Help! Budget Hardened Scales

Modern Deck Help forum

Posted on May 21, 2019, 12:34 a.m. by itwasninjastoo

Hi guys,

Does anyone mind sharing a budget (upgradable) Hardened Scales deck? I've found a Golgari Hydras deck on Monster Games Youtube (I think that's what it's called). Is this a deck that's able to be upgraded into competitive Hardened Scales?


LeaPlath says... #2

The only cards the two decks share is Hardened Scales. So no point really?

May 21, 2019 3:14 a.m.

itwasninjastoo says... #3

Is there a Budget Hardened Scales version, that's upgradable to competitive?

May 21, 2019 4:12 a.m.

LeaPlath says... #4

No, because the cards that the deck needs are the expensive ones. This isn't a style of deck, its a specific line up of combo/aggro pieces and without them you don't have a deck.

May 21, 2019 5:02 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #5

Yeah, I think taking a page from normal affinity with Springleaf Drum for mox opal, while running a worse manabase and only monogreen could do better.

May 21, 2019 7:11 a.m.

itwasninjastoo says... #6

Thanks guys,

Just to be accurate, I've got the Hardened Scales cards and Wooded Foothills. Budget for me is roughly $100, so working within that what could I do.

Otherwise, I guess I'll play Golgari Hydras.

May 21, 2019 7:45 a.m.

lagotripha says... #7

The core components of hardened scales are expensive because they don't have good replacements, but that doesn't mean you are out of luck.

The big secret to 'upgrade paths' is that its often cheaper to look at the expensive cards and see what decks you can build with them, then build an entire deck around the next bunch you get in rather than trying to keep running the same strategy.

If I was looking at starting with scales and foothills, I'd look at an Abzan Gavony Township / Karn's Bastion 'counters matter' deck- the golgari hydras list would be a good start for the kind of cards to look at- creatures that put counters on themselves. I feel that most of the hydras would not fare excellently in my current meta, so some scouting is advised.

However where you look should be different- cards recently in print but rotating out of standard are way cheaper, often to the point that modern archetypes are defined after a set rotates out of standard- as was the case with hardened scales. When combined with cards that 'didn't make the cut', or were one-ofs in nieche decks you get something pretty great.

Right now WOTS has Huatli's Raptor & Pollenbright Druid as 'one shot' steel overseer effects which could form an interesting riff on township.

A bunch of merfolk with a +1/+1 counter theme are rotating, and its worth testing sutai merfolk- I doubt it'll be great for you unless you are planning to build into full merfolk.

Marwyn, the Nurturer and Incubation Druid offer an interesting combo option with older cards like Viridian Joiner and Gyre Sage , that may become a playable archetype, and is notable because Umbral Mantle / Training Grounds /manland is already a thing.

I expect Vivien's Arkbow to retain some of its price as people realise how good it is in modern, which is neat as an artifact supporting the kind of midrange strategy you'd want to transition into an 'artifacts matter aggro' list.

Affinity tools like Springleaf Drum , Ornithopter , Signal Pest , Vault Skirge , Cranial Plating and Etched Champion are all still relatively cheap, Thoughtcast and Galvanic Blast and are likely playable in a more midrange strategy, even if that will likely leave you weak to all the affinity answers floating around.

All told, muck around with some decklists before going out and buying a bunch of cards- there is a lot out there which might work great, given tinkering time. If you want to play right away, jump in with the most budget list involving scales and constrictor you can find, then build out based on what you think is a good deal.

May 21, 2019 9:14 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #8

If I knew your budget before I'd have made it earlier xD:

$100 Budget Hardened Scales

Modern SynergyBuild


May 21, 2019 10:30 a.m.

SMASHER101 says... #9

I would wait for modern horizons and if that set breaks modern wait for the banning that it causes. Building right before modern horizons makes no sense because hardened scales could get a great tool that changes the deck or it could just die off.

May 21, 2019 12:24 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #10

SMASHER101 yeah, Force of Vigor seems like a 0 mana 2 for 2 against this deck, even Lava Dart is huge, imagine having a summoning sick Steel Overseer and an Arcbound Ravager , opponent lava darts the Overseer, you sacrifice it in reponse, which makes it fizzle and go to the yard where they can flash it back to kill the ravager.

May 21, 2019 12:45 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #11

the ravager would be a 2/2 then wouldn't it? And Lava Dart I'm guessing won't even see play in burn. It's not played in pauper where needle drop is better so I doubt it will be played in modern. Force of vigor though? That's brutal.

May 21, 2019 12:52 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #12

I was just saying in response to the activation of Ravager.

It would be run in Mono-Red Arclight Phoenix because of it double-triggering casts for Phoenix. Some players have said Hollow One and Burning Inquiry , etc. could be run in an Arclight Phoenix list with Lava Dart, sort of bridging the gap of cards that work with Phoenix and with Discard.

May 21, 2019 1:14 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #13

Hollow Pheonix is pretty bad right now and a crummy Forked Bolt likely wont change that. I do believe that a mono red pheonix list would run it though as a 2-3 of.

May 21, 2019 1:29 p.m.

SMASHER101 says... #14

Slightly budget Hardened scales I would go for this but it is 400 not 100

May 21, 2019 1:34 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #15

SMASHER101 I've not seen Hollow Phoenix, just have heard of it, and heard some chatter of Lava Dart in it. The list I was referring to running it was just Mono-Red Phoenix.

May 21, 2019 1:50 p.m.

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