Friday, May 06, 2016

Mediocre Decks for Mediocre People

Pictured: A gigantic, unstoppable feat of modern engineering. Also, a train.
Choo choo! This is your captain speaking, here to let you know I'm riding Dan's caboose on the "neglected standard" train. "But Gaige if you're riding the caboose how are you the captain? Plus don't trains have conductors?" These are excellent questions. Obviously Dan is the conductor in this analogy and I'm just some guy who's sitting on top of the train with a boat paddle and a captains hat. What does this mean for you? It means I'm here to sing you a siren's song and lull you into building some new decks for standard.

If you've been regularly going 0-5 or 1-4 in FNM then these decks will get you to a solid 2-3. If you've been going 4-1 or 5-0 consistently then I think you're on the wrong website. Or maybe you are tired of winning all the time and you just want to humiliate your opponents. These decks will do that if you manage to win. And even if your opponent wins they won't be happy about it because they had to deal with your bullshit for 45 minutes.

Now I'm not going to call any of these budget decks because I don't feel like looking up prices of cards. According to the recommended age group of Magic you're 13+ so you can google them yourselves. I will say that most of these cards aren't seeing play in top 8 decks so they should be affordable. If you really need money, just stop buying deodorant to fund your gross addiction. You still won't be the cheesiest person at your LGS.

We will start with by far the worst deck idea. When I said these decks will get you to 2-3, this one will not. If we stick with transportation analogies, this deck is like if you were driving a car without a gas pedal or brakes. Well honestly it's more like if you just held a steering wheel and ran while making car noises. You probably won't even finish the race unless every other car somehow manages to crash. I present to you:

(W)inne(R) Winner Lifegain Dinner

I'm sure anyone who's made it this far into the article read that first deck title and either just scrolled on down or exited this site all together. But for you lucky few I have a delicious treat. In life gain you have two win conditions. Win condition one: 

I CAN HAZ LIVEZ? (I'm not proud of this but it was just there)
This Felidankness is here to not only win you some Magics but also crush your opponent's will to play. Look at this glorious horn cat standing atop that rock, pretending he doesn't want your attention when he really does. If you show him some love, he'll show you some wins.

We'll get to win condition two later, first lets talk how to pilot this deck. 

Now I'm no math scientist but twice seems to be better than once. It's like those witches say "Double, double toil and trouble. Lifegain, card draw, pit stains, and stubble" Or something like that. I am also not a literature scientist. Anyways, use this card to get you double life to hit that feli-target of 40 life.

Jimmy the Overly Touchy Orderly
Pair this card with Alhamm's Archive and you have Healing Hands Gum by Wrigley....because double the lifegain double the card double mint gum, but for Magic. This useless card now becomes a gain 8, draw 2 for 3, and that is pretty neato.

Shh bby is ok
Here we have another card that would never see play in any format ever but all of a sudden becomes gain 10 for 1. With minimal life loss and 2 or 3 of these you can win pretty easy.

At least you can feel like a mad scientist when you play this since everyone will think you're crazy.
Use this card to fulfill your decks wet dream: you have Archive on the field with this, you cast chaplain's blessing for 1 and gain 10. You cast a second chaplain's blessing and gain another 10 triggering harness the storm and re-casting your first one for an additional 10. For 3 mana (and some mana in previous turns to set this up) you just gained thirty life. Do this with combinations of the blessing and the hands and you'll have that 40 life in no time. Just fill the rest of your deck with chump blockers, removal, and maybe some ETB life gain creatures and you can take this straight to the top...or like to 1-4. "But what about the other win condition?" I thought you'd never ask. "I've been asking this whole time." Well then you're the dumb one who's been talking to a computer. The second win condition is that your opponent will eventually just concede since they can't beat you and you'll win the war of attrition. Get ready to report 5 draws the night you play this.

Before we go on to this next deck I need to take a shower because even just talking about that last deck makes me feel disgusting.




WB Misty

Looks like I' you by the balls...
I don't want to say this deck is better than the WR life gain, but it's a little more flexible and a little more "actually has a win condition."

The sequel to the hit Stephen King movie
This card is pretty easy to understand. Pay 1, transform, swing in for 0, after blockers, pay 3 and transform back and deal 4. But...what if....what if you didn't flip it back? What if you just let it be that gassy monstrosity forever? "Yeah I definitely want to just keep this as an 0/1 so I can do no damage." Well listen up stupid because I need to introduce you to equipment.

I'm not sure how mist is going to wear armor but I guess that's why they call it Magic.
If you manage to equip a couple of these or some Chitinous Cloaks, you can just start swinging in with Mr. All you need this deck to do is get Insidious Mist's above 4 toughness and have gobs of removal. Since it's both indestructible and hexproof there are only three major threats: Languish, Tragic Arrogance, and Descend Upon the Fisherman. If you get it's toughness above 4 Languish no longer becomes a threat, and if this is your only creature then Tragic Arrogance is also no longer a threat. This means that your opponents 6 drop removal spell will more than likely only take out your one creature while killing their whole board. If they do manage to kill your creature just drop another one and re-equip everything.

"But what about me? I hate removal and just want to turn things sideways!"

