Need help with coming up with a budget deck

Modern Deck Help forum

Posted on Dec. 27, 2015, 4:16 p.m. by ninjaclevs13

I'm new to modern, and I'm not super rich, so I need help from you guys coming up with ideas for a budget deck. I've seen bogles, Abzan, b/w tokens, r/g or mono blue tron, hatebears, merfolk, slivers, and affinity, but idk which I like the most or would be best on a budget. Those aren't the only decks I would like though, I am open to suggestions! (I like creature decks mostly and my budget is about $150-200)

ChiefBell says... #2

You like creature decks - that's a good start.

Do you like to be aggressive with your creatures? Ie. win quickly?

Or do you like to slowly build up a few very big creatures that cost a fair amount of mana? The deck is slower but the creatures you play are bigger.

Also, do you have any favourite colours?

December 27, 2015 4:27 p.m.

ninjaclevs13 says... #3

I don't necessarily hate Aggro, but I hate decks that rely on one specific card or a good hand to win. I like Aggro control, tempo, midrangey grindy games, or straight up control. In short, I like decks with plenty of options and wincons. (That's why I like Jeskai and Abzan. I like Abzan in standard and modern.)

December 27, 2015 4:51 p.m.

For $150-$200, I would tend towards running an un-tiered deck that isn't all that popular. Budget versions of the decks you listed are mostly not great. You can build U Tron or Bogles with that money, but I personally don't rate those decks all that highly. You can build a version of Tokens, but it will be way worse than the $600-$800 version, same with Merfolk or Hatebears. Abzan is pretty much a no go, same with Affinity.

Slivers or Allies are very do-able for that money if you omit Cavern of Souls - and those decks can really take people by surprise, especially at FNM or local competitions - I'd say they are very much worth considering. I believe Green Stompy, Goblins, Tooth and Nail, and Polymorph decks are also in your range, and all capable of winning some games.

If you want a budget version of a known deck, I kind of like UR Delver, which is very easy to upgrade, and many of the cards are transferable to other Modern archetypes. But it's not gonna win you a Pro Tour or anything, and it doesn't necessarily optimize your budget - it's just a good platform to build out over time.

December 27, 2015 4:51 p.m.

ninjaclevs13 says... #5

I don't really like any one specific color, but I do like color combinations with green

December 27, 2015 4:52 p.m.

ChiefBell says... #6

Delver is a good tempo deck but hard to play.

December 27, 2015 4:56 p.m.

car says... #7

green stompy is cheap. also, hatebears can be budget. so can zoo.

December 27, 2015 4:57 p.m.

ChiefBell says... #8

One of the nicer things about delver is that you can literally keep the worst hand in the world but as long as it has a Gitaxian Probe you'll be ok. The deck mixes creatures with control elements well.

Zoo and monogreen stompy are more creature orientated. Rely a little bit more on good opening hands. But are equally more robust. The creatures they play die to less removal, and are blocked less successfully.

Two very different decks. Delver relies on counterspells and removal. Monogreen and zoo relies on a decent opening but not a whole lot else.

December 27, 2015 5:09 p.m.

car says... #9 is a decent deck

December 27, 2015 5:14 p.m.

ninjaclevs13 says... #10

It's ironic, I did make an Abzan deck based on that exact website:

Who Needs a Tarmogoyf?

My favorite decks that I've seen are Abzan (#1 forever), hatebears, and slivers. Maybe Merfolk. But so many people make me sad and say they suck on a budget. Dang it.

December 27, 2015 5:21 p.m.

Unlife says... #11

Inkmoth Nexus would be half your budget but you could probably build mono green infect for 150-200. If you enjoy the deck you can invest in it later and splash another color. If not, I'd second the recommendation of mono green Tooth and Nail.

