SCG Daily – Vintage Food for Thought: OMG, a Budget Deck!

I am struck with deck ideas all the time. Most of them are crap and I acknowledge that. However, it is critical to document your ideas. Most of my good ideas have started out as a crap idea that I shelved and then something strikes me and suddenly I get an “aha” moment and the idea clicks. Today’s deck is one such example.

A couple of weeks ago Josh Silvestri wrote an article about Concept Aggro. He talked about what a “concept” deck was.

To start, I may as well go over my basic definition of a concept deck. Basically it’s a deck that is built with a specific goal in mind and in theory it has the proper tools to accomplish that goal. It could be beating Control Slaver 90/10, not auto-losing to a popular set of hate cards, dropping a 12/12 into play on turn 2 consistently or any number of things. Just a specific goal in mind and the best attempt to accomplish it, as opposed to making a generalized deck you hope is good, but with no specific direction. After the theory stage, we see if the deck accomplishes its goal and if it does run the deck through a gauntlet. This is done to see if the deck can win in general and does more than just accomplish a goal.”

I am struck with deck ideas all the time. Most of them are crap and I acknowledge that. However, it is critical to document your ideas. Most of my good ideas have started out as a crap idea that I shelve and then something strikes me and suddenly I get an “aha” moment and the idea clicks. This can happen months later.

I was struck with an idea for a Black/Green Oath deck full to the brim with hate cards. I tried some variants on Magic Workstation and then set it aside. I laughed when I saw this deck in the results for the French Vintage Championship:

I remember trying Dark Ritual but found it was not necessary because of the Moxen. Where he uses Living Wish to find Strip Mine, I felt that Sylvan Scrying would be as good, if not better, in combination with versatile tutors.

The deck “concept” is a Black/Green anti-Mana Drain deck with a fast win condition. In theory, the win condition may be sufficiently powerful to murder Fish decks and there should be enough interactive cards to create trouble for Combo.

I have a great fondness for B/G Oath decks from Extended, so I thought this might be a fun deck to whip up. In retrospect, I don’t think the deck’s threat density is strong enough and I probably went overboard with four Choke and four Chains since the second and third Chains and Choke are pretty weak if the first has resolved. Not including Necropotence was a clear error as well. Although I included a full set of Moxen, this deck is probably best as a budget deck (although Chains of Mephistopheles isn’t exactly “budget”).

The synergy between Crucible and Oath is undeniable. Cabal Therapy might also be a nifty inclusion to take advantage of that synergy. If we are going to try and make this a good budget deck, let’s cut the Moxen and add Dark Rituals back into the deck. Dark Ritual enables plays like: land, Dark Ritual, Duress, Null Rod.

The Null Rods and Chalice of the Voids compete with each other. Although it doesn’t have to be one or the other, at some point it may not just be worth the spot. Both of us chose Chalice of the Void. But in retrospect, it seems like Null Rod is just stronger. You have enough turn 1 plays with Wasteland, Duress, Unmask, Dark Ritual and the like that you can get away with turn 2 Null Rod.

I also think that we should try to take advantage of the synergy with Cabal Therapy. Therefore, let’s start the deck out with four Duress and four Therapy:

4 Oath of Druids

1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath

1 Spirit of the Night

4 Duress

4 Cabal Therapy

We also want Rods and Chains. But instead of four and four, let’s play with three and three. Let’s start out with three Chokes as well and see how that works:

3 Chains of Mephistopheles

3 Null Rod

3 Choke

To support the Oaths, the deck needs tutors. If we have more than three win conditions, then Consult might be includable:

1 Vampiric Tutor

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Crop Rotation

A deck like this also needs the Orchards and Wasteland/Strip component:

4 Wasteland

1 Strip Mine

4 Forbidden Orchard

Since we are running Dark Ritual, we should try some number of Unmasks as well:

3 Unmask

4 Dark Ritual

That’s 42 cards and we haven’t even finished the mana base.

We can just borrow his trusting that it worked:

4 Bayou

4 Polluted Delta

1 Swamp

1 Forest

1 Tropical Island

I understand why he added Tropical Island – to fetch a Green source with Polluted Delta. When oh when will they finally make enemy fetchlands!

Since Lotus Petal is so cheap, we can add that and let’s not forget Necropotence:

1 Lotus Petal

1 Necropotence

Since this deck is built around Oath and since we have Unmasks which require a lot of black, let’s try a few Cabal Rituals to replace his acceleration:

2 Cabal Ritual

That’s leaves us exactly three slots.

1 Regrowth is sort of obvious and the deck needs at least one more win condition. We could go with the Woodripper that he used, although, for testing purposes, I’d stick with Rorix – another 6/6 hasty flyer.

And unless we find it awful, I guess we can use one Demonic Consulation

1 Demonic Consultation

So here it is:

Now that I see the full list, the one thing I may have been remiss in not adding is Root Maze. Turn 1 Root Maze can really slow down the game and give you a really good shot at handling Combo and Workshops as well as the Mana Drain decks.

The archetype finished in the top 10 percent of a nearly 400 person tournament. So it has potential. Now it’s your turn!