06/01/2011 BoaB: "Still Rareless, Still Careless"

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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.
I've only taken this for a spin in the casual room so far, so I don't know what kind of game it has against the "real" decks, but so far it's been pretty successful.  Neurok Commando has been the MVP in my experience.

Also, if anyone has any idea as to why one would run two each of Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse as opposed to four of one or the other, I would love to hear it.
Highly unlikely pro: In the rare event someone tries to surgical extraction it.
Con: None.

It's not much, but meh.
Well I'm not much of a competitive player but concerning Batterskull: how about running some bounce in the sideboard? you could bounce the germ token and then try and keep the board clear of creatures to equip the Batterskull on with your burn/counter spells and it might also work against Splinter Twin by using it on the Deceiver Exarch with Splinter Twin still on the stack? (although I don't know if that is viable against them since I don't know the rest of their list)
Also, if anyone has any idea as to why one would run two each of Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse as opposed to four of one or the other, I would love to hear it.



Probably because the original deck, the starting point, had three and two.  So when he decided to trim one, it dropped to two and two.  To change to 4 and 0 would be more work.

It's a nice attempt, but making a budget deck that loses to batterskull seems akin to admitting that budget decks can't compete in this metagame. Jace and stoneforge are simply too powerful and versatile to overcome without playing the best cards youself.
It's a nice attempt, but making a budget deck that loses to batterskull seems akin to admitting that budget decks can't compete in this metagame. Jace and stoneforge are simply too powerful and versatile to overcome without playing the best cards youself.



Jace is rough, especially if your opponent can protect them.  Repeated card draw that is that easy to do has always caused problems. 

For the equipment, it wasn't really the equipment that hosed him, but the black targeted discard.  He had answers, just wasn't allowed to keep them.  Those cards are a real pain, as it means when you have an outlier threat, the type of thing you normally wouldn't carry many answers for, it becomes really hard to deal with that threat, even post board.  You'll only have a few answers and they get ripped.  Though I do think the deck would benefit from having access to more vandals, either mainboard or sideboard.

The plan of burning every stoneforge on sight (to "delay batterskull" as he said) is fundamentally flawed. Best case scenario: you kill stoneforge, they can't play their equipment until a few turns later. Worst case: they discard/counter your removal spell, or you don't draw it, or they draw a second stoneforge, and you instantly lose.

Batterskull is too absurd to even attempt beating it with budget cards, unfortunately.
I think that the black discard didn't help, but it was spellskite that really messed him up and prevented him from doing anything effective.
It was probably both.  Batterskull/Jace/Squadron Hawk/Mystic all form a very effective offensive force.  Spellskite and Black discard both ensured that this offensive beating was not disrupted.  JVLs UR deck looks like it can beat most simple, creature based, decks with all the draw and burn but probably cannot beat anything else really....neither combo or control.  How many creature based decks are there in the format?  Maybe 1/3 at most.  Yeah...this doesn't seem to be a realistic way to win.       
I like how when people can't complain that the deck is too expensive to be considered 'budget' they instead critize the power level without even a comment about 'oh, this deck is all commons and uncommons. That's definitely budget whatever your definition!'

Not that I mind the usual, more expensive articles, I just fine it interesting. In any case, this deck does have a serious weakness to Cawblade, but what doesn't? Even Cawblade is weak against Cawblade on a good day.
Running up against a deck full of Mythics with nothing above Uncommon is always going to be a struggle; unfortunately, the competitive part of this game cares more about the depth of your wallet than anything else, which the rarity-to-power ratio system was not designed to for. One reason why the introduction of Mythic rarity was a mistake. I think this deck has some serious game to it for what it is, and in many situations (FNMs don't tend to have dense Tier 1 metagames) will at least not embarrass anyone running it. Plus it has so many live topdecks an cantrips it can really punish even good decks if they stumble.

