This thread is for discussion of this week's Building on a Budget, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
in the last game, how exactly did your opponent have only one blue mana? didn't you say he played a prismatic omen? even with the land you blew up, he should have had four lands to play the cryptic still in play.
I know this article tends to run off tickets as opposed to cash, but given that 4 Shaman come to approximately $32 in the US and £36 in the UK before postage-this is NOT building on a budget. And thats before mentioning the £10 for 4 Bloodbraids if you don't own them.
The irony of this column is that it is supposed to teach people how to build on a budget, when in fact what it does is provide another source for pre-made decks for the lazy masses who are uninterested in building their own decks. I can't tell you how many times I've played against copies of the "building on a budget" deck in the casual rooms. Once upon a time this column was intended to encourage creativity, but now it provides relatively inexpensive but powerful decks that help to further stifle creativity.
People learning to build creative individual budget decks is not in WotC’s interests. WotC’s profits are maximised when a maximum number of players are chasing the same few cards, as this requires more sets to be opened (one way or another) to meet the demand.
If the agenda of WotC was to encourage creativity and a broad range of different decks, they would not publish any deck lists. Unfortunately there will always be others who make a living selling singles willing to publish the winning decks as a form of advertising.
As soon as any good list is published it results in people who like the deck, can afford the deck and don’t have the desire to play something more expensive duplicating the deck. If sufficient numbers of people are chasing the same archetype, the key mythic (or rare) components will naturally rise in price.
The shamans deck looks particularly uncreative to me. Nine different 4-ofs + sparkmage. 33 shamans + 4 bloodbraids which will cascade into shamans. Not really a lot of room for customisation. Any change will either reduce the number of shamans (and the kinship the deck runs on) or put less optimal shamans in place. Even the bloodbraids are effectively 3/2 hastey body + random
Well, I always find BoaB makes decks that abuse a certain mechanic or one trick. That's fine and dandy, but ultimately the numbers have to be messed with to make something reasonable or creative. I like that when you're stumped for ideas, the article gives you a neat little combo, but never have I used a pure BoaB deck and A.) Won as consistently as the sample matches go, or B.) Maintained interest in the one trick they exploit.
I think a great deck has tons of alternative triggers and other mini-combos and win conditions. There's seldom a fail-safe I've noticed with the BoaB decks. They kind have been sounding like really advanced pre-constructed decks. They work, and function, but you have to edit them to your own personality.
Onto the article:
I don't see the budget in this deck. I don't know, but last I checked Fauna Shaman ran about 9 tickets a card (by standard market pricing), and Bloodbraid Elf runs about 2.50 each. I won't even discuss the sideboard -- but Basilisk Collar , and Kitchen Finks alone are still so pricy.
Of course this deck earns its wins, as it has some of the most competitive (and most expensive) cards working together. A good deck, but far too much for me to consider it 'budget'.
Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar would also give lists of staple cards, decklists that were not the norm, and highlighted users who took a similar theme into a different direction. His style was more about showing what could be done, but noting his idea was not the only idea that could be persued. He repeatedly showed his ideas and the ideas of others. His House of Secrets deck was so evil, but so good, and highlighted how a color pair could be explored.
Jakes decks are a little more expensive, but, as Jayem74 mentioned, they are more budget than some decks. Not much can be done about the secondary market. My only gripe about this installment of Building on a Budget is the opponent who missed the fact Prismatic Omen made all lands all types. If the game was played on MODO, each land would show it was each basic land type, wouldn't it? Could this fact be missed so easily? It is a bad example of how the Shaman deck performs when played against an opponent who misses something so blatant.
I think I like the Elemental Mimic Vat deck better, but I love creatures with comes into play...er, enters the battlefield effects.
Average pricing in tix for MTGO as of the article's publishing date, rares and uncommons:
Copperline Gorge 00.70 x4 = 02.80
Bloodbraid Elf 01.75 x4 = 07.00 *
Cunning Sparkmage 00.15 x1 = 00.15
Fauna Shaman 02.75 x4 = 11.00
Flamekin Harbinger 00.08 x4 = 00.32 **
Goblin Ruinblaster 00.08 x4 = 00.32
Leaf-Crowned Elder 03.50 x4 = 14.00 **
Rage Forger 00.04 x4 = 00.16 **
Sensation Gorger 00.12 x4 = 00.48
Wolf-Skull Shaman 00.04 x4 = 00.16 **
Total: 36.39 tix, roughly equivalent to $34-35.
* promo version available, increased card supply
** cards that were not released in the latest set, but have been suggested by author in previous articles/decks
Citing the minimum prices available in MTGO always gets on my nerves a bit, for a few reasons. First, it will take time to find cards at the minimum available prices, and time = money. Second, prices of everything except a very small number of chase rares and mythics is very depressed in MTGO as a result of the increased difficulty in set redemption and the general decrease in prices (both caused by mythics). If anyone wants to play this deck in the real world, it's going to cost significantly more.
Second, the idea of a tournament winning budget deck is contradictory. You can't reliably win at a tournament if you play with less than the best. The idea of a casual-dominating budgetized version of a tournament deck isn't contradictory - and that's what these decks are.
It's undeniable that selling cards is all that WOTC is about. But what will sell the most cards in the long run is a difficult question to answer. WOTC has seen a major benefit from releasing products geared more towards the casual player, who is often less tournament-oriented. If a column like this has a negative effect on the casual environment, causing more players to move to other pastimes, it could have a negative effect on WOTC sales. By providing a streamlined pathway to introduce cheap tournament-derived decks into casual play, I believe this column has that negative effect.
