Vedalken Winds

Posted in Building on a Budget on June 18, 2004

By Nate Heiss

For the many of you who have taken time to respond to me via email - fear not, your concerns and ideas are heard (or read as the case may be). Many readers are eager to send in budget creations of their own, and some spark my interest enough to write about. This week's deck comes from a fellow who identified himself only as the mysterious "Rubba Ducky".

Well, Rubba Ducky, I salute you.

Here is what he had to say:

Dear Nate,
Bear with me. I have just come up with the greatest idea for a deck. It involves two crap rares that when comboed together produce a wicked combo. They are Vedalken Archmage and Words of Wind. Here's how it works. Play 0 costing artifact, instead of drawing a card each player returns a permanent, in your case that Welding Jar or Ornithopter. Rinse and repeat until you are the only one with permanents. It looks like this.

4x Seat of the Synod
4x Vault of Whispers
4x Darksteel Citadel
4x Glimmervoid
3x Island

4x Vedalken Archmage
4x Ornithopter
4x Frogmite
4x Myr Enforcer
4x Arcbound Ravager
4x Disciple of the Vault

4x Talisman of Dominance
4x Words of Wind
4x Welding Jar
2x Chrome Mox
3x Blinkmoth Urn

Oh the possibilities. Combo with Retract and Brain Freeze and dare I say it... Mindless Desire. The possibilities are endless. Also you could easily cut out the Ravager build for another aggressive cheaper build.

On a final note I would like to mention some Myr madness combo mana producing Myrs with Lightning Greaves, Patriarch's Bidding and Krark-Clan Ironworks. End with a Fireball, it's all fun.

-- Rubba Ducky

I responded back saying that I liked his idea and was going to build a budget deck around it with some changes so it would actually be a budget deck (I am sure many of you would not take kindly to Moxen and Glimmervoids). I kept the deck at 12 rares, but they are all low price. The result looked like so:

Building on a Budget: Vedalken Winds

Download Arena Decklist


Words of Wind
Vedalken Archmage

Deck Strategy

The goal of this deck is to lock up all of your opponent's permanents in their hand, making them entirely incapable of doing anything particularly useful. It achieves this goal through Words of Wind, Vedalken Archmage, and an artifact that it can play for free. First, activate Words of Wind, then play the artifact. This will trigger the Archmage's ability that will then be replaced by the bounce effect of Words of Wind. Simply pay 1 mana to bounce and return the free artifact that you just played back into your hand. This translates into returning as many of your opponent's permanents as you have free mana. After a turn of doing this, your opponent can kiss their chances goodbye.

I wanted to add a little more depth to the deck so that it would work well even if you didn't draw an Archmage. Chittering Rats and Nekrataal come to the rescue. If you have an advantageous position via creatures, using Words of Wind on your Chittering Rats every turn (via draw step) can ensure that your upper hand doesn't change for a while. Using the Wind on Nekrataal will ensure that nothing too nasty threatens you (except perhaps a large Arcbound Ravager... can't solve everything! If you are afraid of this, just use Green with Viridian Shaman instead). Pulse of the Grid can give you a much slower way to bounce your opponent's board, but it's still quite effective. You are pretty much guaranteed to get the pulse back since your net hand size will be -1 before the pulse checks hand sizes. You replace the drawing two, but you still have to discard the one, then you get the pulse back. This is particularly effective with 0 cards in hand.

Tips on Playing the Deck

  • Pulse of the Grid is an instant - this allows you to be tricky with Words of Wind, returning things at times your opponent might not expect, or even during their upkeep if need be.
  • Don't underestimate the beating power of a rat tag team of 2 power guys. They might be unimpressive, but they still get the job done!
  • Don't play out all of your artifacts if you do not need to - it is better to save them for when you draw an Archmage if possible!
  • Generally, it is a better idea to play your Myrs before your Talismans if you only have 2 available mana, unless you can Thoughtcast with the Talisman after you play it.
Pulse of the Grid

Watch for opportunities.

Adding Money to the Deck

Taking a page out of Rubba Ducky's book, Chrome Mox and Glimmervoids would help this deck. Also, if you are making a paper version of this deck there are a few Fifth Dawn cards that fit nicely, one being Pentad Prism (quickly becoming one of my favorite Fifth Dawn cards) and another being Serum Visions. I would almost recommend taking out some land for those.

There are lots of cool cards you can add if you are just looking to have fun with the deck - just look out for any interesting 'comes into play' effects! If you want to play with older cards, any card that comes into play and draws a card will let you do tricks without the Archmage, like Wall of Blossoms (but you will need lots of mana to do it multiple times).

Until next time, may your Tradewinds be strong enough to bounce a mountain.

- Nate Heiss
NateHeiss on Magic Online

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