Updated: Nov 15, 2019
This is a community list submitted by Josef.
It's easy to get lost in the thrill of building fancy, multi-faceted decks with devastating payoffs. To hammer away with game after game tuning a ultra-efficient midrange list or an overwhelming control list. Sometimes, though, sometimes you have to come back down from your deckbuilding tower and take a look at the foundations. Regain your respect for the simple and the practical.
Aggro and budget lists are very important and interesting for that very reason. Because you know what? You can throw out all that fancy curve calculation, mana number crunching, and intricate sideboard plan and just bash your opponent's face in. I've never reviewed or built a budget list myself before, so it's hard for me to tell sometimes where the best places to make concessions are and how to find the card that fits your needs when your wallet is tight. But there are a lot of people out there that really care about the pricetag, so today, we're taking a peek at a budget user list and one of the recurring aggro archetypes — White Weenies.
I do want to mention the sideboard because, as you've probably already noticed by looking at the decklist, there isn't one. I'll spend a little time suggesting something, but as Josef didn't submit one with this list, I didn't add one myself.
Usually this is the section of the deck tech where I go in-depth on the list, carefully explaining how each card choice nicely supports a particular role in a intricate tapestry that, as a whole, makes a beautiful picture. Today, however, there is no complex analysis to be had because the deck is resounding clear about exactly what it wants to do: swing creatures at your opponent and make that 20 a 0 as quickly as possible.
That's not to say the deck itself is simplified or dumbed-down, just that the gameplan isn't something to spend a lot of time talking about. What I can do, however, is give a breakdown of everything we've got.
We start our creature curve off with Skymarcher Aspirant, a vampire that can hit for 2 on turn 2 which is always a valuable quality to have in a deck that plays this low to the ground. Plus, once we've got our board nice and filled out, she'll get flying from Ascend, which we get once we have 10 permanents on the battlefield. It's always nice to have a creature that you play on turn 1 remain important on turn 5 or 6.
Next is the two-drop slot where the majority of our creatures sit. Adanto Vanguard is probably the biggest bang for our buck here with the ability to become indestructible for 4 life and, given we're the aggressors almost every game, 4 life isn't that important to us. Knight of Grace is another fine two-drop, as the First Strike ability almost always lets him attack into our opponent's board, and the Hexproof from Black is a nice little addition against a lot of removal. Raptor Companion and Knight of New Benalia are a one-two punch of 3-power creatures that come out early and hit hard.
Finally, daring to touch the 3-drop slot is Benalish Marshall. He's our only 3-drop, but he's quite important. He buffs all our creatures, giving him some effectively-hasted damage, and he makes our early-game creatures big enough to either trade or eat our opponent's mid-game creatures. When we start casting multiple copies of him, things just get nasty.
While our noncreature spells may be varied, they're actually very similar in what we're trying to do with them. They either remove our opponent's smaller creatures that they're hoping to trade off with ours, or they buff our creatures to either save them in combat or protect them from removal.
Arrester's Zeal and Moment of Triumph both buff our creatures either to allow them to eat an opponent's creature in combat or to get in a few more points of damage. Against red removal, they'll sometimes save our creatures as well, though for the creatures with 1 toughness, it will generally only work against Shock. Against removal, Adamant Will is much more effective at saving our creatures. The buff might be useful for damage, but the important part of the card is the indestructible buff.
We need to keep creatures out of our way, so we've got some of our own removal in the way of Isolate and Baffling End. Both fit the deck well, as they're cheap to cast and care only about converted mana cost, allowing us to keep control of the early game.
Land-wise we're mostly plains, as you'd expect from a mono-white deck, but we're also running some Field of Ruins to deal with nonbasics like Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin. A nice little addition as well is the two Memorial to Glory, which helps us find just a little more damage when we're flooding out or top-decking.
I was able to play against just about every deck out there except control. For whatever reason, people just didn't feel like pulling out the ol' Teferi online. I didn't mind too much, though, as I've personally never enjoyed playing against control.
Against some of the Gruul Aggro lists, this deck did pretty well. Granted, the games were a bit reliant on the draw, as when my opponent was able to play big creatures every turn, it was mostly hopeless for me. Our creatures can hit pretty hard early on, but we'd rather not trade them off and around turn 4 is when other decks can start playing creatures that easily outclass all of ours. Something that was really nice was surprising the opponent with a main-phase Arrester's Zeal and having a Raptor fly over their blockers for the last 5 damage and the win.
Unfortunately, for most other matchups, my experience was less than stellar. With so few methods of interaction, mono-blue was able to fly over us or get unblockable damage and draw tons of counterspells to keep us from developing our own board. It was a pretty hopeless matchup, surpassed only by mono-red. Mono red had Goblin Chainwhirler, which absolutely devastates this deck with all its 1-toughness creatures. Also, their burn doubled as removal, allowing them to either run us out of creatures or end the game ultra-fast. Benalish Marshall was best in this matchup, as he could save our creatures from removal, but he himself was only three toughness and therefore vulnerable to a lot of the red removal.
The midrange matchups were hit-or-miss, depending on the draws. Sometimes I hit the ground running and closed it out before they were able to stabilize, and sometimes they got out creatures early and had removal to back it up.
Being a budget deck, suggesting changes is a bit different than usual. It's not as much about finding the best card for the slot as it is about finding the best card that's also cheap. That said, there's a few cards I'd suggest changing.
The first noticeable place where this version of white weenies separates itself from a tournament list is the one-drop slot. Legion's Landing is popular here, but as that's 4-5 dollars apiece, it's not a viable option. Instead, I'd suggest a full 4 of Dauntless Bodyguard. Like Skymarcher, this guy has 2 power on turn 1 and he has a secondary ability of protecting your best creature if you're not playing him turn 1. At uncommon, he's not expensive at all.
For two-drops, I really think we need to stay away from 1-toughness creatures, as it exposes them to Chainwhirler and our +2/+2 buffs can't save them from a Lightning Strike. Silverbeak Griffin is a great attacker, as flying lets it attack against most creatures and it still has 2 toughness. Sunhome Stalwart is another great choice, since first strike pushes it past most early creatures. Unfortunately, we can't make much use of Mentor, though. Perhaps if we buff her pre-combat, but it's a corner case.