Deck Crisis

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Aug. 16, 2022, 8:55 a.m. by Morgothman

Sorry for the long post but I needed to give some context.

I've been having an issue for about 3 months now and it's starting to make me lose interest in the game and I hate that because I love edh and slinging spells with my friends an family.

I started about a year a go I own 5 precons (Obscura Operation,Draconic Rage,Exit from exile,Spirit Squadron and Invent Superiority) and I'm tired of getting destroyed at our tables. I was trying to build a casual deck stronger than the precons but for the past 3 months I've been on edhrec looking at every commander and everytime I start building I lose interest in the commander or I feel it isn't strong enough.

My problem is that I don't have a huge budget and a lot of the "average deck" on edh are like 300+ because of dockside or rhystic study etc... when i try "budget" sure the deck is affordable but there's barely anything good in the deck.

I really need help. Can any one suggest a commander or a theme/tribe That is casual, between 0 and 3 colors, can be piloted by a fairly new player, under 200$. The more interaction with other players the better (it's one of the most interesting aspects of edh for me, I like messing with other players stuff ir bargain with them).


griffstick says... #2

August 16, 2022 9:03 a.m.

Morgothman says... #3

griffstick that's one hell of a mean ass deck... cheers mate,thanks.

August 16, 2022 9:19 a.m.

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is a good budget deck.

August 16, 2022 9:26 a.m.

legendofa says... #5

Welcome to the club, Morgothman! Do you have a preferred color set or strategy? Is there a special card or combo you want to include?

Broadly speaking, if you can get a budget mana base, the rest of the deck will follow, and the mana base is often the most expensive part. Lands like Yavimaya Coast, Shadowblood Ridge, and Brightclimb Pathway  Flip, artifacts like Izzet Signet and Sol Ring, and spells like Spoils of Victory and Farhaven Elf can help deliver reliability on the cheap.

Here's a deck I've been tinkering with recently, specifically intended to be under $100. Early tests are promising. (The description isn't fully fleshed out yet, my apologies.)

The Vampire Grave Eater!

Commander / EDH legendofa


August 16, 2022 11 a.m.

legendofa says... #6

And just to shamelessly plug my own gimmick decks some more, here are two other options.

$1 Flying EDH. One US Dollar.

Commander / EDH legendofa


$1 Elf EDH. One US dollar.

Commander / EDH legendofa


August 16, 2022 11:50 a.m.

abby315 says... #7

Themes that are generally cheap to build: Mono-color or two-color commanders (because good mana is the hardest part); 3 or 4 card infinite combos that combo with the commander; value-engines

Themes that are generally expensive to build: Tribal; stax (resource denial); hard control

Basically to keep decks inexpensive you want to build in an archetype that has a lot of redundancy. This way you can choose the slightly worse but much less expensive version of any key cards in the deck.

It's also important as a newer player of Magic that you start to think strategically about what the deck wants to accomplish. That way you can make card choices that are more synergistic, which allows you to sacrifice card quality for card interaction.

Here's a good example. I built this Ninja Demons and Faeries and Eldrazi... deck out of cards I already owned or that were very cheap to acquire. The only premise of the deck is to cast Satoru, protect him, and fill out the rest of the deck with 1) big creatures that have ETB effects or combat damage effects, to take advantage of the 4-mana ninjitsu; 2) low-cost creatures with ETB or LTB triggers that are good to ninjitsu back to hand.

This way I can choose to include something like Massacre Wurm over Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger if I didn't have one already. Sure, it's a worse card, but if the deck engine is working, it will still be good enough to win.

The other reason I like this deckbuilding philosophy - understand the mechanism of the deck and then customize to fit your budget and collection - is that it allows you to figure out a way to play pet cards that you really like, or a deck archetype that you want to make work. I love cheating big creatures into play and I love the card Cloud of Faeries. This archetype allows me to cheat big things into play and makes the card Cloud of Faeries good when it otherwise wouldn't be.

Because I've built a deck I enjoy with cards I find cool, I also mind less when I lose, because I've done fun things in the meantime.

If you identify not only a commander you want to play but a mechanism you like to play, TappedOut is a great place to get budget card suggestions. Just post your working list and deckcycle it asking for help, or post a forum post like this one.

Hope that makes sense!

August 16, 2022 12:30 p.m.

Delphen7 says... #8

I've got 3 suggestions that hit different niches.

First is Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh with Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist. Colossus Hammer hits really hard when it comes down turn 2 :D. The deck is combat based, and plays similarly most games. Most equipment cards are really cheap, so you can cherrypick the equipment you want in the deck.

