Last updated on December 1, 2022
You probably already know about Breya, Etherium Shaper. It’s the 22nd most popular commander on EDHRec. Having finally taken the time to build a deck around Breya, I’ve realized that its popularity is well-earned.
My first impression of it was that I would rarely activate its abilities. Breya’s activated abilities are actually one of the main reasons I’m able to win games with it as my commander. But you can’t become too attached to any of your permanents to play Breya, Etherium Shaper effectively. You’ll realize just how powerful it is to be able to remove creatures or deal damage for relatively inexpensive costs once you get over having to ditch a few artifacts here and there.
If you’re looking to try out one of the most popular commanders in the game, this is a good place to start. Let's get into it!
Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer | Illustration by Daarken
Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter
Ancient Copper Dragon
Magda, Brazen Outlaw
Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer
Captain Lannery Storm
Urza, Lord High Artificer
Sai, Master Thopterist
Padeem, Consul of Innovation
Armix, Filigree Thrasher
Sword of Hearth and Home
Clock of Omens
Crucible of Worlds
Seat of the Synod
Vault of Whispers
Vault of Champions
Sea of Clouds
I built this deck with a Treasure sub-theme to dull the pain of having to sacrifice your own permanents. This gives you some artifacts that are easier to sacrifice.
One of the goals I had in building this deck was to include several ways to win the game that both artifact and Treasure decks have at their disposal. You have Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer, Revel in Riches, and Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter as just a few of the ways to close out the game. Games with this deck feel fresh instead of just waiting for your one game-winning combo to come around.
I'd consider this to be more of a control deck even though it’s lighter on counterspells. You have Breya, Etherium Shaper’s ability to deal with threats along with a decent number of removal spells like Path to Exile and Despark.
Breya, Etherium Shaper is a powerful tool to have on the battlefield. It can remove most creatures with one or two activations of its ability, so Breya can keep your opponents’ boards from getting too dangerous as long as you have a consistent way of creating artifacts.
You can work this to your advantage by removing threats that other players are worried about. This can discourage your opponents from removing Breya since you’ll be seen as an asset to them rather than an enemy.
I’ve found that Breya, Etherium Shaper is very hard for opponents to deal with one-on-one, so you’re more interested in outlasting individual opponents instead of taking them out all at once. Using Breya to gain some life can be a good way to do this, or you can try and kill players who are low on life if you feel safe enough to be more aggressive.
There will come times when you have the ability to close out a game with Breya’s damage ability. It’s important to remember that its abilities can be activated at instant speed. Wait until you’re absolutely sure you can pull things off the way you want. You don’t want to get shut down with Krosan Grip and then miss your opportunity.
Treasure tokens serve two main purposes for this deck: extra mana, and sacrifice fodder.
Any card that can consistently create Treasure, like Captain Lannery Storm and Pitiless Plunderer, are great ways to keep fueling Breya, Etherium Shaper’s abilities. Tempting Contract is also good because other players might get greedy and let you keep it longer than they should.
While consistent Treasure production is preferable, creating a lot of Treasure at one time isn’t too terrible. Dockside Extortionist is versatile thanks to its low casting cost, which lets you to play it early for a few Treasures or wait for a bigger payout.
Smothering Tithe is an especially powerful means of Treasure production in a multiplayer format because it always makes a couple Treasures each trip around the table. Monologue Tax works similarly and is much more consistent as the game progresses.
Both Goldspan Dragon and Galazeth Prismari make the Treasure tokens more useful. Prismari’s ability is especially powerful, allowing you to tap Treasure tokens for mana and then sacrifice them to Breya, Etherium Shaper on the same turn.
This deck runs a lot of artifact lands that you can sacrifice to Breya, Etherium Shaper in a pinch.
This becomes a less harmful sacrifice with the help of Crucible of Worlds, which brings those lands back from the graveyard.
Time Sieve is a very powerful card in this deck because you have multiple instances where you have five expendable artifacts. It actually allow you to take infinite turns in the right circumstances. But don’t rely too heavily on that as a strategy.
Krark-Clan Ironworks gives you the option to sacrifice Treasure tokens for two generic mana instead of one of any color. It also produces the exact same amount of mana it costs to activate Breya, Etherium Shaper’s abilities, meaning you can sacrifice three artifacts to play them if your lands are tapped out.
Consistent flickering cards like Conjurer's Closet, Teleportation Circle, and Thassa, Deep-Dwelling are great ways to continuously create Thopters. You can use multiple of these effects per turn because their abilities all go on the stack and Breya, Etherium Shaper will be back on the battlefield after each ability resolves.
Attach Lightning Greaves to Breya, Etherium Shaper or any other creature you want to keep it safe. Keep in mind that you can't target that creature with any of your own abilities either because shroud works differently than hexproof.
Teferi's Protection is one of the best all-purpose protective spells because it covers all the ways you might be affected by other players. You also get a free trip around the table if you play this on your own turn, ensuring yourself at least one more turn.
It’s important to remember that you can sacrifice your artifact creatures after they attack. The Thopters created by Breya, Etherium Shaper or Sai, Master Thopterist can chip away at your opponents' life totals and be sacrificed after combat.
Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer turns all your artifacts into copies of the Myr token it makes, allowing them to attack. This ability also works well if you target your Thopters since all your artifacts are flying creatures, making them harder to block. This is especially powerful when you have a lot of Treasure tokens on the field.
