MonoColored or DualColored:: Keeping up with Highly Tuned decks on a Budget

Commander Deck Help forum

Posted on Aug. 8, 2018, 11:39 p.m. by Tiny_Sir

Hey all.

I've gotten back into my meta and everyone's turned a bit... cutthroat. They all have expensive decks and are winning turns 5-6... I just don't know how to compete.

I've decided having taplands is a no-no since they go so fast, and I'll need mana up for removal, I just can't decide colors.

I'm even stuck on if I should do mono or dual colors. I feel like mono colors would let me havve the most untapped lands, but I feel like going one color leaves me with a lot of that said color's weakness.

Any advice? My budget is under $100, and I have some cards myself, mostly parts from an old esper deck that I decided is much to slow. (Some staple ramp such as Solemn Simulacrum, Sol Ring, Thran Dynamo, Burnished Hart, Etc..).

Thanks for reading!

enpc says... #2

In a lot of ways, you're better off figuring out the kind of deck you want to play first and then decide if the deck is mono or dual coloured rather than just picking a commadner for their colour(s). While your landbase will be more expensive with a dual coloured deck, there are things you can do to mitigate this, even on a budget.

Shock Lands (eg. Hallowed Fountain), Check lands (eg. Glacial Fortress), Fast Lands (eg. Seachrome Coast), Pain Lands (eg. Adarkar Wastes), as well as a slew of fixing like Command Tower, Exotic Orchard, City of Brass, Mana Confluence, Forbidden Orchard, etc. can all help keep costs down without having to splurge on ABURs (eg. Tundra) or even Fetches (eg. Flooded Strand), however some of the fetches in your colour might be within you price range. Thought I understand getting all 7 can be expensive.

August 8, 2018 11:54 p.m.

Tiny_Sir says... #3


Well since I can't decide what kind of deck to build, I figured that maybe by picking by colors would work.

Shocks are too much atm, like I said, trying to keep a $100 budget, and most shocks take up around 1/5 of that.

Pain lands will be bought however!

August 9, 2018 12:27 a.m.

DrukenReaps says... #4

I find that the difference between an island and Hallowed Fountain in dual-colors is really close to being a non issue. If you go to three colors playing lands that produce two or more of your colors becomes important but with two colors and a hand with three lands the difference is rather small. It is optimal if you get the shocks or whatever but most of the time in two colors basics will be enough.

With the right acceleration you can alleviate any color screw that might occur. You can also help yourself by running things that mostly only want a single color or want one of each color. Avoiding things that want 3 of one color unless it is really powerful for what you are doing.

And you can relax those restrictions when you can afford the optimal land base.

August 9, 2018 12:45 a.m.

enpc says... #5

Depending on what you build, you may be able to budget even up to 40% of the cost of the deck as lands.

Do you know your preference of playstyle? From haveing a quick glance at your decks, I'm getting a "turn sideways for lots" kind of vibe. May I recommend Meren of Clan Nel Toth? She is a bit expensive to get, however reanimator gives you access to both green (ramp/removal) as well as black (tutroing/removal). It also adds a level of resilience to your deck.

You also get access to the tainted cycle (Tainted Wood).

August 9, 2018 12:45 a.m. Edited.

Gidgetimer says... #6

Unfortunately $100 doesn't go far when talking about a completely tuned deck to be able to compete with decks winning turn 5-6. I'd probably go with something cheap like Xenagos, God of Revels that can eliminate one person by turn 5-6 to feel like you are participating and effecting the board. I would then focus on building something with really strong cards that are not super expensive but would still go over your budget at the moment.

$104 (both deck prices are what you can buy them for right now from TCGPlayer since tapped out pricing is temperamental.) Xenagos, God of Revels deck that you could make some cuts or just use big dumb beaters you already own to cut the price under $100.

Xenagos, God of "You're Swinging with a HOW BIG?"

Commander / EDH Gidgetimer


$372 Arcum Dagsson deck that will steamroll turn 5-6 decks and you can pick up piecemeal over time.

Arcum's Even More Budget Asylum

Commander / EDH Gidgetimer


August 9, 2018 12:48 a.m.

enpc says... #7

Tiny_Sir: I got pretty bang on $100 with this as an example deck:

Example Budget Meren

Commander / EDH* enpc


I hope this helps.

August 9, 2018 1:29 a.m.

Boza says... #8

So, to summarize, you have a problem with your opponents winning fast and your limited budget.

There are two solutions:

  • Win faster
  • Stop them from winning so fast

The first is unlikely to be done on a budget, but the second one can be. Some kind of U/X control deck with counterspells and draw. I personally play Prime Speaker Zegana wizard tribal aimed at controlling the opponent with counterspells and creatures that are counterspells. U and G have the tools to stop any deck between counterspells and the best draw power.

You will have to think how the ratios of counterspells vs draw spells work in your meta, but I think this is your best option.

August 9, 2018 4:29 a.m.

Tiny_Sir says... #9


Hm, I think that’s what I’m looking for. It just so happens I have a Zeganna lying around too!

If I put up a list made up of cards I own later, would you mind looking it over?

August 9, 2018 11:23 a.m.

pskinn01 says... #10

I agree that blue/green can help control the game. Mono blue can be built on a budget and have multiple win conditions included. Problem with mono blue us the best couter spells can be costly.

August 9, 2018 1:14 p.m.

landofMordor says... #11

Zegana control sounds excellent! I'd be happy to take a look at your list too, friend!

August 9, 2018 4:45 p.m.

Tiny_Sir says... #12



It performed admirably tonight.

I won a game against a tuned Hazezon Tamar deck, and a fairly tuned Kess deck and I even mulled down to 5. Sadly, this was our practice game and the next game people teamed up since turn 2 and there was a turn two Unesh with a mana vault, sol ring, sapphire medallion, and etc.. and he won turn 7. Me and the Gitrog player were upset.

I took out and added a few cards in:

Sphinx of Uuthun, Conjureror's Closet, and I think I took out Legacy's Allure and Foil. I just don't have time tonight to edit the decklist here.

So far it's performing well with a lot of early counter magic and ramp till I draw a lot of cards. Hadana's Climb  Flip really overperformed, allowing Zegana to swing for around 15 multiple times.

August 9, 2018 9:42 p.m.

Boza says... #13

Ok, I am really glad you took up Zegana as it is a great option for both refueling and beating down , which is what a deck like this needs. I will check out your decklist as soon as possible.

August 10, 2018 2:29 a.m.

Wurmlover says... #14

Really, Speaking as a cEDH player who also has no money, mono color is your best bet. I would look up Selvala, Heart of the Wilds. She is a deck played in actual cEDH and can win consistently turn 3 when played right by setting up large "storm" turns by gaining Mana off of creatures like Phyrexian Dreadnought and drawing off of selvala's trigger. She is also insanely budget, being able to be built for close to $100.

Here's a list:

$125 Selvala Brostorm

Commander / EDH* LabManiac_Dan


Another deck you could consider is Yisan, the Wanderer Bard. Also insanely budget and very competitive, Yisan gives access to a toolbox of cards to stop other decks, such as Phyrexian Revoker, while either assembling an infinite combo with Temur Sabertooth, or setting up a very large Craterhoof Behemoth swing. This deck is even more budget than Yisan, the base being about $50, which leaves you with room in the budget to upgrade and tune to your specific meta.

Example list:

$100 Yisan

Commander / EDH* quickenverdict


Hope this helps!

August 11, 2018 11:10 a.m.

(Shameless self promotion) Neheb the Manataur a really good mono red deck that can win in multiple ways, and is usually overlooked because its mono-red

October 8, 2018 8:32 p.m.

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