Challenger & Plansewalker Precons

General forum

Posted on Nov. 29, 2021, 5:21 p.m. by MagicSteve6

I'm a fairly casual MTG player, mostly play on Untap due to budget. But I recently got my first Commander deck, a Precon that I then spent $45 upgrading, and I really dig the EDH format, as well as starting with a base prebuild and making some improvements myself (rather than starting totally from scratch).

But, I would love to play some paper MTG either in Standard or Modern as well, and only just discovered that there are 60-card precons, which seem to be called either Challenger Precons or Plansewalker Precons.

However, I can't seem to find a clear answer on if these decks are Modern-legal, Standard-legal, or both. Any insight?

Also, my understanding was that to be even somewhat competitive at an actual tournament in either Modern or Standard (even just FNM), you pretty much need to have a deck worth hundreds of dollars or more. Can these $30 decks really hang in there, or maybe with $30 of upgrades?

My from-scratch Modern build (my decks: "Mono Green Creatures") that plays decently on Untap would be $500 paper.

wallisface says... #2

I think the challenger decks are aimed at Standard - though keep in mind that these decks might have rotated out of standard, so may no longer be standard-legal.

I can’t speak from a standard perspective (i just play modern), but i can say for modern there is no super-easy/cheap way to enter the format - generally speaking all the best decks in the format range from $500-$1500 (usually sitting around the $1k mark).

Modern does have a saving grace however, in that there are a ton of decent budget builds, often falling around the $100 mark. While these lack some of the massive power present in the higher-costing decks, they can certainly put up a good fight and win a decent amount of games with the right piloting.

There’s a pretty good list of modern-viable budget decks here. I would say for getting into modern, starting with something there is usually a good bet.

November 29, 2021 5:33 p.m.

wallisface says... #3

I would add that the community here can be pretty awesome for helping you build a deck on a budget.

Feel free to reach out if you’re trying to make a modern brew work and i’ll be happy to help out with suggestions :)

November 29, 2021 5:44 p.m.

shadow63 says... #4

There are pioneer challenger decks they are $30s or less and you get about $60 worth of cards in them. They are pioneer legal and therefore modern legal

November 29, 2021 7:24 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #5

I would avoid the Planeswalker precons - they’re full of bad cards, tend to lack a cohesive focus, and really provide no room for upgrades. They’re fine if you want to keep them intact so you have a few starter decks to teach new players the game, but, beyond that, they are a waste of money.

November 29, 2021 9 p.m.

Niko9 says... #6

The challenger decks are a great place to start, either buying one to play and upgrade, or to just look at the decklists and see what is being played. A lot of the time they are tuned down versions of decks that have performed well in standard. I bought a few a while back and they always gave me a baseline for decks, so I found it worth it while I was getting back into the game.

I don't know much about the planeswalker precons, but it seems like other people have had experience with them, so they probably have it nailed :)

One of the most important things that you will have to think about when trying to put a budget deck together is what strategies/deck compositions can work well on a budget. I have a lot of trouble running more than two colors on an inexpensive mana base. Heh, used to be three with astrolabe but c'est la vie :) Also, and this might just be my experience, but I always have an easier time building a budget aggro deck than I do midrange or control. Small and fast creatures tend to be cheap, and you can to do goblins or white weenie on a budget and get under a lot of more expensive decks. I'm sure you can budget build anything though. Where there is a will, there's a way.

I guess the only real downside of the challenger decks is that they are known strategies from standard and most decks will have an idea what your deck is looking to do. They're good, but you're also probably going to have a hard time finding players with tuned decks that aren't ready for the thing you are doing with the challenger deck/build.

Either way, best of luck, and I hope you find an awesome budget deck that hangs with anyone out there.

November 30, 2021 3:13 p.m.

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