new player, BG grave-powered for FNM

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Played my first FNM this week, with an (knowingly) underprepared green grave-powered deck, just to meet people and see what others' decks were like. Turns out most people's decks are pretty solid. Got my ass wooped as expected, lol. But FNM is my only choice as I don't have any friends who play MtG (apart from two Facebook friends who I've met only once or twice).

Planning to do a major rework of the deck, which I need help with. Here's my new build so far:

version 1

(total = 60 cards)

I'm on a budget. As much as I would love Woodland Cemetery, I'm not going to spend that much money.

Help in improving this deck before I go and buy the cards I'm missing would be greatly appreciated. I'll take on board any suggestions, so long as the deck can stay GB and grave-powered. Sideboard suggestions are welcome, but I probably won't be running one until I've had more hands-on experience/play-testing.

Please look over the cards carefully so as to not miss any of the card interactions. Some I think are interesting and potent: Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord's sacrifice ability; Worldspine Wurm as a bomb for drawn-out games, and which combines amazingly well with Jarad's aforementioned ability; Ghoulcaller's Chant for bringing back two zombie type creatures at once, of which I have 10 ( Ghoultrees, return to my hand! Yay!); Lotleth Troll enabling me to pump up my graveyard directly from my hand.

Note: I'm worried about not having any answers to opponents' non-creature threats. Should I be?

Thanks in advance. I'm loving the forums!

EDIT: here's a link to the latest changes
I'm not going to give much advice since I don't play anything similar but I will say this; some of your cards appear at odds with each other. You need creatures in the graveyard for Boneyard Wurm, Splinterfright and Ghoultree, but Ghoulcaller's Chant takes creatures out of the graveyard. The same is true of Scavage effects.
I'm not going to give much advice since I don't play anything similar but I will say this; some of your cards appear at odds with each other. You need creatures in the graveyard for Boneyard Wurm, Splinterfright and Ghoultree, but Ghoulcaller's Chant takes creatures out of the graveyard. The same is true of Scavage effects.




If Ghoultree, Splinterfright or Jarad get milled into my graveyard, won't I want them back? That's what Ghoulcaller's Chant is for. Agree that Deadbridge Goliath's scavenge may not be that useful though... I'll wait for what others have to say.
Note: I'm worried about not having any answers to opponents' non-creature threats. Should I be?

You should be worried about Rest in Peace. I don't know that there is a real good answer for it: You can remove it with Abrupt Decay, which is good enough to mainboard, but that won't stop its enter the battlefield effect.

Just check the price for Abrupt Decay (and Lotleth Troll!)...
Let me reiterate: I'm on a budget. And I'm still new to MtG. I'm not going to splash more than $7 on a card, at least not at this point. So I can't include these cards at this point.
Here's your problem, you should keep this as a casual deck, but I can guarentee you this deck wont do well in FNM. There is WAY too much graveyard control in other decks (I can think of 5 cards off the top of my head), and almost every sideboard has at least 1 of them. However it doesnt mean you cant have fun with your graveyard, you just can't have your entire deck dependent on it. I adjusted your decklist for a possible deck that shouldnt be very expensive and may get you a win or two. I don't play GB, so it's nowhere near perfect, but allows you to have some graveyard fun still, while not relying on it.

There is WAY too much graveyard control in other decks (I can think of 5 cards off the top of my head), and almost every sideboard has at least 1 of them.



Ok, message recieved... *sigh*

To be honest, while the FNM I attended had a handful of quite hardcore players, there were plenty of casual players too, playing constructed. I don't mind losing against the hardcore players (I'll just daydream about all the money I'm saving). I also don't mind losing most of my games while I'm still new, if it means I'm learning.

Thanks for the decklist; I think I can put together something close enough with cards I already have.

Also, what's a fair price for Lotleth Troll? I've found prices ranging from $15 for a set of 4, to $15 for a single (!)
No worries! Just trying to be helpful. I've made tons and tons of mistakes myself, as I'm still pretty new to the game. The last two standard tournaments at my local shop I went 3-1(placed 4th), and 1-3. You learn from it and move on. Definitely chat up people at your local shop, my best advice is to ASK for advice. I have yet to meet someone who plays this game who doesn't want to help out another player.

With buying cards always always ALWAYS go for the cheapest option. Ebay and tcgplayer have relatively fair prices, but ebay is more about getting lucky. For Lotleth troll definitely go for the 4x for $15 if you can. 

