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April 27, 2016

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Budget Brews: Black-Green Aristocrats

Hello all and welcome to this weeks Budget Brews! I was originally planning on rolling out a sweet Legacy Combo Brew, but since I’m sitting here writing this and watching Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad, I think maybe we should check out Standard!

Before I continue with my little Budget Brew, I want to give a shout out to Dan Lanthier who ended the weekend in Madrid with an amazing 30 points. I was watching over Twitch when I recognized the red Wizard Tower’s shirt and was instantly rooting for him. I’ve never met Dan, but I was constantly looking for him on camera. Great job this weekend!

The Pro Tour had some pretty amazing break-out decks piloted by talented players like fan favourite Luis Scott-Vargas playing Black-Green Aristocrats, Brad Nelson playing Green-Red Pyro Ramp, and then of course there was Bant Company and Human decks in en masse.

We’re going to look at a deck that I think is in a pretty good spot versus the aggro decks, and is nothing but annoying for Control decks to deal with.

Budget Black-Green Aristocrats

Creatures (29)
Blisterpod
Catacomb Sifter
Elvish Visionary
Matter Reshaper
Nantuko Husk
Zulaport Cutthroat
Rot Shambler
 Carrier Thrall

Sorcery (4)
Bone Splinters

Enchantments (4)
Evolutionary Leap
From Beyond

Land (23)
Evolving Wilds
Westvale Abbey
Llanowar Wastes
Swamp
Forest
Rogue’s Passage

Sideboard (15)
Duress
Transgress the Mind
Grasp of Darkness
Ultimate Price
Fleshbag Marauder

The deck as is costs about $100CAN when purchased through WizardTower.com and around $80CAN in Tix if you’re looking for something to play on MTGO.

For ways to improve our deck, it’d be easy to just look right at the top 8 deck list piloted by Luis-Scott Vargas.

This deck in paper is around $400CAN and $275CAN in Tix if you’re looking to play it on MTGO.

Collected Company is a bonkers card, and in a deck that plays as many creatures as we do, it’s nothing but value. However, with the ever growing price of the CoCo, it’s something we’re not going for. How else do we get some value and add to our board?

These two cards are obviously no where near as good as something like Collected Company but with Evolutionary Leap we’re able to dodge removal, and sacrifice our creatures for value in order to find the next creature in our deck. In testing, the card was bonkers and it’s something that’s seen in current Modern Artisocrats decks.

Matter Reshaper is something that when I’m playing against it, I don’t really like to remove unless I really have to try and dodge a different creature or giving them a land, or whatever else they might draw from the card. Sacrificing a Matter Reshaper into Evolutionary Leap is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime because boy, it feels good.

In my testing these two cards have been great, and even if I was running Collected Company I’d still want some number of Evolutionary Leaps, and Matter Reshapers.

Hissing Quagmire is a different beast entirely, it’s not that much to add one or two of them, as it’s something you can turn on and sac to Westvale Abbey or it’s a blocker with Deathtouch that can stop incoming fatty creatures.

Other than these couple of things there’s not much upgrade to the deck. Our creatures are mostly common and easy to get your hands on.

How to play the deck?

Well, by dealing your opponent 20 damage.

…okay, okay…

When I play Artistocrat decks I don’t like to be too aggressive. Sure, if your opponent isn’t doing anything you can certainly send the knuckle heads in for a few points of damage here or there, but I’m all about trying to wipe them out.  Blocking with Nantuko Husk and another creature, only to sacrifice your other creature and triggering Zulaport Cutthroat is the where you want to be.

With Westvale Abbey once you have the required creatures and mana, you’re able to sacrifice your creatures, hence triggering Zulaport Cutthroat even more, and then flipping into a monster to end you the game. That’s the “combo” of the deck.