3/9/2011 BoaB: "Evolving Event Decks: Infect and Defile"

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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.
Well, that was... different. 
I like this direction. A lot. In fact, when JVL deviates from the standard formula he's got, it makes for INCREDIBLY good articles. 
That said, I thought there were some issues. Again, there is an issue of budget. While I liked how he provided alternatives, I think it should be much more focused on the low-budget side, while having a adding-money or non-budget section later in the article, like JMS. Also, a good precon/event deck evolution probably needs 2-3 weeks. You say you played games and decided on the changes above, but let's see game logs of those! It looks as though you put a lot of work in before you show us any info, but a lot of complaints could be silenced just by including those games. 
I haven't been very vocal about it, but I really haven't liked where BoaB has wound up now. I don't like the rare/mythic count, I don't like the in-depth game logs of only a few games, and I REALLY don't like how uninspired some of the decks are. However, this was a huge step in the right direction, in my opinion.
If I could make a suggestion: You clearly have an idea for what's budget, but some of the complaints on the boards would be silenced by talking more about budget. For example, "I know Darkslick Shores isn't a budget card, but it fits in a lot of decks, it'll be in Standard for a long time still, and it really makes your decks a lot better, not just this one." Dual lands and similar cards are easy sells, even to people on a budget, because they're always useful. But you aren't even TALKING about it!
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57070368 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
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I'm right here.
I've built a deck similar to this one, and I've gotta give props to Sleep in the current format, where decks rely on the strength and efficiency of their creatures, and rely on a superior board possition to grind out a win. Sleep allows you to completely negate your opponant's board possition for 2 attack phases, which is outstanding in a deck where a vatmother and a plague myr can put your opponent on a 2 turn clock.


great artical, massive improvement over last week, and while 'budget' may still be an issue to some with even the 'budget' evolution containing 5 rares lands + 3 planeswalkers, I think it's a great value deck for the money.

I've always thought the U/B event deck was better than most people give it credit for.

Caw blade being the bad matchup may not be as bad as it seems if the meta shifts either to have a lot of hate for caw blade, or a lot of people fearing to play caw blade.

it's noticable that he took out the only proliferation tool (clasp) whcih could otherwise keep those counters ticking over once a control players dominates your creatures. Although I guess the non budget version can make use of the land, which avoids journey, DoJ and all counter spells.
I do like your articles, but I think it would be better to play against opponents that can play their deck. When opponents make so many obvious misplays it just seems like your deck can only win against people who are bad at magic.
When opponents make so many obvious misplays . . .


Example, please.
It wasn't so much that his opponents were making misplays as it was that his draws were unrealistically powerful against less than average draws from the opponents. In all 4 of the games he had crazy amounts of counterspells which, especially in game 1 of each match, is unlikely because of only 4 maindeck counterspells. It would be nice if JVL would show some losses as well so that we could see where the deck is weak. I would expect that the majority of Valakut matchups would be bad for this deck, as that is the experience I have had (summoning trap is killer when you aren't sitting on two backup counterspells)... I've suspected for a while that JVL is only showing us his best matches...
great artical, massive improvement over last week, and while 'budget' may still be an issue to some with even the 'budget' evolution containing 5 rares lands + 3 planeswalkers, I think it's a great value deck for the money.



This deck is most certainly a budget deck, Jace has had so many printings that getting a few should be a cakewalk, and the rare lands are hardly difficult to acquire.  If your budget can't handle $20~30, why are you even playing Magic?  The entire freaking deck can't be nothing but uncommons and commons if it wants to be mildly competetive.
I agree.  I never read his actual matchup reports because they're always slanted, and what's the point of an n = 2?  That's essentially meaningless.  That's what I liked about the former columnist who would build, test 5-10 matches, tweak, test again with another 5-10 matches... and we don't need the grueling play-by-play of exactly how each match played out.  I get it, there are "God draws" in almost any deck you build. 

As far as the artcile, the less-than-budget version seemed like the same list.  IMO, you NEED a playset of Phyrexian Crusaders because they're so hard to kill (not sure what their price is on MtGO).  Your infect creature count seemed a bit low, and most of them were 1/1s... although I guess the theme of your build was to be more of a Phryexian Broodmother/Corrupted Conscience deck than anything else, sort of like the old Steel Golem burn decks of my youth. 
I've played the budget deck and modified it myself (but only added one Fat Mama) and I'd like to add:

A far better combo with Vatmother is Consuming Vapors. It's just obscene for your opponent when they need a chump blocker for vatmother and you can win the game with that spell. They suddenly have to draw and play TWO chump blockers, because of the rebound. And yes, it's in the deck!

