6/16/2010 BoaB: "Everflowing Etherium"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Building on a Budget, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Esper Charm is just too good to not run.  Not sure what I would take out though.

Great article this week Jacob.
yay! hurray for the transmuter! isn't the borderposts  scary with maelstorm pulse around? i run a version with 4 main deck duress, and 4 main deck spreading seas, and use inkwell leviathan instead of sphinx of the steel wind, with sculler, and wall of omens, that's 8 main deck disruption and 8 main deck cantrips....i'm shy of a removal though...
Awesome. I loved the last deck you did with Master Transmuter. This one seems just as comboriffic.
so literally no protection for your 4-mana 1/2? just kinda hope they don't have any sort of answer? 'cause if they can kill it, your deck is just cheap defense and then stupidly expensive cards up top all held together by this one four-of four-mana critter that dies to about every piece of removal in the format.

 
120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
This deck is just right. It doesn't depend on Master Transmuter in any way. It's just one of those cards that wins the game if it ever gets to use its ability. You don't have to count on that in any way.
Besides, Sphinx Summoner is just so good.

The thing I like most in this deck? The combo of Transmuter with Tidehollow Sculler. Just play ther sculler and before its ability resolves bounce it again. Card == byebye.
What is this "lacking cheap removal" business?  Path is in most control decks, Lightning Bolt is still Lightning Bolt, Day still destroys creatures, etc..  Who is letting you keep Transmuter on the board?  Don't get me wrong, I like the deck, but I want to know what happens when someone knows to shoot the thing.

Anyway, Sculler FTW.
What is this "lacking cheap removal" business?  Path is in most control decks, Lightning Bolt is still Lightning Bolt, Day still destroys creatures, etc..  Who is letting you keep Transmuter on the board?  Don't get me wrong, I like the deck, but I want to know what happens when someone knows to shoot the thing.

Anyway, Sculler FTW.


Looks like everyone did in fact know to shoot the Master Transmuter.  Doing so with Path to Exile just ramps you into Sphinx Summoner and Sharuum the Hegemon, though.  Similarly, Day of Judgment is expensive, wipes out your opponent's creatures too, and you can still come back with Sharuum.  Plus, if you ever fail to kill the Transmuter, then your removal largely stops working.

Lightning Bolt is really good, though.  As usual.  So it seems like your plan vs. Jund is to get a Sphinx of the Steel Wind into play or bust.  At least Sharuum provides a good long-term plan for doing so.


I'm not usually one to complain about rares in the budget decks, and I'm not arguing that this deck isn't budget.  It is kind of a sad statement on the state of Standard, however, that a deck with almost all rare and mythic rare creatures, and not necessarily cheap ones, is still far cheaper than most of the dominant decks.  "No $50 cards?  Budget!"

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
so literally no protection for your 4-mana 1/2? just kinda hope they don't have any sort of answer? 'cause if they can kill it, your deck is just cheap defense and then stupidly expensive cards up top all held together by this one four-of four-mana critter that dies to about every piece of removal in the format.

 



sphinx summoner, and sharuum the hegemon help to ensure that you've always got threats. If you read the game reports you'll see that the deck is pretty resilient to mass removal, or spot removal. I think that this is a pretty solid and innovative deck. That is what I like about the article.

What I don't like about the article is that he only has 3 game reports even though he says "I played many matches with the deck this week" and doesn't even include sideboarding in the 3 games he reports. I continue to disagree with him on what is/is not budget.
Don't be too smart to have fun

I'm not usually one to complain about rares in the budget decks, and I'm not arguing that this deck isn't budget.  It is kind of a sad statement on the state of Standard, however, that a deck with almost all rare and mythic rare creatures, and not necessarily cheap ones, is still far cheaper than most of the dominant decks.  "No $50 cards?  Budget!"



Then again, he has a genuine interest in beating top tier decks and its a little unreasonable to do that with commons and uncommons.

This week's article was awesome. Original, three matchup reports, and very budget against what you're matched up with.

