Kai Budde's Deck

Posted in Event Coverage on September 2, 2015

By Kim Eikefet

Kai Budde won 2000 Pro Tour Chicago, but still he has to go to Grand Prix events to try and collect Pro Tour points. "The race is much tighter this year. I just want to be in the top 6 of the Pro Tour Player of the Year race at the end of the season to make the Invitational. People are going nuts these days with points," Kai says.

Chances are that Kai might leave Gothenburg with a few points though. After the people with byes had tested for a while, rumors said that the German had a killer deck. Kai himself didn't deny the fact that his deck was good. "The card pool was amazing, this is the best sealed deck I've had in a long time," he says.

This is the card pool that Kai was handed:

  • Basic Land
    • 6 Forest
    • 6 Island
    • 6 Mountain
    • 6 Plains
    • 6 Swamp
  • Nonbasic Land
    • 1 Forsaken City
    • 1 Irrigation Ditch
  • Artifact
    • 1 Alloy Golem
    • 1 Bloodstone Cameo
  • Gold
    • 1 Armored Guardian
    • 1 Coalition Victory
    • 1 Galina's Knight
    • 1 Horned Cheetah
    • 2 Lava Zombie
    • 1 Ordered Migration
    • 1 Simoon
    • 1 Steel Leaf Paladin
    • 1 Terminate
    • 1 Vodalian Zombie
    • 1 Wings of Hope
  • Green
    • 1 Amphibious Kavu
    • 1 Explosive Growth
    • 1 Gaea's Might
    • 1 Kavu Climber
    • 1 Llanowar Elite
    • 1 Pincer Spider
    • 1 Primal Growth
    • 1 Pygmy Kavu
    • 1 Root Greevil
    • 1 Skyshroud Blessing
    • 1 Sulam Djinn
    • 1 Tranquility
    • 1 Wallop
    • 1 Wandering Stream
  • Blue
    • 1 Allied Strategies
    • 1 Dream Thrush
    • 1 Escape Routes
    • 1 Exclude
    • 1 Planeswalker's Mischief
    • 1 Repulse
    • 1 Sea Snidd
    • 1 Shifting Sky
    • 1 Sisay's Ingenuity
    • 1 Tower Drake
    • 1 Traveler's Cloak
    • 1 Vodalian Merchant
    • 1 Zanam Djinn
  • White
    • 1 Disciple of Kangee
    • 1 Glimmering Angel
    • 1 Holy Day
    • 1 Honorable Scout
    • 1 Pollen Remedy
    • 1 Prison Barricade
    • 1 Restrain
    • 1 Rewards of Diversity
    • 1 Surprise Deployment
  • Black
    • 1 Addle
    • 1 Agonizing Demise
    • 1 Bog Down
    • 1 Bog Initiate
    • 1 Crypt Angel
    • 1 Death Bomb
    • 1 Hypnotic Cloud
    • 1 Maggot Carrier
    • 1 Nightscape Apprentice
    • 1 Nightscape Battlemage
    • 1 Phyrexian Battleflies
    • 1 Phyrexian Slayer
    • 1 Ravenous Rats
    • 1 Sinister Strength
  • Red
    • 1 Flametongue Kavu
    • 1 Kavu Aggressor
    • 1 Kavu Recluse
    • 1 Keldon Mantle
    • 1 Magma Burst
    • 1 Scarred Puma
    • 1 Scorching Lava
    • 1 Slimy Kavu
    • 1 Turf Wound

"My strategy is to build a black, red and blue deck whenever possible, and if not, then I'll just look at the cards and see what I can build. Usually, blue, red and black is the most obvious color combination. The cards play very well together, and the most powerful commons are in those colors," Kai says.

He didn't find it hard to construct his deck. Kai had some very powerful cards in red, blue and black, and the only decision he had to make was whether he should go for red or blue as a main color. In the end, he went for the blue. "The blue cards seemed to be more solid. If I had splashed it, I would have played Repulse, Zanam Djinn and Exclude, but then I would have to play Slimy Kavu and probably Kavu Recluse. My mana would have been better, but I just wanted to have some more powerful cards," Kai says.

This is the deck Kai constructed:

Kai Budde

Download Arena Decklist

"I had to play a couple of sub-optimal cards like Dream Thrush and Nightscape Apprentice because of the mana and because I needed something to gate two Lava Zombies. I could be a problem me sitting there with two Lava Zombies. But if I get a turn two Ravenous Rats, then I should be in a good condition," Kai smiles. He has a lot of combos in his deck - Crypt Angel along with Lava Zombie and the Ravenous Rats, the Nightscape Apprentice and of course, the Flametongue Kavu. "I have lots of cards that interact well together. I can play the Flametongue Kavu endless times, Repulse it, gate it, get it back from the graveyard . . ."

In spite of his good deck, Kai doesn't like the format. "Sealed deck is so much about getting the right cards, and a lot about mana screw. If the four-color decks get the right mana, they probably win, and if they don't, they lose," Kai says, referring to the block being heavy on gold cards, which means that most players need to go for at least three colors in order to not have a inferior deck. The German, with his three-colored deck, hopes that his deck will carry him to a 6-1 finish. His deck is very good, but knowing about a "perfect deck" with Void, Blazing Specter and Tahngarth, he knows that he can lose, too.

Kai is currently fourth in the Pro Tour Player of the Year race. After winning 2000 Pro Tour Chicago, he had thought that his top 32 at 2001 Pro Tour Los Angeles would be enough to be in the lead, but both Mike Pustilnik and Kamiel Cornelissen made repeat Top 8 performances and they finished first and second, pushing Kai down from the throne. Now, he's hoping to win some points in order to get closer to the ones in the lead. So who will make the top 8 of the Grand Prix? "The usual suspects. With only seven rounds, the people with three byes will do very well. Olivier [Ruel], Dominik [Hothow], Ryan [Fuller] of course. Me, I hope. My sealed deck is a very good start."

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