Cyberdrive Awakener’s ability only happens when it enters the battlefield, but it’s a much more powerful version of Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer’s ability. Turning a hoard of Treasure tokens into 4/4 fliers is a game-winning play in the right scenario.
It only makes sense to include Revel in Riches as a way to win the game because of the abundance of Treasure tokens you create with this deck. This enchantment also makes you Treasure tokens, so it’s still useful to have out even if you don’t win with it.
Mechanized Production doesn’t need to be attached to the same type of artifact that wins you the game with its effect. You can slap this onto any artifact you want multiple copies of and it still wins you the game if you have eight Thopters or Treasures.
Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast has a pretty low cost for destroying creatures and artifacts, especially given that it makes artifacts on his own.
Command Tower is a great inclusion in a multicolored deck.
Exotic Orchard is also a good inclusion since you’re running four colors and it's very unlikely you’ll ever play against three mono-green decks.
This is a slow deck, so avoid being too aggressive at the start of the game, don’t pick any fights, and lay low. Focus on building up a mana base and some potential ways to produce Treasure or artifact tokens.
It’s probably safe to drop Breya, Etherium Shaper earlier in the game as long as you make your opponents think it’s in their best interest to keep it around. Removing mortal threats can be one of the best ways to win yourself allies in a game of Commander.
You want to set up a way to produce artifacts in the mid-game. This can be your Treasure-producers, like Revel in Riches, or through flickering Breya, Etherium Shaper. Tutor for Conjurer's Closet or Thassa, Deep-Dwelling with Fabricate or Enlightened Tutor so you can start popping out Thopters each turn.
You also want to keep the board from getting too dangerous, so use removal or Breya’s ability to take out anything too game-changing like Etali, Primal Storm or Urza, Lord High Artificer. You want to get to a point where your opponents have started to get low on life, and it’s okay if you are too at this point. You have a couple of options for closing out the game.
You can try using Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer or Cyberdrive Awakener to animate your artifacts and take out your opponents. You might also be ready to win with an alternate win condition like Mechanized Production. There's even a chance your opponents will be low enough to be taken out with a combination of Thopter attacks and direct damage from Breya, Etherium Shaper.
Though the deck is built to work without them, there are a couple combos that go infinite in this deck.
The easiest to achieve is Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter’s ability mixed with Clock of Omens and Mycosynth Lattice. Once Lattice has made Jan Jansen an artifact you can tap the two artifacts its ability creates to untap it with the Clock.
Once untapped you can use its ability to sacrifice an artifact and create two more. Then tap the two recently-created artifacts to once again untap the Chaos Crafter, and you can continue to do so as long as you’d like.
Time Sieve can potentially grant you extra turns depending on your board state. It’s possible for you to create five artifacts each turn if you have multiple ways to flicker Breya, Etherium Shaper and something like Mechanized Production.
You can keep taking extra turns as long as you can keep that up. This is difficult to pull off since it requires a lot of moving parts, but it’s technically possible.
While there aren’t any more infinite combos, there are a lot of great synergies involving Mycosynth Lattice. You can pay generic mana to cast spells instead of colored mana with Lattice on the board. This means that the mana you create with Krark-Clan Ironworks can now be used to cast any spell, which makes it an even more powerful card in this deck.
All your permanents have indestructible when you have both Darksteel Forge and Mycosynth Lattice on the field since they're all artifacts. They have hexproof too if you also have Padeem, Consul of Innovation. This means your opponents would need a board wipe that exiles all permanents to remove any of your cards.
Overloading Vandalblast while you control Mycosynth Lattice results in all your opponents’ permanents being destroyed, even their lands. While it doesn’t technically win you the game, a lot of players concede when you’re the only one left with anything on the board.
There are some pretty expensive cards in this deck, but some can be easily replaced.
Some of the more expensive cards are Dockside Extortionist, Ancient Copper Dragon, and Smothering Tithe. These all tie into the Treasure/token sub-theme, which you can replace with a different type of artifact token generators. Karn, Living Legacy is a relatively cheap card that makes an artifact token each turn.
Enlightened Tutor, while nice, also isn't entirely necessary. You could include some more card draw instead. Castle Locthwain is good, and you can offset some of the damage done to you with Breya, Etherium Shaper. Feel free to include Thoughtcast or Thought Monitor as cheap card draw.
Since you aren’t running fetch lands you can swap out expensive shocks like Blood Crypt for their more reasonable slow land counterparts like Haunted Ridge. The same goes for Xander's Lounge, which can be replaced with Crumbling Necropolis.
The most popular way to build Breya, Etherium Shaper is to focus on artifacts without the Treasure sub-theme that I included. Some Treasure-generating cards are still present, like Dockside Extortionist, but now you have more threatening artifact creatures too.
Wurmcoil Engine and Myr Battlesphere are good examples of big threats that also create tokens you can sacrifice to Breya, Etherium Shaper. If you want an even bigger threat, include a Blightsteel Colossus to cheat in with Master Transmuter.
Mechanized Production | Illustration by Adam Paquette
Breya, Etherium Shaper is a fun and powerful commander that I'd encourage you to try out if you enjoy control decks. I hope you got some new ideas looking over my build for Breya if you’re one of the many players who already have a Breya deck.
Which direction would you take a Breya deck? Did I miss any cards you think should be included? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: