11/02/2011 BoaB: "Storm Chasers"

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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.

You forgot to mention the manabase puts this well out of any sensible "budget" range.  Just going from TCG aggregate:

Scalding Tarn: ~$15 x 3 = $45
Breeding Pool: ~$32 x 1 = $32
Steam Vents: ~$26 x 1 = $26
Shivan Reef ~$3 x 4 = $12

So in lands alone (not counting the sub $1 ones), you have over $100 investment in this "budget deck".

Come on.

Not only that, but this is basically the same deck that several CFB guys ran minus the ponder/preordains and rites of flame.  Hell, this deck was part of the REASON these were banned, it's hardly brewing when you take the banned cards out of the previous 3rd or 4th best deck in the format.  I normally don't complain about this sort of thing, but I'm trying to brew a modern deck up at the moment and I was looking for inspiration only to be disappointed.

Back to my mono red burn deck I guess... 
I was curious on what kind of red deck was being played. I have a Goblin deck that isn't half bad and can be quite devistating to a deck like this thanks to Blood Moon and Goblin Lord.


So in lands alone (not counting the sub $1 ones), you have over $100 investment in this "budget deck".

Come on.
 



Hear, hear!!
Only $100 for the lands? Sounds pretty budget for an eternal format...
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Not the most original... Basically a deck from the PT with the banned cards switched for (not so suprising) replacements. Lands are expensive, but then they always have been for older formats.

Just curious about your opinions
Would BoaB be better if it had the more strict ticket limit like before? What about a few weeks of evolution rather than a deck a week?
It's interesting to watch, how is our budget growing.
I understand people's anger about the land cost, but it comes with the territory in an eternal format.  If you can't afford the mana base than you are more than welcome to play with only basics, but recognize that solid mana bases are generally expensive.  Espeically now with the rise of EDH, more and more people are buying up lands to fix their mana bases.  Aside from M10 lands, everything else has gone up and up. 

I think the problem facing BoaB is the question of competitiveness.  You can easily make a cheap deck but how competitive it will be is another question.  This really is a simple case of economics.  If a card is good, people will want to play with it driving up demand and price.  If you are playing with a cheaper deck then you are play with cards that have been deemed 'not as good' by the market.  So then the question is, if we are compromising on top tier cards, should we be building a deck that tries to still stay as competitive as possible or should we build something with an interesting combo, or something very flavorful?  I think most people would lean towards something that will win and I think this deck fits in well to being somewhat cheap and competitive.  Even if it isn't the freshest idea at least it does a decent job of attempting to cover the basic premise behind this column. 
I understand people's anger about the land cost, but it comes with the territory in an eternal format.  



Yeah, it's Modern week and he had to provide a Modern deck. "Budget" and Modern don't go really well together, so he decided to focus on a competitive deck that had cheap nonland cards.
I love this archetype! When I sold my collection back at the end of Time Spiral, this was one of the only archetypes I'd even kept cards for. (2 cents worth, budget isn't bad given a farther reaching format.)Budgeting aside, if you are anticipating cards like Leyline of Sanctity, Witchbane Orb, Imperial Mask, (to a lesser degree) Spellskite, and other cards of there ilk, why not give a slot to one of these fine answers: Wipe Away, Into the Roil, and Boomerang. Personally I like Wipe Away the best due to split second. I wasn't sure what the SB slot of Lotus Bloom was for. Could someone shed some light on this card please.
A couple questions from a noob if some of you wouldn't mind answering...

1.  Why Swath over Ascension?
2.  Does Swath add 2 point of damage for each storm counter?
3.  How would Sulfur Falls or Copperline gorge work in this mana base?  I have 4 Scalding Tarn but I would like to prevent from splashing on vents and reef right now.  Is this possible?
4.  What would you guys mull away with a deck like this?  Seems like most of the starting hands would be ok.

Thanks in advance.
1.  Why Swath over Ascension?
2.  Does Swath add 2 point of damage for each storm counter?

When Grapeshot is cast, you put a copy of it on the stack for each storm counter. Each of these copies is a separate source of damage that is a sorcery, so Swath applies to each copy. So each copy does 3 damage instead of 1.
Gotcha, Ty
awesome, really glad you wrote this. it'll be interseting to see other varants with Ascension or Past in Flames.

long live U/R combo! lol 

and...ugh. please stop complaining about land prices, its obvious what you can replace for them to make the deck cheaper, this is a pretty budget deck regardless of land complication anyways, especially for modern


awesome, really glad you wrote this. it'll be interseting to see other varants with Ascension or Past in Flames.

long live U/R combo! lol 

and...ugh. please stop complaining about land prices, its obvious what you can replace for them to make the deck cheaper, this is a pretty budget deck regardless of land complication anyways, especially for modern




While the land prices are an issue, it doesn't seem necessary for them to be there for the deck to work.  Sure, if  you have access to them, they're an upgrade, I just don't see why a budget deck would splurge on lands that are convenient but not necessary.  There's no real reason a budget deck would ever need fetches or shocks unless they had a horrible manabase or landfall triggers, especially when cheaper duals (Storage lands, Sulfur Falls, etc) exist.

That said, I don't think the biggest problem with the deck is the land price but the stunning unoriginality of it.  I ran grapeshot pauper, which has been around for quite a while, and this is the exact same thing with swath, remand, and magma jet added and rite of flame + ponder/preordain removed.

At the moment, I'm putting together a tentative mono-red burn list that's admittedly weak to this sort of combo, but is much cheaper, with the most expensive card in consideration being figure of destiny.  I guess Tarns would make it more competitive, but they're hardly necessary. 
unoriginal?  totally.  this was pathetic.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
Since when did this column have an originality requirement? Many of us newer players read this column for ideas, and this is new to me, and probably lots of others too. Before you post critical comments, please consider all of the other people in the audience that the author might be helping. If you still feel a critique is necessary, post away; but think first, please. I dislike reading this forum when it is full of needless harassment of the author.
Would putting in basic lands ruin this deck? Or would it still be able to get off some quick combos.

3. How would Sulfur Falls or Copperline gorge work in this mana base? I have 4 Scalding Tarn but I would like to prevent from splashing on vents and reef right now. Is this possible?

While the land prices are an issue, it doesn't seem necessary for them to be there for the deck to work. Sure, if you have access to them, they're an upgrade, I just don't see why a budget deck would splurge on lands that are convenient but not necessary.  

Would putting in basic lands ruin this deck? Or would it still be able to get off some quick combos.


Here's the deal: This mana base adds consistency and a little flexibility, both of which are sorely needed with a combo deck.  Without fetches and Breeding Pool you simply can't make a green splash work (Manamorphose isn't enough and 1 Hinterland Harbor is no substitute for 3 Scalding Tarns and a Breeding Pool) so you'll never flash back an Ancient Grudge.  Not the end of the world but you have to acknowledge that.


More importantly, at 16 lands Fetching one is actually noticeable thinning and a Scalding Tarn into Steam Vents gives you both colors even if it's your only land.  A replacement with 4x Sulfur Falls might be the best you can do but often it will be stealing your entire turn.


The deck can still win, certainly.  (Pauper decks have run Grapeshot for a long time, using only commons.)  But it will be less consistent.  I'm not entirely certain but if I couldn't use the optimal lands I might consider pulling something like 2 Remand and a Pyretic Ritual for 2 more lands and a Compulsive Research.


Since when did this column have an originality requirement? Many of us newer players read this column for ideas, and this is new to me, and probably lots of others too.

The more accurate question is "when did it stop" and the answer is "when Jacob started writing".  (Which is years ago now, people should know.)  Previous authors for Building on a Budget focused on building decks from scratch and had a strong budget restriction. JvL's column might more accurately be called "competitive decks that aren't quite as expensive as the current tier 1."

That's not to say Jacob is bad.  He often commits to his decks and I suspect they're not developed for the column but are actually an insight to his own (serious) testing.  That means we sometimes get some really good tips instead of just a 60-card-pile that technically qualifies as a deck.  But it's a break from previous tradition and some people still aren't over it.


And to be fair Procrastinator, you said "Many of us newer players read this column for ideas" which would certainly suggest that it should have an originality requirement.  It's new to you which is fine, but every Thursday the decks of the week get published (and the online ones are dumped daily on mtgonline.com) so if you were checking coverage for current decks, then came here for a new idea, you yourself might be disappointed.

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.

4.  What would you guys mull away with a deck like this?  Seems like most of the starting hands would be ok.


With 16 lands mana, zero-mana hands will happen with some regularity.  So that's an easy answer.


But you're on to something.  Decks with many cantrips (simple spells that replace themselves via draw) traditionally are very hard to mulligan because you're going to draw cards but don't know what they are.  If you had "Mountain, Slight of Hand, Seething Song, Serum Visions, and 3x Gitaxian Probe" in hand, would you mulligan that?  It might be awesome or it might be terrible, depending on whether those Probes get you a blue source, or some rituals a Swath and a Grapeshot, or just more blue cantrips.


You're building to "one big turn" so you want to be able to play 4 spells (mostly rituals), a Swath, and a Grapeshot.  (And hope they've done 2 to themselves, or you need another spell).  And you don't want to do it later than turn 4.  So mulligan based on how likely you are to reach that hand.

