05/11/2011 BoaB: "All-In-Fect Redux"

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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.
Because that's what a healthy standard enviroment needs: a two-turn kill deck running around.
Wow... I'm loving the direction the post-NPH metagame seems to be going.  A bunch of cool, viable combo decks fighting it out.  Pyro Splinter, non Pyro Splinter, non Splinter Pyro... and now a poison combo deck that can win on turn two?

Sign. Me. Up.  FNM here I come.

Too bad that means I'm gonna go broke again buying up cards.  (Sadly, my trade binder is pretty out of date by now, So I gotta buy most of the cards for all these cool decks.)  But having a handful of different decks I can play makes Magic much more fun than say if I only have my Elfball deck that I play all the time.

Plus, there's still the only-legal-in-Legacy KCI deck I want to update thanks to some of the new Phyrexian toys I can play with.
~ Current Decks I'm Playing or Building ~ (Click a deck's name to see list) [] CorpseJunk Menace/Township Counters (Standard) [] Reanimation/Clerics Theme Deck - Commander: Ghost Dad [] Devouring Tokens (Planechase, Multiplayer) [] Krark-Clan Ironworks: 2012 Edition (Modern) [] Azorious Turbo Fog (Modern)
I'm surprised that Livewire Lash didn't find it's way into the Redux list considering it was built to be more resilient in middle and late game.  I love the look on an opponents face as they consider whether or not to burn or bounce or exile or do anything to target your infect creature equipped with a livewire lash.  I also see volt charge as being at least a good sideboard card for this deck.
"People are often frustrated by the blisteringly fast draws this deck is capable of. The card choices are all pretty obvious"

So we have here a deck with an obvious build, that often wins before your opponent can play a two drop. gee I wonder why that would be frustrating. perhaps because they wanted to actually play a game.

Why not just sit in a room on your own and play with yourself.

How anyone can be excited about standard moving into turn 2 kills is beyond me.


This deck is stupid because it’s all about luck, if you have assault strobe and pump then you win on turn two (or three if you havea dude other than glistener elf) unless your opponent has a one mana answer, in which case you might get 3 for 1’ed . So now everyone not maindecking 5 one mana answers will just randomly lose game one to this deck no matter how good their play/deck is and significant sideboard space will be required, not to randomly lose game 2 or 3. People will have to mulligan good hands becuse they don't have a one mana answer.


White -  condemn


Blue -Unsummon/diminish/vapour snag


Black – Disfigure/vendetta/stabbing pain/dismember


Red – Lightning bolt /burst lightning/galvanic blast


Green – Fog/vines of vastwood/hornet sting


A lot of bad cards in there that people wouldn’t want to otherwise play. Looks like mental misstep is going to be seen in a lot of 75s in standard and as a result the current $6 price tag (for an uncommon) is only likely to increase. So much for mental misstep being more for eternal than standard.

Because that's what a healthy standard enviroment needs: a two-turn kill deck running around.



LOL well at least it could bring the price of jace down because at 4 mana he will be too slow for the current meta.

In fact even without assault strobe turn two can be pretty rough, because g elf/groundswell/groundswell can put you to 9 poison
I really dislike this kind of deck, and yes, get frustrated when I lose on turn 2 or 3.  Now there will be even more people playing this kind of deck at fnm nights.  :-(  Its just not fun.
people will sideboard gut shot and mental misstep if the archetype takes off, so I don't see this as a particular problem.

I don't really regard inkmoth nexus as a budget rare. They fetch £10 ($15) here.
The latest decklist has only one Vines of Vastwood, and it's in the sideboard.  At most, this deck is an invitation to start running more removal.  Which doesn't seem bad to me.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

The latest decklist has only one Vines of Vastwood, and it's in the sideboard.  At most, this deck is an invitation to start running more removal.  Which doesn't seem bad to me.


It also has three Spellskites in the sideboard.
people will sideboard gut shot and mental misstep if the archetype takes off, so I don't see this as a particular problem. I don't really regard inkmoth nexus as a budget rare. They fetch £10 ($15) here.




But decks already need to be able to cope with Caw blade and valakut, two very different decks requiring different approaches/cards, now they have to be capable of dealing with turn two wins. Which requires a large number of specific answers.



Four £10 cards in a deck made up otherise of commons is still budget, woulkd you prefer 20 £5 cards, which would be budget rares?.

