theoutsyder83's picture
By: theoutsyder83, Josh Cornwell
Aug 09 2011 9:28am
Login or register to post comments

You probably have no clue who I am. That’s understandable. I’m a pretty average Magic player with no top eight performances in anything more exciting than Friday Night Magic tournaments. So let’s get the initial questions out of the way: I’ve been playing since Ice Age, competitively since Odyssey, and I just got back from a two year break from the game. I’m from North Carolina, and I usually play at The Dugout in Hickory. I’m a spike/timmy, which means I really want to win, but I prefer to do it with big splashy cards whenever I can. I also have a blog called Outsyder Gaming that you should check out if you enjoy the rest of this article. I... I... I... I... I... enough talking about me. Let’s talk Magic.

I’ve been griping on my blog lately about how irritated I am with how expensive the standard format is right now, so I started building a budget deck. Now, before you scroll down to the list and tell me that I’m insane for thinking it’s a budget deck, let me explain one rule I have that separates my budget decks from most peoples’: I don’t mind spending money on cards that will retain their value when they have rotated out of standard. Fetch lands, for example, are cool because I’m not going to lose anything in the long run. More than likely, I’ll make good on the investment when they’ve been out of standard for a while and aren’t as easy to find. That might mean that what I consider “budget” is higher than what most people are willing to pay, but so be it. I’m in it for the long haul.
So after griping about standard, posting a budget deck list, and then souping up that budget deck list into something halfway decent, I finally entered a standard tournament with some confidence last Sunday. This was the deck that I brought to the table:
BUGrove Elder
Lands (23)
14 Forest
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Halimar Depths
2 Island
Creatures (20)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Sylvan Ranger
4 Viridian Emissary
4 Dungrove Elder
3 Wurmcoil Engine
3 Trinket Mage
1 Ornithopter
Equipment (7)
3 Sword of Vengeance
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Flayer Husk
Other (7)
4 Into the Roil
3 Dismember
3 Creeping Corrosion
3 Obstinate Baloth
3 Vapor Snag
3 Acidic Slime
3 Beast Within
Dungrove Elder Sword of Vengeance Basilisk Collar
If you clicked the link to check out the original version, these are the changes to the deck since then and my reasoning behind each one:
  • Vault Skirge is gone... the life loss from this and Dismember was just too much, so I replaced them with Llanowar Elves. This slot should probably be Birds of Paradise to help get double blue for Into the Roil's kicker and to offset even more of the life loss, but I traded all of mine away a long time ago (which is actually good for me since their price has dropped considerably).
  • Terramorphic Expanse became Misty Rainforest. Yeah, having stuff come into play tapped was just too irritating. I had been concerned about the life loss with Vault Skirge and Dismember, but after the above changes, I decided to go ahead and make the switch.
  • One Dismember went to the sideboard in place of an Into the Roil. I really didn't like the life loss, and not having access to any black mana, drawing multiples of Dismember is really painful.
  • Acidic Slime moved to the sideboard, and in came a Sword of Feast and Famine as well as a Sword of War and Peace. Let's face it... they're just better cards. Again, they aren’t cards that most people will see as budget cards, but they’ll still see play in legacy as long as Stoneforge Mystic is around.
  • Accorder's Shield got replaced with an Ornithopter. The shield might be great for Puresteel Paladin and friends, but without the card draw and the free equip, it was an underachiever here. Meanwhile, Ornithopter is a cheap guy with evasion that can get a Sword of Feast and Famine to hit when you really need it to, or sit back and block Squadron Hawks all day long. 
By the way, to anyone looking at this list (or seeing me play Trinket Mage for Basilisk Collar) and spouting off something about how much better the deck would be if it was blue-white with Puresteel Paladin... nevermind, I'm not going to be that rude. I'll just say this: Congratulations, Mr. Obvious. The Puresteel Paladin deck is more popular and it has (arguably) more synergy. I already know. Don't waste your breath.
Crap... that still felt kind of rude. Oh well... 
Now, on to the matches!
Match One vs. Jund
In game one, he was threat light and I won pretty easily. He did drop red, black, and green lands, but he didn't really play a whole lot, so I didn't know how to sideboard. The second game was really long, and really showed how dangerous his deck could be. Over the course of the game, I saw all three titans, Grim Lavamancers, Garruk, Primal Hunter, a Sword of War and Peace... the only think keeping me in the game was lots of lifelink. I had managed to get out a Dungrove Elder with Sword of War and Peace and Basilisk Collar, plus a Wurmcoil Engine, so I was gaining over ten life per turn for a while. Thinking I had things well out of reach, he dropped Sorin and immediately dropped my life total down to ten! That I didn't expect. The game was tight at that point, as I was swinging in and gaining tons of life each turn, but without trample or evasion, I wasn't really doing any damage... meanwhile, he was picking off my horde of 1/1 elves with Sorin and accumulating an army of tokens with Grave Titans and Garruk. Finally, I drew Sword of Feast and Famine and was able to push through his army of token blockers for the win. 2-0 win, 1-0 overall
Grave Titan
Match Two vs. Goblins
