BuyList April 03, 2015

Buylist
Apr, 03 15
Buylist Prices are subject to change without notice.  We are only looking for a specific amount of each card, once we reach that amount or the price of the card changes we may no longer buy at this price.  I will try to update the buylist prices daily so there is no confusion.  All discretion for buying will be to the person working the counter at time of purchase. (All Prices are for most common version, unless otherwise stated)
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Budget Brew – UB Control

Welcome back to my fourth instalment of Budget Brews, the videos will return next week, as I am having computer issues. This week, I would like to talk about UB Control. This deck’s style is a lot different from the ones that I have previously been posting.  It isn’t aggressive at all.  This means there is a different play style involved while playing this deck. We want to get through the early game and make it to the late game where we can out resource our opponent’s.

Let’s talk a little more about this deck. Our goal here is to grind out the opponent’s resources until they have little to nothing left.  Once we have done that, we can start to try to win. We have a few good win conditions to the deck both being hard to counter. Our main win condition is going to be Nephalia Drownyard , this card is used by a lot of control in these colour’s to win. Our other win condition is going to be AEtherling. Right now, he is control deck’s main win condition and him being cheap at the moment is a great addition to the deck, he is extremely hard to remove and he dodges all our board clearing spells. Lets dive into the deck and discuss the other cards.

Creature’s

Augur of Bolas

This guy is one of the best two drops in the game right now; he sees play in a lot of control decks and is a wall to aggro’s creatures. He also nets you a card if you don’t whiff off his activation. Late game this guy can provide you with the cards you need like a timely counter or a Forbidden Alchemy to dig for a win condition.

Vampire NightHawk

This guy is a big blocker for a lot of things in the game right now; he trades very well with any creature due to death touch and can help you stabilize versus the aggro matchup. We wan’t to use this guy as a wall most of the time, we want to make our opponent’s think about having to attack and lose a big creature in the process. He also provides a great blocker to larger flyer’s like  Restoration AngelandAngel of Serenity.

AEtherling

This guy here is one of the all-stars of the deck; he is by far one of the best creatures for control to play in standard right now, and post rotation he gets a lot better. The one main feature that makes this guy so good is his ability to, once resolved, avoid any kind of removal.  Another useful feature to him is his ability to be unblockable. This allows him to planeswalkers in one shot which can be a problem for the deck.

 Spells

   I’m going to break done the spells into three different categories and explain the role of each one,

Counter Spell Package;
Dissipate

Dissipate is one of the best, if not the best counter spell in the game at the moment.  Not only does it counter the spell, it exiles it. In today’s meta it is really good due to the fact that Unburial Rites is a card.

Syncopate

Syncopate is our early counter spell, this is our go to turn two counter spell, when our opponent attempts to go off with Burning-Tree Embisary we can delay it a turn with this spell. much like, Dissipate Syncopate also exiles the countered spell.

Psychic Strike

Psychic Strike is our value counter to help out our primary win condition of Nephalia Drownyard . This provides us with the ability to mill our opponent’s bombs if they are on top.

Removal Package;

Devour Flesh

This card is our main board answer to hex proof creatures, it also provides us with a instant speed removal of troublesome creatures. A good use for this is to hit Geist of Saint Traft if left alone. Another good use for this card is to cast it in response to a flash creature like Restoration Angel

Barter in Blood

This card is extreme valueable for us. We usually will only have zero-one creatures on board at a time and make our opponent get rid of two of his/her’s threats.

Mutilate

This is our board sweeper, our Supreme Verdict. Our goal is to have atleast 2-3 swamps on board when this is cast as it hits almost every played creature in standard right now. The great thing about this compared to other board sweepers is that it hits indestructible creatures which can be problems for our deck.

 Far//Away

This card is absurd when you can cast hit for the full fuze cost, for example playing against bant aura’s, they have a Avacyn’s Pillgram and Geist of saint Traft on board it deals with both creatures.

Utility spells;

Think Twice

This card is our dig spell.  The main thing that makes it good, is the flash back, as it turns itself into card advantage when cast for flashback. One thing a lot of players forget about playing with think twice is when you play it turn two, and flash it end of turn 3, you’ll have to discard a card which could be good / bad.

Thought Scour

This card is our one mana cantrip.  It helps out our overall goal of milling our opponent and draw’s us a card not much more to say about it.

Forbidden Alchemy

This is our big dig card, we get to look at the top 4 and get any one of them, this can provide us with more advantage than thought, you not only get flash back on Forbidden Alchemy itself but if you bin a Think Twice you also get to play that now plus the card you got from the spell.

