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 Post subject: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-10 9:01 am 

Joined: 2008-Jun-08 6:41 pm
Age: Drake
On the first episode of CommanderCast I announced that I'd be trying to build a $30 EDH deck to prove you can build EDH decks with a tight budget that will still be effective in a multiplayer setting, as one of the thing I hear often about people who would like to play EDH but aren't yet is "it looks expensive/you need old cards/etc." So I've been working on this for about a month with the help of people's suggestions.

The commander chosen was Wrexial, the Risen Deep because that episode Byron had been talking about how underrated he is; I just decided he looked awesome and ran with it. So far I haven't been disappointed. Wrexial a blockbuster commander, leaving people scrambling for answers when he hits the table. If he makes contact with an opponent a few times in the course of a game, it often spells doom for the rest of the table. Also, as another plus, he is a recent release that is cheap (usually can be found for $2 at most), both of which were pertinent to the budget and newness constraint.

When deciding on a strategy, I knew I wanted to do something different from the usual B/U goodstuff, combo or control decks. Not only have I played that kind of deck to death and am bored of seeing it, but some of the key cards can be pretty costly. I chose to go for a discard control strategy for four reasons:

1) I've never played anything like it in multiplayer.

2) The core cards are cheap.

3) I assumed it would be powerful given my experience playing hand disruption in the past, only on a smaller 1v1 scale.

4) Discard is the best way to make your opponents drop juicy spells into their graveyard for Wrexial to jack them. Milling spells felt weak because they didn't usually directly influence your opponent's resource like attacking the hand, while the discard route directly robs my opponents of options.

There are some cards that appear to be missing, I know; Oppression, Bottomless Pit, Mindslicer, and Myojin of Night's Reach, among others. There's reasons for that; either they were a bit too costly and pushed the deck over the top for budget, or had a symmetrical effect I wanted to see if the deck could do without.

