Posted in Building on a Budget on May 14, 2004

By Nate Heiss

Before I kick off this article, I want to make a few comments about last week's article (Weird Puzzle). That article contained an error where I stated that you could pay life with Zur's Weirding to veto your own draw step. It turns out that you cannot do this, since the card says "any other player may pay 2 life" with the "other" meaning "not you". You can still prevent decking with Words of Worship – which is a good add to the deck anyhow since it goes right along with the combo. I recommend trying the Words of Worship out. Thank you to the infinite amount of people who emailed me about this mistake…readers love to catch a good mistake.

Back to the task at hand…attacking.

If you know me, you know that I love the Juggernaut. I was never a huge fan of the card back in the day, but somewhere between the time it was banned and the time it was reprinted, I found love for the tank that could not be stopped by any walls. Back in the day there used to be this 'broken' combo – you put Invisibility on the Juggernaut, and then it could not be stopped. Come to think of it, Wizards reprinted the entire combo – it's a shame that it was never really any good. The thought of invisible Juggernauts still brings a smile to my face anyway.

Savage Beating
Today's deck is about fatties and giant growths. When a new player starts to grow more competitive and abandons their Timmy decks, this is inevitably one of the decks along the long road to playing with competitive decks. The idea is to play large creatures and smash your opponent – but you have some mana accelerators to help you cast your fatties. Without those accelerators, your deck might still be mistaken for a Timmy deck, but that's why its part of the learning curve. Truth be told, if you can get away with it, smashing face with a bunch of fatties is a lot of fun. This deck has plenty of fatties and smashing power but it brings a little extra spice to the table with one very special card…Savage Beating.

This deck only has 4 rares, and they are all a Savage Beating. Best named card ever? I think so.

Building on a Budget: Must Attack! (less than 30 tickets)

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This deck is very cheap to build (almost all commons and uncommons) and teaches the lesson of large creatures and trample…and maybe Double Strike. While the deck can certainly win through old fashioned beatings, the goal is to cast Savage Beating with some sort of trampler in play – via Vitality Charm or Predator's Strike. This deck makes use of Hunted Wumpus, a card not often seen in decks these days, for fear of what the opponent might put into play. This largely is not a concern, since the Wumpus is plenty big to handle most threats. The worst thing you will probably see out of someone is a Siege-Gang Commander. It is the same mana cost as a Juggernaut for all intents and purposes and it is considerably larger. As much as I like big jugs, The Wumpus is most likely better….albeit much less aggressive.

One of the cooler features about this deck is Savage Beatings' interaction with the mana creatures – namely Elvish Aberration. If you do not attack with the Aberration, you might be able to cast Savage Beating gaining an extra attack step and untapping your creatures (perhaps with entwine). Since it untaps, you can attack with it in your second Attack Step. Mana creatures like this can help you ramp up to your beatings while adding to the punch line.

Tips on playing the deck:

  • You can get a little extra mileage out of your cards when you use a Predator's Strike or Vitality Charm on a Viridian Joiner before casting Savage Beating for the second attack step. The Strike actually turns into a slight mana accelerator.
  • All Savage Beating tricks aside, it is often best to landcycle the Aberration.
  • Always play your Hunted Wumpus after you attack, unless you are worried they are going to put something into play that you might need more than your Wumpus to handle.
  • Fangren Hunter's best use is in a Savage Beating with double strike…its pretty much the entire reason it made the deck. Use it well.
  • Be very aggressive with your fatties – attack when able.

Adding More Money to the Deck:

I am conflicted about saying this, but Okk might be a good add to this deck. Normally I wouldn't pass up a chance to put Okk in a deck, but…well, yeah. If he's ever going to be good, perhaps this is the time. Arc-Slogger is always good in these types of decks. Sword of Fire and Ice might be a good add, since it would give the deck a little bit of evasion plus removal – not to mention it can help out with the Joiner.

Birds of Paradise is an autoadd in just about every Green deck these days, and this one is no exception. Mana acceleration is key for the fatties to shine. There aren't many good cheap creatures for a deck like this – Wild Mongrel (one of the best creatures ever made) comes to mind, but it is no longer legal for standard play. Just whatever you do, don't add Invisibility.

Until next time, may your balls of lighting be bloodlusted and berserked.

-Nate Heiss
Nate Heiss on Magic Online

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