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By: Barbarian King, Barbarian King
Apr 15 2011 12:37pm
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Hi my name is Barbarian King and I'm an addict. I inhaled paper Magic from Ice Age Block to Mercadian Masques before the small, local scene unraveled and I was forced to quit cold turkey. I'm a lot less technologically savvy than the average human but compared to my fellow barbarians I do alright so by 2010 I owned a computer, not a good computer but a computer none the less. With way too much free time on my hands I ended up reading about Magic, a lot, and by December I was feeling the itch and downloaded MTGO and started mainlining virtual Magic.

After a computer melt down forced me into rehab for a couple of months I returned and binged on MSS 4-3-2-2 drafts for a few days. A long string of failing to open any money mythics (the Liege of the Tangle I took for my Dino’s deck decisively does not count) I found myself looking at having to either build a seriously budget deck or run two more drafts gaming my ability to play until my birthday which was not a pleasant sounding prospect. Budget deck it is. By budget I mean not playing planeswalkers at all and trying to avoid mythics in general and even expensive rares. So I went out in search of a deck and in my desperation I actually found something pretty sick.

Mono-Green Infect

Here's my current build of the deck in it's absolute most budget form:

Mono-Green Infect
Absolute Budget Version
4 Ichorclaw Myr
4 Necropede
2 Putrefax
10 cards

Other Spells
2 Rot Wolf
1 Viridian Corrupter
4 Groundswell
4 Vines of Vastwood
3 Giant Growth
1 Unnatural Predation
3 Contagion Clasp
2 Tumble Magnet
1 Piston Sledge
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
4 Inkmoth Nexus
17 cards
20 Forest
20 cards


I would also like to present another version of the deck, it does add a few more tickets to the overall cost but in all it's not that much more and gives you a few staples for standard. 

Mono-Green Infect
For A Few Tickets More
4 Ichorclaw Myr
4 Necropede
1 Cystbearer
9 cards

Other Spells
4 Plague Myr
3 Rot Wolf
1 Viridian Corrupter
4 Groundswell
4 Vines of Vastwood
3 Giant Growth
1 Unnatural Predation
3 Contagion Clasp
2 Tumble Magnet
1 Piston Sledge
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
4 Inkmoth Nexus
17 cards
4 Misty Rainforest
16 Forest
20 cards

Misty Rainforest

The difference is fetch lands over Putrefax and I'll explain why after I've explained the rest of the deck (or if you must know now Control F for Putrefax) but if you can afford the extra tickets I'd suggest the fetch land version. Another money addition to consider would be a Sword of Body and Mind over your least favourite sideboard card (I'd suggest the 3rd Canopy Cover). Also feel free to mess with the sideboard, I change it constantly and there's still room for improvement, but the Viridian Corrupter's and Obstinate Baloth's more than earn their keep and deserve their slots.

I've been running it in the 2-man queues for about 3 days now, which doesn't sound like much but I'm an addict and I can easily run 20 matches a day so I've got a pretty good feel for the deck and thought I'd write a primer for it in case anyone's interested in this underrated deck. As for my results I'm annoyingly close to 50 % but still positive and if think you can play better than some nobody who's never even attended a PTQ there could be a lot of free packs in this deck for you. If not, it's still incredibly fun deck to play combining the Spike thrill of winning on turn 3 or 4 with the incredible Timmy rush of doing so with Giant Growth variants and poison creatures which once were so terrible only my little brother and Mark Rosewater could love them.

The deck is made up entirely of cards that look like reasonable picks in draft that you wouldn't expect to see in a constructed deck built by anyone over the age of 12 but Giant Growth variants combined with cheap infect creatures allow for explosive kills out of nowhere. The deck is an absolute blast to play, at least assuming you enjoy killing your opponent in one or two hits around turn 3 or 4 and offers a reasonably high level of redundancy with a lot of your cards being fairly interchangeable.

Ichorclaw MyrThe deck has a very low creature curve that essentially runs from 2-3 with a strong emphasis on 2 with good reason. The 2 drops are all 1/1 infect creatures with slightly different applications that are fairly obvious. Plague Myr is often the best turn 2 play allowing quick acceleration, Ichorclaw Myr is an offensive weapon able to attack fearlessly into almost any early blocker your opponent can put in his path and Necropede can threaten a 2 for 1 if your opponent tries to trade with it and works as a fine defensive line when you're in a pinch.

