10/2/2012 RC: "Populating on a Budget"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's ReConstructed, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I disagree about Rancor; it's a house.  It's fast damage, and it interacts with the Temple to make Populate happen (since chump-blocking the temple has the added benefit of "trading" with the token it would have produced).  Rancor plays more like an equipment than a normal enchantment.

I'm also skeptical of adding a six-mana enchantment to a deck that already has so much inevitability.  It would probably depend on the environment how well that plays out.  I think the +1/+1 effect is more affordable, and is better in an aggressive environment.  I can't deny that +3/+3 makes control cringe, if you can manage to get it on the table.


I'm surprised nobody considered splashing black too.

I'm not really seeing how that infinite combo deck works. I can see that, individually, the parts work to  gain large amounts of mana, copy burn spells, and draw cards. Anyone care to fill me in?
I'm not really seeing how that infinite combo deck works. I can see that, individually, the parts work to  gain large amounts of mana, copy burn spells, and draw cards. Anyone care to fill me in?



You have Fervor, Axebane Guardian, Nivix Guildmage, and at least 3 other Defenders.  

1. Use Cackling Counterpart (CC) on Axebane Guardian.

2. While CC is on the stack, tap Axebane Guardian to add a combination of 4 mana.

3. Copy CC with Nivix Guildmage and target Axebane Guardian.

4. The copied CC resolves putting an untapped Axebane Guardian with haste (by Fervor).

5. Tap the new Axebane Guardian for 5 mana and copy CC targeting Axebane Guardian.

6. 4 and 5 repeat wth increasingly added mana from Axebane Guardians (Infinite Mana with enough guardians (I wouldn't put in tokens as there would be too many)).

7. Use mana to draw cards With Nivix Guildmage until you get a Bonfire of the Damned, Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius and/or any of the other spells with enough mana.

8. Let everything resolve until you can play the spell(s) of your choice and kill your opponent.  Instants like Thunderous Wrath can be activated in-chain while Bonfire (unless you manage to Miracle it) and Niv require an empty stack to be played.  The spells can be copied if need be and CC can be flashed back if something happens.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I'm not really seeing how that infinite combo deck works. I can see that, individually, the parts work to  gain large amounts of mana, copy burn spells, and draw cards. Anyone care to fill me in?



You have Fervor, Axebane Guardian, Nivix Guildmage, and at least 3 other Defenders.  

1. Use Cackling Counterpart (CC) on Axebane Guardian.

2. While CC is on the stack, tap Axebane Guardian to add a combination of 4 mana.

3. Copy CC with Nivix Guildmage and target Axebane Guardian.

4. The copied CC resolves putting an untapped Axebane Guardian with haste (by Fervor).

5. Tap the new Axebane Guardian for 5 mana and copy CC targeting Axebane Guardian.

6. 4 and 5 repeat wth increasingly added mana from Axebane Guardians (Infinite Mana with enough guardians (I wouldn't put in tokens as there would be too many)).

7. Use mana to draw cards With Nivix Guildmage until you get a Bonfire of the Damned, Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius and/or any of the other spells with enough mana.

8. Let everything resolve until you can play the spell(s) of your choice and kill your opponent.  Instants like Thunderous Wrath can be activated in-chain while Bonfire (unless you manage to Miracle it) and Niv require an empty stack to be played.  The spells can be copied if need be and CC can be flashed back if something happens.



You can also make infinite Zealous Conscripts if you also have the Guildmage out, a Guardian that can tap for 3, and at least 3 other mana. Cackling, copy it with Guildmage, ZC token untaps Guardian, Guardian taps for 3, copy Cackling on the stack again, new ZC token, etc.
@coien

You need 4 mana to use the guildmage's copy ability but that is another way to go about using the deck.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Four copies of Wayfaring Temple?  What part of "Include No New Rares or Mythic rares" does that guy not understand?  Or am I missing something here?  How about REAL budget decks, please.
Four copies of Wayfaring Temple?  What part of "Include No New Rares or Mythic rares" does that guy not understand?  Or am I missing something here?  How about REAL budget decks, please.



