How to Build a Brago Commander Deck Worth $1500

The trick is to spend $300 on Tundra.

A week ago a Twitter follower asked me to help them with a Commander deck. They wanted me to design something they could play with that was semi-competitive. It had to be good enough it wouldn’t just get combo’d out, and could stop opposing decks from winning. They mentioned that Azorius Control was their favorite kind of deck. This gave me a few ideas of where to start, but then they threw a ballpark at me in terms of cost:


So you’re telling me that I have $1,500 to play with and I can design a deck with that much money?

Oh. Oh yes.

Put your shoes on, kiddies, we are going shopping.

Dragonlord Ojutai

Market Price: $0.31

Azor, the Lawbringer

Market Price: $1.63

The first few places my mind took me were something unconventional like Dragonlord Ojutai or Azor, the Lawbringer. I figured these decks would have unique angles of attacking opponents, and in turn, would be more fun for the pilot to bring to a table. Azor Silencing your opponents until next turn, when you’d be able to attack and fire off a huge Sphinx’s Revelation, could bury your opponents in card advantage. Ojutai is similar in that an unmolested attack will yield more resources.

But then you must start asking yourself what kind of value are you trying to create here? When Ojutai connects, you’re offered one out of three cards. Azor requires you to tap a great deal of mana to draw multiple cards, leaving you susceptible to potential removal or your opponent making big plays. I want a commander that, when it attacks, has a potentially huge impact on the board.

So I suggested Brago, King Eternal.

Brago, King Eternal

Commander: Kaldheim | Rare

Brago, King Eternal - Commander: Kaldheim - magic

Market Price: $0.49


Listen, I know Brago gets a bad rap. It’s not his fault. Most of the time when you hear “Brago” it’s immediately followed by the word “Stax.” For those of you not familiar with Brago Stax, it’s a deck that taps down all non-land permanents in the game (sometimes lands with Winter Orb, too), and then uses Brago’s flicker ability to untap all of your non-land permanents. Usually this entails untapping some number of mana rocks and essentially locking your opponents out of the game while they’re killed by a 2-power flier. It can be incredibly frustrating to play against with its mix of countermagic, spot removal, card advantage, and feeling of inevitability as it slowly squeezes a pod to death.

Naturally, this is the deck I want to make.

Well, sort of.

There are a few ways to build Brago, King Eternal without making people want to rake your eyeballs out. Brago allows you to blink creatures and permanents, so why not just make blinking and creating value the central theme of the deck? Let’s see what something along those lines would look like:


Brago, King of Blinks

Market Price:$901.97

Maindeck·99 cards

Commander (1)

  • 1Brago, King Eternal

Creature (30)

  • 1Aether Adept
  • 1Agent of Treachery
  • 1Boreas Charger
  • 1Charming Prince
  • 1Clever Impersonator
  • 1Cloudblazer
  • 1Deadeye Navigator
  • 1Felidar Guardian
  • 1Flickerwisp
  • 1Gilded Drake
  • 1Knight of the White Orchid
  • 1Kor Cartographer
  • 1Lavinia of the Tenth
  • 1Mulldrifter
  • 1Peregrine Drake
  • 1Recruiter of the Guard
  • 1Reflector Mage
  • 1Restoration Angel
  • 1Reveillark
  • 1Sakashima the Impostor
  • 1Sea Gate Oracle
  • 1Skyclave Apparition
  • 1Solemn Simulacrum
  • 1Soulherder
  • 1Sun Titan
  • 1Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
  • 1Tribute Mage
  • 1Venser, Shaper Savant
  • 1Watcher for Tomorrow
  • 1Yorion, Sky Nomad

Planeswalker (2)

  • 1Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
  • 1Teferi, Time Raveler

Sorcery (1)

  • 1Sevinne’s Reclamation

Instant (9)

  • 1Cloudshift
  • 1Counterspell
  • 1Cyclonic Rift
  • 1Dovin’s Veto
  • 1Eerie Interlude
  • 1Enlightened Tutor
  • 1Fierce Guardianship
  • 1Mana Drain
  • 1Teferi’s Protection

Artifact (10)

  • 1Arcane Signet
  • 1Azorius Signet
  • 1Fellwar Stone
  • 1Lightning Greaves
  • 1Mana Vault
  • 1Panharmonicon
  • 1Scroll of Fate
  • 1Sol Ring
  • 1Strionic Resonator
  • 1Talisman of Progress

Enchantment (14)

  • 1Act of Authority
  • 1Ancestral Knowledge
  • 1Cloudform
  • 1Elspeth Conquers Death
  • 1Grasp of Fate
  • 1Lightform
  • 1Mirrormade
  • 1Mystic Remora
  • 1Omen of the Sea
  • 1Parallax Tide
  • 1Parallax Wave
  • 1Reality Acid
  • 1Rhystic Study
  • 1Smothering Tithe

Land (33)

  • 1Adarkar Wastes
  • 1Ancient Tomb
  • 1Command Tower
  • 1Exotic Orchard
  • 1Glacial Fortress
  • 12Island
  • 1Mystic Gate
  • 1Nimbus Maze
  • 1Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
  • 12Plains
  • 1Sanctum of Eternity

This first iteration of the deck can be purchased for around $750, with almost $200 of it being taken up by reserved list superstar Gilded Drake. As a prototype, this version of Brago is the baseline for what you want to do: blink creatures, create value, and eventually win the game. However, this deck brings things to a grinding halt the way we’re trying to avoid doing.

