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Total Votes : 9
Felipe Musco
Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:00 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
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Guidelines, ideas, and decklists for only as much as U$ 20,00 or your money back!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction
2. Defining budget
3. Building a budget deck
4. The budget playerís best friends

5. Budget decks
5.1. Budget White Weenie
5.2. Budget Green Weenie
5.3. Budget Monoblue Control
5.4. Budget Gruul
5.5. Budget Boros
5.6. Budget Selesnya
5.7. Budget Slivers

6. Conclusion
7. By popular demand
7.1. Izzet Abuse
7.1.1. Adding money to it
7.2. Counterbalance Control
7.2.1. Adding money to it
7.3. Rakdos Wreck
7.3.1. Adding money to it
7.4. Monoblack Aggro
7.4.1. Adding money to it
7.5. Golgari Rot
7.5.1. Adding money to it
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1. Introduction
Everyone has gone through this at some moment of their player lives: you just started playing a new game, assembled your deck with all love and care after pimping up that shiny new Precon you just bought, took it to the store, and... got smashed. Badly. Cards that you never even imagined existed popping up from everywhere! ďHow can you make all colors of mana with just that?Ē, or ďCan you actually do that?Ē, or the classic ďReanimate what? Whatís na Akroma?Ē. Then, players start to get involved in the game, and start going after rare goodies themselves.
However, thereíre those players who never leave this phase. They play just for fun anyway, so they donít care about a deck that kills on the 5th turn, but rather about a deck that can be built for 5 bucks. These are the budget players! If you identify yourself as one of these, this article is meant for you!
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2. Defining budget
Ok, this topic here generates A LOT of discussion between players. Iíve seen players who spend around 10 dollars a month, and players who spend around 30, and theyíd both call themselves budget players. Around here where I live, a precon goes for around 15 dollars, so this is where I started at. Then, all prices listed here use Cobra Cardsí pricing, so that assumes players who buy their cards from Conor. And, since he offers free shipping for orders over 20 dollars, why spend 15 + shipping when you can spend the full 20 and get them delivered for free? Although some may think this is too high, itíll give you a competitive enough deck to at least play at some FNMs, for sure, and not be crushed while doing so. However, Iíll try to keep the overall cost below 20 dollars, so our budget players out there can buy a few perks in the same order, to get free shipping and start getting a couple extra goodies! Also, note that Iíll NEVER include the cost of ANY basic lands, since seriously, no one usually buys them. Just walk over to a more experienced player, and ask him if he can spare you some lands, and youíll have a bunch of them in no time, for no cost at all. Even stores give away lands for free.
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3. Building a budget deck
First off, players should avoid the common pitfall of buying a precon and trying to ďevolveĒ it. Thatís definitely not the best way to build a cheap deck, believe me, Iíve been there. Itís better to just start from sracth, going through it on a card-by-card basis. Then, building a budget deck is not that much different from building a regular one. Ok, so you wonít have access to some of the best cards out there most of the time, but hey, strategies still work the same, although you might miss a smothier mana base sometimes, or a big, flashy creature or spell to finish it up in style. You can win by either making a combo, by going aggro or by controlling the pace of the game. From my experience, budget-combo is the only build that doesnít usually survive long enough (only a few mini-combos, inside a bigger control build) to win a match, or that is not possible at all to make, so Iíll focus this article on both aggro and control builds, but mostly aggro. Also, a budget deck may not win you a Regional or National, but it can catch some players red-handed in a FNM, so although some people might say budget decks are meant for casual play, you CAN make them tournament material, just donít get your hopes too high on it.
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4. The budget playerís best friends
Ok, a budget player will usually have limited or no access at all to the great rares, so if youíre a budget player, instead of looking at the RavDuals and start daydreaming, get back to Earth and turn around to take a look at a very good chunk of cards, thatíll most definitely help you make some strong decks: the uncommons. Uncommons are a very good array of cards, since you wonít find a lot of uncommons that are REALLY crappy, and youíll most definitely find some that are PRETTY good (after all, both Fact or Fiction and Cabal Therapy were uncommons, and how many decks are fully dependant on them?). Also, with access to almost no rares at all, the uncommon slot is the one whoíll provide you with your bombs for sealing a match.
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5. Budget decks
If you didnít read my article on Planar Chaos, click here. Iíll take some of the decks there, and ďadaptĒ them to budget form, as possible. Since theyíll be taken directly from there, OBVIOUSLY, they wonít have an ďAdding MoneyĒ section, since címon, if you want to add money to a budget version of a Standard deck I made, well, just build the first version already, as closely as possible! Wink
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5.1. Budget White Weenie (60 cards, Cost = U$ 11.45; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 5.85)

20 Lands:
20 Plains

35 Creatures:
4 Icatian Javelineers
4 Knight of the Holy Nimbus
4 Benalish Cavalry
2 Children of Korlis
4 Whitemane Lion
2 Ivory Giant
3 Icatian Crier
4 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Sidewinder Sliver
2 Riftmarked Knight
2 Calciderm

5 Instants:
3 Bathe in Light
2 Fortify

Sideboard:
2 Calciderm
4 Ronom Unicorn
3 Mana Tithe
2 Faithís Fetters
4 Thunder Totem

This build here is fast, aggressive, and cheap! In all aspects! Seriously, you can swarm your opponent before he can even understand whatís going on! Also, Aven Riftwatcher + Whitemane Lion is just MEAN (as is Icatian Javelineers + Whitemane, in case your opponent needs his Dark Confidants, Birds of Paradise, Soltari Priests and Savannah Lions)! Youíll swing through the air (usually unnoposed), AND gain amassive amount of life! Soltari Priest is resistant to mass removal like Rough or Pyroclasm, and Bathe in Light cna throw a wrench at their strategy!
If you face a deck with powerful mass removal, the rescue creatures will help you out a lot by saving your best swingers, and you can maximize the number of Totems (boardsweepers are usually sorceries anyway), so youíll always have gas, even if the board was cleared. If you need untargettability, Calciderm provides you with that. Ronom Unicorn is pretty obvious. Mana Tithe is here so you can stop them as they tap out to make that one power move that cripples weenie decks, be it wiping the board or playing a huge beater. Fetters serves to stop big beaters, as well as to stop annoying permanents like Sacred Mesa or Scrying Sheets.
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5.2. Budget Monogreen Weenie (60 cards, Cost = U$ 7.75; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 9.15)

20 Lands:
20 Forest

27 Creatures:
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Mire Boa
4 Whirling Dervish
4 Elvish Warrior
3 Uktabi Drake
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk

