8/04/2010 BoaB: "The Process"

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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.
Whoa...that first place prize shows that the holders of the tournament understand PERFECTLY what a Magic Player really wants.

Not to knock anyone that has Magic-related trophies:-)
This deck could use jaddi lifestrider vs. mono red.
Nice deck, the tokens just love the Eldrazi Monument.

For the budget conscious over the Monument, you may wish to run jinxed idol.  The idol is fairly good at making your opponent take 2 but the Monument is just NUTS.   Try not to add too many (3) idols if you do.  You'll find them a good fit in this deck design due to the Bloodghasts, Tokens and even the slimes.  Sending one to a creatureless/creature light deck will deal the damage each turn.  Having 10 turns to play from a 20 point start is pretty tough on most decks. 

Another cheap rare you might consider is the Mortician Beetle.  A quick blast of creatures on turn 2/3 allows the beetle to watch the creature of choice get sacrificed (+1/+1) per normal play.  You know they'll block the vampire, but the Beetle will add 7 counters from completely cooked Slime.  It also has synergy with an Idol back-and-forth.  Oh the joy of watching the beetle grow.

Frankly, the Beetle just loves Slimes, Vampires, and Eldrazi token.  Eldrazi token generators can dengerately allow the beetle to grow the turn he comes out (single :symb: mana) while enabling the casting of a higher converted mana cost spell: like consuming vapors or Pop-eye.  If you want a flare for the dramatic, you can try the more entertaining approaches of  gelatinous genesis or gigantomancer while sacrificing those 0/1 tokens after the Beetle makes his appearance.   The Triskelion approach enables the removal of the doom blades for those who are not faint of heart. 

4x Eldrazi Monument = $27 (based on TCGplayer's price).  Even if you define a $30 deck as "budget" (which I don't), this is absurd; Mitotic Slime and Bloodghast are not 25 cents each.

My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
I like the Mortician Beetle plan, and another card you may have overlooked: Reassembling Skelaton.  Both just beg to be played in a sacrifice deck.  I'd suggest cutting the Nest Invaders to make room, since it seems like they put too much pressure on your curve (you want 1G on turn 2, but also BB on turn 2 and 1BB on turn 3).  This would let you cut some Evolving Wilds/Terramorphic Expanses as well, which are cute with Bloodghast but don't do much else, in favor of some lands that don't come into play tapped.

4x Eldrazi Monument = $27 (based on TCGplayer's price).  Even if you define a $30 deck as "budget" (which I don't), this is absurd; Mitotic Slime and Bloodghast are not 25 cents each.




Too bad the article isn't called willpell's view on a budget deck?

I like the Mortician Beetle plan, and another card you may have overlooked: Reassembling Skelaton.  Both just beg to be played in a sacrifice deck.  I'd suggest cutting the Nest Invaders to make room, since it seems like they put too much pressure on your curve (you want 1G on turn 2, but also BB on turn 2 and 1BB on turn 3).  This would let you cut some Evolving Wilds/Terramorphic Expanses as well, which are cute with Bloodghast but don't do much else, in favor of some lands that don't come into play tapped.



I agree completely in relation to the Beetle.  I am not so sure about the Reassembling skeleton simply because it doesn't add much on the aggro and costs you two mana to bring back (whereas the Bloodghasts you tend to get for free).

A non-budget version of this could be nuts with Fauna Shaman and Vengevine!
The Beetle is an obvious inclusion, and the addition of Eldrazi tokens means it won't be completely dependent on your sacking vampires.  Reassembling Skeleton looks good on paper, but as pointed out it has the major drawback of costing mana to return.  Normally this wouldn't bother anyone playing budget, but here the difference matters immensely.  You simply cannot make the same kind of aggressive plays as with Bloodghast, not f you're planning to win quick (which seems to be the case so far).  If the deck was aimed more defensively, say, using less sac outlets and something like Beastmaster Ascension instead, then the Skeleton would fit in the overhaul.  As is, I think tempo's the main reason it wasn't used in the deck. 

If anyone is arguing about budget, you could add in a little graveyard recursion in the form of Gravedigger or Soul Stair Expedition, to let your key creatures come back from mass removal, if needed.  Quest for the Gravelord sounds pretty ridiculous in this deck, too.  Yes, that's an end of turn 5/5 after your fourth-turn Day of Judgment, thank you. 