Lands,

Well normally I don’t talk about the lands in the deck as there just basic lands but we have a special land in the deck which is Nephalia Drownyard . This card is going to be our primary win condition. A lot of the control decks currently play this as a win condition because it gets past counters and very few things in the format can stop it at the moment.

 Side Board

There are a few cards in the side board that I think are worth discussing because they have such an impact versus some matchup’s I think it is needed to be discussed.

Notion Thief

This card is extremely powerful against decks that play Sphinx’s Revelation taking away there card draw is like taking away there deck, this guy is our answer to the card and with a big way, we don’t mind them having the life we just don’t want them to have there cards.

Crypt Incursion

Personally, This is acard I think that is not being used enough.  For three mana, you gain at least 3 life, possibly more, and against any deck playing Unburial rites and mill this card is really good.

 What is a keepable hand?

Let’s talk about keep able hands with this deck.  One thing I’ve learned from playing deck’s like these is you can’t keep the iffy one lander’s, as once you fall behind it’s like you fell face first into a brick wall.

With this hand, we have access to our one mana cantrip which can give us an additional card, as well as answers to early threats in the form of counters / removal. This hand would be really good versus the aggro matchup which is by far our worst matchup.

This hand much seem like its risk rewarding, but even if the swamp was an island, I don’t think it’s worth risking you have two draw’s to get a land but even after that our hand is lack luster.  We have a late game win condition but we isn’t very good versus the aggfro match up this early we’d rather have a kill spell.

Matchups;

Verus Aggro

This is by far our worst match up, we try and survive the early beatings they provide and hope to stabilize, but once we do we start to win and there late game isn’t as powerful as ours which is where we shine. We have a lot of answers to there threats but balancing them out with utility spells are going to be key.

Versus Control

Versus a traditional control deck they might have an advantage on us due to the fact they have the more expensive cards but nothing less it still is hard for them to deal with Nephalia Drownyard . We wan’t to ride this card to victory usually versus them.

Versus Mid-Range

This is where our deck shines, we should be able to out value them with our two for one kill spells like Barter in blood and Mutilate. They have an  extremely hard time stopping a Nephalia Drownyard and have no really good answer to AEtherling

Improvement’s that can be made?

Well there is a lot of things you can do with this shell, think of this as the hull to Esper Control, so if you’re a player looking to get into more competitive magic on a budget, some / most of the cards transfer into Esper Control, but we will focus on UB control’s upgrades;

-          Snapcaster Mage
So much synergy with this deck, if you want to continue funding the deck this should be your number 1 pickup as soon as possible.

-          Drowned Catacomb, Watery Grave
Mana fixer’s

-          Jace, Memory Adept
Provide us with a much faster clock, and makes our opponent’s spend a lot of resources dealing with him

Well I hope you enjoyed my article, as always if you have any comment’s let me know and ill work on them, and if you have an idea pitch it to me and we can try and make it work, until next time.

-          Tyler

Budget Brew – Rakdos Aggro

Welcome back to my third session of Budget Brews. Today I bring you a Rakdos’ aggro deck. Unfortunately no videos for this week, as I’ve gotten pretty sick and I feel like you wouldn’t want to listen to me cough into the microphone. I feel this is the deck to play on a budget, it has the most potential of all the others to go somewhere. This deck is also proven in tournaments, you can easily morph this list with a little more investment into a top tier deck, so without further ado, here is the list we will be talking about.

Let’s talk about the creatures and how the deck is designed to run. The deck likes to operate on 2-3 mana, so don’t be afraid to keep the two land hands as the main source of early damage will come from your two drops. Another thing is, that with running 22 lands, we are only operating on a 4 mana curve, our top ending being Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch .

One Drops:

StromKirk Noble

Here we have StromKirk Noble one of the better one drops in the format. I choose to include him because he has some evasion, any humans can’t block him.  For example, a control player can’t flash in a Snapcaster Mage to chump block him. Another big reason is because Naya human’s is a deck and he allows you to race them more effectively.

When this guy connects to your opponent, he can get out of hand really quick, by playing him turn 1 you force your opponent to have an answer to this guy or risk letting him run out of control.

Diregraf Ghoul

Here we have Diregraf Ghoul Another good one drop that is been proven over the past two standard formats, on turn 1 this is our 2nd best play only behind the Stromkirk noble. A one mana 2/2 that can say back on defense can be needed sometimes.