Game one I weathered the early storm and got out Dungrove Elder with Sword of Vengeance. He had beaten me down enough to burn me out with the right topdecks, but the big treefolk with vigilance and trample was too fast of a clock and was playing defense too. Game two, he came out of the gates swinging and again got my life total pretty low. On my last turn, I found myself with two life, six lands, an Obstinate Baloth in play, a hand with Trinket Mage and Wurmcoil Engine. He had one card in hand, but as much burn as he had shown, I was scared to stay at two. I played Trinket Mage, searched for Basilisk Collar, played the collar, equipped to the baloth, tried to attack... and winced as he shattered the equipment. He took four and then burned me out on his next turn. Game three I kept a fairly slow hand with lots of life gain... an Obstinate Baloth, a Trinket Mage, and a Sword of War and Peace plus some lands. I drew into a Viridian Emissary, which pushed me ahead on land when he burned it but allowed me to play the baloth on turn three. On my next turn, I dropped the Trinket Mage and it's accompanying Basilisk Collar. He shattered the collar, as I had hoped, and on my next turn I played and equipped the Sword of War and Peace... and started swinging away. My life total shot well out of reach, and when I dropped a Wurmcoil Engine a turn or two later, he scooped. 2-1 win, 2-0 overall
Goblin Guide
Match Three vs. Puresteel
In game one, he was land light and didn't do a whole lot. He got stuck on four mana for quite some time despite scrying efforts. Meanwhile, I had assembled a board of Viridian Emissaries, Llanowar Elves, and an Ornithopter equipped with a Sword of Vengeance. I was swinging with everything every turn, while holding off his flyers with my 2/2 first striking Ornithopter. When he finally did get his fifth land, it was one that came into play tapped, and he needed to play something that turn to avoid being overrun. I messed up by Dismembering his blocker on my turn rather than in response to the Sylvok Lifestaff equip, which threw off my math and left him at one life... enough for Gideon to come down the next turn and save even more time... but I still ended up pulling through with my army of weenies. Game two was a lot more even. He dropped two quick Vault Skirges and started hitting me with lifelink flyers right off the bat. A Mortarpod hit the board and killed an elf. I Dismembered a Puresteel Paladin, thinking that my life was getting dangerously low... and then I pulled one of those Creeping Corrosions that I sideboarded in and wiped his board clean. I followed up with Dungrove Elder and then Sword of Vengeance, which won the game in a few short turns. 2-0 win, 3-0 overall
Puresteel Paladin
Match Four vs. UGW Fog-Mill
I was not prepared for this matchup at all... in fact, as much land searching as my deck does, I'm at a disadvantage before the game even starts. I won game one with quick beats. Lots of elves hit the board early and did their jobs. I didn't know exactly what he was doing, except that he hadn't played a single permanent in the first game other than Jace... so I suspected milling. I boarded in as many threats as I could find for random stuff that wouldn't matter... Ornithopters and Dismembers came out for Obstinate Baloths. I didn't care about the life gain. I just wanted threats. He milled me out pretty quickly in the second game. He played a Jace, I killed it, he played another, I killed it too... but I just didn't have enough to push through for the kill. Game three went pretty long, and he played multiple Rites of Flourishings. I know the card quite well from my casual multiplayer days, but I didn't really have a way around it other than bouncing it to his hand, and I decided that I was better off just trying to draw into more threats. Unfortunately, the combination of eight fog effects and four wraths kept me from putting up much of a fight. I had 20 damage worth of creatures on the table twice, but never got to see a combat step that mattered after turn four or so. 1-2 loss, 3-1 overall
Archive Trap
Match Five vs. Valakut
We chatted a bit before playing about who we had played earlier and what our bad matchups were. He asked what I was playing, and I told him it was just janky stuff that nobody was expecting. At some point, he mentioned that he was playing red-green, but that it wasn't aggro. "Red-green and not aggro?" I said. "What kind of red-green are you playing, man?" Then I realized that I was in the middle of a facepalm moment. I had forgotten that Valakut even existed, and it's much more a combo deck than an aggro deck. My deck ran perfectly game one with early mana acceleration, a Trinket Mage for Basilisk Collar, a mid-sized Dungrove Elder, and then Sword of Vengeance. I didn't play much else, but when the game ended, I was swinging with an 10/8 hexproof, lifelink, deathtouch, haste, vigilance, trample, first strike Dungrove Elder. Man, I love this janky mess of a deck. Game two I came out slow, but I felt like I was about to turn things around when he played Primeval Titan and grabbed two copies of Valakut (for three total). "It's okay," I thought. "My Dungrove Elder is big enough to kill it when it attacks and I'll gain enough life in the exchange that I still won't be too low." When he played the second Primeval Titan on his next turn, I knew it was over. I couldn't deal with that many Valakut lightning bolts. I decided at this point that I had underestimated Valakut and that I needed to finish this game as quickly as possible... so I went the all-threat route that I had attempted in match four, plus some Acidic Slimes for his Valakuts. As it turns out, they weren't necessary. I opened game three with a Llanowar Elf. Turn two, a Sword of War and Peace came down. Turn three, I equipped it and hit him for nine. He drew his card and scooped. 2-1 win, 4-1 overall
Primeval Titan
Ending the day at 4-1, I placed 3rd. We didn't go to top eight, so prizes were awarded based on final standings. I don't foresee this deck winning any major tournaments, but you just never know. A better deckbuilder than me might refine it into something truly competitive. It certainly has potential, and it is a blast to play.
Here's hoping that your jank is as successful as my jank... unless you're playing me, of course.


