Dragon Surge Modern *Budget*

My “new” Modern deck is mostly finished: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/dragon-surge-4/

I originally had this as an Izzet colored casual deck, with a little counter burn, but budgeted as I am, I couldn’t really make it work like I wanted. So I cut down the deck to make it mostly Red, and now only splash Blue for Hypersonic Dragon. I’ve been playing this deck almost exclusively for a couple months now, and I think it’s functioning pretty well. Still a higher loss rate than win rate, but I think that is mostly luck and pilot skill to blame.

The aim of the deck is pretty simple, Ramp into Dragons early game and keep your opponent from building up their board. The ramp is accomplished by a two card combo ideally on turn 3, but can be done turn 4 with only one piece of the combo if necessary. The combo in question is the following cards:

If you can get the Vessel out turn 2, then it easily allows you to play Geosurge on turn 3 even if you don’t get a third mana source. This means you can run the deck successfully with only 2 lands if you have these two cards in your starting hand. Now with Seven Red mana in your pool, you basically have enough to summon any Dragon from your deck, but the ones you really want are these:

Obviously the ideal Dragon is Balefire, it will wipe the board in most cases, and help to keep it clear for an easy win. Moonveil pumps all your creatures for as much Red mana as you can spend on it, which just speeds your damage right along. These Innistradi dragons are by far my favorites and the clear choice for this Deck’s wincon.

We’ve also got cards like this if you really need Haste to give you that edge in speed:

The Hypersonic Dragon of course requires Blue mana, so it’s not as easy to ramp into, but the Charger is a Hasty that gives you a possibility of an additional combat late game (or early if you have a Hypersonic out, and a Geosurge in hand).

And of course you’ve got burn to slow your opponent down, and put in that extra damage that could win you the game. I run a pretty small suite to make room for some other utility Dragons, and it’s also very budgeted, but you can include a lot more effective burn with the right amount of money, and some cuts to the amount of Dragons you run. I do however always suggest a playset of these burn cards:

The first two may be sorcery speed, but the option of multiple targets has saved me a game when facing off against Green Ramp decks, and also helps deal with the small early threats present in builds like Affinity. The third card is Instant Speed, and with your chances at having a Dragon on field or in hand, it’s basically guaranteed 3 damage to both a creature and their controller.

Finally the cards you definitely want for the sideboard:

The Artifact hate classic, and a Dragon that can turn an Affinity deck back on itself. I run both as 2 of’s in the sideboard, but depending on your meta you can up that number as you please. Smash of course is Instant speed hate and does double duty as player burn, while the Tyrant gives you a good alternate win condition, while also just being a generally heavy hitter. I never suggest removing any of the cards listed above to side these in, but instead side out cards from the remaining slots that I haven’t gone into detail on.

Finally the remaining slots in the deck can be filled with a few things, ranging from more Utility Dragons like my build, more burn, or even more Ramp to increase your chances of a fast Dragon play.

My build of this deck comes out to about $50 USD give or take a bit depending on where you buy, but the real kicker is it takes a measly 4 TIX to get this deck in MTGO, which will run you $4 USD. It’s definitely fun, and I always get surprised reactions when I bust it out at FNM. 

You Want Izzet? We Got Izzet!

The news is in folks! Blue/Red is broken in half. Izzet lists have won GP San Diego and taken second at the Pro Tour, and we’re bringing you budget versions of each!

Creatures (19)
4x Chief of the Foundry
4x Ornithopter
4x Phyrexian Revoker
3x Thopter Engineer
4x Whirler Rogue

Non-Creature Spells (19)
4x Ensoul Artifact
4x Ghostfire Blade
4x Shrapnel Blast
3x Springleaf Drum
4x Stubborn Denial

Lands (22)
4x Darksteel Citadel
3x Foundry of the Consuls
7x Island
4x Mountain
4x Swiftwater Cliffs

First up is Artifacts/Affinity/Scissors that took second at the PT! A synergistic aggro deck, this is looking to drop your opponent from 20 to 0 ASAP. Plan A is to Ensoul up a cheap artifact, be it Ornithopter, Drum, Blade, or Citadel, and beat down, finishing off the opponent with Shrapnel Blast. Plan B is the use your token producers with a Chief of the Foundry to create a deadly flying armada, and play the slightly longer game.

