This budget build of the Orzhov lifegain deck looks to use the Ajani Pridemates and Bloodthirsty Aerialists in tandem with cards like Healer Hawk and Kunoros to build a pretty substantial mid-game threat, in both the air and on the board.
Boosting this build with cards like Heliod, Sun-Crown, a playset of Murderous Riders and a playset of Dawn of Hope obviously take the deck out of the ‘budget’ zone, but can really help the deck offer more of a threat as you climb into the gold and platinum ranks.
You can export the deck now at Aetherhub
Kunoros, Hound of Atheros
Deck Play Style
Although this is not a strict aggro deck, it can build up steam very quickly putting some threatening creatures on the board by turn 4/5. Your ideal open hand is a splash of some swamp/plains lands and one, if not more of the staple cards mentioned above. Make sure you play Impassioned Orator before cards like Pridemate or Aerialist as you want to get the most value out of the life gain counters.
-Can ramp up in power very quickly with Impassioned Orator on the board as well as Pridemate/Aerialist
-Has a very strong midgame, Kunoros can be a real pain for the opponent to deal with on or close to the curve
-Good early game spot removal through cards like Murderous Rider/Mortify
-Revenge of Ravens can put opponents on the back foot and prevent aggro/minion heavy deck attacking
-Can really struggle to keep up power when Pridemates and Aerialists are removed
-Really struggles with card draw (adding 2/4 copies of Dawn of Hope really helps resolve this issue)
-Longer Game control decks are a very hard match up with this deck.
Key Cards to Upgrade Deck
-Dawn of Hope (really helps with the card draw issue, no need to add more than 2)
-Linden, The Steadfast Queen is incredible in this deck and really boost the midgame presence (2/3 is a good amount to add)
-Heliod, Sun-Crowned is just an incredibly strong card from the Theros set and combos with every element of the deck (no need to add more than 2/3)