Also, to some of the whiners. He said, very specifically that he wants to play with Master Transmuter against decks that do not try to interact with their opponents board heavily, ie. Mythic. You should also note that his Transmuter blows up in a lot of those games and ends up being ok anyways. It would be pretty dumb to try to protect the Transmuter in a format with bolt, day, dust, term. The fact that it needs to be answered makes it a threat, and just like BSA you drop it on the board as is and your opponent answers it or loses.
Nothing (aside from being untapped and having U free) is stopping you from returning the Master Transmuter to your hand if it gets pathed, oringed, lightning bolted or whatever. Even better so long as its not a DoJ or other sweeper you get to put something else back whilst saving your transmuter, ch-ching

Only negative comment I have is BoaB needs a name change, its been a while since I've seen a deck in there and thought it was cheap enough to be worth a pop

I'm not usually one to complain about rares in the budget decks, and I'm not arguing that this deck isn't budget.  It is kind of a sad statement on the state of Standard, however, that a deck with almost all rare and mythic rare creatures, and not necessarily cheap ones, is still far cheaper than most of the dominant decks.  "No $50 cards?  Budget!"




Then again, he has a genuine interest in beating top tier decks and its a little unreasonable to do that with commons and uncommons.

This week's article was awesome. Original, three matchup reports, and very budget against what you're matched up with.






Why is it unreasonable? It hasn't always been. We've seen decks that had 4 rares or less get top 8's. I agree that this is "budget" when compared with current top standard decks. I just don't think that this affordable for budget players.


Also, to some of the whiners. He said, very specifically that he wants to play with Master Transmuter against decks that do not try to interact with their opponents board heavily, ie. Mythic. You should also note that his Transmuter blows up in a lot of those games and ends up being ok anyways. It would be pretty dumb to try to protect the Transmuter in a format with bolt, day, dust, term. The fact that it needs to be answered makes it a threat, and just like BSA you drop it on the board as is and your opponent answers it or loses.



So he gets to choose his opponents now? This deck has proven to be versitile enough to beat a variety of decks so I don't think he did a bad job of just focusing on next level bant. Still it sounds like you're excusing the decks weaknesses against planeswalkers and a few other decks because he declared from the start that he was focusing on beating a different deck type. 
Don't be too smart to have fun

"Once we have an active Master Transmuter we can play our Everflowing Chalice without any kicker and use it specifically for transmutation."


Yo...that...is...BEAUTIFUL.


 

Nothing (aside from being untapped and having U free) is stopping you from returning the Master Transmuter to your hand if it gets pathed, oringed, lightning bolted or whatever. Even better so long as its not a DoJ or other sweeper you get to put something else back whilst saving your transmuter, ch-ching

Only negative comment I have is BoaB needs a name change, its been a while since I've seen a deck in there and thought it was cheap enough to be worth a pop



I haven't been to FNM in a couple of weeks. I can't keep up with the price of standard right now even just for a casual FNM I just can't do it. However, I'm declaring right now that if he builds a deck that will cost me 20 dollars or less to build (even with obvious budgetizing going on like leaving out fetchlands etc...) and seems competitive I'll assemble the deck and attend the next constructed event at my store. I just don't see this happening any time soon.
Don't be too smart to have fun
Only negative comment I have is BoaB needs a name change, its been a while since I've seen a deck in there and thought it was cheap enough to be worth a pop

Well, in the past, a top-end Standard deck might be $300.  BoaB came to help out then with decks under $30.  These days, many of the top Standard decks seem to be $1,000+.  Under these circumstances, a $100 deck can reasonably be called budget.  JVL's not at fault here - Wizards is.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
Only negative comment I have is BoaB needs a name change, its been a while since I've seen a deck in there and thought it was cheap enough to be worth a pop


Well, in the past, a top-end Standard deck might be $300.  BoaB came to help out then with decks under $30.  These days, many of the top Standard decks seem to be $1,000+.  Under these circumstances, a $100 deck can reasonably be called budget.  JVL's not at fault here - Wizards is.

You do realize that most standard decks don't cost anywhere near "$1,000+", right?


As for protection for the Transmuter, once it's online (that is, once it's no longer summoning sick) a Transmuter can transmute itself into itself to dodge targeted removal spells.  Sure it misses a turn it could have been transmuting, but that's still better than dying to a Bolt.

Well, I don't think my post will add much to the discussion, but I really agree about the fact that the name of this column should be changed into something else...

