Demonic Hordes

Posted in Building on a Budget on July 9, 2004

By Nate Heiss

Mwuahahaha, Bwahahahah! Muahabwuahaha!

I think my Demonic laughter needs work. Nonetheless, foolish mortals, Demon Week cannot end without a budget demon deck.

This deck will cost you no money to build…it will only cost the measly price of…


Mwuahahaa! Bwuahahaha!

Ok, I'm done with the demonic laughter now, really. I promise this time.

Power without the price tag...

Demons have been lurking in the shadows for quite some time now – this is a good thing for those of you interested in building demon decks, because all the cards can be acquired quite cheaply. Even the mighty Promise of Power is only about 2 tickets each. Extraplanar Lens is also at an affordable 2 tickets, and Reiver Demon, Havoc Demon, and Grinning Demon saw their peak prices at that amount. This means that the budget deck builder can build their demon decks with all the bells and whistles.

I must admit, there is little that compares to the delight that is casting Reiver Demon. Demons definitely trump angels in every aspect. Who wants to swing with Akroma when you can duel with a Demonic Hordes? What has Serra Angel got on Lord of the Pit? Demons are neither fast nor efficient. They are the villains of Magic, and villains kill with style. Who needs to do exactly enough when you hold the mighty power of the underworld in your palm? Grinning Demon doesn't know how to hit for 20…it only knows how to hit for 24. Reiver Demon doesn't just want to be a scary giant flier – it wants to cast terror on every creature.

Don't mess with Demons. They don't have trumpets, they've got horns.

Building on a Budget: Demonic Hordes

Download Arena Decklist

This deck is very easy to play. Simply kill everything in sight with your removal, build up your mana base, and cast a large and in charge Demon. The only other creatures in the deck are Grimclaw Bats, and that is because they can take rather good advantage of the combination of large amounts of mana paired with similar amounts of life gain.

The best way to generate tons of mana is via Extraplanar Lens. Now be careful, your opponent might have a way to destroy the Lens, and if that happens you will end up with less mana than you started with. However, if the Lens stays in one piece you will have plenty of mana for all sorts of demonic mischief - and let's be honest here, caution has no place where we're going anyway! All of a sudden, the 8 mana Reiver Demon only requires a measly 4 lands. Your Consume Spirits also become quite large; you will often be able to defeat your opponent on the strength of these alone.

Grimclaw BatsAll you need is mana and life!

There are a lot of life gain cards in the deck between Vicious Hunger, Consume Spirit, and Essence Drain. All that helps offset the two Demon cards that eat away at your own life total. Promise of Power and Grinning Demon are risky cards to play. The Promise has an extremely powerful effect, but the Grinning Demon only beats in. I would be extra careful of playing the Grinning Demon against decks that can neutralize it without killing it. It would be really bad for you if the Grinning Demon had no one to attack but you. Barter in Blood can help this situation; it gives you a way to get rid of your own demons. Havoc Demon is another one that might be a good candidate to Barter in Blood away – if you are facing overwhelming odds, he turns your Barter in Blood into more of a Wrath of God. Of course, Reiver Demon is a Wrath of God all on his own…

Tips on playing the Deck

  • Don't underestimate the power of Grimclaw Bats – they are a good finisher. Sometimes you just have to pump 10 mana into those suckers and watch them go to town.
  • Defensive Grinning Demons are sometimes the way to go…losing 2 life a turn is better than if they were attacking you for 5 right?
  • In general, your first Promise of Power will always draw cards – try to entwine the second one.
  • At some point it might be a good idea to stop using Essence Drain on their creatures and save it for them as direct burn. The Demons can handle the creatures on their own after a while.

Adding Money to the Deck

Solemn SimulacrumNot exactly demonic looking, but he does the job.

The best card to add to this deck is likely Solemn Simulacrum. This guy helps you stabilize the board a little while getting more land into play to cast your expensive demons. Wayfarer's Bauble would also be a good add once Fifth Dawn becomes legal online (this Monday!) and it's a common, so you won't be taking any pain there. In the current format there isn't much more you can do with Demons, but if you are playing with paper cards there are lots of cool demon cards from the past you can try out. I really like Demonic Hordes and Demonic Tutor. In general, I only build decks for current formats, but it would be fun to surprise your friends with a bunch of old school demons now and again.

Until next time, don't forget to feed your Hordes!

-Nate Heiss
NateHeiss on Magic Online

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