Building on a Budget Comes Unhinged

Posted in Building on a Budget on November 12, 2004

By Nate Heiss

For those that weren't aware, for the two weeks of Unhinged previews we're actually doing a preview in every single column on the site (it's Unhinged, no rules!). Well, okay, Mark Rosewater gets two cards, but I guess that's understandable. So, for this week, I'll be taking a departure from my normal column and presenting you with some of the crazy goodness that is Unhinged. But, as you'll see, not so much a departure as you might think…

As a budget player, when you walk into your local store do you shy away from those guys that have all the rares? You know, those fellows who have Time Walks and Moxen pouring out of their binders like an avalanche of black-bordered goodness? Do their power cards frighten you?

No more!

What about those guys with enough rare lands in their deck to supply a booster draft? Do you cower from the guys with pockets stuffed with Arcbound Ravagers and Birds of Paradise?

No longer!

It is time to level the playing field. Fear the gold expansion symbol no longer. Budget players unite and look to the ‘Un' for the answer. Start enjoying the simple life of attacking with Goblin Striker all over again.



Gets out the oldest, toughest rares…without leaving streaks! Say goodbye, Birdie! Say goodbye Ravager, Nexus, and Glimmervoid! As the budget columnist, the guys figured I would be the most appropriate person to bring this card to the light of day. I really loved Unglued, and Unhinged is looking even better. This card is what many budget players dream about – a way to defeat all the rares in one nice little package.

Of course, Unhinged has the last laugh. Notice the expansion symbol.

Yep, it is rare. Very funny Mark, you are so tricky.

Two genres of decks this card could easily fit into would be Affinity and Red/Black landkill. I decided that the landkill deck would be more fun to write about, so I went on doing so, with a catch: many of the cards predate rarity symbols, thus you may have to convince your opponent that they truly are not rares. I thought that this would be a fun twist, considering that Rare-B-Gone is a rare itself.

Thus I present to you the Retro-goodness of the Un-Budget deck!

Building on a Budget: Un-Rare, Retro Style (about 20 peanut butter sandwiches)

Download Arena Decklist
Sorcery (7)
3 Befoul 4 Rare-B-Gone
Instant (2)
2 Terminate
Enchantment (4)
4 Desolation
Land (24)
10 Mountain 14 Swamp
60 Cards

This deck is a mean one! Many people have never experienced the sadistic glee that is using cards like Desolation and Army Ants. The plan is to spend the first few turns casting little men to beat down with while you spend the later turns blowing up mana! Since the deck is retro style, you get some really cool guys to work with; Jackal Pup, Shadow Guildmage, and Mogg Fanatic at one mana, and Blind Creeper arrives as the heavy cavalry at two mana. All the creatures above two mana are dedicated to blowing up lands (Army Ants and Avalanche Riders).

This deck has 14 cards that destroy lands, and that is not including the Rare-B-Gone (take that Mr. Fancy Mana)! Also, 8 of these cards (Army Ants and Desolation) can destroy multiple lands. The symmetrical effect of those cards is fine, since you will have already cast your attackers before you start blowing lands up. This means you will be prepared for the mana shortage in the mid game while your opponent struggles to keep up.

Tips on Playing the Deck

  • Desolations stack up. That means if you have two out, people will have to sacrifice two lands at the end of the turn instead of one.
  • Target non-Rare lands when possible. This way Rare-B-Gone can clean house on all of those Blinkmoth Nexi, City of Brass, or Tundras that your opponent might have.
  • Try to get Army Ants running as soon as possible - it is one of the feature cards in the deck.
  • Try to play against people with lots of rares! This is very important if you want to bash them over the head with your Un-power!
  • Have a lot of fun! Sure, your opponent will be grumpy when they have no lands, but your Jackal Puppy will be very happy!

Adding Money to the Deck

One way you can have even more fun is by adding cards with ambiguous rarity. There are many cards in Magic that have been reprinted at different rarity levels. Sengir Vampire is a good example. Though the Unhinged FAQ doesn't come out until next week, I'm guessing you could probably play with the uncommon version from the old basic set and have it survive Rare-B-Gone, while the Torment version would die (since it's rare). Other great cards to do this with are Strip Mine from the basic set and Underworld Dreams from Legends. You could also go for adding cards that look like they should be rare, such as Sinkhole or Library of Alexandria. Yes Library of Alexandria. It is an uncommon. Go figure? Needless to say, if you play Rare-B-Gone in Vintage, you will have lots of fun conversations about what cards are actually rare, regardless of how much they cost.

Other interesting Rare to Unrare cards:

Shatterstorm (rare in Antiquities)
Pyroclasm (Rare in Portal)
Hurricane (eventually made rare)
Sengir Vampire
Serra Angel
City of Brass (originally an uncommon in Arabian Nights)
Dwarven Pony (just kidding! Dwarven Pony always was a rare. Can you imagine the consequences of making this guy uncommon?)

Until next time, Blacker Lotus!

-Nate Heiss
BuildingOnABudget and NateHeiss on Magic Online

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