8 Instants:
4 Might of Old Krosa
4 Giant Growth

3 Enchantments:
3 Keen Sense

2 Artifacts:
2 Weatherseed Totem

Sideboard:
1 Weatherseed Totem
2 Fists of Ironwood
2 Kavu Predator
2 Molvervine Cloak
2 Blanchwood Armor
3 Harmonize
3 Naturalize

This deck is all about heavy beating! Evasive creatures help out A LOT in dealing damage, and Keen Sense on one of them (specially Silhana Ledgewalker) is just icing on the cake! A well played Uktabi Drake, for instance, can deal A LOT of damage! Imagine, by turn 2 (with Llanowar Elves out), playing Uktabi Drake, main phase Might of Old Krosa, and Giant Growth in response to a possible burn attempt (or not, just to deal more damage)? Heck, who cares about echo (although you should pay it if you can, flying tends to be good)? Thatís 9 damage in one shot, straight to the core! Weatherseed Totem is just one annoying creature in case they keep wiping the board, and with enough mana and a few dredges, youíll be able to keep up the pressure with an 8/6 trample as you enchant it with Moldervine Cloak each turn. Naturalizes get rid of annoying enchantments like Worship, for which this deck has no answer to. If you opponent IS packing spot removal, you can take out Keen Sense in favor of the more sure Harmonize. Kavu Predator and Fists of Ironwood, in the end, serve both the same purpose: trampling over. In case beatsticks are just not enough (perhaps against a crazy Thallid deck?).
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5.3. Budget Monoblue Control (60 cards, Cost = U$ 14.80; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 3.80)

22 Lands:
3 Urzaís Mine
3 Urzaís Tower
3 Urzaís Power Plant
13 Island

11 Creatures:
4 Drift of Phantasms
4 Errant Ephemeron
3 Viscerid Deepwalker

9 Sorceries:
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Compulsive Research
1 Tidings

18 Instants:
4 Remand
4 Mana Leak
3 Pongify
3 Boomerang
2 Clockspinning
2 Spell Burst

Sideboard:
4 Icy Manipulator
4 Drifter il-Dal
2 Looter il-Kor
2 Shaper Parasite
2 Fledgling Mawcor
1 Tidings

This build is slow. It can keep control of the game, though, and has a very good late game perspective, with Ephemerons unsuspending all over and swarming through the air, protected by (hopefully) Spell Burst, powered by the UrzaTron. Sideboard provides you with Shadow power, as well as a few hosers (Mawcor for Thallid decks or saproling decks, or other decks with too many 1 toughness creatures, like Boros; Shaper Parasite in case you feel a certain lack of removal in a given match-up, mostly weenie; and Icy Manipulator,so you can stall the beatings long enough to pongify a heavy swinger) and another copy of Tidings, which goes really well when boarding in the Looters, in case your hand gets empty too fast. About Clockspinning, Iíve found it to be a really interesting card! With buyback, you can empty a Gemstone Mine quicker (or make them regret removing that one card for the luck counter on Gemstone Caverns), make a Scab-Clan Mauler that much less scary, keep a Lotus Bloom at bay long enough, and, OF COURSE, speed up your Ephemerons! Iím actually amused about how versatile it turned out to be!
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5.4. Budget Gruul (60 cards, Cost = U$ 17.60; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 1.80)

21 Lands:
10 Mountain
6 Forest
3 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Skarrg, the Rage Pits

19 Creatures:
4 Kird Ape
3 Scorched Rusalka
4 Scab-Clan Mauler
4 Blood Knight
4 Gruul Guildmage

16 Sorceries:
4 Rift Bolt
4 Volcanic Hammer

4 Enchantments:
4 Moldervine Cloak

Sideboard:
3 Naturalize
4 Dead//Gone
3 Thallid Shell-Dweller
3 Silhana Ledgewalker
2 Undying Rage

Budget Gruul is kinda tricky, since youíll most likely want to have a Forest out as soon as possible to boost your Kird Apes, but red is the heavier color, so Terramorphic Expanse can help out with that (after all Kird Ape wants forests, who cares if theyíre tapped of not?). Then, youíve got the whole package for a beating: Scab-Clan Mauler, Gruul Guildmage, Blood Knight, Skarrg, Moldervine Cloak to turn a even a Rusalka into a beatstick and a good amount of burn. In the department of recurring enchantments, sideboard also offers you Undying Rage, which is less painful than dredging for Moldervine Cloak every turn to be 2-for-1ed by a burn spell. It also has utility against removal, in the form Silhana Ledgewalker (great with a Moldervine Cloak on), aggro deflectors in Thallid Shell-Dweller (not as great as Silhana, but THAT much cheaper), and a hoser to both aura shenanigans and big beaters, in the form of Dead//Gone. They try to cast Keen Sense on their critter? Kill it in response, getting a 2 for 1. They try to do it with a Watchwolf? Bounce it, for a rough 1 on 1 PLUS tempo advantage. Naturalize, well, is Naturalize! Do I REALLY need to say anything about it? Itís pretty self-explanatory.
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5.5. Budget Boros (60 cards, Cost = U$ 17.40; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 2.10)

21 Lands:
11 Plains
7 Mountain
3 Boros Garrison

23 Creatures:
3 Scorched Rusalka
4 Sidewinder Sliver
4 Knight of the Holy Nimbus
4 Benalish Cavalry
4 Skyknight Legionnaire
4 Blood Knight

8 Sorceries:
4 Rift Bolt
4 Volcanic Hammer

4 Instants:
4 Lightning Helix

4 Enchantments:
4 Undying Rage

Sideboard:
3 Sunlance
4 Mana Tithe
4 Ronom Unicorn
4 Dead//Gone

Well, this deck has ONE very expensive card: Lightning Helix (6 dollars for a playset!). However, seriously, it may be one of the best cards out there right now, and being na uncommon, it fits in well for a budget player, not to mention itís the best burn you can afford out of rare range. Skyknight Legionnaire is a very good creature to replace some burn, and becomes even better with undying rage on it, as do Sidewinder Sliver, Benalish Cavalry, Knight of the Holy Nimbus and Blood Knight. Sideboard has Ronom Unicorn as enchantment removal on a (beat)stick, Mana Tithe for slowing down the opposition, Dead//Gone to stall, burn, get card advantage and everything you just read on the Gruul Build, and Sunlance. Ok, some might frown at it: ďSUNLANCE? Itís... narrow!Ē. And yeah, it is. But hey, you can blast a first turn Kird Ape before it swings, burn a Scab-Clan Mauler who just arrived, burn away Elves, Birds, seriously, you can take out a fair amount of creatures, so give olí lance a chance, leave it at the sideboard, at least! And after all, it fits right in our leftover budget, so thatís as good as it gets.
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5.6. Budget Selesnya (60 cards, Cost = U$ 16.15; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 3.65)

