Thursday, February 02, 2017

Some budget brews for me's and you's.

Who said cheap wasn't sexy?
My fellow dorks, it is Dan! I am just vibrating in anticipation thanks to the new Standard season starting to rock and roll. Man, is it something else. Sneks, Cats, Eldrazi, and even a couple of wackier decks have put on a show at the past few big tournaments, and are showing everyone that there's plenty of room to innovate.

Meow. There are now thousands of me.
There is, of course, the looming threat of Standard resembling the apartment of the insane cat lady down the street thanks to the Felidar Guardian combo, but I don't think that's going to be the case. I see this as a golden land of opportunity, where something zany can carve out a niche by preying on the weaknesses of meta decks. Well, at least I want to see it that way. What I really see is me losing on turn four quite a bit, but whatever. Sometimes you gotta break a few eggs in order to make room in your fridge for more eggs.

So. You don't like cats. You enjoy playing Magic, but you also like your money. You like eggs. How in the heck are you supposed to smash these angry cats and +1/+1 counter decks without buyin' an assload of expensive cards? Don't worry buddy, the Heavy Salami blog is a safe place of healing, and we cater to the poor and fiscally minded.

In this article, I'm going to open up my brain to you (not the gross porn part) and share some of the brews that we've been thinking of. Each of these decks have some components to keep them fighting against the top tier decks of the format, and none will break the bank, checking in right around the $50 range. If you're looking for something new to try, these are a few lists that won't land you in poverty.

Will these win the Pro Tour? Probably not. Ok, definitely not. Will they pick up some prizes at FNM? Sure will! But why just talk about potential and whatnot, when we could just take a lookie-loo at the decks themselves. Not all of these are fully tuned, mind you; these are just concepts. Some small tweaks may be necessary to keep them competitive at your local store, so keep that in mind as you go over the lists!

Bork Bork, Doggo Tribal

Required apparel for playing this deck.
Gruul Werewolf Tribal has been a dream for quite a few people ever since Shadows over Innistrad was released, and I think its time has finally arrived. The addition of Metallic Mimic as a pseudo-lord makes some of our anemic one-drop creatures have some punch in the late game. The premium removal spell Moonlight Hunt is a house against the Jeskai Combo Cat deck as well. It can kill a Felidar Cub if you have a few creatures, and it can even take out a Gearhulk that has been flashed in to block during combat. Here's the list:

Kessig Prowler and Village Messenger get the party started. A flipped Messenger is a very quick source of damage, and the Prowler puts on some hurt early, with the ability to pump up later. We of course have the Mimic to make our guys swole as time goes by, while Duskwatch and Silverfur Partisan help us keep truckin' through removal (Note that Silverfur Partisan and the tokens created are wolves not werewolves; pay attention to what you want to name with Metallic Mimic!) Other than biting them in the face, Shock is one of our ways to interact with Saheeli or other Planeswalkers. Blossoming Defense insulates us against point removal while also punching through more damage, or triggering Silverfur Partisan.

The deck is quite weak to boardwipes, so consider the new card Heroic Intervention for the sideboard to make your guys indestructible if you think your opponent will be packing Fumigate or Radiant Flames.

Is $70 a bit too steep for you? I understand. You can shave a whopping $35 off that price tag by dropping the dual lands from the deck, and replacing them with basics. This will put the deck right around a cool $40, and a majority of the cards are just draft chaff, so they shouldn't be too hard to get.

Bant "Can't"

Do you sometimes play Magic and think "Man, it would be sweet if instead of all of this interaction, we were just kind of hanging out." Look no further, friend.

Your opponent's face for the next 45 minutes.
There are several "fog" effects in Standard right now that prevent damage, and generally annoy your opponent. We're seeking to combine all of these into a pile, and actively avoid any sort of win condition. Here's what our scientists formulated:

We have eight whole copies of fog effects, a fog-esque enchantment, an artifact that shuts down Planeswalkers or dudes, some boardwipes and creature removal, and card draw. Shielded Aether Thief gives us a blocker when we don't have a fog ready to go, and he also gives us an energy sink until we need Deadlock Trap or Consulate Surveillance. Incidentally, his energy sink can get us more foggies. Hooray!

The goal of the deck is to mill the opposition out. Not to like you know, actively mill them, but to just be a witness to their own self-destruction. Perpetual Timepiece and Wildest Dreams let us grab used fogs from the graveyard and ensure we don't lose the mill race. Authority, Stasis Snare, and Deadlock Trap fight the combo. Then you chill and tell your opponent about your life problems that you definitely have because you're playing a fog deck.

