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March 30, 2016

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Budget Brews: Death Cloud

Alright troops, it’s our time. Our opponent plays with their Islands and masses card advantage to drill us out of the game and gain the upper hand until they can win. Well, no more! Now we’re going to fight back, and cut them off where it hurts; their resources. We are going to do everything we can to keep us in this fight and make sure our opponent is strangled and cut off from the mana they rely on so much.

How are we going to do that?

That’s right Budget Brewer’s, this week we’re going to look at an oldie but a goodie. Death Cloud. The card sees very little competitive play, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good in a tournament setting. The card requires a big amount of mana to really turn the game, so we’re looking for things that can ramp us up in order for us to take over the game.

Budget Death Cloud

Creature (11)
Eternal Witness
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Solemn Simulacrum
Thragtusk

Sorcery (14)
Death Cloud
Haunting Echoes
Search for Tomorrow
Smallpox

Instant (4)
Dismember
Doom Blade

Artifact (2)
Golgari Signet

Planeswalker (5)
Garruk Wildspeaker
Liliana, Defiant Necromancer

Land (24)
Bojuka Bog
Dakmor Salvage
Forest
Jungle Hollow
Overgrown Tomb
Swamp

Sideboard (15)
Curse of Death’s Hold
Duress
Haunting Echoes
Naturalize
Rain of Tears

Using cheap removal and creatures like Sakura-Tribe Elder block and gain us a land we’re able to stave off our opponent’s early game. If they somehow get the upper hand, it’s usually not for very long. It’s right when they thing they’re about to win the game, that we unleash the green fog known only as the Death Cloud upon the field making them sacrifice their card advantage, creatures, and even their mana.

The bonus part of the deck?

It’s no secret I like to play the “lighter sided” colours of Jeskai, but I’ve brewed with Smallpox before, and I’m constantly looking out for cool Smallpox decks, and it’d be a bonus if they’re at least half way competitive at a FNM level.

See that face the demon guy is making in the card? It’s pretty obvious he’s not having a very good day, and our goal is to make our opponent look like that after we cast our Death Cloud, or at least our second?

Early Removal

   

Doom Blade is definitely a flex removal card. Whatever you have that costs roughly the same and doesn’t require double colours Victim of Night is perfectly reasonable in that spot. If your meta is full of Tasigurs and light on Robots you might consider Go For the Throat instead. The cheapness of Dismember makes it required to have at least 1 in your deck. These are the cards that help us last until we can actually cast Death Cloud.

Smallpox however, is also a required four-of in the deck. It’s early removal, early resource destruction, and on the play Swamp, Swamp, Smallpox is too strong vs aggro decks who want to be on the board as much as possible.

Value

Since Death Cloud hurts us as well, we need to make sure everything we play has some value to it.

   

Sakura-Tribe Elder does double duty in the deck by blocking something for a turn, and ramping us. Solemn Simulacrum ramps us, and then when you play them before a Death Cloud gets nets us another card. Then of course there’s Thragtusk. This card is a beast, gains us life to help keep us ahead of Death Cloud, or stabilizes us against burn, then when it dies it leaves behind another blocker and/or attacker.

Rebuilding

Part of our game plan has to include having a game plan to put us ahead of our opponent after we Death Cloud the game.

   

Eternal Witness might be the Queen of value cards, getting us a previously casted card back in our hand (another Death Cloud maybe?). Garruk Wildspeaker and Liliana, Heretical Healer are both amazing. Garruk sticks around after Death Cloud and gives us 3/3 beaters, or helps us rebuild by untapping our lands so we can play more things. Liliana, Heretical Healer can flip (if we don’t have to sac her) and bring us Eternal Witness back, along with a Zombie helper, she’s awfully easy to flip in the deck and can be on the board for a long time to come in our game.

All told, this makes this my most expensive Budget Brew yet coming in at about $230CAN when you buy it outright from WizardTower.com or about 143CAN in Tix if you’d like to play it MTGOnline. Considering the actual Non-Budget Death Cloud deck is about $1500CAN , so I’d still say I did pretty good job price wise.

Mono-White Knights – 2-0 – conceded G1
Yup, when it looked like I might be in trouble I was able to Death Cloud to wipe the field and then starve my opponent of resources after that until he conceded the match. Liliana is a powerhouse in this deck that lets you gain back vital health points and then just made sure he wasn’t going to be able to do anything else in the game.

Grishoalbrand – 0-2
Well, this is going to be one of our problem match-ups. We want the long grindy game, and they’re trying to combo and end the game ASAP. Worldspine Wurm was all he needed to put Through the Breach to win him the game both times.

RUG Control – 2-1
This was a very close match. Game 1 I didn’t have much of a chance, I think he played every blue counter spell in Modern, but Duress‘ did a ton of work in Game 2 and helped me level the playing field. I was able to keep a fast hand and keep the pressure on until he ran out of counter spells and then the second Death Cloud won me the game. Game 3 I mulled down but it went pretty much the same way as Game 2.

In other news, I have started to stream! I get on mostly on night, but plan on doing some random day streams when I’m able. I have a full schedule posted on Twitch and I look forward to getting some viewers! Right now I play strictly over Xmage, but am going to try to join the CardHoarder Network so I can borrow cards and play competitive Magic over MTGO.

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, YouTube, or you can join my Facebook group!