October! What a fun month…. trick-or-treaters, spoopy memes, budget decks…. October truly has it all. Let’s sit down to enjoy some candy and talk about what this article is.
Previously, the idea behind these decks was to present options for new players looking to jump into ladder play and bypass the “finding out what cards to use to start winning hard early” phase of learning the game. Personally, I’m not a free-to-play player, nor am I anywhere near it. I used an arbitrary designator of “no mythics and no more than 6 rares” when designing budget decks. I missed the mark there and that’s on me. I think that in the budget decks of old, getting 6 specific, targeted rares was a bit unattainable for most. That’s on me and I’m correcting it moving forward. Here’s how:
Rhino Games recently introduced some early missions into the game that grant mythic and rare wildcards that can be used for any card of that rarity. This is great. It helps flesh out the top end of your collection a bit more. However, the focal point of these decks should be the common and uncommon acquisition. You get 2 mythic wildcards and 2 rare wildcards through your early missions. We’re going to take this into account in these budget decks. Our new guidelines are going to be “No more than 4 rares you don’t get through the story + 1 mythic.”
Surely this can’t be budget, right? We’re talking about a mythic card (or 2 if you want to use your other wild for it) and 4 rares. Our previous decks were clocking in at around an average of 5000 essence to craft in full. These decks are going to be more in the 7000 range. Wait… did I say that? We’re making budget decks MORE expensive because people were commenting on them being too expensive? I sure did. With the free wildcards we’re taking into account in these decks, we’re eliminating 3400 essence right off the top of our cost. This means that the essence you’ll need to actually make these decks is going to be roughly 2000 less on average than our previous decks.
One other thing that should be stressed is that these decks are not intended to be decks you craft on day 1 or day 2 after finishing story and opening 15-20 packs. These decks are something you should be able to attain in a week or two, or by spending 10 dollars on the Starter Pack (which is great value by the way) and unmaking your cards as necessary to target the deck that grabs your attention. If you’re looking for something even more accessible without some grinding/collection burning, Team Rankstar has some excellent articles here about upgrading starter decks and community member Minmaxer has some budget suggestions here.
Enough of the disclaimers and blabbing on. Let’s look at some decks!
Mono-Red continues to be a solid go-to pick for the ladder players. It’s relatively easy to build and has a straightforward gameplan. While we’ve seen a recent uptick in Green-Orange representation as a slightly higher curved aggro choice, I think Mono-Red remains the number 1 pick if you’re trying to play as many games as possible in a given timespan.
With the inclusion of mythic cards this month, we’re able to remove the Duskwing Angel of old and also play Oak of Dodona to fill out the higher end of our curve. A couple Minitaurs sneak in this month as we’re playing less rares and need to replace Extract Life. Freki Huntress fits in very well too, but we’ve chosen Minitaur to help keep costs down just a bit more.
This deck still needs very few cards that are strict upgrades over others. Last month, this list was headed up by the Oak of Dodona we now get to play thanks to the Wildcard missions. Shopworn Bull continues to prove itself to be a very good 2-drop that has a more defensive stat line than most of our other minions, but provides solid card filtering. A second Magmataur is always a solid choice to shore up the late game. Gigantomachia is also the best removal in red not named Ignition, so it works well if you’ve got it.
If you prefer tribal synergy, you’ve already got some Vampire here. Lean in on that and look to explore your options some. Adding in cards like Blood Dolls, Strigoi Familiar, and Freki Huntress gives us some flexibility to focus less on ruthless aggression and more on a fleshed out cohesive strategy. Familiar has inherent synergy with other cards we’re already playing, such as Ichor Feast and Strigoi Noble. Blood Dolls lets us buff our minions to reach over larger threats in the midgame, and Huntress is a must-answer threat.
Our second pick for this month is a deck that relies more on staying ahead on tempo than strictly ramming the gas pedal to the floorboard like Mono-Red enjoys doing. With a deck like Blue-Green Tempo, your success hinges on your ability to properly identify and handle threats. You need to know not just which minions actually present a problem for you, but your best way around said problem.
