Every Magic: the Gathering player owns at least one budget deck. In fact, all my decks are budget. Having said this, you may consider "what is a budget deck"? To me, it's a deck that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg.
Seldom do these decks ever win Grand Prix or Pro Tours, but they can win Friday Night Magic, which is probably the most common Magic outing, which most of us play at.
Type 2, one of the four Magic: the Gathering formats, currently consists of the Kamigawa block (Champions of Kamigawa, Betrayers of Kamigawa, and Saviors of Kamigawa), the core set 9th Edition, and the Ravnica block (so-far Ravnica: City of Guilds, and Guildpact).
This format is what new players tend to build around as it is the format that is most viable for them to build around because it is defined strictly by these newer cards. Recently, this format has been dominated by the "Evil Fork of Doom", a powerful artifact equipment, that allows its controller to remove charge counters from it in order to reduce any creature's power and toughness, "pump" the equipped creature, or to gain 2 life; Gifts Ungiven, and the dragons from the set Champions of Kamigawa have also dominated modern-day type 2.
This article is aimed to provide players, generally those who don't want to blow all their money, with playable peasant/budget decks that costs less than $50 American. These prices have been obtained from the website www.findmagiccards.com. I hope you enjoy reading this budget article.
The first deck that I shall "budgetize" is the White Weenie deck.
White is a color known for its righteousness and its cheap efficient "weenies". The most dominant archetype for White is the "White Weenie", which is generally cheap, but not under $30, as the White Weenie decks that we see are filled with expensive Legendary rares, such as Jitte, Isamaru, Eiganjo Castle, and 8.5 Tails.
If you happen to be the kind of person who reads individual card explanations, I've got good news for you!
Here's your button:
Blinking Spirit - The most expensive card in this deck in terms of C.M.C. Useful as a defensive
blocker. It also negates Umezawa's Jitte, because if you activate its ability prior to damage dealt, no Jitte trigger will occur, subsequently no counters will be added to the Jitte. It's just about as late-game as this deck gets.
Boros Guildmage - First strike tricks, and efficient.
Hand of Honor - Six simple words: Black is powerful; this is good.
The list is pretty loose, but it's an initial build. Like with any new deck, it's good to try some subpar stuff. If it doesn't work, you can always remove it later.
We've got to see how this baby runs. I've been testing against top-tier decks, managing a not-terribly impressive 2:3 win:loss ratio. I suppose if you had a win:cost ratio, White Weenie would come out ahead (the decks tested against cost about $260 on average), but let's not cop out. This deck needs improving. Let's see what happened in some of the games so we can fix the list:
Game Log - Katsuhiro Mori's GhaziGlare:
It was just as tough a game for me as it was for my opponent, who played Hierarch after Hierarch, gaining a total of 12 life (3 Hierarchs).
I started first and played on the offense, dropping a Plains, tapping it and playing a Kami of False Hope.
During my opponent's first turn, he played out a Forest. I pondered on what deck he was playing for a while, then I took my second turn.
My second turn was short and simple - drop Plains, attack with the Kami, end combat. Second main: play Boros Guildmage, end turn.
His second turn was also short and simple... or not. He played a Selesnya Sanctuary, Karoo-bounced his Forest, ended turn in style by discarding a Yosei, the Morning Star! Anyway, the following turn, I played a Plains, Suntail Hawk, and a Selesnya Guildmage. It was early game, but I knew I would win.
By turn five, I threw out my whole hand with the board looking good in my favor - I had a Selesnya Guildmage, a Boros Guildmage, a Vulshok Morningstar, a Kami of False Hope, a Suntail Hawk, five Plains, and a Faith's Fetters (enchanting one turn three Loxodon Hierarch) at that time.
Each turn, I was beating for five to nine damage with an angry horde of four creatures consisting of an equipped Boros Guildmage, Selesnya Guildmage, Kami of False Hope, Suntail Hawk, and later a Blinking Spirit, while my opponent was still stabilizing his board position with Wood Elves, Selesnya Sanctuary, and Temple Gardens. No Ghazi was to be seen until the turn he forfeited, but nonetheless the game was tough times for me as I was plowing through Elephant after Elephant with a first striking Boros Guildmage.
I was at 16 while my opponent was at four life by turn eight, and things could not be better for me, until my opponent drew that wretched card, Wrath of God [maybe you shouldn't have dumped your hand... -Ed]. When he played it, I felt the uttermost despair overcoming me until I remembered that I could bounce the Blinking Spirit to my hand. So I bounced it for free, and played it during my turn along with a top-decked Kami of False Hope. I felt a boost in confidence as soon as I played the two creatures, one of which was equipped with the Vulshok equipment.
Next turn, my opponent had to topdeck something or he'd be gone. I waited in anticipation to see what the card was, and it was the Vitu-Ghazi. He offered a surrender. I accepted. He lost. I won. Yay!
Game Log - Orzhov Beats:
This game was a total thrashing for me. I played with an opening hand of two lands and did not draw another until turn four, but luckily my opponent had not played anything too spiffy, only one Godless Shrine after another.
My friend, the opponent, who started the game just "land-go"ed for the first four turns, except for turn three, when he Cruel Edicted one of my Hand of Honors.
