June 1, 2016

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Budget Brews: High Tide

Hello all and welcome to this weeks Budget Brews! Winning is nice, but it isn’t our main goal here at Budget Brews, instead we just try and have some fun! We tackle a few different ways to build here at Budget Brews, we either look at trying to make the more competitive decks cheaper on the wallet, or we just come up with something new that’s easy on the wallet!

This week’s Budget Brew we’re going to take a look at one of the Eternal Formats: Legacy. The deck is a favourite of mine and – save for a few cards – it’s not really that expensive to build in the first place. We’re going to make it even cheaper. It’s the original blue combo control deck, High Tide!

When I was first getting back into Magic and watching the SCG Opens I watched Feline Longmore pilot the deck with speed, watching her untap and retap and make about a billion mana all to combo her opponent out with a Blue Sun’s Zenith was both awe-inspiring and hilarious.

I’ve never been able to be a serious contender in Legacy, but with a deck like High Tide, that revolves around the card High Tide to make it all work, you can get the same engine going for pennies (seriously, High Tide is less than a buck).

Let’s take a look at the classic sort of High Tide list piloted by Feline Longmore at SCG Atlanta in 2014, where she finished in the Top 8.

High Tide

Spells (34)
Brainstorm
Cunning Wish
Flusterstorm
Force of Will
High Tide
Merchant Scroll
Ponder
Preordain
Time Spiral
Turnabout

Artifacts (8)
Candelabra of Tawnos
Sensei’s Diving Top

Lands (18)
Flooded Strand
12 Island
Polluted Delta

Sideboard (15)
Blue Sun’s Zenith
Brain Freeze
Capsize
Counterbalance
Flusterstorm
Intuition
Pact of Negation
Rebuilt
Snap
Surgical Extraction
Turnabout
Wipe Away

This list costs around $2,000US, with the biggest money card being Candelabra of Tawnos which is about $370 each! And the deck runs four (wow).

Let’s take a look at the engine of the deck before we go and try and figure out a way to make it cheaper.

As I said before, it’s all about making mana. A ton of mana. Like, lot’s of mana. That’s one of the things you need to do. High Tide let’s you do it, and the others let you keep untapping your mana producers so you can keep tapping them again.

After you go through all these motions there’s a couple of different ways to win:

 

The most typical way is to cast Blue Sun’s Zenith and make your opponent draw their and deck and win via milling. The other way if you have high enough of a storm count is to cast Brain Freeze and mill them that way.

So, how do you go about building a budget version of this? There’s a couple of different ways and cards to do it.

The most common way to do it is with a deck called Reset Tide where it uses Reset but, with that being an already established archetype, Reset is pretty pricey ($32).

How else? Well, really we just need to look at ways to untap our lands.

Here’s some good suspects:

 

Then we can recur these things with the cheap version Snapcaster Mage:

No flash, but I like the card all the same and it will serve our purposes nicely.

Budget High Tide

Creatures (6)
Cloud of Faeries
Archaeomancer

Spells (37)
Counterspell
Misdirection
High Tide
Merchant Scroll
Ponder
Preordain
Snap
Turnabout
Blue Sun’s Zenith
Brain Freeze
Frantic Search
Ideas Unbound

Lands (18)
18 Island

Here’s about the best I could come up with. Counter magic to help you protect your combo and to stop your opponent from doing anything too crazy, cantrips to find your pieces and then both Blue Sun’s Zenith and Brain Freeze so you can win the game. The 60 cards only comes in around $70CAN if you buy it from WizardTower.com, and only around $100Tix CAN if you’re looking for something to play online.

I don’t have a Sideboard, because I’m really not sure what I’d put it in it. Probably some sort of graveyard hate, and maybe some more counter magic of some kind, but you can’t really dilute the combo too much or else you’ll never be able to go off. The actual deck uses it’s Sideboard as a ‘Wish Board’ keeping its win-con’s and some extra good one-of spells in there in case you need to pull them out.

Overall I think the deck is fun to play, if you’re into Combos, and if you like making massive amounts of blue mana, the deck is definitely up your alley. With the price being low, if you’re looking to drop $100 you can definitely get a Time Spiral in the deck which really gives it a lot of power.

Thanks for joining me while I untap the multiverse, and I look forward to brewing up something for next week!

Have an idea for something you’d like me to brew up? Give me a shout in the comments! You can also follow me on Twitter, @maibuddha, Reddit /u/maibuddha, or you can join my Facebook group!