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By: whiffy, Georgios Efelis
Dec 20 2011 2:47am
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                        *Disclaimer - I do these videos more for a look at the format, as opposed to a definitive grinders manual. 
                       I will make misplays and mistakes, and would love to hear thoughts on different lines of play.
Sometimes the audio may be a little off with the recordings.

Hey there everyone. So this week we have some exciting news regarding the best format online. No, this isn't an (insert non Classic format) article. So WotC has just announced some exciting things for the "winter" celebration. To go off on a tangent here, what happened to Christmas? 10 years ago the word started disappearing from every day conversation. Now it's always Happy Holidays. You know what, most people only celebrate one holiday, so let’s get real here. Just say what you want, after all your wishing good times on people say what you want to say. I personally think it should have been called Classic Celebration as they did with Modern celebration. I mean how many Pagens are out there to celebrate the winter solstice?

Anywayyyyyyy, So if you’re one of the few dozen tournament grinders that play Classic you know all about this and probably have a plan already set in motion. What if you’re an outsider? Maybe you watch these videos; maybe you listen to the podcast, or follow the decks of the week on the mothership? Maybe, just maybe, you only want to play Classic for two weeks, and grab up a bunch of Ponder full art promos.

Unless you’re willing to pay six tickets to scrub out of a queue to just get a promo, you need a plan to Recoup the costs of entry. The beautiful thing about Classic is that prices are pretty static. This means you can trade or buy a deck for the format just to play for two weeks, and then dismantle it for roughly what you paid. Add in the expense of promos and you can very well come out ahead. The last time there was a similar event/promo, it was Modern Celebration with full art textless Lightning Bolts. I have seen the foil version of Bolt sell as high as $50.00 on the secondary market. Ponder doesn't have the same appeal and playability as Bolt, but unless these events fire like a Standard set's release drafts i.e. gangbusters, they will fetch a decent amount, especially if we ever get Vintage online.

One possible hiccup to consider. If enough people buy into the format right now for these events, it's entirely possible that prices could rise, and drop as people mass sell. My advice? Buy in sooner rather then later, and then continue to play classic after the celebration is over.

Before we get going much further lets take  a look at the announcment shall we?


Man, talk about redonkulos prizes for the champs. 4 foil anything! That's a lot of change. Grabbing 4 Force of Will or 4 Tangle Wire make this a 1000 ticket purse, at least, and that's not even counting the packs you win as well.! This prize is well worth buying into a tier 1 deck to win. In light of the fact that you can sell back said deck after event, it makes it a no brainer for anyone interested in high EV events. I mean come on. This prize is worth just under what I make at work in 2 weeks. For some it's a pittance, for others a Windfall. But honestly, who doesn't want a big payday.

"Well whiffy, that's all well and good, but how the heck do I enter into an event and qualify for the champs? I have no deck and my wallet doesn't have an extra $200.00 - $800.00 dollars in it." 

I am going to list some decks for as many different groups as I can think of to give as many people as many options as possible. Starting off we have as cheap a deck as you're going to find that still has game. As much as it pains me to endorse this, RDW is the best shot at a deck under or around $50.00 that can win games. Here is what I would run if I had to make mono mountains work.


Heres the budegtist deck out there!
Hellspark Elemental 
Goblin Guide 
8 cards

Other Spells 
Lightning Bolt 
Chain Lightning 
4 Flame Rift
Smash to Smithereens 
Price of Progress 
4 Rift Bolt
4 Lava Spike
20 cards
Mishra's Factory 
16 Mountain 
20 cards

Tormod's Crypt 
Ingot Chewer 
Greater Gargadon 
15 cards

This deck is built to hang with the big boys and has a "nut" draw of turn 3. The sideboard has been made to try and address the problems of the main deck when fighting the pillars of the format. You really want some Goblin Guides early every game to make this tick. The factories are mostly there to give you extra game vs Oath of Druids and Mishra's Workshop's Sphere effects. If mountains attack isn't your thing, might I suggest one of the cheaper Legacy combo decks?

Elves! Is not a "real" deck in Classic, and I am not entirely sure why. I feel like this would be a good bet for the queues, as it is really fast and it's only truly terrible match up is Oath decks. This thing can race the combo, and control decks, while outputting tons of mana to offset Workshops. If I were going to brave Elves I would probably run something like this.


Elves! - Classic
Birchlore Rangers 
Elvish Spirit Guide 
Elvish Visionary 
Eternal Witness 
Fyndhorn Elves 
Heritage Druid 
Llanowar Elves 
Nettle Sentinel 
Wirewood Hivemaster 
Wirewood Symbiote 
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn 
Viridian Zealot 
30 cards

Other Spells 
Summoner's Pact 
Glimpse of Nature 
Squirrel Nest 
16 cards
14 Forest 
14 cards

Leyline of the Void 
Nature's Claim 
Mental Misstep 
Tormod's Crypt 
15 cards

I will admit that this list may be a bit "dated" but here it is and it looks strong enough to win some rounds to boot! The only quam I have with this deck is that it looks a little like a dog to Oath, but good news is, it hasn't been very popular lately. This is also a very inexpensive deck, somewhere in the neighborhood of $50.00 - $100.00.


Next up we have a Modernish Port. I wrote about this deck last week, and stressed the fact that it was a pretty cheap buy for Classic, and if you already have the bits and pieces from Modern it can be had for a minimal investment.

