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 Post subject: Budget Dralnu
AgePosted: 2016-Jul-29 11:43 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
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I've lately been on a kick of taking semi-competitive/full competitive commanders and building budget decks from them. I don't have a working definition of "budget," just getting it as low as possible while still being fully functioning.

Today, my goal is to build Dralnu, Lich Lord. Currently clocking in at around $25, this deck is capable of packing a punch at the cost of running a slew of counter spells and generally being a pain in people's backsides. A while ago, I realized I've been shying away from running virtually any counter spells or any really offensive cards. My realization was that while I don't have to necessarily build a deck which is outright trying to make people's time miserable, I shouldn't not play whole classes of cards to entirely appease other players. Counter spells are going to happen. You don't have to like it, but I'm not going to stop playing just because of that.

My rant being over now, Dralnu is ridiculously easy to build and I've had some genuine fun playing it. Brian Weissman is the inspiration for this deck, as he has some Youtube videos of him playing his own 1v1 Dralnu deck (this one is for group play) and discussed with me very briefly about building Dralnu. And now, the decklist.

Instant (29)
1x AEtherize
1x Counterspell
1x Dismiss
1x Dissipate
1x Epiphany at the Drownyard
1x Exclude
1x Fact or Fiction
1x Far / Away
1x Forbidden Alchemy
1x Frantic Search
1x Geth's Verdict
1x Grim Return
1x Impulse
1x Kor Dirge
1x Misinformation
1x Murder
1x Murderous Cut
1x Mystical Teachings
1x Negate
1x Psychic Rebuttal
1x Ravenous Trap
1x Ray of Command
1x Reality Shift
1x Recoil
1x Reins of Power
1x Remove Soul
1x Silumgar's Command
1x Tragic Slip
1x Treacherous Urge

Sorcery (20)
1x AEther Snap
1x Ashes to Ashes
1x Compulsive Research
1x Concentrate
1x Dark Deal
1x Deadly Tempest
1x Diabolic Tutor
1x Extinguish All Hope
1x Extract from Darkness
1x Gruesome Encore
1x Icequake
1x Incremental Blight
1x Innocent Blood
1x Necromantic Summons
1x Phthisis
1x Rise from the Tides
1x Syphon Flesh
1x Tidings
1x Tyrant's Choice
1x Whispering Madness

Artifact (5)
1x Darksteel Ingot
1x Everflowing Chalice
1x Mind Stone
1x Sky Diamond
1x Thought Vessel

Creature (6)
1x Aeon Chronicler
1x Docent of Perfection
1x Lorthos, the Tidemaker
1x Pontiff of Blight
1x Skeletal Vampire
1x Sphinx of the Final Word

Enchantment (2)
1x Mystic Remora
1x Trail of Evidence

Land (37)
1x Dimir Aqueduct
1x Dimir Guildgate
1x Dreadship Reef
1x Ebon Stronghold
1x Evolving Wilds
14x Island
1x Svyelunite Temple
15x Swamp
1x Terramorphic Expanse
1x Vivid Creek


The core of this deck is kills spells and counter spells. You gain control of your board position by finding the correct time to play out Dralnu, keeping watch over people looking to exile your graveyard. Keep drawing cards all the time; your hand being full as often as possible is how you survive. As the game begins to roll into the mid-late portion, provide incentives for players to go after each other politically speaking ("Hey, I'll take out that blocker if you'll provide the damage"). Use your opponents cards against them with stuff like Nightveil Specter or Necromantic Summons. Once weakened, Skeletal Vampire and Lorthos, the Tidemaker will deal your opponents the last bit of damage you need to win.

Misinformation is a card I've always wanted to try out, and ideally it will do one of two things: screw up one player's draw by having them hit lands three turns in a row (or something like that), or using it politically to help out one opponent so they will be on your side for a moment. It may never end up playing out this way, but I want to see this first hand before I write it off.

I'm happy for other suggestions or anything you might have. Thanks for reading.

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Last edited by Segrus on 2016-Aug-18 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Budget Dralnu
AgePosted: 2016-Jul-31 1:55 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Murderous Cut is IMO the best black spot removal spell in the game. And actually, the amazing blue staple Rapid Hybridization is less than a nickel as well (although Pongify is significantly more expensive because ???).

Unless I can't read, it seems you're lacking in mass removal. Two pretty good budget options are Crux of Fate and Life's Finale, the latter of which I actually use in a lot of non-budget decks.

The biggest problem is that it seems you are light on win conditions. With all of the killing that you are doing, Grave Betrayal seems to be the kind of thing that would do very well in your deck. Sphinx of the Final Word also seems solid.

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 Post subject: Re: Budget Dralnu
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-01 8:07 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Murderous Cut is IMO the best black spot removal spell in the game. And actually, the amazing blue staple Rapid Hybridization is less than a nickel as well (although Pongify is significantly more expensive because ???).

Unless I can't read, it seems you're lacking in mass removal. Two pretty good budget options are Crux of Fate and Life's Finale, the latter of which I actually use in a lot of non-budget decks.