I built JVL's Sprouting Souls deck at the start of Extended season, and whilst the metagame changes meant it stunk by the end, it got me deeper into Magic for a very modest price than any amount of Standard at the time would have. I'd love to see if it would be a translatable archetype for Modern...Smile
look while its true yea playing against a deck full of rare and mythics does suck its not a lose if you will just stop and look at the teck of the deck now he had the right idea with crush cause its targeting the equipment not the token and please don't get me started on spellskite yes he is good but it has the same fatal glitch as wall of omens its a little card call twisted image its kills the skite and nets you a cards look i run a red/blue control deck yes i have some rares in the deck but i also run 4 twisted image and 3 crush in my sideboard and this past weekend i took second at my local tourney hell i beat out 2 darkblade in the process so don't despair everyone jace will be gone soon and skite isn't all its cracked up to be
Translated for readability:


While it's true that playing against a deck full of rare and mythics is difficult, it is not a loss if you study the deck technology.  The writer had the right idea with Crush, because it targets the equipment and not the token created.  Please don't get me started on Spellskite; yes, it is a good card but it has the same fatal flaw as Wall of Omens: it's a little card.  Cast Twisted Image - it kills the skite and nets you a card.  I run a red/blue control deck - I have some rares in the deck but I also run 4 Twisted Image and 3 Crush in my sideboard.  This past weekend I took second at my local tourney.  Jeepers, I beat out 2 Darkblade decks in the process.  So don't despair, everyone - Jace will be gone soon and Spellskite isn't all it's cracked up to be.   


I hope this helps with the debate.    

 
Gremlin bomb is underrated card of the year. Kills skite, kills tumble magnet, and it kills sphere of the suns. Those are only the most appearent.
I think we can all agree on one thing: Batterskull specifically, and Mythic Rare in general, is bad for Magic. The amount of broken cards running around is killing creative competetive deckbuilding and making a lot of noobs frown. Equality now! Down with Jace TMS!
I really don't know where he's getting his info.  Most good decks are running at LEAST a few copies of Dismember.
"Red and blue still offer the best options at the common and uncommon rarities."

Ok, I am not a good enough player to argue with that, but I love the rareless idea. When I saw it in the title again I did a litle happy dance, which turned in a anger dance when I realized it was pretty much the same deck....
Even if UR is the best way to do a rareless deck, coulnd't the autor find a different build?
In my humble opinion even if this colour combination is the best way to go, couldn't we hear about the second best? 

A faitful reader of www.wizards.com
Miguel Russo
Thank you for the translation savage...my head was starting to hurt trying to decipher zombie's post.
I like the revist.
I like that the deck faced off against the strongest deck against it in the format.
I like that he admitted what we all saw as being totally owned by Batterskull.
I like that the editing was done properly.

The only thing I would've liked was if he would've done the "add in some rares" like he did when he first made this deck. Otherwise, fantastic article.

I do think the sideboard was ill conceived. He rightly predicted his problem with Batterskull when making the deck, but didn't put anywhere near enough in it to handle it or Stoneforge Mystic

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.

Thank you for the translation savage...my head was starting to hurt trying to decipher zombie's post.



seriously, that was brutal.

I agree with Vlad, I would have liked to have seen what JVL would have done with the deck if he was to put a few rares in(still keeping it budget of course.) I also agree with miguel, I like blue as much as the next guy, but I'd love to have seen a deck in some other colors.

Thank you for the translation savage...my head was starting to hurt trying to decipher zombie's post.


Yea, I smiled.

If the best deck with all cards couldn't smash the best deck without the rares, I would be scratching my head in confusion.  
I'm glad that there is a strong deck that has the insane limitations of:
1) no rares 2) standard 3) teaching deck 
In the first article Jacob discussed that it isn't mono red because he didn't want a straight red burn deck, so add that restriction too.
So I am not sad that it can't compete against the best.
I certainly enjoy bashing face with my rareless decks but when they rolls over and die to the power rares have to offer, I just shrug and move on.
 
look while its true yea playing against a deck full of rare and mythics does suck its not a lose if you will just stop and look at the teck of the deck now he had the right idea with crush cause its targeting the equipment not the token and please don't get me started on spellskite yes he is good but it has the same fatal glitch as wall of omens its a little card call twisted image its kills the skite and nets you a cards look i run a red/blue control deck yes i have some rares in the deck but i also run 4 twisted image and 3 crush in my sideboard and this past weekend i took second at my local tourney hell i beat out 2 darkblade in the process so don't despair everyone jace will be gone soon and skite isn't all its cracked up to be




I can't think of anything else twisted image would be good for. Even against blade. So, being a dead card so often, its little wonder people avoid it.