Heck, you could adapt this deck any way you want with the token generators.  Add more green mana acceleration and pump out Pestilence Demon or something.  If Will-oWisp was Standard legal, Beastmaster would be kinda nuts in this strategy, even though it's useless alongside sac outlets.  You could just think of them of them extra Ascensions, though. 

Also, non-budget...Fauna Shaman and Vengevine, definitely.  Maelstrom Pulse as well.  It's a little worrying that the deck doesn't disrupt anything the opponent is doing, but I guess that's what pressure is all about: making the other guy's stuff just...not matter. 

4x Eldrazi Monument = $27 (based on TCGplayer's price).  Even if you define a $30 deck as "budget" (which I don't), this is absurd; Mitotic Slime and Bloodghast are not 25 cents each.




27 bucks for a playset is a pretty good deal, must be paper Magic. They are more expensive on MTGO.. I think they are around 12-13 tix each last time I checked.

But anyways, if you are a follower of BoaB, you might already have picked them up from a previous Standard deck:

Enter the Beastmaster

That's pretty much the best price.. close to free if you made that investment earlier.

And I think that's what a lot of people are forgetting. Budget is not really just about "cheap," it's more about choice and investment.

Why would I choose to invest in a $0.25 card? I wouldn't. There's no choice. Most of the $0.25 cards I end up with I use as bookmarks. The good $0.25 cards I've picked up from draft/sealed/throw ins. I don't "invest" in $0.25 cards because there's nothing to "invest" in---there's no risk, there's no thought, no nothing. There's really no purchase dilemma in whether I have a $0.25 card or a quarter in my pocket. I don't need an article to tell me how sweet of an investment Lightning Bolt is or to rush for those Doom Blades before it's too late.

Now, $27 is an "investment" and depending on your income + budget to spend on hobbies, might really make a mark. See, with $27 for 4 cards, there's a choice to be made. Thinking to do. I might not be able to order out for food twice this week if I invest in these 4 cards. So obviously I have to really think about what I'm getting out of this investment, one that's putting the crunch on my hypothetical budget.

1) 4 rares. Even if you scrap the deck later, you have stuff for trading.
2) Legal in Standard until sometime in Sept 2011.
3) Legal in Extended until sometime in Sept 2013.
4) Has seen play in Standard tourney decks. Not Tier 1, but solid choice for FNM level play.
5) Has seen play as additions to Tier 1 deck strategies, namely certain Jund builds.
6) Has seen play in Block Constructed tourney decks, often clues/signals to what works for the next Standard rotation.
7) For BoaB followers, have already been used in other decks. The more decks that can be built out of certain cards, the better and more flexible your cardpool becomes from that initial investment.
8) Interacts strongly with token generation/weenie rushes. I'm pretty confident that Wizards will always print cards that deal with token generation and/or weenie rushes as they are pretty popular among players.

That's a pretty solid list of pros, especially if I weighed them against my hypothetical budget of not eating Chinese and Mexican this week. If I do end up making the choice to invest, then I'll know at least I could build another whole deck out of it (Beastmaster) and it's still on the radar for the future Standard.. who knows what Scars will bring? Maybe Scars brings cards that make Monuement strats nuts.. that's how playsets of cards double in price overnight. That's the risk of investment, that's what you have to think about.

I'll sum up with something I've said in the past:

A BoaB article isn't going to miraculously let you flex your budget to something it's not. A BoaB article doesn't control your budget. You control your budget. If you want to make something happen, it will happen, as the term budget usually coincides with sacrifices.

That said, it does make whatever budget you work with pretty focused, to the point where your dollar goes far in a world of expensive tier 1 decks.

I've seen the criticism before. That's all well and done in the past, but this is now and the future. I don't complain now because sometime in the past, I used to pay $20 for a tank of gas and get change back. $20 for gas worked into my budget back then. Now, obviously I have to change my budget, or just not drive.


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Van Lunen's manabase theory is pretty good.
Were it refined to have a basis in statisical mathematics, it could be very good.

