Brew For Your Buck - Budget Kennerud Equipment

Archway of Innovation | Art by Yeong-Hao Han

We heard you like Equipment...

Hello fellow brewer and welcome back to Brew For Your Buck, where we swap out the top 10 most expensive cards in a deck with 10 budget cards that add a unique twist. We're continuing our exploration of Modern Horizons 3 (MH3), and while The Necrobloom continues to be the most popular commander from the set (article here!), it's another three color legend that caught my eye this time:

Arna is a new addition in a long line of Voltron commanders, who grants an extremely potent attack trigger that doubles up any modifications your attacking creatures are currently wearing. With good stats and a punishing ward cost, Arna looks like a really fun and flexible commander to bring the beat down on LGS tables everywhere. The average list comes in at 472.95, with some expensive staples and Equipment accounting for a large part of that cost:

            1. Anointed Procession ($47.37)
            2. Sword of Fire and Ice ($40.71)
            3. Sword of Feast and Famine ($36.27)
            4. Mondrak, Glory Dominus ($35.19)
            5. Teferi's Protection ($32.58)
            6. Cyclonic Rift ($28.56)
            7. Smothering Tithe ($23.04)
            8. Stoneforge Mystic($17.82)
            9. Esper Sentinel ($16.40)
            10. Halvar, God of Battle ($10.52)

Total Value of Cuts: $288.46

Even with the three color manabase, the cuts for the lands aren't that bad. We have to replace five of them, leading to an additional $66.75 in savings, for a total of $355.21.

I mentioned that Arna is a very flexible commander. Modified can lead you down three paths of Equipment, Auras, counters, or even combinations of the three. My experience is that focused decks tend to play better, and since Equipment is the most popular of the three on EDHREC, we'll put our focus there. I'll even include some bonus cards at the end to replace some of the more Aura-centric cards that show up in the average list.

As for the Equipment cards themselves, there are plenty to choose from. The budget package today is going to focus more on cards that support your Equipment, no matter what they are. This way you're free to customize your armory the way you see fit!


Improv Beatdown

The first thing I think of for any deck that's Equipment-heavy is the improvise mechanic. Equipment don't tap along with creatures when they attack, so they're just sitting around waiting to be tapped for something else. Inspiring Statuary ($0.17) turns every one of them into a mana rock, and makes attacking with modified creatures into a huge burst of mana thanks to Arna. I'm shocked this isn't even on her EDHREC page. Next up, we have the blue member of the new land cycle from MH3, Archway of Innovation ($0.95). This has already dropped below a dollar, and can be used in a similar way to cheapen any of the nonartifact spells in your deck. Even if this just pays the commander tax for Arna over and over again, the opportunity cost is so low that it gets the nod here.


Reverse Engineer ($0.03) can sate your improvise appetite if you're in the mood for a two mana, draw three, and let's be real, who isn't? This can really help you fill back up on gas and can be cast for cheap enough that you can use the cards you draw right away. Herald of Anguish ($0.25) is the final Improvise card, which is great at wearing Equipment, attacks our opponents' hands, and can pick off small creatures by sacrificing any of the extra Equipment tokens we have lying around.


Tokens of Appreciation

Our deck is going to be making a lot of tokens, but only if we can attack. Well, Junk Winder ($0.10) can help on both sides. You can get it down for cheap and then lock down opposing permanents turn after turn. This card should be an auto-include, even in the Auras build of the deck. There's going to be a lot of copies of Equipment laying around, so how about we throw in Mechanized Production ($0.58) as an alternate win condition for the deck? It might seem slow, but Arna is going to copy your Equipment exponentially, so getting to eight is easier than you think. Nadier's Nightblade ($0.16) gives us a bit of board wipe insurance, and since it says "leaves the battlefield", even a mass-bounce effect like Cyclonic Rift will still cause it to trigger.


Equip and Destroy

For our last set of cards, we're looking at some more generic support cards for our strategy. Frodo, Determined Hero ($0.49) works great. Since he can guarantee himself a safe attack, he can guarantee some equipment copying too. Plus he throws in a free equip to himself on each of your turns as well. Brotherhood Outcast ($0.13) can rebuy a previously destroyed Equipment, but also works well with Arna, allowing you to double up on shield counters to further protect your creatures. Finally, Deadeye Quartermaster ($0.16) is not Stoneforge Mystic, but the orders-of-magnitude cheaper price certainly makes up for it. If you're in need of a tutor for your Equipment that can also wear a sword, you could do worse.


Wrap Up & Savings

Let's see what we saved:

Out  Price  In  Price 
Anointed Procession  $ 47.37 Inspiring Statuary  $ 0.17
Sword of Fire and Ice  $ 40.71 Archway of Innovation  $ 0.95
Sword of Feast and Famine  $ 36.27 Reverse Engineer  $ 0.03
Mondrak, Glory Dominus  $ 35.19 Herald of Anguish  $ 0.25
Teferi's Protection  $ 32.58 Junk Winder  $ 0.10
Cyclonic Rift  $ 28.56 Mechanized Production  $ 0.58
Smothering Tithe  $ 23.04 Nadier's Nightblade  $ 0.16
Stoneforge Mystic  $ 17.82 Frodo, Determined Hero  $ 0.49
Esper Sentinel  $ 16.40 Brotherhood Outcast  $ 0.13
Halvar, God of Battle  $ 10.52 Deadeye Quartermaster  $ 0.16
Total  $ 288.46 Total  $ 3.02
Total (Lands)  $ 66.75
Original Deck Price  $ 472.95
    New Price  $ 120.76
    Total Savings  $ 352.19
    Savings 74%




Nice! 74% savings is pretty good for just cutting ten cards. Before we get to the final list, here are some proposed cuts and adds to tune the deck a bit more towards the Equipment theme:

I did go back and forth on Equipment versus Auras at the start, so I'll leave it up to you all. Do you want to see Arna again for the next article, with a focus on Auras instead? Or do you want me to move on to a different commander? You decide!

So did I miss anything you would have added? What are your favorite swords in the "X and Y" cycle? Let me know in the comments and I'll see you next time when we brew for your buck!

Commander (1)
Creatures (21)
Artifacts (23)
Enchantments (9)
Instants (6)
Sorceries (6)
Lands (34)

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Please note: card prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of writing, but prices can vary over time and between locations.

Brian played Magic intermittently between 2003 and 2017 when he fully embraced his love for Commander. Finding ways to maximize the value of each piece of cardboard in the deck is one of his favorite things to explore, especially if it involves putting lands in the graveyard! Outside of Magic, Brian works as a consultant in the marine industry, turning his passion for boats and ships into a career.

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