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BW Budget Exalted (help!)

Standard Budget Exalted



Enchantment (2)


My first real MTG deck (Standard), on a budget without high-cost cards like Sublime Archangel, Silverblade Paladin, Godless Shrine, and Isolated Chapel (might add them later if I stick with this), so please critique it to the ground!

"Squeak squeak! Our master decided to put us back in because he loves us so much!


ATTACKERS (1 at a time w/ Exalted)

Aven Squire -- Although they're primarily here for their Exalted, their Flying allows them to function as an evasive attacker as well.

Fencing Ace -- Basically a cheap Silverblade Paladin. Might need protection with Faith's Shield.

Vampire Nighthawk -- Flying and Lifelink? Excellent. You want these guys summoned at turn 3 to be your main attacker. They could even be Deathtouch blockers against Flying if necessary, sticking around with Faith's Shield.


Typhoid Rats -- AMAZING Deathtouch blockers when protected with Faith's Shield. They can wreak further havoc with Tragic Slip if their Deathtouch procs.

Duty-Bound Dead -- Mainly here as an Exalted drop, they can also work as cheap 0/2 blockers early on. Their Regenerate has its moments later.


Knight of Glory -- He can also be an attacker or a Black blocker, and Faith's Shield works with him.

Knight of Infamy -- Can't be protected by Faith's Shield, but can get through White defenses or block against White.


Faith's Shield -- I love this card. It protects my low-toughness creatures against direct damage, allows single attackers buffed by Exalted to get through defenses. And of course, it protects against control.

Oblivion Ring -- Yay, control! It's one of my three ways to deal with enemy creatures primarily, and other permanents too if necessary. (I'll O-Ring your O-Ring if you O-Ring my Exalted-buffed attacker!)

Murder -- Yay, killing! Fewer defenses! Yay!

Ultimate Price -- Yay, cheaper killing! (when used against mono-colored)

Tragic Slip -- As I mentioned, this has great synergy with Typhoid Rats and Vampire Nighthawk.

NOTE: When up against decks that get stronger depending on how many creatures they have in their Graveyard, be more conservative with the previous three kill cards.

==SIDEBOARD== (currently incomplete)

Curse of Death's Hold -- Nice to deal with lots of weaklings.

Essence Harvest -- Great Lifesteal synergy with Exalted. Good to swap with the kill spells when against pesky Weenies or Zombies not worth the kill spells' costs.

Rest in Peace -- Basic anti-graveyarding card.

Rootborn Defenses -- Counter to sweepers and kill cards. Populate is kind of negligible since I'd probably only use it for another Exalted drop or another Typhoid Rats. (Thanks to user pumpkinsword for the suggestion!)

Safe Passage -- Similar to Rootborn Defenses, but prevents damage instead. Plus, itprotects the player. I'd run it alongside Rootborn Defenses. (Thanks to user user:2zacoly for the suggestion!)

Executioner's Swing -- LOLidunno


I'm still not too sure about my Spells. Originally it was more defensive with Gift of Orzhova and Essence Harvest, but now it's more offensive with Murder and Ultimate Price, with Faith's Shield for defense. I'm not too fond of Auras since they restrict flexibility in who I want assigned as my Exalted-buffed attacker; if my Aura-enchanted attacker is destroyed, and he's the only real attacker in play, that Aura just becomes a waste in the deck. I may drop a Faith's Shield and Murder in favor of 1 of each Knight of Glory and Knight of Infamy.

My Maybeboard consists mostly of cards that I've swapped out in favor for others, and I'm just keeping them around for reference.

Thanks in advance!



Geoxis says... #1

how have games been going? I cannot use the playtester. Deathcult Rogue is a budget replacement for Vampire Nighthawk is is more evasive against the majority of decks. Maybe try that out. Orzhov Charm seems like it could be better. Maybe try out their guildmage?

February 17, 2013 1:55 p.m.

Slayn666 says... #2

Vampire Nighthawk is a very good choice. I've played similar deck and also for protection of my permanents I used card:Faith's Shield. Maybe you should consider Desecration Demon , it's cheap in CMC and has nice synergy with exalted.

February 17, 2013 2:06 p.m.

joniho says... #3


Games have been going alright (as far as my noobness is concerned). Deathcult Rogue is an interesting option; I'll try it out in some games.


Is there any case where Cloudshift is better than card:Faith's Shield? Sorry if it's a stupid question, I'm just trying to learn and all. :)

February 17, 2013 2:15 p.m.

Zacoly says... #4

I would suggest -4 Guardians of Akrasa and +4 Vampire Nighthawk The nighthawk is just a much more useful creature and is a good candidate for an exalted deck.