Frankly, I just don't see how a deck with 5 mythics and something like 10 rares or such maindeck (not counting all the sideboard stuff) could be considered budget in any way, except confronting in with top-tier decks. I'm not exactly a "budget player" but I've been, I know some of them and I know what it is to be one, especially in real life, where rare and mythic cards are often way more expensive and difficult to obtain than on MTG On-line. Every real "budget" player out there would laugh at the idea that this deck is even remotely feasable for him.

I know this is yet a trend going on for months, but obviously this column has nothing to do anymore with really budget-friendly decks. It's a column for a sub-section of MTG players: high-level competitive players that want decks just a little less-expensive that the ones pro-players play: I'll try to ignore that often these decks just look like high-level decks that simply swapped all the rare lands for cheap ones. I'll also try to ignore that often the column is not much about building, as it is about customizing existing decks (or readers' ideas).

No problems about that: I mean, I've got to live with the fact that the budget column I knew before doesn't really exist anymore, and that's ok, but I guess there is still that name that's misleading. Just let's call it "Spike on a budget" or "Competitive niche" or something: just don't keep the current name that can only lead people to feel there is something wrong.

blissett, Milano, Italy
Good lord, I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm actually going to have to defend JvL on this one.

For once and finally JVL has written an article I am thoroughly glad to find in BoaB.   While I basically skimmed to the decklist, read the list, and looked at the match results (but not the play-by-plays), I can honestly say that this article is exactly what I've been looking for in BoaB.  Budget deck (yes, it has like 15 rares in it but you should be able to eBay all of them for no more than $20 total), original strategy (well, as original as you can get in a time when Johnny and decent Timmy cards are few and far between, and Spike cards are already being played, although this is hardly JvL's fault), and seems to play out decently well.  Also looks like a blast to play in a more casual environment.

While 15+ rares might be a bit daunting for the casual players out there, I would recommend against going to your local B&M to buy these cards.  B&Ms tend to overprice junk rares because they have to make up the cost of a pack, and if they charge what the junk rares are really worth then they'll be losing roughly $2 on every pack of RoE, for example, that they open (compared to selling the pack; I'm sure they don't sell buy packs from WotC at $4 each), which is just terrible for business.

For reference, some card prices for the non-staple cards (i.e. the cards that you need specifically for this deck and aren't good for your collection anyway) taken off StarCityGames.com, widely regarded as the most overpriced dealer on the internet:

Master Transmuter: $3 (x4 = $12)
Sharuum the Hegemon: $3 (x2 = $6)
Platinum Angel: $2.50 (x2 = $5)
Sphinx of the Steel Wind: $8 (x1 = $8)
Sphinx Summoner: $0.75 (x4 = $3)
Total: $34

The big cost in the deck is the Sphinx of the Steel Wind, although there's only 1 copy of it and it's reasonably easy to trade for so I can give JvL the benefit of the doubt here. If you're really that concerned about ol' Sphinxy, you can play Darksteel Colossus ($3), Magister Sphinx ($0.60), or everyone's favourite Keening Stone ($0.60) instead.  Actually, forget that last one; it's actually awful.

Ertai87 I think that you may have missed the sideboard there, there is another 2 Sphinx and at least one more Platinum Angel. That is at least another $16.


Also Paths and Wall of Omens are a few $, for uncommons at least.


Even so I do think that this was a pretty good article, and this deck will hammer Mythic pre-board.


Ertai87 I think that you may have missed the sideboard there, there is another 2 Sphinx and at least one more Platinum Angel. That is at least another $16.



Also Paths and Wall of Omens are a few $, for uncommons at least.



Even so I do think that this was a pretty good article, and this deck will hammer Mythic pre-board.




As I said, Sphinxes should be easy to trade for, but if you're having problems, there are a ton of replacement options which are far cheaper.  I wouldn't think that Darksteel Colossus instead of Sphinx is that much of a downgrade, but it is half the price.  And Platinum Angel is dirt cheap.