Rakdos Crackler

Here we have our last one drop in Rakdos Crackler another one mana “2/2”. When Return to Ravinca hit we got the mechanic unleash which gave us another one mana 2/2, but he cannot block which is the trade-off. A strong start with these cards are having three one drops on turn two.

 Two Drops:

Lightning Mauler

Lightning Mauler one of the most versatile two drops in the format for aggro, he allows you to provide  extremely early pressure, or allow you to swing with your three drop right away.
Another bonus to him is if your opponents kill the other soul bounded creature it turns on haste for another creature in hand.

FireFist Striker

Here is a newer two drop to the format who can have a big impact on it, being able to play this guy on turn 2, than playing a lightning mauler with a one drop will allow you to swing past blockers with 4 creatures on turn 3. There shouldn’t be a time where you shouldn’t be able to turn on battalion, it is quite common for this deck.

Knight of Infamy

Here we have another versatile two drop, the exalted trigger will add more combat math into late game equations. Another advantage he gives you is the ability to have your one drops trade with bigger creatures, now a Diregraf Ghoul can trade with any 3/3. Another bonus from him is protection from white, he can sit in front of white card and be a huge blocker.

Three Drops:

Hellhole Flailer

This guy is our only three drop in the deck, but a good one at least. He provides us with a lot of reach at the end of the game when we need to get a little more damage through. A 4/3 unleashed with a four mana Fling built in can end a game. With Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch in play this guy becomes a 4/3 with haste which is pretty good.

Four Drops:

Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

Here is our big bad four drop, a 4/4 for four mana with first strike and haste, and gives our unleashed creatures haste does a lot for our deck. She Unfortunately doesn’t give us a huge board impact like other 4 drops in the format, but she is the best on a budget.

 Now we will take a look at some different hands you can experience with this deck, and we will dicuess what a good hand is and when to mulligan. Our goal in a hand it to have a playable one-three drop and 2-3 lands.

Keep Hand:

Ok so we are going to keep this hand, we have access to a decent curve with two one drops, and two drop and three lands, odd one out being our four drop, but with a land our hand is completely on.

Snap Keep:

Ok so here we have what is called a snap keep, we have our strongest possible start of turn one, one drop than turn two, two one drops with the backup plan of lightning mauler into a hasted three drop which will apply a lot of pressure if we hit a land, which he have 2 turns to draw something.

Questionable keep:

Here we have a slower hand but a strong hand versus some deck, we don’t have our any of our 12 one drops, or two drops but enough land to cast everything in our hand. The questionable part about this hand is what you’re playing against, if it’s something faster than you and you can’t race it than its questionable if not it’s a mulligan.

 Mulligan hand:

Not much to say about this, but it’s a mulligan 5 lands and two spells that can’t get us to twenty damage within a reasonable amount of time.

 Matchups:

Versus Control:

This is probably our hardest matchup, they have a lot of combat tricks that can mess up our plan. They have access to multiple cards to deal with our creatures by putting them on top of our decks or just unsummoning them. Another problem we have with control is there sweepers like Supreme Verdict are deadly to us, we have no real way to prevent it and are extremely fragile to them.

Our side board plan is to side in our Duress and Slaughter Games and try and rip the sweepers from their hand and prevent them from interacting with us, for these we can side out of Pillar of Flame. We can also bring in Skullcrack for Searing Spear to prevent them from gaining any life.

Versus Aggro:

This should be an easier matchup we have a pretty fast deck which can race most of the aggro decks the exception being naya blitz which is the fastest at the moment. There can be a lot of challenging times where you have to do math to see who is going to win the race, if you aren’t than you’re going to have to block, if you are, just keep turning sideways and force your opponent to block and make mistakes.

Our side board plan is to bring in Pyreheart Wolf, mark of mutiny to give us an edge of getting past your opponents blocker and to take their big threat and end the game on the spot. We can side out some of our removal depending on the match up or some weaker creatures again depending on the matchup.

 Versus mid-range:

This should be our easiest match up, they have to ramp into their bigger bombs if not our early game will be able kill them before that can happen.

Our sideboard plan here is to bring in Mark of Mutiny for Pillar of Flame and steal there threats when they try and stabilize and win on the spot.

Improvements:

There is a lot of room for improvement with this deck, as you are missing some key 4 drops to make this deck a lot better but they are more expensive. Another thing you can also add to help fix the deck are dual lands which will allow you to cast your spell’s more effectively and be less colour screwed, so here is a list of what you can buy to make the deck better:

-          Falkenrath Aristocrat

-          Hellrider

-          Dragonskull Summit

-          Blood Crypt

-          Thundermaw Hellkite

-          Dreadbore

All these cards listed about will help you out and allow you to have a more consistent deck.

