02/15/2012 BoaB: "Waste Not, Want Not"

20 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this week's Building on a Budget, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
This deck is very similar to one you built a month ago:
www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Not sure it was worth it here. He just got Secrets of the Dead, Thought Scour, and Altar of the Lost out of the deal, and I'm still not convinced Altar is a better call than Sphere of the Suns or even Manalith, especially since he's not maxing out the number of flashback cards. Plus he did have Secrets of the Dead last time because preview article and all that.

Personally, I'm running a completely different build. I've found that digging quickly via Faithless Looting, Desperate Ravings and Think Twice usually sets up a Burning Vengeance turn 3. Once the Vengeance is down, all else is secondary. Honestly you're better off using the counter to save the Vengeance instead of on threats. The deck doesn't have a ton of staying power, so you are relying on pushing through Burning Vengeance damage. By the time they're landing Titans you should already know if you're going to win or not.

Admittedly I'm not running a top of the line Vengeance deck, but I've found that early card finding to get the Vengeance followed by cheap Vengeance chains set up via Dream Twist and Faithless Looting tend to be your best bet. Also: Increasing Confusion is surpisingly useful simply as a card that you can flashback for . The deck goes through cards fast enough with stuff like Faithless Looting that you rarely get stuck holding it, and in a pinch you can mill out the opponent. (X will be a lot because you're rarely missing land drops) Running 2 Secrets of the Dead is definitely the right call. More than one rarely helps that much because you just never want to play it.

That's my experience thus far with Burning Vengeance. I'll cede the fact that I'm not a deckbuilding expert or a professional player, but I figured I'd throw in my 2¢.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
It's not budget any more, but replacing Secrets of the Dead with Snapcaster seems the way to go.
Grafdigger's Cage.


You'd be surprised how many people aren't running it. At a higher level tournament, Vengeance.dec is worthless anyways, and at the FNM level people aren't dumping $10+ on a sideboard card. Besides, you can always side in Ancient Grudge to counter the Cage.

Everybody keeps throwing around the Cage it's something everybody has all the time, but it really isn't, especially not at the FNM level. Honestly, Nihil Spellbomb is the card to worry about at FNM since people actually have it and run it in the side to fight Snapcaster Mage and Unburial Rites. That or Revoke Existence or Oblivion Ring or Mana Leak or Naturalize or... on your Burning Vengeance. It's very difficult for Vengeance.dec to pull out a win without the Vengeance, so if they can keep it off the table, they can easily snag the win.

Fun note: Exactly 0 Grafdigger's Cages could be found in the sideboards of the Top 8 at the last Pro Tour. Of all the 18+ point decks, exactly three had Cages, and even then only in 1 or 2 ofs. Those decks could still stomp Vengeance in any number of other ways, but that doesn't change the fact that the Cage is not as big of a threat as everybody says.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I expect to see more Grafdigger's Cage in Standard. It's a cheap, easy way to remove the virtual card advantage the Delver decks have in the form of their graveyard and Snapcaster Mage. 

Also, Elesh Norn is more money than it's ever been before. People have shoved it into Wolfrun, Birthing Pod, control, etc. Estratti's 5-color Wolfrun does about nothing but cast Elesh Norn. I don't think the price is going anywhere. 
I expect to see more Grafdigger's Cage in Standard. It's a cheap, easy way to remove the virtual card advantage the Delver decks have in the form of their graveyard and Snapcaster Mage. 

Also, Elesh Norn is more money than it's ever been before. People have shoved it into Wolfrun, Birthing Pod, control, etc. Estratti's 5-color Wolfrun does about nothing but cast Elesh Norn. I don't think the price is going anywhere. 




Elesh Norn sees play because it kills the majority of creatures that see serious play outside of titans and thrun.  Everything else has a tendency to ie immediately.  So it in no way compares to Grafdigger's Cage9which is what I assume you are going for since you are the only one to mention Elesh Norn.  And as far as the Cage goes, after not seeing play in the top 8 of the pro tour or any major appearances in SCG open's I highly doubt its a sideboard card one should really worry about.
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.
The cage is really a bad card, right now especially. You MIGHT see spellbombs because they actually interact with Moorland Haunt, something worth doing. Solar Flare type decks just aren't on the radar right now (and even if they were, Vapor Snag tends to deal with reanimation strategies). It's not a card to expect. Even if it were, it's not like you're not running 4x grudge out of the board, right? 

