02/22/2012 BoaB: "Optimal Brain Buffet"

29 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.
No. This is not budget. The 4x Gravecrawler and 4x Messenger take it out of budget. Budget for whole deck is $54.89 low end, $74.77 midrange and $114.92 high end on TCGplayer.

Add in the fact that it's unoriginal, and you've got a bad BoaB deck.

I'm ususally the one defending him, too.     
What was Ornithopter doing in the opponent's deck?
Yeah, I'm going to have to agree on this one. The core pieces would price about 70 or so in my local area, and while that is 'technically' budget friendly, it also assumes that all the commons/uncommons were obtained in drafts, generally.

I don't see any real reason that this deck just decided not to pretend to be a budget deck, and add the BSZ's that are needed to handle the Delver and token Matchups.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
On these articles I'd recommend talking through a couple alternative ways to go with the deck, so your audience can flow better with what they already have.  Maybe somebody already has Drowned Catacombs, and you could mention the obvious blue splash for Diregraf Captains & Mana Leaks, or go Red for burn / sac. outlets like some of the Bx PT decks from a couple weeks ago.

And yeah, budget is questionable.  Gravecrawlers are still 7-8 at shops, and Messengers are around 5.  So that's not toooo bad on paper, but Online this is pretty rough, since those guys were just released and are both going for 8-10 apiece as of this post.  Considering how much of your audience is on modo, that's kind of a bust.  Maybe this would have been a better deck for a month or two from now, after the release prices come down.
This column really needs to give alternatives. Discuss money cards that could potentially be added or which cards could replace the rather expensive rares that are in it now (though I doubt those are available).
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Instead of just posting what you see as flaws, how about suggesting a cheaper alternative list that functions equally well, or better? If you can do that then you may have something. I've tried playing cheaper decks in Standard wthout any high dollar value cards (e.g. U/W Humans w/o Hero of Bladehold or Geist of St. Traft, U/R w/o Stromkirk Noble, etc.), and they tend not to do very well. I'm not saying it's impossible, just very difficult. 

Other than the Messengers and Gravecrawlers, this is a very cheap deck. But let's face it, if you're playing Zombies without Messengers and Gravecrawlers in Standard, you're playing sub-par Zombies. It does seem likely that the deck could be better with a Blue splash. But then it needs some sort of dual land, because you need every land to produce black mana for the Messengers to be good. So that adds a minimum of about $20 to the deck right there (and that's assuming Drowned Catacomb is the land being used).

My opinion is that we should cut Jacob some slack here. The definition of 'budget' has to be a much higher dollar/ticket value than it was a few years ago, due to singles prices going through the roof in recent years, especially for paper cards. I think he's doing the best he can with a very difficult column.   It's Building on a Budget, not 'Building Dirt Cheap and Terrible' or 'Building for the Pro Tour' so there have to be some compromises made. 
Both the Messenger and Gravecrawler are among the 10 most expensive Dark Ascension cards on MTGO, so aren't those the kind of cards to generally avoid in a BoaB column? Yes, you can define 'budget' any way you like, but you could just as well define it as anything but Huntmaster of the Fells or Sorin, Lord of Innistrad (as long as we're talking Dark Ascension). Not very restrictive.

I can understand that he wanted to build a competitive deck featuring an undying card, but why pick the single most expensive undying card? There are plenty of others for microfractions of the price, and they could still be cornerstones of competitive decks. The answer probably is because he loves zombies. And that's part of my problem with this article - I do too, and my favorite deck has just been made even more expensive before I've had the chance to put it together!
What about the glaring omission of Skirsdag High Priest?  With all of the morbid being activated in this deck, seeing a turn 3 5/5 flying demon is not out of the question.  I'm not sure many decks have a good answer for that, save for a morbid Brimstone Volley or Oblivion Ring.  Even then, it's a token demon, and one that could easily be made over and over again in a deck like this.  

Then again, you could just go watch the deck tech video from PT DKA and see that exact deck.  Splashing red for Kuldotha Rebirth means easily having enough guys to tap/sacrafice again. 
sure you just topdecked the singleton Gruesome Discovery just in time to save you
What a stupid article and waste of my time. It's like he wrote this 2 weeks before the set came out and then didn't bother checking if his 'budget' cards had actually increased in value.  Come on Wizards, at least try to do some research for these!
What about the glaring omission of Skirsdag High Priest?  With all of the morbid being activated in this deck, seeing a turn 3 5/5 flying demon is not out of the question.  I'm not sure many decks have a good answer for that, save for a morbid Brimstone Volley or Oblivion Ring.  Even then, it's a token demon, and one that could easily be made over and over again in a deck like this.  