Rot WolfMoving up the curve to 3 Rot Wolf over Cystbearer is a personal choice and both have their merits but mostly their just keeping me from having to play Blight Mamba (which is terrible) without messing up the curve too much. A Viridian Corrupter crept it's way in from the sideboard since it comes in for so many match ups but I'd advise against more than 1 main deck because it's not a may trigger and can cause problems if your opponent doesn't provide a target.

Vines of VastwoodGiant Growth and the best of it's variations all function very similarly and allow you to kill in one or two attacks depending on how much mana you have available (Inkmoth Nexus often takes two attacks as it eats up mana but makes up for it with evasion). Giant Growth needs no real explanation as it's the standard and when it's right to play Groundswell over another pump spell is fairly obvious. Vines of Vastwood is both the best and worst pump spell in the deck as it cost the most to actually pump the creature but it's an awesome second pump spell in response to removal after you cast the first Giant Growth. A misers Unnatural Predation is my no longer secret tech because sometimes you draw a lot of pump spells and all you want is for your little dude to trample, it's especially good when cast on a blocked Ichorclaw Myr.

Contagion ClaspBeing mono-Green your removal options are limited to well, artifacts. That's okay though, Contagion Clasp does a fine job of killing off potential blockers and offers some occasionally relevant inevitability/reach. Tumble Magnet is even better although it needs to sit on board for mana concerns it can remove two blockers for the turn you want to make your alpha strike on.

Piston SledgePiston Sledge and Sylvok Lifestaff offer a little bit of permanent pump to your guys. Lifestaff is a nod to the prevalence of aggro decks in the online meta whereas the hammer is just a straight up beating. Re-equipping the hammer isn't so bad, Contagion Clasps, used up Tumble Magnets don't really feel like sacrifices and at times you really want to be able to have Necropede die before combat and a mana free pump keeping your Forests free to cast actual pump spells can be very advantageous.

Inkmoth NexusInkmoth Nexus is the only card you really need for the deck that actually costs multiple tickets but you really do need to run a set. Between it's evasive abilities and preventing flooding it's contributions are invaluable.

Misty Rainforest VS Putrefax

Misty RainforestFetch lands for land thinning would be great in this deck as it does not have a curve in the traditional sense with almost all the creatures costing 2 and most of the spells costing 1-3 mana. Ideally you want 2-4 lands in play and it would be nice if one of them was an Inkmoth Nexus. The deck deck functions much better when you get stuck on 2-3 lands than when you flood out. (I put Misty Rainforest in the deck list because right now they're cheaper, if you've already got Verdant Catacombs go with those).

PutrefaxIn case of flooding Putrefax does not save you at least not enough to be worth running if you can afford to run some land thinning instead. I've won and lost games with Putrefax sitting idly in my hand, far more often than I've won by playing him but still he's not horrible at least the times he isn't hit by a removal spell. I really wouldn't recommend running more than 2 though because honestly the games where you hit 5 lands aren't the games you want to be playing and you never want to draw enough lands that you can cast him and pump spells in the same turn.

ForestOnce you've got Inkmoth Nexus's and fetches keeping adding basic Forest until you hit 24 lands. Personally I like my basic lands to all look alike so I hit up MTGOTradersFreeBot for a bunch with a picture I liked.

When mulliganing the deck what you're looking for is 2-3 land (preferably and Inkmoth Nexus) and a mix of little creatures and pump spells. Remember your draw step is more likely to yield land, creatures and pump spells in that order.

For what appears to be a stupid, gimmicky aggro deck it's actually incredibly hard to play optimally especially if you don't like math (don't worry it's not hard math, you just have to be able add up to 10 a lot of different ways). I often find despite spending my opponents turn running numbers to figure out the best way to play out my hand and what possible draws could do to change that I still tank for a while between my draw and attack phase.

The hardest part of playing the deck is attacking into open mana, a tapped out opponent is often just dead in the water waiting for you to strike him down. Obviously red mana threatens to hit your creatures with burn which by the time you're ready to kill them on turn 3 or 4 actually isn't that scary. If they bolt your creature in response to a pump spell you can just pump it again. Black and White mana are scarier as Condemn and Doom Blade aren't undone by a simple Giant Growth and you really want to have a back-up Vines of Vastwood. If they don't blast your creature with removal when you pump your creature up you might want to hold onto Vines for the next attack.

