mtgUK Standard Budget Deckbuilding Competition – Win £100! by Christopher Cooper

mtgUK Standard Budget Deckbuilding Competition – Win £100! by Christopher Cooper

Welcome back one and all, unless, of course, this is your first time reading any of my articles in which case, welcome!

Today’s article is going to be a little bit different to the rest of the series so far. For a start, we won’t be looking at Legacy today, and there’s also a brand new competition.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, will be to build a Standard deck on my usual Conjured Currency budget.

This competition is open to everyone, to take part you simply need to:

  • Build the best Standard legal deck for under £100.
  • We will award bonus points for creative and original designs.
  • Your deck should be a legal Standard deck of at least 60 cards and a sideboard consisting of 15 cards.
  • Price your cards using the website.

Don’t worry about prices for basic lands, we assume you’ll have those, and if not we’ll chuck those in for free for you cause we’re nice like that.

Once you’ve done all that, please email us your deck list submission to with “Standard budget deck competition” in the subject field by 11.59p.m. on the 24th November (competition closing date).

Please make sure that the deck is under £100 at the time of submission. If you can include a short paragraph about how the deck works (if its not obvious) then that’d help too.

There will be cards that are out of stock, and you may be interested to know that we offer a Restock Request service which will help. You can find the Restock Request and the Price Match Promise feature in the description area of each item listing. When you submit a Restock Request, we will restock the item and update the website as quickly as possible. We will also reply to you and let you know of the update.

MTG Restock Request Banner

There’s no limit on entries per person, but we do ask that you don’t send in hundreds each. We can only read so many before our brains turn to mush.

“But what’s in it for me?” I hear you cry.

Well, the creator of the best deck, as judged by our panel of experts (and myself) will win £100 in store credit at That’s right guys, there’s £100 here up for grabs so get your creative juices going!

mtgUK Standard Deck Design Competition Banner

To get those juices going straight away I’ve written come up with a deck myself.

Mill is always a popular casual win condition, but has never really been a top tier strategy. There are, as always, a few exceptions to this rule, but they tend to be one-shot wins such as Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Brain Freeze. We did see a little bit mill in a recent Standard format with Jace, Memory Adept and Nephalia Drownyard but it doesn’t tend to be all that popular due to it not really advancing your gameplan until you actually win with it.

To build this sort of deck we will need a strong control shell with ways of generating card advantage and nullifying our opponents’ plays. We’ll be looking at Phenax, God of Deception as our win condition, with backup of some big walls and Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver to back it up.

We’ll want some way of controlling our draws to make sure we get what we need when we need it. Omenspeaker and Sigiled Starfish both fill a good role here, whilst Disciple of Deceit can help us find what we need when we need it, with Phenax enabling a stream of untaps to tutor with. The deck hasn’t been optimally built around the Disciple, and I’m sure that with a bigger budget and more time to fine tune the list it could be made into a much more potent force. For now, however, he’s a fair roleplayer that can do a lot for us in the right situation.

Our other two creatures are Disowned Ancestor and Wall of Frost. Wall of Frost gives us a very strong blocker that the majority of creatures in the format will struggle to best without evasion of some kind. Disowned Ancestor is a fantastic one-drop to gum up the ground early and grow larger as and when needed. He can even get in a few points of damage of offence if needed.

These creatures should help us gum up the ground enough to allow us to be more selective with our removal to get the best value out of it.

Phenax, God of Deception banner

We want a few ways of dealing with multiple creatures at once. I’ve split these up a bit in the main deck with Drown in Sorrow able to take care of the small things in aggro decks whilst keeping our larger creatures alive and Extinguish All Hope leaving few other creatures around that we can’t deal with.

Our spot removal is similarly split. Murderous Cut is one of the more efficient removal spells in the format and we can easily abuse the delve on this in later stages of the game, leaving us able to keep up mana when we need to do something else on the same turn. Unfortunately it can be difficult to cast earlier in the game, so a split of this and Bile Blight can keep the early game under control and kill the bigger things we need to later on. Fortunately we have our scryers to make sure we get what we want when we need it.

This split also allows us to add in an extra few delve cards to gain some more value from the graveyard. Dig Through Time would be perfect for this role digging us to what we need, but sadly it’s a little bit too far out of our price range for our budget deck. Fortunately we have a similar card we can call on for a fraction of the cost. Yes, its everybody’s favourite boogieman-du-jour, Treasure Cruise.

Our final few spots in the main deck are taken up with a few Dissolves and some Aetherspouts. Aetherspouts can really stunt the development of an aggro deck, and you can effectively give yourself multiple Time Walks as you force your opponent into some difficult choices.

Temple of Deceit banner

The lands, as always, need some proper attention. There are a few options open to us on this front. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is with Dismal Backwater, which adds a hint of lifegain but more importantly both of our colours. I think this means a full playset.

Polluted Delta is a part of a cycle that is very important at the moment in Standard. Whilst it gives our choice of one of our two colours it also allows us to “reset” our scrys when we’ve scryed away cards we now want as well as adding a small amount of thinning to our deck. Unfortunately, the price of it means that we are only able to afford two of them in the deck.

Temple of Deceit is our final dual land. A slight squeezing of the belt leaves us with only three of these, but its another great way to get some value out of our lands with a free scry. An even split of of Islands and Plains should round us out nicely.

The sideboard gives us a few tailoring options, adapting the removal to make sure we can get exactly what we need and a few more counters and discard spells for specific matchups.

This leaves us with:

Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
Phenax, God of Deception
Sigiled Starfish
Wall of Frost
Disowned Ancestor
Disciple of Deceit
Treasure Cruise
Murderous Cut
Bile Blight
Drown in Sorrow
Extinguish all Hope
Temple of Deceit
Polluted Delta
Dismal Backwater


Extinguish all Hope
Drown in Sorrow
Silence the Believers
Stain the Mind

As always, this comes in at under £100, at £98.76. These prices were correct at the time of writing and may change between writing, publication and you reading this.

But now its your turn.

To give you a little bit of a spark, during the next few weeks we’ll be running a series of articles with our own writers takes on decks for this challenge, to help spur you into action.

If you have any queries or questions then please don’t hesitate to ask us either in the comments below or on Facebook here –

Good luck and happy brewing.

Chris Cooper

Update: You can find the winner of this competition here.

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