Budget Death and Taxes

In all reality, the easiest way to design a budget Death and Taxes deck is to take a stock list and put ~22 Plains in the deck instead of the current manabase. After all, the majority of the deck’s cost lies in the ~$80 Wastelands and ~$100+ Karakas & Rishadan Ports. But that’s not really the best way to build a budget deck. Apart from being Wasteland-proof, your version of the deck is just much, much worse than the stock Death and Taxes list. Instead, a better way to build a budget version of a deck is to have a slightly different plan that might take advantage of the limitations you have. For example, a budget BUG Delver deck with no duals may throw in Thoughtseizes and Death’s Shadow to compensate for the fact that you have to run shocks.

So clearly, taking the stock D&T list and adding basics wasn’t the plan when I was looking for a budget version of Death and Taxes.

Let’s take a quick look:

Creatures

  • 4 Mother of Runes
  • 4 Dryad Militant
  • 4 Judge’s Familiar
  • 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
  • 3 Spirit of the Labyrinth
  • 2 Ethersworn Canonist
  • 4 Leonin Arbiter
  • 3 Aven Mindcensor
  • 4 Flickerwisp
Spells
  • 4 Swords to Plowshares
  • 2 Council’s Judgment
Lands
  • 18 Plains
  • 4 Ghost Quarter

Since you can’t play the mana denial game nearly as efficiently as the stock Death and Taxes deck, I think going a little more aggressive is better. I took some small synergies from the Modern version of the deck (Arbiter + Ghost Quarter for example) AEther Vial is a little worse since you don’t always need to hold up Port + Wasteland, so we chose to run a little more creatures in that slot. Will this work? I’m not sure but I feel the theories are at least somewhat sound. At least you get a bye against Storm in G1 if you draw one of the Canonists. I’m not sure the Mother of Runes need to be in here actually. Perhaps Student of Warfare would provide an early drop as well as a great late game topdeck?

I really wanted to add Mirran Crusader + equipment, but Stoneforge and friends are pretty expensive.

Budget Combo Elves

Before Deathrite Shaman and the new legend rule, Elves used to be a pretty cheap deck. Can it still be?
Creatures - 40
  • 4 Llanowar Elves
  • 4 Fyndhorn Elves
  • 4 Quirion Ranger
  • 4 Heritage Druid
  • 4 Nettle Sentinel
  • 4 Wirewood Symbiote
  • 4 Elvish Visionary
  • 4 Priest of Titania
  • 4 Sylvan Messenger
  • 1 Birchlore Rangers
  • 1 Reclamation Sage
  • 1 Craterhoof Behemoth
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
Spells - 4
  • 4 Green Sun’s Zenith
Lands - 16
  • 15 Forest
  • 1 Dryad Arbor

Sylvan Messenger does its best Glimpse of Nature Impression (while being sweet with Wirewood Symbiote) and Priest of Titania does its best Gaea’s Cradle impression. With the list being around $100-110, it seems like a sweet way to start out in Legacy!

AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series - By the Numbers

(click read more to see the full infographic, it’s pretty long)

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Budget Legacy - All-in Red

For the Flagstaff Legacy Series Event this past weekend, I lent Mono-Red Sneak Attack to a friend of mine, similar to the one that got 9th at the StarCityGames.com Open Series in Syracuse. The main difference was +1 Inferno Titan and -1 Pyromancy (I don’t have a 2nd Pyromancy). What we learned: Inferno Titan gets hard cast. A lot. And it wins. A lot. While my friend finished 9th or 10th (can’t remember), we noticed that Inferno Titan was nuts. It’s a great Sneak Attack target, dealing 12 or clearing the way, but better, it’s hardcastable, meaning it’s not a terrible topdeck. Next time I lend the deck out, I’m putting 4 Inferno Titan in the maindeck.
And after seeing how cheap it was money-wise (it’s like $1-$2), it got me thinking about a budget MonoRed Sneak Attack build. After all, Seething Song + Inferno Titan or Sandstone Needle + 2 Mountains + Lotus Petal/Simian Spirit Guide into Inferno Titan isn’t expensive at all. However, Sneak Attack, Emrakul, and Griselbrand are pretty expensive. So I decided to lower the curve and make it more of a Dragon Stompy esque deck:
Creatures - 20
  • 4 Inferno Titan
  • 4 Gathan Raiders
  • 4 Phyrexian Revoker
  • 4 Siege-Gang Commander
  • 4 Simian Spirit Guide
Spells - 20
  • 4 Koth of the Hammer
  • 4 Chalice of the Void
  • 4 Lotus Petal
  • 4 Seething Song
  • 4 Trinisphere
Lands
  • 4 Sandstone Needle
  • 4 Crystal Vein
  • 12 Mountain
Other Options:
  • Kargan Dragonlord
  • Stormbreath Dragon