23 Lands:
10 Plains
8 Forest
3 Selesnya Sanctuary
2 Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree

32 Creatures:
4 Mire Boa
4 Sidewinder Sliver
4 Children of Korlis
4 Watchwolf
4 Knight of the Holy Nimbus
4 Benalish Cavalry
4 Selesnya Guildmage
4 Hedge Troll

2 Sorceries:
2 Harmonize

3 Instants:
3 Bathe in Light

Sideboard:
4 Mana Tithe
4 Ronom Unicorn
2 Whirling Dervish
2 Circle of Protection: Red
1 Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree
2 Faithís Fetters

Now, this one looks nice. Too bad our budget limits the number of Harmonizes, and also denies us Carven Caryatid and Moldervine Cloak (*hint*). However, you have a good early game, with a lot of heavy beaters and flanking, and Hedge Troll and Knight of the Holy Nimbus are just annoying to face, since theyíre harder to kill. Both Selesnya Guildmage and Vitu-Ghazi make sure you wonít run out of gas, since they can make a whole army of creatures out of the blue (thus, having another Ghazi in the sideboard). Bathe in Light serves two purposes: saving your creatures from a boardsweeping effect, and allowing you to come through for lethal damage. Sideboard is similar to what youíve seen so far, with Mana Tithe for tempo advantage, Ronom Unicorns as beating Naturalizes or Disenchants (ok it doesnít kill artifacts, but, really, do you need to?), Whirling Dervishes as a cool way to dodge some removal AND have a big creature (specially good against control, whichíll usually have removal in the form of boardsweepers, taking longer to cast, and if itís damage-based, like Sulfurous Blast, you can even Bathe in Light in response!), Faithís Fetters against annoying permanents and big beaters (as well as a form of lifegain), and a cool hoser agianst Boros, Gruul and such: Circle of Protection. Seriously, if you check out the lists here for Boros and Gruul, youíll see that the most threatening cards are red (or part red, which works the same), so this makes sure youíll live long enough to deal the last points of damage needed to wrap things up. All in all, a great budget option, able to become even greater really fast!
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5.7. Budget Slivers (60 cards, Cost = U$ 14.95; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 3.65)

23 Lands:
10 Forest
8 Plains
1 Mountain
4 Terramorphic Expanse

23 Creatures:
4 Sidewinder Sliver
4 Sinew Sliver
4 Gemhide Sliver
3 Watcher Sliver
3 Might Sliver
3 Reflex Sliver
1 Battering Sliver
1 Fury Sliver

8 Sorceries:
4 Harmonize
4 Recollect

6 Artifacts:
3 Gruul Signet
3 Boros Signet

Sideboard:
2 Harmonic Sliver
4 Necrotic Sliver
1 Ghostflame Sliver
4 Reclaim
1 Plains
3 Swamp

Now, this one here was quite a challenge to conceive, I mean, building a Sliver deck on BUDGET? No duals, pains, Mines or Flagstones? Ouch! But anyway, I think I got the job done pretty ok. Now, some may think 24 lands to be too much, but weíve got a pretty swift thinning ďengineĒ, not to mention a GREAT color fixer, in the form of Terramorphic Expanse, and my jack-of-all-trades, Recollect! Yep, surely, it can get back a dead sliver, most of you have figured this out by now, but hey, it can ALSO get back Terramorphic Expanse, both fixing your colors AND thinning the deck, and it can also get back Harmonize! Talk about drawing cards! Then again, itís basic sliver package: Sidewinder to start things up; Gemhide for fixing/acceleration; Sinew, Watcher and Might for beefing up; Reflex to speed the beating process; and Fury and Battering for sealing the deal. Signets ALSO help speed things up, as well as getting the right mana quicker, which should be no problem at all for this build. Sideboard packs utility as no other, since Harmonic can help you get rid of as much annoying artifacts and enchantments as you may need to (careful no to blow up your OWN signets!); Necrotic can help you get rid of, well, almost anything, really; and Ghostflame can help you deal with protection, if you need to. Reclaim, well, itís redundancy, in case Recollect is not enough. The lands do not need THAT much explanation, now do they? How do you plan on playing Necrotic Sliver anyway? Wink
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6. Conclusion
Well, I hope I helped all of you budget players out there, thank you for reading this. As usual, criticism and ideas are always appreciated! Also, with this article, you get a perk untilt he end of the month (which could be turned into a ďcolumnĒ, who knows...): if you want a budget build featuring a rare you might have a playset (or think is worthy building around, since itís cheap), or you want to see a possible budget build of another color combination, just ask! Theyíll be posted right below, in their own section, including prices and commentaries like the other ones! Just refrain from requesting a second deck unless Iíve finished your first request already. Also, I do not PROMISE theyíll be ALL posted here (seriously, this list could go MILES) before the end of the month, but no requests made until there will go unattended. Youíll all get you decklists, as requested.
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7. By popular demand
This section is just waiting for YOUR request!

7.1. Izzet Abuse (60 cards, Cost = U$ 10.35; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 1.95)

22 Lands:
10 Island
9 Mountain
3 Izzet Boilerworks

9 Creatures:
4 Wee Dragonauts
3 Errant Ephemeron
2 Gelectrode

11 Sorceries:
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Rift Bolt
3 Volcanic Hammer

18 Instants:
4 Dead//Gone
3 Brute Force
1 Clockspinning
3 Pongify
3 Boomerang
4 Electrolyze

Sideboard:
3 Repeal
3 Gigadrowse
4 Drift of Phantasms
2 Rough//Tumble
1 Errant Ephemeron
1 Clockspinning
1 Volcanic Hammer