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.

awesome, really glad you wrote this. it'll be interseting to see other varants with Ascension or Past in Flames.

long live U/R combo! lol 

and...ugh. please stop complaining about land prices, its obvious what you can replace for them to make the deck cheaper, this is a pretty budget deck regardless of land complication anyways, especially for modern




While the land prices are an issue, it doesn't seem necessary for them to be there for the deck to work.  Sure, if  you have access to them, they're an upgrade, I just don't see why a budget deck would splurge on lands that are convenient but not necessary.  There's no real reason a budget deck would ever need fetches or shocks unless they had a horrible manabase or landfall triggers, especially when cheaper duals (Storage lands, Sulfur Falls, etc) exist.

That said, I don't think the biggest problem with the deck is the land price but the stunning unoriginality of it.  I ran grapeshot pauper, which has been around for quite a while, and this is the exact same thing with swath, remand, and magma jet added and rite of flame + ponder/preordain removed.

 I guess Tarns would make it more competitive, but they're hardly necessary. 



yea exactly, i think he posts those lands in the list just to show what the deck would be optimally if one could afford it, and looking back i would have to agree that it isn't a super new decklist or anything, but i feel it's alright on account that some people may not be exposed to the deck yet and i just like hearing the reasons behind choices as well as what works best or how games play it. Also i've been looking to making a UR modern deck so im happy to see this. I guess he could have treaded a little more new area, by exploring or discussing Past in Flames other than just mentioning it, or even Pyromancer Ascension's potential

and to agree with JVL originial article, serum visions and sleight of hand are definitley lackluster compared to ponder and preordain, its almost like you just feel bad playing with them, knowing how much better ponder and preordain are lol

It is modern theme week, and modern will be the PTQ format come January. JVL did his best to give you an affordable way to not instantly lose your entry fees when that happens during this theme week. What else do you want from the guy when 4x tarmagoyf is a starting place in the format? He gave you a 75 card list that costs about one goyf. And seriously-what value do you really add that WOTC should be that concerned about you if you are can't be bothered to spend the cost of one card to play an enteral PTQ season?

If you just started playing Magic today, then the budget might be tight. If you follow this column, he's been telling you to get scalding tarn for a long, long time when it was a lot cheaper. And as far as the first poster goes, SCG happens to have them on sale for $12.59 right now. That is retail, and if you work at it, you can pay less than that.

I really don't understand why this series gets so much hate. A great player gives game logs explaining how to play high-level Magic and with a deck often less than the cost of 1 copy of the most expensive card in the format. And you people want more? Greed was a card name used too soon. It should have been an unhindged card about this mentality.
I really don't understand why this series gets so much hate. A great player gives game logs explaining how to play high-level Magic and with a deck often less than the cost of 1 copy of the most expensive card in the format. And you people want more? Greed was a card name used too soon. It should have been an unhindged card about this mentality.


1.) Just because some cards are ridiculously expensive doesn't mean that any deck costing less than one of them should be considered budget. There's a bottle of wine that costs $1500; does that mean that any meal that costs $1500 or less is a budget meal? No.
2.) If he splurges for a card that is integral to the deck, such as a rare he's building around, that's fine (provided it's not too expensive). But splurging for lands is not what budget is about. Basic lands, or more budget duals such as the Ravnica karoos (which artificially increase your land count, allowing you to play fewer lands, similar to the fetches' thinning), or Terramorphic Expanse, aren't that big a step down. You may have to hold off on your combo for one more turn, but considering how early the combo can happen that doesn't matter much.
Yes, it's obvious which cards replace the duals when making the deck properly budget. That still doesn't answer the question: why couldn't he do what he's done a few times in the past and give us the actual budget deck, and then in a paragraph or subsection at the end give us an "improving the deck if you've got a bigger budget" section in which he tells us which lands to cut for duals, etc.? Heck, just having that section every week, so that he can appease both the budget-seekers and the competitive players each week, would be brilliant.
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Deck seems good. Dont be suprised if Wotc bans the other rituals to keep storm out
I really don't understand why this series gets so much hate. A great player gives game logs explaining how to play high-level Magic and with a deck often less than the cost of 1 copy of the most expensive card in the format. And you people want more? Greed was a card name used too soon. It should have been an unhindged card about this mentality.