Upgrades

  • 4 Crystal Vein + 4 Mountain -> 4 City of Traitors + 4 Ancient Tomb
  • 4 Trinisphere -> 4 Blood Moon

Trinisphere is super cheap compared to Blood Moon ($3 vs $20), but making the swap isn’t that big of a deal since you are likely locking your opponent out pretty hard anyway with Trinisphere.

Being a higher curve than the average red deck in Legacy also gives great options. Kargan Dragonlord is awesome to curve into after a Chalice for 1 and Stormbreath Dragon is an awesome turn 1 or 2 play in the face of Swords to Plowshares, Lightning Bolt, and Abrupt Decay.

Did I also mention Inferno Titan?

The budget version of this build clocks in VERY cheap - like $150, but if you already have some of the upgrades such as Blood Moon, then I would definitely add those in.

Ensoul Artifact in Legacy

People have been asking me if Ensoul Artifact has a place in Legacy Affinity. As some of you may know, I have a Legacy Affinity deck that I typically lend out for our weekly events and our Legacy Series. So when my brother and I are just jamming games, I typically pick up Affinity, so I’ve played it a decent amount. I don’t think the current iteration of my list could support Ensoul Artifact, but then it hit me.
Ensoul Artifact is blue.
With Thoughtcast and Master of Etherium, that is a decent amount of blue cards to be playing, so that means we could possibly add a card that can fight combo decks - Force of Will!
Force Affinity
Creatures - 19
  • 4 Ornithopter
  • 4 Memnite
  • 4 Baleful Strix
  • 3 Master of Etherium
  • 4 Etched Champion
Spells - 24
  • 4 Chalice of the Void
  • 4 Mox Opal
  • 4 Cranial Plating
  • 4 Ensoul Artifact
  • 4 Thoughtcast
  • 4 Force of Will
Lands - 17
  • 4 Darksteel Citadel
  • 4 Seat of the Synod
  • 4 Ancient Tomb
  • 4 Vault of Whispers
  • 1 Academy Ruins
Ensouling a Chalice of the Void has got to be sweet, right? The deck is a little slower than some version of Affinity (there just isn’t room for Springleaf drum), but being able to actually interact with your opponent has to be worth some amount of percentage points. You have eight ways to power out a Chalice of the Void on turn one (Ancient Tomb or Land + Mox Opal), and you also have Force of Will to force a Cranial Plating into play or stop your opponent’s Ad Nauseam or even Stoneforge Mystic. It doesn’t deal with Abrupt Decay (which is still really good against this deck), but hopefully Academy Ruins can rebuy whatever was destroyed.
It is a little alarming that the deck only has 19 creatures (well, 23 if you include the Ensoul Artifacts). You can certainly include Vault Skirge or Arcbound Ravager, but I think the only thing you can really cut at this point is Chalice of the Void.
Come join us in Flagstaff on Friday for our final regular Legacy Series Event!
AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series:

Flagstaff August Event

Date: August 16th
Round 1 Start: 12:00pm
Location: The Geekery, 1800 South Milton Rd. Suites 110 and 111, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
Entry Fee: $15
Prizes:

1st: Tropical Island + 5 packs of Onslaught + 5 packs of Zendikar
2nd: Flooded Strand + 5 packs of Onslaught + 5 packs of Zendikar
3rd-4th: $40 store credit + 2 Onslaught + 2 Zendikar
5th-8th: $10 store credit + 1 Onslaught + 1 Zendikar
9th-16th: 1 pack of each

Decklists will be required.

To view the Legacy Series Points earned per placing, view this link:http://bit.ly/azmppoints

To view your standing in the Points Race: http://bit.ly/azmpstandings

For more details on the rest of the AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/azmplegacyseries.

AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series Proxy Side Event

Round 1 Start: 3:00pm
Entry: $5
This event will be unsanctioned.