It was absolutely adorable how many Mirran Crusaders were eaten alive by Fat Mama as she swang in for the kill.

Also, one game was hysterical when I ate no less than 6 chumps with consume the meek (on my turn) before attacking with her. quest doesn't like this deck!
great artical, massive improvement over last week, and while 'budget' may still be an issue to some with even the 'budget' evolution containing 5 rares lands + 3 planeswalkers, I think it's a great value deck for the money.



This deck is most certainly a budget deck, Jace has had so many printings that getting a few should be a cakewalk, and the rare lands are hardly difficult to acquire.  If your budget can't handle $20~30, why are you even playing Magic?  The entire freaking deck can't be nothing but uncommons and commons if it wants to be mildly competetive.



$20 - $30? It's $20 just for the Event Deck. With his changes you're looking at closer to $80 (at least) if we use something like Star City as a baseline. Sure, prices for MtGO cards are usually significantly cheaper, but not everybody plays online. Sure, you can trade for things, but the things you're trading away are going to be similar in value to what you're getting. Ease of acquisition doesn't necessarily mean budget.

I feel for JVL, though. He's trying to walk a narrow bridge by making these decks competitive with Tier 1 decks. Based on the non-stop whining in these threads, I'd say there's room for multiple columns, since a budget deck and a tournament quality budget deck are two very different things in my mind. If you're playing magic with friends on a budget, your concept of a budget deck is probably something like $20. If you're trying to win FNM's and Gameday's with a budget deck, then JVL's concept of a budget (which is generally around $75 - $100) seems much more reasonable.

I've played the budget deck and modified it myself (but only added one Fat Mama) and I'd like to add:

A far better combo with Vatmother is Consuming Vapors. It's just obscene for your opponent when they need a chump blocker for vatmother and you can win the game with that spell. They suddenly have to draw and play TWO chump blockers, because of the rebound. And yes, it's in the deck!

It was absolutely adorable how many Mirran Crusaders were eaten alive by Fat Mama as she swang in for the kill.

Also, one game was hysterical when I ate no less than 6 chumps with consume the meek (on my turn) before attacking with her. quest doesn't like this deck!



Is Fat Mama the Vatmother, I assume? If so, why would a Mirran Crusader ever get eaten alive by her? He's got Pro-Black.

I have a "play mistake" question.  In the second valakut game, as far as I know valakut does not run any counter/bounce/vines cards at the moment.  If that is the case, is there a reason to not wait until the draw step to kill the oracle?  In other words see what the next card to be drawn is?  At the end of the step, it can't be played if it is a land and I think the information would help you more than him, right?
This deck is pretty tight. But I see a few flaws:

ONE] He did not include Phyrexian Crusader.
TWO] He did not include Plague Stinger.
THREE] He did not include Phyresis for the non infectors.
FOUR] He did not test it enough.
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At current Star City prices, that's $85 just in rares and mythics added to the "budget" version of the deck, and right after the knight deck last week that so many people jumped on about not being budget at all.. I agree about the "play testing" seeming to always showcase amazing draws as well. I still enjoy the articles, but the budget moniker is really being pushed here..
Yeah. That is outrageous.
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This deck is pretty tight. But I see a few flaws:

ONE] He did not include Phyrexian Crusader.
TWO] He did not include Plague Stinger.
THREE] He did not include Phyresis for the non infectors.
FOUR] He did not test it enough.

I think Squadron Hawks being everywhere kind of hurts Plague Stinger.  The fact that your 2-drop flier is a lot more effective against players doesn't help when it just trades with a completely expendable Squadron Hawk.  Phyrexian Crusader was probably just deemed too expensive.  Phyresis is terrible.
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Phyresis is for the Creeping Tar Pits. Doh!
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Phyresis is for the Creeping Tar Pits. Doh!



Tainted Strike is better for that, Phyresis would just fall off when it turns back into a land
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Phyresis is for the Creeping Tar Pits. Doh!



Tainted Strike is better for that, Phyresis would just fall off when it turns back into a land



Heh. I feel dumb...
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