The Sean Connery of Innistrad.
Thish ish by no meansh now an aggro deck, but you can lean more towardsh creaturesh and lessh towardsh control and pair Mishter Connery with your misht to make all of your creaturesh Hekshproof and Indeshtructible at each combat, plush whatever other keywordsh you have jusht lying around. 

I need to stop using this card in articles because I'm out of funny things to say about it.
If you have money or were lucky enough to pull a couple of these then you can pair this with Odric and the Mist for a nice "this is really hard to deal with" after taste. Also, feel free to use "Odric and the Mist" as the name for your sweet metal band. You don't even have to give me credit.

The final deck for today has a bit of a budget range. You can build it with minimal budget, but like all things Magic, if you have a bigger budget you can get this deck to give you a little more. It won't give you good things, just more.

G. R. R. Token

This is the college drop out equivalent of GW tokens. It's less successful, worth much less, and no matter how hard it tries, it will never make it's parents happy. "Gaige you're really bad at analogies." Yes I am, but if you get a kick out of them check out my blog:

See card below for joke.

See card above for joke.

At this deck's barest boner you'll be running these two devil's spawns. I'm sure there is some political joke in here about calling some candidate satan but I don't want to hear your stupid political opinions anyways. On the other hand, if you have stupid Magic opinions I'm all ears.

Both cards are fairly affordable and probably not hard to come by. As the deck title suggests, you want to flood the board with tokens/devils. You can then use them to chump block everything on the ground and when they die blow up and throw up the devils at their face. 

If plain old poke and prod devil's aren't enough for you, use From Beyond to summon spaghetti devils. . What more is there to say about this card? It makes tokens every turn. Use the tokens for ramp and chump blockers or however you see fit. If you aren't catching on to how this deck works yet maybe you should stick to just playing Crazy 8's.

Are they harvesting people or does everyone just have a twin to split the work with?
Once the board is filled with so many token cards that you can't find your lands, play this. The cornsfolk will duplicate everything you have on the board. Any board space that was remaining has now disappeared. You don't even remember what your play mat looks like because your new play mat is just more tokens. If you're anything like me you didn't actually read this card. Or also like me you read this card hundreds of times but still forgot that it's instant speed. Just play it whenever it's gonna make you feel the best.

After you have all of those key pieces together, just start jamming in red kill spells and green Eldrizzles that make ETB tokens, like the one pictured above. There are plenty of Eldurggles to choose from so I'll leave that part up to you. The more scions you can get from ETB effects the more scions you can get with Second Harvest.

"Hey look at me! I have more money than the current budget of this deck!"

If you have more money to spend on cards and for some reason are investing money in this deck these are some additional higher value cards you can add to make your deck balling-er.

Also useful for protecting your eyes while viewing the eclipse.
Use this to go all Devil May Cry on your opponent. Getting four pokey devils is pretty scary but using this to get eight is slightly more startling. This means you now have eight blockers that will each do 1 damage when they die. If you have nothing to block or aren't afraid for your life total start swinging in with everything. Anything that gets through does damage and anything that gets blocked and dies still does damage. 

She may be embraced by the moon but she just wants to be embraced by your arms.
I get it. You have more money you need to spend and have planeswalkers dripping out of every part of your body. That works out because Arlinn has found a home in this deck. Use Arlinn to diversify your investments by making wolves. After she flips make all tokens slightly more annoying with +1/+1 and trample. The trample part is kind of like that condom you carry in your wallet: you'll almost certainly never use it but if you manage to, it'll be the best day you've had in a long time.

More like Chandra Lame caller.
If you can throw a Chandra in and she can live past the turn she hits the board, you can +1 her and before combat play Second Harvest. This now gives you a total of 4 3/1 elementals with haste plus whatever other tokens you have just lying around. If you decided not to +1 her, instead swing in with all your little devil's and -X Chandra to kill whatever is left and deal damage to whatever you are the angriest at.

Yes you can throw Nissa in here for plants too if you have one. She is green after all. And green is a color in this deck.

Well that's all the decks I have so far. Next week I may have a couple other decks you can try out. If I don't have more decks ready just do what everyone else does and build something in the top 8 list. Then when you ultimately lose just tell your opponent that they got super lucky. That'll really let them know that although you lost you are still the alpha dog.

Want more deck ideas? Did you decide to try run of these? Were you, through some miracle, successful? Send us a decklist and a story in a comment or message. We'd love to hear from you!


  1. Your idea are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  2. This is such pure, wildly unhinged, uncut Johnny desk-design, I want to crush it and snort it off a My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic playmat.

    And yeah, that is my playmat. I won it in the pity raffle for those sad, 0-3 souls in a pre-release.

    1. I actually also won a shitty pink weeaboo playmat on gameday! It was a terrible consolation prize for getting 2nd.

      Not the exact mat I won, but gives a good idea of the overall creepy vibe:

    2. You can play magic against 12 year olds, drive a windowless van, or have a lolli playmat, but you can't have all three.

  3. My wife was so inspired by winner winner lifegain dinner we made an actual b/w allies deck around it. It's amazing. And by amazing I mean it goes 1-2, but nothing beats people tilting when you gain 40 life in a single turn.

    1. You got a list? There are few things I like more than gaining life with no actual goal in mind.

    2. Yeah Nathan where's the list we cooked up?