Here's the decklist with an explanation of each card included.
    Commander:
  • Wrexial, the Risen Deep: Your main man. When Wrexial shows up you know he’s running things.
    Discard:
  • Unnerve: Played early this card has been way more effective than I thought it would be. Later on when people’s hands are a bit depleted, it’s also fine. Pretty serious effect for four mana.
  • Words of Waste: One of the most effective cards in the deck. Because you have so many ways to pick up cards and no way to retain a hand size beyond 7, you can often afford to skip draws to make everyone discard.
  • Necrogen Mists: It’s been ok so far, but not overwhelming. Gets a lot more powerful with other cards in play like the Grimoire. Good enough to leave in.
  • Painful Quandary: Not enough experience using it to judge, I haven’t gotten to use it much yet.
  • Cabal Conditioning: The best spell in the deck. When it resolves, you win most games. It’s fairly easy to either blast everyone’s hand for six cards, but I find myself resolving this for four or three cards pretty routinely. It’s still worth it to seal the deal once your opponent’s hands are battered a bit.
  • Syphon Mind: Fantastic card draw and discard. So amazing.
  • Mind Shatter: For the guy who draws cards and makes you think, “I didn’t authorize that!”
  • Recoil: A nice trick. Vindicates when opponent’s hand is stripped.
  • Dire Undercurrents: Not feeling this one too much, I don’t have enough mans to make it worthwhile. I’ll probably replace it with something else.
    Misc. Artifacts:
  • Geth's Grimoire: Essential card, provides ridiculous card advantage and has the added bonus of being protected by the discard it feeds on.
  • Whispersilk Cloak: EDH staple.
  • Nihil Spellbomb: Amazing graveyard hate card, outstanding rattlesnake potential.
  • Fireshrieker: I am a bit light on threats, so this makes any one I play into a bigger deal. With Wrexial, it’s doing DOWN when you hit somebody while he’s wearing this.
    Acceleration:
  • Coalition Relic: I think it’s the most expensive card in the deck. One of my favourite cards.
  • Mistvein Borderpost: Budget. It works fine for what it is.
  • Prismatic Lens: Same as above. The colour fixing can help as I don’t have a whole lot of mana fixing lands. Lets me play a third turn Unnerve which is a really nice play.
  • Drake-Skull Cameo: More budget mana acceleration.
  • Darksteel Ingot: The best budget mana accelerator.
  • Dimir Signet: You knew this would be in here. I don’t actually like Signets much but in B/U I don’t have too much choice.
  • Talisman of Dominance: I actually rather like this guy.
    Tricks:
  • Willbender: The only problem with Willbender is it makes me feel compelled to include more Morph dudes so your opponent’s can’t just know, “it’s a Willbender, Shapeshifter or Brine Elemental.
  • Redirect: Wasn’t too sure about this one at first, but after you switch up somebody’s Cruel Ultimatum back at them, you realize how good it is.
  • Chromeshell Crab: Makes people think it’s a Willbender. Hilarious to trade your 3/3 for a Kozilek.
  • Mischievous Quanar: Can really increase the impact of your discard cards, reusable, and once you did it once, it can have a profound impact on people’s willingness to play spells when they know you’re just going to copy it.
  • Mnemonic Wall: Shenanigans with Evacuation, otherwise just solid.
  • Gather Specimens: I like this card more and more as I play with it. Really a fantastic counterspell and trick all rolled into one package. Since my deck is light on win conditions, stealing other people’s big game-enders is amazing.
  • Blatant Thievery: Similar to the above. When your opponent’s hands are stripped at the end of the game, they will often just be playing their big threats from their topdeck. You can then steal them.
  • Echo Mage: I haven’t gotten to use it enough. I think it looks fun though.
  • Graveyard Hate:
  • Withered Wretch: One of the best graveyard haters around.
  • Suffer the Past: Totally underrated spell. Pinpoint graveyard hate, kills your opponents, gains you life. Instant speed too!
    Beaters:
  • Dread: I don’t want any creature that are strictly game-enders. This guy can kill your opponents but is fantastic at discouraging attackers.
  • Kagemaro, First to Suffer: Board sweeper, big beater. He’s working out better than I thought he would.