Izzet was the first deck I bought when getting back to Magic, and as all players to crack one open, I had a HUGE desire to break Gelectrode and Wee Dragonauts! Glad to have the chance to do so! Ok, now, Gelectrode is really cool, and all, but letís face it, heís not the best asset to an army, thus the reduced number of them. Errant Ephemeron is a pretty decent beater, and you can suspend him for quite a low cost, thus not clogging the mana development too much. Wee Dragonauts, well, theyíre the deckís true stars! The rest of the deck is pure utility, for Dragonauts and for Gelectrode. For instance, you swing with Dragonauts, play Brute Force, and kaboom, itís 6 damage! Theyíve gotten a flier out? Bounce it with Gone, swing for 3. Or burn a creature, and swing. Or, even better, suspend a Rift Bolt, and the next turn play it for free, plus Dead and Volcanic Hammer, all to the dome, and THEN swing with the Dragonauts. Thatís, like, 15 damage in one turn! Add in a Gelectrode to this mix, and you also get to ping for one, untap after the bolt resolves, ping for one more, untap after Dead, ping for one, untap after Hammer AND ping AGAIN for one! Thatís 19 damage in one turn! Take that, Boros! Theyíve got a fatty? Pongify it, then Boomerang it (during YOUR main phase), and theyíre left creatureless, and you STILL swing for quite some damage! Theyíre about to kill one of your creatures? Pongify it yourself! Youíre still left with a 3/3! Thatís quite a body! Clockspinning has a GREAT interaction with Ephemeron, since if you can bear with the buyback, you can play it during your main phase, ensuring AT LEAST one spell for the Dragonauts/Gelectrode count, and if you can play it with buyback and then play it again to bring out Ephemeron faster, well, even better! Thatís roughly around 11 damage in one turn! Now, Electrolyze is the one card that BEGS to be used with Gelectrode! Just picture this, theyíve gotten Sacred Mesa out, and made a full army of 6 1/1 Pegasi, and are laughing at your still-suspended Ephemeron, with 2 counters. At the end of their turn, you ping one with Gelectrode, play Clockspinning, untap it and ping the other one, theyíre down to 4. At YOUR turn, Ephemeron will unsuspend. Ping another one with Gelectrode, play Electrolyze pinging two more, untap, ping the last one. Now theyíve got NOTHING to block Ephemeron, you drew a card, and can possibly Boomerang the annoying enchantment! Cool, huh? Sideboard is here mainly to stauch the bleeding against faster decks, with Drift of Phantasms (which, by the way, can transmute for Dragonauts or Gelectrode), Repeal and Gigadrowse (who can both take a blocker out of your way during your main phase AND pump Dragonauts!) and, in case they have a lot of ground creatures or an army of flying blockers, you can alter the strategy a bit, by siding in another Ephemeron and Clockspinning, and Rough//Tumble. You get to "wrath" an army of weenies, or take out all blockers off your path before the Ephemerons unsuspend! Just a few notes to play this deck: although it has a lot of instants, youíll want to play most of them during your main phase, but remember, in case you need to block a big flier, you CAN play some instants to pump Dragonauts/ping with Gelectrode! Also, remember that when you replicate a spell, only the first one was played from your hand, so it only pumps Dragonauts/untaps Gelectrode once.

7.1.1. Adding money to it
Well, the best possible choice to add money to this deck is Ancestral Vision (ouch, I know), since it unsuspends AFTER Dragonauts is out (pumping it) AND draws you a fair amount of cards, not to mention the interaction it has with Clockspinning. Painlands (Shivan Reef) are not as expensive as duals, and are also a nice choice, as are better burn spells like Char. Some Telling Time could be cool, too, but Iím not sure the deck would have room for them, or Iíd have used them, after all, itís fairly below our budget. Of course, if you want to spend a bit more, you could switch some Ephemerons into Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, as HE has ULTIMATE synergy with Gelectrode, but I wanted to keep the budget on this one as low as possible. However, it wouldnít hurt to maybe move another Ephemeron to the sideboard, and ditch the sideboarded Clockspinning for one maindecked Niv-Mizzet.
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7.2. Counterbalance Control (60 cards, Cost = U$ 16.70; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 3.30)

23 Lands:
14 Island
3 Urzaís Mine
3 Urzaís Tower
3 Urzaís Power Plant

6 Creatures:
3 Survivor of the Unseen
3 Errant Ephemeron

10 Sorceries:
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Compulsive Research
2 Tidings

18 Instants:
4 Mana Leak
4 Rune Snag
3 Muddle the Mixture
2 Spell Burst
3 Repeal
2 Clockspinning

3 Enchantments:
3 Counterbalance

Sideboard:
1 Repeal
4 Drift of Phantasms
3 Spell Snare
4 Pongify
1 Spell Burst
2 Cancel

Well, main deck is all about control, using the power of the UrzaTron! You have a few counterspells early game, and then you assemble the Tron as soon as possible, so you can do one of the following: lock the game by having Counterbalance, Survivor of the Unseen and Clockspinning (and, of course, the UrzaTron to power up a lot of mana form a few lands), so in response to an opponent playing a spell you can activate Survivor, and put a card with the appropriate cost at the top of your library, and then using Clockspinning with buyback to keep the number of age counters on it as low as 0-1; or by having the Tron out and a Spell Burst in hand, so you can counter almost anything and still buy it back to your hand. Also, with the latter, in case they donít play anything, you can use the first "mini-combo" to draw some extra cards to find your finishers. Repeal with Tron is just amazing, you can bounce back pretty much anything thatís been giving you a headache! Note that Muddle the Mixture transmutes exactly for Counterbalance or one of your other counterspells, if Balance is already out. Sideboard provides you with another copy of important spells, depending on the match-up at hand, as well as some utility stuff, like faster counters (Spell Snare) and guaranteed counters (Cancel). You also have some aggro stoppers in Drift of Phantasms (which can tutor for Survivor) and Pongify, to get rid of things you couldnít stop earlier, or to íPong a Survivor that got too expensive, getting a 3/3 out of the deal.

7.2.1. Adding money to it
This is actually pretty obvious, but getting the last copy of the Urza lands are a must! Then, another Counterbalance in place of a Muddle The Mixture is also great (*hint* elf lvr, who already has one). For pimping it up, Telling Time is strictly better than Compulsive Research for this deck, since discarding an Urza land, for instance, might be prejudicial later, and since Telling Time ALSO works with Counterbalance, so you can at least take a shot at the top 3 from your deck to try and stop a spell WHILE accelerating a little, and not having to waste a counter to do so. Last, but certainly not least, Icy Manipulator could be GREAT, since it can hold off strong creatures without worrying against protection from blue (seriously, a hardcast Red Akroma would KILL you, although those do not see a lot of play so far), or you could try the wealthier "all Snow-Covered Island" approach, and use Rimewind Taskmage, which can also UNTAP a permanent, so you can either use Survivor more than once a turn, or untap Urza lands actually making MORE mana out of it (I mean, you tap a Tower to the Taskmage ability, and you just got 2 extra mana), but be careful, since you need FOUR Snow Permanents, and neither Survivor nor Counterbalance or even Taskmage are snow... Youíd depend on getting 4 Islands out.
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7.3. Rakdos Wreck (60 cards, Cost = U$ 10.50; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 5.45)

22 Lands:
9 Mountain
9 Swamp
4 Rakdos Carnarium

20 Creatures:
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Gobhobbler Rats
4 Drekavac
4 Rakdos Guildmage
4 Jagged Poppet