The problem with Tormented Soul in an exalted deck is that you can't block with the other 1-3 after you send one in to get the exalted buff... :L You could remove 1-2 of them for this reason.

I'm not crazy about Duty-Bound Dead their only saving grace is the exalted buff. With all the tramplers being used these days 2 health won't block much even if it's being reused each turn. I almost feel like Typhoid Rats makes a scarier blocker since the attacker knows they will lose their creature.

I really like Essence Harvest as a card, it is similar to Fling in red but you also gain life, and don't lose the creature for only one more mana! It is an excellent way to make double use of that exalted buff in main phase 2 after the creature has been buffed. I suggest you add those.

If you're only going to send in one creature as an attacker each turn, then you'd better make sure they get to do damage! With all the multicolored decks out there your knights probably won't be pro "all of their creatures" if you get what I mean, they probably won't get through. Holy Mantle is an inexpensive card that will help you get through. Same with card:Faith's Shield, although card:Faith's Shield will protect your creatures from spells OR get them through. (It's also worth noting that card:Faith's Shield will protect YOU from the color of your choice with it's fateful hour effect.) It's a very good common!

In my opinion, if you are going to run a budget deck then you will need to rely on battle "suprises" like Safe Passage = white fog to buy yourself extra turns to beat decks with superior speed and damage.

Good luck man!

February 17, 2013 2:29 p.m.

joniho says... #5


I've taken your advice and the others' advice to do -4 Guardians of Akrasa and +4 Vampire Nighthawk . :)

Hmm you're right about the other Tormented Soul not being able to block. I'll take 1-2 out and see how they do.

Duty-Bound Dead has mostly only helped me as early-game defenders, but I can see how Typhoid Rats could be more useful for blocking early attackers. I'll swap them and see how they do.

You've convinced me to do -4 Cloudshift for +4 card:Faith's Shield! I'll look into +2 Holy Mantle for -2 Mark of the Vampire , unless you suggest a different swap?

Safe Passage is also very appealing.

Thank you!

February 17, 2013 2:40 p.m.

Zacoly says... #6

One final comment:

I think that Orzhov Charm is the weakest of the guild charms, your deck could benefit much more from some removal. I suggest Tragic Slip or Murder . There's nothing like murder the moment somebody get's bloodrushed!

February 17, 2013 3:11 p.m.

joniho says... #7


Hmm yeah, it hasn't been as effective as I'd hoped. I'll play around with Tragic Slip and Murder . The latter seems more universal, but I can see how Tragic Slip might be more cost-effective if my Typhoid Rats manage to Deathtouch something.

By the way, with playtesting I've had great success with Typhoid Rats + card:Faith's Shield. :D

February 17, 2013 3:46 p.m.

Zacoly says... #8

Figures, Never underestimate the power of a faithful rat!

February 17, 2013 4:06 p.m.

pumpkinsword says... #9

Hey, we just played on OCTGN. I'd definitely add more creatures. I'd up both knights to 4 of each. In exchange, I'd take out 1 Essence Harvest , 2x Safe Passage and 1x card:Faith's Shield. The decks you played against were: Zombies with Flamethrowers! (FNM Champ) and I'd Champion YOUR Parish. Good luck!

February 17, 2013 6:50 p.m.

pumpkinsword says... #10

You could probably also get by on less lands. 23 would be good and based on your curve, you could probably even do 22 if you wanted to.

February 17, 2013 6:51 p.m.

joniho says... #11


Thanks again for playing with me on OCTGN! :D I'll play using your suggestions and see how they go. Safe Passage was there to hopefully protect a mass wipe, since most of my creatures have 1 toughness.

Thanks again!

February 17, 2013 6:59 p.m.

Powerhouse64 says... #12

In my opinion, 19 creatures is way too few. I would run at least 24, Servant of Nefarox and Murder are excellent cards in an exalted deck. Murder does an excellent job of clearing opponent's creatures when you need it, and Servant of Nefarox works just as well as an exalted buff card as an attacker.

card:Faith's Shield and Safe Passage are great cards, but there are better exalted alternatives for a deck like this. Guardians of Akrasa is your best card to throw in there, especially when you give it the Gift of Orzhova to take care of fliers.

On top of that, Dutiful Thrull might make a better choice. If you can give it flying, it's an amazing defender. Rather than use card:Faith's Shield you can drop it for 1, get an extra creature that has a very cheap regenerate cost.

Lastly, another suggestion would be Crusader of Odric because if you can get enough exalted cards out and attack with just your Crusader, it will get the exalted bonus on top of it's power (being the total number of creatures you control).

February 17, 2013 7:03 p.m.

pumpkinsword says... #13

If you want to try to protect against a boardwipe, I'd recommend Rootborn Defenses as that actually makes your creatures indestructible. I'd put 2-3 in the sideboard against control decks running sweepers.

