Suggested Decks For a Gift

Deck Help forum

Posted on Oct. 12, 2021, 11:08 a.m. by Spackle

My brother and I have been playing MTG since it first came out. Mostly against friends and each other, never tournaments or anything organized. Its a fun hobby when we are together. We make plenty of decks and usually end up playing new ones against our classics to see how they perform.

I want to change things up buy buying him a deck for Christmas--a classic 60card 1 on 1 deck. The idea is to introduce a new "standard-bearer," a deck that show cases mtg deckbuilding, and serves as a measure for our own decks. My budget constraint would be around $300. Hopefully it would be a deck that's more versatile instead of a one-trick pony. It doesn't have to be limited to any one pool of cards since we don't do that for our own deck building. Does anybody have any suggestions?

sergiodelrio says... #2

Would be good to see what your decks look like in order to judge their power level and get an idea of what you like

October 12, 2021 11:15 a.m.

Spackle says... #3

Good point, didn't think of that. First-off, over-powered would be great as it would challenge us.

I'll need to go off memory for the deck I know best since I'm travelling. I'll put that together and post it when I have a bigger chunk of time.

October 12, 2021 11:48 a.m.

wallisface says... #4

Modern burn easily sits under $300 if you make the landbase simpler (possibly making it mono-red instead of RW). Example deck here. It is a little bit of a one trick pony, but is a great deck to playtest & goldfish against, as it provides a strong indicator of your own decks speed and ability to cope with a fast clock.

Outside of that, and going more strictly budget, this deck might be of interest. There are a lot of ways to deal with it, but the deck itself is pretty resilient and will mow down a lot of decks that can’t keep up. It is also much more flexible in its play patterns, with a few ways to grind down the opponent.

October 12, 2021 3:01 p.m.

libraryjoy says... #5

You could definitely put together Mono-green elves or Mono-blue Merfolk for probably that budget (minus some big cards like Force of Negation or Cavern of Souls). Not tier 1, but definitely stronger than average build. Both are creature-based aggro strategies and not necessarily a ton of ways to win, but I wouldn't call them one-trick pony. I build a ton of budget decks, so I don't have many on my profile that will help. I'm kind of a fan of Skred Swans myself, and you could probably get it in your budget if you dropped off Snappy, Blood Moon, and Force of Negation, trade out the Fetchlands for something cheaper. It's a bit more of a control/burn strategy, but definitely has a variety of play options. I'll be curious to hear what kind of decks and strategies he likes to play, and maybe I can toss out some other suggestions later.

October 12, 2021 6:18 p.m.

Spackle says... #6

Thanks for the comments!

Wow. After looking at that burn deck I understand what sergiodelrio was getting at. I think I was being a naïve. That other mono-red hollow deck looks pretty interesting though and probably more our level/slightly above.

The deck below is a rough outline of what I can remember for a white deck I put together. I think its fun because I plays differently in a lot of situations. The amounts aren't exact. There is some other stuff in there I can't remember like a life boost (I think a creature or two that gives life upon sacrifice). For deck building we generally build with what we already have (I have bought specific cards before to be really annoying such as Armageddon). So I typically don't have enough cards to reliably power combo, though its likely I'm not clever enough yet to recognize the potential with what I have. To compete against this he usually whips out a blue deck with tons of counters, clones, and stealing. They are roughly even. A red deck in the theme of burn has also been used (mana vaults, sol rings, fireballs and goblin gernades etc).

Creatures Kor Skyfisher x 3-4 Wall of Omens x 2 Crumbling Colossus x 2 Master Splicer x 2 Razor Golem x 1 Soltari Priest x 2 Soltari Monk x 2 Soltari Champion x 2 Mentor of the Meek x 2

Spells Armageddon x 2 Wrath of God x 2 Enlightened Tutor x 2-3 Rootborn Defenses x 1-2 Eye for an Eye x 1

Artifacts Nevinyrral's Disk x 1 Elixir of Immortality x 1 Mimic Vat x 1-2 Sol Ring x 2-3

Land Drifting Meadow x 4 and Misc.

Side board -- all available cards.

October 12, 2021 11:03 p.m.

