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By: romellos, A. Atasoy
Sep 26 2013 11:19am
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   Hello everyone and welcome back to the new edition of the Standard Budget series, where I continue to share some of my budget and semi budget deck brews & reviews for the Standard format. Theros is finally released during last weekend and now, we are eagerly awaiting for its Online debut. Currently there are dozens of different deck ideas that are floating around to experience and discover the new possibilities of Theros. These creativity days will continue until some of those decks raised at this Survival of the Fittest competition and starting to shape the course of the Meta's evolution.

Last week, I started to my Theros journey with a Mono White Weenie and a Boros deck that embraced the non-Heroic path for more consistency. Generally, Heroic decks are utilizing different creature base and they require various of support spells that can target multiple creatures at once. I believe that Heroic specialized decks will be one of the very entertaining deck choices for the casual games & Theros Block constructed. Especially, I'm looking forward to try Boros Heroic deck at the Block constructed.

Today, I will continue to "New Standard with Theros" reviews with Two U/R based Burn Control decks that both are utilizing the mind tricks of reverse Fact or Fiction

                                              Fact or Fiction     Steam Augury

Fact or Fiction was one of the format defining cards in the Past. And after all these years, it is still very powerful that Wizards chose to print Steam Augury as its reverse version for Modern & Standard formats. Or maybe, they wanted to take away the pressure of choosing on the opponent's side. Fact or Fiction always gave us the exact card(s) we need at the split moment and this was a full value. Even, when we choose to take a pile with the only One Card. In that regard, Steam Augury is more difficult to operate. It will test our all Playing Skills and how we bluff or misdirect at the course of the game. Simply, we can't play straight or recklessly with this fickle card as it can easily bring us our downfall or the Glory of Misdirection. One way or another, Steam Augury is still a great trick card that has the nearly same potentials of Fact or Fiction. I won't surprise to see Steam Augury in any kind of U/R or U/W/R type Modern decks during the following years.  

Regardless of the possibilities for Modern, we are still not Hundred percent sure about its Standard applications. One of the effective ways to evaluate cards for the Standard format, is to try them in the different kind of decks. And that's what I'm aiming to accomplish today. 

Here is my first deck that utilizes the benefits of Young Pyromancer & Spellheart Chimera & Nivix Cyclops Trio with lots of Instant & Sorcery spells to support their progression individually. 

Young Chimera
semi-budget deck by romellos
4 Nivix Cyclops
4 Spellheart Chimera
4 Young Pyromancer
12 cards

Other Spells
3 Magma Jet
4 Turn/Burn
4 Izzet Charm
4 Quicken
4 Steam Augury
1 Essence Scatter
2 Syncopate
1 Counterflux
3 Lightning Strike
26 cards
6 Island
4 Izzet Guildgate
8 Mountain
4 Steam Vents
22 cards

Spellheart Chimera


Broadly speaking, this is a fast U/R deck that has full synergy with its creature base to get the extra advantage from the spells. The majority of Instant & Sorcery spells are Burn oriented and they are followed by Card Draw and Counterspell variants.   

Young Pyromancer  Spellheart Chimera  Nivix Cyclops

Young Pyromancer is clearly the Red color's best creature ever printed at the Two CMC range. He has very decent 2/1 body for this CMC and his FREE token creation trigger from the Instant & Sorcery spells that we cast is a very huge value. Young Pyromancer is currently at every Eternal Format (Modern & Legacy & Classic & Vintage) and he also started to appear in the RDW or U/R based Standard decks. We have seen lots of Cards with upgraded rarities at the Theros set, like; Chained to the Rocks, Hero's Downfall and maybe Steam Augury. And I can understand the reasons behind this upgrade. But, what doesn't make sense is; why Young Pyromancer is an Uncommon card. Limited formats? Don't get me wrong, I'm totally Ok with its rarity for the obtaining purposes. I'm only trying to understand the rarity logic behind Young Pyromancer, when he is considered as a member of the Best Two CMC creatures cycle (together with Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, Snapcaster Mage and Stoneforge Mystic).