Linking Error by theoutsyder83 at Sun, 08/07/2011 - 23:58
theoutsyder83's picture

Looks like the "click here" link didn't stick... the original deck list can be found here:

My apologies!

yes i too plan to make the by BOBBAKAKE at Tue, 08/09/2011 - 09:55
BOBBAKAKE's picture

yes i too plan to make the dungrove a star,then others will respect me then i can respect myself and everything will be ok...

love the deck by darksky602 at Tue, 08/09/2011 - 15:49
darksky602's picture

I have been through tempered steel, U/B control, G/W failed control, mono black, caw blade and a couple others. I just got back into playing magic within the last 2 weeks and this is the first deck I have FULLY enjoyed playing. Thank you.

Good to see another Dungrove by theoutsyder83 at Wed, 08/10/2011 - 05:58
theoutsyder83's picture

Good to see another Dungrove fan, and I'm glad you're enjoying the deck, darksky. Let me know if you keep running it and have some success!

Dungrove Elder ftw by Ebonlocke at Sun, 08/14/2011 - 19:31
Ebonlocke's picture

Hey man, love the blog post. Made an account just to be able to respond! I have been playing my own version of U/W Control until recently when I aquired 3 Mind Sculptors and 4 Mystics in a trade and decided to convert it to a legacy Caw-Blade, but that's besides the point.

I was out of a standard deck because of that and I love the idea of a Dungrove elder. I only just put it together but here's what I have:

20 Forest
2 Plains

4 Gladecover Scout
4 Spirit Mantle
4 Rampant Regrowth
4 Sylvan Ranger
4 Viridian Emissary
3 Hunter's Insight
4 O-Ring
4 Dungrove Elder
3 Phyrexian Metamorph
2 Thrun, The Last Troll
2 Gaea's Revenge

I play alot of can't be countereds and hexproof things. Until I get around to getting them manaramping and little critters keep me alive, little worried about flyers though as I haven't really tested this yet in an FNM. Hunter's insight is awesome if you have an empty hand and you swing in with a 7/7 Hexproof Pro. Creatures dungrove elder to give you more fuel for the war effort.

The swords idea seemed very tasty too, but I'm not sure about what to replace them for really. I'm thinking I'll probably try to adopt the swords of vengeance and the basilisk collar too, but I'm afriad I'd have to replace too much if I don't play blue to fetch them with trinket mages. I'd rather just get a massive dungrove elder and get through defenses with spirit mantle, the sword of vengeance would make that especially tasty.

It's also alot of fun when you already have a heavy dungrove elder to bring in a Gaea's Revenge and then copy either of them with metamorph next turn to make for quite a few number of really hard hitters, all of which canpotentially be creature proof with spirit mantle.

I only play 2 plains because I have a million ways to fetch them anyway.

What do you think? ;)

I'd probably run Green Sun's by char49d at Sun, 08/14/2011 - 19:57
char49d's picture

I'd probably run Green Sun's Zenith and a toolbox if I was going to build a deck around a green card. Just a passing thought.

Thanks for sharing, by theoutsyder83 at Sat, 08/20/2011 - 14:17
theoutsyder83's picture

Thanks for sharing, Ebonlocke. "What do you think?" can sometimes be a dangerous question to ask me... sometimes you'll expect a quick opinion and you'll get a full post instead! My thoughts on your deck are here:

Yes, Green Sun's Zenith should have been in the deck all along... and it's in my new version (which I'll be submitting sometime tonight).