February 17, 2013 7:03 p.m.

Zacoly says... #14

@ pumpkinsword

I disagree with many of the things you said.

But first, I agree that Dutiful Thrull is a great little blocker! It's a good card, my only problem with him is that vs trample he will only block one damage and he will NEVER kill anything. Even so, he's a decent blocker, and you did well to mention him, I forgot to.

Crusader of Odric is an excellent card for this deck! She does make good use of the other creatures AND exalt.


Rootborn Defenses vs Safe Passage - Rootborn defenses does make his creatures "indestructible" and therefore unkillable, but not untargetable, they could still be exiled or tragic slipped. The reason I suggested Safe Passage is because it protects THE PLAYER from burns, Fling , Essence Harvest , or just an army of swinging creatures. It's a "fog" but better since it blocks burns. I'm not primarily concerned about any of the creatures in this deck being kill carded. Safe Passage is a better use of 3 mana in this deck. (Not to mention the populate effect is useless here)

card:Faith's Shield can be use offensively or defensively to great effect!!! I stand firmly behind the use of this card in this deck.

Guardians of Akrasa is not a good card for this deck. The exalted effect is "nice" but otherwise it's too expensive and too easily dealt with.

Murder does not do an "excellent" job of taking care of creatures... for it's mana cost I'd say it does an "acceptable" job. Tragic Slip is not "as" userfriendly but it's much cheaper. There is a solid argument for both.

All in all I guess I agreed with about half of what you said and disagreed with about half. Is there anything else I should be aware of?

I'm glancing through your decks right now.... LOL @ I'd Champion YOUR Parish great name!

February 17, 2013 7:41 p.m.

pumpkinsword says... #15


I think you confused Powerhouse64 with me, I only said to add more creatures and rootborn defenses for side. :) I'm glad you like the name of my human deck though.

Safe Passage is good against aggro, but it is pretty bad against control. For the control match-up, you should be worried more about sweepers and kill cards than burn, so I stand by my suggestion of Rootborn Defenses for the sideboard, the populate doesn't matter. This protects his creatures from burn too. If his creatures were exiled or tragic slipped, Safe Passage would not help any more than Rootborn Defenses . There's still no reason why he could not use both in his sideboard though, maybe a 2-2 split.

February 17, 2013 11:33 p.m.

Zacoly says... #16

@ pumpkinsword

You're right!

I didn't realize Powerhouse64 made the other comment, my bad.

You did make a good argument for Rootborn Defenses and I have a new appreciation for the card, TY.

I have been seeing Nevermore sideboarded in many top decks. They Dismantle mill decks quickly and are also just as effective vs sweeper decks.

After reading some posts on top decks I'm starting to learn about and appreciate cards more and more. This site is awesome! :)

@ Powerhouse64

Read above, get back to me if you feel like it. I mis-tagged some of my comments.

@ joniho

This deck changes every time I look at it! You got your money's worth on the discussion going on here! :D

February 17, 2013 11:53 p.m.

joniho says... #17


Crusader of Odric looks very appealing. I'll try playing with 2 of them!


Haha yeah, I'm very thankful toward the community here. :)

February 18, 2013 12:59 a.m.

CreepyCarbs says... #18

Two words: Tormented Soul

February 19, 2013 11:05 p.m.

joniho says... #19


Hehe, I know I know. 4x Tormented Soul was part of the first iteration, but it has gradually been losing footing in favor of of more Exalted creatures (Duty-Bound Dead ), blockers (Typhoid Rats ) and more aggression (Fencing Ace ). I already have 3 other potential Exalted attackers as it is now.

If I put Tormented Soul back in, I'd probably have no choice but to swap out an Exalted or a blocker, neither of which Tormented Soul can fulfill. After playing a couple games on OCTGN, I haven't really been missing them yet.

February 19, 2013 11:13 p.m.

CreepyCarbs says... #20

Oh, I also suggest Dark Favor and Divine Favor

February 19, 2013 11:37 p.m.

joniho says... #21


What's your rationale for Dark Favor and Divine Favor ? Combined with Tormented Soul he can certainly get quite powerful, but if he's hit with a Destroy Creature with those Auras on, my offense tanks tremendously.

February 20, 2013 12:04 a.m.

A card that is inexpensive and hilarious in an exalted deck is Cryptborn Horror! By swinging and doing a crap load of damage you can have a huge trampling creature that your Faith's shield can save and he gets bigger from your exalted!

+1 from me btw

February 22, 2013 4:35 a.m.

joniho says... #23


Ooh, Cryptborn Horror looks VERY nice. I was actually looking for a cheap creature with Trampling that fit with Black & White. I'll have to fiddle with them to see what cards I could swap them in for.