4 Sorceries:
4 Rite of Flame

4 Instants:
4 Fiery Temper

4 Enchantments:
4 Seal of Fire

6 Artifacts:
4 Rakdos Signet
2 Phyrexian Totem

Sideboard:
2 Seal of Doom
3 Dead//Gone
3 Reckless Wurm
1 Phyrexian Totem
2 Ignorant Bliss
2 Big Game Hunter
2 Gorgon Recluse

Ok, this deck is all about speed for achieving hellbent. Seriously, Simian Spirit Guide is here only because of his ability of adding 1 free mana. Just picture how aggressive the opening turns can be:
I- Swamp, remove Simian Spirit Guide, Drekavac; you have a 3/3 on turn 1.
II- Swamp, remove Simian Spirit Guide, Rite of Flame, Drekavac discarding Fiery Temper, play it with madness; you have a 3/3 on turn 1 and you either dealt 3 to the head or killed, say, a 2/3 Kird Ape?
III- Mountain, Rite of Flame, Rakdos Guildmage or Rakdos Signet.
IV- Swamp, remove Simian Spirit Guide, Rite of Flame, Jagged Poppet.
And the list goes on and on. Now, not only you have a very good chance of a great opening, you have a HUGE change of having a 3/4 Jagged Poppet out by turn 2, and this is crucial. The deck makes all that mana so you can abuse the abilities of Rakdos Guildmage, and still regenerate a Gobhobbler Rats, or activate Phyrexian Totem, etc. Once you achieve hellbent and swing in with Jagged Poppet, theyíre pretty much toast, since theyíll lose their entire hand. The rest of the deck os for keeping pressure (either with the Rats and Drekavacs, or by creating endless tokens with Guildmage) or clearing the Poppetís path. The sideboard features another Phyrexian Totem, in case you need gas against wrath-like effects to keep up the pressure. Then, we have Seal of Doom to deal with fatties (non-black ones, at least) without clogging your hand as Sudden Death would, and also Dead//Gone and Big Game Hunter against black fatties, not to mention Big Game Hunter comboes greatly with Guildmage in special: you kill a 2/2, play him with madness, kill a fatty, and swing. Not to mention, youíll never run the risk of killing your own creatures, since the Totem is activated when YOU want, and your strongest beaters all have 3 power. Reckless Wurm could come in in different match-ups, where you need a few fatties yourself, and really, itís great with the self-discarding theme. You swing with Poppet on turn 3, they chump it with a 1/1, you get a 4/4 trampler for 3 out of the deal. Then, youíve got Ignorant Bliss, which is a very cool tool against a discard deck, or to achieve hellbent out of the blue, AND you get a fresh new card in the process! Last, but certainly not least, Gorgon Recluse not only fits in greatly with the self-discarding theme, too, but is one great wall against most weenies, not to mention it can, under the right circunstances, take one for the team and bite the bullet, taking a huge beater in the process. As a side note, although Iím not very keen on using a full playset of bouncelands, this deck curves out really eary, so it can make a very good use of them, since you can bounce a land, fix your mana for the next turn, and still have a card to discard for, say, a Drekavac. All in all, itís a very powerful and fast deck for budget, and one of the best builds in the article, guaranteed.

7.3.1. Adding money to it
Now, if you can add a little money to the deck, depending on your meta, you can start by trying out Darkblast in the sideboard. Itís recurring kill, wrecks Boros apart, and ALSO helps achieving hellbent, sicne youíll be NOT drawing a card. Phyrexian Arena is also cool, since it stays down and gives you extra gas. One copy of Jaya Ballard, Task Mage would be really cool, too, as would suspend spells like Rift Bolt or Phthisis. Rakdos Pit Dragon would be really great as a finisher, as would Avatar of Discord (which would be able to come down on turn 1, or consistently on turn 2).
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7.4. Monoblack Aggro (60 cards, Cost = U$ 11.60; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 3.70)

22 Lands:
18 Swamp
4 Quicksand

23 Creatures:
4 Festering Goblin
3 Plagued Rusalka
4 Ravenous Rats
4 Drekavac
2 Dunerider Outlaw
3 Nantuko Husk
3 Trespasser il-Vec

2 Sorceries:
2 Dimir Machinations

8 Instants:
4 Dash Hopes
4 Last Gasp

3 Enchantments:
2 Unholy Strength
1 Fallen Ideal

2 Artifacts:
2 Phyrexian Totem

Sideboard:
2 Dunerider Outlaw
2 Consume Spirit
1 Unholy Strength
1 Fallen Ideal
3 Call to the Netherworld
1 Phyrexian Totem
2 Big Game Hunter
1 Trespasser il-Vec
2 Darkblast