You are missing something.  The original deck had 4 copies of Wayfaring Temple.  He didn't add any new rares to the deck, they were already there.

He talks about the criteria in the article that he linked at the top under "the beginning of that article".
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Four copies of Wayfaring Temple?  What part of "Include No New Rares or Mythic rares" does that guy not understand?  Or am I missing something here?  How about REAL budget decks, please.



Wayfaring temple is 2 dollars to preorder and one is in the intro pack for selesnya. Collective blessing is a dollar.

If you want to point out an issue with pricey rares, theres 4 temple gardens which is 40 right there.

Unfortunately the amount of viable budget decks in Standard can be counted on one hand.  And in the current format, they're pretty much all mono.

And the article writers have never been good at making budget decks. The old building on a budget articles had things like geralfs, gravecrawlers, snapcasters and planeswalkers in them.
I'm not really seeing how that infinite combo deck works. I can see that, individually, the parts work to  gain large amounts of mana, copy burn spells, and draw cards. Anyone care to fill me in?



You have Fervor, Axebane Guardian, Nivix Guildmage, and at least 3 other Defenders.  

1. Use Cackling Counterpart (CC) on Axebane Guardian.

2. While CC is on the stack, tap Axebane Guardian to add a combination of 4 mana.

3. Copy CC with Nivix Guildmage and target Axebane Guardian.

4. The copied CC resolves putting an untapped Axebane Guardian with haste (by Fervor).

5. Tap the new Axebane Guardian for 5 mana and copy CC targeting Axebane Guardian.

6. 4 and 5 repeat wth increasingly added mana from Axebane Guardians (Infinite Mana with enough guardians (I wouldn't put in tokens as there would be too many)).

7. Use mana to draw cards With Nivix Guildmage until you get a Bonfire of the Damned, Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius and/or any of the other spells with enough mana.

8. Let everything resolve until you can play the spell(s) of your choice and kill your opponent.  Instants like Thunderous Wrath can be activated in-chain while Bonfire (unless you manage to Miracle it) and Niv require an empty stack to be played.  The spells can be copied if need be and CC can be flashed back if something happens.



Well that's...complicatidly interesting. Thanks for the explaination!

I disagree about Rancor; it's a house.  It's fast damage, and it interacts with the Temple to make Populate happen (since chump-blocking the temple has the added benefit of "trading" with the token it would have produced).  Rancor plays more like an equipment than a normal enchantment.

I'm also skeptical of adding a six-mana enchantment to a deck that already has so much inevitability.  It would probably depend on the environment how well that plays out.  I think the +1/+1 effect is more affordable, and is better in an aggressive environment.  I can't deny that +3/+3 makes control cringe, if you can manage to get it on the table.


I'm surprised nobody considered splashing black too.



Couldn't agree with you more, I came over here to say the same thing.  Gavin is 100% wrong to put Collective Blessing in instead of Rancor.  Rancor gives the Temple trample, which not only wins 100% of the mirror matches, it gives a lot of power to the rest of the games you play too.

Rancor prevents you from getting into the bad situations that Blessing gets you out of.  I also like the idea of casting Sundering Growth on your own Rancor (when there isn't a better target)  Though Gavin didn't include Sundering Growth (and I am not sure I would have either).
@coien

You need 4 mana to use the guildmage's copy ability but that is another way to go about using the deck.



True enough, guess I'm still stuck on Izzet Guildmage, probably my favorite from the first trip to Ravnica.
I disagree about Rancor; it's a house.  It's fast damage, and it interacts with the Temple to make Populate happen (since chump-blocking the temple has the added benefit of "trading" with the token it would have produced).  Rancor plays more like an equipment than a normal enchantment.

I'm also skeptical of adding a six-mana enchantment to a deck that already has so much inevitability.  It would probably depend on the environment how well that plays out.  I think the +1/+1 effect is more affordable, and is better in an aggressive environment.  I can't deny that +3/+3 makes control cringe, if you can manage to get it on the table.


I'm surprised nobody considered splashing black too.



Couldn't agree with you more, I came over here to say the same thing.  Gavin is 100% wrong to put Collective Blessing in instead of Rancor.  Rancor gives the Temple trample, which not only wins 100% of the mirror matches, it gives a lot of power to the rest of the games you play too.

