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The Horde smiles at death - Competitive (budget)

Standard* Aggro Budget Competitive RBW (Mardu) Tribal



Instant (3)



The Horde smiles at death | (THIS DL IS NO LONGER STANDARD, it was fun while it lasted though)

"I came seeking a challenge. All I found was you." - Zurgo, khan of the Mardu

[Upvotes are VERY MUCH appreciated!!]

Ideal Play (Possible win by turn 4):

This decklist gets an insane board state with only 2-4 small 3 or less CMC creatures out dealing 10+ damage consistently.

Simple synergy between tons of creatures with a sprinkle of removal. Splashing to mardu for some tech against removal decks (which are abundant in the meta). This deck has given abzan, esper, sligh, mardu control, jeskai (all) and many other top decks a run for their money. The core of the deck itself sits at around 100 dollars; The sideboard and lands being some of the more expensive cards that could easily be replaced to stay on budget.

There are a few ways to play this deck:

  1. You're going up against aggro or midrange, so it is easy to get board-state. There aren't a lot of aggro decks that can outpace this one. Towards the middle game almost anything with CMC 4+ is a win-con. Arashin Foremost and Blood-Chin Rager combo for a total of 8 damage to the face, and if a Sorin is out, you've basically won the game.

  2. Against control use the this type of configuration since it will be much more difficult to achieve board-state, we'll modify the mana curve of the deck to have something to play every turn. With this, you're going to try to overwhelm your opponent and try to tap him out every turn so he's in an awkward position at all times. You can pump out an insane amount of creatures with impunity, they won't be able to remove them all...after a while, 2/1s and 1/1s will do their work.

  3. Burn is a mixture of these two scenarios as you won't have much board state if you're opponent is burning your creatures so use your discretion based on any intel gathered. But I've had luck against Sligh / Burn decks using this type of configuration which is very close to the control one. It is a close match, but dropping a Sorin, Solemn Visitor or Brutal Hordechief gives you the win.

    Dash the Mardu Strike Leader to leave you with some blockers while you get some life back. Remember is that those decks top-off quicker than this one and you'll have card advantage. Here we're playing the long game while maintaining better board state. Use cards like Kolaghan's Command at the right time to get the most value (Example: wait until opponent's draw step, bolt Goblin Rabblemaster and make him discard so card basically reads: Destroy target creature, take turn a after this one).

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death: Bring back warriors as they die. This card is extremely handy. If you have a Sorin, Solemn Visitor or a Chief of the Edge resolved then those 2/1 and 2/2 are extremely usable again.

Arashin Foremost: Such an amazing card. Win-con if left unchecked. And even if she dies, bring her back with Alesha, Who Smiles at Death activated, to swing for 10 minimum.

Blood-Chin Rager: Replaced Blood-Chin Fanatic, get to make your creatures harder to block. I think after all he might be a better choice than Athreos, God of Passage + Blood-Chin Fanatic , as he more consistently deals damage to the face.

Battle Brawler: Decent 2 drop that can possibly beat Deathmist Raptor / Fleecemane Lion / Den Protector etc? And on a blue moon, he can also beat Courser of Kruphix if a Chief of the Edge is out? Of course. He quickly becomes a threat that opponents want to remove...but he can easily come back with Alesha (and his ability activates).

Bloodsoaked Champion: Solid 1 drop that keeps coming back and can possibly swing for 3 turn 2? Yep.

Brutal Hordechief : I don't think any aggro warrior deck could be completed without him. Could easily win you the game (And has won me the game). If you have tons of creatures out, you'll be dealing damage to the face and gaining life just by attacking. And if you have 5 lands, you can control how your opponents block so they take maximum damage (which is damn hard to respond to).

Chief of the Edge: Ok. Few things, 3/2 for 2. Great. +1/+0 to all my other warriors. Awesome. I just wish I could have more of him in there.

Mardu Woe-Reaper: Another guy that can help a raptor situation. Drop this turn one, drop Battle Brawler turn 2, and remove by resolving a 3rd warrior.

Zurgo Helmsmasher: One of the big win-cons. After he drops the pressure is intense. The fact that he's indestructible when he does so is even sweeter. If Arashin is still around it's just downright cruel.