I actually like the second deck quite a lot as it has more game than just “forest, elf, go, mountain, groundswell, assault strobe, condemn? GG” If I wanted to play a game of luck that you can win with 5 cards in under a minute I’d go for blackjack where at least the rewards can be more than a couple of packs.


I’ve been playing with a poison/proliferate deck in the casual rooms, and wondered if you could stretch the mana base to black for virulent wound. Kills hawks/cobras/enemy infect dudes and starts the poison count.




Sure, but they won't be down as part of any turn 2 kills.  Nor can they redirect Condemn or Go For The Throat (though the latter doesn't get Inkmoth Nexus anyway.)

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Not sure I would side out all copies of glistener elf even on the draw. Otherwise I think a deck like this will be a good way to shake things up in standard.
Well, Spellskite doesn't have defender, so it can redirect Condemn if it attacks. But yeah, the second deck is definitely less focused on the turn 2 win.
Turn 2-3 wins are boring Tongue out but at least, this deck seems to be really weak to red burn kind of decks which (by accident Laughing) I happen to be building right now. So, I guess I'm gonna stay focused
"I don't think anyone expected a one-mana infect creature in New Phyrexia. As a result, no one has really paid much attention to the archetype."

It really isn't that much of a surprise. I had a small hope they wouldn't do it, but it was a fairly obvious addition to the infect family. The reason no one cares is that it isn't very viable strategy;
Burning everything in one hopefully succesful attack is just too vulnerable. Especially with its dependency on lucky (insane) draws. 

"People really like decks that are capable of winning on the third turn."

In theory maybe, and even then only while playing it. Being able to win by turn 3 might be enjoyable, but the prospect of losing by turn 3 is an entirely different situation. When I play a game of Magic I intend to have an actual game, not a 2-turn 'removal or die!' luck contest.

While the general idea of a turn-3 kill can be exciting, part of that excitement comes from the difficulty in achieving that victory (If i draw all these 6 cards, then....). Mindlessly dropping 3 commons has no such challenge, and therefore lacks all the glory of it. Infect kills are especially uninteresting in this part; you don't even need a specific combination of cards, any infecter and random pumpspells will do.

"If you're a fan of poison like I am, then this should be a very fun and interesting deck to play at your local tournaments."

I am a fan of poison, yet I really don't see the fun in this kind of deck. Drop infecter, wait for opening, attack and win. Possibly with a slight delay if proliferation is needed, but that's about it.

I really liked poison before infect came around, and some of the infect cards still hold some appeal to me. Infect in general, however, really doesn't feel like poison.  

Before infect, poison was a nice, quirky alternative victory plan. You paid a price in terms of raw power of your creatures, but in exchange you got an extra, inevitable* road to victory in case your opponent could heal his damage. It was a bit slow, but that didn't matter for the flavor of poison; It's a slow corruption, calmly infesting you until it kills you. Even if it played like a second life total, it didn't feel that way.

Infect takes this entire concept and throws it in the bin, before setting fire to said bin and tossing it in the chemical waste dump. Suddenly poison doesn't come at a price; most infecters are decently sized creatures, even without poisoning players (just compare them to the witherers).

The 'you are being poisoned' flavor also vanishes when infecters don't even deal normal damage. I can understand that something like a Swamp Mosquito poisons without having enough power to damage me, but something like a Putrefax shouldn't leave someone unscatched.

Finally, the flavorwise 'slow but inevitable' part goes *poof* once creatures start dealing multiple poison counters in one turn. It is understandable that a toxin needs some time to fully envenomate someone, and spreading the counterdealing over 5-10 turns does a good job of showing this. Infect Growth killing somebody in 2 turns has no such explanation; One moment you are alive, the next moment you are dead by poison for some reason. I can understand how giant growth increases damage (bigger creature = bigger hit), but that shouldnt influence how virulent a creature is.

Maro has stated somewhere the intent was to have poison feel different from a 2d life total. Many cards in the block make a good effort of this (proliferate, virulent wound & companions, Hand of the Praetors' ability), infect falls woefully short on this. Infect Poison feels and plays exactly the same as a life total, it's just a bit lower. 

* Yes, yes, leeches existed. Who cares? If anyone is willing to play an otherwise useless card just to avoid poison, let them do it. Especially since it isn't free, since you still lose life. (Which, combined with the damage from the old poisoners could still be lethal.)