Then again, you could just go watch the deck tech video from PT DKA and see that exact deck.  Splashing red for Kuldotha Rebirth means easily having enough guys to tap/sacrafice again. 



This is perfect answer. Swap two Messengers for two High Priests and drop the deck price by $10, make it faster and easier to aquire.
Now I'm still pretty new to Magic, only about 8months in. I don't have a huge knowledge base as far as older sets go. Wouldn't a card like black sun zenith sync up well with the undying deck concept here? Even if you only plated with one which at most go for around 8 online. Draw it, dump the mana, wipe the bored unafraid of repercussions and go at them next turn. I really liked the article being that I use to run a mono black zombie deck myself. Thought I'd give my two cents on the topic.
What a stupid article and waste of my time. It's like he wrote this 2 weeks before the set came out and then didn't bother checking if his 'budget' cards had actually increased in value.  Come on Wizards, at least try to do some research for these!



Actually, Geralf's Messenger and Gravecrawler have both -FALLEN- from their inital pricepoints.  Messenger started at $8 and has fallen to $6 and under, Crawler has similarly gone down from $10 to $7-8.

Nobody is really hanging onto Messengers right now, with a little aggressive trading you can get them without spending a cent.  It's what I did, and I got mine at Prerelease weekend.  Crawlers are a little harder to get, but they were also a Promo card so they can be acquired with just a little effort.

It's not that bad, guys.  Really.
Highborn Ghoul is like two invisible stalkers? Are you kidding?

That's just a blatant and poor attempt at deception there. 

3,000th post: September 5, 2010 4,000th post: March 24, 2012 Winner of the YMTC Ravnica War of the Guilds contest as guild Dimir.

Snapcaster Mage is the best card of all time. How do you deal?

I don't know what you would replace Gravecrawler with and keep the thing "budget." Really, that's the card that gives Zombies any shot in current standard. Without that, it's just subpar.
I think a budget zombie deck can be made, but this is JvLs article so instead of budget we'll make an Obvious Tier-2 Deck. The only thing in this pile that is remotely interesting is thinking that a 4 mana mind rot is good enough.

Maybe if you tried to innovate or build on a budget your forum responses wouldn't read like hate mail. No one reads your articles to go onto the gravy train. You can build fun but slightly janky budget decks. They don't need to be uber-consistent. People want fun with potential to win, not can be metagamed to win against the decks that won the last pro-tour.

How bout a red splash for some Bump in the Nights or a blue splash for Diegraf Captain? Those are some budget cards that haven't gotten much play (though the Captain is also really Obvious). This deck just builds istelf unless you do something interesting/innovative. How many people needed to be told:

4 Gravecrawler
4 Diegraf Ghoul
4 Highborn Ghoul
X Cemetary Reaper
X Geralf's Messenger 

go well together? 

Nobody is really hanging onto Messengers right now, with a little aggressive trading you can get them without spending a cent.  It's what I did, and I got mine at Prerelease weekend.  Crawlers are a little harder to get, but they were also a Promo card so they can be acquired with just a little effort.

It's not that bad, guys.  Really.


QFT.

When I picked up Magic and started going to FNM tournaments back around the time when Worldwake came out, I definately considered myself a budget player. I didn't have a lot of money, and wasn't even really interested in investing too much money in the game if I did have the money at the time. However, I could still crack open or draft one or two rare cards like the ones mentioned in this article, or end up trading for them with relative ease (and persistence). 

My experience was that the more competitive (non-budget) players were trying to obtain and use cards that were in top decks. If I ever opened a highly competitve (and frequently valuable) card, like a planeswalker, I knew I'd never be able to afford to get enough of them to play with. So, I traded them to the players that were invested enough in the game to obtain a playset of said card. In return I'd get cards I needed that fall into the price range of Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger.