  • Mindleech Mass: I only got to use it once, and with the discard, I didn’t get much out of him. I might axe him but we’ll see. The ability just looks so juicy.
  • Filth: I’m not sure about this guy in the budget incarnation of the deck. Once I have Urborg in here, he will be a must.
  • Steel Hellkite: It’s just really good. Kills enchantments!
  • Stormtide Leviathan: When this guy pops up, it’s to close out the game. Him and Wrexial have a big old Islandwalking party while beating up your opponents.
  • Kederekt Leviathan: A reset button.
    Card Draw and Manipulation:
  • Diabolic Tutor: Budget tutor.
  • Mystical Teachings: I like this thing a lot. Fetches up my Draining Whelk, Envelop, Evacuation, and so on.
  • Exsanguinate: It’s just a good multiplayer card. Game-ender as well.
  • Opportunity: Drawing cards at instant speed. Nothing special here.
  • Read the Runes: This card I like a lot. When somebody is going to throw a sweeper at you, or you’re chump blocking, or you don’t need all those lands, etc. etc. just throw down Read the Runes and pick up some cards. I don’t know if this is the ideal deck for it (a token deck of some sort would make better use of it I think), but it’s been quite a powerful card.
  • Jace's Ingenuity: Same as Opportunity.
    Mind Spring: It draws cards.
    Counterspells:
  • Draining Whelk: My favourite counterspell, win condition, super demoralizing when your only card in hand is a giant bomb that will change the tide and my Whelk eats it up and beats you to death.
  • Envelop: Surprise! One mana counterspell! This card rules.
  • Hinder: For dealing with those problematic generals.
  • Perplex: In the late game, the choice to discard your non-existant hand is easy, but then you can just Transmute for Words of Waste, the card below, etc. Early game, works fine.
  • Soul Manipulation: A great little card. All kinds of uses.
  • Overwhelming Intellect: This card has been absolutely terrifying! It’s not uncommon to draw up 5 to 7 cards with this beast. For six mana, I’m never upset with the results.
    Killin Mans:
  • Barter in Blood: Kills creatures, standard care.
  • Bane of the Living: Another morph creature to play mind games with. “Wait... it’s not Willbender?” Also does it’s instant-speed Wrath thing.
  • Plague Wind: Guess what this card is for?
  • Sudden Spoiling: I love this guy. Can turn a disadvantageous position into a total victory without warning. A powerful card for political purposes.
  • Evacuation: In my experience, the best creature sweeper because of the instant speed and being fetchable with Mystical Teachings.
  • Magus of the Abyss: He kills mans. Usually dies to himself when it’s my turn. I might replace him with Anowon, the Ruin Sage.
  • Big Game Hunter: When I discard at end of turn or after Read the Runes, he jumps onto the battlefield, yells “Toasty!” and kills a dude like it’s not even a big deal. I’m ok with hardcasting him too.
    Use Other People’s Stuff:
  • Memory Plunder: It’s awesome. It also doesn’t remove the card int he graveyard so you can use it again with Wrexial later. Lets you Wrath at instant speed when things are looking grim.
  • Spellweaver Volute: This thing is awesome with all the discard and such flying around. When you cast something using Wrexial, it gets even better! Also lets you use opponent’s artifact and enchantment removal spells, which is it’s most important application.
  • Body Double: We all know this rules, especially when you’re making opponents discard their prime mans.
  • Knowledge Exploitation: Another card we all know is awesome.
  • Profane Command: Does so much for so little.
  • Beacon of Unrest: As above. This one can end games.
  • Enslave Doesn’t kill creatures per se, but does let me rent them out.
    Lands:
  • Dreadship Reef: Storage land. I like these. At the endgame when your opponents are topdeck and Wrexial is beating, this can build up and give you lots of mana for some huge plays and surprise counterspells.
  • Duskmantle, House of Shadow: I just use it because it has the colours, but it’s better than I thought it would be. Flipping an important card into an opponent’s graveyard gets the table hype.
  • Dimir Aqueduct: It makes mana.
  • Lonely Sandbar Late-game cycler. Also can keep an opponent off their draw with Words of Waste.
  • Barren Moor Above.
  • Terramorphic Expanse Fixes my mana.
  • Hall of the Bandit Lord: Gives Wrexial haste, otherwise rocks.
  • Swamp: x14
  • Island: x15