The only thing we lose to budget is Hangerback Walker, which makes our long game a bit worse, but instead we play more token producers and can swarm the board a little bit faster.

Creatures (4)
4x Humble Defector

Non-Creature Spells (29)
4x Anger of the Gods
4x Magmatic Insight
3x Monastery Siege
2x Roast
2x Send to Sleep
4x Sphinx’s Tutelage
4x Tormenting Voice
4x Treasure Cruise
2x Whelming Wave

Lands (27)
7x Island
4x Swiftwater Cliffs
8x Mountain
4x Mystic Monastery
4x Radiant Fountain

Our second deck, fresh off of a GP win, attacks the opponent in a totally different way but is just as fast out of the gates. The entire deck is built to abuse Sphinx’s Tutelage. Once you have the enchantment in play, your goal is to simply draw cards until your opponent drops dead. Red draw spells are cheap and help you filter through your deck to find a Tutelage, and Treasure Cruise’s raw power helps you put the game away. Cards like Anger and Roast keep the board clear so that you can keep on millin’.

The real version of this deck runs 4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, but he costs 25 bucks right now! We’ve replaced with him a playset of Humble Defector’s. They cost the same, and can draw you a lot of cards. The deck is fast enough that you’re quite happy to get the Defector back and to keep on drawing.

Both of these Izzet builds are quite explosive, and we hope you enjoy crushing your opponent in the name of science!


MTG Deck: Arjun, the Shifting Flame
**Arjun, the Shifting Flame EDH.**

Arjun, the Shifting Flame $180 Tech.

Arjun, the Shifting Flame was given to the Commander community in the new C15 set’s Izzet-colored Seize Control deck. He turns singular spell-casts into a chaotic game of wheeling-and-dealing. 

Please try goldfishing this week’s deck or testing a tuned version on a deck-testing client such as Untap.in or Cockatrice! Looking for suggestions for this list. Thank you!

To draw knowledge, keep reading!

Keep reading

FNM 1/11/14


So I ended up going 1-3.

BUT THAT’S OKAY because about halfway through round 2 I started to get a feel for what I was doing wrong and the kinds of cards I should be running.  I sided in a one-of Epic Experiment, and any game I played it in I won.  So I switched out some stuff and put in three of those for starters.  I’ll continue tweaking throughout the week and I’ll post a 2.0 decklist some time tomorrow hopefully.  

It was, as always, tons of fun taking this deck on its maiden voyage.  I’m excited to see what i can do with it after a few weeks when it’s in better shape.

V 1.0: D-

Open Letter to Wizard's RE: Deaf players

Hey everyone. I’m not sure where I should have typed this up, so I decided to drop it here on Reddit as I know some of the employees are always around. Maybe this can get relayed to the proper people.

First I want to talk a little bit about our LGS and how it’s changed dramatically over the course of a year. You can skip this part if you want.

About six months ago, we had a new player come in to the shop to play at FNM. He played a long time ago, stopped for several years, and is now getting back into it. He’s gone from playing a rag-tag blue deck placing last every week to dominating the first and second spot with a solid home-brew Izzet deck. It’s almost inspirational to have watched the transformation of skill and understanding of the game. But what’s been more inspirational to me, is that Levi, our new regular local player, is deaf, and has transformed the way everyone at the shop plays.

At first, many people were mildly irritated by the increased amount of playtime and overuse of gestures needed to play. Honestly, we have a lot of younger kids, and many of them have never been in a situation where they are faced needing to communicate with someone they otherwise normally couldn’t. Ironically, I’m fluent in Sign Language and have helped break down the language barrier, but the true beauty behind this entire event is how willing and open our entire LGS player-base and staff has been to not only being more patient in their matches with Levi, but also to learning Sign Language to communicate with him. It’s an amazing feeling to have a thirteen year old kid glance over at me and ask how to sign something to convey this to Levi, rather than ask me to translate it for him.

This is getting long, and I apologize for that, but the main reason I’ve written this all out is that, the most recent trailer for Journey into Nyx [1] popped up on our community Facebook group, and while we were all discussing it, Levi was very confused - because he’s not able to hear, he has no idea what the video is actually about (other than obviously knowing that it’s introducing the last set in the block) - (unless we [which we have] transcribe it for him). I don’t know if this will get to the proper channels, but having Closed Captioning on future videos produced by Wizards would be the most amazing step in the right direction for appealing to the incredibly wide and varying fan-base it has.

