Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Casual Gamer

Trigger Happy

My favorite part about Magic The Gathering is brewing new decks. I'd say probably more than playing. Even better is budget brewing. Nothing better than beating the challenge of a budget. 

Recently one of our 19 & Under players (and regular FNM player) has been showing up each week with a new challenge. He'll have a format in mind & a tight budget. The job market for paper boys has dried up. You know how hard it is to toss electronic newspapers? So his budgets are TIGHT.

It's been some of the most fun coming up with crazy decks filled mostly with commons & uncommons. My favorite recently was a Modern Mono-Green Devotion for under $15. Then I started thinking about brewing on a budget for Standard rotation. 

I know, I know. Rotation got pushed back to yearly, so we get until late September to keep our Standard Decks. But what about past that? I mean a two year clock on a budget deck is a casual gamers dream. 

So that's what I did. I took $60 and brewed up a deck using mostly cards from Kaladesh. A set that won't rotate until September of 2018. 

Take a look:

Trigger Happy

Creatures: 18

Thriving Turtle x4
Aether Theorist x4
Glint-Nest Crane x4
Aethertorch Renegade x2
Whirler Virtuoso x4

Artifacts: 15

Decoction Module x4
Woodweaver's Puzzleknot x3
Fabrication Module x4
Panharmonicon x4

Planeswalkers: 2

Saheeli Rai x2

Spells: 5

Harnessed Lightning x3
Paradoxical Outcome x2

Land: 20

Aether Hub x4
Highland Lake x2
Inventor's Fair x2
Sequestered Stash x1
Island x6
Mountain x5

Sideboard: 15

Aethersquall Ancient x1
Boiling Earth x2
Era of Innovation x2
Glassblower's Puzzleknot x3
Negate x3
Radiant Flames x2
Demolish x3

All 75 cards comes in a few pennies underneath $60 at TCGplayer Mid Price. Some of the sideboard is non-Kaladesh, and will rotate, but your sideboard should always be changing to fit your area's meta. It probably should change (even if only one card) between each event. 

The deck revolves around Panharmonicon. This card is bonkers. Also it looks like a card that will have life beyond Standard. A budget building win-win. 

With Panharmonicon you're looking for all your cards to double trigger when they enter the battlefield. This is why I have a Woodweaver's Puzzleknot in the deck. When it drops and double triggers that is 6 energy & 6 life. A great way to survive the first few turns of attacks until you can stabilize your board. Add in the two modules and things really pick up. 

If you can get Panharmonicon out with Decoction, Saheeli Rai, & Whirler Virtuoso then you can create an infinite number of 1/1 Thopters. All you need to do is copy the Decoction Module with Saheeli, then begin spending three energy to make a Thopter than pops for a 4 energy trigger. The Fabrication Module just keeps plopping down +1/+1 counters each time you produce energy, which with this combo is 4 per thopter made. 

5/5 endless thopters usually leads to a GG & scoop.

The Paradoxical Outcome is a great trick for the deck. If the opponent does a board wipe then scoop up the board, draw more, then recast. With it at Instant speed, you can wait until your opponent's end phase then reload your hand for a mass dump trigger fest on your next turn. 

The land base is tricky. 20 lands is the bare minimum I like to run when I have a 4 drop I need to hit. Yet with the scry theorist, I feel I can hit the 4 land target regularly & open a few slots in the deck for more important parts. This is why I also have the Glassblower's Puzzleknot in the sideboard. Exchange it with your mainboard Puzzleknot to make sure you hit those land drops. The Crane helps make sure you can get your artifacts in hand but can backfire by burying your land drops. 

The best part about the deck is that Aether Revolt, which releases in January, just adds more to the deck. There are some parts I'd like to upgrade. The renegade is a nice threat but I'd like to slide him into a sideboard card & replace with a stronger 2 drop. Then again making 12 life your opponents "Danger Zone" is kinda fun too. 

This is a fun deck that quickly escalates. It's one I'm looking forward to playing over the new two years. Also one I'm going to enjoy tinkering with after each set release & eventually into Frontier/Modern. 

We've got Standard Showdown going on each Saturday at Nerdageddon starting at 4PM with a $5 entry. It's happening on Dec 3rd, 10th, & 17th. We'll play 3 rounds where every round you win, you win a Standard Booster of your choice. Those that go 3-0-0 gets a Standard Showdown 3 card booster. We'll also be giving away Standard Showdown boosters randomly between rounds & to those who bring NEW players (No DCI) to play in the event.