Spellheart Chimera is basically a Runechanter's Pike on a stick. Everything about this card is so right. It has a nearly aggressive CMC for this kind of growing bonus and Flying is still a very effective evasion factor. In the Past, we have brewed specialized decks for Magnivore. And now, we can easily splash Spellheart Chimera in any kind of fast Izzet or Grixis colored decks to get this passive benefit from our spells.  

Nivix Cyclops is another Kiln Fiend variant creature that we can utilize with the cheap Instant and Sorcery spells. And it will also help us to maintain the defense with its 1/4 body against the early aggressive assaults.

Izzet Charm  Turn // Burn

I give huge regard to the cards with Multi purpose usage and in that matter Izzet Charm and Turn/ Burn will provide us dozens of flexible options in any kind of Control decks with U/R colors on them. Currently, it seems that we are heading to a Standard with a much slower tempo. Even that, I still believe that, there is a place for Izzet Charm and Turn/ Burn in the Control decks. As both of them are providing lots of answers for most of the scenarios that we can face. I like how we can utilize Izzet Charm  as a Spell Pierce, Shock or a mini Faithless Looting. Or Fuse Turn/ Burn for double valued Shock and Ovinize.

Magma Jet  Lightning Strike

Magma Jet is back! And I'm somehow not much excited for its return. Maybe it's reason is the accumulation at the Two CMC slot for Burn spells. We already got; Mizzium Mortars,  Izzet Charm and Turn/ Burn from last year. And we get Magma Jet and Lightning Strike with Theros. No matter what, there will be a huge competition at the Two CMC range for the Burn spells and only Meta will define the tendency there. I didn't include any Mizzium Mortars to my both U/R decks due to the budget deck criteria. I will proceed with Three copies of both; Magma Jet and Lightning Strike for now and leave the door open for the future adjustments at Two CMC slot.

Steam Augury  Truth or Tale  Quicken

Steam Augury is our main Card draw engine that works double ways in this deck. First, it will help us to dig for the cards we need. And secondly, it will fill the Graveyard with some extra Instants or Sorceries that will increase the Power of Spellheart Chimera even more. I know, all the things said about Steam Augury may come to you as hypothetical. Actually, we have some ideas & experiences about how exactly it's going to be from Truth or Tale, a card from Time Spiral set.

Quicken is here as a basic Card Draw cantrip. It can help us to play a Sorcery spell with a Flash bonus, but we don't have any Sorcery spells in this deck, except the Act of Treason at the Sideboard section. Besides these factors, Quicken is also belongs to a "the next spell" acceleration cycle. Up to now, we have received; Insist for Green, Overmaster for Red, Scout's Warning for White and Quicken for Blue color. And we are still missing the Black card to complete this cycle.

Syncopate  Counterflux  Essence Scatter

Dissipate has left the Standard, yet we still got the good ol' Syncopate that we can trust with its early casting flexibility & exile bonus. Currently, we have received Two new Counterspell options from Theros that we will enrich our card pool and increase the competition at their side. Even that, I will proceed with Counterflux as a Silver bullet against the Control decks and Essence Scatter against the creature heavy decks.

The total cost of this deck has managed to be within the Semi-Budget deck limits with its 25.20 tix Total Cost at MTGO Traders for all the released cards at Main deck & Sideboard sections and it doesn't include any one of new Theros cards (Steam Augury & Spellheart Chimera & Lightning Strike).


My second U/R deck is a pure Control deck. It is full with lots of heavy removal & Counterspell elements to support the Big Finishers... 