Sometimes it would take me 1-3 weeks to obtain all the cards I needed for the deck I was working on. It wasn't always easy, and sometimes I'd have to wait even longer for a fourth copy of that one card I really needed. I currently see other players who are like how I was, and have to trade aggressively to get the cards they need. But, they still manage to do it. It's really not that hard...
This is not original, it is not a budget deck, and Gruesome Discovery? Are you joking? Still, this gave me ideas, and I am building a mono-black Zombies list, but I haven't been a budget player since 2009 and I'm packing Obliterators and BSZ.

I still find it impossible you forgot about Skirsdag High Priest and Geth's Verdict, so I give this article a 35%.

Nobody is really hanging onto Messengers right now, with a little aggressive trading you can get them without spending a cent.  It's what I did, and I got mine at Prerelease weekend.  Crawlers are a little harder to get, but they were also a Promo card so they can be acquired with just a little effort.

It's not that bad, guys.  Really.


QFT.

When I picked up Magic and started going to FNM tournaments back around the time when Worldwake came out, I definately considered myself a budget player. I didn't have a lot of money, and wasn't even really interested in investing too much money in the game if I did have the money at the time. However, I could still crack open or draft one or two rare cards like the ones mentioned in this article, or end up trading for them with relative ease (and persistence). 

My experience was that the more competitive (non-budget) players were trying to obtain and use cards that were in top decks. If I ever opened a highly competitve (and frequently valuable) card, like a planeswalker, I knew I'd never be able to afford to get enough of them to play with. So, I traded them to the players that were invested enough in the game to obtain a playset of said card. In return I'd get cards I needed that fall into the price range of Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger.

Sometimes it would take me 1-3 weeks to obtain all the cards I needed for the deck I was working on. It wasn't always easy, and sometimes I'd have to wait even longer for a fourth copy of that one card I really needed. I currently see other players who are like how I was, and have to trade aggressively to get the cards they need. But, they still manage to do it. It's really not that hard...



Your arguement assumes that A) There are people in everyone's play group who have the cards and are willing to trade for them; and B) That people actually have the time or cards to trade.

Trading never worked for me. People in all the groups I've played in have tended to hord cards. (and having been playing on and off for over a decade, thats a lot of groups.) Sometimes its because they think the cards will be valuable or good. Others simply because your interested in it.

Anyway, the article isn't Building from Trades; its Building on a Budget.

I'm typically the one that says that he has gone over budget. I feel he went high on this one. However, JVL has been doing fairly good on the prices lately. And this one isn't extremely bad (save for the high cost). So, I'm fine with overlooking it.

I would like him to keep up with the adding money parts. This article lacked it. Sometimes the picks are obvious. Other times, the cheaper versions may be very different then you'd expect.

As a final note, I also think that more originality is in order. Last week was basically a Part 2 (and not of the Godfather persuasion). I won't knock him for Zombie's that much, though. After all, any tribal deck isn't going to be very original.

I suggest that those who are complaining about originality send JVL some deck ideas. It can't be easy trying to come up with an original idea every week. My suggestion: Essence of the Wild! I enjoy the Legacy version I built for my wife. Be interesting to see where JVL would go with that. 

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.

Maybe what's necessary for JVL at this point is to make 2 versions of each deck: One for tournaments and one for casuals.  Present both, playtest the casual in the casual room and the tournament in the tournament practice room.  And you have a valid way of making everyone happy.  It'll look like Nate's / JMS's old approach of "Here's a budget deck, here's how you add money to it", but the "add money to it" will be more fleshed out.
I don't know that saying this deck isnt budget is fair.  what truely competitve standard deck is or has been in years?  It seems like ever since the advent of the mythic rare the price of standard decks have just gone through the roof.

The rares in the main board are around 70+ if you go by median price on tcgplayer.

Compare that to any of the top tier decks that at their lowest go for 300+.  So by compariosn when this deck fully bought is around 100, id say thats a budget.

RDW is probably the cheapest thing thats even competitive.  And it still nears 100 at its low end, depending on if you have koths, heros, or if you have the luxury of swords in your side.

I don't know that saying this deck isnt budget is fair.  what truely competitve standard deck is or has been in years?  It seems like ever since the advent of the mythic rare the price of standard decks have just gone through the roof.

The rares in the main board are around 70+ if you go by median price on tcgplayer.

Compare that to any of the top tier decks that at their lowest go for 300+.  So by compariosn when this deck fully bought is around 100, id say thats a budget.

