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Budget Commander #48: Budget Boros


Hello folks! I hope you are having a great day today!

Consider the state of Commander finances. What is it like? Exactly! It's filled with many hits and misses, with very few cards in between.

Commander's cost can be a little depressing when you think about the money it can take to sink into some of the better cards for the format.

Here's a fun Commander card duo from Modern Horizons.

The First Sliver
Prismatic Vista

Here we have The First Sliver, which is good in any Sliver deck, as well as strong at leading one as a Commander. But right now? You need to spend around thirty dollars to pick one up. The same is roughly true of Prismatic Vista (I think the Vista was printed poorly at rare and should have been an uncommon. It's merely a Terramorphic Expanse or Evolving Wilds that puts the basic into play untapped and thus costs you a life - it's more like those than the pain fetches that get duels)

But you know what? Lots of folks don't have the ability to pay thirty dollars for one card for their Commander deck. I don't either! I get it.

That's why this series is so important to me. What if I told you that you could make a Commander deck right now for less than $32.65? Each of my budget builds must come in under the previous one, and now that we are at 48 decks, the previous one clocked in at fewer than $33.00 dollars, and thus, we must build with the cost of decks in mind. I had previously seen many "budget" decks on-line clocking in at $100 or more that were, in no way shape or form, budget. I had lived without jobs multiple times in mu adult life. I know what a budget deck really is, and three digits ain't it.

Thus my series was born.

First, I wanted to do Rienne, Angel of Rebirth from Core Set 2020. But as she is the buy-a-box promo, she's not really locked in with a price, and may take a while to drop. Then I thought of two Boros spell-based leaders at the same time:

Firesong and Sunspeaker
Feather, the Redeemed

Both of these are under 2 bucks and could lead my build. Lots of Feather builds are out there! But I think a budget build edition of one might be pretty cool. Firesong and Sunspeaker are the initial buy-a-box promo that was a new card, and have dropped to $1.99 here. I think it might be fun to take the forgotten Spells Matters duo and make them hum.

However, there's a budget-based issue right now...


Due to the popularity of Feather builds, many rw cards have spiked on the secondary market right now, such as Sunforger, that's now 7 dollars for any of it's various printings. And cards like this that are good for Feather are also amazing for Firesong and Sunspeaker too.

You know what?

Let's take this on as a challenge, given the love for Feather right now.

Welcome Legendary Minotaur Duo:

Now let's unpack a deck.

Let's talk about our leaders:

Warleader's Helix

This is Warleader's Helix, which is very cheap on the secondary market. If you cast it while you control your Commander, then it gains lifelink and you will deal three damage somewhere. That means this one spell will do the following four things - Deal 4 damage. Gain 4 life. Deal 3 damage. Gain 4 life. Total - 7 damage dealt to one or two targets, and 8 life gained, for one spell cast. That's a strong effect, and I want to emphasize burn that has both colors, because even bad burn in this context creates a strong powerhouse of passion.

(Note that Lightning Helix is $2, and will be hard for this budget)

There some engines out there that I want to learn on as well, as we'll obviously be spell-heavy.

Young Pyromancer
Blaze Commando

The first are the obvious duo of Guttersnipe and Young Pyromancer. Both have a long history of being awesome. The next is a little sneakier, as it only triggers when your spells deal damage, not from triggers. But we know what this is. This is a burn deck. And when you do, you get two hasted tokens that can smash immediately. I really look forward to casting a burn spell, clearing the way, and swinging with the newly made dorks and this for 7 damage at least.

Satyr Firedancer
Ojutai Exemplars

Speaking of engines, here are two more! The first is another damage trigger. Note that the Firedancer is a little more limited, the spell needs to deal damage to an opponent to trigger it. But if you do? You can dole out a lot of pain to their dork too for free! If you need to pop a dork, you can get the player too. This also stacks incredibly well with your leader. Should you control both with your Warleader's Helix, and target your foe with the Helix's damage, you are now dealing 11 damage instead of 7.