December 27, 2015 5:36 p.m.

car says... #12

tooth and nail can be cheap as dirt. also, i would go with hatebears. you dont have to go that budget.the deck should only cost around 350 without spellskite. I have a budget deckslist that is only a little over your budget. Don't Hate Bears, Hate Trump

December 27, 2015 5:39 p.m.

ninjaclevs13 says... #13

Tooth and Nail sounds good. Anyone have a link to a good budget version?

December 27, 2015 5:43 p.m.

car says... #14

i could make one

December 27, 2015 5:53 p.m.

car says... #15

December 27, 2015 6:03 p.m.

Slivers are fine on a budget. And the problem with Abzan isn't just not having Goyfs. It's no Goyf, no Lili, no Thoughtseize, and a bad land base in a 3-color deck with difficult color requirements (no offense, man). If you really just love those colors, you might be able to pull off an Abzan Aristocrats deck (google that term, as well as Abzan Ascendancy and Next Level Abzan if interested) - but that's still more like a minimum $300 to do decently.

And Chief brings up a good point about Delver tempo being challenging to play - but that's why I like the deck, personally. It completely forces you to get very familiar with everything in the format and to learn to pilot really well from both an aggro perspective an a control perspective. If you're new to Modern, it's sort of like jumping into the deep end to learn to swim, for better or worse.

Read this if you're leaning toward Tooth and Nail.

December 27, 2015 6:12 p.m. Edited.

If you want to build Delver, Delving on a Budget copy is a great start to a Delver deck for not too much money. It's over your budget right now, but it can be brought down pretty easily. I can help you with it if you want.

December 27, 2015 8:01 p.m.

ninjaclevs13 says... #18

First off, thank you all for helping me out. It really means a lot to me that you guys would take ur time to help out a noob like me. Btw wizard, no offense taken, most of my brews aren't that good.

What is like the point of delver? Is it just to control your opponent while continually hitting them in the face? Sounds fun...

Also, naya company looks like a fun deck. I have it down to naya company (if it can be done on a budget), tooth and nail, slivers, and a delver archetype. Thanks guys!

December 27, 2015 8:06 p.m.

car says... #19

sry, i think i can get naya company down to 270

December 27, 2015 8:35 p.m.

Sorta, yes. Delver is a tempo deck. The goal of the game is to land an early threat to establish a clock, then attack them repeatedly while keeping them from interfering to secure the win.

Remand is the best example of a tempo card. Say the boardstate is that it's turn 2 and you have an Insectile Aberration on the field and Remand in your hand with 2 mana up, and it's their turn. Terminate pointed at your delver is not an uncommon turn 2 play, but if you cast Remand, you're buying yourself another turn to attack with Delver, so you have more tempo. Young Pyromancer is another good example of a tempo card. He's not impressive on turn 2, but every time you counter a spell or burn them to the face, you're building up a very strong boardstate AND keeping your opponent from interfering with it, so you're building tons of tempo.

Tempo is one of the most difficult magic concepts to explain and is much easier seen in a game, which is part of why Delver is so hard to pilot.

December 27, 2015 8:38 p.m.

car says... #21

December 27, 2015 8:41 p.m.

The best and simplest way I can think of to describe the concept of tempo is this: You do more "stuff" than your opponent, and hope to overwhelm them with sheer volume of activity, and you hope to maximize the effect of that activity. "Stuff" means attacking more frequently, playing spells more frequently, and drawing cards more frequently.

Tempo decks are basically a hybrid of aggro and control (like Midrange). But unlike midrange, you mostly play low cost spells. Midrange wants to draw value cards, like Siege Rhino (value meaning you get a lot out of a single card relative to its cost - Rhino is kind of like casting both a Tasigur, the Golden Fang and a Lightning Helix). So midrange beats you with higher quality spells and threats. Tempo wants to draw cards and simply play a larger number of efficient, cheap spells (think Lightning Bolt, Delver of Secrets  Flip). If tempo plays a high cost card, like Cryptic Command, it has to deal with multiple opposing cards. And when tempo plays cheap spells, it wants to beat more expensive ones. So hitting a Siege Rhino with a Remand is a great tempo play. You spend half the mana the opponent did to counter their play, effectively Time Walk them, and now you can use your larger hand and available mana to gain advantage, say by Vapor Snag-ing something else they have on the board.