Second is a Codie, Vociferous Codex combo list. The deck runs ~60 Dragon's Approach, Tibalt's Trickery, Reshape the Earth and all the Gate lands. The idea is to spin into Reshape the Earth, get 9 Gates and Maze's End and win the next turn. This is the most competitive of the 3, but the deck plays exactly the same every game; there is almost 0 variance.

Third is my personal favorite. Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant  Flip. Search for a bunch on lands into hand, flip Sasaya, then go wild with big X spells and massive creatures. Deck plays similarly every game in the beginning, but then has lots of unique options lategame.

August 16, 2022 1:22 p.m.

KBK7101 says... #9

Some recently released commanders that are extremely powerful, even in budget decks, that I would recommend would be -

Three color :

Isshin, Two Heavens as One, Miirym, Sentinel Wurm, Muldrotha, the Gravetide (recently reprinted) and Alela, Artful Provacateur

Two color :

Lathril, Blade of the Elves, Sythis, Harvest's Hand and Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait

Most of these could easily be powerful even on a low budget. Most of them are also pretty easy to follow for newer players. Isshin cares about cards that have "Whenever ~ attacks" triggers, Miirym cares about anything relating to dragons, Muldrotha loves graveyard shenanigans and Alela cares about artifacts, enchantments and faeries. Lathril is all about elves and tokens, Sythis is enchantment focused and Aesi is lands-centric (and is available as a precon!).

It all really comes down what type of playstyle you enjoy. Given what you have, I think I'd recommend Alela, Artful Provacateur. You have some cards from your precons already, is in perfect colors for disruption/interaction with opponents and she could be built in literally any way that has enchantments and/or artifacts as a focus. Auras such as All That Glitters and Ethereal Armor? Sure! Anthems such as Favorable Winds or Glorious Anthem? Yep! Artifact-centric cards such as Sai, Master Thopterist, Etherium Sculptor, Foundry Inspector and Bident of Thassa can make your board state explode from one turn to the next. I had an Alela deck for my brother for a bit that focused on playing cheap artifacts/enchantments and then buffing the tokens with cards like Favorable Winds. With a few effects like that on the field, casting a single artifact/enchantment could net you something like a 7/6 flier, which is insane! She could very easily be built on a budget as well.

Again, it all depends on your playstyle. If you could specify your favorite colors/strategies it would help us recommend you something that you would find more fun!

August 16, 2022 5:24 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #10

Xenagos, God of Revels makes a pretty good commander in the $200 budget range. My current build is showing at $283, but $137 of that is represented by the 6 (non-commander) cards over $10. While those cards are all good in the deck, the only absolutely essential piece of a Xenagos deck is Xenagos. Everything else is just big dumb beaters, ramp, and ways to make the beaters bigger. How I have it built there isn't much interaction or bargaining aside from who you attack. You could always slot in interaction in the expensive card slots.

August 16, 2022 5:32 p.m.

Grubbernaut says... #11

cEDH is almost entirely proxy-friendly, even at tournaments, fwiw.

August 16, 2022 7:54 p.m.

multimedia says... #12

Hey, you have the Invent Superiority precon? Breya, Etherium Shaper can be a powerful and casual/fun deck on a budget. My Breya deck isn't even $200, Breya Goddess of Etherium (Budget). It wins with an infinite combo using Breya as the wincon and there's plenty of other fun interactions.

August 16, 2022 10:37 p.m.

Looking at the precons you have there, I'd love to pick up that pool and brew something from it. Seems like a pretty nice combination of powerful and fun cards.

Instead of buying cards for a new commander, maybe improve your deck building skills?

The command zone on youtube has a pretty recent video on deck structure (like a year old). It really helps in better understanding what an EDH deck needsto run smoothly. I can heavily suggest trying that before putting more money into a new deck. You might even find a pretty powerful deck within your pool of cards that you'd just need to get the fitting commander for.

Whatcha say?

August 17, 2022 12:34 a.m.

The play group you’re in can also be a hurdle regarding your enjoyment. It’s possible that the folks you’re playing with will only be beatable with serious high-power decks. Sometimes a play group falls into a power spiral where everyone sort of loses track of anything that isn’t winning (deep into card advantage, maximizing tutors/fetches etc). I dove (probably too far) into the other direction, making goofball decks and losing 90+ percent of my games. While losing isn’t fun, in itself, the overall feel of the tables I’m playing at is a lot more relaxed. It seems like it’s given other folks the “permission” to build something that isn’t 100% optimized. It’s not for everyone, but that route is an option you could try. Check out my deck lists to see what I mean about the builds I’ve been doing. A few of them accidentally trip up the super-decks, so it’s never a hopeless endeavor ;p

August 17, 2022 11:47 a.m.

Please login to comment