The biggest problem is that it seems you are light on win conditions. With all of the killing that you are doing, Grave Betrayal seems to be the kind of thing that would do very well in your deck. Sphinx of the Final Word also seems solid.

Murderous Cut is a really good removal card. I looked for it when I was going through cards, but I barely bought any of the Khans sets outside of dragons and lands, so I'll probably order one when I next get some cards.

Mass removal is missing somewhat. Crux of Fate might be one I'll have to get, I didn't realize it was so cheap monetarily. I've avoided Life's Finale though as I sometimes play over Skype, making it difficult to search my opponent's deck. I just searched for some other possibilities, and Deadly Tempest and Extinguish All Hope would be good alternates. I'll probably get these as well.

Win conditions are a little light. I don't know that I need many more, but I'll take this into consideration and see what I already have. Thank you for the suggestions.

Overall, what do you think of the deck? Feedback is one thing I get very little of, and since my aim is to show that good budget decks are possible it's good to know whether people care all that much.

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 Post subject: Re: Budget Dralnu
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-01 6:13 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Hex. Nuff said :twisted:

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I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
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In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
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 Post subject: Re: Budget Dralnu
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-01 10:47 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Antis wrote:
Hex. Nuff said :twisted:

I'm afraid of how often I'll draw the card and not have access to six individual targets. I want to love the card, don't get me wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Budget Dralnu
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-18 8:27 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
UPDATE

- Ultimate Price.........................................+ Murderous Cut
- Stronghold Discipline................................+ Deadly Tempest
- Nightveil Specter.....................................+ Docent of Perfection
- Stolen Goods..........................................+ Reins of Power
- Spoils of Blood........................................+ Extinguish All Hope
- Frost Titan.............................................+ Sphinx of the Final Word

So while the price tag has increased just slightly--$24 to $25--these changes should represent a noticeable increase in power. Many of the cards I've taken out have limited applications or just weren't that powerful. I really want to keep Nightveil Specter in, but I don't think he does enough good for the deck. Spoils of Blood is at best a finisher, but without ways to give it evasion or trample the low CMC means very little. Ultimate Price is getting upgraded to Murderous Cut, and Stronghold Discipline upgraded to Deadly Tempest. I'm expecting Docent of Perfection and Reins of Power to do considerable work offensively and defensively. Finally, Sphinx of the Final Word will have a much wider effect on the game than Frost Titan will. I appreciate the suggestions.

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 Post subject: Re: Budget Dralnu
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-18 12:59 pm 

Joined: 2016-Aug-15 1:21 pm
Age: Drake
As far as black/blue, one thing I noticed was no Frost Marsh, though I'm not sure if one land matters (But it is a snow land, so maybe that opens up options?). I would also recommend Echoing Truth as a token killer, and I would recommend it for any blue commander deck. If I remember right, Cast Through Time might be an idea.

I don't know if artifacts are enough of a problem to use Hurkyl's Recall, Scrounge, or Acquire, but those are all some ideas if you need something specifically for artifacts. My selection of blue outside of artifacts is limited to my luck, and black is the one color that I'm not very good with.

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Commanders:
-The Ur-Dragon-Five Color Dragon Tribal Deck
-Nekusar, the Mindrazer-Hardcore Mill Deck
-Nahiri, the Lithomancer-Monowhite Soldier/Equipment Deck
-Sharuum the Hegemon-Esper Artifact Themed Deck
-Karador, Ghost Chieftain-Kamigawa Spirit Reanimator Tribal Deck
-Zedruu the Greathearted-Predictability is Weakness Themed Deck
-Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist-Monogreen Land Based Deck


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 Post subject: Re: Budget Dralnu
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-19 7:32 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Drrakus wrote:
As far as black/blue, one thing I noticed was no Frost Marsh, though I'm not sure if one land matters (But it is a snow land, so maybe that opens up options?). I would also recommend Echoing Truth as a token killer, and I would recommend it for any blue commander deck. If I remember right, Cast Through Time might be an idea.

I don't know if artifacts are enough of a problem to use Hurkyl's Recall, Scrounge, or Acquire, but those are all some ideas if you need something specifically for artifacts. My selection of blue outside of artifacts is limited to my luck, and black is the one color that I'm not very good with.

There really hasn't been too many problems with getting the correct colors of mana, so I don't know that I necessarily need another land which tap for each color of mana I need. And there aren't enough snow-matters cards in these colors to be worth running a full set of snow lands (which would also be fairly expensive).

Hurkyl's Recall and Acquire a quite on the expensive side for this very budget deck. And if I thought I needed help against artifacts, I'd probably find something other than Scrounge (which isn't bad, just isn't that good either).

Setting aside the fact that Cast Through Time is also an expensive card, the CMC of it is just too much for this deck for its effect. It's competing against Sphinx of the Final Word and Lorthos, the Tidemaker which do much more for me towards winning the game. If there were a way to loop a Flashbacked card into exile with Rebound I'd do it in a heartbeat; however, Rebound only works if you cast the card from your hand. Thanks for reply though.

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