Balustrade Spy

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Balustrade Spy

Creature — Vampire Rogue

Flying

When Balustrade Spy enters the battlefield, target player reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal a land card, then puts those cards into their graveyard.

legendofa on pauper spy dread return

6 months ago

Good information! I was rushing the Balustrade Spy and Dread Return in playtesting, so ensuring you don't hit any lands makes sense. It took some aggressive mulligans, but the playtesting feels a lot more cohesive. With permission, I'm going to borrow this idea and see where I end up with it. I'm still learning and feeling my way through Pauper, and this deck has pretty much everything I like.

MeneerDutchy on Henzie “The Toolman” Taylor ETB

1 year ago

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wallisface on

1 year ago

Some thoughts:

  • Merfolk Secretkeeper and Wall of Lost Thoughts aren't worth running. If you compare mill to a burn deck, they're the equivalent of running a worse Shock (doing the equivalent of around 1.6 damage). That's a pretty awful return as far as milling, regardless of mana cost.

  • Similarly to the above Balustrade Spy is awful, it's only going to get somewhere between 1-3 cards on average, for 4 mana. In all honesty, there's a good reason why mill decks don't run any creatures outside of Hedron Crab and Ruin Crab - it's because everything else just isn't worth it.

  • I get you want fetches for the crabs, and that's probably outside of your budget - but Evolving Wilds is not an alternative. Having lands enter tapped is disastrous, as it will slow down your tempo faaaar too much, and give your opponent too much of a chance to win. If you want ways to trigger crabs multiple times, i'd suggest Field of Ruin.

  • You have enough lands, you have absolutely no reason to run Dimir Signet

  • Mind Funeral gives terrible returns for its mana value, and will often cause the deck to lose to itself by not getting enough cards milled. Focus on running full playsets of the better mill cards (Fractured Sanity and Maddening Cacophony) instead

  • Both Crypt Incursion and Archive Trap should be mainboard, not sideboard.

  • Jace Beleren has no place in this deck. 3 mana is slow, and he doesn't do anything for you. You can't reasonably expect him to ever be able to ultimate, so often he's just going to draw a single card then die.

  • I would also ditch Drowned Secrets, because its return is just soo low - you have to play 4 blue spells after this card just to mill 8 cards. Many mill-specific cards (i.e. Maddening Cacophony) can just do that on their own. Drowned Secrets is unlikely to give you enough benefit during a game even if its played early, but becomes a terrible late-game draw.

  • Your deck currently has no interaction at all, which is going to put you in a really rough spot as most decks will be able to out-race you. Mill needs to throw the opponents plans off-track to get enough time to secure the win. I would have expected to see playsets of both Drown in the Loch and Fatal Push here, as well as a 3-4 copies of Extirpate to remove your opponents best cards from their deck.

  • While being at 65 cards might not seem much above 60, its going to lead to you having overall worse hands and draws, in both strength and consistency. You should always be aiming to cut a deck back to 60 cards.

This link here is a good example of a competitive mill deck - I think you should be aiming towards something like this, just accommodating for your particular budget

YamishiTheWickedOne on Sexy Vampires

2 years ago

If you're looking for further advice still, here's my list of best 1 mana vampires:

Viscera Seer

Knight of the Ebon Legion

Stromkirk Noble

Indulgent Aristocrat

Insolent Neonate

More niche 1-drops include

Falkenrath Gorger

Vampire Lacerator

Vicious Conquistador

Skymarcher Aspirant really only if you wanna be hyper aggressive and run like 8-12 lords.

If you want my opinion on the best vampires in MtG in no particular order:

Viscera Seer

Gatekeeper of Malakir

Bloodghast

Knight of the Ebon Legion

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Gifted Aetherborn

Stromkirk Noble

Olivia Voldaren

Champion of Dusk (because Sorin's a thing, before 5 mana was really pushing it)

and a narrow niche that makes him the best vampire in the game but ONLY in manaless dredge: Balustrade Spy

lagotripha on

2 years ago

Hi, can I check how competitive you'd like to be? Casual tables, FNMs, Tournaments?

I've got a few landfall ideas on the back burner that you might be able to make work with this. White black will rely more heavily on supporting cards than other landfall lists as 'lands matter' hasn't been printed on many cards in those colours. Overall, I'd look at being a lot lower on the curve, playing 1/2/3 drops that affect the boad - bodies, killing creatures or similar.