Anyway, I'm in the same school of thought as Dragon_Nut, that "gimmicky" cards like Altar of the Lost and Secrets of the Dead are just bad for this deck. All of your flashback cards are card draw (ok, most of them, but still), and you want to be using that card draw as an engine of sorts with the Vengeance.  It's almost as if playing a Secrets of the Dead is a literal timewalk against yourself. You spend a card and a turn to do nothing relevant. That's a really bad thing, because standard right now is "fill my deck with relevant cards and just kind of get there before my opponent can", and this deck is pretty watered down with cards that just aren't powerful enough (or at all). You can't afford to miss a beat.

On that note, playing 21 lands is kind of a pipe dream. Don't do it. Just... don't. I run 26 and I think I'm  risking being land light. 

Unlike Dragon_Nut's description though, I think the Vengeance deck can be better run as a control-ish build that just seeks to stabilize the board then just kind of win out of nowhere. I mean, I know it's rough to justify getting ahold of 4x snapcaster mage, but it's worth it. They'll hold their value for a long long time (and probably go up) and they're very liquid in the trading community, so if you ever want to get out of playing with him, it's not hard to do. The reason I bring him up is because he just makes all of your cards better. He's a Mana Leak when you need him to be, he's a Whipflare when you need him to be, he's an Incinerate when you need him to be. I don't know how many times I've won on the back of Incinerate, Snapcaster Incinerate, untap, swing for 2 (Then maybe Devil's play, but still). Two cards, 8 damage. It's pretty impressive.

My last thought: Faithless Looting is an amazing card. Never play less than 4x. So very good.


tl;dr: You need to play tight and not miss relevant stuff, 21 lands is light, Snapcaster is worth it, and Faithless looting is a 4x.  
I expect to see more Grafdigger's Cage in Standard. It's a cheap, easy way to remove the virtual card advantage the Delver decks have in the form of their graveyard and Snapcaster Mage. 

Also, Elesh Norn is more money than it's ever been before. People have shoved it into Wolfrun, Birthing Pod, control, etc. Estratti's 5-color Wolfrun does about nothing but cast Elesh Norn. I don't think the price is going anywhere. 




Elesh Norn sees play because it kills the majority of creatures that see serious play outside of titans and thrun.  Everything else has a tendency to ie immediately.  So it in no way compares to Grafdigger's Cage9which is what I assume you are going for since you are the only one to mention Elesh Norn.  And as far as the Cage goes, after not seeing play in the top 8 of the pro tour or any major appearances in SCG open's I highly doubt its a sideboard card one should really worry about.


He mentioned Elesh Norn because the article did at the end. JVL mentioned wanting Elesh Norn to get cheaper so he could build a Reanimation deck.

@Jimmuh: You can run Vengeance either way. I just happen to be running it in a faster style. Control might be slightly more effective but the problem I found was that once you start running a control build you start adding in more Dissipates and then you're adding Delver of Secrets because Delver, and then pretty soon you're cutting Burning Vengeance because the only two flashback cards still in your deck are Faithless Looting and Think Twice. (Also Snapcaster Mage) You're also winning more games at that point because UR Delver Control is actually a viable strategy, unlike Burning Vengeance. That said, Burning Vengeance can be a lot more fun to run, if only because it's such a weird deck.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Most unattractive deck of the month. The decks it's supposed to beat compose my FNM (I.E. RG ramp and Delver variants). It doesn't give me enough feel of control over these decks. Add in the fact that control takes the fun out of how I play, and I doubt that I'll actually build/play this.

Decks I'd like to see:

Hatebrew
Suicide Phyrexians, I.E. this: www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a... 
Rage Extractor deck
Splinterfright deck (you've been doing this a lot recently, but not since DAK was released.)
Agree/disagree with any?
Thought Increasing Vengeance might be mentioned.  I prefer Faithless Looting over Desperate Ravings 'cause I absolutely hate having to discard at random.  Just my two coppers.
Great article. Thanks for including a loss in your results   It was useful to see where the deck fell down.

The Burning Vengeance deck is probably too fragile to be highly competitive (once enchantment removal has been sideboarded in, that's usually the end of it), but I find it to be a very fun deck to play. There's a lot of card draw (who doesn't love drawing cards) and lots of meaningful decisions. A lot of my wins are cases where I'm at 4 life and my opponent is still at 20, but I've set everything up and locked them down between creature clearing Burning Vengeances and saved up Dissipates along with Snapcaster Mages. That always makes for an exciting win.