To save another $10 or so, you can drop the duals for basics. Aether Hub is sadly necessary, since we need to have three colors, and will often have the energy to use to make sure this is a multi-colored land.

Radical Rakdos Robots

Actual footage of this deck in action.
Sometimes, you gotta go fast. This deck tickles me in all the right ways. You play cheap dudes, then you smack your opponent in the face. Beep boop here's our equipment:

We have Bomat Courier and Inventor's Apprentice to get rockin' right away, and the curve just gets stronger as we go. Scrapheap Scrounger is a solid recursive threat, Pia gets two bodies, eliminates blockers, and pumps up our jams. Then finally Slamjam Freejam tops off our curve, and often comes out well ahead of schedule thanks to Improvise.

Artifact synergies abound in this deck as well. Syndicate Trafficker let us sacrifice Implement of Combustion or Servo Schematic for sick value, and Scrap Trawler is just the tits, turning our Trafficker and artifacts into a real engine.

Shock, Unlicensed Disintegration, and Implement of Combustion are affordable answers to the Cat Combo, and none of them are useless against other decks. Even the mopey Implement of Combustion serves as fodder for Syndicate Trafficker that replaces itself, or as a mana-rock for our Improvise cards.

Overall, this is the deck I'm most excited about, as it can put on the hurt quickly, and has enough interaction to compete with heavy hitters. Need it cheaper? Again, drop duals for basics and you'll hang onto almost $30, making this list extremely cheap.

Wanna go the other way and get fancy? Adding in Fatal Push and Spire of Industry will push this over the edge. Revolt is insanely easy for us to activate between Syndicate Trafficker, Implement, Pia, and Bomat Courier all being one-cost sacrifice outlets. Get out of here, Kalitas, you just got shoved.

Combo Cat-ish

I love this new Felidar card everyone has been talking about!
Guys, I won't lie to you, this deck is terrible. But hey, the blog is called Terrible Magic, so it's not like we tricked you into this or anything. The goal of this deck is to gain a bunch of life, and then steal a win from real decks using either Aetherflux Reservoir or Felidar Guardian. And here is how you'll do that:

Shit-tier cards like Chaplain's Blessing become a blastyblast when you cast them multiple times from your Graveyard, thanks to Harness the Storm. Cathartic Reunion drops the first copy in for us, and helps us dig for combo pieces we need. Authority of the Consuls can gain us life, and is also a cheap answer for the inferior Combo Cat deck. Galvanic Bombardment ends up being a great removal spell, and with Harness the Storm, it can be a low-cost boardwipe.

You know, I don't even know what else to say about this. That list is poetry, and is a ringing endorsement for itself. You will more than likely never win a match, but by gawd you'll try. If you do accidentally win a game, be sure to comfort your opponent, because they'll probably feel quite bad after losing to this.

Again, duals swapped for basics will lower the price tag. Nothing else in the deck is all that moveable though, since it takes a specific set of jank to get something like this rolling.


That's it for today, folks! Don't worry, the Heavy Salami Horrible Stuff workshop is always tinkering away to make nonsensical budget decks, and we'll be sure to share them with you as they roll out. There is just an absurd stock of goofy cards in Standard right now, and I think brewers are going to have a fun time in this format.

Like watching brews in action? Oh boy, you came to the right place. Heavy Salami has recently obtained the equipment to start doing some recording, and we now have our very own Twitch channel! Click on these words to be dropped off there. Tonight at ~7 PM EST we'll be streaming a few games from Stadium Cards and Comics, if you'd like to check it out. (Time may fluctuate a bit due to work duties. Follow us on Twitter for updates.) We are hoping to start up a weekly stream of our local stores' Standard events, along with other fun such as Magic Duels, deck techs/tests, and general buffoonery. We'd love for you to join us!

Thank for reading, everyone. We hope one of these decks calls out to you and gets you many weird stares. Keep on brewin', dudes and ladydudes.

Did you enjoy this slice of Heavy Salami? Have your own budget deck you'd like to share? Want some of our new stickers, tokens, or other meat-themed swag? Let us know! You can drop a comment below, or send us a message using the form off to the right. As always, you can also reach us on Twitter @Heavy_Salami.

1 comment:

  1. The other kitty deck is pure genius. I'm working on something more mainstream but still weird, victory via mechanized production. I mean, Maze's End was a real card, right guys?!