Try to focus budget on lands. Especially with landfall. Evolving wilds/Terramorphic Expanse/Warped Landscape for pure budget, the more expensive fetches when you can. Shocks can let you cheat on the exact colours of the fetches. Lands are the most important part of (almost) any deck, and with landfall that is emphasised somewhat.

Options;

Steppe Lynx. Most of the other options are in other colours, but decks it is in basically just 'play 1 drops, attack, crack fetches, maybe burn'.

Knight of the White Orchid is a great body with ramp, while Loyal Warhound a solid extra 4 copies. If you can turn them on, they make 'being on the draw' games a lot better - something not a lot of cards can say. Solemn Simulacrum is good. Especially if you get it back from the graveyard.

Felidar Retreat/Retreat to emeria are incredible value engines if you can turn them on. The rest of the deck would be setting up for that and making use of it.

Sword of the Animist + Sword of Hearth and Home points to an equipment and attacking list.

Unearth + graveyard matters stuff, self mill and bloodghast shenanigans.

Black has land destruction, which is almost like ramp - a deck that gets itself lots of basic lands and casts Smallpox will work.

Balustrade Spy/Endless Horizons. Yes its dumb, yes it catches people by surprise.

taylorfisdboss on U.S.S. Deathstar: NCC-1701-FU (Paunza)

2 years ago

oops! @Gattison came back to mention I found another Psychic Venom effect and realized I totally missed your bigger message on the 9th. The place holders make sense and the Ninja of the Deep Hours Balustrade Spy combo honestly sounds legit! also makes sense to run preordains or some other cantrip action to filter for important pieces. Ninja also combos with Jace's Phantasm's for some early draw to find key pieces so I like that addition even more!

The card I was going to mention was Erosion. seeing the color break down for the deck makes me less hopeful for it, as is a tough casting cost in multicolored pauper decks : /

I'm not sure how well it would play either, but a critical mass of "ouch my lands hurt" cards and land destruction seems to be one way to build this deck and that card works for both! My excitement to make suggestions aside it is more mana, more color requirement, and less damage if they don't sac it.... so.... and we can't stack it on lands with other damage effects without making them more likely to sac it.... which might be bad? Either way I saw the card and thought of you XD <3

Gattison on U.S.S. Deathstar: NCC-1701-FU (Paunza)

2 years ago

taylorfisdboss: Had some time to fiddle with this deck some more, and this is where I'm at currently. I could only find 1x Contaminated Ground, 1x Destroy the Evidence and 3x Psychic Venom in my collection. So I'm using 4x Singing Bell Strike and 3x Ninja of the Deep Hours as placeholders. I like the ninja's ability to let me re-use Balustrade Spy, so he may stay.

(My LGS isn't good for pauper singles, so next time I buy cards online... I'ma spend like 80 bucks on 10 cent singles. At least I'll get my money's worth lol)

Beyond that, Duress and Dark Ritual didn't work out as well as I thought in "playtesting", I felt like I needed to be more of a dick and have some legit removal, so Vapor Snag is back. Preordain is back because this is turning out to rely heavily on a few key cards, which makes it combo in my mind, which in turn means I either need to find redundancies to use as backups, or add draw power to find my pieces on time. Since there are no redundancies for Balustrade Spy and Destroy the Evidence in pauper, I went with draw. It's not enough though, so I'm back to brainstorming. Not using Brainstorm the card, just you know, using my brain.

My bad for the wait for a response. Also, I assume you're last sentence that got cut off was something along the lines of "love what you've done with the place." To which I say, thanks!

taylorfisdboss on U.S.S. Deathstar: NCC-1701-FU (Paunza)

2 years ago

Gattison The pay offs you just mentioned for black actually synergize with the Cleansing Wildfire and Geomancer's Gambit in that by helping our opponent search up lands we leave them with less lands and make both Destroy the Evidence and Balustrade Spy mill our opponents for more. Black also has the diverse Befoul for land or nonblack creature removal. Another cool idea is to lean into your Psychic Venom and also run Contaminated Ground so that you can really make their spells cost them.

I totally get what you're saying about playtesting in a vaccum and not wanting to make people play against it a bunch XD - that makes building ponza all the more difficult! love what you'v

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