Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Magic - Bruna the Aura Collector (EDH)

As I have gotten more experience with the EDH format, I've wanted to start using a somewhat less standard deck.  The two decks I've used to the point (Varolz, the Scar-Striped and Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius) follow a relatively simple formula: play big nasty creatures and try to capitalize on the commander's gimmick.

Instead of building a deck that emphasizes beefy creatures, I decided that I wanted to use Bruna, Light of Alabaster as my commander.  The game plan is thus very different - buff Bruna enough to get one-hit kills on my opponents.  Running an aura-heavy deck should make Bruna a significant threat the moment she hits the field, and removal isn't a problem, as she's able to grab auras from my graveyard.

This strategy is significantly more technical than the other decks I've built, so it's going to require a lot of tweaking to get right.  (It doesn't help that I don't have too many excellent blue or white auras...)

When choosing cards for this deck, I tried to keep three basic things in mind:

First, and most obviously, I need to run a bunch of things that pump Bruna.  Along with auras, I've included some other enchantments (like True Conviction) and a few creatures that synergize with enchantments (like Mesa Enchantress).  Since I'm expecting Bruna to draw a lot of hate, I've also included a couple ways to give her haste or hexproof (Swiftfoot Boots does both) to help mitigate the damage.

Second, Bruna's converted mana cost of 6 makes her a rather late addition to the battlefield, so I need to make sure I survive long enough to get her into play.  To keep with the enchantment theme, I've tried to include passive deterrents to attack (Sphere of Safety fits well, but other effects like Dissipation Field and the much less enchanted Norn's Annex seem good, too) in lieu of powerful blockers.  I figure this is the biggest hole in my current gameplan, but we'll have to see how it works out.

Third, I need to cycle through my deck to grab as many auras as possible, and I need to make sure I hit land drops (because I expect to be spending a lot of mana to revive Bruna repeatedly).  Tossing auras into my graveyard isn't a problem, as Bruna can fetch them from there, so I've included a number of ways to cycle cards out of my hand to run through my deck (I think Merfolk Looter is the most efficient), plus some general deck stacking (like Petals of Insight).

I think the whole thing comes together reasonably well, leading to a deck that is pretty cohesive.  I have a couple ways to deal with some of my biggest threats (exiling my graveyard totally castrates me, so I'm running things like Stony Silence to block some common graveyard hate).

Here's the current build:

Bruna, Light of Alabaster

Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Elgaud Shieldmate
Isperia, Supreme Judge
Kor Sanctifiers
Luminate Primordial
Merfolk Looter
Mesa Enchantress
Murder of Crows
Spectral Gateguards
Stoneforge Mystic
Urbis Protector

Banishing Stroke
Sphinx's Revelation
Think Twice

Divine Reckoning
Heed the Mists
Petals of Insight

Azorius Cluestone
Azorius Keyrune
Fieldmist Borderpost
Mask of Avacyn
Norn's Annex
Swiftfoot Boots

Angelic Destiny
Cloak of Mists
Dissipation Field
Divine Favor
Drake Umbra
Eel Umbra
Eldrazi Conscription
Ethereal Armor
Ghostly Touch
Green Scarab
Holy Mantle
Honden of Seeing Winds
Indomitable Will
Knightly Valor
Mind Control
Murder Investigation
Oblivion Ring
Orim's Prayer
Psychic Surgery
Righteous Authority
Sigil of Sleep
Spectral Flight
Sphere of Safety
Spirit Mantle
Stony Silence
Traveler's Cloak
Tricks of the Trade
True Conviction
Volition Reins
Way of the Thief

Venser, the Sojourner

Azorius Guildgate
17 Island
22 Plains

Assuming I can survive the first several turns, this deck seems like it'll be a solid threat, and I think it'll be a lot of fun to play.  There's still some fat that could be trimmed, as I've included some cards that don't fit with the above considerations or deal with direct threats (or at least, they don't deal with threats very well), but I don't think I own any cards that would fit into the theme more comfortably.   I also need to get some more powerful auras (I'd definitely like to replace things like Divine Favor).  Maybe some other changes will become clear as I test the deck a bit.

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