Well that is all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the article and I hope to be back and doing video’s next week, let me know what you guy wan’t to see for future showcases and I’ll work on something

-          Tyler

Budget Brew – Boros Battalion

Hey everyone Tyler here with your weekly budget brew. When I build these decks, I try and keep the value under 50-60$ including the sideboard. Sometimes, it goes a bit over, but I try not to do that. This week we explore the powerful world of “Boros”.  The mechanic battalion is really strong in my opinion and some cards take real advantage over this like Firefist Striker who allows you to turn off a blocker which can be important, so without further ado, here is the deck list we will be working with.

Deck Tech:

Game 1:

As you can see here, the deck is very fragile as a lot of our creatures have 1 toughness and get stuck trying to attack into Augur of Bolas.  This can be a big problem for the deck and post board we don’t get much help.  Izzet Staticaster is a house against us.

Game 2:

This game, didn’t go so great. Playing against a tier 1.5 deck isn’t the easiest especially when they produce a lot of blockers that just stop our guys cold. One big problem with running boros over R/G aggro is they get Trample which make your guys a lot scarier when they can’t just chump with a 1/1 lingering soul.

Want to spice up the deck with a little extra cash flow?

There is a lot of imporvemnet that you can make to this deck, but with this comes money taking it away from being a budget deck here is a list of cards that can be added to the deck to make it stronger / faster:

- Aurelia, the Warleader

- Hellrider

- Legion’s Initiative

With these changes the deck becomes well more standing to fight against stronger decks.

 

Untill next time,

Tyler

PS: Just started using Adobe Primer so give me some slack on the editing, it’ll get better.

Modern madness: the $50 challenge.

This week, I’m going to start with a story for you all.  I have a friend back in kitchener-Waterloo named Eric Beddoe. He has been playing the game for about a year or so, around the time of Dark Ascensions release. He’s been helping me with the editing of these articles since I started. After he looked at my first Tron deck article, he presented me with the challenge of building a deck on a super budget. This was presented because as a high school kid getting into another format isn’t the easiest with no money. So the challenge was to complete a deck that could be done for about $50 dollars.

The first thing I decided was to look at some fringe decks that are capable of top finishes but were just a little bit of glass canon types. The reason I looked to these was because they’re generally have some small tweaks to make in order to become super budget.

The two decks I looked at were the hexproof and infect archetypes. The hexproof list was strictly a multicoloured deck and its near impossible to be super budget with fetch and shocklands. Because of this, I’ve decided against doing anything that is  multicoloured.  They wouold never gonna be under budget with the cheapest fetches going for $25-$30 each.

Next, I looked at the infect decks, since it is known to be quick and resiliant. Even though the best versions run fetch and shocks lands to have access to a better creature suite, I feel like I can do it with one colour. I knew I could come under budget with a mono green version. While being just as fast you’re a bit weak to any removal and you are required to move as fast as possible, as the more chance you give an opponent to get that removal or a blocker, the less chance you have at winning. This deck never wants to see turn 5. On the plus side the curve is super low and you could be capable of turn 3 even as low turn 2 wins with the absolute nuts hand. So here’s the deck list that came in at a healthy $52.56 according to tcg mid prices.

Basically, the deck is an all in stompy deck. You basically want to stick an early creature and get it through unblocked and pump as big as possible. Remember that when it comes to infect damage you only need to hit for 10.

The ideal hands are 2 forest a Glistener Elf, Mutagenic Growth, Might of Old Krosa, Groundswell, Apostles Blessing. You lead with a turn 1 Elf. Then the next turn you swing with Elf and just pump until the power is over 10 win game. Other then that there isn’t much play to the deck. I didn’t include a sideboard due to the fact this deck is a straight forward combo deck that there is no need to sideboard with. It would basically just be a board of leyline and naturalize effects to deal with problem cards like Oblivion Ring effects.

The major problem with this deck other then being a glass canon is that it just flat out can lose to a path to exile or destroy reature effects. Most of the other removal doesn’t really have an effect due to relying on damage which you can simply jump over with your pump spells. Another thing this deck just scoops to a turn 2 Melira you have zero ways to get around that effect. (Editors Note: Make sure you sideboard 4x Dismember!)

I hope this deck is close enough to complete this challenge coming in at a price of $52. I also hope Eric Beddoe my friend enjoys this as it can be a bit tricky playing an all in strategy to this magnitude, but I know you like that type of thing.