4 Rounds of Swiss, prize payout:

4-0-0: 12 packs 
3-0-1: 9 packs
3-1-0: 6 packs
2-1-1: 3 packs 

Packs may be from any Standard legal set.

Proxy rules: Proxies must be printed (either black and white or color), 100% of your deck may be proxied.

Junk Stoneblade

Haven’t seen a lot of Junk Stoneblade decks around. Seems like a good deck to just be a goodstuff deck. The only flex slot in the maindeck that could be Hymns or something based on the metagame are the Lingering Souls.

Creatures - 16

  • 4 Deathrite Shaman
  • 4 Stoneforge Mystic
  • 4 Tarmogoyf
  • 4 Dark Confidant

Spells - 22

  • 4 Thoughtseize
  • 4 Liliana of the Veil
  • 4 Swords to Plowshares
  • 4 Abrupt Decay
  • 4 Lingering Souls
  • 1 Batterskull
  • 1 Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands - 22

  • 4 Verdant Catacombs
  • 4 Marsh Flats
  • 1 Windswept Heath
  • 2 Bayou
  • 2 Savannah
  • 2 Scrubland
  • 1 Swamp
  • 1 Plains
  • 1 Forest
  • 4 Wasteland

Sideboard

  • 4 Duress
  • 4 Hymn to Tourach
  • 3 Zealous Persecution
  • 1 Manriki Gusari
  • 2 Ethersworn Canonist
  • 1 Choke

Wall Post - Not the Facebook kind

I don’t normally browse the MTGO Daily Decklists, but someone was telling me that a 17-land RUG Delver deck with 4 Gitaxian Probes was 4-0ing a couple of dailies, I had to look (I advocated Gitaxian Probes in RUG long before Jacob Wilson made the Top 8 of Strausbourg with it, and I’ve been trying to find a way to play 4 /hipster). I couldn’t find it on the site (I found it on mtgtop8.com, so no need to send it to me :)), but I did find this sweet budget looking 12-Post deck, which I call Wall Post:

Creatures - 26

  • 4 Tinder Wall
  • 4 Overgrown Battlement
  • 4 Wall of Roots
  • 4 Primeval Titan
  • 3 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
  • 3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
  • 2 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
  • 2 Wurmcoil Engine

Spells - 8

  • 4 Green Sun’s Zenith
  • 4 Summoning Trap

Lands - 26

  • 14 Forest
  • 4 Cloudpost
  • 4 Glimmerpost
  • 2 Vesuva
  • 1 Eye of Ugin
  • 1 Dryad Arbor

Sideboard - 15

  • 1 Bane of Progress
  • 4 Chalice of the Void
  • 1 Gaddock Teeg
  • 4 Grafdigger’s Cage
  • 2 Leyline of Sanctity
  • 1 Pithing Needle
  • 1 Powder Keg
  • 1 Relic of Progenitus

Apart from the Emrakuls and Primeval Titans, the deck isn’t actually all that expensive. The Wall theme is nice, buying time against the Goyf decks while also ramping you up a ton. The Delver matchup just seems really good, since you have tons of ways to generate extra mana and a counterspell foil in Summoning Trap. I would love to give this a go sometime!


This weekend will be the final Phoenix-metro regular Legacy Series event. We’ll be in Avondale so if you are in Arizona I hope to see you all there!

AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series:

Avondale August Event

Date: August 9th
Round 1 Start: 12:00pm
Location: Play or Draw, 965 E Van Buren St, Avondale, Arizona
Entry Fee: $15
Prizes:

1st Place: 1 Underground Sea
2nd Place: 1 Tropical Island
3rd/4th Place: Playoff for choice of 1 Flooded Strand or 1 Plateau
If this event gets over 70 players the entire Top 8 will get a dual land.
Thank you to Play or Draw for the donation of extra prizes!

Decklists will be required.

More prizes based on attendance.