Crackling Doom: Fantastic removal. Mandatory since I'm playing appropriate colors and it gets around pesky hex proof or protection.

Secure the Wastes: Good synergy with the entire deck. Originally had 4 in, but ended up taking two out. This card is especially great against decks that play a lot of removal since they almost always guarantee you some creatures. Best played in your opponent's end of turn before dropping a Brutal Hordechief .

Sorin, Solemn Visitor: +1/+0 and lifelink has always turned the tide for me or finished off the game if I'm ahead. Even with a small number of creatures out provided they are the right creatures. I've dropped him and swung for 20+ with only 3 creatures out turn 4/5. It's disgusting. Battle Brawler + Arashin Foremost+ Chief of the Edge + Sorin, Solemn Visitor = You win magic.

Banishing Light: Replacing Mardu charm with something that can remove more things. This should be a better match-up against other aggro type decks. Especially red. It also gives something for Battle Brawler to get pumped by. Few things are more satisfying than removing a Deathmist Raptor or a God card when your opponent thinks you have no responses.

Hero's Downfall: Can handle planeswalkers and creatures. Second best removal in the deck (First being Crackling Doom). Nuff said.

Valorous Stance: Because abzan.

Bile Blight: Good against tokens, mana dorks, and even some aggro.

Chief of the Scale: Saw him win against mono-red and a few other decks consistently after being sideboarded in. For me, he's on against control and sligh. I dropped 2 of them in one turn against control, and completely invalidated their Bile Blight / Drown in Sorrow.

Kolaghan's Command: It's so versatile that it can almost always help G2. In the meta it can do quite a few relevant things like getting rid of opponent's Obelisk of Urd or Perilous Vault , god weapons (e.g. Bow of Nylea, Whip of Erebos, etc), and if top decking the possibility of timewalking your opponent by making him discard during their draw step and returning a creature from your graveyard to your hand/or bolt kill a creature gives you amazing tempo.

Mardu Strike Leader Mainly in here for it's dash ability. He provides a decent way of generating some tokens that can linger after attacking you opponent with haste. I think this could be a decent 4 drop against control.

Thoughtseize: Gives you the edge by letting you see what you're playing into, and removes a potential response to potentially a lot of early damage...

Rest are copies to stabilize the deck one way or another.

Suggestions welcome!


Updates Add

Mid-Week Update (100% Win rate so far)

  • 2-1 U/G Mill (Tutellage/Jace) decked me 1 turn before he was going to die :(
  • 2-0 Jeskai Control
  • 2-0 R/U Thopthers
  • 2-0 Red Aggro (w/ Goggles)
  • 2-0 Mono White Devotion (Archangel of Tithes, Heliod, God of the Sun, Spear of Heliod etc)
  • 2-0 Golgari Elves
  • 2-0 Mirror match (B/W Warriors)
  • 2-0 Goblin Aggro


With 4x Valorous Stance in deck (after sb), Alesha, Who Smiles at Death + Arashin Foremost become an insane (and underrated) engine with a little help; Use Valorous stance to make Alesha indestructible when needed and let Arashin die, they either start losing creatures (since 6 damage and 4 damage clears a lot) or face damage. Sideboard in more removal to have a clear board with consistent 10 damage.

Bloodsoaked Champion + Brutal Hordechief have amazing synergy in the late game.

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Date added 2 years
Last updated 5 months
Key combos

This deck is not Standard legal.

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Illegal cards Alesha, Who Smiles at Death , Arashin Foremost , Banishing Light , Battle Brawler , Battlefield Forge , Bile Blight , Blood-Chin Rager , Bloodsoaked Champion , Brutal Hordechief , Caves of Koilos , Chief of the Edge , Chief of the Scale , Crackling Doom , Hero's Downfall , Kolaghan's Command , Mana Confluence , Mardu Strike Leader , Mardu Woe-Reaper , Return to the Ranks , Secure the Wastes , Sorin, Solemn Visitor , Temple of Silence , Thoughtseize , Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth , Valorous Stance , Zurgo Helmsmasher
Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.44
Tokens 2/2 Vampire, Sorin, 1/1 Warrior
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Top rank #11 on 2015-07-30
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