Welcome back everyone for another round of budget Magic discussion! We have more old and newer cards to discuss today, and by the end I hope you feel the same way I do about these cards! Let's start off with some cards that are at a good price with some upside for budget brewers.
- Levitating Statue - A control player's best friend in artifact form. It has flying, it gets +1/+1 counters on it when you cast non-creature spells, and you can bring it out as a win con for a measly two mana! The current price is $0.20 for non-foils and $0.25 for foils!
- Humiliate - A solid budget hand control card with the upside of buffing a creature with a +1/+1 counter. The current non-foil price is $0.24 and $0.25 for the foils.
- Vanishing Verse - At the very least, this is a sideboard card that has flexibility. Although you are restrained to a mono-colored permanent, it exiles instead of just destroying the permanent. The current price is $2.00 for the non-foil and $2.37 for the foils.
- King Macar, the Gold-Cursed - Although the foil is technically out of the range I would consider budget, you can still get the non-foils for around $0.60. This card is used primarily in Commander, but given the build it could possibly find a home in Pioneer. It is definitely one to acquire and hold on to while it is cheap!
- High Priest of Penance - It's only $1.37 for the foils and offers good upside for a 2-drop creature! Utilize as an attacker or let an opponent target it with a burn spell, then give it either indestructibile or buff it to where it will not die to remove a permanent giving you problems!
- Conspicuous Snoop - Used in Eternal formats, and the non-foils are still under $5! This is one I would consider acquiring for not only any trade binder, but for any goblin player! I would not be surprised if over time Goblins become a bigger thing in Pioneer!
- Containment Construct - Used in Legacy but can be used in anything abusing the ability to discard their cards. Commander can most certainly make use of this creature. Pioneer has an opportunity to use this as the format grows. Keep an eye on the foils as they are only $1.52!
- Deadly Brew - A card to recur something you need, sacrificing something you do not need for a possible trigger, and making our opponent get rid of something they have. Shockingly the foils are only $0.35! I'm not saying this will skyrocket in price over time, but this is a huge bargain for those who want to add some bling to their binder or deck!
- Gaea's Gift - A budget-friendly option to not only buff our creature, but also give us an opportunity to save it from an opposing removal spell for only two mana! We could also get aggressive and use the trample aspect to hit for additional damage! The foils for this are currently $0.30.
- Thran Vigil - I'm not quite sure how this one is not seeing play yet, but it has a lot of potential in both Commander and Pioneer! Decks that focus on artifact or creature recursion absolutely love this enchantment! Mind you it is only a 2-drop spell! This is one I would get a foil playset of as soon as possible! The current foil price is $0.31!
I'm not sure how the first card on today's list has been flying under the radar, but Five-Alarm Fire is certainly an interesting prospect. Currently, the price is $0.38 for non-foils and $0.65 for foils. When this first came out in Return to Ravnica I could see how Red really would not want it due to the mana cost being three. However, since then the game has sped up quite a bit, Red has found more ways to ramp, more ways to get card advantage, and that means opportunity for cards like this to find a home! Three mana in today's Magic is not really the deal breaker it once was in Red builds. This one could be supplemented in as a two of in a Ted deck, and it can complement perfectly fine. I am looking at this as more of a quiet late game win con our opponents would not expect.
In Red we are not only looking for instants or sorceries to hit, but we are going to be very creature oriented as well. This is where Five-Alarm Fire comes into play. We can play this, let it sit, and ping away while it gains counters. Mind you, we do not need to use five counters as soon as we acquire them. That means we can stack to ten if we need to as a safe bet to deal lethal damage. Even if we are looking at it dealing only five damage, I feel for three mana that is a huge payoff. Of course, not all of our creatures will be 1/1 chumps, so chances are that our opponent will be under ten life when we hit five counters. Also keep in mind that this triggers on any creature hitting, not just Red ones. Gruul () would enjoy this enchantment as well!
Even looking at it from a Commander format standpoint, it can be used in so many Red decks just for additional damage in wait. Dragons and Goblins come to mind right away when thinking about Red Commander decks. Both of those can easily slide one of these in for supplemental damage support. In Commander it would be rather easy to get up to ten or possibly fifteen counters with dragons, and easily over twenty counters with Goblins! I mean the card art has goblins on it for a reason am I right? Overall, I think this one is one that you should pick up the foils while they are dirt cheap.
Next up is Revival // Revenge. The current price is $0.95 for non-foils and $2.73 for foils. This is another that I felt would have found a home in Pioneer. Given the amount of life gain/loss decks there are out there, this is almost a no brainer to consider in every list. We can use it to bring back creatures we might need, or in this instance use it as a win con. If your current life total is above your opponents and you have a life gain/loss trigger on the board, this is an instant win.
Some might argue that six mana is just too steep for a card in a deck like that. I would argue that we are trying to win by any means necessary and having a playset of these in your mainboard would not hurt. The main reason why goes back to the idea of using Revival to get any creature we might need, so there is flexibility. The same goes for Commander, but six mana in Commander is not really a deal breaker. There are cards out there that trigger off x amount of life gain, and this would make this that much easier to happen.
Like in Commander, an easy win con would be to have Mayael's Ariel and Ajani's Pridemate on the board. All we would have to do is make sure we can gain enough life to put Ajani's Pridemate over the twenty power threshold to trigger the win from Mayael's Aria. Of course, it would have to survive going through the other players turns, but there are plenty of other situations similar to that where we could utilize Revenge. The foils currently are reasonably priced, and if you have the trade available, I would go acquire a playset of foils.
That is all we have for today, I hope you enjoyed the read and come back for the next one!