I never liked the concept of batterskull from the start. From a powerlevel point of view I mean. The return to hand option was completely unessecary. You get a 4/4 lifelink for free, and a minimum 5/5 lifelink on anything else. Reccurance was not needed. 
I don't understand why he didn't Leak the Inquisition to keep the Crush in game 2 against the Darkblade deck.

I was so happy to see the title as well..dissapointed that all he really did was add probe mb and changed sb up. Ive got a version of this going atm with a few rares(all drafted cards havent actually paid for a single in the deck)
Ive found that 2 blue sun zeniths is nice, and its probably better then beleren for the deck. also a RSZ is a nice finisher and deals with the odd bloodghast, vengevine, or mitotic slime. Solid top finisher for me is sphinx of jwar isle and consecrated sphinx. I dunno if crush is better sb or shatter.. it takes 2 burn spells to usually kill spellskite, so shatter just kills it but crush gets to the swords and bypasses spellskite, so its pretty situational. Spell pierce is sweet too

I like how when people can't complain that the deck is too expensive to be considered 'budget' they instead critize the power level without even a comment about 'oh, this deck is all commons and uncommons. That's definitely budget whatever your definition!'

Not that I mind the usual, more expensive articles, I just fine it interesting.


Agreed. However, just to play Devil's Advocate, this shows a problem with Magic design (or development, or templating for that matter, whichever specific part of the long process seems relevant) if decks truly just can't be both budget and competitive. (Of course, JVL's column doesn't actually prove that, but still.)
"Red and blue still offer the best options at the common and uncommon rarities."

Ok, I am not a good enough player to argue with that, but I love the rareless idea. When I saw it in the title again I did a litle happy dance, which turned in a anger dance when I realized it was pretty much the same deck....
Even if UR is the best way to do a rareless deck, coulnd't the autor find a different build?
In my humble opinion even if this colour combination is the best way to go, couldn't we hear about the second best?...


There are probably lots of maybe-good and kinda-competitive decks out there that could be made simply by budgetizing existing decks. Take a Caw-blade deck and replace the Stoneforge Mystics with Quest for the Holy Relic, (and even the mystic may be a relatively budget rare soon, since it's getting reprinted in a preconstructed deck or something) and replace the Swords of X and Y and Batterskulls with any decent common or uncommon equipment like Darksteel Axe, say, or, ooo, Hammer of Ruin. BR vampires already is close to budget; just replace the rares with different nonrare vampire weenies. You won't do exactly as well as the original version, but it should play pretty similarly, will probably do roughly as well in the metagame against the same kinds of decks, and might catch people by surprise now and then. ("Memoricide, naming Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Wait, what do you mean you don't have it? I see two Islands!")

However, the interesting thing about this Neurok Commando/Kiln Fiend deck is that it basically starts out budget. There are no, or very few, rares you'd want to add to it. Scalding Tarn, obviously, and Jace 2.0 makes almost any deck better, and I guess Cryptoclasm  or Reverberate  might be useful, but that's all I can think of. A Commando/Fiend deck is "naturally" rareless, which at the very least makes it an interesting experiment.

That being said, yes, I agree that it would have been nice to see more changes to this, at least, both for the novelty of it and to make it better. Are any more Phyrexian mana cards worth putting in this deck? Act of Aggression, say? How about more than just five cards in the entire 75 that can handle Spellskite?
Alright, here's the thing: there are a ton of NPH cards that deal with Jace (relatively). I don't play anything more than casual standard, but I was assuming from things I've seen on the internet that Jace is dying down a little bit. Guess I was wrong.

Also, what's wrong with all burn? Yeah, it's not very interesting at face value, but here is a deck that I whipped up with a friend that is without rares that is somewhat interesting and I would love to see improved, especially considering that I only play casually.



4 Lightning Bolt
4 Burst Lightning
4 Staggershock
4 Shrine of Burning Rage
4 Kiln Fiend
4 Arc Trail
4 Forked Bolt
4 Quest for Pure Flame
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Immolating Souleater

20 Mountain (does that really need a link? you should know what a mountain is)



Now, I realize this deck is repetitive and uncompetitive, but I'm asking for criticism as long as you're trying to improve upon it.