Rancor prevents you from getting into the bad situations that Blessing gets you out of.  I also like the idea of casting Sundering Growth on your own Rancor (when there isn't a better target)  Though Gavin didn't include Sundering Growth (and I am not sure I would have either).



Got to agree. Collective is scary to go against but rancor is far more persistant and the trample on the temples....
Four copies of Wayfaring Temple?  What part of "Include No New Rares or Mythic rares" does that guy not understand?  Or am I missing something here?  How about REAL budget decks, please.



Wayfaring temple is 2 dollars to preorder and one is in the intro pack for selesnya. Collective blessing is a dollar.

If you want to point out an issue with pricey rares, theres 4 temple gardens which is 40 right there.

Unfortunately the amount of viable budget decks in Standard can be counted on one hand.  And in the current format, they're pretty much all mono.

And the article writers have never been good at making budget decks. The old building on a budget articles had things like geralfs, gravecrawlers, snapcasters and planeswalkers in them.

the problem is the writers want their decks to be competitive as does much of the audience. most of the older budget decks were for casual play STRICTLY. so obviously there will be a difference.

Otherwise, i know its selesnya week, but that infinite combo deck is AWESOME!!!!!!
The one exception to the above is mana fixing. I know this will especially be a point of contention considering how sought after the Ravnica block dual lands are, but the bottom line is you're going to want to have access to these lands for the next two years of Standard. They're certainly worth trading for.



Thank you for including this. If you want to play Magic even semi-competetively, get the lands.
I love the combo deck, but seems like I'd be more happy playing WUR control with a ton of Wraths, some of which are one sided.
The end is always nigh.
I'm looking forward to testing this deck out come Friday.  I was lucky enough to get a good deal of the needed RtR cards in my pre-release packs. 

Can anyone provide some insight into sideboarding for this deck?  I know truly efficient sideboarding is greatly effected by local meta (which is going to likely change significantly) but I was hoping to get some suggestions for protecting the deck from its weaknesses for initial FNM play.  I'm still struggling to master the "art" of sideboarding so any input would be a great educational experience.
The one exception to the above is mana fixing. I know this will especially be a point of contention considering how sought after the Ravnica block dual lands are, but the bottom line is you're going to want to have access to these lands for the next two years of Standard. They're certainly worth trading for.



Thank you for including this. If you want to play Magic even semi-competetively, get the lands.
I love the combo deck, but seems like I'd be more happy playing WUR control with a ton of Wraths, some of which are one sided.




Why stop there? If they can get 80 dollars in lands they can certainly get 20 for trostanis and another 20 for some armada wurms and 40 for thragtusks etc.

Budget is budget. Not "budget except for this card". If you can't make a budget deck without 80 dollars in lands, then don't try.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Why stop there? If they can get 80 dollars in lands they can certainly get 20 for trostanis and another 20 for some armada wurms and 40 for thragtusks etc.

Budget is budget. Not "budget except for this card". If you can't make a budget deck without 80 dollars in lands, then don't try.



Lands are not other cards. Shocklands especially are not other cards. I guarantee if you buy a set of RtR dual lands, you will use them over, and over, and over until they leave Standard. And even then, you'll be in an excellent place to use them in every other format, since the shocklands are rather notable fixtures in basically every format that is not Legacy, and you sometimes see them even there!

It's right to not count them because you aren't spending 80 dollars on one deck, like if you were buying armada wurms, because armada wurms are only going to be useful for a limited number of decks. If you are playing a deck with the colors green and white in it, you will want Temple Garden if it is legal. Period.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Why stop there? If they can get 80 dollars in lands they can certainly get 20 for trostanis and another 20 for some armada wurms and 40 for thragtusks etc.

Budget is budget. Not "budget except for this card". If you can't make a budget deck without 80 dollars in lands, then don't try.



Lands are not other cards. Shocklands especially are not other cards. I guarantee if you buy a set of RtR dual lands, you will use them over, and over, and over until they leave Standard. And even then, you'll be in an excellent place to use them in every other format, since the shocklands are rather notable fixtures in basically every format that is not Legacy, and you sometimes see them even there!

