I initially expected the Exquisite Invention deck to be very explosive, with the ability to cheat out the cards you need to set up gaming ending plays with your ultimate. Saheeli, the Gifted comes out early and can immediately start pumping out artifact creatures. She is the only of the 2018 planeswalker commanders that has the ability to protect herself, this is huge and allows you to safely play her into a lot more board states without much if any prep. Her second +1 ability fits perfectly into any artifact based strategy. Allowing us to cheat in big creatures like Darksteel Colossus or powerful artifacts. The ability does work on all spells but the discount does not apply to colored mana costs. While Saheeli’s ultimate is theoretically very strong, in practice it can be quite situational. A well tuned Saheeli deck should be able to win off a well-timed ultimate. However, when playing the precon version it can be difficult to maintain a board state that allows for productive ultimate’s. With that said artifact synergies are very strong in commander, and both Saheeli and Tawnos, Urza’s Apprentice provide Izzet players two artifact based commander options. This deck seems to be perfectly tuned for a specific segment of the player base and I can think of a few players in my playgroup, who cant wait to get their hands on this deck. The MEEK Cough Cough. Commander waits for no one, so the fact that Tawnos, Urza’s Apprentice has haste is invaluable. His haste combined with a cheap casting and activation cost (both of which are UR), makes it very easy to play and activate Tawnos on the same turn. The precon does not provide enough strong targets to really showcase Tawnos abilities and I wonder what the community perception of him will be once players have a few months to tune their 99. With that said the general that I most excited for in the Exquisite Invention deck is undoubtedly Brudiclad, Techor Engineer. My inner Johnny is delighted that possibilities presented by Brudiclad and there is a strong possibility I build a deck around him in the future. I was thrilled that we presented with at lease a serviceable amount of options to make Brudiclad work out of the box. Cards like Mimic Vat and Mirrorworks are good options to get the ball going. The ability to convert all your tokens into the copy of any of your tokens is fun and innovative. The fact that Brudiclad gives you a 2/1 myr token in addition to giving all your creatures haste is a sweet bonus.
One of the more intriguing cards in the Deck is Coveted Jewel, its base effects are super strong. For 6 colorless mana you get an artifact that taps for three mana of any color and draws you three cards when it comes into play. However, Coveted Jewel will most definitely make you a target, as I cant think of a player that doesn’t want to draw three cards. So unless you have a Goblin Welder on hand to weld it away you better have adequate defenses before you play this treasure. I love the interactive element that this card initiates by moving player to player. This card is both a thematic and flavor win and is a commander card that promotes aggression, something we need a lot more of. Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor is another fun political card that promotes attacking and keeps the game moving forward. When Varchild deals combat damage to a opponent that opponent get that many 1/1 survivor tokens. The aptly named survivor tokens cant block or attack Varchilds owner and once he leaves the battlefield his controller gains control of all survivors. Notice you gain control of the survivors when Varchild leave the battle field not dies, shenanigans await. Another card with some trick up its sleeves is Treasure Nabber. This little goblin gives us control of our opponents mana rocks for a turn after they use them. It would be super strong if we had in built sacrifice outlets so that are opponents don’t get there goodies back. Not that I condone of this behavior but they were not ramping just to sit there and do nothing. Overall after playing a few matches with the stock build it was clear to me that Saheeli has no problems getting off the ground. However, card draw is an issue in this deck and keeping our hand stocked can be difficult. This deck lack real treats and it seems like they were a bit cautious with the power level of the artifacts included. However the new cards are all interesting and the deck provides some staple artifacts and decent fast mana base. Making Exquisite Invention a good choice for players looking to get into the format. For a Card by Card breakdown of the deck check below as me and Metaphors do a Deck review for LIFM.