For some reason my original post didn't come up, so here is the summary additions I used in a similar deck pre 2011 (though not quite budget):

Abyssal Persecutor: I just want to play with this guy. He is also a good second win condition. The vamps, Monument, and Idol (if you included it) are great ways to get rid of him when the job is done.

Malestrom Pulse: Not budget, but good removal. Also gets rid of Persecutor.

Bone Splinters: Lots of things to sack to it, gets rid of persecutor, works vs. other black decks.

No one said the deck was good, but it was fun!


4x Eldrazi Monument = $27 (based on TCGplayer's price).  Even if you define a $30 deck as "budget" (which I don't), this is absurd; Mitotic Slime and Bloodghast are not 25 cents each.



First of all, when I go to store.tcgplayer.com, I see the cheapest price of Eldrazi Monument at $11.85 for one, so four would be $47.40, even more expensive than you said, so either the price went up 76 percent in nine hours or I don't know where you got your numbers from.

But that's just nitpicking. You'll notice that the Eldrazi Monument isn't particularly important to this deck - only played in one game, and he was already winning that game when he cast it. There are plenty of other sacrifice outlets that aren't quite as good but still let you take advantage of token generation. In Standard, counting only non-Mythic black or green cards or artifacts that aren't already in the deck: Bone Splinters, Carnage Altar, Demonic Appetite, Jinxed Idol, Momentous Fall, Skeletal Kathari, Viscera Seer. Fine, blame the author for not throwing in a paragraph with that list, or spelling out exactly which of those would be the best (here's a hint: not Skeletal Kathari), but there are still plenty of obvious options.

Third, you can use any definition of words you feel like, but that doesn't mean you can expect other people to agree with you or share them. The total pricetag on probably the cheapest deck in PTQ is over $100, and that's Red Deck Wins - no planeswalkers, no mythics, no chase rares except for fetchlands. Winning decks would cost over $500 to recreate from scratch. Here, replace the Eldrazi Monuments with a hypothetical $1 uncommon and this deck could be made from scratch for $40. (A playset of Bloodghasts for $5.49 or less each at TCGPlayer.com and Mitotic Slime is only $1.06 each - OK, not literally 25 cents like you said, but pretty damn close). Like hannaleak said, reducing the concept of "budget" to "buy this from scratch" is stupid, but even so this deck is definitely budget compared to what's being played in tournaments.

A deck that would be $50 if you had to buy every card individually is probably budget in most cases, especially considering how much cheaper it is than today's competitive decks. A deck could be 60 rares and budget if you already owned them all and/or if they have all been in print for a long time. Getting eight planeswalkers might cost you $200 or it might not cost you a penny if you're willing to trade away a bunch of other rares and mythics for them.
Some good deck building advice this time.  Well done!

(I had to laugh at this:  "The most frequent topic of emails I receive, excluding requests for non-budget lists, is deck building."  That could be because the column is titled "Building on a Budget"...)

By the way, in game 2, Jacob attacks his opponent for 5, for 11, and for 4...  but the game keeps going?    Was one of the Celestial Colonnades his opponent played actually a Sejiri Refuge or something?

I kind of want to add one or two Garruks for possible overrun potential. He's also really good against control. I could see this deck having problems with RDW. I would play a full set of Obstinate Baloths in the side for RDW (and Jund). They're not that expensive, about $6. They're worth the investment, since pretty much every deck that runs green is siding these guys. I really want to add red to this, but the cost of the deck would skyrocket. I might give this a try if I can get a hold of some Slimes.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." - Albert Einstein My H/W List

4x Eldrazi Monument = $27 (based on TCGplayer's price).  Even if you define a $30 deck as "budget" (which I don't), this is absurd; Mitotic Slime and Bloodghast are not 25 cents each.




Too bad the article isn't called willpell's view on a budget deck?




Too bad the column is called "Building on a Budget" when JVL can't stick to one.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi

4x Eldrazi Monument = $27 (based on TCGplayer's price).  Even if you define a $30 deck as "budget" (which I don't), this is absurd; Mitotic Slime and Bloodghast are not 25 cents each.




Too bad the article isn't called willpell's view on a budget deck?




Too bad the column is called "Building on a Budget" when JVL can't stick to one.




He's never really defined what he considers "budget" in any meaningful detail and, frankly, a budget that isn't defined is pretty much the opposite of what a budget actually is.

