How They Brew It – How To Make The Judge Cry

Michael Celani • December 13, 2021

Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer by Daarken

The year is 21XX. Despite a ray of hope and the narrative claiming that Brudiclad was never heard from again, the revolution against his legion failed. Once again, the Brudicladministrator reigns supreme, and all fall under his nightmyrish rule. With all other commanders outlawed under penalty of death, those who resist must be especially stealthy to avoid their fate.

Could there be any creativity left within the confines of the Telchor Engineer?


Brudiclad in Darkness

Every Commander content creator has built Brudiclad.

This isn’t some hyperbole or controversial fact. It’s an inevitability. If you’ve follow any deck technician for long enough, they too eventually lose enough self-esteem and build Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer. Now, I never had any self-esteem to begin with, but I do have standards. As such, I’ve been diligently researching countless articles, videos, and decklists, and I believe I’ve come up with the one strategy that nobody in the world has ever tried before.

My name is Michael Celani, you’re reading How They Brew It, and this is the Brudiclad list your parents don’t want you to take to prom.

Licidia NT

You already know how the average Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer deck works: you create many, many creature tokens, create a copy of a powerful creature, like Goblin Snowman, and then you use Brudiclad’s combat trigger to turn all of your level 1 Crooks into level 35 Bosses. It’s a powerful strategy.

But what if we could turn all of our tokens… into Auras?

You may remember Tempting Licid from my Gabriel Angelfire anniversary post, and it’s time to go all in. Licids are a judge’s worst nightmare, which makes them my best friend. For my faint-of-heart readers, this is by far the most complicated deck I’ve ever built, and Gabriel Angelfire literally had Banding cards, so make sure you read this next section carefully. Here’s the rundown:

  • Licids work similarly to Bestow creatures. Like Hypnotic Siren or Flitterstep Eidolon, they have abilities that reference an enchanted creature, even though they’re not Auras at all times.
    • Note that these abilities aren’t on the card itself — it’s functional errata that’s been added to them. The original wording implies that the activated ability grants the Aura’s effects, which isn’t true.
  • Instead of casting a Licid directly as an Aura, you activate its ability (referred to from now on as “the Licid Ability”) to turn it into one and attach it to a creature of your choice.
  • Transforming the permanent into an Aura is a continuous type-changing effect created by the Licid Ability. It doesn’t expire naturally, and it applies on Layer 4.
    • For my less experienced readers, layers are the things you ask about on judge chat when you can’t tell why Dryad of the Ilysian Grove grants your opponents’ lands all basic land types even after it’s enchanted with Ichthyomorphosis.
  • You can pay one mana to undo the type-changing effect and turn the Aura back into its original state. This isn’t an activated ability or a function of the Licid itself; it’s a special action set up by the resolution of the Licid Ability.
    • This means you can return the permanent to its original state even if it gets transformed into something else.
    • Crucially, since it’s a special action, this payment can’t be responded to and you can do so even if something with Split Second is on the stack. This will probably be most applicable if someone attempts to Krosan Grip Dominating Licid.
  • In terms of Brudiclad, copiable effects are applied on Layer 1, before the continuous effect of the Licid Ability. This means that if a Licid token is an Aura and is enchanting something, and then Brudiclad transforms the token into something else with its triggered ability, it remains an Enchantment – Aura with “enchant creature” and no other types attached to the permanent.
    • This transformation is one-way; if you attempt to turn an attached permanent token into a Licid (or creature with Bestow), it will fall off because the Licid is a creature and not an Aura. You need the continuous effect of the Licid Ability to get the results you want.
  • Finally, according to rules 301.5e and 303.4m, an ability of a permanent that refers to the “enchanted or equipped” object refers to whatever object that permanent is attached to, even if it isn’t an Aura or Equipment.

Ruby Weapons

The logical conclusion of all these rules shenanigans is obvious: we’re turning our Licid tokens into Auras with the Licid Ability, and then transforming those directly into Equipment. With 301.5e and 303.4m at our backs, our Equipment will continue to function despite the fact that they’re actually Auras, allowing us to not only “Equip” Brudiclad with high-value artifacts for cheap, but also attach stuff to our opponents’ creatures in a rather Ardenn manner.