I, on the other hand, was in need of lands and played two Plains over the course of two turns, then attempted to get rid of my hand A.S.A.P. by slowly casting out a Hand of Honor (which died to the aforementioned Edict), Selesnya Guildmage, Lantern Kami, Orzhov Guildmage (how ironic), Vulshok Morningstar, Vulshok Morningstar, Kami of False Hope.
Turns later I had a army which dwindled with the castings of three Mortifys while he played a Kokusho, a Ghost Council of Orzhova and an Agent of Masks. I knew I was going to lose the match soon, but I delayed my demise for another four turns with [card]Devouring Light[card]s and Faith's Fetters. He drew legendary dragons on end, and it was game-over for me when he sacrificed the dragons to the Ghost Council of Orzhova, which I had supposedly nullified with a Hand of Honor.
Log for Match 3 Game 1 - Boros Beats:
Boros Beats was almost as difficult as Orzhov Beats to play against, but this game I won, very, very slowly.
She won the toss, so opted to play, and so she did.
I had a "solid" hand with three Plains, two Glorious Anthems, a Vulshok Morningstar, and a lone creature, a Hand of Honor.
Her first turn: Plains, Lantern Kami, go.
My first turn: Plains, go.
Her second: Untap, draw, Sacred Foundry (life paid). Lantern Kami attack. I'm on 19. She's on 20.
This continues on for a few more turn, except my creatures get roasted with burns, and we trade damage, and creatures.
A virtually empty board except for two Glorious Anthems (one per side), a Kami of False Hope equipped with a Vulshok Morningstar on my side, and a Lantern Kami wielding the nefarious Jitte on her side. She attacks with her Kami, and I Devouring Light it. She, apparently upset about this, recovers by casting the functionally similar Suntail Hawk, which died in combat the turn after.
On turn 15, she's at five and I'm on eight. She has a two [card]Glorious Anthem[card], a Lantern Kami, and a Jitte with two counters-equipped to Skyknight Legionnaire, in addition to many lands. She attacks me for the win, probably because she saw that I had the defense of a lone flying creature, a Suntail Hawk. She removes the counters, thus making Skyknight Legionnaire a 8/8 flying Human Knight creature that's about to kill by its damage alone. She Chars, my bird, Char recoils on her and she takes two. I can't block. I thought it was game until I realized I still had the Kami of False Hope equipped with two Vulshok Morningstars. I sacrifice it so that the impending attack, which would have spelt destruction for me, is countered. She ends her turn infuriated. I untap, draw, pump with Selesnya Guildmage's White ability twice, and declared my three 5/5 Guildmages (Selesnya, Boros, and Orzhov) as attacking for the kill. Again I win, but this time narrowly (and thanks to a mistake on the opponent's part). Final life totals were -10 to 8.
Game Log - (a different) Boros Beats:
Again Boros Beats was almost as difficult as Orzhov Beats to play against, and yet again, I won. This one was a very slow game.
I sided in three Ghostway, and three Terashi's Grasp, because I feared the devastating Wrath of God, and Umezawa's Jitte. They served me well this game.
She won the toss again, but this time she chose to draw.
I had an actual solid hand with three Plains, two Hand of Honors, a Selesnya Guildmage, and a Glorious Anthem.
She seemed to have quite a Legendary hand (pun intended), because not only did she a Eiganjo Castle, but she cast Isamaru, following up the next turn with Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep and an Umezawa's Jitte.
I seemed alright this game as I played out my hand. Apparently she had sided out her Lightning Helices for Flashfires. She cast one on turn seven, but it was too late. I, having survived a turn six wrath through Ghostway, had board advantage, i.e. three 2/2 creatures up. It was too late, and the game was over. I dealt six damage again, and again, and again. Why, you may ask? Because my opponent needed a Plains, or a white-generating land herself. No [card]Plains[card], no Swiftblade, no Suntail, no Skyknight Legionnaire, and no victory.
Sorry readers, but there's just too much to write about the following seven matches. After this initial testing comes the time to make some changes. Well, not some, but as many as you wish. Please bear in mind that this deck doesn't cost about US$150, so don't expect to win every game.
So far I, through my playtesting, have seen that this deck relies heavily on Selesnya Guildmage, the Morningstar, and Faith's Fetters. I would personally improve this deck by removing some of the lesser used cards. The non-Selesnya guildmages, for example, turned out to be less useful than I expected. Glorious Anthem is another card to evaluate, since I feel it is inferior to Selesnya Guildmage as the Anthem is not a creature, and often the Anthem feels too slow for the deck, forcing you to miss a creature drop.
This deck has dropped out the Orzhov and Boros Guildmages, who can't use the nonwhite abilities in this deck, and replaced them with the Leonin Skyhunter, and the three sideboarded Samurai of the Pale Curtain, for defense against the dragonsfromChampionsofKamigawa.
Kami of False Hope has been dropped in favor for the combat-trick Spiritual Visit, and the three Lantern Kamis have been substituted with three Boros Recruits, as often I have faced off against 4/1 hasty, trampling Insects, and I have no way to remove it without losing creatures.