As for the uncommons, if you're going to buy them as singles then yeah for sure they're expensive, but if you draft RoE enough you should be able to pick up some Walls (I've opened exactly 3 packs of RoE aside from drafting and I have 3 Walls; they're not very high picks if you're not money drafting), and Paths are good to have in your collection anyway, since if you're playing Plains and not playing Path you're probably doing it wrong.
Wow this deck is so awfull. Master Transmuter is just as bad as it was last autumn. Without Thousand Year Elixir you have to drop Master and hope to untap with it, which is pretty much impossible in today's Standard. Every deck except Bant runs plenty of removal and even they have Jace and Gideon to help deal with Transmuter.
Looks like everyone did in fact know to shoot the Master Transmuter.  Doing so with Path to Exile just ramps you into Sphinx Summoner and Sharuum the Hegemon, though. 


Also, convincing your opponent to blow a Day of Judgment on your single Transmuter seems like a very good trade.  Since the Transmuter screams "DEAL WITH ME" your opponent will blow removal on it.  Only to have you restock with your cantrips and tutor Sphinx.

Day Bait?
Like a lot of people upthread, I've generally been annoyed to see all the expensive cards in "Building on a BUDGET", but I got bored and decided to actually check out the prices, and I think this deck really is cheap - because everything's relative.

I priced this deck and three decks in the most recent Top Decks article on starcitygames.com. If there's a cheaper or more representative Web site to use, go ahead and post the numbers, and to keep the math easy I used the mint/near-mint condition price, rounded prices to the nearest half-dollar, and didn't include the price of the commons in this at all. Still, I figure this should be good enough just for the sake of comparison.

BoaB's transmuter deck:
$8 (ArcSan) + $12 (MasTrans) + $12 (PlatAng) + $5 (Sharuum) + $24 (SphSte) + $3 (SphSum) + $4 (TideScu) + $10 (WallOm) + $4 (Everflo) + $18 (PathEx) + $16 (PithNee) + $2 (Domest) + $6 (KorFire) = $124 for the BoaB deck.

Zvi's Mythic deck:
$20 (Celcolo) + $48 (MisRain) + $9 (StiWild) + $10 (Sunpet) + $60 (VerdCat) + $160 (Banesla) + $16 (BirdPar) + $60 (KniReli) + $80 (LotCob) + $80 (NobHier) + $24 (Rafiq) + $6 (RamBal) + $4 (RhoxWar) + $4 (Thornling) + $4.50 (FinHour) + $6 (AdmoAng) + $3 (BantCha) + $8 (DayJudg) + $160 (JaceMind) + $2 (MindCon) = $764.50.

Ali's Turboland deck:
$16 (EldTemp) + $6 (EyeUgin) + $48 (MisRain) + $27 (AvenZen) + $12.50 (Emrakul) + $12 (OrMulDa) + $20 (Ulamog) + $48 (AllDust) + $9 (Garruk) + $240 (JaceMin) + $3 (MindSpr) + $32 (TimeWar) + $2 (Flashfr) + $8 (PithNee) + $3 (SphJwar) + $1 (WallFro) = $487.50.

And to have a Jund deck in here, I went back to the previous Top Decks article and found Jörg's Jund deck:
$16 (DragSum) + $6 (Lavacla) + $24 (RagRavi) + $4 (RootCra) + $8 (SavLand) + $60 (VerdCat) + $16 (BlooElf) + $4 (BroDrag) + $12 (SiegeGa) + $6 (SprThri) + $2 (BituBla) + $14 (ConsuVa) + $70 (MaelPul) + $15 (BasiCol) + $2 (CunSpar) + $3 (ThouHem) + $86 (Vengev) = $348 for a Jund deck.

So as annoyed as I am to see all these rares and mythic rares on a "budget" list, I have to admit that it's still a lot cheaper than a lot of what's doing well in Standard right now. Sure, $124 is expensive to spend all at once, but first of all you might already have one or two of those in your collection and/or can get a lot of it by trading, and second, it's possible to budgetize even further.
@Cybishop: If you look at the PlatAng listing again, you'll notice that the Xed versions are $3.  The M10 versions are $2.50, so that trio (I have a feeling you multiplied by 4 when you should only have multiplied by 3) is actually $7.50.  Just a note.
I am going to agree with Ertai on this one...

Path and Wall are essential for playing standard, and any player who wanted to play competitively, budget or not, should have a play set of each somewhere... As for the rest of the cards I happen to have them all in my collection and i don't go out of my way to buy cards these days...

