Sixer601's picture
By: Sixer601, Sean Matthew Beardsley
Jan 14 2020 1:00pm

 As many well versed EDH players know, Breya, Etherium Shaper is a well defined commander, both in fun, artifact tribal decks and extremely competitive, fast playgroups. For those that don't know, Breya was released in the commander 2016 preconstructed decks, and made an impact on the format immediately.

Breya's greatest strength is her versatility, as she can kill creatures, planeswalkers, deal direct damage to opponents and gain you life, costing you 2 artifacts and 2 mana each time one of her abilities is activated. This ability to get value out of sacrificing your own permanents is very similar to an archetype that has been around for years, under the name Aristocrats. The main strategy of the deck is to use cards like Cartel Aristocrat and Viscera Seer to sacrifice cards like Doomed Traveler and get extra value due to the doomed traveler's death trigger giving you more sacrificial creatures. This strategy proves efficient, and generates lots of value from few cards. Also, due to the creature based interactions, you can always just attack your opponent(s) with them instead of sacrificing if you are playing a more aggressive role. This adaptability allows for the deck to fill any role necessary and allows for a strategy that can out-value your opponents consistently.

This list went undefeated in a 5 round league on Magic Online. Due to these positive qualities, and Breya's similar playstyle, I decided to design a list with this aristocrat theme in mind. I will go over some different tactics and which cards accomplish these tactics.

1st Tactic: Getting creatures onto the board

Breya's enter the battlefield effect allows you to have 2 thopters as soon as she comes in, however we want more creatures to be able to get value, and to get this we have a myriad of ways to make tokens.

Efficient Construction Sai, Master Thoterist Anointed Procession Mirrodin Besieged Bitterblossom Hidden Stockpile Thopter Foundry Myr Battlesphere Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast

2nd Tactic: Using the creatures to obtain other resources:

As Breya requires mana and 2 artifacts to use her 3 different abilities, we need outlets to produce mana and ways to transmute tokens into cards.

Krark-Clan Ironworks Ashnod's Altar Sai, Master Thopterist Time Sieve Skullclamp Coastal Piracy Bident of Thassa Daretti, Scrap Savant Goblin Welder Goblin Engineer Arcum Dagsson

These cards allow for the deck to function extremely well, as any resource we desire is made available to us, and some of these cards allow us to delve into the combos Breya is known for while still maintaining that aristocrats style of the deck.

3rd Tactic: Weaponizing token production

Breya's first ability allows for you to deal 3 damage to a player or planeswalker by sacrificing 2 artifact, which is one of our main win conditions. However, to achieve a true aristocrats theme, the deck runs several other cards that can deal noncombat damage to the opponent.

Disciple of the Vault Reckless Fireweaver Cruel Celebrant Blood Artist

These cards allow for our opponents to be "taxed" slightly per artifact or creature entering or leaving, to ensure the maximum amount of damage can be dealt.

4th tactic: Combo pieces

Breya's 4 color pairing allows for lots of different combos within the deck:

Sharuum the Hegemon + Phyrexian Metamorph/Sculpting Steel + Bitter Ordeal/Any of the "whenever an artifact/creature enters the battlefield/dies" cards = infinite damage/infinite mill

Breya, Etherium Shaper + Nim Deathmantle/Eldrazi Displacer + Krark-Clan Ironworks/Ashnod's Altar = Infinite colorless mana, infinite damage, infinite life, infinite thopters, and infinite etb effects.

Sharuum the Hegemon + Nim Deathmantle + Any artifact + Krark-Clan Ironworks = Infinite etb effects

Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek + Time Sieve + 5 mana = infinite turns

Myr Battlesphere + Nim Deathmantle + Krark-Clan Ironworks/Ashnod's Altar = infinite myr, infinite colorless mana, infinite etb triggers

Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek + Urza, Lord High Artificer = exile and play your deck, make infinite thopters, make infinite blue mana

Myr Battlesphere + Time Sieve + Nim Deathmantle + 4 mana = infinite turns

Breya, Etherium Shaper + Time Sieve + Anointed Procession + Nim Deathmantle + 4 mana = infinite turns

5th tactic: Tutor effects

Due to the ability to instantly win once we assemble some of these combos, if we draw certain pieces we would want to assemble the other parts to win on the spot.

Tezzeret the Seeker Fabricate Tribute Mage Muddle the Mixture Goblin Engineer Inventors' Fair Whir of Invention

These allow for us to find one specific card we need, but the deck only runs 7 tutors, in order to promote varied strategies and less redundant games, where all we do is combo our opponents.

6th tactic: Protection and resilience

As many cards throughout magic's history specifically destroy artifacts, the deck requires some ability to make sure it doesn't fall apart at the hands of very devastating effects. This category is not a specific tactic to win but to ensure we do not lose.

Path to Exile Swords to Plowshares Goblin Welder Goblin Engineer Council's Judgment Padeem, Consul of Innovation Phyrexian Scriptures Supreme Verdict Austere Command Dance of the Manse

These cards will allow for the deck to protect itself in the most precarious of positions, and allow us to slow down our opponents while the deck's game plan sets up more and more.

Breya Aristocrats

1 Blood Artist
1 Breya, Etherium Shaper
1 Cruel Celebrant
1 Disciple of the Vault
1 Eldrazi Displacer
1 Goblin Engineer
1 Goblin Welder
1 Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Padeem, Consul of Innovation
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Reckless Fireweaver
1 Sai, Master Thopterist
1 Sharding Sphinx
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Tribute Mage
1 Vedalken Archmage
1 Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
1 Daretti, Scrap Savant
1 Karn, Scion of Urza
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Brainstorm
1 Counterspell
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Path to Exile
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Whir of Invention
1 Austere Command
1 Bitter Ordeal
1 Council's Judgment
1 Dance of the Manse
1 Fabricate
1 Ponder
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Anointed Procession
1 Bitterblossom
1 Coastal Piracy
1 Efficient Construction
1 Hidden Stockpile
1 Mirrodin Besieged
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Phyrexian Scriptures
1 Smothering Tithe
1 Ashnod's Altar
1 Azorius Signet
1 Bident of Thassa
1 Boros Signet
1 Courier's Capsule
1 Cranial Plating
1 Dimir Signet
1 Gem of Becoming
1 Izzet Signet
1 Krark-Clan Ironworks
1 Nim Deathmantle
1 Orzhov Signet
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Servo Schematic
1 Skullclamp
1 Sword of the Meek
1 Thopter Foundry
1 Time Sieve
1 Adarkar Wastes
1 Ancient Den
1 Arcane Sanctum
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Command Tower
1 Crumbling Necropolis
1 Darksteel Citadel
1 Flooded Strand
1 Godless Shrine
1 Great Furnace
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Inventors' Fair
3 Island
3 Mountain
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Mystic Monastery
1 Nomad Outpost
2 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Seat of the Synod
1 Spire of Industry
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfurous Springs
2 Swamp
1 Underground River
1 Vault of Whispers
1 Watery Grave

These different approaches to the game allow us to make sure the deck is operating on all cylinders and working to drain our opponents or win on the spot with a combo. This list has been tried on MTGO for weeks, with promising results. It is in no way the most optimal, and is designed to give those on a medium sized budget to play a powerful commander deck, but not completely competitive, as many decks can combo off a turn or two before the deck can truly stop it.