Does every BoaB discussion have to be about the deck being too expensive? Do we expect JVL to only use commons/uncommons? The deck is a fraction of what any other deck in the format costs. Casual players can cut the Fauna Shamans for another shaman. Check JVL's other shaman trounce decks for ideas.
I'm suprised no one has mentioned Ancient Ziggurat yet. Karplusan forest is very cheap now too.
no fullminator mages? do those cost too much online? BDM and Mikel J was just podcasting about a shamans deck. interesting. but no spells? could use a bit of reach...i haven't read the article and the explanations for the card choices so this is really a very ignorant comment. don't mind me....
I'm guessing the Ruinblasters are used instead of Fulminators since they're more budget. Otherwise, being able to tutor up a Mage with the Harbingers make them more appealing, and it's something I do fairly regularly with this setup.
Running shamans back in Lorwyn block season, I used Countryside Crusher instead of Sensation Gorger with a good amount of success. Guaranteed kinship with Elder or Wolf-Skull out, and counters that will trigger Forger. I found them helpful since you really don't need mana after 4.
Also, wouldn't Vexing Shusher be better than Guttural Response in the board? I'm not sure how budget they are, but I wouldn't imagine much since they were promo cards, and you might not need a full four with Fauna Shaman...
My guess on the Fulminator: I think the Ruinblaster, despite being less rare, is actually a better fit for this deck. If you flip a Ruinblaster with the Leaf-Crowned Elder, you get a 2/1 body that can hit right away and an immediate land kill. Same for flipping it with Bloodbraid. Also, post-wrath effect the haste can be important. Fulminator Mage would be the better choice if you also added some recursion, like the Horde of Notions deck did.
As for Fauna Shaman, the idea is to get a bunch of shamans and Rag Forger for the win. Adding a tutor that also serves as a shaman is pretty obvious. If you can't afford it, how about...Quest for Inner Flame? It gets activated by the pinging and...well, your attackers, it doubles damage dealt, favours large numbers of creatures...bad idea?
Barring that, there's always Chandra's Spitfire, which can also be searched by the harbinger, and powers up by pinging to silly proportions. Cinder Pyromancer fits in too, even without a mono-red suite.
Also, mistakes can happen. The Prismatic Omen thing is one example, Jacob revealing his mountain for kinship is another. You don't technically need to reveal every card, just look at it. Then again, if you're going to play the land anyway, it won't matter.
Based on the results presented here, the shaman deck beats faeries and wargate. For some reason, the budget decks described here always beat the tournament staples. Looks like misleading results to me; either the opponents have little skill, or the results shown are not representative. Also, take a look at Mike Flores article today on extended decks. See a shaman deck? See any decks that don't cost a fortune? 'Nuf said on that.
Eldrazi green typically includes multiple copies of Vengevine - a single copy of which pushes a deck out of budget range, as they go for about $30 each online.
I am currently testing this deck out right now and it works pretty nice. I have playtested this deck against popular choices about 10-15 matches per deck.
Against Faeries this deck wins 48% of the time. If you can get out Forgers quick, you can win turn 4-5 before SB. After SB, it's a little luck. Great Sable Stag helps plenty in this matchup. I also included Vexing Shusher in the SB which helped a little. When I came up with the SB, I really went for control hate since most extended decks are splashing blue for cryptic commands.
Against Wargate, this deck wins 45% of the time, with JVL's reasoning of needing luck to outrace wargate and pray that they don't cast scapeshift. So hard because by turn 3 they already have cryptic command mana out.
Against Control, this deck wins 51% of the time. IMHO, since there are no non-creature spells in this deck, it is hard for control to keep up with the constant pinging from the creatures. This is the only matchup besides Faeries where I SB'd in all the sparkmages.
Elves is 50%, and every time I played it was a race to see who can get out their creatures faster. Whenever I lost it was due to my opponent Primal Commanding and gaining 7 life and whatever choice he chooses.
Honestly, a lot of the wins were getting lucky and/or opponents misplays. I like this deck because it's unexpected, and it runs really smooth. This is truly a budget competitive deck because it is definitely a lot cheaper to build than most of the other decks, but can still hang with them. Kind of reminds me of Standard B/R Vampires except less consistent.
why not 4 ancient ziggurats?
it would help smooth the mana base
yeah it doesn't activate fauna shaman but that seems kinda irrelevant
also like someone else said vexing shusher seems better than guttural response and it's a creature and it's a shaman!
I've built this deck with Vengevine instead of the Wolf guy, Bloodbraid will single-handedly recur Vengevine and this deck wins fast. Is Summoning Trap a good SB?
@Absird: Summoning Trap IMO is weaker in extended, and if you do summoning trap, you're going to have a tough choice of deciding which of 7 creatures you're going to play. I don't think Summoning Trap is worth it in this deck, but I am also testing this deck with Great Sable Stag and Cloudthresher. I might also see about sideboarding Wall of Tanglecord since it has the ability to reach. And I agree, testing Vexing Shusher was way better than Guttural Response.
Master of the wild hunt is also a shaman and plays very nicely with wolf skull shaman. provides good defence against sweepers (as if you resolve it you don't need to cast anything else) and also provides card advantage in the agro match up. (assuming you trade off in the early stages.)
Like the vengevine idea, at least as sideboard tech v control. (+4 shusher, + 4 vengevine)?
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