The Examplars are a bulk mythic that's worth very little on the secondary market right now. But all of the cast triggers that your above engines have, this Human Monk will trigger too. Tapping a creature for free while killing and opening up a defense is great, and I suspect you'll use the first effect the most. First strike and lifelink isn't bad though, and I would not be ashamed to use it, but the tapping the ideal choice, especially against multiple opponents where you would have multiple tap targets.

Soul-Scar Mage

To be fair, I adore Soul-Scar Mage here, and was surprised by its lack in other builds. When building one of these budget builds, I'll do a lot of research for places like EDHREC.com and Tappedout to see what folks are playing, to get a feel for the field. This isn't even in any of the EDHREC builds at all. There are cards like Anya, Merciless Angel that have less synergy than this thing, and I was shocked that it wasn't listed, as it's such as perfect fit. All of the burns you are throwing at people's dorks is lingering in the form of -1/-1 counters. That means everything from your burn spells to your leader's triggers and more. It's just perfect here, and prowess is fun as well, right? Right!

I'll highlight other cards not on other lists, like Solar Blaze and Searing Meditation that are very strong indeed later too!

Speaking of which...

We also have some powerful sweeping spells that are nasty with Firesong and Sunspeaker:

Solar Blaze
Deafening Clarion

Not only will Solar Blaze suddenly get lifelink so you'll gain an epic amount of life, but it also keeps your leader around, and will deal a bonus three damage somewhere, so you can finish off a damaged creature you need to kill, or punch a face for three damage. Deafening Clarion may not be as nasty, but it's still a strong option for your decks. Both of them will sweep much of the board and put you into a dominating position immediately.

I don't know if you noticed, but this is not just a burn deck, but a life-gain one as well.

Searing Meditation

Therefore, I wanted to include some life-gain engines too, like Searing Meditation, and again, was shocked that it wasn't an obvious and common addition to our leader on EDHREC.com and other sites. In order to trigger your leader, you need to gain life from a White spell, so you are already running loads of life-gain spells. In order to trigger your leader for life gain, you need a Red spell that deals damage, so you are gaining loads of life from your burn. Firesong and Sunspeaker are unique among Commanders as they are the only leaders that create both a burn and a life-gain deck. Searing Mediation is the perfect twin as it does both! You can finished off a burned dork or use this as a kill condition overtime or even to Shock a planeswalker into submission. It's a great card...

Dawn of Hope
Well of Lost Dreams

...and it ain't the only one either, as we need to draw some cards. Lots of cards. Red and White aren't exactly swimming in card drawing, so effects like Dawn of Hope and Well of Lost Dreams will help a lot to do so. Also note that the Dawn of Hope is great as it's a winning condition maker of tokens, and a source of life gain as they have lifelink. You are going to love both here!

Ajani's Pridemate
Cradle of Vitality

This feels like a fun place to put a few more winning conditions among my life-gain triggers as well.

Don't ignore the fact that this is a life-gain deck too!

Jaya Ballard
Jaya, Venerated Firemage
The Wanderer

I don't know if you were paying attention or not, but Jaya Ballard has dropped to $1.75 despite the fact that she's an in-Standard mythic planeswalker who's pretty good. That makes her a strong addition to my budget brew, Her +1 can help you cast those goodies, and the rest is solid as well. Note that her Venerated Firemage is arguably better, but cheaper. It increases damage from things like Firesong and Sunspeaker's trigger among other things. I also managed to fit The Wanderer here, as I enjoy how she'll protect us from things like my own mass damage effects of Magmaquake and such. She also will exile threats too, which is nice. And due to the proliferation of planeswalkers right now, I didn't spend even $2.50 on these three cards. (They were 1.75, 0.25, and 0.35 respectively, for $2.35 total).

Approach of the Second Sun

Note that Approach of the Second Sun can win you the game. Because it provides an alternate method for winning, it gives you another path to victory that you can use if the rest of your game is disrupted.

All right, enough flirting. Here's my budget build for you!

And there we have it. My target was $32.65, and I came in at $32.57! Nicely done!

Now please note that there will always be a caveat here. The price of cards may shift a little from when I built this deck to when it was edited to when it was published, to when you read it. For example, the costs of the planeswalkers I talked about earlier may have shifted. But that's okay! That's the point - there's always going to be changes and shifts in these decks and articles, just like many cards that Feather liked leapt up. But there will always be budget options.

