Posted in Building on a Budget on April 23, 2004

By Nate Heiss

It's almost the end of Sorcery Week, and I wanted to get a little spell slinging action in. You might be asking yourself – what is so special about sorceries? From a layman's view they seem to be one-shot spells that are worse than instants. The real power of sorceries comes in at the R&D level of the game. Since they have the restriction of only being played at certain times, sorceries end up giving you more bang for your buck over other spells. They can be more powerful at a lower mana cost because of the added restrictions. To showcase the power of sorceries, I built an entire Budget deck out of sorceries and a few mana artifacts. Get ready to sling some spells….

Buy time with life and card advantage…

This deck uses Black and Red, the colors with the most powerful sorceries. Many of the sorceries will kill a creature and give you some other advantage, be it life or card advantage. For instance, if you kill a creature with Sever Soul, you will gain life. If you kill two creatures by splitting a Fireball or casting Pyroclasm, you get card advantage.

This deck will systematically destroy all of your opponent's threats and either kill them with direct damage or a large Demon token…created from a Sorcery (and the only rare in the deck), Promise of Power. This deck plays a lot of mana and Promise of Power can make use of it. In general you don't want to miss land drops on any turn of the game, making your Fireballs and Consume Spirits into monster effects.

Building on a Budget: Sorcerer (under 30 Tickets)

Download Arena Decklist

That's right – all sorceries except for Chromatic Spheres and Talisman of Indulgence. You don't absolutely need the Spheres, but they make your Consume Spirits bigger and effectively make your deck smaller – a nice effect to have. As you can see, this deck is all about converting its mana into damage and creature kill. The deck is rather easy to play. Just kill every creature you see – using Barter in Blood, Pyroclasm, Sever Soul, and Slice and Dice before your other direct damage spells. You want to try and save Fireball and Consume Spirit for your opponent, and the same can be said for Volcanic Hammer at times as well.

The toughest decision you will have to make when playing this deck is when to use Barter in Blood. Sometimes it's obvious; they have two guys you want to kill and you just kill them. But, what if they have three creatures and two of them are not very threatening? What if they only have one guy? In the situation with three – try to use something like Pyroclasm or Slice and Dice to clear the way for your barter to hit the creature you really want to kill. If they only have one guy, but he is very threatening, sometimes you have to suck it up and just Barter the one guy away – just don't take a hit and expect them to play another guy.

Tips on Playing the Deck

  • Save your Chromatic Spheres to make extra Black mana for your Consume Spirit unless you need to dig into your deck for something.
  • It is rarely correct to use your first Promise of Power for a Demon – better to save that for the entwine on the second one. However, sometimes you cannot afford the life for the cards…hence why Sever Soul and Consume Spirit are very helpful in the deck.
  • Don't try and sandbag your Pyroclasm – if you wait too long to cast it you will end up taking unnecessary damage. Even at a 1 for 1, it's still a fine deal. You have so much creature removal in the deck that you will often be holding several of them long after all your opponent's creatures are dead.
  • Remember to tap your Talismans for Black mana when casting Consume Spirit – your net life gain is 0 but you deal 1 more point of damage.
  • Don't be afraid to cycle your Slice and Dice without killing anything – sometimes you just need the card.

Adding Money to the Deck

Extraplanar LensEven more power for your sorceries…

The first thing that cam be added is Bloodstained Mire – this will allow you to play even less Red mana and more Black for your Consume Spirits – At that point, you might even be able to run Extraplanar Lens (over the Chromatic Sphere). Decree of Pain can be swapped in for Slice and Dice, once again reducing the red commitment. At this point you can take out more red card for Soul Feast and Vicious Hunger – keeping only your Fireballs. Monoblack splashing Fireball with Extraplanar Lens means x=your dome.

This deck is simple, elegant, and straightforward. Show your friends the power of sorcery!

-Nate Heiss
Nate Heiss on Magic Online

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