Auguries of Niv-Mizzet
semi-budget U/R Control deck by romellos
2 Ætherling
2 Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
4 Izzet Staticaster
8 cards

Other Spells
4 Izzet Charm
4 Steam Augury
2 Essence Scatter
3 Syncopate
4 Turn/Burn
2 Magma Jet
4 Anger of the Gods
2 Dissolve
1 Street Spasm
26 cards
12 Island
5 Mountain
1 Encroaching Wastes
4 Izzet Guildgate
4 Steam Vents
26 cards

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius


This deck is a glimpse from RtR block constructed. I believe that, this year we are going to see lots of different variations (Bant, Grixis, Izzet or Azorius) of this type Control decks supported by Ætherling, Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Obzedat, Ghost Council or maybe Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius.

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius  Ætherling

I know Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius is not Olivia Voldaren. But, he definitely has very similar elements that a Control deck can utilize with the huge amount of Mana during the late game phase. And his Card Draw bonus will be a huge asset in the slow and steady Control type decks like this one. I strongly believe that Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius has everything to shine in the new Standard.

Ætherling has managed to become the Poster Boy of the Control decks. And this reputation wasn't a balloon effect. He was good during last year and he will become even more powerful during this season. Ætherling is a such complicated card as his progenitor Morphling was. Yet, it is a simple card that nearly can't be stopped. And his interaction with the Whip of Erebos makes it even worse.

Izzet Staticaster  Anger of the Gods

Izzet Staticaster is another card that I'm expecting to see in some Control decks with her Flash factor & ping ability. Multiples of Izzet Staticaster will easily create One sided Pyroclasm or Slagstorm for all named creatures. And she also has a decent toughness that is good enough to nullify the threats of the aggressive decks.

It is always a good thing to have mass damage sweep effects around and Anger of the Gods will be one of the Control deck's choices against the aggressive decks. Anger of the Gods will be also handy to exile Voice of Resurgence.

Dissolve  Street Spasm

Dissolve is basically a Cancel with a Scry One bonus. Even that, Dissolve will be one of the top contenders for the Counterspell choices during this & next year.

I admit that Street Spasm is a little experimental in this deck as a budget alternative of Mizzium Mortars. Still, there is no harm to try One or Two copies of it due to the Overload possibility. 

Finally, the total cost of this second deck is also within the Semi-Budget limits with its 31.93 tix Cost at MTGO Traders for all the released cards at Main deck & Sideboard sections, except the Theros cards: Steam Augury & Anger of the Gods & Dissolve.




Jace, Architect of Thought  Ral Zarek  Mizzium Mortars

I didn't include any one of the high profiled cards due to the budget deck criteria of this article series. If you have; Jace, Architect of Thought, Ral Zarek or Mizzium Mortars in your card pool, you can significantly improve these decks and experience the true potential of these kind of R/U brews.

See you next time in the "Standard Budget" series with new Budget & Semi-budget Standard deck brews. I will continue to my journeys in the Theros with Two New brews. Next time, I will look to the Chronicles of Evolution...


hehe, so did you do the by Procrastination at Mon, 09/30/2013 - 09:29
Procrastination's picture

hehe, so did you do the reddit thing? Because you just jumped from about 300 to 5000 views. :) apparently we all really need to do that?

Yes :P, I have tried Doctor by romellos at Mon, 09/30/2013 - 10:57
romellos's picture

Yes :P, I have tried Doctor Anime's suggestion about the reddit. Well, I'm not thinking to use it every time. Maybe, when I got interesting decks.

OMG The view count! by MagicGatheringStrat at Mon, 09/30/2013 - 09:57
MagicGatheringStrat's picture

Nice. What do I need to do on reddit to get this too? 5000+ views looks awesome. I have not used reddit much and have never gained effects like this from it

Doctor Anime mentioned about by romellos at Mon, 09/30/2013 - 11:03
romellos's picture

Doctor Anime mentioned about the

at Leviathan's latest article, here:

It works like a charm. by Doctor Anime at Mon, 09/30/2013 - 11:41
Doctor Anime's picture

It works like a charm.

Thanks by MagicGatheringStrat at Mon, 09/30/2013 - 12:17
MagicGatheringStrat's picture

Great tip about reddit. Testing it right now on my Pauper Gauntlet competitor article that was already closing in on 4000 views.