Infect Growth killing somebody in 2 turns has no such explanation; One moment you are alive, the next moment you are dead by poison for some reason. I can understand how giant growth increases damage (bigger creature = bigger hit), but that shouldnt influence how virulent a creature is.




A creatures virulence is influenced by how big it is (although in the real world not always) by the simple fact that Giant Growth simply increases the amount of poison delivered in a strike, therefore increasing the amount of damage delivered by the poison. Bigger creature = bigger dose. Simple.
I think just about everyone expected an infect one drop, just no one expected it to be green.
I think it would be nice for a budget columnist to have at least an approximate awareness of card prices. Steve mentions Inkmoth Nexus, an 8,75 tickets card, in much the same way as Obstinate Baloth, a 0,50 ticket card (prices from my favourite bot chain). A deck with a single expensive rare is still budget, but players who are not aware of Nexus price might be dissappointed.

Go draft, young man, go draft!

Beyond debating the impact of the deck on Standard or the price of the only remotely pricey card in the deck, has anyone considered Apostle's Blessing in the deck?  It lets you get around removal AND blockers.  Less important for the Nexus, as it'll have Flying, but for anyone running a version with more of the 2-drops (for example, if they didn't want to pay for the Nexus), could be helpful.
Anyone surprised that the only game he lost was the one where his opponent dropped Jace, The Mind Sculptor?

people will sideboard gut shot and mental misstep if the archetype takes off, so I don't see this as a particular problem. I don't really regard inkmoth nexus as a budget rare. They fetch £10 ($15) here.




But decks already need to be able to cope with Caw blade and valakut, two very different decks requiring different approaches/cards, now they have to be capable of dealing with turn two wins. Which requires a large number of specific answers.



Four £10 cards in a deck made up otherise of commons is still budget, woulkd you prefer 20 £5 cards, which would be budget rares?.

I actually like the second deck quite a lot as it has more game than just “forest, elf, go, mountain, groundswell, assault strobe, condemn? GG” If I wanted to play a game of luck that you can win with 5 cards in under a minute I’d go for blackjack where at least the rewards can be more than a couple of packs.


I’ve been playing with a poison/proliferate deck in the casual rooms, and wondered if you could stretch the mana base to black for virulent wound. Kills hawks/cobras/enemy infect dudes and starts the poison count.






My philosophy of a budget deck is one that costs under $20, ideally hovering around $10. A budget deck is a deck that should be easily able to be purchased and put together without being a serious commitment. With 4 $15 cards, your looking at a deck that is well over $60. Would you be willing and able to buy a new video game every week? Of course not. Its too expensive and you don't get enough play out of it to make the investment worthwhile.

The original deck was budget friendly. However, it was an all or nothing deck, and had no mid game option if you weren't able to combo up before your opponent hit 3+ lands.

I think the way to go would be . That way, if Jace doesn't find its way into the sin bin, you can add it. Plus, you have access to all the good proliferate spells and counter magic. It would make for hard plays, deciding if your going to commit to attack or hold to stop your opponent.


MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred: Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature. Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself? Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill. Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it. Him: You can't do that. Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

My philosophy of a budget deck is one that costs under $20, ideally hovering around $10. A budget deck is a deck that should be easily able to be purchased and put together without being a serious commitment.



Good thing you're not the author of BoaB, at least for me. Articles would clock in under 200 words and I wouldn't get a viable peek or angle into how to best invest my money in relation to any semblance of a real metagame.

What you basically just described is a Sealed deck event. If your budget really is $20 max, you should consider building your own Cube.
IMAGE(http://i738.photobucket.com/albums/xx30/hannaleak/hlsig1.jpg) the glory of
"I don't think anyone expected a one-mana infect creature in New Phyrexia. As a result, no one has really paid much attention to the archetype."
It really isn't that much of a surprise. I had a small hope they wouldn't do it, but it was a fairly obvious addition to the infect family. The reason no one cares is that it isn't very viable strategy; Burning everything in one hopefully succesful attack is just too vulnerable. Especially with its dependency on lucky (insane) draws.


Agreed. No, I wouldn't find it fun to play such a deck and I certainly won't find it fun to play game 1 against it, but I'm not worried about its impact on Standard because it very often just won't work. In order to win with just one attack you need to have at least two (Groundswell, Assault Strobe) and probably three of the right pump spells in your hand and attack unblocked.