It's right to not count them because you aren't spending 80 dollars on one deck, like if you were buying armada wurms, because armada wurms are only going to be useful for a limited number of decks. If you are playing a deck with the colors green and white in it, you will want Temple Garden if it is legal. Period.





They do count because they cost money. If you can afford 80 dollars for shocklands, you can afford 80 for snapcasters. People who make budget decks generally do it because they do not have the funds for a non-budget deck, not because they're looking for a building challenge.

And yes if you're running G/W you'll probably want temple gardens. Thus g/w is not a budget deck and trying to make it one is just an act in furstration unless you want to substitute for something else.

I also don't think the temple gardens are as necessary as some other decks. Would they improve the deck? Certainly. But the deck already has a lot of mana generation, and has sunpetal groves. I think (and in tests) it still runs well replacing the gardens with gates (and the collective blessings with rancors).

Budget is budget. Not "budget except for this card". If you can't make a budget deck without 80 dollars in lands, then don't try.



I was at first going to post in Verhey's  defense, but after I looked at the decklists, I agree with you. 

The deck with  4 temple gardens and 4 sunpetal groves is no budget deck. 
"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." Proud member of the Rakdos guild

Budget is budget. Not "budget except for this card". If you can't make a budget deck without 80 dollars in lands, then don't try.



I was at first going to post in Verhey's  defense, but after I looked at the decklists, I agree with you. 

The deck with  4 temple gardens and 4 sunpetal groves is no budget deck. 



You can still be budget with dual lands. Sunpetals were pretty low price unless they've gone up a lot since I last checked two weeks ago. It's just shocks are not.
Adding 4 temple gardens to a budget deck is like adding 2 trostani and 2 armada wurms. Personally I think the articles idea of budget is bizarre. "no new rares or mythics" budget does not mean pauper deck. And there are many mythics and rares that do fit budget (tree of redemption, mirror mad phantasm are not high cost cards). It just seems silly to say no new mythics/rares without taking into account their market price, and then at the same time saying "We're going to include 10 dollar rares". I think the article author should really just avoid doing some decks. Last time he picked a B/W deck...a deck type that had at the time the most expensive dual land in standard. Now he does one that requires ANOTHER ten dollar rare. I understand why this time (it's Selesnya week) but there are decks that don't need pricey rares. Like that rat deck that was mentioned in the article.
Four copies of Wayfaring Temple?  What part of "Include No New Rares or Mythic rares" does that guy not understand?  Or am I missing something here?  How about REAL budget decks, please.



You are missing something.  The original deck had 4 copies of Wayfaring Temple.  He didn't add any new rares to the deck, they were already there.

He talks about the criteria in the article that he linked at the top under "the beginning of that article".



Thank you.  I took "new rares" to mean rare cards in the newest set.  Duh, me.  More coffee, please!!

That Izzet infinite combo deck is looking tasty! Leave it to U/R to continually turn 8's on their sides! Also, I submitted a competitive Modern deck as per the request at the end of the article, but forgot to include a name for the deck. I've been calling it Golden Rock and I also posted it in the Modern forum here:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
I proxied up the Population Nation deck (the second decklist) for my friend, and he overran me with an immense army of tokens lead by four 39/39 Wayfaring Temples.

Lovin' budget Selesnya right now. 

CURRENT EDH DECKS: Sek'kuar | Kraj | Teysa | Wort | Purphoros | Varolz | Reaper King | Rakdos | Isperia | Ultimus | Iroas | Macar | Roon

I've gotta disagree with Gavin about shocklands in a budget deck.

You're not necessarily going to use them over and over again. There are ten two color combinations, but the Standard format only changes seven times before they rotate out, so you might not get around to playing green white again.

You're not necessarily going to be able to sell them for as much as you bought them, unless you are trading with friends. Shops always sell high and buy low so you would probably lose 50% of their value (even more if you wait till they're not in Standard to get rid of them).

It's nice to not get color screwed in Magic, but there are lots of other choices that don't cost so much money. The easiest substitution is Selesnya Guildgate, but if you want to hit basic land types more often to make the Sunpetal Groves untapped (which are budget cards - they're only $3 apiece), then you could use Evolving Wilds.