Good luck and hope this helps!
hi!
I run a deck which have the same idea on our local FNM
currently i'm playing with this list. This list definitely plays around the graveyard. Some of these cards are not that budget friendly.

4 - Deathrite Shaman - life gain,lose life, mana ramp . Great utility card. 
4 - Ulvenwald Tracker - great creature removal. let them bash on your 10/10 creatures :D
4 - Lotleth Troll - stalls the game, a good beater if you discard some creature cards, basically just an enabler to drop a Boneyard Wurm or a Splinterfright
4 - Boneyard Wurm - basically one of your toughess creatures although it needs support from milling to get bigger. Good target for Disciple of Bolas
4 - Dreg Mangler - a 3/3 haste beater with scavenge
4 - Splinterfright - heart of this deck, the engine. :D
2 - Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord - if your Boneyard Wurm or Ghoultree becomes chump blocked? Throw them right into your opponents face. hehe :D
3 - Disciple of Bolas - low life? sacrifice some of your large creatures for life and card advantage
3 - Ghoultree - if you can drop this guy on turn 3 and they can't answer this one, your opponents clock will be ticking :D

4 - Grisly Salvage - multi purpose card, search for land, creature. sometimes this becomes a permanent +?/+? pump on your graveyard creatures. :D
4 - Mulch - not enough lands? a self mill + land search.

4 - Woodland Cemetery
4 - Overgrown Tomb
6 - Forest
6 - Swamp

Sideboard: i made this sideboard for graveyard hate, almost  a change of deck from graveyard to control/beatdown
4 - Abrupt Decay - any permanent with converted mana cost of 3 or less which i think is a threat definitely should go down. Usually i don't use this to destroy their Rest in Peace, i just let it sit there. :D
4 - Knight of Infamy
4 - Vampire Nighthawk
3 - Wolfir Silverheart

i've been messing with the sideboards lately, I hope this list gives you an idea. You should look at some other cards that may have a double purpose when you mill them away like Tracker's Instinct, Gnaw to the Bone etc.

Fear not the weapon, but the hand that wields it... hehe
Thanks, very helpful. That gives me hope that I can make a deck that works. How's the deck been performing? Have you had any trouble with card advantage?

I've been looking at some budget cards to add a bit of control and flexibility to my deck, or at least for a sideboard.

Duress could be a cheaper ($ and CMC!) alternative to Abrupt Decay (not to mention it has the potential to remove Rest in Peace before it ETB); also Acidic Slime has triple usefulness - removal, deathouch, and keeps my deck's creature count up.

Dreg Mangler looks more useful than Deadbridge Goliath on every level: haste, lower CMC, zombie (synergises with Ghoulcaller's Chant), so thanks for pointing that one out.

Disciple of Bolas sounds great, and I've 1 Deathrite Shaman from a booster.

Also, what do you think of Mikaeus, the Unhallowed? Could be potentially AMAZING if I had him and Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord with at least one other creature on the field at once!
Here's a quick rework of what my deck could look like:

(21 creatures, 15 other, 24 lands)

I don't think you need 4 ghoulcaller's chants. Milling away all your threats isn't going to be that big of an issue, since you have so many of them. I would instead suggest Unburial Rites, as MAYBE a 2-of. You can even throw in a single plains that you can fetch with wilds to flash it back.

Worldspine wurm seems out of place as well. You can't put it in the yard, and casting it is going to be dang near impossible.

Duress is a fine answer to problems like Rest in Peace, but I wouldn't play it main deck. Put in some removal (like Ultimate Price) instead.


You might want to pick up the Golgari event deck and build from there if you are on a budget. It's the best bang for your buck if you are starting from scratch. That one in particular is exactly the style you are gonig for anyway.
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Seems to me that mikaeus is at odds with ghoultree and splinterfright. Undying keeps creatures out of the graveyard, at least temporarily.
i didn't read everything or anything, but from what i can gather, you probably should lose the whole "graveyard" aspect of the deck and just be a solid (budget) GB midrange beatdown list.

you can run some mana dorks like arbor elf or even avacyn's pilgrim or maybe just farseek to propel you into your bigger dudes.  good budget creatures are the deadbrige bug, vampire nighthawk, disciple of bolas, acidic slime, dreg mangler, strangleroot geist (might be tricky with no good dual lands), borderland ranger, and i'm sure there are plenty of other decent things (someone mentioned silklash spider).

for spells, run some card draw like sign in blood, you should run creature removal like ultimate price, maybe dead weight, even murder isn't horrible on a budget.

this will become some sort of a rock deck (midrange control).  this will work just fine for FNM, maybe won't win, but you can certainly hold your own and progress when and where you can.

i'm pretty sure you could put the whole list together from scratch for under $50.

get to know people at your local game store.  they can help borrow cards too (this will take time, but is invaluable to have friends who also play magic).

drafting can be a decent way to get cards and meet people, if you can make the funds.         