If you have ideas, I still want suggestions. In particular, if you can suggest some cards that are good to have in my graveyard or to discard, I'm looking for those. If you have any 'strictly better' suggestions, I want them (I'm not a deckbuilding prodigy). Just keep in midn the budget constraint.

Speaking of which, this deck is worth like $39.50 if you use magiccards.info's middle-range prices for everything in the deck. It looks over budget when you do that, yes, but some of those prices are... hilariously off. Using the low-end prices it's worth just under $20. I'm sure anybody can also just pick some of these cards up off friends and other players for nothing. I personally spent $16 putting this together, and traded for a few cards, which were junk rare for junk rare. The deck's most expensive card was Coalition Relic at $2.50.

Also shout out to my man Pat for donating the Wrexial (I counted him as costing $1.50 as per magiccards.info).


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-10 9:45 am 
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Joined: 2009-Nov-09 8:55 pm
Age: Drake
Awesome, man. It actually looks like a lot of fun to play. I like the Morph package.


Like you said, without Urborg, I'm not sure if Filth has a place in the deck at the moment. It just doesn't do enough, and besides, Wrexial has swampwalk already. Dire Undercurrents also seems lackluster in a deck with a limited amounts of creatures (and even those are fairly expensive to cast), but you already know that.

Simply because you're in blue, it seems like you could do better than Enslave. Does the 1 damage per turn really matter that much? If not, Control Magic is more efficient and also quite affordable. Take Possession is great. Confiscate and Volition Reins are much more versatile for the same converted mana cost.

So what to add? Deep Analysis fits the bill and is solid by itself. Beseech the Queen is a very affordable tutor and could help you find your best cards (hello, Geth's Grimoire) more often. A graveyard-centric strategy with at least some creatures might be a good time to try out Controvert, maybe? And if you ever decide you need a discard outlet, Forbid (yuck, I know) is a good one.


But you can ignore all that if you want. My main suggestions have to do with the manabase:

While artifact mana is important, it should be possible to fix your mana with lands alone. Since your curve seems to be relatively mid-range to high, some "comes into play tapped" lands shouldn't hurt. Here are a few budget-friendly possibilities (you don't have to play all of them, though I'd at least consider them):

Evolving Wilds
Bad River
Salt Marsh
Jwar Isle Refuge
Frost Marsh
Vivid Creek
Vivid Marsh

A stable manabase is key! Not to mention the additional color fixing would let you run more powerful (and underrated) artifact mana sources like Worn Powerstone, Basalt Monolith, Palladium Myr, and Everflowing Chalice, any of which is arguably more effective in a late-game Stage 3 deck than Prismatic Lens or Drake-Skull Cameo.

Anyway, keep us updated. It's very interesting.

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B/W Ghost Council of Orzhova -- Casual Turbo Ghost
G/W Selvala, Explorer Returned -- Parley Elves Wombo Combo
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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-10 11:38 am 

Joined: 2010-Nov-25 9:22 am
Age: Elder Dragon
bad river for another mana fixer...good job thru
hey! promise of power is about 50 cents! you should be playing it!
i would also suggest you slip in a Tectonic Edge if you can
also spreading seas so you can islandwalk red/white/green players!

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Genomancer wrote:
Our aim is not to make commander an unbreakable tournament format... it continues to be (and hopefully always will be) chock full of crazy powerful plays which you, the players, are trusted to explore rather than exploit.


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-10 12:30 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-25 9:22 am
Age: Elder Dragon
i just put the whole deck on adventureON.come and the cost was...
Total Deck Price: $30.88
yea,you can litterly buy this deck for 30.88+shipping
just support your own basic lands

congratz

_________________
A real man's dragon deck
Genomancer wrote:
Our aim is not to make commander an unbreakable tournament format... it continues to be (and hopefully always will be) chock full of crazy powerful plays which you, the players, are trusted to explore rather than exploit.


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-10 12:48 pm 

Joined: 2009-Feb-20 8:16 pm
Age: Dragon
Clutch of the Undercity and Dimir House Guard can both find Geth's Grimoire, which seems like a pretty key piece of the deck. Argivian Restoration is the same cc, and recurs the grimoire. It's also worth noting that if you can recur House Guard with various forms of creature recursion, you can repeatedly tutor up 4cc discard spells.

Delirium Skeins seems pretty absurd. Early disruption, fuels Wrexial, makes it more likely you'll hit...seems pretty good.

Plagiarize to punish blue decks trying to dig out of your discard? It would be HILARIOUS to cast this in response to a Jace TMS activation. I'll draw three, you put two back?

Vesuvan Shapeshifter for morph abuse?

Drift of Phantasms seems like it'd tutor up some key pieces. Syphon Mind, words of waste, Relearn and the functional reprint in m11 if you choose to run them.


If you choose to run House Guard and Drift of Phantasms, some kind of creature recursion could be absurd. Oversold Cemetery might be a bit expensive, but Phyrexian Reclamation seems like a hidden gem that'd fit right in. Helps fight symmetrical discard and the like, as well as just being a really powerful recursion engine. Plays REALLY well with evoke creatures like Mulldrifter and Mournwhelk and Shriekmaw.