Ok, this is my first attempt ever at a budget monoblack aggro, so donít flame me too hard if itís not good, although I must say so far I like it a lot. The deck has some neat early drops, like Festering Goblin (which can take out a 2/2 in combat) and Plagued Rusalka (which can make an already dead creature into a killing spell, allowing some cool combat tricks, and helping keep control over Dark Confidants, Savannah Lions, Soltari Priests and such). Then, thereís a rather busy slot, where you have Drekavac (already discussed above, just too good to pass on), Ravenous Rats (cool come into play ability) and Dunerider Outlaw (Green is just not that troublesome to this deck). The top of the mana curve is at cc 3, with both Nantuko Husk (seriously, amazing if you can spare some creatures) and Trespasser il-Vec (shadow is just cool to force damage through). Note that Festering Goblin play a lot of roles in the deck, since just by sacrificing it to Plagued Rusalka, you can get 2 X/1 creatures out of your Huskís path! Then, there are some utility spells, like Dash Hopes (you either block a possible troublesome spell, or deal 5 to the dome for 2, at instant speed, and with no prevention shenanigans allowed!) and Last Gasp (duh). Phyrexian Totem provides you with more damage, chump-block free (trampling), and Unholy Strength makes any creature a threat. Fallen Ideal not only gives a creature evasion, but turns it on a sort of Nantuko Husk (actually, Fallen Angel, but we care about the attack power, here). The last spell of the deck may seem weird: Dimir Machinations. Sure, it provides you with some cool control elements, like letting your opponent drawing blanks for some turns (which can turn out to be crucial), but the REAL treasure is in the second ability: TRANSMUTE! Yep, if you donít want/donít have/donít need to control your opponent, you can just tutor for a suitable card for the ocasion, either Nantuko Husk to have a big beater, Phyrexian Totem to have more mana and/or a trampling creature, Trespasser il-Vec to have a discard outlet or evasion or Fallen Ideal to boost up a creature you already have (btw, this makes WONDERS when played on Drekavac turn 3). Even the mana base is tricky in this deck, with Quicksands to help staunch the bleeding early game! Not to mention, thanks to it, a Festering Goblin can take out Rumbling Slum with Plagued Rusalka out! Thatís more than cool for me, if we talk about budget! What, you donít believe me? Ok, scenario:
I- Rumbling Slum attacks (itís 5/5)
II- Festering Goblin blocks, letting damage on the stack
III- You sac it to Plagued Rusalkaís ability (itís now 4/4)
IV- Itís own ability triggers (itís now 3/3)
V- You sac Quicksand (itís now 2/1)
VI- Damage resolves, itís dead.
Seriously, what else could you ask? If you have another black mana available, you can even toss in Plagued Rusalka into the gangblock and sac itself to itís ability, taking out a creature with SEVEN toughness! For 2 one-drops and a land? Iím cool with that!
Now, letís take a look at what the sideboard has to offer us:
First off, it has more copies of Unholy Strength an Fallen Ideal, which are both great gainst decks lacking instant-speed removal. Then, Dunerider Outlaw makes another appearence, in case you face something like monogreen aggro, so youíll stand a chance. Then, in may come another Trespasser il-Vec, both for forcing more damage through, and/or to enable a switchboard to a semi-madness deck, featuring both Call to the Netherworld (against emoval-heavy decks) and Big Game Hunter (because Last Gasp does not kill a Dragon Wink ). In case life IS an issue, COnsume spirit can come in, too, not to mention it being itself another form of removal, and if you face somehting like Boros, Weenie or anything that abuses X/1 creatures, you can bring in a couple Darkblast, a cool recurring removal, that ALSO comboes NEATLY with the whole Rusalka/Goblin/Quicksand stuff. All in all, a nice deck to play, still aggro, but not that usual straightforward aggro, all beating and no thinking. I liked it very much. Of course, monocolored builds tend to start off behind multicolored builds, specially in versatility, and in budget that shows even more, but this one in special can probably keep up with a lot of theother builds here, and perhaps even with some top-knotch ones (I playtested it against Boros, and it put up quite a fight most of the time, I won quite some matches). If you do not face a lot of weenies in your meta, consider dropping Darkblast for Dark Withering, since it fits in nicely with the semi-madness subtheme for the sideboard, and kills a relatively big creature for the same one mana. Gorgon Recluse is also an option.

7.4.1. Adding money to it
If you can afford to add money to this deck, the first step would be to add in one Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, making Quicksands less painful for your mana base, AND allowing it to help pump out a slightly bigger Consume Spirit. Note that ONE Urborg could even fit into our 20-dollar budget range, but as I said, Iíd rather leave a cushion for our players to buy some OTHER cards they might want more. Then, depending on the meta, you could also try Desert over Quicksand, although due to the lack of big beaters in the deck Iíd rather stick with Quicksand. If you want to add a little meat to the deck, you could try Liege of the Pit, seeing as he fits right in the cc 3 slot (Iím assuming youíd want to play it as a morph, right?). Another great asset is Nether Traitor, as you can sac one for a Husk of Fallen Idealíed creature, sac another creature, play one mana, AND bring him back swinging for 1 (it has haste, remember?). Then, aside from the recurring mini-engine, heís also a fairly solid beater, having shadow, and a nice target for Unholy Strength, AND, if he dies, you can bring him back later anyway. Another solid beater you could squeeze in the deck is Plague Sliver, which ALSO hoses down other Sliver decks. But perhaps the most important (and expensive) additions to this deck would be Dark Confidant (really ok beater with a great ability, considering the average low mana cost of the cards) and Bad Moon (turning ANYTHING with Unholy Strength into a REAL beatstick!). Just picture: turn one, Plagued Rusalka. Turn 2, Bad Moon, swing for 2. Turn 3, Drekavac, Unholy Strength. There, you now have a 6/5 creature for turn 4. Play Fallen Ideal on him turn 5, and talk about overkill!
As The First said, too, you can also lower the overall cost a bit to squeeze in beatsticks like Dauthi Slayer, Dark Confidant and Hypnotic Specter, all being REALLY good assets.
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7.5. Golgari Rot (60 cards, Cost = U$ 15.75; 15 sideboard cards, Cost = U$ 3.90)

22 Lands:
10 Forest
9 Swamp
3 Golgari Rot Farm

18 Creatures:
4 Festering Goblin
3 Plagued Rusalka
4 Darkheart Sliver
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
2 Yavimaya Enchantress
1 Golgari Rotwurm

3 Instants:
3 Putrefy

15 Enchantments:
4 Utopia Sprawl
3 Unholy Strength
2 Fists of Ironwood
3 Moldervine Cloak
3 Golgari Germination

2 Artifacts:
2 Phyrexian Totem

Sideboard:
3 Seal of Doom
1 Phyrexian Totem
3 Seal of Primordium
2 Darkblast
1 Moldervine Cloak
2 Golgari Rotwurm
2 Aspect of Mongoose
1 Yavimaya Enchantress

This deck is quite challenging, as thereís not really big "golgari" beaters outside of rare range, so we have to resort to monochromatic ones. The control base of the monoblack is here, with Plagued Rusalka and Festering Goblin, but our removal is a little better, in the form of the most powerful non-rare card the golgari guild gives us access to: Putrefy. Since we needed beaters, the first obvious choice was Silhana Ledgewalker, due to itís incredible evasive abilities. Then, I added in Moldervine Cloak, so we can turn pretty much ANY creature into a beatstick, AND itís a recurring pump in case our creatures die or we have to sac it to the Rusalka. Looking at the cards available, the most fun "build around me" card in the Golgari guild just HAD to make it into the deck, so since it has great synergy with Plagued Rusalka, in went Golgari Germination! Well, since Germination is in, Darkheart Sliver came right behind it, being a good enough beater with a cool sac ability at absolutely no cost, AND activating the Germination, if need be. In the "sac ability department", the last adition to the deck was Golgari Rotwurm, being itself a solid beater and having a built-in sac ability for a relatively low cost. Note that our creatures do not have that much evasion, so to keep the deck flowing within the theme, I added in Fists of Ironwood, which not only gives us extra creatures, but ALSO gives trample to our beaters. Then, having THAT much creatures, and now a possibility of 6 creatures with some evasion, I added in Unholy Strength to make better beaters out of our creature swarm. Now, notice the amount of enchantments we have in the deck so far. That alone brought me the image of our true MAIN beater: Yavimaya Enchantress! I was packing Llanowar Elves for both acceleration and Rusalka abuse, but budget-wise speaking, Utopia Sprawl is way much better on doing it, not to mention it ALSO ramps up Enchantressís power A LOT! Then, with the RIDICULOUS amount of permanents weíll be putting into play, with all the enchantments and Golgari Germination turning, sometimes, 1 creature into 2 or 3, Phyrexian Totem was just a must. Recurring Moldervine Cloak, we can have an 8/8 trampler, guaranteed, whenever we need it! Otherwise, at least it helps us build the manabase a little faster. As for the sideboard, we have Cloak nļ 4 in case we need solig beaters, as well as 2 more Rotwurms and 1 Totem, in case "weenie-rush" is not a viable strategy, and, in case itís actually your opponentís strategy, Darkblast is really good inkeeping control of the little pesky beaters. As to more removal and enchantment hate (Putrefy plays the role of artifact hate, remember?), I went with Seals, because they wonít clog your hand, AND because, well, theyíre enchantments(!), so they ALSO help Enchantress get bigger (which, btw, thereís another one in the sideboard, too, allowing you to switch from weenie-rush into big, solid, scary beaters! Wink ). And, in the land of enchantments, Aspect of Mongoose ALSO is an enchantment, and a recurring one, too, which protects your beaters against removal, so in it came! And there you have it, a cool, fun-to-play deck! Not to mention a viable one! So grab your old, dusty Golgari precon, and start pounding! Wink