RDW is probably the cheapest thing thats even competitive.  And it still nears 100 at its low end, depending on if you have koths, heros, or if you have the luxury of swords in your side.



The thing is though, my bugdet isnt defined in anyway by competitive decks, so you can compare what you want, its not going to make it more or less budget.

I personly think that JVL is doing a better job on the budget lately, so 1 deck thats a litle more expensive is fine with me, as long its not happening every week. And to be honost i think its R&D that ****ed the price, since the invention of mythics, planeswalkers and 'the new world order', the prices have gone up like hell.  
I don't know that saying this deck isnt budget is fair.  what truely competitve standard deck is or has been in years?  It seems like ever since the advent of the mythic rare the price of standard decks have just gone through the roof.

The rares in the main board are around 70+ if you go by median price on tcgplayer.

Compare that to any of the top tier decks that at their lowest go for 300+.  So by compariosn when this deck fully bought is around 100, id say thats a budget.

RDW is probably the cheapest thing thats even competitive.  And it still nears 100 at its low end, depending on if you have koths, heros, or if you have the luxury of swords in your side.



The thing is though, my bugdet isnt defined in anyway by competitive decks, so you can compare what you want, its not going to make it more or less budget.

I personly think that JVL is doing a better job on the budget lately, so 1 deck thats a litle more expensive is fine with me, as long its not happening every week. And to be honost i think its R&D that ****ed the price, since the invention of mythics, planeswalkers and 'the new world order', the prices have gone up like hell.  



R&D didn't mess up the price.  The stores and venders messed up the price.  R&D didn't want mythic to be a "higher" rarity but the venders didn't get the memo.  Venders interpreted mythic as a higher rarity and an excuse to drive prices through the roof.

R&Ds intention was expressed in www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a... .  Also, I do not believe that R&D does not set the price for cards.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
For those who find making trades difficult, I suggest changing tactics a bit.  I almost never have problems trading for cards because what I do is trade for cards that I need for the deck I want to build (usually just one or two at a time) and anything else in my binder is open for business.  That way, I end up undervaluing 'good' cards that I'm not using. If you do this for a while, people will want to trade with you because they might get a good 'deal' by trading with you.
~ 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)
For those who find making trades difficult, I suggest changing tactics a bit.  I almost never have problems trading for cards because what I do is trade for cards that I need for the deck I want to build (usually just one or two at a time) and anything else in my binder is open for business.  That way, I end up undervaluing 'good' cards that I'm not using. If you do this for a while, people will want to trade with you because they might get a good 'deal' by trading with you.


I can only speak for my self, but my problem with trading is, that there are just not enough people in my area playing magic, so may get 2 copies of a card, but getting 4 is really hard. But i have to admit that if i was a little bit more tournament focused instead of casual, it could be easier. It will still be hard though.

I don't know that saying this deck isnt budget is fair.  what truely competitve standard deck is or has been in years?  It seems like ever since the advent of the mythic rare the price of standard decks have just gone through the roof.

The rares in the main board are around 70+ if you go by median price on tcgplayer.

Compare that to any of the top tier decks that at their lowest go for 300+.  So by compariosn when this deck fully bought is around 100, id say thats a budget.

RDW is probably the cheapest thing thats even competitive.  And it still nears 100 at its low end, depending on if you have koths, heros, or if you have the luxury of swords in your side.



The thing is though, my bugdet isnt defined in anyway by competitive decks, so you can compare what you want, its not going to make it more or less budget.

I personly think that JVL is doing a better job on the budget lately, so 1 deck thats a litle more expensive is fine with me, as long its not happening every week. And to be honost i think its R&D that ****ed the price, since the invention of mythics, planeswalkers and 'the new world order', the prices have gone up like hell.  



R&D didn't mess up the price.  The stores and venders messed up the price.  R&D didn't want mythic to be a "higher" rarity but the venders didn't get the memo.  Venders interpreted mythic as a higher rarity and an excuse to drive prices through the roof.

R&Ds intention was expressed in www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a... .  Also, I do not believe that R&D does not set the price for cards.


Look, i dont thin R&D or wizards in general wanted the price to go up, i even think they do not set the price in anyway, but they influence the price a lot with rarity. Just check older Boab decks, even JVL had a time is decks were about 40, but lately the price has gone sky high. My best guess is that  new world order. Sure it was never the purpose of wizards, but is a very annoying side effect.

