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By: Plainswalker83, Marcus Brunstetter
Nov 12 2014 1:00pm
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    The Standard meta has been seeing some sort of innovation each and every tournament. Before this week the only real budget aggro deck to build was a version of Boss Sligh. Like the one seen below,

     I quickly built this deck on MTGO as the most expensive card was Eidolon and buying him is all upside due to his use in both legacy and modern as well. (Burn is a great budget deck in the other formats). This deck can win very quickly but there are times where you can run out of gas and just lack the necessary reach to punch through the last few points of damage. It also can be very weak to Anger of the Gods and Drown in Sorrow. If those cards are not seeing as much play than this deck can still be a fine choice to pick up and play. The "Boss" being the player that he is did not stop with his mono red list though. He brought another deck to the scg open in Columbus this past weekend. This deck is something I have been waiting to see someone find the right build for and it seems Ross did.

       Now this deck is more my style. Besides the fact that I love Hero's flavor text it has tough white creatures that can quickly outgrow the range of Lightning Strike and Bile Blight. They also can gain protection from Hero's Downfall and other removal. If that wasn't enough of a draw to play this there is the Aura package you gain with Heliod's Pilgrim Tom equated the pilgrim to Stoneforge Mystic and although that may just be magic hyperbole, the statement does have some merit. In this deck you can search up evasion in the forms of Aqueous Form and Stratus Walk. Card draw with Ordeal of Thassa and life gain with Ordeal of Heliod. It also has the ability to search up a "removal spell" in Singing Bell Strike. All of those auras are pretty sweet on their own but then you add in Eidolon of Countless Battles. This shell is perfect for the bestow creature. The auras and the other creatures can make for one large threat that you can easily give evasion too whether it be flying, unblockable, or protection from opposing blockers. Jacob Van Lunen just wrote an article on this deck as well and his list varies slightly from Ross' but I would definitely go with the boss on this one. JVL might be better with words but I think Tom has proven he knows how to build an aggro deck. Now you may look at the deck and see 4 Flooded Strand and 1 Mana Confluence and ask how budget friendly they really are. I know they are expensive but when you compare this deck to anything that runs walkers or Courser of Kruphix and Goblin Rabblemaster it is much easier on the wallet. You can even replace the fetches with Evolving Wilds and a confluence with an extra Island. After those cuts this deck cost less than 50 tickets on MTGO, with the most expensive cards being Temple of Enlightenment and Hero of Iroas. Without the fetches it can be a little slower but it is still capable of explosive draws. Having the Ordeal of Thassa also makes it possible to have some late game as well. Refilling your hand when you are out of gas and allowing you to find those spells to try and close out the game. In the board you see the 2 Treasure Cruises as well. They can be brought in when you are in those grindy matches and have even more card draw. Stubborn Denial  is another great option to bring in from the board when you need to counter the sweepers or walkers that you opponents can have against you. Most times it serves as a 1 mana Negate other times it is Force Spike either way it is a great option. Erase seems to be needed due to the presence of Jeskai Ascendancy but it also hits a variety of other targets as well, from gods to Nyx-Fleece Ram. The rest of the sideboard is an extension of the main deck. I like how Ross does that he treats the deck as 75 cards as opposed to 60. If you haven't guessed by now I really enjoy this deck and think that it can really be a competitor in standard.

    Next up is a deck I haven't seen do much since the Pro Tour but I built it (a budget version) on MTGO and played a bunch with it and think it is a lot of fun and it may even have a chance to compete.

      This deck can really crank out threats quickly and make it a nightmare if your opponent does not have a sweeper. Even Anger and Drown can become obsolete if you start to grow your guys with Phalanx Leader or if you land a quick Obelisk of Urd. It is not uncommon to be able to play the artifact on turn 3 due to the amount of tokens you can make. This also has the heroic theme to it but only your Favored Hoplite and Leader actually grow with each spell. Akroan Crusader and Vanguard of Brimaz serve as producers. Each spell that you hit them with adds another recruit to your army all sharing the soldier creature type. Having Dragon Mantle and Defiant Strike allow you to not only trigger heroic but also to can-trip so you can dig deeper and find the answer you need to close out the game. Basically you just want to get an Obelisk and play it as soon as possible making every creature and token you have a must answer threat. As with the UW deck Mana Confluence is needed for speed and mana fixing but you can cut it for Evolving Wilds again to cut almost 80 tickets from the price. The side is pretty cheap as well except for King Midas err.. Brimaz, King of Oreskos he is quite is expensive and you can do without him. I added Erase, Stoke the Flames, and Banishing Light to the board because I also did not have the god of the forge. He is only 3 bucks on MTGO Traders so chances are I will pick a few up and try him out. Dawnbringer Charioteers does its best Baneslayer Angel impression after being hit by a few spells and is great against the other aggressive decks. Over all this is a lot of fun and I know it lost its popularity after Hawaii but it can very well make a comeback with a few changes and can easily become budget as well.

     These decks especially those run by Ross show us that budget does not mean it cannot perform. You do not always need expensive planeswalkers, rabble rousing goblins, or legendary cat kings to make your deck viable in standard. Especially on MTGO when you don't want to re buy the cards you may own in paper or you just want to have fun without breaking bank. What about you?  Do you have any budget lists that can still compete with big boys in standard? Let me know in comments or feel free to contact me on MTGO. For the rest of this week I will be testing Legacy for GP NJ on Saturday. Thankfully my wife is very understanding and I can go out to test and make the changes needed to make my deck as perfect as possible. My next article will be a tournament report on my experience at the GP. Hopefully it will be pretty positive but win or lose I expect this to be one of the greatest magic experiences ever. Even if all I get is that sweet Brainstorm swag :-) If any of you are anywhere near the east coast and will be at the GP let me know. I would be down to play any format and chat about decks. So once again take care and see ya next time.