When your side boarding never cut a 2 drop creature or a pump spell. If you're not running fetches and have a lot to bring in going down to 23 land on the draw is acceptable.

Some common match-ups.

Valakut, the Molten PinnacleValakut is a great match, essentially you both goldfish and your clock is faster, just remember to play it safe if they have untapped Mountains on your turn. In side boarding you have very little to bring in against them but that's okay since it's a good match anyways. If you do have a Sword of Body and Mind assuming you saw creature based ramp this is a decent match for it and if you suspect they run target removal Lightning Bolt rather than sweepers Pyroclasm Canopy Cover is worth considering.

Squadron HawkSword of Feast and Famine Caw-Blade in all it's incarnations is tough especially the games where they draw Squadron Hawk but Stoneforge Mystic into Sword of Feast and Famine is still very beatable and Sylvok Lifestaff is a joke. Make sure you kill them before they play Gideon Jura though. In boarding you want to bring in (Viridian Corrupters) and Tumble Magnets to keep them from landing a hit with a sword. The Pistus Strikes are for Baneslayer Angels commonly found in the traditional UW builds.

Plated GeopedeBoros is a reasonably good match since their best creatures match up very poorly in combat against infect. Steppe Lynx and Adventuring Gear wearing 1/1's die at end of turn from a single poison token and Plated Geopede's first strike is useless when going into battle against a Necropede. Board in Corrupters for their equipment and Obstinate Baloth's to buy you a little extra time.

Grand ArchitectMono-U Architect is starting to make it's way out of Block and into Standard. Contagion Clasp the (Thrumming Bird)s and board in more Contagion Clasps. You can lock down their Steel Hellkites and Wurmcoil Engines with a Tumble Magnet if it comes to that but usually they spend a few turns mana accelerating and then you kill them.

Kalastria HighbornVampires is still a presence online (also a good budget option but I got bored with it in January) and is a reasonably even match up. Inkmoths really pull their weight here as long as you can keep them from being bolted. In boarding Canopy Cover is amazing and all the Obstinate Baloths come in as well to block and gain life. Additionally Vampires does so much damage to themselves with Vampire Lacerators, Dark Tutelage and fetch lands it's possible to chump with your poison guys and attack with a pumped up Baloth for lethal damage. Also they may board in (Demon At Death's Gate) against you so don't skim of the Tumble Magnets but I wouldn't suggest Pistus Strike as it easily could be dead.

(pic=Lanowar Elves)Elves might as well be a bye, you attack with Inkmoth Nexus and kill them, it's that simple. I've never lost this match-up, they have no fliers and no removal. Board similarly to Vampires and add in the Sword for pro-green if you have one.

Kuldotha RebirthKuldotha Red on the other hand... Good luck, you'll need it. They clog up the ground and have enough removal to make animating a Inkmoth Nexus risky. Board similarly to Vampires and spend the remainder of the 3 minutes your given in prayer. This match is responsible a startlingly large portion of my losses and a good match to hope to dodge.

Lotus CobraRUG is a rare match-up but a pretty good one. They tend value their Lotus Cobra's heavily and not block with them. Make sure this is a fatal error on their part. Another good match for Sword of Body and Mind as Jace bouncing is about their best play for stalling you out.

In closing I would like to say that writing articles is much harder than reading them and if you've got any questions I'll try to pry myself away from smashing people's faces in long enough to answer them in comment section and I hope this article was of use to you.


How many times have you by lumbydan at Fri, 04/15/2011 - 14:45
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How many times have you gotten the "stupid noob deck" comment? :) Back in my budget days I got that some. I always laughed.

inkmoth not budget by killersideshow at Fri, 04/15/2011 - 16:38
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With the going price for the nexus alone this deck pushes over fourty dollars. I often build on budget but to me budget means under five dollars for the whole deck. although I would love to add nexus to my infect deck as a staple I cannot because one card alone already breaks my wallet. It's possible to beat net deckers with real budget decks that cost no more then five dollars to build.

even at $40 this deck would by ShardFenix at Fri, 04/15/2011 - 16:46
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even at $40 this deck would count as budget considering most decks are running full playsets of Jace, Titans or other pricey mythics. Just because its not 'your' definition of budget doesnt mean it isnt budget. I mean if you combined all your under five dollar decks then you could play this still budget deck...