The odds of all that happening are slim, especially against an opponent who knows what's coming. Every color has answers to it (Jayem upthread listed some, and got probably less than half the options in Standard). The longer it takes you to get that perfect hand together, the more chance the opponent can interfere with it.

Yes, you'll have to have a few cards in your sideboard for it, but (a) so what, that's what the sideboard is for, and (b) very few of them are useful only against this deck alone. So people will put Condemn and Disfigure and Unsummon in their sideboards to use against any aggressive deck with weenies and Mental Misstep in their sideboard to deal with a wide variety of decks, and this deck will just be used by people who're trying to shoot the moon.

My philosophy of a budget deck is one that costs under $20, ideally hovering around $10. A budget deck is a deck that should be easily able to be purchased and put together without being a serious commitment. With 4 $15 cards, your looking at a deck that is well over $60. Would you be willing and able to buy a new video game every week? Of course not. Its too expensive and you don't get enough play out of it to make the investment worthwhile.


You can have any philosophy you want for yourself, of course, but I'd say it's unreasonable as either a general deck-building principle or for this column. For one thing, $20 is really low. Sorry, but like it or not this is a relatively expensive hobby. $20 buys you six booster packs (more or less, depends on where you shop, it buys you more if you buy in bulk) in which you'd find six rares and have a roughly two-out-of-three chance of finding one mythic, you'd be lucky if even two of them are chase rares and go well together, and the chance that you'd get four copies of anything, even commons, is very low. Good luck making a decent deck for Constructed with that. Another way of looking at $20 is that it is less than five percent of the price of most winning decks in Standard. Sure, that's budget, that's way below budget. A half or quarter or fifth the price of a winning Standard deck is a budget that makes some kind of logical sense (after all, there's a lot of variation) while still being a lot higher than your arbitrary limit.

Another problem is that your analogy is flawed. Who goes out and builds every one of these decks every week? And more importantly, who goes out and buys every single card for it? Don't you already have ANY of the cards mentioned here? If not, don't you own ANYthing worth trading? Staple cards - cards that are good in and for lots of decks, but aren't top-of-the-line chase rares - reasonably should count against a budget less than cards that are only worth using in a few archetypes. Dual lands, for example. In theory they can be easily cut from an expensive deck to budgetize it if you just replace them with Terramorphic Expanse or Evolving Wilds. Really, though, they're almost fungible. If you have one playset of Copperline Gorge you can probably trade it for a playset of Darkslick Shores or Drowned Catacomb at no additional cost if you want to scrap your RG deck and make a UB deck. If you slavishly make a deck featured in this column every week, you can probably make those trades every week.

If you can make up $20 decks that are even moderately competitive, go ahead and post them somewhere, but I'm having a hard time thinking of any that would even do as well as RG infect.
Anyone surprised that the only game he lost was the one where his opponent dropped Jace, The Mind Sculptor?




He also got time walked when he got hit a bird with feast and famine so he was already in bad position anyway.
I really miss the old BoaB authors... A clear definition of what budget is(under 30 tix in MOL was the most common), a deck evolution, more games recorded, more formats...

I get the feeling he writes his columns in a rush. And it's too much tourney focused. A budget tourney deck is at least 100 bucks. A good casual budget deck should be around 10 bucks. The old authors, even if said that their aim was 30 tix, normally delivered deck for much less.

Everybody can see glaring missing points in money rares to make most of his "budget" decks into a serious tournament. They are all crippled decks.

Anyone know what Ben, JMS or Nate are doing? They still play/write about magic anywhere?

The sad part is that Jacob wasn't that bad, but his columns are in a downard spiral in quality. I liked him when he started. Now I have to force my self to read  to see if there is anything good.
All In-Fect was the first deck I assembled on MTGO and I was thankful for it for two reasons:

1. It was in-expensive (as building on a budget usually is).

2. It illustrated a strategy.


I must have played it for hours. Obviously the appeal in the practice room wore off rather quickly. Heck I even took it into afew Extended tourny's because anything that aggressive can really shine. With Inkmoth Nexus essentially this decks 'Glint Hawk Idol' we no longer have to worry about top of the curve Putrefax, and our late game is going to have us hoping to draw cards like Tezzerets Gambit so that we can potentially draw two more pump spells.