As a classic Azorius Control deck, the game plan is clear: generate additional value off of all of your creatures like Sea Gate Oracle or Cloudblazer while using them to maintain the board. From there, Brago, King Eternal will blink them to keep the card advantage engine flowing. It becomes pretty impossible at a certain point for opponents to overcome you, as you generate such a high density of resources that you’ll have answers for just about everything they’ll be trying to do.

But hey—we still have money to burn.

Cards like Cloudform and Lightform are cool, but they don’t immediately spark joy. I think those spots would be better allocated to more powerful, and (aw hell yes) more expensive cards. Imagine this is Supermarket Sweep and we’re running around a card shop putting things in our cart.

The first thing that jumps out at me is this spicy little number:

Lithoform Engine

Zendikar Rising | Mythic

Lithoform Engine - Zendikar Rising - magic

Market Price: $4.05

Lithoform Engine is one of the most powerful Commander staples printed in recent memory. It does absolutely everything! The first part of it will allow us to copy a triggered ability; something like Strionic Resonator is really good in this spot, but imagine that already very playable card on steroids. Copying a Brago trigger will let it pop off twice, meaning double the value. That’s already reason enough to play the Engine, but it gets better. Copying instants or sorceries like Eerie Interlude can be powerful, but imagine also winning every countermagic war by letting your opponents react to your counters, and then copying your first copy on the stack to stop anyone from trying to spoil your fun.

The third mode is just absolutely absurd. For four mana you can copy a permanent spell, and in a deck like this where every permanent exists to create two, sometimes three-for-one scenarios, Lithoform Engine can turn a Grasp of Fate into a six-for-one. Lithoform Engine is a super easy addition.

Teferi, Master of Time

Core Set 2021 | Mythic

Teferi, Master of Time - Core Set 2021 - magic

Market Price: $8.08

Another new addition would have to be Teferi, Master of Time. I’ve learned since its inception that this Teferi belongs in every blue deck that can support it, which is just about every single deck that uses an Island. I might be going overboard, but each of my blue decks are sporting this bad boy, and it’s insane.

This Teferi is far more fair than his Time Raveler counterpart, but in some ways can be far more powerful. Functionally it starts at 5 loyalty—gaining your initial activation followed by the one you’ll execute on your opponent’s turn. The phasing to protect and return our value creatures back into play is just gravy. Plus, those value creatures can block to keep Teferi ticking up to his three-turn ultimate. Pick these up while you can, because $15 is an absolute steal for something of this power level.

Next up is a simple, but extremely expensive card that Brago can exploit with his blink ability.

Grim Monolith

Urza’s Legacy | Rare

Grim Monolith - Urza's Legacy - magic

Market Price: $260.35

Grim Monolith is one of the most absurdly ridiculous accelerators in the format, but Brago lets you circumvent the steep untap cost by blinking it out of play and back in untapped. This offers you a ton of extra mana to play with each turn, and greater ease for casting huge spells that we could decide to add in the future like Sphinx’s Revelation or Pull from Tomorrow.

Lastly, and probably the easiest inclusion:


Revised Edition | Rare

Tundra - Revised Edition - magic

Market Price: $471.07

You’re either a fan of the manabase from the list above, or you’re like me and feel we need to pack it with more versatility. This could be better:

Freeform (Casual)

Brago Lands

Market Price:$777.65

Maindeck·31 cards

Land (31)

  • 1Academy Ruins
  • 1Adarkar Wastes
  • 1Ancient Tomb
  • 1Arid Mesa
  • 1Command Tower
  • 1Flooded Strand
  • 1Glacial Fortress
  • 1Hallowed Fountain
  • 1Inventors’ Fair
  • 8Island
  • 1Marsh Flats
  • 1Misty Rainforest
  • 1Mystic Gate
  • 1Nimbus Maze
  • 4Plains
  • 1Polluted Delta
  • 1Prairie Stream
  • 1Scalding Tarn
  • 1Sea of Clouds
  • 1Tundra
  • 1Windswept Heath

This iteration is geared to cast all of the spells we want. The off-color fetch lands make sure we hit the correct colors at all times, even though I’m not a huge fan of playing them. In decks with little fixing, they make sense.

We were able to hit the $1,500 mark pretty easily by adding just a few cards to give us a more consistent game plan as well as a better manabase.

The biggest issue I’m having currently is trying to not build this same deck for myself.