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I don't think you need 4 ghoulcaller's chants. Milling away all your threats isn't going to be that big of an issue, since you have so many of them. I would instead suggest Unburial Rites, as MAYBE a 2-of. You can even throw in a single plains that you can fetch with wilds to flash it back.

Worldspine wurm seems out of place as well. You can't put it in the yard, and casting it is going to be dang near impossible.

Duress is a fine answer to problems like Rest in Peace, but I wouldn't play it main deck. Put in some removal (like Ultimate Price) instead.


Ghoulcaller's Chant was in there so I could fetch Jarad and Mikaeus from the graveyard.
Worldspine Wurm I'll admit I'm attached to... I'll think about removing him.
How about Murder instead of Ultimate Price? I imagine there are plenty of dual-coloured creature threats out there I would want to remove.

You might want to pick up the Golgari event deck and build from there if you are on a budget. It's the best bang for your buck if you are starting from scratch. That one in particular is exactly the style you are gonig for anyway.


Wow, looks like good value... the Thragtusk in there alone makes up for two thirds of the price! I might get it.

Seems to me that mikaeus is at odds with ghoultree and splinterfright. Undying keeps creatures out of the graveyard, at least temporarily.


I put Mikaeus in there so he can combo with Jarad's sacrifice ability. And I was hoping Ghoultree and Splinterfright would get enough fuel from self-milling rather than creatures dying on the battlefield.
i didn't read everything or anything, but from what i can gather, you probably should lose the whole "graveyard" aspect of the deck and just be a solid (budget) GB midrange beatdown list.

you can run some mana dorks like arbor elf or even avacyn's pilgrim or maybe just farseek to propel you into your bigger dudes.  good budget creatures are the deadbrige bug, vampire nighthawk, disciple of bolas, acidic slime, dreg mangler, strangleroot geist (might be tricky with no good dual lands), borderland ranger, and i'm sure there are plenty of other decent things (someone mentioned silklash spider).

for spells, run some card draw like sign in blood, you should run creature removal like ultimate price, maybe dead weight, even murder isn't horrible on a budget.

this will become some sort of a rock deck (midrange control).  this will work just fine for FNM, maybe won't win, but you can certainly hold your own and progress when and where you can.

i'm pretty sure you could put the whole list together from scratch for under $50.

get to know people at your local game store.  they can help borrow cards too (this will take time, but is invaluable to have friends who also play magic).

drafting can be a decent way to get cards and meet people, if you can make the funds.         


Cool, I'm keen to test out a gravepowered deck first, but if that doesn't work out for me I think I've already got the cards I need to put together a GB midrange deck. I've got most of the cards you mentioned.

And I'm hopefully gonna play my first draft this Thursday.

Slum Reaper and Ulvenwald Tracker are good removal-on-a-stick type cards for this deck.  24 lands feels like too many with mulch and grisley salvage.  Golgari Charm Is nice for saving your guys from a supreme verdict/detention sphere/rest in peace.  Kessig Cagebreakers is a good finisher, especially against tempo decks that azorius charm your ghoultree over and over.
this deck is midrange... you'll get interactive play on your 3rd,4th, 5th turns...
this deck needs a lot of creatures, lesser spells and also lesser lands. You need to get lots of creatures from your library into your graveyard.

the creatures available at the moment that makes your graveyard as a resource are these, the more creatures in your graveyard, the greater power they have. Except for the Ghoultree but you can drop him as a 1 drop. :D

Boneyard Wurm
Splinterfright
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Kessig Cagebreakers
Ghoultree

Maybe you can remove the Ghoulcaller's Chant (Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord will live by sacrificing a forest and a swamp) and Duress and add more creatures. Maybe they will be good in your sideboard. Cut also the number of your lands, having Mulch will definitely fill your hands with lands. A large graveyard creature becomes  a threat if they get unanswered, specially if their power becomes a 7/7++.