The deck can be upgraded by adding in fetchlands to help thin the deck out so you draw more gas instead of lands. This also allows you to add in blue sources to play blighted agent. Agent is a crazy card that is unblockable with infect.

I think I may make something like this a monthly exercise to just think outside of the box in modern. If you’d like to throw an idea about what type of strategy you’d like to do in the format and ill see what I can whip up. You can reach me @kingsupercooper on twitter
Facebook.com/PsYCooP
Or from the cgrealm fan page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Budget Brews – Mono Green

Hey guys, it’s Tyler here bringing you the first installment of my Budget brew’s article.  Today we are going to look at mono green.

Deck Tech:

 

I fell that this list is really strong in the current meta.  It may not be as fast as Naya Blitz, but it’s very consistent. There are a lot of synergies throughout the deck, such as Wild Beastmaster and Revenge of the HuntedChampion of Lambholt gives your deck a neat way to get past your opponents blockers for lethal.  Your main beaters Strangleroot and Predator Ooze are really strong and resilient to board sweepers which a lot of decks rely on to get past the early stage.

Round 1:

Against another creature deck, I think we have an edge.  His deck may be able to produce blockers but we can push through with Champion of Lambholt. I know there was a major play mistake during game 1, but it didn’t affect the end result, he would have died anyways. Strangleroot + Rancor is the nuts for this deck.

Round 2:
Game 1:

Game 2:

I think these games show the resilience of this deck, we survived a mutilate and he ran out of answer’s and we go there.

Round 3:

This matchup went really good.  He had no answer to our big threats, a Liliana of the Veil is not a problem for this deck.  We usually have a small creature out to sac, or  a Strangleroot, which only makes him stronger. The amount of speed this deck can produce is really good for a one turn kill.

Overall:

This deck really performed very well in the videos, had good mulligans, a strong late game and fast starts. One thing to take into consideration is that in these videos I never got to play against a tier 1 deck. With that being said, if thinking of taking this to a tier 1 event, I would defiantly want to splash a colour. If you would want to spend more money on this deck after you build it and test it I would suggest splashing red.

With the Red splash you gain access to faster cards which will lower your top end of your current curve. Some cards are:

-          Burning-Tree Emissary

-          Flinthoof boar

-          Thundermaw Hellkite – Side board

-          Searing Spear

-          Zealous Conscripts – Side board

Arguably the Burning-Tree Emissary and Flinthoof boar can be but into this deck to help speed up the clock’s and the amount of creatures you can put out in one turn but I went for a more traditional mono green list.

Until Next time,
Tyler

FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – BUILDING ON A BUDGET

(Before anything, let me put up a disclaimer – this article was written on the 4th of April, 2013. Prices change. Don’t be surprised if a card I evaluate today skyrockets or plummets in price even by tomorrow. Also, I’m grabbing from multiple sources, and the numbers are to demonstrate a point more than anything, so don’t chirp me if you have a problem with the numbers presented.)

So for those of you who don’t know, I’m a bit of a deckbuilding fanatic. It is perhaps my favorite part of the game (but I must say I do enjoy when my pet cards do work, or get recognized for the powerhouses they are by the community at large), and it’s led me to have 12 EDH decks currently in rotation.

Did I happen to mention that I’m unemployed?

EDH, much unlike 60-card formats, is very cheap to get into if you know where to cut your corners. A lot of people who just build goodstuff decks will end up cranking out hundreds of dollars for cards that aren’t vital to the strategy, but if the cards aren’t necessary, you can get away with building a deck for $30 very easily.

The problem with most expensive cards in EDH is that if you buy one, there’s a lot of incentive to buy more, because expensive cards tend to have synergy with more expensive cards. Take Crucible of Worlds for example – the price ranges from $20-22, and its greatest synergies lie with the following cards:

-Polluted Delta, $60
-Flooded Strand, $55
-Wasteland, $50
-Windswept Heath, $38
-Scalding Tarn, $35
-Misty Rainforest, $34
-Wooded Foothills, $28
-Bloodstained Mire, $27
-Verdant Catacombs, $25
-Arid Mesa, $24
-Marsh Flats, $24
-Horizon Canopy, $11
-Dust Bowl, $6
-Strip Mine, $4
-Cephalid Coliseum, $3
-Tectonic Edge, $1
-Buried Ruin, $0.50
-Grove of the Guardian, $0.50
-Krosan Verge, $0.50
-Evolving Wilds, $0.25
-Haunted Fengraf, $0.25
-Terramorphic Expanse, $0.25

So as you can see, while using a budget Crucible package isn’t the worst thing in the world, if you really want to get fancy with it, you really have to dump a large amount of money into it to make it truly effective. And since you have fetches, why not just go ahead and get some duals to go along with it?