I'm thinking -1 Typhoid Rats -2 Ultimate Price +3 Cryptborn Horror .

February 22, 2013 11:56 a.m.

That sounds right. I was thinking the samething

February 22, 2013 12:26 p.m.

philFlame says... #25

I've been very inspired by the current iteration of this deck. Made a similar deck, but with a strong emphasis on auras: Monochromatic Enchanted Exalt.

March 3, 2013 3:51 a.m.

Rootkit9208 says... #26

gonna warn you, exalted is a massive trap right now.

there are a lot of board wipes out. Even something as simple as Rolling Temblor, Izzet Staticaster, or even an overloaded Electrickery will cause you to lose the game in an exalted deck. Strongly recommend finding a way to protect your creatures. Boros Charm would be ideal if it fit your colors.

March 4, 2013 12:27 a.m.

philFlame says... #27

So how come Typhoid Rats suddenly fell out of favor?

March 4, 2013 5:53 a.m.

joniho says... #28


Haha I don't know, I'm having a real love-hate relationship with this deck. I'll probably put them back in in a few days. :P Also I'm flattered that you were inspired by my deck!

March 5, 2013 1:52 a.m.

FlyingFajita says... #29

Dude this is an awesome deck and I've honestly been learning more from all the comments than anything else. To be honest your emphasis on budget is what's really made me a fan, being a poor college student.

In regards to Rootkit9208's mention of vulnerability to board wipes, though it's a bit mama-costy, Immortal Servitude might come in handy in the sideboard to swap in when playing against decks that are hardcore on the boardwiping.

Anyways I have High Priest of Penance in my exalted deck but now that I see the fact that Typhoid Rats is an even cheaper blocker I'm intrigued. What's your take on which one is more ideal to have in an exalted deck?

March 6, 2013 2:06 p.m.

joniho says... #30


Thanks for your words! I'm glad others are learning from this thread too. :)

High Priest of Penance is nice, but by Turn 2 (if I played Typhoid Rats turn 1), I want to drop one of my Exalted guys to buff the Rats for a quick 2-life jab. It certainly offers more versatility though in targeting permanents, so it could be sideboard-worthy.

March 9, 2013 2:10 p.m.

KrazyCaley says... #31

The main weakness of all exalted decks is that they are incredibly sensitive to removal! Not only do you have a very wrathable set of creatures (which is true of many/most creature based decks), you're often going to want to swing with only one creature every turn, which allows opponents with spot removal to just pick you apart and delay the game until they can win.

But that's the nature of this deck. In exchange you get really good damage per card. I have one suggestion that's going to sound completely insane, but hear me out on it. What kills this deck? Control decks, and decks that are able to get out really big creatures that can kill even an exalted attacker. Is there anything we can do about both of these? Yes, and I think that is Creepy Doll. Creepy Doll's main disadvantage is that it is a 1/1 for 5. However, with exalted, that's not such a huge drawback. The advantages are that it is very, very hard to kill (must use Oblivion Ring, Detention Sphere, or a sacrifice mechanic that can get through all your other creatures), survives wrath, has a 50/50 chance to kill ANYTHING it blocks or is blocked by, regardless of how big it is, and can sit back as a very effective blocker.

Of course, it costs 5 mana and you only have 22 lands, so I don't know. Exalted decks are hard to get to work properly because that big weakness I talk about above are so exploitable by a lot of the decks that you'll go up against. I would say, try Creepy Doll. It's a weird idea, but it might work.

March 10, 2013 7:25 p.m.

joniho says... #32


Haha Creepy Doll does look quite nice. As you said though (and from my experience), my other Exalted guys would probably be removed, leaving Creepy Doll unbuffed. The coin-flipping removal does seem fun. Thanks!

March 10, 2013 7:32 p.m.

Nox.LD says... #33

I decided to build this deck and the only changes I made to it were -1 Typhoid Rats , -1 Knight of Glory (I'm using this deck as a fun deck and only one of my friends runs black), -1 Duty-Bound Dead , and +3 Pacifism .

April 13, 2013 7:47 a.m.

Rootkit9208 says... #34

If you're dead set on using exalted, I actually damn near lost to a G/W exalted deck. Sounds counterintuitive, but Loxodon Smiter , a bunch of mana dorks, Exalted Archangel and Silverblade Paladin make for one hell of a bad board state to be on the other side of.

April 14, 2013 10:37 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 4 years
Last updated 4 years

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 1.79
Folders BW Budget Exalted, B/W Exalted, Things to try, Decks
Top rank #60 on 2013-03-03
Views 3339