  • Skullclamp is great not only for turning your incidental Myr and Thopter tokens into card draw, but also as a transformation target when you want to remove an enemy creature and have no better options. With enough Licids on an enemy, transform them all into Skullclamps and draw tens of cards!
    • Unfortunately, you will lose the Skullclamp tokens, as they will be Auras and there’s no window in which you can use the special action to turn them back into Equipment before your target bites it.
  • Nettlecyst and its other Living Weapon bretheren Skinwing, Batterskull, and Scytheclaw each come with their own token to turn into a Licid and provide powerful effects when stacked on Brudiclad.
    • These artifacts are the perfect cards to throw under Prototype Portal, as each activation will give you two tokens instead of just one!
  • Argentum Armor becomes a major threat when you’ve got twenty copies of it! Since Brudiclad’s ability occurs before he swings, you can turn your Licids into Argentum Armor and then swing for (presumably) lethal to your opponents while also blowing up all their lands.

Feel free to swap the Living Weapons for your own Equipment tailored to your playstyle! For more aggressive strategies, try Colossus Hammer, Loxodon Warhammer, or Sigiled Sword of Valeron. If you prefer to be trickier, Assault Suit, Blazing Sunsteel, and Livewire Lash are quite powerful and they significantly affect how players interact with you.

Even More Magitek

In case you’re still somehow getting games after playing this once or twice, here’s some even more absurd garbage you can sling at your friends that will blow their mind.

  • Brood Keeper generates a new token every time it’s targeted by a Licid. This on its own is already extremely powerful, but remember that the permanents that Brudiclad transforms are Auras because of the Licid Ability’s continuous effect. With that in mind, it also theoretically generates a token every time it’s Equipped by a transformed Aura’s Equip ability, making Shuko her perfect partner.
    • The jury is still out on whether or not this actually works, because the line in rule 301.5c stating ‘An Equipment that loses the subtype “Equipment” can’t equip a creature’ is extremely ambiguous and doesn’t actually mean anything when you read it closely. I have asked multiple different judges and gotten different answers. Based on the context of the section in which it’s written and other rules, I choose to believe that line is actually just a restatement of the rule in 701.3b, which is ‘If an effect tries to attach an object that isn’t an Aura, Equipment, or Fortification to another object or player, the effect does nothing and the first object doesn’t move’ as opposed to literally reading ‘A permanent must be an Equipment to be attached via the Equip ability.’ This is also backed up by the actual wording of Equip being “attach this permanent” instead of “attach this equipment“, so until someone tells me I’m wrong, I’m going to believe I’m right, because it’s undeniably cool to Equip Auras to creatures.
  • If you prefer to actually just win, you can also literally transform your Licids into Eldrazi Conscription.
  • Take control of all the creatures on the battlefield by transforming your Licids into Hypnotic Siren! Like Dominating Licid, Hypnotic Siren itself has “enchanted creature” text, so you’ll gain control of whatever your Licids are enchanting.
    • Be careful! Your Hypnotic Siren clones are not Bestowed. They will fall off when the creature they’re enchanting dies!
  • Ever wanted to put Darksteel Garrison on a creature? Now you can! Since it loses its Fortification type and it becomes an Aura, there’s nothing stopping you granting a creature indestructible and +1/+1 when they attack, assuming, of course, “fortified land” is just a shorthand for “attached permanent” as 303.5e implies.
    • In this state, its Fortify ability wholesale won’t work; the token permanent has enchant creature, meaning it can’t legally be attached to a land.

The Final Fantasy

Still with me? Good. If not, I have simpler decks, like the one that abuses the fact that phased out permanents can’t phase back in if you skip the untap step. Now you too can annoy judges at your next GP. Have a great day, and I’m not responsible for you getting punched in the face!


How To Make The Judge Cry (Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer EDH)

Commander (1)
Creatures (19)
Sorceries (8)
Instants (15)
Artifacts (19)
Enchantments (2)
Lands (36)

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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://discord.gg/xWWqD2G8Fj and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.