-Underground Sea, $138
-Volcanic Island, $119
-Tundra, $114
-Tropical Island, $104
-Bayou, $90
-Savannah, $87
-Scrubland, $63
-Taiga, $61
-Badlands, $59
-Plateau, $44
-Stomping Ground, $14
-Sacred Foundry, $13
-Godless Shrine, $11
-Temple Garden, $11
-Breeding Pool, $10
-Hallowed Fountain, $9
-Overgrown Tomb, $9
-Watery Grave, $9
-Blood Crypt, $8
-Steam Vents, $7

As you can see, the concept of including a Crucible of Worlds in your deck is starting to look like the same concept as straight-up buying a Jace, the Mind Scluptor. While Crucible is extremely powerful in its own right, it is not at all necessary in most strategies – you can get away with a cheaper type of card (especially once Dragon’s Maze comes out and shocklands will likely fall below $5), but unless you really want the card to be central to your strategy, it’s a card you can entirely get away with not running.

Since I have a love affair with lists, I’m going to highlight a point – while the following list of heavily-played EDH cards clocking in at $11 or higher are all powerful, very few are necessary to have in your deck for your deck to win. (That’s not to say the cards aren’t powerful or worth investing in if you aren’t on a budget – let me be clear in saying that if you have the money, by all means – but you don’t have to be so dissuaded from the format just because you can’t afford one of these cards)

-Mana Drain, $117
-Gaea’s Cradle, $94
-Jace, the Mind Sculptor, $93
-Mana Crypt, $75
-Force of Will, $68
-Loyal Retainers, $35
-Rishadan Port, $33
-Scavenging Ooze, $31
-Intuition, $29
-Maze of Ith, $28
-Mutavault, $28
-Cryptic Command, $27
-Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, $26
-Vindicate, $25
-Elspeth, Knight-Errant, $24
-Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, $22
-Sword of Light and Shadow, $22
-Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, $22
-Crucible of Worlds, $21
-Damnation, $21
-Exploration, $21
-Gilded Drake, $21
-Snapcaster Mage, $21
-Sword of Fire and Ice, $21
-Doubling Season, $20
-Natural Order, $19
-Time Spiral, $19
-Academy Rector, $17
-Umezawa’s Jitte, $17
-Pernicious Deed, $16
-Vampiric Tutor, $16
-All is Dust, $15
-Linvala, Keeper of Silence, $14
-Mana Reflection, $14
-Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary, $14
-Volrath’s Stronghold, $14
-Bribery, $13
-Iona, Shield of Emeria, $13
-Sarkhan Vol, $13
-Serra’s Sanctum, $13
-Survival of the Fittest, $13
-Tooth and Nail, $13
-Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni, $12
-Sensei’s Divining Top, $12
-Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, $12
-Earthcraft, $11
-Phyrexian Tower, $11
-Sword of Feast and Famine, $11
-Sword of War and Peace, $11
-Woodfall Primus, $11

Now, of those 50 cards listed (this was coincidence that it ended up being 50, I assure you), very few stand out as “I am building a deck that does X and I need Y card for it“. Of those cards that meet that criteria, the most expensive is the aforementioned Crucible of Worlds.

See where the budgeting can come in handy? It’s not a bad thing for you to garner explosive turns or have flexible, all-around good cards, but you can get away with cutting corners very easily and still be able to answer most everything your opponents throw at you. Almost all of the cards listed here have less flexible, but much less expensive answers (most spot removal spells and boardwipes listed here have significantly cheaper alternatives), and most of them aren’t even necessary.

With that in mind, I want to go over a portion of deckbuilding that can sometimes be difficult to budget, especially the more colors you add to your deck – the land base. Sometimes, it can be hard to make a manabase work when your deck wants to be playing Counterspell and Necropotence, but if you know where to look, you can get manafixing easily on the cheap. Let’s take a look at the above color combination, U/B, and all their duals, in order of pricing:

-Underground Sea, $138
-Sunken Ruins, $11
-Watery Grave, $10
-Creeping Tar Pit, $5
-Drowned Catacomb, $5
-Darkslick Shores, $3
-Darkwater Catacombs, $3
-River of Tears, $3
-Secluded Glen, $2
-Underground River, $2
-Frost Marsh, $1
-Tainted Isle, $1
-Salt Marsh, $0.75
-Dimir Aqueduct, $0.50
-Dreadship Reef, $0.50
-Jwar Isle Refuge, $0.50
-River Delta, $0.50
-Dimir Guildgate, $0.25
-Rootwater Depths, $0.25
-Waterveil Cavern, $0.25

So if you do the math, the rest of the lands comes up to just over 1/3 of the value of just Underground Sea. Now, that’s not to say you should buy them – always evaluate how much you want to spend on a given EDH deck (I would certainly not want to blow $50 of my budget on just lands), but that’s just food for thought and it gives me incentive to further reiterate my point – you don’t need to overspend to win.