Don't get so focused on expensive cards like Doubling Season that you ignore the vast majority of cards that cheap.

For example, I was also looking at Aetherflux Reservoir, Balefire Liege, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Monastery Mentor, and Archangel of Thune. These would all be great, but, they cost a lot of money, an some like Monastery Mentor just keep on rising due to tournament play. But there will always be other options!

What did you think of my build? Anything in here surprise you or that you think I missed? Let me know! Thanks for reading!

P.S. - I am thinking about powering out my next two BC builds pretty quickly so I get to 50. Any ideas or thoughts about something you'd like to see?


If you enjoyed today's Boros themed deck, great! Here are the first 47 Budget Commander Options for your wallet-friendly happiness and joy:

  1. We kicked things off with Brion Stoutarm came in at $37.71
  2. Next up was Ghave, Guru of Spores, with a budget of $36.48, is a lot of fun!
  3. Talrand, Sky Summoner - $49.37. I increased the budget for this project due to the nature of the challenge, and it's the only entry in the series where the cost is increased rather than decreased.
  4. Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius is the next for our list rocking that $36.37 pricetag.
  5. Princess Lucrezia and Riven Turnbull feature in this fun throwback Commander deck that is just $35.68.
  6. Roon of the Hidden Realm demonstrates one of the Commander 2013 dorks in a $35.29 shell.
  7. Vhati il-Dal runs the table for just $35.17. It's also one of the more unique entries in this project.
  8. With all of the latest draconic lovin', Bladewing the Risen comes just a few cents less at $35.13. http://www.gatheringmagic.com/abesargent-042114-budget-commander-8-budget-bladewing/
  9. Lu Xun, Scholar General may not be a powerhouse, but there's enough utility under here to spark a very interesting EDH deck for just $35.07.
  10. [card][card]Bosh, Iron Golem" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card]Bosh, Iron Golem" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card][card]Bosh, Iron Golem">[card][card]Bosh, Iron Golem">[card]Bosh, Iron Golem" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card][card]Bosh, Iron Golem">[card][card]Bosh, Iron Golem[/card] was a fun mono-red artifact centric deck that hits $35.06. That's right, one cent cheaper! It's a fun and different take on artifacts than good ol' Brago will be next.
  11. Brago, King Eternal is featured with a different artifact theme and a $35.04 budget.
  12. Let's finally get below that $35 mark with Lin Sivvi and her rebel horde! $34.98 for the witness.
  13. Wedges are cool. So is Teneb, the Harvester! $34.94 gets us a deck that wins and has fun.
  14. Who likes Surrak Dragonclaw? Who likes making a face-smashing deck for just $34.83? This guy!
  15. Tolsimir Wolfblood? $34.73? Selesnya aggro? We've got it in spades!
  16. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death is ready to bring some serious recursion, beats, and a modest budget to boot at $34.62.
  17. Want to Dragon up your deck? Why not roll with Dragonlord Kolaghan for $34.47.
  18. Who's thumping those mono-green beats with the [card]Yeva, Nature's Herald" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/Yeva, Nature's Herald" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card]Yeva, Nature's Herald">[card]Yeva, Nature's Herald">Yeva, Nature's Herald" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card]Yeva, Nature's Herald">[card]Yeva, Nature's Herald stylings? Who clocks in at just $34.39? This article!
  19. Want to donate some stuff, play some politics, and draw a ton of cards? Then check out this Zedruu the Greathearted deck that came in at $34.29.
  20. I have a notion that a Five Color deck would be a fun budget challenge. Horde of Notions is a blast of Elemental fun that clocks in at $34.17. Check it out!
  21. Five color doesn't have to end with tribes. There are so many options that this Five Color Cromat deck with a bit of a smash-y board presence is ready to introduce itself to the red zone, and to winning. It also is just $34.20.
  22. Sometimes it's really nice to see how far we can push a popular commander with a cheaper budget. That's where this Nekusar, the Mindrazer deck comes in, clocking in at $34.03
  23. With a budget of just $33.98, this Daxos of Meletis deck is pretty cool without being too expensive. Check it out!