To view the Legacy Series Points earned per placing, view this link:http://bit.ly/azmppoints

To view your standing in the Points Race: http://bit.ly/azmpstandings

For more details on the rest of the AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/azmplegacyseries

Budget Legacy - Belcher

I think burn is a pretty boring option when it comes to budget Legacy (yes my tumblr image is a Lightning Bolt, so what), so I am always on the lookout for decks that are around the same price point. Here’s another one:

Budget Belcher

Creatures - 20

  • 4 Chancellor of the Tangle
  • 4 Elvish Spirit Guide
  • 4 Simian Spirit Guide
  • 4 Street Wraith
  • 4 Tinder Wall

Spells - 39

  • 4 Desperate Ritual
  • 4 Empty the Warrens
  • 4 Gitaxian Probe
  • 4 Goblin Charbelcher
  • 4 Land Grant
  • 4 Lotus Petal
  • 4 Manamorphose
  • 3 Pyretic Ritual
  • 4 Rite of Flame
  • 4 Seething Song

Lands - 1

  • 1 Stomping Ground

Belcher is pretty simple. Get to either 4 or 7 mana. 4 mana gets you Belcher (but not able to activate) or Empty the Warrens. 7 mana gets you the Belcher AND the activation.

The big thing with a budget Belcher list is that it’s literally 1 playset away from being mostly optimal - the Chancellor of the Tangle you see on the list should be Chrome Mox, but unfortunately Chrome Mox has creeped up in price over the years. If you don’t like the Chancellor’s restriction of turn 1 only, you can try this:

  • -4 Chancellor of the Tangle
  • -1 Seething Song or Pyretic Ritual (not sure which is correct)

and try 2-land Belcher:

  • +4 Dark Ritual
  • +1 Overgrown Tomb

You are adding a whole new color and you can whiff more frequently (fetch the Overgrown Tomb first if you don’t need the red mana so Belcher only needs to reveal 10 cards to kill), but you gain the oh so powerful Dark Ritual. A +2 mana source is really needed when you don’t have Lion’s Eye Diamond to really jump up in the mana count.


So this month is a double header for Legacy events here in Arizona! Next Saturday we will be at Avondale, Arizona:

AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series:

Avondale August Event

Date: August 9th
Round 1 Start: 12:00pm
Location: Play or Draw, 965 E Van Buren St, Avondale, Arizona
Entry Fee: $15
Prizes:

1st Place: 1 Underground Sea
2nd Place: 1 Tropical Island
3rd/4th Place: Playoff for choice of 1 Flooded Strand or 1 Plateau
If this event gets over 70 players the entire Top 8 will get a dual land.
Thank you to Play or Draw for the donation of extra prizes!

Decklists will be required.

More prizes based on attendance.

And the weekend after, we will be in Flagstaff!


AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series:

Flagstaff August Event

Date: August 16th
Round 1 Start: 12:00pm
Location: The Geekery, 1800 South Milton Rd. Suites 110 and 111, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
Entry Fee: $15
Prizes:

1st: Tropical Island + 5 packs of Onslaught + 5 packs of Zendikar
2nd: Flooded Strand + 5 packs of Onslaught + 5 packs of Zendikar
3rd-4th: $40 store credit + 2 Onslaught + 2 Zendikar
5th-8th: $10 store credit + 1 Onslaught + 1 Zendikar
9th-16th: 1 pack of each

Decklists will be required.

AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series Proxy Side Event

Date: 8/16/14 at the Geekery
Round 1 Start: 3:00pm
Entry: $5
This event will be unsanctioned.

4 Rounds of Swiss, prize payout:

4-0-0: 12 packs 
3-0-1: 9 packs
3-1-0: 6 packs
2-1-1: 3 packs 

Packs may be from any Standard legal set.

Proxy rules: Proxies must be printed (either black and white or color), 100% of your deck may be proxied.

We hope to see you at these events!

Buying into Legacy

A question was posted in the r/mtglegacy subreddit about buying into Legacy. My response was well received so I figure I would post it here as well.

A portion of his question (his question is linked above):

Does anyone have any thoughts into buying into a legacy deck right now? Should I aim for dual lands? Are tarmogoyfs worth buying when they could be reprinted in the future? Any advice would be helpful. I realize the best advice to just buy what I want to play, but this is a huge purchase for me and I really need to be able to play this deck for the next coming years without it being pushed out of the metagame and without the deck devaluing.

My answer:

Remember - you’re buying cards, not just decks.

Legacy decks can and will be pushed out of the metagame. Look at Goblins. The once dominant deck of Legacy is barely clinging onto tier 2. On the other hand, Canadian Threshold took a huge fall for awhile until Delver of Secrets was printed, pushing it back up to a tier 1 and a staple deck of the format for nearly two years.

