by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Magic: the Gathering's Apocalypse set has some interesting commons and uncommons, including Goblin Ringleader, Sylvan Messenger, Fire // Ice, and Gerrard's Verdict. But one card to definitely not overlook is an artifact called Dragon Arch.
For 5 mana, you are able to drop a multi-colored creature onto the battlefield for the cost of only a tap and 2 colorless mana. If you need another way to cheat Dragons into play, this is definitely it.
Interestingly enough, you'd expect a card like this to be bought out at some point with the amount of casual appeal it should have. The best Dragon cards, in particular, are multicolored. But you don't have to play Dragons to make it work. It can be any multicolored creature, and there are plenty of them out there. A mere 5 mana investment is easily worth what this card can do.
There aren't too many EDH / Commander decks that can't use Dragon Arch. With Wizards printing many powerful multicolored creatures in recent sets, Dragon Arch makes cards like the Tarkir Dragonlords and other splashy bombs that have multiple color symbols in their casting costs a lot more palatable to play. Yeah, there's plenty of artifact removal out there, but you only have to get one or two high powered creatures out into play using this card and it's well worth the mana investment.
As of November 2018, this card typically retails for about $4 USD with foils selling for roughly 5 times that amount. During late 2016, Dragon Arch foils hit nearly $17 on average before falling to around $10 by the beginning of 2017. They approached $20 again by the end of 2018 You would think that a card with as straightforward a power level as this would be gobbled up by casual players and Commander aficionados everywhere. While some foil copies have certainly disappeared, they are still out there to be had.
The most valuable cards in Apocalypse, outside of Vindicate, have been reprinted at least once. Dragon Arch has not seen a reprint, and it likely won't see one anytime soon. If you want a copy, you should pick one up before it suddenly gets bought out and the price skyrockets out of control. Dragons are always going to be popular, but this card only needs multicolored creatures to be good. Those are always being printed, so this is a great artifact to have in your collection.
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
When Hydra Broodmaster was first revealed during Journey into Nyx spoiler season, Magic the Gathering Hydra fans were quick to salivate over her. It's hard not to like a 7/7 for 4GG (6 mana), which is already above average. However, the Monstrosity ability in a Mono-Green Devotion deck or Kruphix, God of Horizons ramp deck looked like it could be extremely deadly.
Not only can Hydra Broodmaster create a lot of tokens, but those tokens become larger the more mana you invest into it. It is a double X cost, which means you need to have quite an available investment to pump into her. But pouring even 8G into the ability, a reasonable sum for a Green deck in the late game, gives you 4 4/4 Hydra tokens, plus an 11/11 Broodmaster. That's quite an end-game weapon.
Obviously, some players saw the Broodmaster as a big target for all of the colorless mana that Kruphix, God of Horizons can help to collect for you. At the time, it was still certainly one of the better Hydras that had been printed at rare outside of Mistcutter Hydra - an important sideboard card in Standard and other formats at the time. Unfortunately, Kruphix Ramp decks, even aided by the Prophet of Kruphix, never made much noise in Constructed.
Did You Know: Hydra Broodmaster Once Saw Competitive Standard Play?
Hydra Broodmaster would not find herself limited to being a bomb in draft. The Broodmaster would enjoy some competitive Standard play. Three 2014 State Championship decks ran a copy of Hydra Broodmaster as a finisher in their Mono Green Devotion builds, including this 2nd place finisher in Maryland. She also found herself in several Top 8 Magic Online Standard decks, including this tournament winner that ran one copy of her in the sideboard.
While Hydra Broodmaster only had a short time in the Standard sun, in Commander she has since joined forces with the very same Kruphix, God of Horizons that people thought she would team up with in Standard. Hydra Broodmaster appears in a great many Kruphix decks. Other Commanders that have welcomed her into the fold include Omnath, Locus of Mana (who has plenty of mana to spare), Trostani, Selesyna's Voice, Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, Rosheen Meanderer, and many others.
Hydra Broodmaster may never be an expensive card. But the Clash Pack promotional foil is always trending upwards. Also, sales consistently being made on the regular printing, so there is non-zero demand for this creature. It's a good Hydra to pick out of bulk boxes, for sure.
