Old School Budget – Part 2

NOTA DEL AUTOR: Si buscas este artículo en castellano, lo puedes encontrar aquí:


Hello again! If I recall it correctly, in the last article I told you that a lot of people approached me on Twitter about how they could start playing Old School without expending much money, and I proposed one deck of each colour. You can see it here:


But the best colours were missing so here we have the best and most effective budget decks on Old School:


This deck started with Alpha, with Magic itself: small creatures, great removal and Crusades to grow them all. Is a very cheap deck that works very well. Is synergic, it has a great curve and a lot of answers for opponents permanents.

As you can see, this deck is practically full in fourth black bordered, that makes it beautiful and at the same time very affordable to our pockets. If you want it cheaper, you only have to buy it white bordered. The deck is very simple, a whopping 20 creatures to go for the throat, all of them with great cost/strength ratio, and with some abilities too. They are distributed well in the curve, with Crusade to make them bigger.

To support this army, we have the best removal spells of the format: Swords to plowshares and Disenchant. Blue is the best color overall, but in Old School the best removal is white. We have some land destruction too, for when the match is controlled: Armageddon. If you are winning drop the bomb and the match is yours for sure. If things go wrong, we have Balance to balance things.

Mana base is easy, we have Mishras to attack and Strip mines to win time, all the rest being plains to cast all our spells. As you can see, deck is great and the strategy is simple, so to make todays article more spicy we are proposing some cards to change the deck or make it better.

The first card I propose is Land Tax. They are not cheap (about 15€ the white border ones) but is a direct card advantage: less lands on your deck = more gas. I would not advise playing more than 2-3 because you only want one on the table. Combined with Armaggedon can be explosive and funny (for you) because your deck can work with 2-3 plains that you already have in your hand thanks to Land Tax.

Next card I propose is a creature that will make delight of the control players. It’s called Preacher, and it does exactly what its text says: controls an opponent’s creature as it remains tapped. This creature is seeing a lot of play on UW control decks and we can play it on the main or on the side (King Suleiman is played too but is too expensive). Although his price has rose, is a very fun card to play.

So if you love aggro, this deck is your sure choice, but for the control lovers here is he only and authentic…


This is for me the best monocolour deck of the format, for a long way. I have played it to great results, and I always have it in the backpack for our leagues to lend it to anyone who wants to play and is new to the format or forgot his deck at home. The deck I have now is this:

You have seen that I love Fourth black bordered, being as it is a cheap and beautiful collection. This deck is nuts, it has everything you can ask to a control lover:

  • Discard? Check
  • Kills? Check
  • Creatures? Check
  • Land destruction? Check
  • Life gain? Check
  • Tutors? Check

In summary, hand and board control. Creatures are cheap for all the abilities they have, for example, the hypnotic spectre is a win if it survives a few turns. And the deck is cheap, being the most expensive card Demonic tutor (17€) and the playset of sinkholes (40€). The best start of this deck is to play discard spells. It is important to note that both Hymn and Mind twist discard cards AT RANDOM so we can luckily take out all the lands from his hand and win ASAP. It’s not very difficult to take two lands off the hand, then Sinkhole or strip another one and ride a knight to the victory.

But this deck is not perfect, it has disadvantages:

  1. It needs a lot of black mana. There will be matches that we lose because we only draw colorless Mishras and Strips, and we need at least two swamp to work.
  2. Due to the colour pie, Black has no removal for artifacts or enchantments. Yes, we have a lot of kills and creature control, but we are sold to an Abyss. That’s why we rely heavily in artifacts. In the deck above I play to Nevynirral’s disk main to deal with things like this.

As you have seen, a cheap and easy deck (I made it for 60€ without sinkholes), but we are now looking to make it better or at least different, so what cards can we change? A creature that never sees play in Old School and I think is very great is Cuombajj Witches.

Obviously, if you put in this creature, you have to take out the 1 resistance knights because they are going to die. I love this creature in more controllish shell, is a great blocker and it pings the opponent too. Against creature decks is very effective because it kills all the critters, and against control decks you normally would have more life than them and with this witches you won’t need to play the combat phase.

Another option is to go all in and play the “Black Weenie” version, as seen with the previous deck. Here you have some ideas:

Okey, so you now see how it works. The problem here is that the white version is probably superior, due to the removal. So if you want a Weenie, you should probably play the other white deck. But if you already own a Monoblack and you wanna try and experiment something different go for it! Old School is about having fun and not about winning.

Here ends this series of two articles. I hope you really enjoyed them. For the next time I am going all in on one Old School deck with SB guide and all the pro stuff, to diversify the things I write about. Until the next article, play budget and enjoy white border! Remember you can hit me up on twitter (@diliz13) for anything you want.

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