The key to buying into long term Legacy is not trying to buy one deck, but getting as much utility as you can out of each card you’re going to buy. Shardless BUG is great because there are a LOT of pieces that you can use in other decks, even if Shardless BUG itself isn’t a great deck. Forces, Tarmogoyfs, Jace, Lilianas, fetchlands, duals can all be pushed into other decks. Shardless BUG isn’t good anymore? Use the Lilianas, Wastelands, and Bayous to start building toward BG Pox or whatever. Or build BUG Delver. Or use the Forces and Wastelands to buy into Merfolk.

UWR Delver is another possible option as well. You can shift into UR Delver if you want to get a little more aggressive, UWR Miracles if you want to get a little more grindy, Sneak Show if you manage to get the pieces for that as well (since you already have fetches, Volcanics, and Forces), etc.

Death and Taxes is a little more fragile in that regard. You will have the AEther Vials, Wastelands, Ports, Thalias, and Stoneforge Mystic as the cards that go well into other decks, but not too much else. You are basically limited to Vial-type decks such as Goblins and Merfolk as other cheap buy-ins if D&T isn’t good. But if you REALLY like Death and Taxes, I would recommend buying at least a couple of other white duals (mostly Scrublands) in addition so you have the flexibility of BW Deadguy Ale or something.

How did you buy into Legacy?

Tags: MTGLegacy

Budget Brewing: Kuldotha Rebirth

image

A one mana common card that produces 3 power worth but requires a little bit of a setup. That description could fit a common Legacy staple (Delver of Secrets) or a former Legacy staple (Wild Nacatl). Could it work for Kuldotha Rebirth? Clearly the setup is much more complicated than making sure an instant or sorcery is on top of the library or having two fetchlands, but this does have a benefit of being in a widely supported creature type - Goblins!

Creatures - 32

  • 4 Goblin Guide
  • 4 Memnite
  • 4 Signal Pest
  • 4 Mogg War Marshall
  • 3 Goblin Warchief
  • 4 Goblin Chieftain
  • 4 Goblin Bushwhacker
  • 3 Goblin Wardriver
  • 2 Krenko, Mob Boss

Spells - 12

  • 4 Goblin Grenade
  • 4 Kuldotha Rebirth
  • 4 Lotus Petal

Lands - 16

  • 4 Great Furnace
  • 12 Mountain

It clocks in at around $100 - if you swap the Goblin Guides out for Mogg Fanatic, you actually chop off half of that price! 

This deck is kinda neat. Rather than being the value-added Goblin decks that AEther Vial, Goblin Matron, and Goblin Ringleader push the traditional Goblin deck to, this deck is just a straight punch you in the face as fast as possible. Signal Pest and Memnite, while they don’t get the buffs from Chieftain, provide fodder for Kuldotha Rebirth while also providing additional attackers. Goblin Warchief is only in as a 3 of rather than 4 of since the cost reduction isn’t nearly as relevant (but the haste is).

I don’t know if Lotus Petal is good here - it could be Mox Opal but I’m afraid you won’t always have 3 artifacts. It sacrifices to Kuldotha Rebirth which is great (though you can’t pay for both costs of Rebirth with Lotus Petal), and playing 2 Goblin Guides or a Guide + Signal Pest is pretty sweet though.

It’s entirely possible that Goblin Grenade is too cute. This deck would likely have a problem with Stoneforge Mystic or even Deathrite Shaman being able to block everything, so Lightning Bolt just might suffice in that spot.

Anyway, I’m super excited for tomorrow. It’ll be our seventh AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series event and we are poised to make these last couple events HUGE! We have bonus prizing. I would definitely recommend coming tomorrow if you have a Legacy deck (and hopefully these blog posts are helping you build one if you don’t!)


AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series:

July Event

Date: July 27th
Round 1 Start: 12:00pm
Location: Pop Culture Paradise, 715 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, Arizona
Entry Fee: $15
Prizes:

1st Place: 1 Revised Bayou + OVERSIZED PLAYMAT
2nd Place: 1 Flooded Strand
As usual, more prizes based on attendance. One lucky player who did not make the Top 8 at the end of the Swiss rounds will receive a box of M15!

Decklists will be required.

To view the Legacy Series Points earned per placing, view this link:http://bit.ly/azmppoints

To view your standing in the Points Race: http://bit.ly/azmpstandings

For more details on the rest of the AZMagicPlayers.com 2014 Legacy Series, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/azmplegacyseries