He's never really defined what he considers "budget" in any meaningful detail and, frankly, a budget that isn't defined is pretty much the opposite of what a budget actually is.



Actually, he has.

www.wizards.com/magic/Magazine/Article.a...

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His definition for the word includes the word itself; dictionary fail.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi

He's never really defined what he considers "budget" in any meaningful detail and, frankly, a budget that isn't defined is pretty much the opposite of what a budget actually is.



Actually, he has.

www.wizards.com/magic/Magazine/Article.a...





As willpell noted, a circular definition is not a meaningful definition at all.

But the point is that you can't set an "absolute" standard for whether a deck is budget or not, since it varies from player to player. Some people won't build decks unless they can get all the cards from friends for free apart from a couple of rares they need to shell out $2 apiece for. Other people will say that red deck wins is a budget deck even if it costs $100, because it's good enough to win and its one third of the price of all the other top decks. If you're at school and recieve $10 allowance a week from your parents, you might not consider a $30 deck "budget". If you are getting $250 a week from a part time job, but its just that you're trying to save money or feel like you can't "morally" justify spending a week's pay on three Jaces, you would still not really have a problem with spending $100 on a whole deck and thinking it to be within your budget.


But the point is that you can't set an "absolute" standard for whether a deck is budget or not, since it varies from player to player. Some people won't build decks unless they can get all the cards from friends for free apart from a couple of rares they need to shell out $2 apiece for. Other people will say that red deck wins is a budget deck even if it costs $100, because it's good enough to win and its one third of the price of all the other top decks. If you're at school and recieve $10 allowance a week from your parents, you might not consider a $30 deck "budget". If you are getting $250 a week from a part time job, but its just that you're trying to save money or feel like you can't "morally" justify spending a week's pay on three Jaces, you would still not really have a problem with spending $100 on a whole deck and thinking it to be within your budget.




Indeed.  However, it's also not really the point.  If JVL wants his budget to be a relative "less expensive than the most expensive deck in the format", more power to him.  If he wants it to be an absolute $250 or under, that would be grand too.  Or even, "no individual cards that are generally worth over $50 apiece".  However, he has not defined any meaningful bar for his column to operate under, besides a circular definition that lets him build pretty much any deck he wants.

Now, I personally don't care all that much.  I just pretend that Building on a Budget with JVL is just actually titled Building Decks from JVL and go about my business just fine.  But when it gets mentioned, I will state that including the word "budget" in the current incarnation of the Wednesday article slot is more historical than current.
Why is it that Doom Blade is not considered during the mana base calculations?

I understand that it should not be considered a second-turn play, but should its black mana not be considered with weight value at least 1?

Is this a mistake?  Or am I missing something?

Indeed.  However, it's also not really the point.  If JVL wants his budget to be a relative "less expensive than the most expensive deck in the format", more power to him.  If he wants it to be an absolute $250 or under, that would be grand too.  Or even, "no individual cards that are generally worth over $50 apiece".  However, he has not defined any meaningful bar for his column to operate under, besides a circular definition that lets him build pretty much any deck he wants.

Now, I personally don't care all that much.  I just pretend that Building on a Budget with JVL is just actually titled Building Decks from JVL and go about my business just fine.  But when it gets mentioned, I will state that including the word "budget" in the current incarnation of the Wednesday article slot is more historical than current.



"Budget" in its current incarnation is probably the best it has ever been. I've read the past authors of BoaB and the brews they came up with. While I appreciate the path they have collectively paved and the hard work put in, they were mostly terrible decks set to some arbitrary, archaic "30 dollar ceiling." 30 dollars is budget while 50 is not? Says who?

Or look at this way. Is 30 dollars for a deck that can't win budget? I'd say no. It's a deck that's inexpensive, sure. But not budget. If it can't put up decent numbers, it was a terrible investment of 30 bucks.

Is 50 dollars for a deck that can win prizes (which nets you MORE cards/cash to increase you cardpool and make your budget flexible) budget? Yes. While it's MORE expensive then the 30 dollar one, it's still less expensive than the Tier 1 decks that cost 200+. And if it can win, you actually can see some return on that 50 dollar investment.

Take JVL's 2nd crack at Pyromancer combo:

www.wizards.com/magic/Magazine/Article.a...