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Last edited by 94teen on 2010-Dec-10 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-10 12:51 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Aug-23 10:03 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: The Netherlands - Hoorn
Seems like a lot of fun! I'm actually going to try and build something like this for myself, although with a little less budget (A) Want to play my Mind Twist and Mind Shatter :P


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-10 1:23 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Nov-30 4:36 pm
Age: Drake
I'm not sure how much they cost nowadays, but the kamigawa hondens seem shoe-ins here.

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Isperia the Inscrutable
Ulasht, the Hate Seed
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Harea, Underworld Tinkerer


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-10 1:30 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jun-13 2:13 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Memphis, TN
The deck looks extremely good. There are only a few cards that even give away that it's a budget deck. Well done.

It kinda looks like the deck loses its teeth if Wrexial is dealt with. Is that true? Leyline of Anticipation is $1 and can make it easier to protect Wrexial with countermagic. An Into the Roil fills the same role and breaks up artifact/enchantment based locks, which are my biggest fear when playing UB.

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Were you blown away by the insight and hilarity of this post? Damn. Try CommanderCast anyway!


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-11 12:46 am 
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Joined: 2007-Aug-22 6:34 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Pennsylvania
Some ideas:
Deep-Sea Kraken
Induce Paranoia
Memory Erosion
Rite of Replication
Rush of Knowledge
Sphinx Ambassador

Geth, Lord of the Vault
Guiltfeeder

Essence Vortex
Mask of Riddles
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Spinal Embrace
Szadek, Lord of Secrets

Whetstone
Worry Beads

Darkwater Catacombs
Reliquary Tower
Remote Isle
Polluted Mire

_________________
My EDH Decks:
Sol'kanar the Swamp King
Crovax, Ascendant Hero
Momir Vig, Simic Visionary
Tolsimir Wolfblood
Kangee, Aerie Keeper
Verdeloth the Ancient
Phelddagrif
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Hakim, Loreweaver
Seizan, Perverter of Truth
Horde of Notions
Thelon of Havenwood
Zedruu the Greathearted
Lyzolda the Blood Witch

In progress:
RG Tribal Werewolves/Humans/Wolves


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-12 9:02 am 

Joined: 2008-Jun-08 6:41 pm
Age: Drake
Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

d0su wrote:
Simply because you're in blue, it seems like you could do better than Enslave. Does the 1 damage per turn really matter that much? If not, Control Magic is more efficient and also quite affordable. Take Possession is great. Confiscate and Volition Reins are much more versatile for the same converted mana cost.


Done and done, adding Volition Reins.

Quote:
<manabase suggestions>[/card]


I see what you're saying but a lot of those cards actually cost too much and muscle out other options int he deck's budget. Vivid lands are each around $1, and in a two-colour deck without too many heavily-coloured casting costs, aren't worth the monies. Even the taplands at about .50 each don't have enough of an impact to push out many other cards. That said, Evolving Wilds can go in for sure since it's so cheap. I think I just forgot it was real. I would like to add a Worn Powerstone, but it actually puts the deck over budget (they're like $1). Everflowing Chalice will definitely be added someday as well, but right now they also cost too much (it sounds hilarious saying that!).

Kirby wrote:
bad river for another mana fixer...good job thru
hey! promise of power is about 50 cents! you should be playing it!
i would also suggest you slip in a Tectonic Edge if you can
also spreading seas so you can islandwalk red/white/green players!


I like Promise of Power and will look for one. Tectonic Edge is too costly at about $1.50, but is naturally going to go into the non-budget version of the deck. Spreading Seas is interesting, but not powerful enough to warrant a card. Here's my explanation; by the time Wrexial is in play, he is usually firmly in control of the game as your opponents will often have no hands. If your opponents have blockers and his landwalking can't avoid them, then I can usually bash some other chump and play a mass or point removal spell out of their graveyard. It's rare for blocking Wrexial to every be a consideration because usually the enemy creatures are discarded before they hit the battlefield, they can't block him, or they're just chumping him to delay the inevitable.