So Delver wants to play cheap threats, remove opposing threats, and counter spells, and draw cards, all at the same time, because you have low-cost spells. And it wants to do all of that while the opponent is only able to manage casting a few spells, which you're countering.

The downside is that the low cost spells can have weaknesses. All your threats die to Lightning Bolt. Most of your spells don't deal well with resilient threats like Lingering Souls or Kitchen Finks. Sure, you can do more "stuff." But your stuff isn't exactly bulletproof, so the question is how much you can make it count.

December 28, 2015 12:13 a.m.

ChiefBell says... #23

A tempo deck is an aggro deck that trades multiple burn spells and other threats for cheap counters and removal that protects the threats it does run. It's a similar philosophy but due to design differences actually hugely different to play.

The key problem with tempo is that if, for some reason, your turn 1 or 2 threat does die you're a little screwed in many cases. The upside is that, unlike other aggro decks, you have more of a game versus midrange because you run control elements.

December 28, 2015 1:37 a.m.

ninjaclevs13 says... #24

Is delver the only tempo deck there is? Because I don't want to be screwed if one of my creatures dies, that's why I like midrange abzan

December 28, 2015 12:02 p.m.

In delver, you're not that screwed if something dies. Remember, you have countermagic to keep it alive. And trust me, because of Remand, you actually sorta like it when they try to kill your creatures because if you're ahead on tempo, then you can answer what they play very effectively.

Bogles and Infect are where if a creature dies, you're screwed. In delver, you run enough creatures, enough burn, and Kolaghan's Command to not care too much if something dies. It's a setback, no doubt, and if you don't have the right tools losing your Delver can be game, but generally speaking it's not the end of the world.

December 28, 2015 12:08 p.m.

ChiefBell says... #26

But then in delver if something actually does die for real then you have to go digging for another threat. And this is a deck that plays 12 threats max so it's not easy task. Sure you do have counters but if you miss that counter then bad stuff happens.

December 28, 2015 3:34 p.m.

12 threats? 14 average is much more accurate. And that's all part of playing it properly!

December 28, 2015 4:15 p.m.

To answer OP, there are other tempo decks. I've seen tempo builds based primarily on Prowess creatures (usually Jeskai), and some control-heavy builds around Monastery Mentor (usually Esper). There are also some Temur tempo decks, but they often run Tarmogoyf, and an expensive land base. Jeskai might be do-able cheaply, Esper may not be. And I personally want to resurrect an older deck called "Miracle Grow," which was based around Delver and Quirion Dryad, and might be decent around $200, but that's very much a fringe idea.

Back to Delver, ChiefBell is correct that the original Modern version usually ran about 12 threats, but ToolmasterOfBrainerd is likely right that the number is a bit higher in recent times. Grixis decks that run bug dudes like Gurmag Angler probably average 13-14 creatures, and the Izzet version is approaching a 15-16 average , and gets as high as 18, with stuff like Abbot of Keral Keep and Monastery Swiftspear.

If you want to run Delver on a budget, I really personally like the the more aggro Izzet Version. Abbot, Delver, Swiftspear, and Young Pyromancer are all cheap, as are most of the spells. The only thing you really lose to an expensive version are Scalding Tarn and Snapcaster Mage. Living without Tarn isn't that bad in a 2-color deck, and I've seen people make up for Snapcaster (I run Ninja of the Deep Hours, and I've even seen people rock Neurok Commando). And I'm personally excited about Jori En, Ruin Diver, who I think will at least be a good budget option in tempo.

December 28, 2015 6:22 p.m. Edited.

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