Now take a look at a recent Standard Daily Event result from August 2, 2010, namely Shorsh who went 3-1 and ARBBotPlus who went 3-1:

www.wizards.com/Magic/Digital/MagicOnlin...

Now if you don't have MTGO or are not familiar with Daily Events, it's akin to FNM (4 round tournies) that happen everyday. More casual and less of a risk than the 8man Constructed and Premier Events.

The payout for Daily Events is here.

So basically, Shorsh and ARBBotPlus built the "budget" deck, modified it to their liking + sideboard, and paid 6 event tickets (roughly 5-6 bucks) as entry fee. Going 3-1, they each won 6 packs of M11, which can be sold for roughly 24 tix (current pricing).

Or they can each draft 2x (more potential winnings). Or play another Daily Event and win more. In fact, if one of them goes 3-1 in 2 more Daily Events, he/she basically recouped the cost of the WHOLE deck AND entry fees AND maybe came ahead.

This is great if they are on a particular budget, the money they have sank into it is now back in their pocket (in some form) and puts them in a better position for future deck choices/investments.
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Indeed.  However, it's also not really the point.  If JVL wants his budget to be a relative "less expensive than the most expensive deck in the format", more power to him.  If he wants it to be an absolute $250 or under, that would be grand too.  Or even, "no individual cards that are generally worth over $50 apiece".  However, he has not defined any meaningful bar for his column to operate under, besides a circular definition that lets him build pretty much any deck he wants.

Now, I personally don't care all that much.  I just pretend that Building on a Budget with JVL is just actually titled Building Decks from JVL and go about my business just fine.  But when it gets mentioned, I will state that including the word "budget" in the current incarnation of the Wednesday article slot is more historical than current.



"Budget" in its current incarnation is probably the best it has ever been. I've read the past authors of BoaB and the brews they came up with. While I appreciate the path they have collectively paved and the hard work put in, they were mostly terrible decks set to some arbitrary, archaic "30 dollar ceiling." 30 dollars is budget while 50 is not? Says who?

Or look at this way. Is 30 dollars for a deck that can't win budget? I'd say no. It's a deck that's inexpensive, sure. But not budget. If it can't put up decent numbers, it was a terrible investment of 30 bucks.

Is 50 dollars for a deck that can win prizes (which nets you MORE cards/cash to increase you cardpool and make your budget flexible) budget? Yes. While it's MORE expensive then the 30 dollar one, it's still less expensive than the Tier 1 decks that cost 200+. And if it can win, you actually can see some return on that 50 dollar investment.

Take JVL's 2nd crack at Pyromancer combo:

www.wizards.com/magic/Magazine/Article.a...

Now take a look at a recent Standard Daily Event result from August 2, 2010, namely Shorsh who went 3-1 and ARBBotPlus who went 3-1:

www.wizards.com/Magic/Digital/MagicOnlin...

Now if you don't have MTGO or are not familiar with Daily Events, it's akin to FNM (4 round tournies) that happen everyday. More casual and less of a risk than the 8man Constructed and Premier Events.

The payout for Daily Events is here.

So basically, Shorsh and ARBBotPlus built the "budget" deck, modified it to their liking + sideboard, and paid 6 event tickets (roughly 5-6 bucks) as entry fee. Going 3-1, they each won 6 packs of M11, which can be sold for roughly 24 tix (current pricing).

Or they can each draft 2x (more potential winnings). Or play another Daily Event and win more. In fact, if one of them goes 3-1 in 2 more Daily Events, he/she basically recouped the cost of the WHOLE deck AND entry fees AND maybe came ahead.

This is great if they are on a particular budget, the money they have sank into it is now back in their pocket (in some form) and puts them in a better position for future deck choices/investments.



I agree with your argument that a better name for the article would be "Winning tournaments for Fun and Profit".

I agree with your argument that a better name for the article would be "Winning tournaments for Fun and Profit".



What's wrong with fun and profit? It's better than a column called "Blarghy's Misery and Deficit."

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I agree with your argument that a better name for the article would be "Winning tournaments for Fun and Profit".



What's wrong with fun and profit? It's better than a column called "Blarghy's Misery and Deficit."