The only money I spend on magic is Prereleases, and one or two drafts a week. I only play IRL and for just about every deck that JVL writes about, I have yet to have had any issues getting the cards... Admittedly for a Johnny like me, he writes articles on cards that I have generally liked the look of and actively traded for anyway.

When looking at the price of a list, it is impractical to assess the cost of the whole list as most people should have all the uncommons and some of the rares anyway... The real cost in a list is the cards people are unlikely to have, and to be fair to all the people who have been dissing the mythics... all three are in heavily opened sets and none are more than $8 according to StarCityGames.com
Eh, to be honest every week I check out BoaB to see if maybe anything intriguing.  It hasnt been.  A lot of budgeted standard decks.  Sure some people may like it, but its not the BoaB any of us "grew up" on.  The least he could do is make some occasional BUDGET casual decks like budget by the old rules of under 30 tickets every so often.  I mean over 90% of rares online are .10 tickets.  And plenty of them have applications if he tried.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
Eh, to be honest every week I check out BoaB to see if maybe anything intriguing.  It hasnt been.  A lot of budgeted standard decks.  Sure some people may like it, but its not the BoaB any of us "grew up" on.  The least he could do is make some occasional BUDGET casual decks like budget by the old rules of under 30 tickets every so often.  I mean over 90% of rares online are .10 tickets.  And plenty of them have applications if he tried.





On this I agree but I don't fault JvL.  Unfortunately the designers of late have been really lazy.  No more do we see cards like Confusion in the Ranks, Epic Struggle, Twist Allegiance, or Intruder Alarm which have tons of applications and can be built around in many completely different ways.  Instead we're left with Master Transmuter, Near-Death Experience, and Dragon Appeasement which are very linear in their design.  For cards like these, there simply are not enough directions to go in to make something creative that hasn't been thought of before.  It's not JvL's fault that card design sucks balls recently; he's doing the best with what he's given.

Additionally, I don't play MODO so I don't know how the card economy works there, but I would say that if all the rares in a deck cost a total of under $50 and there are no expensive non-utility commons or uncommons (by a "utility uncommon" I mean something like Path but not something like Bloodbraid Elf), it's fine with me.

If you're really that worried about picking up Paths, play Journey to Nowhere.  Yeah, it's not as good vs. Mythic and it screws with the mana a bit, but it's a 10 cent card vs. a $6 card and does mostly the same job.  Smite's also a somewhat-decent option if your opponent's guys don't fly.

JVL wants to build decks that are *good* without being too expensive, and I think that today he succeeded.  You can further budgetize the deck if you like, but you will be making very subpar card choices.  If your metagame isn't that competitive, card choices like Smite over Path, Colossus over Steel Wind, heck, play Stalwart Shield-Bearers over Wall of Omens if you have to, but it can be done. 
This deck looks like loads of fun to play. It is too bad that it is a little expensive for me, especially considering that almost the entire deck will leave standard in the next rotation.
Contrary to most people, I find JVL's column quite interesting nearly every week. It is the only column I read regularly on MTG. Like this weeks article, he does the best he can. Top decks in Standard are not "Top" because they can easily be beaten by some chump with a bunch of commons. This week he offered not only something most people haven't seen in standard lately (which is why i read the column, for interesting ideas for non-typical decks and variations of decks) but also an effective deck for $20-100. With some trading, I could get that entire deck for about $20. That's reasonable to me.
Esper Charm is just too good to not run.  Not sure what I would take out though.



Prophetic Prism would come out. Definitely.
I don't recall people getting excited about Shimmering Grotto, much less paying 2 mana for it.

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
Esper Charm is just too good to not run.  Not sure what I would take out though.

Prophetic Prism would come out. Definitely.

I don't recall people getting excited about Shimmering Grotto, much less paying 2 mana for it.


If Shimmering Grotto drew you a card and didn't cost a land drop, perhaps people would have been more excited?

Speaking of 2-drops, would Etherium Sculptor be worthy of inclusion?  It's another card that gets you a turn 3 Transmuter, as well as fodder for opposing Consuming Vapors and Gatekeeper of Malakir.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
Esper Charm is just too good to not run.  Not sure what I would take out though.