1.) Just because some cards are ridiculously expensive doesn't mean that any deck costing less than one of them should be considered budget. There's a bottle of wine that costs $1500; does that mean that any meal that costs $1500 or less is a budget meal? No.
2.) If he splurges for a card that is integral to the deck, such as a rare he's building around, that's fine (provided it's not too expensive). But splurging for lands is not what budget is about. Basic lands, or more budget duals such as the Ravnica karoos (which artificially increase your land count, allowing you to play fewer lands, similar to the fetches' thinning), or Terramorphic Expanse, aren't that big a step down. You may have to hold off on your combo for one more turn, but considering how early the combo can happen that doesn't matter much.
Yes, it's obvious which cards replace the duals when making the deck properly budget. That still doesn't answer the question: why couldn't he do what he's done a few times in the past and give us the actual budget deck, and then in a paragraph or subsection at the end give us an "improving the deck if you've got a bigger budget" section in which he tells us which lands to cut for duals, etc.? Heck, just having that section every week, so that he can appease both the budget-seekers and the competitive players each week, would be brilliant.



Point 1: Budget is relative in Magic. If I go to Gordon Ramsay's restaurant, then I shouldn't expect to get out of there cheap. If I go to a modern tournament, I shouldn't expect to be competitive for less than in standard. If you are going to pay an entry fee to play modern, you shouldn't throw it away. The deck has to be competitive enough to suggest your money wasn't wasted. For modern, the deck is going to cost something.

Point 2: If you are on combo, by turn 4 is where you must win. The stated goals of the format mean that is what the speed of the game is. You cannot slow the deck down with ineffective lands. Terramorphic expanse does not get dual lands, and they come into play tapped. You have to have an untapped land capable of letting you play all your spells as soon as you make your land drop, or you will not be winning turn 4. I think JVL did a good job making the mana base as cheap as possible while making the deck work.

SCG ran a very good budget column for many years by Chris Romeo. He basically based the series on the opposite of your argument. He said invest in real estate. Once you have that, you have the options to play tons of other cheap cards. Had you picked up scalding tarns, which have been a very popular card in this series, you could have played them in many, many decks suggested by the author. If you go and get grave titans instead, your options for decks are significantly lower-especially for eternal play.

If you are a budget player, Modern may not really be for you. If you are interested in playing the Modern PTQ season without having to get a lot of cards that shot up in value after Modern was announced, this article might be a decent place to start. You've also got a few months to find the cards. Other forum posters are suggesting this stragety may still be strong enough that further bannings are needed. That is pretty good for a deck this cheap. It would be a great disservice to readers to put an article out there about a Modern deck that is going to get crushed. If you are pinching pennies, then that entry fee evaporates when you register a non-competitive deck, and that entry fee could have been used to acquire better cards.
Right, time to let my voice be heard.

My problem with building on a budget is the "on a budget" part. Let me clarify this. Previous authors gave you a guideline what they were working with (wether it be real life dollar prices or mtg online currency). This is missing now. The best you can get is a "these cards should be easily acquirable" or "these might be hard to obtain". That is in no way a measure of how we're building ON A BUDGET!

I understand the discussion I see in this thread, about the current deck being expensive or not. This is where a guideline by the author would tremendously help. You could state that modern decks are more expensive and then set a maximum ammount of budget that you want to throw at the deck, based on the information you have on current modern deck prices. At least then readers know what they are working with.

I read through the four latest articles and all of them suffer the same problem: no guideline whatsoever of what the budget is or even an indication of the budget. Just to give an example, I took the two decks from his heartless article. As I'm dutch, I took the prices from one of the bigger dutch internet sites that ship cards. I understand that prices may vary, I do give a conversion to dollars based on the current euro to dollars rating. I took the prices from all the cards in the deck, exclusing the basic land obviously.

First deck costs: 51.40 euro, so 71.08 dollar

Second deck costs: 74,90 euro , so 103.57 dollar

That doesnt scream budget to me but that is obviously open to discussion. But this took me under 5 minutes to complete, I wonder why Jacob doesn't.
I was an avid reader of BoaB back when JMS ran the column. Now obviously it's changed a lot since then and the focus is now on building 'budget' competitive decks rather than budget fun or interesting decks (theme deck evolutions etc).

That's cool, I have less interest in the column, but it's still BoaB.

Except it isn't. Because the budget isn't clear at all, as other posters have pointed out. There is a general notion that the author should avoid very expensive cards,... but there are no clear guidelines and that's quite apart from the fact that for many people the 'budget' deck is way more than they would be willing to pay and definitely isn't a 'budget deck'.

There are essentially two meanings of building on a budget. Building something on the cheap and building something to a clear budget (cost per card guidelines, a running total etc). This article is doing half of one and none of the other.
"I say we take off and ban every card with storm from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
I like how now, all his modern decks just get creamed by this one. He now rages at its overpoweredness.
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