Post Scriptum: Sorry about poor deck organization.

Momus, the Greek god of sarcasm

Pray to him.

I liked this deck a lot.  To me, I wonder how viable a deck like this will be once M12 rotates in.  We lose Bolt (for sure), and Leak (maybe).  I would like to see if there's a possibility of this deck continuing on.
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Phyrexian revoker sb? would help a lot to deal with stoneforge, planeswalkers and batterskull/swords and hey, even spellskite
I'm rather new to MTG and this is my first actual post on these forums! I enjoyed the Massacre Wurm deck and it's brought many LOLs in our casual games with friends. It's really fun when you hit someone for 42 damage. Anyways, I was looking at the additions to this deck and was thinking why Scroll Thief was used. I know it gives hand advantage but wouldn't the field advantage be helpful in there are creatures with < 3 toughness in Aether Adept? Would you then just use mass red spells to remove? Just curious on what you think guys. 
I like how when people can't complain that the deck is too expensive to be considered 'budget' they instead critize the power level without even a comment about 'oh, this deck is all commons and uncommons. That's definitely budget whatever your definition!'

Not that I mind the usual, more expensive articles, I just fine it interesting.


Agreed. However, just to play Devil's Advocate, this shows a problem with Magic design (or development, or templating for that matter, whichever specific part of the long process seems relevant) if decks truly just can't be both budget and competitive. (Of course, JVL's column doesn't actually prove that, but still.)
"Red and blue still offer the best options at the common and uncommon rarities."

Ok, I am not a good enough player to argue with that, but I love the rareless idea. When I saw it in the title again I did a litle happy dance, which turned in a anger dance when I realized it was pretty much the same deck....
Even if UR is the best way to do a rareless deck, coulnd't the autor find a different build?
In my humble opinion even if this colour combination is the best way to go, couldn't we hear about the second best?...


There are probably lots of maybe-good and kinda-competitive decks out there that could be made simply by budgetizing existing decks. Take a Caw-blade deck and replace the Stoneforge Mystics with Quest for the Holy Relic, (and even the mystic may be a relatively budget rare soon, since it's getting reprinted in a preconstructed deck or something) and replace the Swords of X and Y and Batterskulls with any decent common or uncommon equipment like Darksteel Axe, say, or, ooo, Hammer of Ruin. BR vampires already is close to budget; just replace the rares with different nonrare vampire weenies. You won't do exactly as well as the original version, but it should play pretty similarly, will probably do roughly as well in the metagame against the same kinds of decks, and might catch people by surprise now and then. ("Memoricide, naming Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Wait, what do you mean you don't have it? I see two Islands!")

However, the interesting thing about this Neurok Commando/Kiln Fiend deck is that it basically starts out budget. There are no, or very few, rares you'd want to add to it. Scalding Tarn, obviously, and Jace 2.0 makes almost any deck better, and I guess Cryptoclasm  or Reverberate  might be useful, but that's all I can think of. A Commando/Fiend deck is "naturally" rareless, which at the very least makes it an interesting experiment.

That being said, yes, I agree that it would have been nice to see more changes to this, at least, both for the novelty of it and to make it better. Are any more Phyrexian mana cards worth putting in this deck? Act of Aggression, say? How about more than just five cards in the entire 75 that can handle Spellskite?



You could stay in the colour combination and go infect. Red has now 3 infect creatures and blue as several aswell. And booth spells have proliferate spells, including a repetable one which begs to be abused!! with shrines or something else...

Mono-green infect with pump is playable without rares...

Just my humble opinion. I just thought about this in 5 minutes, with a little more time one could come up with more ideas. One of then is bound to be playable, rigth?



I've just recently started playing MTGO after a long hiatus from the game and had a lot of experience with the paper cards back in the day.  Not sure if it's just my lack of familiarity, but I built this deck exactly from the list and I'm running at about a 20% success rate, and that's in the casual room.  Can't say as this deck is competitive anywhere.  Budget, sure.  Competitive?  Like I said, if it can't win regularly in the casual room, I doubt you'll be taking any tourneys with it.  Cheap is great for new players like me, but if it can't win, what's the point?
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