Prophetic Prism would come out. Definitely.
I don't recall people getting excited about Shimmering Grotto, much less paying 2 mana for it.




Prophetic Prism is an artifact that cantrips... thus it works really well with Master Transmuter... That is why Porphetic Prism is played... I disagree that Esper Charm should be in there somewhere, there is enough card draw and hand disruption in the deck already...



Speaking of 2-drops, would Etherium Sculptor be worthy of inclusion?  It's another card that gets you a turn 3 Transmuter, as well as fodder for opposing Consuming Vapors and Gatekeeper of Malakir.




I don't think the deck needs it... Your own and opposing paths are acceleration enough in combination with the chalice, i reckon...  JVL points out that the chalice late game becomes good with transmuter whereas a late game Sculptor is just a dead draw...
For anyone complaining about Master Transmuter, just compare it to Knight of the Relinquary.
For anyone complaining about Master Transmuter, just compare it to Knight of the Relinquary.



Master Transmuter is susceptible to pretty much every piece of removal in the game.  After a few lands are in the graveyard, Knight of the Reliquary is immune to most burn spells, though it is still highly susceptible to destroy effects (as most everything is).  Master Transmuter forms a core component of some decks and the deck does not work as well if Master Transmuter is destroyed.  Knight of the Reliquary is a powerful creature.  Powerful creatures tend to not be center pieces in decks.  It may be an important card but its loss would not cripple the deck.  Master Transmuter can allow you to put a high CMC artifact (creature) into play many turns before you could normally play it.  Knight of the Reliquary searches only for lands.

Comparing Master Transmuter to Knight of the Reliquary is not a good idea.  The two do not fill the same role.  Master Transmuter is a weak bodied creature that can do great things if it is on the field long enough.  Knight of the Reliquary is a beat-stick that can search for good lands.  They are not the same.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
The UW control opponent was an idiot.
For anyone complaining about Master Transmuter, just compare it to Knight of the Relinquary.




Master Transmuter is susceptible to pretty much every piece of removal in the game.  After a few lands are in the graveyard, Knight of the Reliquary is immune to most burn spells, though it is still highly susceptible to destroy effects (as most everything is).  Master Transmuter forms a core component of some decks and the deck does not work as well if Master Transmuter is destroyed.  Knight of the Reliquary is a powerful creature.  Powerful creatures tend to not be center pieces in decks.  It may be an important card but its loss would not cripple the deck.  Master Transmuter can allow you to put a high CMC artifact (creature) into play many turns before you could normally play it.  Knight of the Reliquary searches only for lands.

Comparing Master Transmuter to Knight of the Reliquary is not a good idea.  The two do not fill the same role.  Master Transmuter is a weak bodied creature that can do great things if it is on the field long enough.  Knight of the Reliquary is a beat-stick that can search for good lands.  They are not the same.






I'm sorry, but I do not seem to understand why Master Transmuter is much worse than Knight of the Reliquary.  This deck functions perfectly well without it, it is merely additional punishment for decks without much removal, such as mythic.  The Knight is able to grow to Epic Proportions after a few turns of deckthinning, and the Master Transmuter can put in a gigantinc artifact creature.  When you play it, you have 1 turn of vulnerability then it can blank a removal spell.  If you are worried about burn spells, the red player will simply aim them at your face, since you are already taking damage from the fetches that bonus your knight.  I will concede on the DIES TO REMOVAL point, since they can both be terminated once they are played.

It is important to realize that if the opponent uses a removal spell on your master transmuter, then it opens up your sphinxes to close the game.
For anyone complaining about Master Transmuter, just compare it to Knight of the Relinquary.





Master Transmuter is susceptible to pretty much every piece of removal in the game.  After a few lands are in the graveyard, Knight of the Reliquary is immune to most burn spells, though it is still highly susceptible to destroy effects (as most everything is).  Master Transmuter forms a core component of some decks and the deck does not work as well if Master Transmuter is destroyed.  Knight of the Reliquary is a powerful creature.  Powerful creatures tend to not be center pieces in decks.  It may be an important card but its loss would not cripple the deck.  Master Transmuter can allow you to put a high CMC artifact (creature) into play many turns before you could normally play it.  Knight of the Reliquary searches only for lands.