And while it may appear to be a one trick pony I believe it has enough gas as demonstrated this week to be viable. Winning the roll seems extra important in this type of strategy.
Thanks for another great article Jacob.

Finally I wonder, what did Caw Blade have, that had it updated? Unfortunately I don't think this weeks opponet had the opportunity to demonstrate.

My philosophy of a budget deck is one that costs under $20, ideally hovering around $10. A budget deck is a deck that should be easily able to be purchased and put together without being a serious commitment.



Good thing you're not the author of BoaB, at least for me. Articles would clock in under 200 words and I wouldn't get a viable peek or angle into how to best invest my money in relation to any semblance of a real metagame.

What you basically just described is a Sealed deck event. If your budget really is $20 max, you should consider building your own Cube.



Your looking at it all wrong. To buy the individual cards (excluding basic lands) should hit that $20 limit. I have built many decks that have fallen under that budget that are good. So has the previous BoaB authors and even the current one.

If I was writing BoaB, I would first try to create a deck that went as close to this budget as possible. Sometime, I'd build around a card and exclude it from the cost, so that more powerful cards could be in the original deck. I would talk about the ideas, as everyone has done, then play some games.

I would end by upping the cost of the deck with choice cards that cost more. The next article would then start off with a recap of how the expensive deck went. That way, people with a really low budget can enjoy it, and those with a higher budget can enjoy it. Plus, it adds more of a challenge.
MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred: Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature. Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself? Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill. Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it. Him: You can't do that. Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.
Mono-Green Infect is very potent currently and will get better.  Myself, a friend and his friend have been tweaking a deck and it has taken first at FNM twice out of two attempts.

It may be the smallest "pump" effect offered, but Unnatural Predation really helps the Mono-Green deck when on the draw.
I just love that the Mono Green deck, that is suppose to center around Glistening Elf, played just fine without Glistening Elf. What was the point in featuring Glistening Elf again?
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
I honestly don't understand all the whining that goes on in this forum. If you have a concern, surely you can suggest a polite and constructive alternative to what was presented. For those that have a smaller budget, like myself, this column is source of strategies and possibilities. If you depend on JVL or anyone else to give you the exact list you will play with, then your deck building problems extend way beyond your budget.

As far as infect in standard goes, it can only improve the environment. While it is less fun to lose on turn two occasionally, the variety a new archetype brings to the environment leads to a lot more fun than everyone facing the mirror all day long.
Well, as for the definition of budget, I'd generally agree with Vlad74205. For me personally, a budget deck is something around $100-150 which is significantly lower than most of the first rank decks but still competitive in tournaments. But of course, there are people who want to enjoy as much as they can for say $20-30 or something. Even in this price range there are bad decks and good decks and not only bad decks as some may expect. If I just play casually in a pub with a few friends, I don't even have the need to spend $100-150 on cards but if I go to tourneys (at least once in a blue moon) I may be looking for something that can compete.

As for the deck, someone mentioned here that he would go G/U. Well, I guess I'd just do the same. Today I happened to trade a Glistener Elf from a friend and I'm thinking on something slightly different, more like "infect elves" I don't like the idea of cheap pump spells so I'd add perhaps more creatures plus, when it comes to making them stronger, some Contested War Zones and/or Signal Pests. And in an aggresive strategy like this blue is always welcome because it can bring you a few cards when your hand is empty (specifically I'm talking about Jace Beleren, Tezzeret's Gambit, Gitaxian Probe, maybe Preordain) and Metal Misstep is a very good defense against Lightning Bolts and similar stuff. What do you think? Wink
I am just getting back into Magic so I am not sure how qualified I am to weigh in, but from reading the article and looking at the decks, it seems to me like a prepared aggro deck or a red burn deck would be able to deal with the Mono-green version of the deck just fine.  With only Inkmoth Nexus and Glisener Elf as attackers, wouldn't a red burn deck have plenty of answers if they drop the Elf on turn 1/2, like Flame Slash or Lightning Bolt.  Take the Elf down and that is 1/8 of all the attackers they have.  Inkmoth might have evasion, but it's not impossible to stop.  My sense of it is that if you can stop them from hitting you with 1 point of poison in the first few turns, then a good aggro deck will outpace this and win.  Some of the sideboard cards mentioned could help the deck, but then wouldn't that potentially slow down the deck/take away some of the pumps?  The R/G version has more creatures, but like the article says, it does not have a lot of mid/late game staying power, so it seems like if you can fend off the initial wave of attacks you can take this down.  