7.5.1. Adding money to it
Well, adding money to this deck is actually kind of tricky, due to the balance it has, in this current build. Of course, Putrefy nļ 4 could come in without much harm, and if you feel a lack of cards to play with, you can either try Harmonize (cool) or Phyrexian Arena (even cooler, being an enchantment). Verduran Enchantress could be tempting, too, but I donít think itíd be THAT good. Depending on your meta, you could try a Drekavac/Life From the Loam/Golgari Grave-Troll (with, perhaps, 1-2 copies of Svogthos, the Restless Tomb) approach, and drop the Germination theme altogether, although I think itís FUN! Drekavac alone makes for a fine adition, in an aggro environment, being a pretty solid beater on itís own, and even better with Unholy Strength on turn 2 (Forest, Utopia Sprawl naming black; Swamp, Drekavac, Unholy Strength). Nightmare of the Void is good in control-heavy environments, itself being recurrable. You could also try a totally different build, with Doubling Season and some utility Thallids like Deathspore Thallid and Sporesower Thallid, which could ALSO be quite fun!
Last edited by Felipe Musco on Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:02 am; edited 11 times in totalI don't like YOU.
elf lvr
Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:44 pm
Joined: 13 Jun 2006 Posts: 3065 Location: Rivendell
Hah... that first part totally describes me. Iím never going to be a tournament player. I have one friend to play against. And I donít need a "kill at turn 5" deck. I want something fun and cheap! I love this article already.

Looking at the table of contents... Blue Control? On budget? Yum.

Iíve looked over the decks, and donít have much to say except "Looks good!" Iíll let the more íexperiencedí players critique your strategy. Iíd like to say I absolutely love the Green Weenie. A lot of beating, a lot of fun. And the budget Gruul looks even funner.

Thanks for including the "By Popular Demand" section. Iíll bet you know youíre going to be getting A LOT from me on this.

So, I know you donít want more than one at once, but please just review whichever one of these you want.

Can you make a Counterbalance deck on budget? Probably not, but... I like the idea of the deck, and I actually have a Counterbalance.

A Dragonauts/Gelectrode deck? Is this idea playable? and can you make it cheap?

Looks like a great article, and I like the fact that you let us request things. Looks like a 5 from me... but Iíll wait before voting.
Happy Hunting! Elf Lvr
Winner of Best Personality in the FPCA. Thanks!
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Felipe Musco
Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:15 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
Iíll work on the Dragonaut/Gelectrode build (I KNEW someone was gonna ask for one). About the Counterbalance, itís actually as the Blue Control build started, but was not very good. Iíll try it again, though.
I don't like YOU.
bandfreak9
Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:43 pm
Joined: 24 Jan 2007 Posts: 84 Location: Virginia
Hey Felipe thanx for the article. I donít have time to go through and check the decklists right now but I will soon. Kind of skimmed it and yes if Elf Lvr hadnít already asked Izzet was the first thing on my mind with Wee Draganauts being (I think theyíre) common it just works out perfectly
Felipe Musco
Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:14 am
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
The Izzet list will be up this afternoon, hopefully, and I decided to take another shot at counterbalance. Just an explanation to elf lvr, the thjing with Counterbalance is that itís usually at its best when you pair it up with something like Senseiís Divining Top, so you can look at some cards from the top of your library in response to your opponent playing a spell, but BEFORE Counterbalance triggers, so you can leave a card with the appropriate mana cost on top. However, since the article is in Standard, Senseiís Divining Top is out. But Iíll try to work something out with Survivor of the Unseen. Wink
I don't like YOU.
Felipe Musco
Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:40 am
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
Ok, Izzet list up and running! Keepíem coming, guys!
I don't like YOU.
Felipe Musco
Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:04 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
elf lvr wrote:

Can you make a Counterbalance deck on budget? Probably not, but...


Guess again! Twisted Evil With time and effort (more effort than time, by the way), some things ARE possible, after all. Wink
I don't like YOU.
The First
Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:02 pm
Joined: 07 Oct 2005 Posts: 195 Location: Anderlecht, Belgium
Felipe Musco wrote:
First off, players should avoid the common pitfall of buying a precon and trying to ďevolveĒ it. Thatís definitely not the best way to build a cheap deck, believe me, Iíve been there. Itís better to just start from sracth, going through it on a card-by-card basis.



Unless, of course, there is a Jitte in your precon which, at time to time could come in handy or which you can sell for almost the double of your precon deck Laughing Talk about cost efficiency and budget.

The best way to go budget though is to get some free cards from your friends or from competitive players. There are some players that would love to give you some cards to free some space on their shelves.

I donít really like card lists. Why would you make lists of good "budget" uncos? Especially if some of them are rare in the mean time and are hard or impossible to get a set of for less than $20. While on the other hand, there are some rares that cost only $1-2 which can add value to your deck?

5.1. Budget White Weenie

Nice deck. I just do not get why you maindeck totems... especially instead of Calciderm. The Tithe and Totems are nice anti wrath cards though.

5.2. Budget Monogreen Weenie

Where is Mire Boa?? I just love that creature. IMO stapple for green aggro/weenie.

I would increase lands up to 22 and drop the Boreal Druid.

5.3. Budget Monoblue Control

I donít like this deck. It lacks a good (expensive??) finisher. With also only 13 Islands, you are never going to get enough blue mana fast enough to stop your opponent imo. Board control will be though and the Tron is not useful enough to be played in this deck. I would say that this deck lacks focus for control. Iíd probably maindeck the Manipulators if you want to keep this control and keep the Tron.

