander that gives you access to all four colors that hold the most Artifact goodies to build with. Breya's not just there to give you great color access: she's also very powerful leading the deck as well!

Breya, Etherium Shaper synergizes extremely well in Artifact decks. She herself is an artifact, and she brings an additional two 1/1 thopter tokens into play with her. She has a lot of flexibility in her toolkit: her lifegain can keep you alive, her creature removal is amazing at removing threats from the table or deterring people from messing with you, and her burn to the face is excellent at dealing with planeswalkers or combo'ing off and winning the game. That's a ton of value in your commander and her flexibility makes her solid at any stage of the game.

 

C-c-combos!

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Breya, Etherium Shaper —and Artifact decks in general— lend themselves to Combo finishers. You don't have to use combos in your Artifact deck, but they are by far the most efficient way for Breya to close out games. It's the most cost-efficient way to drastically increase the deck's power without breaking the bank. Here is one of the best budget combos:

Breya, Etherium Shaper + Ashnod's Altar or Krark-Clan Ironworks + Nim Deathmantle or Eldrazi Displacer

Sacrifice Breya's two tokens (or any other artifacts/creatures) to the Altar/Ironworks, floating 4 mana. Then if you're using Deathmantle, sacrifice Breya (floating 6 mana) and pay 4 mana to return her to play with the Deathmantle, creating two more thopter tokens in the process. Or if you're using Displacer, use 3 mana to blink Breya, creating two more thopters. Either way, repeat this process for infinite mana and infinite tokens, then use Breya's activated ability to burn all your opponents to death.

There are a lot of other combos out there that fit like a glove in an Artifact deck, but the one above is the most straightforward on a budget. I'm not the only one having the same thoughts either; the price of these combo pieces, most notably Nim Deathmantle and Krark-Clan Ironworks, has recently spiked due to Breya's combo potential and the lack of reprints of these cards.

Removing the Junk

Invent Superiority is a focused, streamlined deck that knows what it wants to be about: Artifacts! Because it has a solid identity, the deck plays pretty much how you'd want it to, and it's effective and fun right out of the box. There's always room for improvement, however, so here are the first cards I'd recommend cutting. Some of these cards are sweet but don't fit the Artifact theme (e.g. Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder), while others may fit the deck but just suck (e.g. Rupture Spire).

 

Superior Upgrades on a Budget

Here's a list of $5 or less upgrade options for Invent Superiority to give you ideas on where to take the deck. We're going with the obvious route with Breya, Etherium Shaper here and are building upon her Artifact theme, along with some combo options: 

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Here's a sample upgrade from the list for $20. Unfortunately while writing this article both Nim Deathmantle and Krark-Clan Ironworks spiked in price so I couldn't include as many combos as I originally intended and instead replaced Ironworks with Fabricate to tutor up your combo pieces or whatever else:

And here is Entropic Uprising with the sample swaps. It's a more focused Artifact deck with some Combo finishers.

 

Shiny and Chrome

Is money no obstacle, or do you just happen to have some expensive cards laying around that you don't know what to do with? Here's a list of cards over $5 that can help any Breya deck:

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

For the budgetless list, here's one cooked up by the folks from the competitive edh community on Reddit. The person who submitted this goes by /u/infiniteimoc and it's a Breya Eggs Combo list. 

Notable combos include:

 

4 Down, 1 To Go!

That wraps up Invent Superiority. Next up is the last precon to be analyzed, Open Hostility! As a Blue player, the non-Blue deck is the most challenging one for me to wrap my head around, so I took extra time with it to make sure I'd do the deck justice. I hope you'll enjoy the result! As always, your feedback is always appreciated. You can reach me by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @BudgetCommander. Thanks for reading!


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