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Budget Pickups from The Brothers' War


Welcome back for more budget Magic, everyone! We're picking up where we left off in my last article with newer budget pieces to add to your collection! If you didn't get a chance to read it, be sure to not only check that out but my previous articles as well! Like the last article, I am going to highlight some cards that are some budget friendly options to fill in certain gaps while you are waiting to acquire larger pieces for your decks!

  1. Ash Zealot - A good sideboard piece in Red if you are playing recursion decks. With unearth now hitting Pioneer, it is hard to ignore this!
  2. Azusa's Many Journeys // Likeness of the Seeker - Great early game play for ramp and good for potential late game plays when it transforms.
  3. Chief Engineer - A pet card of mine that I feel should be in every blue artifact brew, whether it's Pioneer or Commander!
  4. Dark-Dweller Oracle - A Great card in recursion decks that can use their creatures for card advantage for only one colorless mana! Chump block with small creatures and use the ability to exile a potential play while protecting yourself from combat damage!
  5. Lay Down Arms - A great 1-drop card that can be utilized in every stage of the game! Synergizes well in Orzhov (bw) decks that play Tainted Remedy! Exile a creature and then hit your opponent for three for 1 mana! Who does not want that!
  6. Strength of the Coalition - A solid 1-drop card with mid to late game potential given the board state. Use in Selesnya (wg) decks.
  7. Dreams of Steel and Oil - A hand control card to consider as a sideboard piece to control artifact and recursion decks. The thing to consider with this is the cards get exiled from play.

Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam
Today, I'm going to start off with Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam. Its current price is $0.49 for non-foils and $0.69 for foils. It can be utilized in both Pioneer and Commander, but I do feel it'll be stronger in Commander. Being able to return artifacts to your hand for two mana is great, especially given the fact we do not have to tap the creature in order to activate it! If toward the later stages of a match an opponent casts an artifact boardwipe we can try to buffer the blow by returning things to our hand. The second ability is just as useful in Commander, being able to copy an artifact spell for three more mana. Yes, we do have to add that to the casting cost but depending on what we copy that can be well worth it!

In Pioneer, it could potentially have a place in Izzet (ur) builds, utilizing Scuttling Doom Engine and another pet card of mine, Shrapnel Blast. One might think "Six mana in a Red deck is too high," but considering we have ways to ramp in Red with Runaway Steam-Kin and treasures, this should not matter as much. When playing Blue we should try to put things in to slow the game down a tad. We can play Scuttling Doom Engine and copy it with Drafna's ability. Then next turn we not only have two attackers, but we can use Shrapnel Blast to hit for five damage and another six off of Scuttling Doom Engine's trigger! We would also have a copy of Scuttling Doom Engine on the board in the event that our opponent is still in the game after that all resolves. I cannot say for sure if I see this going up a lot in value, but where it is currently at is quite the bargain for those budget minded players.

Speaking of that Scuttling Doom Engine and Shrapnel Blast combo, Arms Race is the next card we are going to discuss. The current price is a steal at $0.20 for non-foils and $0.30 for foils. Like the scenario discussed above, we can actually hit for eleven damage for six mana as long as we do not see any removal or counterspells. There are other big artifact creature spells that we could use similarly to Scuttling Doom Engine; but, instead of using Shrapnel Blast we will fling them instead. Here is a list of creatures I would personally consider using in that scenario.

  • Barricade Breaker
  • Boulderbranch Golem - Could use this in Rakdos to use the life gained as potential additional damage if you have a source that utilizes life gained as a damage source.
  • Mage-Ring Responder - Use its trigger after attacking and fling it either before or after damage resolves depending on when you need to.
  • Phyrexian Fleshgorger - Like Boulderbranch Golem, we could potentially use its lifelink ability to cause additional damage prior to flinging it.
  • Terisian Mindbreaker - This would be a great power play in Izzet to either completely disrupt our opponent by making them mill half of their deck or it could just go in a mill deck. After doing that we can unearth it for four mana to do it again!
  • Colossus of Akros - Great late game play for ten damage!
  • Gate Colossus - Utilize this in gate decks to be able to fling it, play a gate, put it in top of your library, and do it again!
  • Su-Chi Cave Guard - Not only do we get to fling it for eight, but we recover eight colorless mana to reuse on something else!
  • Metalwork Colossus - We can fling it for ten, sacrifice two treasures or useless artifacts we do not need, and do it again!

Overall, I feel like this is a card that should be acquired for your trade binders! If you have bulk to trade, get the foils at this current low price!

Tocasia's Welcome
Next up we are going to talk about Tocasia's Welcome. The current price is $1.99 for non-foils and $2.25 for foils. In my mind, I feel Orzhov recursion is where this would thrive the most. Any weenie styled brew could utilize this as well, but recursion has an opportunity to trigger this on our opponents turn. We want to be able to maximize our plays, and utilizing cards like Reassembling Skeleton is just one way to do it. In Commander, this seems like a no brainer to put in either a weenie or recursion deck. Given the fact we can have up to three additional draws prior to our turn is huge! This is definitely one I would not sleep on for too long, and would use my bulk to trade into the foils if possible.

Last on our list today is going to be Fateful Handoff. Its current price is $0.35 for non-foils and $0.44 for foils. This is more targeted toward Commander format but could be utilized in Pioneer depending on the build. In Commander, I was thinking of using it in a deck where we can remove artifacts. Playing this when we are able to immediately remove the artifact we give our opponent is where this would thrive. On the other hand, we could give them something that would be a threat, and that would cause our opponents to attack them in order to get rid of the threat. Either way you look at it, we get a boatload of cards, and then they gain little if anything! This one is more of a budget play at this point, but one I would consider trading into the foils at its current price!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you come back for the next one!

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