Not sure if it was mentioned already, but, in regards to decks siding in mental misstep vs. this deck: This deck should also be siding mental misstep. MANY of the dangerous cards that stop this deck cold are one cost cards. I'd stretch to say that this deck could even main the mental missteps.
RE: The Price of a Budget Deck

You see, the idea *I* feel that BoaB originally aimed for was to create semi-competitive decks that people under the age of 18 could construct. As such, decks relying on a playset of Inkmoth Nexus (secondary market value about $50 USD) isn't exactly the ideal build.

While I can see the viewpoint that this deck is cheaper then a deck full of Jaces, it misses the point that these decks should be within reach of a person who gets maybe 10 bucks of allowance a week. Those with a full time income obviously don't need the advice that BoaB is giving. The people who need that help are much, much younger.

I feel that while the current author tries hard, the 17 and under population of Magic is not benifiting fully from this deck construction. The last three articles all contain cards well out of their reach, and it would be nice if the author would remember who primarily benefits from the BoaB articles.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
I bet a lot of the people who can't afford a single $50 playset also don't read Daily MTG at all, so this article's fine by me.
I don't think anyone expected a one-mana infect creature in New Phyrexia.



Huh, I didn't think anyone didn't expect a one-mana infect creature in New Phyrexia.
JvL's been writing this column for almost 3 years now. In that time he's never been interested in setting an a priori budget so I wouldn't start expecting one now. It has always been relative. What I find interesting though is that Magic has changed to raise the price of decks, to the point where $100+ really can feel budget.
I really miss the old BoaB authors... A clear definition of what budget is(under 30 tix in MOL was the most common), a deck evolution, more games recorded, more formats...

I get the feeling he writes his columns in a rush. And it's too much tourney focused. A budget tourney deck is at least 100 bucks. A good casual budget deck should be around 10 bucks. The old authors, even if said that their aim was 30 tix, normally delivered deck for much less.

Everybody can see glaring missing points in money rares to make most of his "budget" decks into a serious tournament. They are all crippled decks.

Anyone know what Ben, JMS or Nate are doing? They still play/write about magic anywhere?

The sad part is that Jacob wasn't that bad, but his columns are in a downard spiral in quality. I liked him when he started. Now I have to force my self to read  to see if there is anything good.




My take on Jacob is that he tests a lot of decks for his own play and when one feels relatively cheaper he writes about it. So compared to previous authors his decks may be less budget but they're often more competitive.

Ben Bleiweiss runs StarCityGames. So yes he's still involved. He writes a column on financial aspects but to read it you either have to wait 3 weeks or buy a subscription. No idea or JMS or Nate though.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

I honestly don't understand all the whining that goes on in this forum. If you have a concern, surely you can suggest a polite and constructive alternative to what was presented. For those that have a smaller budget, like myself, this column is source of strategies and possibilities. If you depend on JVL or anyone else to give you the exact list you will play with, then your deck building problems extend way beyond your budget.

As far as infect in standard goes, it can only improve the environment. While it is less fun to lose on turn two occasionally, the variety a new archetype brings to the environment leads to a lot more fun than everyone facing the mirror all day long.



Finally! Someone who isn't complaining constantly! These forums are for positive discussion not the "hurr I don't like this, too expensive to make every deck of his every week hurr" that goes on in here. People, this is a mainly Spike-oriented column under JVL and he does a good job of offering a deck each week that a Spike can use that doesn't cost near as much as many of the powerhouses of the current Standard meta. This is not, however, a Timmy/Johnny column. If you want fun casual Timmy playing, head on over to Serious Fun. If you want Johnny building, there's a wonderful article called From the Lab. Whaddaya know? Those are great articles and the decks in them are often cheap as well.

Now, on the topic of this deck, I agree with those that a turn-2 win constantly isn't fun to play against, but this isn't a consistent deck in either version. Are they powerful? Yes. Do they fold to the removal typically used anyways in many decks as well as removal/prevention/disruption that is likely to to be staple in decks(I'm looking at you Gut Shot and Mental Misstep)? Yes. You know whats even great about Gut Shot and [/c]Mental Misstep[/c]? You can play them in any color, and to give the shot an even better look, check out the toughness of a Squadron Hawk. Yup, that's a one. Paying one red or two life to buy a turn when you burn their hawk in response to an equip can potentially allow you to gain an advantage, and the two life method doesn't even sacrifice your own tempo.