If you really had no other choices than shocklands, then you could just reduce the deck's dependance on colored mana by taking out the Strangleroot Geists (it's usually a lot easier to get GW than GG in a two colored deck). In some cases you can do things like use nonland slots for mana fixing (eg Borderland Ranger). Or you could use two forests and two plains and accept that you will have to mulligan 5% more often than a person whose deck costs three times as much.

Budget means budget. It means the deck by itself must be cheap. It doesn't even mean that you can't add rares to a deck - some of them are 10c apiece or you can get friends to give them to you for free - but on the flipside if you want to use a $5 uncommon you gotta question it. You can't assume that players are going to use any of these cards in another deck. You can't assume they have friends to trade with. You can't wave your hands over the mana base like some kind of Jedi and pretend that it has no cost.

Fortunately, I started my own budget deckbuilding blog a little while ago
lttlefootsbudgetworkshop.wordpress.com/ this is in spoiler tags in case advertising your blog on the forums is not allowed
 
I've gotta disagree with Gavin about shocklands in a budget deck.

You're not necessarily going to use them over and over again. There are ten two color combinations, but the Standard format only changes seven times before they rotate out, so you might not get around to playing green white again.

You're not necessarily going to be able to sell them for as much as you bought them, unless you are trading with friends. Shops always sell high and buy low so you would probably lose 50% of their value (even more if you wait till they're not in Standard to get rid of them).

It's nice to not get color screwed in Magic, but there are lots of other choices that don't cost so much money. The easiest substitution is Selesnya Guildgate, but if you want to hit basic land types more often to make the Sunpetal Groves untapped (which are budget cards - they're only $3 apiece), then you could use Evolving Wilds.

If you really had no other choices than shocklands, then you could just reduce the deck's dependance on colored mana by taking out the Strangleroot Geists (it's usually a lot easier to get GW than GG in a two colored deck). In some cases you can do things like use nonland slots for mana fixing (eg Borderland Ranger). Or you could use two forests and two plains and accept that you will have to mulligan 5% more often than a person whose deck costs three times as much.

Budget means budget. It means the deck by itself must be cheap. It doesn't even mean that you can't add rares to a deck - some of them are 10c apiece or you can get friends to give them to you for free - but on the flipside if you want to use a $5 uncommon you gotta question it. You can't assume that players are going to use any of these cards in another deck. You can't assume they have friends to trade with. You can't wave your hands over the mana base like some kind of Jedi and pretend that it has no cost.

Fortunately, I started my own budget deckbuilding blog a little while ago
lttlefootsbudgetworkshop.wordpress.com/ this is in spoiler tags in case advertising your blog on the forums is not allowed
 



I completely agree.

You could also use selesnya keyrune. Sure, it isn't a land, but  it gives you mana fixing.
Guys, for all the complaining about shocklands, the solution is really really simple. If you don't want to run them, don't. Run 2 Forests and 2 Plains instead. Or 4 Evolving Wilds, or 4 Guildgates. Yep it'll make your deck less consistent (or slower), but if you don't want to invest the $40 to smooth it out then that's a really obvious solution, less so than for other kinds of rares. For two color decks especially, this seems like a viable option.

The only way to 1) not run dual lands, and 2) not suffer because of it, is to play monocolor.
Guys, for all the complaining about shocklands, the solution is really really simple. If you don't want to run them, don't. Run 2 Forests and 2 Plains instead. Or 4 Evolving Wilds, or 4 Guildgates. Yep it'll make your deck less consistent (or slower), but if you don't want to invest the $40 to smooth it out then that's a really obvious solution, less so than for other kinds of rares. For two color decks especially, this seems like a viable option.

The only way to 1) not run dual lands, and 2) not suffer because of it, is to play monocolor.



