Arena Budget Decks for Throne of Eldraine
Throne of Eldraine is finally here on Arena, and in the early days of new Standard, a couple cards have already started to stand out. Powerful Mythics in, and along with some older cards in and have become more prevalent in some of the initial decks. While we all wait for the meta to settle, here are a few Arena Budget lists you can jam while you collect your new cards. These lists try to play some new cards while keeping only around 10-12 Rares/Mythics per deck. Often times, these Rares are dual lands, where in a pinch you can substitute with basic or tapped lands. I’ve also included a couple suggestions of possible updates to each if you have the cards hanging around. I’m also starting the budget build series with Golos Field, building 3 variations of the deck at different budget levels; but that is next week’s article!
First up is an Izzet deck focused on drawing cards for added value.
Main 60 cards (15 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (21)|
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)
This deck is a tempo/midrange list where you get rewarded for drawing at minimum 2 cards per turn. Payoff cards like, and all reward you for meeting this condition. Pyromancer turns any second draw into 3 damage to any source; Alliance can create a token army; and, Vandal becomes a large evasive threat.
The rest of the deck inclusions are enabling you to draw your second card each turn.becomes 1 mana, scry, potential 3 damage make a token. is reoccurring card draw that can also help reduce the casting cost of , allowing you to draw 2 for 2 mana. entering the battlefield also triggers the second draw, while providing a potential quick clock to close out the game. Also included in the mainboard is flexible removal of & which can target creatures or Planeswalkers (especially Narset that shuts down this deck).
Sideboard options are to hedge certain matchups withfor Esper matchups, and vs creature decks, specifically big green/Golgari. The rest of the options are flexible disruption, counters and removal that can come in against a variety of matchups.
This deck is 12 Rares for the full 75, with 8 being the dual lands. After playing some games both on stream and offline,felt pretty unimpressive; for budget considerations, you can just swap them for Thrill of Possibilities. Below are some upgrades I’d consider for this list; the alternative is transforming this into an Izzet Phoenix list.
The Royal Scions
I’d first try out 2 copies in the main, as the +1 looting ability can trigger pyromancer/alliance each turn while fixing our hand. The other +1 ability could be useful givingtrample while the ultimate can threaten extra damage to the opponent.
This is more of a situational card depending on meta, probably aiming to keep 1-2 copies sideboard vs slower matchups or Simic Flash. Niv struggles vs 3 mana Teferi and can also easily be dealt with by Oko. If you are able to untap with Niv in this list, you can definitely go wild with card draw.
Similar to Niv, I like Kefnet out of the sideboard against heavy removal-based decks like Mogwai’s Grixis Fire of Inventions list. The fact that Kefnet can provide card advantage, double spells and shuffle back in when it dies, is all value.
Chandra, Awakened Inferno
Chandra is another solid sideboard option that can pressure control, serve as a sweeper vs aggro, and deal direct damage to big green creatures like Questing Beast.
Main 60 cards (14 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (10)|
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)
Up next is a deck all about exploring a new mechanic from Throne of Eldraine, adventure. This Selesnya deck is looking to get a bunch of extra value from havingand to double adventure spells and draw extra spells.
and are the big beaters in the deck that can help us close out the game quickly. and both have adventure spells that can either give our creatures evasion, or get blockers out of the way. is a backup plan which allows each of our smaller creatures to enter the battlefield with an extra +1/+1 counter. I included Flower // Flourish as an overrun effect, but this never really panned out as I wanted. This would be one of the first cards I’d cut with the upgrades listed below.
Sideboard wise is all about tailoring our removal to best deal with the threats our opponent is presenting., and can all deal with a variety of creature and Planeswalker threats.
This is one of the more budget friendly versions, only being 8 Rares between Lovestruck Beast and Temple Garden. Below are some upgrades to improve the overall consistency and power level of the deck.
Giant Killer is a great 1 drop for the deck. This can be used as removal to get rid of large threats, or serve as a tempo play to stop big attackers, or move blockers out of the way for our larger creatures to attack in.
Realm-Clocked can be a board wipe when needed to reset the board, or in the worst case, can still present a 7/7 Vigilance threat vs non-creature matchups.
The Great Henge
This card is pretty easy in our deck to get out on Turn 4 if we can cast a. Henge does it all: ramp, life gain, card draw, and improve the power of our creatures.
Ajani, the Greathearted
Ajani’s minus makes our creatures stronger while granting them vigilance to be both offensive and defensive. The plus ability also helps us race against other aggro decks.
I’d probably play Gideon out of the sideboard against more control decks. The ability to dodge board wipes while presenting a quick clock and eventual removal with the -6 ability is useful in slower matchups.
This is a more efficient replacement forout of the sideboard to protect our board against sweeper effects from the opponent. Unbreakable Formation can also swing the combat math if we cast it during our turn.
Main 60 cards (19 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (27)|
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)
Next up is a color pair/archetype also requested on my channel in Dimir Control. One of the challenges with building budget control, is often times the most efficient answers tend to be featured at Rare or Mythic, or require splashing a 3rd colour (think Esper). As such, we need to play a few suboptimal spells taking budget into consideration.
Generally, when I build control, I like to have as few wincons as possible to optimize the amount of control elements. By doing this however, these wincons either need to be extremely quick to close out the game, or super resilient. From this, my typical go to wincon in Dimir is a couple copies of. Outside of being countered/discard, once we cast Kefnet, if it gets killed, it’s ability allows it to go back into our library. Stapled onto Kefnet is card advantage to help us get ahead while pressuring the opponent.
The other Rares in the deck are cards which don’t have a clear replacement for efficiency and flexibility.could very well be a 3-4 of without budget, as it is the cleanest way to deal with both creatures and planeswalkers with removal in one card. is the closest to a clean board wipe in strict black to deal with early aggro.
The rest of the deck is all about removal and disruption. Dimir lets you run the surveil disruption package of, , to tear apart the opponent’s hand and counter their spells. The new card actually felt really strong in most games as it was live in game 1 against creatures or control decks as either removal or a counter.
Our sideboard looks to tailor our removal or disruption to be more streamlined to combat the game plan our opponent is presenting. We also add in an additional threat inwhich avoids our ritual of soot while being a hexproof threat our opponent can directly target.
Upgrades to this deck will be mostly around improving quality of removal, and our planeswalker threats.
Ugin the Ineffable
Ugin creates tokens, card advantage and can remove any threat on our opponent’s side of the board, including enchantments or artifacts which normally Dimir can’t deal with.
Liliana, Dreadhorde General
Another powerful 6 drop Planeswalker to help close out the game quickly, or force our opponent to sac creatures.
Utility land that can serve as a board wipe for difficult-to-remove permanents.
Utility land that can provide us card draw.
Utility land to filter out our top decks to set aside unneeded cards, or dig for an answer.
More of a sideboard card for heavy planeswalker decks.
Command the dreadhorde
Sideboard card that can come in against control/slower midrange decks to recycle some resources from either player’s graveyard. May be a bit too ambitious in a non-esper deck which tends to gain a lot more life than Dimir.
Could be another strong mainboard or sideboard option to help close out the game. The card is also similar to Kefnet in that it is recursive in nature after being killed the first time.
That wraps up the standalone budget decks, with the next article featuring the budget build series for Golos Field/Gates deck. Below is a sneak peak of the budget version of the deck containing only 8 Rares. I’ll continue this series as the meta evolves, and as we start to see what the Tier list turn out to be, but do let me know if there are any color pairs/archetypes/build arounds you’d be interested in seeing. Also, let me know if there are any obvious omissions or other cards you think would fit the above decks.
Main 60 cards (24 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (16)|
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)