A relatively cheap Modern Port
Phyrexian Revoker 
Signal Pest 
Arcbound Ravager 
Lodestone Golem 
Steel Overseer 
29 cards

Other Spells 
Mana Crypt 
Mox Opal 
Genesis Chamber 
Memory Jar 
Mana Vault 
Sol Ring 
14 cards
Tolarian Academy 
Mishra's Factory 
Ancient Tomb 
Strip Mine 
3 Ghost Quarter 
Gaea's Cradle 
Mishra's Workshop 
17 cards

Ensnaring Bridge 
Thorn of Amethyst 
Leyline of the Void 
15 cards
Genesis Chamber

 Here is a link to the article in question where I play this beast. Now I used Wasteland but this deck doesn't need to spend the $45.00 a pop on 3 lands, not when Ghost Quarter does the same job. This list is about $250.00 from scratch.


What if you have a Zoo Variant from Modern? Well some kind of Counter Cat shell from PT Philly would be a good start. Just replace the bad counterspells with Mental Misstep, and possibly Spell Snare. The fact that your running lots of Rav shock lands shouldn't be an issue, as there is very little agro in Classic. Here is something to work from.

Counter Cat
a Starting place at a port for Classic
Dryad Arbor 
Gaddock Teeg 
Knight of the Reliquary 
Noble Hierarch 
Qasali Pridemage 
Wild Nacatl 
19 cards

Other Spells 
Bant Charm 
Elspeth, Knight-Errant 
Green Sun's Zenith 
Lightning Bolt 
Lightning Helix 
Path to Exile 
20 cards
Arid Mesa 
Hallowed Fountain 
Horizon Canopy 
Marsh Flats 
Misty Rainforest 
Sacred Foundry 
Scalding Tarn 
Steam Vents 
Stomping Ground 
Tectonic Edge 
Temple Garden 
21 cards

Wild Nacatl

So right off the bat, you want to dump all the high end stuff, and jam in more Pridemages, and Teegs. The sideboard also needs retooling. You should be worried about Dredge and Oath the most with controlly decks coming in next, alongside Workshops. I'm not sure if it would be correct to keep in the counterspells, instead of cards that affect the board, or more in your face agro.

Moving right along we get to legacy. Now if you have a collection of decks you can port them over pretty easily, yes, even Reanimator is a pretty good choice, even more so if you add the Tutors that are banned in Legacy. There are all sorts of options for this, things like Maverick, and Junk both do well in Classic, and Stoneforge is no slouch either. Just make sure that you don’t make direct ports, as you will need to tune for the different meta game in Classic. Here is a link to ClassicQuarter.com's deck data base. Inside you will find all the lists you could dream of, as far as similar Legacy agro decks. There is also, you know, Classic decks in there too.


There are so many options and I hope I see you guys in the Celebration ques. As a final reference you can check out all my old PTV's to get more ideas and also familiarize yourself with the format.


If you’re interested in any of these real Classic decks, here is a very rough approximation of their costs.

Hate $200.00 -  $450.00
Dredge $225.00 - $300.00
Hate $250.00 - $500.00
Workshop variants $400.00 - $600.00
Oath variants $750.00 - $900.00
4c Fish variants $800.00 - $1,000.00
tempo & Control variants $800.00 - $1,000.00
LED Storm variants $600.00 - $1,000.00


*Note these are all from scratch prices. If you own Wasteland, Tarmogoyf, or Force of will then you have the major price points and you can figure out how much your spending/trading to complete an arch-type. For instance, if you own Delver in legacy, your only about $50.00 - $100.00 away from building any blue Deck in Classic.

So now that that craziness is over. Let’s look at the event I played in last week with Xkorpio's deck. It's a Delver build that is also very Draw Go-ie. I enjoyed playing this list and may consider jamming it in more events to grab a coveted 4-0 slot in the upcoming weeks. Here we go.

                                                              Deck Tech

Delver Of Alexandria.....
Delver of Secrets 
Snapcaster Mage 
8 cards

Other Spells 
Demonic Tutor 
Force of Will 
Lotus Petal 
Mental Misstep 
Spell Pierce 
Spell Snare 
Steel Sabotage 
Vampiric Tutor 
32 cards
Flooded Strand 
Library of Alexandria 
Polluted Delta 
Scalding Tarn 
Snow-Covered Island 
Strip Mine 
Underground Sea 
20 cards

Energy Flux 
Hurkyl's Recall 
Leyline of the Void 
Old Man of the Sea 
Yixlid Jailer 
15 cards
Delver of Secrets
Insectile Aberration










Next week we take a second look at Affinity in Classic, and something else most likely.

Classic Dailies are every Saturday at 12:30 PM EST and Sunday at 6:30 PM EST. Come on out guys!

See ya in seven, have at me in the comments if you wish

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I was so not awake that by GainsBanding at Tue, 12/20/2011 - 06:35
GainsBanding's picture

I was so not awake that morning. I mis-ordered cards from Top and Brainstorm many times, you pointed out the most obvious one in game 2 where I missed flipping the Delver. At the end of game 1, I had another Bolt on top and I forget what else. It was so close, I think it was something where if I had planned ahead better with Top I would have had it. Game 3 that early Old Man won it. I had Bob and I think two Trygons in my opening hand, which were just nullified.

The Elf deck by pryite199 at Tue, 12/20/2011 - 10:39
pryite199's picture

Love the deck lists and the write up for the cheap modo player. My only comment is that the Elf list probably needs a Regal Force in there and probably wants Krosan Grip instead of Nature's Claim, since most of the deck is soft to Chalice of the Void at one as it is.

as i admitted dated. you by whiffy at Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:51
whiffy's picture

as i admitted dated. you could add a force over a birchlore ranger. maybe even cut the second one for a viridian something or other to blow up more things.

I succame and watched all by blandestk at Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:13
blandestk's picture

I succame and watched all four rounds.

just have to say by eldarock at Wed, 12/21/2011 - 01:14
eldarock's picture

Just saying Whiffy you can do GW cheaper then what you put and still money under 100 i did hit money in a DE with my Hate Bears. anyway great article as usual.