The point is you shouldn't call something a budget deck when it isn't. I could substitute cards in any big top tier deck but the article writers point was to make a functioning budget deck that isn't just a worse version of a better deck. He failed because the deck isn't budget.
Guys, for all the complaining about shocklands, the solution is really really simple. If you don't want to run them, don't. Run 2 Forests and 2 Plains instead. Or 4 Evolving Wilds, or 4 Guildgates. Yep it'll make your deck less consistent (or slower), but if you don't want to invest the $40 to smooth it out then that's a really obvious solution, less so than for other kinds of rares. For two color decks especially, this seems like a viable option.

The only way to 1) not run dual lands, and 2) not suffer because of it, is to play monocolor.



The point is you shouldn't call something a budget deck when it isn't. I could substitute cards in any big top tier deck but the article writers point was to make a functioning budget deck that isn't just a worse version of a better deck. He failed because the deck isn't budget.



Again, there is no way to exclude these lands and not make the deck worse than it would otherwise be, unless you go monocolor. Those are the only options, and this thread is reminding me why BoaB was canned to begin with, because what's the point of complaining about this? Would you have been happy if he just put in four Guildgates instead? If so, do it yourself.
Guys, for all the complaining about shocklands, the solution is really really simple. If you don't want to run them, don't. Run 2 Forests and 2 Plains instead. Or 4 Evolving Wilds, or 4 Guildgates. Yep it'll make your deck less consistent (or slower), but if you don't want to invest the $40 to smooth it out then that's a really obvious solution, less so than for other kinds of rares. For two color decks especially, this seems like a viable option.

The only way to 1) not run dual lands, and 2) not suffer because of it, is to play monocolor.



The point is you shouldn't call something a budget deck when it isn't. I could substitute cards in any big top tier deck but the article writers point was to make a functioning budget deck that isn't just a worse version of a better deck. He failed because the deck isn't budget.



Again, there is no way to exclude these lands and not make the deck worse than it would otherwise be, unless you go monocolor. Those are the only options, and this thread is reminding me why BoaB was canned to begin with, because what's the point of complaining about this? Would you have been happy if he just put in four Guildgates instead? If so, do it yourself.




If he cannot make a good deck without expensive cards then don't claim it budget as you're just lying. And there are other problems with the list.

No new rares and mythics. This is also silly because many rares and mythics are cheaper than some uncommons. As I stated earlier, tree of redemption is a 50 cent mythic. Rancor is a 2 dollar uncommon. I'd consider both budget, though, regardless of rarity. Budget does not mean pauper.


And if he cannot do a dual colored deck then don't. There were some mono colored decks in that list of mentions like the rat mono black deck.
Not everyone who reads this article is aware of the existence of Guildgates and Evo Wilds. And even if they were, how would they know which is better to use? It's Verhey's job to tell us which is the best choice (and then he can suggest Temple Garden under the 'non budget cards' section). Saying to figure it out for ourselves defeats the point of this column.

And there's nothing special about going monocolor. A deck is either on equal footing at the highest level of tournaments or it is a suboptimal deck. It makes no difference whether the deck is suboptimal because it has weak nonland cards or whether it is because it has a weak mana base.
Not everyone who reads this article is aware of the existence of Guildgates and Evo Wilds. And even if they were, how would they know which is better to use? It's Verhey's job to tell us which is the best choice (and then he can suggest Temple Garden under the 'non budget cards' section). Saying to figure it out for ourselves defeats the point of this column.

And there's nothing special about going monocolor. A deck is either on equal footing at the highest level of tournaments or it is a suboptimal deck. It makes no difference whether the deck is suboptimal because it has weak nonland cards or whether it is because it has a weak mana base.



I also find it odd that Parallel lives and grove of the guardian is under non budget. Grove is a dollar rare, garunteed in an intro, and anyone who played selesnya at the pre-release has one. Parallel lives is like 2 dollars each.
I dont understand why everyone is getting so mad.  You are lucky that Gavin is even appealing to the people who need a budget deck.  And just because he posts a list doesnt mean you have to follow it exactly.  Just trade the temple gardens for Selesnya Guildgate.  Was that very hard?
I agree... whats there to argue about? these are just ideas~ make your own changes to suit your own needs~ isnt deck forming/twitching part of the fun we get form the game too? this is still a much more budget deck compared to those popular standard decks lying around definitely... 

the pack rats deck is definitely a good budget deck... but its selensya week, remember? ^^