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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Aug 31 2017 12:00pm
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I woke up on Monday excited about Magic, and most importantly excited about 1v1 for the first time in a very very long time!  It was banned and restricted day, and I just knew that movement was going to happen in the format that I love and I would be able to come back and write a weekly column without it turning into a plea for removing cards from the format.  This announcement was going to remove the fast mana, the broken tutors, and the oppressive commanders all while breathing fresh air into the format. 

Because I am a weird human, I actually woke up well after the posted announcement went up.  I read the one posted here and deflated a little bit when I saw that Vintage was the only format with cards moving.  Undaunted, I checked the Magic Online Tumblr account and saw this post.  Lee put it up on the site and I copy and pasted the important part:

There are no changes to any other formats, including MTGO only formats such as Pauper and Commander 1v1.

Crestfallen, I logged on to MTGO.  I may not have been able to change anything, and that's ok, I'm just a small voice in a sea of larger, more important voices, but I'm still going to throw my support behind the format, because it is the most fun I've had on MTGO in a very long time. 

Though, this Standard format is giving it a run for it's money!  Gosh, Standard is so good right now.

Logging on, I had to take stock of my account, because I recently sold out to purchase a new PC.  My old one, currently hooked up to my TV, was nearly ten years old, and upgrading it would have cost nearly as much as a new computer anyways.  The CD drive barely works, it sounds like a dust buster from time to time whenever I stream, and it gives me a robust 3 frames per second whenever I try to play World of Warcraft, but for the most part it was a good computer, and something that I was glad to get so much use out of.  It paid for itself many times over, and it's still going to be where the machine where Cassius plays his PC games at. 

What's weird is getting used to significantly higher amount of frames per second I get in WoW now.  While it's not super noticeable while using MTGO, getting 90 fps in Warcraft is incredible.  The game has went from being a mega chore to play to being enjoyable, when combined with the new patch. 

I really got off topic there.  Anyways, I logged on to my account and took stock in what I had.  I was able to trade 650 in credit that I had at my other gig for two of the new Commander decks and 375 cash, so I used that to bankroll my rebuild.  I started off with two Standard decks, the UW Monument deck and Approach of the Second Sun shared enough cards for me to be able to pick those up for less than 100 combined.  I picked up a Modern deck as well, because Modern is the actual best format in all of Magic: The Gathering.  I bought a cheap version of Living End for less than 130, and finally finished up with a Pauper deck.  Ideally I would want to play something with Kiln Fiend and Nivix Cyclops in it, but I was not feeling the need to spend another 40 to 60 on a deck that I would rarely play.  In the end I went with a cheap copy of Dimir Control, because it had two main decked copies of Probe

I love that card, and I love that the deck was less than 10 tickets.  After spending roughly 240 on decks, I was left with 110 (I'm going by my memory here, and not what I actually spent, because I made sure to take full advantage of MTGOTraders' PayPal discount).  That was going to buy my final deck, a 1v1 deck.  I was unwilling to spend money at the time though, because while I was buying the banned list had not went up, and I was not going to spend it on a deck that might have been unplayable.  I would have hated to buy something like Mox Diamond and then have to sell it back at a huge loss because it was removed from the format, though I would have been fine doing so had bannings actually happened. 

110 is not a lot of cash to spend in the format though.  It's become expensive, almost comparable to Legacy and Vintage decks online, and when faced with budget options, there is not a lot of room to work with in the format.  The manabases can sometimes take up a huge chunk of the money needed for a deck, so we're left with mono colored options.  Wasteland takes another huge bite out of the available funds, so I had to find a commander that did not really need to have the card, though to be fair, decks will be fine without the land in their decks.  I looked at white decks, and decided that I did not want to be on Thalia, Guardian of Thraben because of the starting life total, and I am not a huge fan of the hatebear style of play that the deck uses.  Blue gave us Jace, Vryn's Prodigy which is a more expensive deck, and Baral, Chief of Compliance.  Baral is of course the counter everything, Polymorph into Emrakul, the Aeons Torn commander.  While it was oppressive in the beginning of the format it has lost a bit of its shine thanks to all the other control decks in the format.  Black saw Sidisi, Undead Vizier as an option, but Liliana of the Veil ate up a huge amount of money in the deck.  Green has a ton of options, ranging from ramp Selvala, Heart of the Wilds to Elfball Nissa, Vastwood Seer to whatever we want to call Omnath, Locus of Mana.  I've played a ton of Green in the format, so I decided to not purchase any of those.  Red has Zurgo Bellstriker and seeing that this is not Cube, and life totals are thirty to start off with, I'd rather not go the Zurgo route. 

In the end I went with Baral, Chief of Compliance.  Yeah sure it's a cheap way to win, but ending the game effectively on turn three is a good way to be.  Also it helped a ton that I found a list that went 5-0 that went without the super expensive stuff like Daze, Force of Will, Mystic Confluence and Wasteland.  It went 5-0, so it proved to me that with good matchups, good draws and a little bit of luck, I could start grinding out the league with a cheapish deck. 

It was actually cheaper than the Modern deck to put together!  You see this version of Baral comes in at less than 75 dollars!  Let's take a look at it! 

The most expensive card in the deck is Emrakul, though Cryptic Command and Jace, the Mind Sculptor are not to far beind in regards to cost.  

I tried to stream with the deck before the leagues were extended but that ended up leaving a bit of dead time, so I decided to stream the round, end the stream and then come back online after the time passed in between rounds.  It was not my best idea, but here are some videos.  I'm only going to show off three of the five rounds I played because well, this is my article, and it's getting kinda late! 

Rounds 1 and 2

Round 3

I ended up going 3-2 in the league, which was good for a treasure chest that I opened for 15 play points and two junk commons.  That was not the epic restart I wanted for my collection, but I also think I just need to save my chests instead of opening them all at the end of a league.  Maybe sell them off and buy new stuff at the end of the month? 

This is my brief look at a solid budget deck for 1v1, if the expense of the format has made you stay away, check this deck out, I don't think you'll be sorry for doing so! 

Thanks for hanging out with me today, enjoy the rest of it! 



I was also disappointed with by ArchGenius at Fri, 09/01/2017 - 08:33
ArchGenius's picture

I was also disappointed with the no change update. I was hoping that we would start to get something close to French Commander by now.

Baral is the best budget deck on the market, I just don't find it very interesting to play.

You're not wrong at all. by JXClaytor at Fri, 09/01/2017 - 09:45
JXClaytor's picture

You're not wrong at all. It's a very linear, very consistent deck that minimizes decisions made (even if there are a ton) and is laser focused on it's end game goal happening as quickly as possible.