I don't think anyone expected a one-mana infect creature in New Phyrexia.


Huh, I didn't think anyone didn't expect a one-mana infect creature in New Phyrexia.


This is a column clearly built on blatant lies at it is.
The problem is the deck is not consistant, sure it can win right off the bat, but not conisitant enough to make it viable. I have really, really wanted to make infect work but alas I cannot. Kiblers build is promising but WOTC didnt give us any artifact infecters in NPH. None of the infect creatures are utility, they are just big dudes. It isnt like vampires where we have a vampire with edict (gatekeeper) or a planeswalker killer (hexmage), or a guy who wins immediatly on turn 4 (nocturnus). Sorry infect wont be in standard, good job Wizards.
What are the problems here. Let's list them:
1: inkmoth nexus is not a budget card
2: the deck is not budget
3: the deck is not consistent enough to be competitive
4: random complaint about a little thing JVL said. That for example nobody expected a 1 mana 1/1 infecter.
5: Getting killed turn 2 is frustrating.
6: Killing someone turn 2 is not fun.

my replies:
1: Yes. The deck has an expensive card in the form of inkmoth nexus. Do you think this card is too expensive? don't play it. switch it out and play somethink else. It's really not that hard to think for yourself once in a while. You don't have the play the deck exactly as JvL presents it to you. The deck probably get weaker though.
2: Decks have gotten more expensive. I have no idea how much a caw-blade deck is if you would buy one today but JvL's deck is at about 20% or something? It's unreal to expect a deck to compete with cawblade while beiing 20$. I would rather have a deck that costs 80$ and actually wins some games against the current metagame then get a 20$ deck that loses 80% of the time. It's not really fun to lose.
3: I'm not sure if this complaint is meant only for the first deck or for both. Jacob said himself the first deck had no middle- or endgame. So he posted a second more consistent deck. If that deck isn't consistent enough in your opinion. There's a problem. Because i can just guess now how to make it more consistent... Use some more expensive cards. Wich will make all the budget lover in 1 and 2 very angry.
4: Please don't go critisize every word he says. I know some people didn't mean it in a mean way but i also think some did. JvL's collumn is about presenting a deck. Not about these little in between sentences. With maro's collumn (designing magic) you can critisize every word. Because his collumn is about motivating design choices. With JvL's collumn however it just seems silly. It's about the deck.
5: Yes. Getting killed turn 2 is boring. I think so too. Deal with it. This deck already existed before this article was written. It's already out there. Complain to wizards for making this possible. Not JvL. JvL just presented the deck as playable with a budget.

Some of you may just not like the deck. That's fine. But people should think of this article more as inspiration then exact instructions. If you want something different in the deck. Change it yourself. You don't have to play the deck in the way JvL presents it to you. You're allowed to make changes. If a card is too expensive. Take it out and try some other cards in their place. If you think the deck isn't consistent or competitive enough. Play fetch or duellands to make it more consistent. Or try some changes yourself. JvL presented it in the way he thinks the deck works best. If you don't like an aspect of it. Change it yourself!

6: Ofcourse it's also possible you just don't like the deck entirely. Fine too. You can post it. It's good voor JvL to know what kind of decks are received well and wich are not. But maybe people could then say what kind of decks they WOULD like to see. Instead of only saying 'i don't like this, this deck sucks'. Making the critisism constructive instead of destructive.

I would rather see a good debate about what cards would maybe suit the deck (i think mental misstep, apostle's blessing and gitaxian probe were mentioned) and how to improve it. then see all this about about what's exactly budget. Budget is different for every person here. People should therefore adjust the deck themselves to suit their budget and consider this article mere inspiration.












I thought the article was entertaining and informative. I knew about Glistener Elf and I knew about Mutagenic Growth, but really didn't see this kind of "shenanigans deck" in my head. I know, I'm a dumb-dumb.

Despite my apparent dumb-dumbness, I do believe that the criticism for the articles has been a bit high. JVL probably has the most difficult column to write, trying to make or present real decks without all the highest tier cards that still win against all the highest tier cards. Keep bitching though, maybe they'll take away his column and then you'll be happy. Foot in mouth