Comparing Master Transmuter to Knight of the Reliquary is not a good idea.  The two do not fill the same role.  Master Transmuter is a weak bodied creature that can do great things if it is on the field long enough.  Knight of the Reliquary is a beat-stick that can search for good lands.  They are not the same.







I'm sorry, but I do not seem to understand why Master Transmuter is much worse than Knight of the Reliquary.  This deck functions perfectly well without it, it is merely additional punishment for decks without much removal, such as mythic.  The Knight is able to grow to Epic Proportions after a few turns of deckthinning, and the Master Transmuter can put in a gigantinc artifact creature.  When you play it, you have 1 turn of vulnerability then it can blank a removal spell.  If you are worried about burn spells, the red player will simply aim them at your face, since you are already taking damage from the fetches that bonus your knight.  I will concede on the DIES TO REMOVAL point, since they can both be terminated once they are played.

It is important to realize that if the opponent uses a removal spell on your master transmuter, then it opens up your sphinxes to close the game.



I wasn't arguing that one is stronger than the other.  They are both strong creatures in their own way.  I was arguing that you are trying to compare two creatures with different roles.  I was also arguing that Master Transmuter is much more susceptible to removal than Knight of the Reliquary.  Knight of the Reliquary can hit you for more damage than any normal burn spell and it has much better value in combat.  I know that Master Transmuter can save itself when it comes online.  Problem is it doesn't usually survive long enough to come online.

I am sure that the deck can work fine without Master Transmuter.  However, it isn't easy to get 6 to 8 lands when you really need to play the cards.  Without the Transmuter, you have to wait until you get the necessary lands to play each creature.  You also can't do any nifty tricks such as searching for additional creatures by returning then playing Sphinx Summoner again, bringing artifacts back from the graveyard more than once by dealing with Sharuum, or removing a card in your opponent's hand from the game permanently with Tidehollow Sculler.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I'd like to point out just how effective Scourglass is in this deck.  Great for the sideboard.  Clears all those pesky enchantments like Oblivion Ring.

If you'd like ot add a little molah, then add Tezz.  He functions as a 5 mana tutor that puts any 4cc artifact directly into play. Left alone he'll win the game on his own. No need for more than 3.   

And lastly a little bit of low end tech:
Protomatter Powder

I am going to agree with Ertai on this one...

Path and Wall are essential for playing standard, and any player who wanted to play competitively, budget or not, should have a play set of each somewhere... As for the rest of the cards I happen to have them all in my collection and i don't go out of my way to buy cards these days...

The only money I spend on magic is Prereleases, and one or two drafts a week. I only play IRL and for just about every deck that JVL writes about, I have yet to have had any issues getting the cards... Admittedly for a Johnny like me, he writes articles on cards that I have generally liked the look of and actively traded for anyway.

When looking at the price of a list, it is impractical to assess the cost of the whole list as most people should have all the uncommons and some of the rares anyway... The real cost in a list is the cards people are unlikely to have, and to be fair to all the people who have been dissing the mythics... all three are in heavily opened sets and none are more than $8 according to StarCityGames.com




Exactly why the number of rares in this deck is such a hurdle for budget players. We may own 2-4 of every uncommon in a set from drafts, or whatever but what takes up most of the "budget" is actually buying the cards that we don't have. Yes these rares are slightly more affordable but the sheer quantity is alarming for budget players. Even when you break down the cards by prices it breaks the budget. Not to mention the fact that JvL left marsh flats off the list in an attempt to budgetize it. I think the mana is ok in the deck with the borderposts and prophetic prism however, if you think that you're list is going to reliably beat the version of this deck that includes marsh flats and celestial colonnade / creeping tar pit then you're kidding yourself.

Also the one guy was basically saying that there isn't any "Building" in the articles anymore. While he talks about card choices he doesn't talk about the building process much. He just shows us the end result decklist without giving us a starting point and the trials and errors along the way. As many of us who are upset with the "budget" aspect there are quite a few who are upset with the "building" part of the name. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that he has nothing at stake in these articles. Maybe he should take one of these decks to FNM and put his rating on the line.
Don't be too smart to have fun
What would the manabase look like when you can use other lands, e.g. marshflats and manlands?