Usually, when I build landbases, I go with an even 40 lands, and I use this formula:

1 color – 10 or less nonbasics
2 colors – 20 or less nonbasics
3 colors – 30 or less nonbasics
5 colors – 35 or less nonbasics

Of the U/B duals listed (because, let’s face it, some of them are just absolutely terrible), I would consider purchasing the following for my deck (assuming I had no U/B duals whatsoever):

-Darkwater Catacombs – it makes your utility lands like Reliquary Tower produce colored mana.

-River of Tears – Personal pet favorite. You can ignore it if you want.

-Underground River – I think all of the painlands are great, they’re useful early for untapped lands that fix your mana and lategame they’re the first option for paying colorless costs.

-Tainted Isle – This entire cycle is an auto-include in every multicolor black deck, imo.  Especially any that lean on Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. A single Swamp means that you have a free untapped dual land.

-Dimir Aqueduct – Lets you reuse your Bojuka Bog, Halimar Depths or Jwar Isle Refuge. It also lets you keep a land-light hand if you have the curve to support it. Admittedly awkward to use at times, but keep it in if you have a good ETB land to abuse with it.

-Dreadship Reef – The blue and green ones are very useful, imo, as they can bluff your reactive spells while getting value if your opponents attempt to play around you. Plus, these are great in green with Seedborn Muse.

-Jwar Isle Refuge – I’m partial to these in any deck that doesn’t mind the CIPT clause. Being ahead on life can attract stray aggro, but every point counts, right?

-Dimir Guildgate – The cheapest option out of this variant. Honestly, these are significantly more powerful in enemy colors, because they have traditionally bad manafixing, but if you want as much manafixing as possible, this is probably your cheapest shot at getting a decent dual. Also synergizes with Gatecreeper Vine, if you want to play it.

So, adding up the total average values of the aforementioned, we total $10.75, which really isn’t bad considering you just added 8 dual lands to your deck for the price of one Sunken Ruins. If you do your research and find decent duals on the cheap, you can really get a solid manabase for a solid price.

The last point I want to make is on “bulk powerhouses” – cheap, flashy bombs that are incredibly powerful in EDH, but in 60-card formats are completely ignored, so they have no value. I’m going to go over 5 rares in each color you should definitely invest in if you want to have powerful, flexible cards for almost any EDH deck.

WHITE

1. Planar Cleansing, Magic 2010, Magic 2013, $0.50
Every good white deck contains a decent board wipe or two. Planar Cleansing takes care of everything on the board, for only six mana, and is incredibly cheap to buy as well.

2. Luminarch Ascension, Zendikar, $2.75
Whether you’re a token deck or a control deck, if you can find a way to defend yourself, Lumniarch is a fantastic win condition. Who doesn’t want to spit out Angels for two mana a pop? Just be careful that you don’t play this too early and get hated out fast.

3. Intrepid Hero, Magic 2013, $0.75
Perhaps one of the best utility dorks in white, slap a Lightning Greaves on this sucker and go to town. Stops certain strategies in their tracks. Keeps board states honest. It can go in aggro, control and even combo, and is a fantastic metagame call against certain generals.

4. World Queller, Zendikar, $0.25
Maybe it’s a matter of personal preference, but I’m a huge fan of this card. He’s fantastic in clogged board states, can grind opponents into the dust, and he’s repeatable removal on a respectable body. What’s not to love?

5. Cathar’s Crusade, Avacyn Restored, $0.75
The token player’s best friend. Sure, the nightmare of “I don’t have the dice to keep up with this” can be frustrating, but have you ever played something like Conqueror’s Pledge with this?

BLUE

1. Leyline of Anticipation, Magic 2011, $1.00
It doesn’t matter what type of strategy you are – this is good with or against control, with or against combo and with or against aggro. Being able to play anything at any time is dangerous for the entire table when they can’t see you coming. It lets aggro flash in their fattie at end of turn, lets you play ETB’s like they were counterspells – this effect is incredibly powerful, even in a draw-go control deck.