Spackle says... #7

Swords to Plowshares is in there too

October 12, 2021 11:04 p.m.

wallisface says... #8

Spackle It looks like you guys currently play at a casual/kitchen-table level with decks. One thing to be careful of, is that once you introduce a more competitive deck to your "meta", the world/environment of your decks will likely change forever to accommodate that higher power - It will be the likely case that you and your friend will end up tinkering your decks to compete with this new competitive archtype, and in doing so you will be completely redefining what your playgroup can "get away with playing" (because you'll have re-adjusted what it means for a deck to be able to compete in your playgroup)

To put that another way, using the beforementioned burn deck as an example. Here is the existing decks in the modern metagame. Burn is currently sitting around the 3rd most popular, and is typically in the top 10. If you were to introduce this to your "meta", then it will become nigh-on impossible to compete against this deck without shelling out $500+ building a deck of similar strength.

Likewise, even with the "Mono-Red-Hollow One" deck, It's going to raise the bar to a point you might not be comfortable - as far as it's going to force your decks to be very well-constructed to reliably compete (just playing a collection of "cards you have" will very likely lead to defeat)

I'm saying all this as words of caution. It seems that you and your friend both already have decks that play well against one-another, and that your existing "meta" is already at a good degree of healthiness and stability. Introducing a big-jump in power to your "meta" is going to inevitably drag your existing decks in that same direction of strength, at the expense of your wallets and less-powerful-cards. Now, this may be something you want your group to move towards, and that's fine - but it's something to be aware of.

It might also be a shift in power that your friend doesn't want to see happen.

October 12, 2021 11:31 p.m.

Spackle says... #9

wallisface you're right. I see my request wasn't realistic at all. We are looking to add something to the mix and inspire a little creativity and challenge. It would be nice to buy a deck or two that would be good for our level, showcases good deckbuilding, and gets us thinking about how to beat it. I know one option would be to get out there and play other people, but for this stage of life that would be tough since we both have kids and get together semifrequently.

October 12, 2021 11:44 p.m.

wallisface says... #10

Spackle Maybe the best option then is, as a gift for your friend, to get them a giftcard for $XXX from one of the various online stores that sells singles (i.e. CardKingdom), and then set both of you the challenge to each brew up a new deck to add to your existing collections. Presumably, that's the safest way to keep your deck power-levels in-check, while still allowing for the both of you to try out new things and not have decks get stale.

October 13, 2021 12:22 a.m.

sergiodelrio says... #11

Alright, after Pondering some, I think the best option for you and your brother is the PAUPER format. The cardpool contains commons only, but from any era (+banlist).

  • Budget by design (with VERY few exceptions)
  • decks are still optimized regarding consistency and power level, within their limits
  • get to play some 'classic' Legacy spells
  • many playstyles and strategies, but overall less complicated than other formats

Your benefit here would be that the power of those decks really lies in the synergy and consistency of the decks, rather than in the powerful cards. Therefore your old decks won't be punching balls.

Furthermore, since you're not actually tied to format restrictions, you'll have a lot of options to upgrade these decks, that again are quite affordable as an initial investment - you'll likely be able to get 2 for your 300$.

You should look into some MTGTOP8 lists in their pauper section from the last six months or so and see which ones float your boat. Avoid looking here as many decks on tappedout, while having a lot of upvotes, actually lack some basic deckbuilding and might end up not playing well at all. A skilled eye can spot which is which, but since you're looking for something reliable, you should look into mtgtop8 because those decks have competed in FNMs and tournaments.

October 13, 2021 4:23 a.m.

libraryjoy says... #12

Looking at the deck you mentioned, you might actually be interested in my budget casual builds - You could get several each for the budget you mentioned, and they might increase the competitiveness level by only a bit: Library Joy Budget Casual Decks. There will be some decent consistency in play and also some weaknesses in the decks that keep them from being oppressive. You could also add cards from the maybe boards on those decks that are a bit more expensive. Or maybe buy one casual deck each, and then give the rest of the $ as a gift card to build whatever else. Good luck!

October 13, 2021 4:45 p.m.

Spackle says... #13

Thanks for all the help, these options are really interesting!

October 13, 2021 5:04 p.m.

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