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Budget Commander: Brago, King Eternal


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Brago, King Eternal was a requested general that immediately captured my attention. His ability triggered fond memories of my Pauper-slinging days, back when my favorite play in Magic was blinking Mulldrifter with Momentary Blink. Such value!

That's what Brago is in a nutshell: King of Value. Our spiritual leader encourages us to play cards with sweet "Enter the Battlefield" triggers, which we then retrigger again and again with Brago. But that's not all — Brago also abuses cards that can take advantage of being "untapped" by the blink, most notably mana rocks: tap that Sol Ring for mana, blink it with Brago, and it comes back untapped to use again. So keep bouncing your board, doubling your mana and triggers, and soon enough your opponents won't stand a ghost of a chance!

How It Plays

Brago, King Eternal generally works best as a midrange/control deck. He also has access to some game-winning combos, and more competitive versions are well-suited for playing the Stax archetype.

Games usually play out like so:

  1. Heavy ramp, primarily with mana rocks.
  2. Swing with Brago, blinking all your nonland permanents for sweet value.
  3. Win by grinding out your opponents, combo'ing off, or resource denial (Stax).

Ramp

The first step, as always, is ramp. Since we don't have access to Green, the majority of ramp will come in the form of mana rocks, which is just fine with us since Brago, King Eternal doubles their effectiveness by blinking them.

Three mana rocks are particularly strong with Brago: Basalt Monolith, Grim Monolith, and Mana Vault. Our Dear Leader lets us circumvent their untap costs via blinking, making these Commander staples even more busted.

While we don't have many options for land ramp, there are two excellent choices for Brago: Solemn Simulacrum and the less powerful but still worthy Kor Cartographer.

We can also generate mana by blinking the following creatures: Peregrine Drake, Palinchron, Great Whale, Cloud of Faeries. Note that these are far less appealing options if we don't have Brago out; however, the ramp potential is so big that I feel one or two of these are worth the risk.

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Weapons Fit For Royalty

With so much of the deck depending on Brago, King Eternal's trigger, we should take special care to protect His Highness from our filthy peasant foes, lest the rabble seek to oust our rightful ruler from his throne.

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Card Advantage

Brago, King Eternal is all about slowly getting ahead of everyone else at the table. Once the engine starts working, resistance is futile.

Card draw:

Graveyard Recursion:

Tutors:

Manifest:

The new Manifest cards from Fate Reforged are very good here: Cloudform, Lightform, and Mastery of the Unseen are cards you definitely want to play. Bounce Cloudform and the manifested card to get a free flip up and trigger Cloudform to manifest a new card.

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Disruption

Brago has a ton of great targeted removal that you can blink for value and some mass removal too. Plus, you're in White, so all the regular staples are also available.

Detention Sphere and similar enchantments are bonkers in this deck; by blinking Sphere, you can make it a royal pain for your opponents to keep their generals on the field. If you target a general and they choose to send it back to the command zone, you can just blink the Sphere to target something else (including the general again when it's recast).

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Resource Denial

While you don't have to be mean spirited with Brago, King Eternal, his ability to untap permanents makes this general well-suited to utilizing Stax strategies. 

Stax options: StasisWinter Orb, Static Orb, Tangle Wire, Hokori, Dust Drinker, Kismet, Frozen Aether, Opposition, Parralex Tide, ArmageddonCatastrophe, Land Equilibrium

Personally, I don't have a problem with resource denial — in fact, I wish more people accepted things like MLD and employed it, because the unspoken rule of not destroying lands currently gives Green decks an enormous meta advantage. But I'm also of the opinion that you should play to the power level of your playgroup. This Stax strategy is very powerful and you should make sure it's suitable for your group before jamming all of them in.

After going 5-0 on Magic Online and getting snap-concessions like this, I ended up cutting down on the Stax elements in my deck because the Magic Online meta can't handle it.

Tangle Wire [V13] (F)Stasis [5ED]Winter Orb [5ED]

Combo

One combo unique to Brago is the following:

If there are any more sweet combos you can think of, let me know!

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Budget Lists

The Magic Online version has a bit more Stax elements than the physical to illustrate what cards I'd swap in/out for them.

 

Upgrading and Fiddly Bits

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That's All, Folks!

Follow me on Twitter @BudgetCommander for notifications on when the next article is up, updates on future decks, and input for what to work on next. Thanks for reading!



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