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May 3, 2019

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Two Budget War of the Spark Decks

Hey guys, since War of the Spark is finally out, we’re here with some budget decks using new cards from it.

Today we’re going to be talking about an under-$30 deck and a deck closer to $100. They both have suggestions to upgrade them if you like them, plus ways to reduce the cost if you like the deck but don’t want to spend as much money on it.

Mono-Black Discard $15-$25

Creatures (24)
Diregraf Ghoul
Gutterbones
Vicious Conquistador
Banehound
Burglar Rat
Dusk Legion Zealot
Graveyard Marshal
Ruin Raider

Planeswalkers (4)
Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage
Angrath, Captain of Chaos

Enchantments (5)
Dreadhorde Invasion
Raiders’ Wake

Instants and Sorceries (7)
Cast Down
Drill Bit

Lands (20)
20 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
Duress
Fungal Infection
Lazotep Reaver
Knight of Malice
Plaguecrafter
Bleeding Edge
Raiders’ Wake
Fell Specter
Settle the Score

I’ve occasionally played against decks similar to this on Arena before War of the Spark. This deck is a fairly typical Mono-Black aggro deck, except you have a discard sub-theme. You’re trying to attack them down fairly low and then deal a little bit of direct damage while getting rid of your opponent’s cards.

This deck has plenty of 1-drops to get the beatdown started. Later, when you’re running low on cards, you can refill your hand with Ruin Raider or start creating zombies with Graveyard Marshal. You have Burglar Rat both as an attacker and as a way to make your opponent discard, and Drill Bit is a Thoughtseize in this deck.

Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage and Raiders’ Wake are nice because they both offer a source of repeatable discard and direct damage. Angrath, Captain of Chaos isn’t in the deck because it makes a 4/4, but because it gives your team the ever-useful menace. The 4/4 is just pure upside.

Dreadhorde Invasion is hopefully a slightly worse Bitterblossom and should be decent against control. Sure, it only makes one token. Sure that token dies to removal. But every time they get rid of a big token, we make a new one and beat them in the face with it until they kill it. It could kill us against aggro, but if we ever get a 6/6 zombie army, it will have lifelink and that’s just game over against aggro. Cast Down is a nice removal spell.

Fungal Infection and Bleeding Edge come in against all aggro decks (mono-red, mono-white, mono-blue). Lazotep Reaver and Knight of Malice come in against just mono-red and mono-white. All four Duresses are great against control, and two can come in against heavy spell decks. Plaguecrafter comes in against hexproof creatures and Planeswalkers.

Fell Specter and Raiders’ Wake come in whenever you want to make the deck more grindy. Settle the Score is for planeswalkers or huge creatures.
If you wanted to make this deck even cheaper I would suggest replacing both Dreadhorde Invasions with two Knight of Malices and all the Gutterbones with three Banehounds and a Diregraf Ghoul.

If you wanted to spend more money on this deck I would suggest adding four Spawn of Mayhem instead of a Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage, an Angrath, Captain of Chaos, Banehound, and a Dusk Legion Zealot. You could also replace both Dusk Legion Zealots with more Dreadhorde Invasions. Sideboard Fell Specter can be replaced with Midnight Reaper.

UR

Creatures (11)
Pteramander
Goblin Electromancer
Enigma Drake
Crackling Drake
Murmuring Mystic

Artifacts (3)
Mizzium Tank

Planeswalkers (3)
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer

Instants and Sorceries (22)
Maximize Altitude
Opt
Shock
Chart a Course
Radical Idea
Lava Coil
Role Reversal

Land (21)
Sulfur Falls
Izzet Guildgate
Highland Lake
Island
Mountain

Sideboard (15)
Augur of Bolas
Firemind’s Research
Kasmina’s Transmutation
Enigma Drake
Beacon Bolt
Entrancing Melody
Role Reversal
Narset, Parter of Veils
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Niv-Mizzet, Parun

This deck is a UR spells deck, but instead of Arclight Phoenix or Enigma Drake and Crackling Drake, it plays Pteramander, Murmuring Mystic, Mizzium Tank, and Saheeli, Sublime Artificer as its threats. One of the advantages this deck has over traditional Phoenix or Drake lists is that it doesn’t care if you exile its graveyard too much.

Pteramander is your cheapest threat. It starts out annoying them by hitting them for one every turn, but if you can make it big quickly, it can be pretty good. Goblin Electromancer is great at making your stuff cost less, and even though you don’t have to triple-spell (since you’re not playing Arclight Phoenix), all your threats get better the more spells you cast. The two drakes are an okay backup plan, but this deck is more about going wide than it is about going big.

The Murmuring Mystics are part of our go wide plan, if they go unanswered, they’re going to shut off aggro decks and eventually win the game. The 1/5 body on Mystic is also very nice at dodging removal. Saheeli, Sublime Artificer is another nice token generator, although she doesn’t make flyers and is destroyed more easily (attacking), her -2 ability turning a harmless looking servo into a Drake or Tank can be devastating.

Mizzium Tank is another new spell addition. It dodges removal and can be fairly big. Maximize Altitude started out in the deck as Maximize Velocity because it made drakes hasty and could pump Mizzium Tank a bunch. Then I realized that giving a Tank flying two turns in a row is probably more important in this deck than giving something haste. The rest are cards you’d find in a traditional Phoenix or Drakes deck, cantrips and removal. Except for one card.

Role Reversal – it’s better than Entrancing Melody in this deck. “Here, have a servo, I’ll take your Hydroid Krasis”. “Here, have a servo, I’ll take your Immortal Sun.” “Here, have a Saheeli, Sublime Artificer at one loyalty, I’ll take your Teferi, Hero of Dominaria at 8 loyalty”.

Augur of Bolas comes in as a blocker against aggro decks. Tibalt, Rakish Instigator comes in against decks with heavy lifegain (Wildgrowth Walker). Enigma Drake can be a flying blocker or another threat, depending on what you’re facing. Narset, Parter of Veils is great in the mirror match or against other heavy card draw decks. Niv-Mizzet, Parun and Firemind’s Research come in when you want to be more controlling and slow. Kasmina’s Transmutation (isn’t that the cutest frog ever in the picture) Bacon Bolt (Beacon Bolt) Entrancing Melody and Role Reversal all come in against midrange. Entrancing Melody also comes in against aggro.

If you are looking to upgrade this deck you could add Dreadhorde Arcanist and some additional Maximize Altitudes to be able to cast card draw and go a slightly different direction. You could also add Steam Vents to the mana base instead of the gates or Ral, Izzet Viceroy to the sideboard instead of Firemind’s Research.

If you want to make this deck cheaper you could take out the Entrancing Melody, Niv-Mizzet, Parun from the sideboard.

That’s all for today, I’ll be back soon with more budget decks.