Nothing is wrong with fun and profit.  I happen to like the current Wednesday article column by JVL.  I just think it is poorly named.
A nice idea, but I fear the deck has two strategies that don't fit together... massive damage and long term Monuments. So I would skip the Eldrazi Monument and focus more on making massive damage.

The Eldrazi Monument is more useful with Elspeth or other cards that can produce a token per turn. Elspeth could become a serious problem with the monument, since she can make the monument indestructible as well.

So I would run 4x Basilisk Collar and focus on the collar+bloodghast combo. To make the deck a bit more stable, I would add 3x Fleshbag Marauders (-4x Kozilek's Predator). In addition, I would replace some Eldrazi for Grim Discovery that could return a slime and a pauper-fetchland. To complete the deck, 2x Consuming Vapors and 2x Quicksands are quite fine... latter especially with the discovery.

This version would have much more creature-destruction cards (blade, fleshbag, vapors, sand) instead of 4... therefore it would be much more reliable. An equipped slime or Bloodghast would kick the hell out of a mono-red deck and transfers creature token into better 1:1 trades. The collar makes it more useful against early Wall of Omens.

As options, I would try a single Necrogenesis and Reassembling Skeleton, replacing some Nest Invaders. The latter transfers the Vampires into shades with : +2/+2 until end of turn.

Regards.
I'm way late on the argument, but I'll post my stance on this : it is my belief that if the column was named "Winning on a budget", then it is likely that far less people would have a problem with it. Every experienced player knows that 30$ decks just do not win tournaments nowadays. Besides, "budget" is a very, very relative term, and keeping the principle that we're seeking maximum efficiency (i.e. win) for our money, I far prefer a loose definition of it like JVL's over an arbitrary strict limit like BB and JMS used.

I found the previous BoaB versions much more enjoyable to read than JVL's, honestly, but the fact is that they seldom helped competitive players. The problem is and always has been the switch from casual to competitive that the column has undegone which, still years later, some casual players did not swallow. It's an editorial choice and it will not change back unless the column changes author again, and unfortunately for the casuals, it seems too many people like it the way it is for it to change back any soon.

Anyway, my opinion is that as long as the column keeps its current author and competitive focus, its vague definition of budget is exactly what it needs. As for the title of the column, it still fits in a vacuum, but suffers from being the same as a previous column with a very different focus. It certainly would have helped to change it with JVL's arrival, IMO.

On the article and deck itself : looks like quite a fun archetype, and has a potential for explosiveness that I love. I would have expected Reassembling Skeleton in there too;  I guess it does hurt the deck's speed, but it could give it resiliency. It's bad early game, but better late game than Bloodghast for sacrifice purposes. I'd try to fit 2 of them but no more, as you don't need it early and you don't need more than one. Also, I'm not convinced that the deck needs 4 Eldrazi Monuments, or even if it's that good a fit for the deck. Sure, the deck has a potential for swarming, but that can sometimes compete with the "feed the team to my Vampire" plan. I think I prefer Garruk Wildspeaker, who can go Overrun if it fits but can also produce fodder and generate mana in other circumstances. Note that he's also way cheaper than the Monument since he's the planeswalker card that's been printed the most.

A non-budget version of the deck would consist in replacing four Expanses by Verdant Catacombs and Doom Blade by Maelstrom Pulse, naturally. With less enters-tapped fetches, I think I'd replace some Forest by Khalni Gardens.

My list :

Show


Keep the original mana base and the Doom Blades instead of Pulse and you have a more budget version than JVL's that's more to my linking.

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I didn't get a chance to post this earlier but thank you for the deckbuilding tips. It has been a long time since this article discussed that aspect of being a magic player. I am someone who likes to see into the mind of the deckbuilder when reading these articles. I think this is an important aspect of the BoaB articles that I've missed.

I usually jump in on these "budget" conversations but since it's pretty much been covered (and I had this discussion with Hannaleak a few articles ago) I'm going to refrain.

Don't be too smart to have fun
Doesn't Grim discovery seem like a shoe in? 
Am I the only one tremendously amused by all the bickering over 'his' definition of budget, which he took, with citations, directly from the Meriam-Webster's Dictionary.  There are a staggering number of people on these boards who don't check provided references before criticizing bodies of work.