94teen wrote:
<sweet idears>


I really like these. The transmute cards could be huge but need pieces to support them to each their fullest potential. I like the idea with the Phyrexian Reclaimation, as that is also downright filthy with Mnemonic Wall.

Plagiarize is definitely going in.

I considered the Delirium Skeins but left it out on the grounds of trying to avoid symmetrical effects. I do think it's powerful, but I have no problem stripping everyone else's hands so far without hurting my own, so I don't think it'd be necessary. The Shapeshifter I left out for cost reasons.

the humanity wrote:
I'm not sure how much they cost nowadays, but the kamigawa hondens seem shoe-ins here.


I do like these but I find that without access to at least three, they don't have enough 'BAM' factor to bother including them. Also, Words of Waste is so much stronger in multiplayer than the black Honden. I am kind of considering the blue one by itself though, as it just can get me a lot of cards over time and isn't a huge target.

Fugu wrote:
It kinda looks like the deck loses its teeth if Wrexial is dealt with. Is that true? Leyline of Anticipation is $1 and can make it easier to protect Wrexial with countermagic. An Into the Roil fills the same role and breaks up artifact/enchantment based locks, which are my biggest fear when playing UB.


Wrexial hasn't gotten truly 'dealt with' yet because I have managed to keep hands empty. We'll see if time tells us the true story. With so few threats, it's something I do wonder about. Leyline would be a pretty nice addition, though. With Into the Roil, I know it's really good, but I'm not sure what to cut for it. In this deck I think Recoil would fill the same purpose, only it works a bit better with the overall theme. I know the redundancy would help though.

norbert88 wrote:


Amazing! In. A lot of the other cards were too expensive, or involved milling, which I don't like. But that is a total gem.

I'll update the decklist in a few days when I make the changes.


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-12 1:09 pm 
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Joined: 2010-May-25 1:10 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Nomad Outpost, Tarkir
I know you said Spreading Seas wasn't powerful enough by itself to warrant a spot in the list. But what about Spreading Seas + Tainted Well? Then you could throw in Sea's Claim, Evil Presence, and Contaminated Ground as well! Five cards to help ensure Wrexial, the Risen Deep WILL be hitting seems like it would overall make Spreading Seas "more" worth it. Plus, Tainted Well and Spreading Seas both cantrip, so it's not like you're losing cards for the purpose.

Just a suggestion really. I've been playing a 60 card version of a Wrexial, the Risen Deep Commander deck in Standard at FNM the past couple of weeks now. He's such a blast to play!

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Alesha, Who Smiles at Death [Duel-Commander]
Kaalia of the Vast [Traditional 1v1 Primer]
Drana, Liberator of Malakir [Sui Black]
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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-12 1:28 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Have you considered Decree of Pain for additional creature-flush?

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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-12 1:55 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jun-13 2:13 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Memphis, TN
Quote:
Spreading Seas is interesting, but not powerful enough to warrant a card.
Don't forget that Spreading Seas solves problems like Kor Haven, Maze of Ith, Academy Ruins, and other super annoying lands. I run Spreading Seas in every blue deck.

OMG I HAD NO IDEA TAINTED WELL WAS A CARD. I'M PLAYING IT IN EVERYTHING NOW.

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Were you blown away by the insight and hilarity of this post? Damn. Try CommanderCast anyway!


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-12 2:15 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-25 9:22 am
Age: Elder Dragon
lol@fugu
but make something an island/swamp and then draw card for 3/2 isn't bad IMO
and it is a good way of dealing with ridiculous lands like coffin....whatever

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Genomancer wrote:
Our aim is not to make commander an unbreakable tournament format... it continues to be (and hopefully always will be) chock full of crazy powerful plays which you, the players, are trusted to explore rather than exploit.


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 Post subject: Re: The $30 Wrexial Challenge
AgePosted: 2010-Dec-12 3:33 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jun-13 2:13 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Memphis, TN
Have you considered Nightmare Void? < $1.

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