Welcome back everyone for some more budget Magic discussion! We're continuing on with where we left off on newish cards with potential. Before we get started, I want to list some cards that have potential in budget brews, but with limited details. These are cards I'm not saying will rise in value monetarily speaking but could be supplemented for those on a tighter budget. I will list more of these in the next article, so keep your eyes peeled! I hope you enjoy today's read. Let's get this thing started!
- Alloy Animist - Great for Gruul () decks, adding not only a quick attacker but also Shrapnel Blast fodder for additional late game damage!
- Cult Conscript - Budget friendly reanimator card similar to Bloodsoaked champion and Reassembling Skeleton. Cheap foils to add to your collection!
- Gnawing Vermin - Great budget mill/removal card to also use with reanimating/graveyard play decks!
- Recruitment Officer - Nerfed version of Collected Company with its ability, and we put the card into our hand instead of the battlefield. Strictly a card for those on a budget looking for some card advantage.
- Spectrum Sentinel - Great 1-drop that can help with life gain/loss styled decks!
- Anointed Peacekeeper - Great for taxing, and you do not have to name what is in your opponents' hand! Solid mainboard and sideboard piece to add to your collection!
- Dreamstealer - Pet card that I feel should be utilized in Golgari () decks that use hand removal and buffs! The Eternalize ability can come in clutch late game!
Our first card on the day is going to be Combat Research. The current price is $0.45 for non-foils and $2.01 for foils. This is one I wanted to talk about a while ago and I apologize for just now getting to it, as the foil has gone up $1.25 since September. It's better than Curious Obsession due to the fact you don't have to attack with your creature every turn. This allows us to strategize better with our attackers. Secondly, we can make use of the bottom effects by slapping this onto a legendary creature. If we do, it not only buffs it, but it taxes our opponents by one to remove our creature. I know people do not like auras traditionally, but how can you not use this card! Overall, a great card for Pioneer on any budget!
Next on our list is Cut Down. The current price is $0.76 for non-foils and $1.04 for foils, and I would trade into the foils sooner than later. I think this one has room to grow, as we are always looking for speed regarding removal. This one hits exactly where we want it to for the mana cost. Early game, this is huge as it can potentially remove anything within the first three turns of play. There are a number of walls and creatures that we would like to remove without using too much mana.
Another thing to consider is utilizing debuff spells or abilities to be able to use Cut Down mid/late game. Our opponents might not think twice if we use a -1/-1 effect on a 0/7 wall. But now it is a wall that is -1/6, and that equates to a total of five! This opens us up to remove that wall for one Black mana with Cut Down! It might not seem like a lot, but when it stares you in the face it's hard to ignore it! This is definitely one to look for in Pioneer format!
Meticulous Excavation is our next card, and this can be utilized in both Commander and Pioneer. The current price is $0.24 for non-foils and $0.40 for foils. It immediately wants to abuse etb (enter the battlefield) effects and abilities! Selesnya () would like this for token creation and +1/+1 counter distribution. It will also benefit from adding creature protection if our opponent decides to try and utilize removal during our turn. Blue has permanents that utilize either card advantage or creature removal/control that Meticulous Excavation could abuse to annoy our opponents.
Let's talk Azorius () spirits, for example, in Pioneer. With Rattlechains, we could bring it back to our hand to utilize its ability to give something hexproof that our opponent may be trying to remove. One might argue that its not worth slotting in but adding two would not make or break what we would be trying to do.
Depending on what we are doing we can also benefit from the idea of exiling our cards that have unearth. There are cards that will trigger whenever our cards or our opponents' cards are exiled. This is just a secondary thing to consider when using the ability, but it is one to consider. Definitely trade into the foils if you have bulk available to get rid of!
Transmogrant's Crown is next on our list. The non-foil is currently $0.67 and foils are $0.97. I immediately wanted to try and use this in my reanimator deck in Pioneer. I know a lot of naysayers will say the two mana needed to equip might be too expensive, but if you have Black mana it only costs one, which is perfect. I love the idea of using this card with Bloodsoaked Champion. If we have three mana and/or two Bloodsoaked Champion cards on the board, we can attach Transmogrant's Crown to one (assuming it was attached the turn prior), attack with the one it is attached to, pay two mana to bring it back, and attach Transmogrant's crown to either of them. This will allow you to attack for four every turn and draw a card for three mana. In that scenario, I personally would be playing cards like Corpse Knight and Cruel Celebrant to maximize the value from that loop. This is just one of many scenarios to abuse this card, so pick it up when you can!
Last on our list today is going to be Mechanized Warfare. The current price is $0.83 for the non-foils and $1.00 for foils. This needs to find a home in just about every Red deck. The whole idea behind Red is speed, and this has that in spades. Consider how it turns your Shocks into Lightning bolts in Pioneer. That extra one damage is going to add up very quickly, and for three mana I feel that is a bargain!
What makes this more intriguing is the idea that it beefs up our artifact damage as well! Now we can add colorless sources to our Red decks that we might not have put there otherwise to synergize with this card. Of course, one could argue that you need it on the board for it to make sense, and I understand that. However, you should be adding in an artifact creature card that makes sense to your build that would benefit from Mechanized Warfare being out once it hits the board. Overall, a fantastic card and one you need to trade into when you can to add to your trade binder!
That's all for today folks, and I hope you come back for the next article!