Your prob rigth about: "Venders interpreted mythic as a higher rarity and an excuse to drive prices through the roof." but if mythics never were made, this could for example not happen,
and for budget tight players this can be annoying

R&D didn't mess up the price.  The stores and venders messed up the price.  R&D didn't want mythic to be a "higher" rarity but the venders didn't get the memo.  Venders interpreted mythic as a higher rarity and an excuse to drive prices through the roof.

R&Ds intention was expressed in www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a... .  Also, I do not believe that R&D does not set the price for cards.

Price is not directly controlled by any individual or organization. Price, at least in a free market, is set by Supply and Demand. That is to say, how hard it is to get a copy of a card you want, and how many people want a copy of that card.
Price can, however, be indirectly controlled. Wizards of the Coast controls the Supply through rarities, and by making certain cards better than others, also has a hand in the Demand. The fact is, in the last few years Wizards has been making (most) Mythic Rares just plain better than cards of other rarities, which increases the demand for Mythic Rares, while their supply remains low. The most obvious example, of course, is the $100+ per copy Jace, the Mind Sculptor, which Wizards made so good that it was a four-of in every deck that could play it, but so rare that it took eighty booster packs to get a single copy. They, fortunately, haven't messed up that badly since, but as long as they continue using rarity as an excuse to cross the power level boundary, they're making Mythic Rares more expensive, and more necessary to build competitive decks. The combination of the use of rarity to increase power level, and the focus on designing for Limited-only at the lower rarities, has made it much more difficult to build a deck without the rarest, most expensive cards in the set.
Saying that the stores and venders messed up is folly. If people weren't willing to pay the prices the stores set, then they wouldn't sell the cards and would be forced to drop the price. Also, the price they set isn't based on their perception of how many of a given card they can open; the price they set is based on how many of that card they actually have in stock. Perception of rarity only matters on the micro level, to those who only open a relatively small number of boosters.

Regarding the article you referenced:
Yes, the rarity of a Mythic Rare in a small set is the same as the rarity of a Rare in a large set back when set sizes were bigger. But contrary to what that article would have you believe, the rarity of a Mythic Rare in a large set is rarer than any card has ever been; Both the core set and the timeshifted sheet were exclusively reprinted cards, so there were already copies of those cards in supply.
Also, the problem isn't exclusively rarity, it's also power level. After all, Tarmogoyf was more common than any Mythic Rare these days is, and it was still ridiculously expensive because they made it too good. Rather than learn from that mistake, they've just continued doing it at a higher rarity.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
This column really needs to give alternatives. Discuss money cards that could potentially be added or which cards could replace the rather expensive rares that are in it now (though I doubt those are available).

I completely agree with this, great opinion.

Tread lightly.

I don't know that saying this deck isnt budget is fair.  what truely competitve standard deck is or has been in years?  It seems like ever since the advent of the mythic rare the price of standard decks have just gone through the roof.

The rares in the main board are around 70+ if you go by median price on tcgplayer.

Compare that to any of the top tier decks that at their lowest go for 300+.  So by compariosn when this deck fully bought is around 100, id say thats a budget.

RDW is probably the cheapest thing thats even competitive.  And it still nears 100 at its low end, depending on if you have koths, heros, or if you have the luxury of swords in your side.



The thing is though, my bugdet isnt defined in anyway by competitive decks, so you can compare what you want, its not going to make it more or less budget.

I personly think that JVL is doing a better job on the budget lately, so 1 deck thats a litle more expensive is fine with me, as long its not happening every week. And to be honost i think its R&D that ****ed the price, since the invention of mythics, planeswalkers and 'the new world order', the prices have gone up like hell.  



R&D didn't mess up the price.  The stores and venders messed up the price.  R&D didn't want mythic to be a "higher" rarity but the venders didn't get the memo.  Venders interpreted mythic as a higher rarity and an excuse to drive prices through the roof.

R&Ds intention was expressed in www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a... .  Also, I do not believe that R&D does not set the price for cards.



The higher rarity does have some effect on the cards prices. However, the simple fact that there are far fewer of the Mythic Rare is what drives the prices up so much. Wizards had to know this.

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.