One useful card to combat the faster decks is Silent Departure. It slows down the opponent and provides fuel for the Burning Vengeance. Against a deck like RG Ramp, with a lot of ETB effects though, it is probably a detriment. Most of my games with the deck are Innistrad block games, so obviously it's an entirely different metagame.
A couple of errors in the walkthrough:
I played an Island on my first turn; my opponent played a Rootbound Crag. I cast Thought Scour during the endstep and milled a Think Twice and a land, then drew a Mana Leak. I drew a Dissipate for my turn and played an Island. My opponent cast a Rampant Growth and I let it resolve. I cast Desperate Ravings on the endstep, drew Secrets of the Dead and Burning Vengeance and discarded Secrets of the Dead.

Was the second land a mountain?
I drew Altar of the Lost and cast it. My opponent cast a Huntmaster of the Fells. I used my Altar of the Lost and a land to flashback my Desperate Ravings

It looks like you flashed back Desperate Ravings on your opponent's turn immediately after the turn when you cast Altar of the Lost. Altar of the Lost enters the battlefield tapped.
I drew Altar of the Lost and cast it. My opponent cast a Huntmaster of the Fells. I used my Altar of the Lost and a land to flashback my Desperate Ravings

It looks like you flashed back Desperate Ravings on your opponent's turn immediately after the turn when you cast Altar of the Lost. Altar of the Lost enters the battlefield tapped.



Heh... I had just come back to the thread because I realized I forgot to mention this in my post. My guess is that someone didn't read their card closely...
To handle the spirit decks: Corrosive Gale.

Boom de ada.
Gotta say, this is a hugely disappointing article. He already made pretty much this same deck already a while ago, except now with metgame choices and inconsequential cards like Thought Scour. He also misread Altar of the Lost, so in order to not tap out for it you need 5+ land already.

I do agree with his land count though. I would agree even more if he had Faithless Looting to dig for them.

Oh how very, very wrong he is about Faithless Looting and "maximizing value". So many times I find myself wanting to play a Burning Vengeance, but then realizing it's not worth it when there's nothing in my graveyard yet (and I can't both play & flashback anything with only 4 mana). Faithless Looting lets me curve out much better, Mana Leak something, and still get an early vengeance in play with a threatening flashback card in the graveyard already. It's also much more efficient than Thought Scour or Ponder at pushing through a mana flood.
Besides that, the card advantage isn't even necessary. Really you just want to be flashbacking cards to deal damage, and it's convenient that they provide you more cards to flashback (I don't like Secrets for the same reason). I'd much rather a couple Vengeance in play, nothing in hand, and a couple Ravings to flasback than a full hand, 2 Vengeance... but no graveyard. The latter takes a lot of mana to use fast.

[/rant]

I agree about having a couple copies of Silent Departure. If you're racing, I'm more than happy to bounce even a Titan for a coule turns if it means getting another ~4-8 damage in to kill them.

Personal preference: I like having 4 Delvers in either the main or the sideboard, depending on what you expect opponents to have in their maindeck. It flips >50% of the time (another benefit of low land count), and it requires very different answers than the Vengeance (besides Oblivion Ring, for which we now have Ray of Revelation to go along with our Ancient Grudge, if you feel like adding a third color).

All that said, it's hard to know all this for certain without online testing, instead of just relying on my few offline games. But I'll be very surprised if JVL turns out to be right about Looting.
This felt like a half hearted repeat.

I find it very interesting that Green has such a huge presence in Standard. There is a large variety of other decks, I know. But, I can't remember the last time Green was such a massive threat. Valakut, The Molten Pinnacle and Vengevine decks were never able to knock off Caw-Blade or Exarch Twin decks.

 

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.

I was surprised to NOT see Dream Twist or Devil's Play in the original. The latter is only a dollar. I am not a professional player, but I agree that more land may be better. I'd suggest 22-23 like in the original version someone on here reposted. Perhaps running some creatures like Delver of Secrets or Armored Skaab? They might be good to block large creatures and therefore buy time for a win? Armored Skaab is a common that might combo well with Burning Vengeance.
im trying the deck atm and altar is not so usefull so i would kick out 2 for 2 snap mainedekc