5.4. Budget Gruul

The mana base does trouble me. Only 16 "real" lands with cards like Kird Ape, Scab-Clan Mauler and Blood Knight in your deck. The Expanse means tempo loss. No good imo. You could use Wild Cantor for fixing but that would mean card disadvantage... Not sure how to solve this in a good and consistant manner.

5.5. Budget Boros

Seems to be a very good budget deck.

5.6. Budget Selesnya

While probably a bit less competitive than the Boros build, I think it will be more fun to play. Nice deklist!

7.1. Izzet Abuse

Iíll never understand why the Dragonauts and the Gelectrodes are put into the same deck. There should be enough alternatives available to make a good Dragonauts deck - take a look at my deck from last month - and to make a nice budget "ping" control deck with the Gelectrodes.

With Gelectrode in the mix, why not use Ovinize instead of Pongify for instance?

Why do you (constantly) choose Errant Ephemeron and not Wind Elemental?

This is the third article of the month which actually only presents "card lists". Where is the emotion? The motivation? The thrill of the research? Creativity? Last months article was huge and to the point. I think that most readers learned at least a few things from it. This month the only thing I see are 3 clones, hoping to get a high score because of the "hard work put into it (?)". At least, that is my opinion. I cannot say that either one of those three articles really caught my attention. But elf lvr and bandfreak seem to be optimistic about this one... so it will probably be just me I guess.
Great minds bleed alike.
Do not copy media. Support creativity.
bandfreak9
Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:01 pm
Joined: 24 Jan 2007 Posts: 84 Location: Virginia
Well the reason I like it is because I asked for it. Also it is a good article you have to admit.
But I do have to agree with you, all three articles seem to be card analysis not that thats a bad thing but it does get a little old
Felipe Musco
Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:10 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
The First wrote:
Unless, of course, there is a Jitte in your precon which, at time to time could come in handy or which you can sell for almost the double of your precon deck Laughing Talk about cost efficiency and budget.


Ditto, nice point. But then again, where are you gonna find a Ratís Nest deck anyway? Theyíve been sold out for ages.

The First wrote:
I donít really like card lists. Why would you make lists of good "budget" uncos? Especially if some of them are rare in the mean time and are hard or impossible to get a set of for less than $20. While on the other hand, there are some rares that cost only $1-2 which can add value to your deck?


Agree with you, card list utterly removed. Thanks for pointing that out.

The First wrote:
5.1. Budget White Weenie

Nice deck. I just do not get why you maindeck totems... especially instead of Calciderm. The Tithe and Totems are nice anti wrath cards though.


Good point, list altered accordingly. I didnít use Calciderm maindecked on the first one, ícause it kind of defeated the weenie purpose, but in budget, itís actually better.

The First wrote:
5.2. Budget Monogreen Weenie

Where is Mire Boa?? I just love that creature. IMO stapple for green aggro/weenie.

I would increase lands up to 22 and drop the Boreal Druid.


Donít need that much lands, but I dropped the Druids for Boas. I really donít know what happened, they WERE there when I built the deck... Thanks for pointing it out!

The First wrote:
5.3. Budget Monoblue Control

I donít like this deck. It lacks a good (expensive??) finisher. With also only 13 Islands, you are never going to get enough blue mana fast enough to stop your opponent imo. Board control will be though and the Tron is not useful enough to be played in this deck. I would say that this deck lacks focus for control. Iíd probably maindeck the Manipulators if you want to keep this control and keep the Tron.


What can I say? Youíre probably right. It was adapted from the monoblue list from last month. It was the weakest deck back there, so I wouldnít hope it to be that much better here, although it CAN play a control-ish role in casual play, specially against corvusí dragon deck! Laughing

The First wrote:
5.4. Budget Gruul

The mana base does trouble me. Only 16 "real" lands with cards like Kird Ape, Scab-Clan Mauler and Blood Knight in your deck. The Expanse means tempo loss. No good imo. You could use Wild Cantor for fixing but that would mean card disadvantage... Not sure how to solve this in a good and consistant manner.


You see, the Expanse means a little tempo loss (which is ok for a more casual deck), but it ALSO means youíll have those "real" lands out faster. What good is the first turn Kird Ape opening if you canít follow it with a forest? Expanse ensures you can do that, and swing for 2 on turn 2. You can try and alter the proportion a bit up or down, but some Expanses are good to have around because of the Kird Apes.

The First wrote:
5.5. Budget Boros

Seems to be a very good budget deck.


Thanks, it actually won a FNM here! Very Happy

The First wrote:
5.6. Budget Selesnya

While probably a bit less competitive than the Boros build, I think it will be more fun to play. Nice deklist!


3rd place in an FNM. Wink

The First wrote:
7.1. Izzet Abuse

Iíll never understand why the Dragonauts and the Gelectrodes are put into the same deck. There should be enough alternatives available to make a good Dragonauts deck - take a look at my deck from last month - and to make a nice budget "ping" control deck with the Gelectrodes.

With Gelectrode in the mix, why not use Ovinize instead of Pongify for instance?

Why do you (constantly) choose Errant Ephemeron and not Wind Elemental?


Not familiar with that card... Gelectrode AND Dragonauts are in because thatís what was requested. Personally, Iíd focus on Dragonauts and gave Gelectrodes in the sideboard, but this list actually looks good. I didnít use Ovinize because of the lack of creatures, Iíd rather have the possibility of íPonging one of mine in response to it dying. However, some could go in the sideboard, maybe 2.

The First wrote:
This is the third article of the month which actually only presents "card lists". Where is the emotion? The motivation? The thrill of the research? Creativity? Last months article was huge and to the point. I think that most readers learned at least a few things from it. This month the only thing I see are 3 clones, hoping to get a high score because of the "hard work put into it (?)". At least, that is my opinion. I cannot say that either one of those three articles really caught my attention. But elf lvr and bandfreak seem to be optimistic about this one... so it will probably be just me I guess.


In all fairness, I statred writing this article together with mine on Planar Chaos, as thatís when bandfreak9 requested it. However, I understand your feelings, youíre not REALLY the budget player yourself, so itís expected of you not to like it so much. However, well, itís fine, as I said, this article is targetted at a different public. And well, by giving decklists, Iím showing some card interactions that didnít make it in my last article as it was more Spike-oriented. But then again, this one is pretty innovative in a sense that Iím allowing the public to request exactly what they want to see here, so, why donít you give it a try, too? Wink
Anyway, thanks for the feedback, hope my article grows on your concept as the month progresses and I keep adding new stuff in it, specially if I can answer one of your requests!
I don't like YOU.

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