TL;DR - Wizards, please put Closed Captioning on your videos for your deaf fan base.


This is an amazing story of an LGS coming together, but it is also something I honestly wouldn’t have thought of and something I’m sure Wizard’s didn’t think about. It is a great suggestion, and I hope they listen and take action soon! A comment in the suggestions adds “Closed captioning on live coverage too would be incredible too”, which is another improvement they should at least consider.

Alright here’s a story about my prerelease and how everything aligned just right for me to get this card

THere was just barely enough of us to actually have the tournament because a dad and his two sons came to the shop I was at.

I went with red because the promo is a dragon. The stars aligned just right and my deck was Izzet colors and had a crap ton of scrying and zapping (if you saw me on the field I would be the spitting image of cymede in my costume)

Like… nearly everyone went white tho. Except the dad and his kids (Blue for dad, green and red for babies)

First round I face one of the sons, i crushed him. He played this mish mash of green and black and he barely had mana for anything. Me deciding to be a nice person helped him fine tune his deck because he thought we needed 60 cards instead of 40. (also it was a test of patience for me… then again I taught my cousins so it wasn’t so bad)

Second round I played the dad. Quickly I realized we were playing the same deck p much when we both dropped scryfish turn 2 and he zapped one of my dudes. Couple turns later I’m staring at keranos as soon as he cast the god I cried in jealousy and that I would trade after the matches. I lost very quickly because I kept getting zapped and couldnt’ draw anymore spells after the scryfish. Second game I crushed him. Turned the god into a pig. But we went to time and drew so there was never a clear winner game 3.

After that round he had to leave. But since I was nice to his son and I had a bunch of rares, I just gave him some spells for his boys to get my god.


Go through a trial of patience and lightning, rewarded with a god.

Eternal witness

Commander 2015 lists are released and the speculation was right, eternal witness got a reprint! yay!

We’ll find it in both Meren (BG) and Ezuri (UG) decks.

Let’s talk about this card. It was only standard legal once (its original printing in  fifth dawn) and then reprinted four times (Commander, modern masters, duel decks: izzet vs golgari and now commander 2015). It also was march 2008 FNM promo card.

Not many cards have two artworks by the same artist. Well, Eternal Witness is one of those. Btw, 2008 was THE year: Remand, Pendelhaven and Tendrils of Agony were promo cards too!

This card sees some play in modern. Selesnya/Abzan decks that want some graveyard recursion usually include 2 to 3 copies. Really cool target for collected company. It is also a card considered by Scapeshift players, since they can handle the double green without problems (they have manabases built to allow playing the double green of scapeshift on curve). Some legacy decks play 1 to 2 copies in decks like aluren and nic fit (a midrange-toolbox deck based in cards like pod and recurring nightmare). Obviously, it sees a lot of play in commander.

Terese nielsen altered one of this too!


With these Duel Decks being reprinted, which are you most excited for?

Elves vs Goblins comes in at $150-$200 
Divine vs Demonic is $120-$140
Garruk vs Liliana is $50-$60
Jace vs Chandra is $40-$50 for the Japanese version

Also, fun fact from my searching through Duel Decks on Amazon out of boredom: the Japanese Izzet vs Golgari deck is only $12 with Amazon Prime shipping, which seems a bit unreal since the English version is double that… If I hadn’t just spent $35 on an HP Plateau for myself, I’d probably grab it and save it for a Japanese friend’s birthday.

So I didn’t end up being able to get to any Kaladesh prerelease or release events. Buuuut I had $50 available on an Amazon gift card, so I impulse-bought a Kaladesh bundle. The bundle in question arrived today.

Managed to whiff on…almost all of the fun/powerful uncommons, and the rares weren’t too inspiring…until the 10th pack. I think that was the pack the one Aether Hub was in, but more importantly, it had a Nissa in it! Between her and the other two solid rares in the bundle (Rashmi and Botanical Sanctum), my Temur deck’s getting a nice little upgrade. (Plus I’m a Liliana short of having at least one card of every member of the Gatewatch.)

No Inventions, but I wasn’t really expecting any. (The dream last night where I had six of them notwithstanding.) Honestly, I’m just happy to have a Nissa card again (I pulled her Origins card in an intro pack, but I traded it for an Origins Jace).