If you like budget decks at by A_New_Hope at Sat, 04/16/2011 - 01:10
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If you like budget decks at 5$ and under you should try Heirloom since it's right in that range, some lower some slightly higher but not by much, and its a fun competitive environment where you don't have to shell out to play the "best deck" as selected by you and whatever you want to play with that's legal.

Seriously, under $5 is what by Raddman at Fri, 04/15/2011 - 16:51
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Seriously, under $5 is what you consider a budget build? That's the cost of just about one gallon of gas. I suggest you either bump up your budget or start playing pauper.

I think budget builds around the 30-50 range are much more reasonable.

Thanks for the comments. by Barbarian King at Fri, 04/15/2011 - 18:50
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First off, I seem to have accidently ommited 6 cards from the sideboard. Oops, sorry about that. While I've tinkered with the deck a bit since this was written (my Lifestaff is now in the board in place of one of the Canopy Covers) the missing sideboard cards are definately 3 Pistus Strike and 3 Viridian Corrupter (to have 4 in the 75).

I got the 'stupid noob' comment less often than a shocked comment as my opponent died on turn 3 or 4 after failing to block a 1/1. The deck is budget and uses some admitably unimpressive cards but the synergy between pump effects and infect creatures allows it to play a real game of Magic against much more expensive and better known decks.

I built the deck when Inkmoth Nexus were a little cheaper and picked up my playset for 22 tickets but even now at closer to $40 I still consider the deck to be a great budget option. I'm currently unemployed and this deck allowed me to play constructed and not feel like I was making a sacrifice in power by avoiding purchasing a card that clearly would make my deck strictly better. To me that's a budget deck, a $5 deck that's clearly missing the best card because I can't afford it isn't something I would feel comfortable running (and Inkmoth Nexus does make the deck far more potent, a creature most ground based aggro decks can't block and can't be targeted at sorcery speed is a huge benefit to the deck).

Budget by Ranth at Fri, 04/15/2011 - 19:20
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Nice article and yes 40$ is still budget some pauper decks cost more then this deck :p

I personally consider by Dtrny at Fri, 04/15/2011 - 21:48
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I personally consider anything less than 3 drafts worth of tickets budget, although if you aren't willing to go out and get the constructed playables lands from new sets, you probably don't want to play constructed.

I'm curious, why a card like Piston Sledge, which, forgive me, seems terrible, over a card like Livewire Lash, which, don't get me wrong, is still terrible, but has huge upside in this type of deck.

With the amount of hawk chump blocking going on in standard, I'm also surprised you didn't max out on Rot Wolf, you are going to need to draw as many cards as possible since your deck will get two-for-one'd plenty. Cystbearer seems like it would be great out of the board vs Red decks to play around pyroclasm or arc trail. Similarly, what about Leyline of Vitality instead of Obstinate Baloth, since both gain you life, but Baloth doesn't do anything for your infect creatures.

I realize you aren't trying to grind out decks and want to win via pump spells, but given the popularity of a certain sword, I think some number of Viridian Corrupters in the board would be appropriate.

Dtrny by Barbarian King at Fri, 04/15/2011 - 23:43
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The deck plays a lot of seemingly terrible cards that normally I wouldn't advocate in a constructed deck. I wouldn't say Piston Sledge is the weak link in a deck based around Giant Growth variants and 1/1's for 2 mana.

Most of the reasons I like Piston Sledge are explained in the article already. Re-equipping at for no mana cost is a huge benefit when you need to be able to Giant Growth or Vines of Vastwood later in the turn or in response to you equiping the creature. The deck has a lot of artifacts it's willing to get rid of especially if it means the opponent is going to die on your attack phase so sacrficing a burnt out Tumble Magnet, a Contagion Clasp or best of all Necropede is worth it to equip a Piston Sledge especially since you often want to be equiping Inkmoth Nexus which uses up 2 of your lands activating and attacking.

I did try Livewire Lash because I love it in Infect draft decks but it's way too mana intensive for this deck and working with Giant Growth, Groundswell and Vines of Vastwood the additional bonus for targeting your creature isn't worth as much as when your using Untamed Might, Unnatural Predation, Tainted Strike and non-metalcrafted Mirran Mettles.

