A couple of months ago, I took a look at using budget concerns to build around what I considered to be the pillars of Standard.
One of those cards was banned before Pro Tour: Aether Revolt. Smuggler's Copter was a very good card, and saw a lot of play in the Standard format, so it was no surprise that it was removed. Emrakul, the Promised End and Reflector Mage met the same fate as the Looter Scooter in Standard, and with the addition of Aether Revolt to the card pool, we got a ton of new decklists for the format from the tour.
By a ton I mean there were Mardu Vehicles and GB Constrictor decks as far as the eye could see. With Grim Flayer, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and Heart of Kiran each nearly 100 tickets a playset I figured I would have my work cut out for me. While the vehicles and green black decks may have been the most successful from the Pro Tour, there are still options to get a lot of value from your Magic: The Gathering budget.
I'm going to look at three cards again, over multiple articles, Aetherworks Marvel, Torrential Gearhulk and Saheeli Rai are the ones that I am going to build my new collection around. I figure, if I start with a Marvel deck, I can work my way up to a Copy Cat deck, and then finally a Gearhulk control deck. After those main decks are built I could look within each card, and see what other decks are cheaply available to me. This way I can still have competitive decks, but also be able to break off to the side and build some of the more fun decks in the format as well.
I started off looking for Aetherworks Marvel decks after seeing Matteo Moore's six win list. I've always wanted to play a Marvel deck but it was priced out of my range in the last Standard season because well, it was the best deck in the format in my opinion. Jaberwocki really broke things open with his take on GR Marvel, and the Delirium spin that the deck had made it entirely possible to easily cast Emrakul if it did not come into play off of Marvel. It was a very powerful and consistent deck.
Relying on Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger may not be as powerful as Emrakul, but it's still a heck of a card to cast for free at instant speed with a Marvel activation. Matteo's deck also was one of the cheapest decks from the Pro Tour, as of this writing it is about 110 tickets to build. The only decks that are as close to as cheap are the four color Copy Cat decks, at around 130 tickets. Knowing that those two decks are cheap, and do share a large majority of cards did help shape my deck building plan for the foreseeable few weeks.
Let's start off with a look at the Aetherworks deck we are starting off with.
So this is what 110 dollars can buy you right now. The deck is surprisingly good against Vehicles and the GB decks that I have played against so far, but it is not without its flaws. 19 lands is a very small number of lands in Standard, and even if you do not intend to cast either ten drop, sometimes the games go long and that has to be part of the plan. Inspiring Statuary helps out a lot in regards to that as it allows you to tap your artifacts to help cast non artifact spells, and while it's not as great of a plan as the GR deck that used Delirium to cheaply cast its drawn threats, it's at the very least a backup plan to cast those drawn Eldrazi.
Now we could go straight into building 4 Color Copy Cat (Gerry T's list) or we could start building some variants to this deck. Jumping right in to Copy Cat would be fine, but that would cause this article to be over a little too soon, and there are some cool Aetherworks decks that I want to show off before we get to Copy Cat.
Speaking of cool Aetherworks decks, how about one that has a transformational sideboard? Tulio_Jaudy took a version that can turn into a GR Aggro Energy deck to a couple of 5-0 appearances in recent league play. With a few small purchases you can add this deck to the Temur list and have two decks to play.
We're missing the following cards from the Pro Tour list to this list.
We're paying 3.96 for a second deck, and we're well on our way to building a copy of Aetherworks Copy Cat. We can now branch out into GR Energy as well, namely the Electrostatic Pummeler deck that is super cheap to build and super aggressive. We're gonna stick with Aetherworks Marvel for a couple of more decks though, so just be patient, we're reaching the Aetherworks Copy Cat end game.
Next up is a Simic Aetherworks deck that is also dirt cheap and super fun to play. While the traditional versions look to Harnessed Lightning for removal, this version uses Aether Meltdown. While it does not outright kill the creature, it does make Energy, and it does not use that energy to deal with the offending beater. Heart of Kiran is less impressive while it is melting for sure.
Thanks to our previous purchases we are not missing a ton from this deck either.
We are looking at another 20.38 for a third deck. after an initial cost of 110, getting two more decks for 24.00 is a heck of a deal, it's almost like a buy one get 2 free kinda deal, but I guess nothing at all like it! We have a choice here, we could move on to a closer to Jaberwocki version of Aetherworks, but I'm hesitant to do so. The list looks great, but the sideboard looks like a dumpster fire, so I want to recognize the main deck and at least link the list here. It looks like an outstanding main deck, but goodness that sideboard it's just, it's just a collection of cards.
Normally I don't trash people's boards, but there are 4 basic lands in it. It just does not feel right to me, and I guess. Anyways this list is here, and I wanted to touch on it, because I like the idea of working on Jaberwocki's deck from the last Standard season to see if it can work for this Standard, and it appears that is kind of the direction that this player went in.
With this final list, we will have the starting point for next week's article, which will look at the different Copy Cat decks in the format, and it's from Gerry Thompson who had 7 wins at the Pro Tour with this list.
This is going to be a pricier upgrade, but keep in mind that it will give you the needed building blocks for the other versions of Copy Cat that are in the format. You'll be paying a bit more for the essentials. Let's take a look at what picking up the missing stuff will cost us.
88 tickets is what we would spend to be able to wrap up these four decks. It's a bit of a risk to be sure, thanks to the new banning schedule, so it's entirely possible that spending this money would be for nothing if Wizards decided to ban one of the key parts. If you're not wanting to do that, that is perfectly understandable. You could spend half of that picking up what you need for the Pummeler deck.
However if you go this route, 222 for 4 decks is nothing to scoff at. That's 55 dollars a week for the next four weeks if you went by a weekly MTGO budget, and it just so happens that it's a bit over my own weekly personal budget. If you go with the energy list it's 45 a week for the next four weeks, which is fine in the face of bannings that are coming up.
I don't think anything is going to get banned, but having that hanging over your head as a player is a bit troublesome.
I'm going to wrap this one up, next week we'll look at the Copy Cat options!
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the weekend!