With early minions like Grinning Kolobok to get you out ahead and accelerate your large midrange threats and Godsblud Transfusion to make your Einherjar Thane or Gallows Boy a must-answer problem as early as turn 3, you’re really trying to position well to be carried in the midgame by threats like Blackened Jotun and Hyperborean. Our green suite provides us some utility, with Gamayun and Raid the Tombs making sure we see our removal options like Detained and Rewind Hex.
There are some easy upgrades to be made in this deck. Your typical “blue mythic pile” slots really well here, with cards like Magnus Thorsson or Kara Mourningwives slotting in very well for midgame minions. Iku-Turso also provides you with an excellent late-game threat, granting a whopping 20 combat stats on a 7 mana body.
This deck also runs a rather high spell count compared to most of our previous budget entries. This actually allows for some really interesting interaction in cards like Bald Mountain and The Recursionist. Squeezing your spells for as much value as you can get out of them can often lead to a gamestate where you have thoroughly outvalued your opponent.
This is a deck we’ve talked about before in our budget column and it’s not making its return. With more decks leaning into orange and green on ladder recently, the blue/X midrange decks have fallen off a little bit. That means that with less fear of Magnus and Thunderclap, Tokens may be positioned well enough to rear their ugly heads again.
With the includions of mythics in this list, we’re able to cross off a very good first-craft in Scion of Pride. It will fit into any orange deck you want to play. We also get the added benefit of playing the Misanthropia and the Temptation we earn in the story mode, bringing us to a total of 6 rares in the deck and only needing to craft 2 of them.
One of the first things you should be doing in this deck is looking to pick up your second Peri at the Gates as well as a couple Xerxian Recruiters and Clay Effigy. These cards provide your token deck with a lot of additional draw power while also giving you bodies on the board.
If you’re looking to spend your other mythic wildcard on this deck, you’re in luck. Orange and Yellow are bursting at the seams with value mythics to play here. Whether you’re looking for more ways to clear the board in Armageddon Angel or more ways to stick even more minions in the Twins or even just looking to literally be unkillable with Lavish Proxy, there’s a lot to choose from here.
Our last budget list for this month will focus on a proven strategy. KoverasBG just recently took Purple/Green to a tournament win in a Peasant (commons/uncommons) tournament hosted by Kaelari. Koveras has proven themselves a worthy competitor in Mythgard, previously winning a Mythgard Weekly Open as well. We’ll use his guidance to start this list out.
Our inclusions right away are going to be Misfortune, Baku Bogeyman, and Born-Again. All 3 cards give you excellent late game stature. Misfortune + an Overwhelming minion that this deck presents in spades = 5 extra damage potentially going to the face every turn. Born-Again is one of the most value-driven minions in the game, giving you recurring chump blockers if needed. Baku Bogeyman provides you with a big threat late-game than also synergizes with the Born-Again you can discard to get right back.
Opening this deck up a bit allows us a lot of room for late-game threats. Cards like Iku-Turso, Jin-Sook, Dollmaster, and Chort Stag offer very real late-game presence. Iku and Stag give us very imposing bodies and Jin-Sook opens up some crazy utility with its second ability and kill presence with its first. Should we manage to ult the thing, it’s like RIP for our opponent.
If you’re more interested in the mid-game presence of this deck and want to push it further into that territory, try running Rogue Vocaloid, Leshy Greene, and Pentacle of Flavors. Vocaloid’s blast as early as turn 4 (or sooner with a crazy Kolobok play) allows you to play a bit faster paced and look to close games out while keeping the field cleared. Leshy can present a strong body early in go-wide metas and often goes over such decks. Pentacle’s “keyword soup” nature allows it to turn your more midrangy threats into late game beasts all their own.
With the changes to the wildcard missions recently, we’re actually able to present budget decks with more mythic cards and higher essence costs that actually cost you less essence to craft than before. Rhino Games knocked it out of the park with these missions and I look forward to seeing this game continue to grow as we all build out our collections and really delve into the card pool.
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