I like a mixture of Rot Wolves and Cystbearers and the exact numbers keep changing. The Sylvok Lifestaff was also moved to the sideboard to make room for another 3 mana creature. I mostly played in the 2 man que's so Cystbearer being able to live through combat with creatures such Goblin Guide and every vampire is relevant.

In all the matches I board in Obstinate Baloth in for the life gain his usefulness as a defensive wall is also very important as he survives combat with almost every aggro creature and unlike Leyline you don't need him in your opening hand for him to be good and the second one you draw isn't useless.

The lack of Virridian Corrupters in the board is (like I said in my above comment) a mistake in copy and pasting and unfamiliarity with the deck editor. The sideboard should also have included 3 Corrupters and 3 Pistus Strikes.

Hope that answers all your questions.

I enjoyed the article by olaw at Sat, 04/16/2011 - 05:10
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I enjoyed the article. Not sure how competitve this deck is, particularly as I don't think the deck has a good matchup against CawBlade. I think a lot of decks are running Mortarpod over Sylvok Lifestaff now, which I imagine is pretty rough on this deck. Also, just chumping with Squadron Hawks buys them a lot of time to do other things, like find Gideon Jura. Interesting deck though.

Thanks for a well thought out article that made for a good read.

whatever the viability of by laughinman at Sat, 04/16/2011 - 07:01
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poison.dec and the definition of budget, this article is very good. Well written and informative, especially for a first time. Are you a writer?

Thanks for the positive comments. by Barbarian King at Sat, 04/16/2011 - 08:10
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Olaw - I ran the deck exclusively in the 2 man ques where I was able to keep my win percentage above 50% and made a slow profit. Costing so much money Caw-Blade doesn't seem to be predominant in the 2 man ques and I only faced it a few times so I can't say too much about the match but it wasn't unwinable (at least if they didn't get Gideon out). Contagion Clasps entering play effect and Tumble Magnet do a reasonable job of getting you past hawks and the sideboard Pistus Strikes and Viridian Corrupters help out a lot too. I wrote the article a few weeks back and Caw-Blade hadn't adapted Mortar Pod yet, that probably does make things worse. Also RUG seemed to be a really good match up so that at least should help a little if some one were looking to take it to more competative waters in the near future.

I would say it's good for a budget option while not as viable as Caw-Blade, RUG, Boros or Valakut it still can compete against most of the field and costs a lot less.

Lauginman - Well I wrote this. :P Actually I'm a currently unemployed welder but I've always enjoyed creative hobbies like writting and drawing.

What's the reasoning behind by oldoldman at Sat, 04/16/2011 - 18:14
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What's the reasoning behind not running Green Sun's Zenith? Having access to Viridian Corrupter more reliably game 1 seems like it would improve the Cawblade matchup. Also rot wolf seems like a nightmare card early against cawblade, making chump blocking a losing prospect.

Oldoldman by Barbarian King at Sat, 04/16/2011 - 20:32
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The Viridian Corrupter was added in tuning the deck rather than during deck construction so I never even considered adding a tutoring suite for it. Although minor GSZ also would have some impact on the budget of the deck (and at the time I constructed it the impact would have been worse as GSZ wasn't much cheaper than Inkmoth Nexus at the time).

Obviously I haven't tested it but based on my experience of how games play out I suspect it wouldn't be that good. While fetching Viridian Corrupter would be nice at times the deck has very few targets for it (a V. Corrupter and a mixture of Rotwolf and Cystbearer) with most of the decks creatures being artifacts. Further worsening it the 3 drop creatures it can fetch would be the logical cards to cut to make room for it. Also paying 4 mana for a 3 drop doesn't sound great because you usually want to be alpha swinging by the time you hit your 4th land drop not playing another creature. On the bright side it would make my non-commital mixture of 3 drops look a little less wierd.

Mono green infect budget and by chokehold at Mon, 04/18/2011 - 03:49
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Mono green infect budget and no Teetering Peaks?? It adds 4 "free" giant growth's to your deck without costing a card slot.

With the going price for the by leto7 at Mon, 05/02/2011 - 09:00
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With the going price for the nexus alone this deck pushes over fourty dollars. I often build on budget but to me budget means under five dollars for the whole deck. although I would love to add nexus to my infect deck as a staple I cannot because one card alone already breaks my wallet. It's possible to beat net deckers with real budget decks that cost no more then five dollars to build.Shoutbox

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