How They Brew It - Hand-Me-Downs

Michael Celani • January 3, 2023

Sword of Hearth and Home | Illustrated by Chris Rahn

Hey, you! Yeah, you, sitting in front of your television. Tired of the elitist Santa that only gives presents to the rich children? Sick of the holiday season leaving your wallet as empty as your relationship with your wife? Would you rather check items off a hitlist than a wishlist? Then come on down to Paradigm Thrift, located at 151st, 152nd, 153rd, and Maine, where one man's trash is another man's stocking stuffer!

We've got everything kids want, priced to move like one running away from their parents! A new bicycle, only $59.99. An electronic stapler for only $29.99! And your infants will love this half-used, unsealed bottle of bleach for just $0.99! So what are you waiting for? January 3rd?! Come on down to Paradigm Thrift and experience a Christmas miracle!


Holiday Blues

My name is Michael Celani, and I've got some bad news: I'm ruined financially as well as mentally now! Yes, after my questionable investments in cryptocurrency proved to be unquestionably bad, I've lost my considerable estate and had to downsize to living underneath that bridge that eats tall trucks alive. It's a true riches-to-rags story, and to make things worse, my family doesn't even know! I'm still expected to give all of my sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, and lawyers lavish gifts. What am I to do?

Luckily, I know someone who can help. Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier can save me tons of money on my expenses by copying abilities that target him to the whole family for a measly two mana. With this, I can get the one present for everyone and just hand it down so everyone gets to enjoy it. Let's get shopping!

Meet the Family

To get the perfect gift that appeals to all seventeen of my family members, we'll first have to review all twenty-three of them. It's true, shopping for thirty isn't easy, but I'm sure with enough effort I can find something that will make all forty-six happy. Obviously, having more creatures on board will make Agrus' ability much better. For our deck to work best, let's make everyone family!

Holiday Rush

I might have waited a little too long for my holiday shopping, but I'm sure my family will understand why I couldn't attend their party just yet. First, I need to make a little extra cash to keep my hand flush. Here's a few cards that can enhance our token-creators to be even more effective:

  • Mentor of the Meek, Welcoming Vampire, and Tocasia's Welcome draw us cards when certain kinds of creatures enter the battlefield. Like a duck in a dressing room, most tokens we create will fit the bill.
  • Jaxis, the Troublemaker creates more clones with that wonderfully cheap activated ability, but notably those clones sacrifice themselves, and they all draw cards when they die. Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier effectively turns her into a repeatable Shamanic Revelation and Clone Legion all for one red, obviously making her extremely valuable in your deck and worth searching for with Imperial Recruiter.
  • Idol of Oblivion draws us a card so long as we've made a token on that turn, which is basically all the time, so this is a free Endless Atlas.
  • Sword of Hearth and Home is a great one: if we copy the ability with Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier, we'll get to search out a basic land for every creature we control. This will, unfortunately, wipe our board of tokens, but it's a small price to pay for ten lands and blinking all of our token-creators again.
  • Fanatical Devotion turns our cannon fodder into protection for our creatures; regenerate a high-value target specifically, or handle a board wipe by radiating it with our commander. Just watch out for Wrath of God's oft-forgotten second sentence.
  • Kyren Negotiations is much better than fan-favorite Goblin Bombardment for this deck, since tapping our creatures instead of sacrificing them means we can use those tokens again and again each turn.
  • And finally, Divine Visitation is perfect as the angel on top of the tree, since it literally turns everything into flying, vigilant Angels.

Pop Some Tags

Of course, we can't hand down electronics, or furniture, or cars, or anything like that. Most of my relatives can't drive, because they're raging alcoholics and also twelve. No, we're going to need to hand down the one thing that's one-size-fits-all: clothing.

You see, the equip ability on Equipment is technically an ability that targets a single creature, so, if we ever decided to equip Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier with, say, Paradise Mantle, we're able to pay the to also attach it, one at a time, to all of our creatures. Normally, this would be useless, since most Equipment just provide static buffs, but some of them provide more than that.

There're plenty of weapons we can gift that'll shoot their eye out, kid. Passing these around to our creatures basically acts as four additional copies of Kyren Negotiations, and they can be even better if Heavy Arbalest or Surestrike Trident gets involved.

But it's not just damage we can get some use out of. Once we have enough mana (thanks, Sword of Hearth and Home), we can sacrifice a ton of our board for just three mana with Skullclamp, or use Ashnod's Altar alongside Heirloom Blade to find the Soldiers in our deck. Why not cast every instant out of our library with Sunforger while we're at it?

And let's not forget that fighting is fun for the whole family. Blinding Powder doesn't even tap your creatures to use its ability, so you can make your attacking army immune to combat damage. With enough mana, Dragon Throne of Tarkir becomes an exponentially increasing snowball that will make your board a nightmare with just two or three activations. And Heartseeker? Your opponents won't have a board to block with after a turn of that getting passed around.

But don't worry, I haven't forgotten that I'm still poor. You didn't think we were actually going to pay full price for all this, right? Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist technically doesn't target anything other than a single creature (unlike, say, Brass Squire), so you can move around all your Equipment as much as you'd like. Zirda, the Dawnwaker is great for reducing equip costs and for handling those pesky-expensive land abilities we have, like Mirrorpool or Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion. And Great Desert Prospector creates so many Powerstone tokens that you'll want for nothing. Ah, the sweet smell of capitalism!

New Year's Resolution

I'm so glad my eighty-seven family members are content with their one new present. I'm sure they're as excited to share it as they were excited to share their incredibly controversial political views at the dinner table! Everything seems primed for an amazing 2023. Happy Holidays everyone! Now get back to work.

If you enjoyed this How They Brew It, please check out the Discord and my other projects at my website. You can vote on the next article's theme there and talk with our community of jank brewers! Hope to see you there.


Hand-Me-Downs (Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier EDH)

Commander (1)
Planeswalkers (1)
Creatures (21)
Sorceries (4)
Instants (9)
Artifacts (21)
Enchantments (8)
Lands (35)

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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at https://gamesfreaksa.info and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.