2. Devastation Tide, Avacyn Restored, $0.75
Being able to reset the board is an effect every color wants. If you can do it for two mana, it’s an even better bonus. Also, unlike Evacuation, it doesn’t leave Planeswalkers there to continue wrecking the game.

3. Cyclonic Rift, Return to Ravnica, $1.75
Blue is already the most flexible and powerful color in Magic. This effect is probably one of the absolute best the color has. It provides an absolutely crushing amount of tempo if played in a clogged board state, and it’s at instant speed. Seriously, pick these up while they’re still cheap – once Ravnica isn’t in heavy print, these will most certainly go up.

4. Walk the Aeons, Time Spiral, $0.75
It’s the cheapest Time Walk effect out there, and you can buy it back if you’re far enough ahead.

5. Deadeye Navigator, Avacyn Restored, $0.50
Perhaps the most busted combo enabler ever printed. Ranges from being cute and interesting to downright vile and disgusting. And for being so insanely powerful, it’s pretty cheap, too.

BLACK

1. Avatar of Woe, Premium Deck Series: Graveborn, $2.00
It’s a finisher that grinds opponents into the dust, it’s an easy reanimation target, and it’s cheap to cast lategame.

2. Rune-Scarred Demon, Magic 2012, $1.50
A Demonic Tutor on a very powerful body. What more can I say?

3. Bloodchief Ascension, Zendikar, $2.00
You can make entire decks based around this card very easily. If you can get it active, you can destroy entire tables with impunity.

4. Attrition, Urza’s Destiny, $1.00
A great card to pair with Reassembling Skeleton, this thing can single-handedly answer entire board states if you’re able to target the problem.

5. Life’s Finale, New Phyrexia, $0.50
My personal favorite boardwipe in black, just because you can take out important threats with it. Especially helps if your opponents are light on recursion.

RED

1. Insurrection, Onslaught, $1.25
Yeah, Insurrection’s real cheap.

2. Wake of Destruction, Urza’s Destiny, $1.50
This card is pretty douchey, but in the right scenario, it’s incredibly powerful. Cut an opponent off a color? Seems good to me!

3. Urabrask the Hidden, New Phyrexia, $2.75
This thing does wonders both in and against the aggro matchup. It’s the cheapest Praetor, and I’m not really sure why.

4. Gratuitous Violence, Onslaught, $2.00
My personal favorite damage doubler in red. The triple red can be painful for multicolor decks to cast, but it’s perfectly fine otherwise.

5. Blasphemous Act, Innistrad, $2.50
Probably the best boardwipe red has to offer, just because of how mana-efficient it has the potential to be.

GREEN

1. Sylvan Primordial, Gatecrash, $0.75
I don’t think anyone’s surprised to see this guy pop up on this list. There’s plenty of outcry to ban this thing, and for good reason – it’s incredibly easy to abuse, it’s one of the douchiest effects imaginable (seriously, why couldn’t it be a “may” effect?), and it’s tacked onto a powerful body to boot. Seriously, if this thing isn’t getting banned, pick them up.

2. Terastodon, Worldwake, $0.75
Everybody’s favorite reanimation target! Though Sylvan Primordial is subjectively better, Terastodon is more politically inclined, and you can dismantle one player’s entire board with it.

3. Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, Onslaught, $3.00
Just at the end of the threshold of “great cards under $3” is Kamahl. He’s so incredibly powerful that he warrants inclusion just because he’s cheap for the power he provides.

4. Genesis Wave, Scars of Mirrodin, $2.00
Genesis Wave is not-so-subtly one of most powerful green effects printed in recent years, and it’s not that expensive to pick up, either. If you can fit it into your budget, Eternal Witness is not-so-subtly the best card to pair this with, bar none.

5. Lurking Predators, Magic 2010, $2.50
One of my favorite effects for an aggro deck – you don’t even need to risk overextending, because your opponents cast you into your board state for you!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I know a lot of people who don’t exactly have too much money going around, or have responsibilities or other hobbies that are more important than Magic is to them. I just don’t want anyone looking at EDH to ever think “It’s too expensive of a format, I can’t play it!” Don’t ever get into that frame of mind; EDH is most likely the cheapest format to get into, and if you know what cards to pick up, there are plenty of very powerful options that don’t completely drain you of your allowance. Look up effects on Gatherer, you’d be surprised at what you might find, and how cheap you can find it at.

Until next time,

-L