  24. We have a Snake flavored Kaseto, Orochi Archmage deck with a lot of fun, Snakes, and budget goodness at $33.91.
  25. Nahiri, the Lithomancer is calling for an equipment and Solider focused mono-white build that's just $33.85.
  26. Who's Born to be Wild? Mina and Denn are! Check out this Gruul Smash deck with lands and fun for just $33.75.
  27. Gods are cool, especially when they make you berries, fruits, and tasty veggies. [card]Karametra, God of Harvests" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/Karametra, God of Harvests" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card]Karametra, God of Harvests">[card]Karametra, God of Harvests">Karametra, God of Harvests" href="/p/Magic+The+Gathering/[card]Karametra, God of Harvests">[card]Karametra, God of Harvests might fetch you a lot of lands and good times, but she won't set back your wallet. Check out her budget build, clocking in at $33.74
  28. She beats with auras and fun, sailing over her foes. It's Bruna, Light of Alabaster! She's bringing a strong game at a cheap $33.69.
  29. Rosheen Meanderer at $33.63 clocks in with a bunch of X spells and activations with a different take on the classic Elf-Ball deck.
  30. We take a look at a very old school sort of guy, Boris Devilboon, from the original Legends set, and then build a $33.58 deck around our good demonic friends.
  31. It's time for a bit of an Orzhov Control loving, built around Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts and featuring a ton of removal, control, and more, all for the low, low price of $33.56.
  32. Captain Sisay leads a fun, legendary infused deck that has a lot of great cards and synergy, but a light price, checking in at $33.46.
  33. Ertai, the Corrupted sacrifices creatures and enchantments to counter spells. For $33.35, we have a great control-esque deck with some groovy sacrificing love.
  34. With a modest budget of $33.32, Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis have a fun event and morph focused theme, without running a bunch of cards from their Commander 2016 Appearance. Check them out!
  35. Built around the Old-School combo of Prodigal Sorcerer and Fungusaur, this Commander deck features a number of cards that deal damage to your own creatures so they get better. It clocks in at a humble $33.26.
  36. With a Golgari Toughness-Matters theme, this Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper deck won't hurt your budget, but will do some damage for $33.15.
  37. Grenzo, Dungeon Warden goes all crazy with graveyard and deck restocking shenanigans for a cheap $33.12. We even have an infinite combo in here!
  38. Commander 2017 brings some powerful new options for Commander players everywhere. I put together a multiplayer-friendly control deck around Mathas, Fiend Seeker for just $33.10.
  39. Don't you love the Izzet madness of Arjun, the Shifting Flame? No deck has more card drawing, or card drawing triggers, than this one! It clocks in at $33.04.
  40. It doesn't have to be Halloween for you to enjoy the Monster Mash. Here we have a Grusilda, Monster Mash deck that enjoys mashing your dorks together, but not mashing your budget. It clocks in at $32.98
  41. Don't Shatter your Budget with this build of the Shattergang Brothers, who's sacrificial ways won't sacrifice wallet, and just cost $32.94.
  42. I saw Muldrotha, the Gravetide and I just fell in love with that face. Who wouldn't? Here's a graveyard abuse deck that won't break your bank, just your battlefield. And maybe some friendships. It was $32.89.
  43. Who likes some Saprolings and having Fungal Fun? I do! Slimefoot, the Stowaway leads this cheap, flavorful deck that clocks in at $32.80. Every addition to the deck has to support the flavor of the Fungal concepts!
  44. Who wants to untap and en-creature Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle? Who wants a fun budget build that's just $32.77? ME!
  45. Next up is a budget build of Emmara, Soul of the Accord which is cheap and clocks in at $32.77. Check out it's token majesty!
  46. I randomly selected Kefnet the Mindful for a random Commander challenge, and was inspired to combine my two series and build a Budget Commander deck around card-drawing and fun times with Kefnet! Check it out and it's $32.73 glory.
  47. Let's build a fun graveyard and mono-Green build around my second Portal: Three Kingdoms leader - Hua Tuo, Honored Physician. I really like this build, and for just $32.65, I hope you will too!

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