Magic the Gathering (MTG) Deck Tech - Budget Modern Jund Deck for Under $200 / Under $40 on MTGO!
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Looking for a great budget Magic the Gathering deck to play in Modern? We were happy to come across this gem of a Budget Modern Jund deck that cost YouTuber TOTALmtg only 29 event tickets on Magic Online! It can be had for about 39 tix as of February 2018.
While it's a bit more expensive to build in paper, around $170, it's a great way to build a Jund deck on a budget. I mean, most of us don't have the cash to drop on a playset of Liliana of the Veil or Tarmogoyf, do we? So, this is a pretty solid Modern deck under $200.
Here's the deck list:
3 Bloodhall Ooze
3 Pain Seer
4 Putrid Leech
3 Sprouting Thrinax
4 Managorger Hydra
1 Olivia Voldaren
3 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
NON-CREATURE SPELLS (17)
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Chandra, Pyromaster
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Smoldering Marsh
1 Temple of Abandon
3 Blood Crypt
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Woodland Cemetery
2 Nature's Claim
2 Rending Volley
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Golgari Charm
1 Gruul Charm
2 Feed the Clan
Here's TOTALmtg playing the deck against G/W Enchantments in Magic Online.
Thoughts on the Deck
Bloodhall Ooze was played back when Jund first became a deck archetype in Shards of Alara Standard. This Ooze gets bigger and bigger very quickly, especially if you have a Green and Black permanent on the board on a consistent basis. This can become a 3/3 very easily after a single turn. It's pretty underappreciated now, but it is definitely one of the best original Jund cards out there.
Pain Seer was heralded as the "Budget" alternative to Dark Confidant, a Jund staple. The problem with the Seer is keeping it tapped on a regular basis. Still, he is as good as "Bob" (named so since the original art depicts Magic expert Bob Maher) when he is able to untap. He may seem quite underpowered for Modern, but in a budget shell, he's really the best option for the card advantage he can provide.
Putrid Leech was one of the cornerstones of Jund for a long time. Paying the 2 life is well worth it when you can punch in with the Leech for 4 damage. This is just a really good creature that just doesn't get much love anymore.
Sprouting Thrinax may cost 3 colors of mana, but when it dies, you get three 1/1 tokens out of it. Essentially, you can get 4 "cards" by casting one. Of course, if he gets exiled, you don't get the tokens. Very sad. And yeah, Path to Exile existed back in the original Jund days, too. Still, his synergy with Bloodhall Ooze, and the fact that he can trade with an opponent's creature and still net you value is pretty neat.
Managorger Hydra is an awesome card. You benefit from it getting bigger when anyone casts a spell, which is awesome. This gets out of Lightning Bolt range very quickly, and even Dismember has problems with it after a certain point. And you can't chump block it because it has trample. This did some work in Standard and people are trying to break it in Modern. This is perhaps one of my favorite cards from all of Magic Origins.
Olivia Voldaren is actually a one-of in a lot of "real" Jund decks, and for good reason. Not only can she pick off little creatures and swing in for a lot of damage, but she can ping bigger ones and steal them! She's not getting the love she once did, but she's still awesome!
Goblin Dark-Dwellers is just an awesome card. Usually, you're going to want to target Blightning or Putrefy with his ability to get the most value from him. Being a 4/4 keeps him out of Lightning Bolt range, and having Menace means he can only be blocked by 2 or more creatures. He's just oozing with value.
The rest of the deck is very similar to a more expensive Jund deck. There are 3 copies of Duress in place of the usual Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek (there are 3 copies of Inquisition in the sideboard, actually). There are the 4 Lightning Bolts and several Terminates. Four copies of Blightning and two copies of Putrefy hearken back to the old days of Jund, when Blightning was one of the best cards in Standard. Forcing your opponent to discard 2 cards and take 2 damage for only 3 mana is still a pretty good deal!
There's also one copy of Chandra, Pyromaster, someone we've seen as a one-of in Jund decks before. Her 0 ability provides nice card advantage, and her +1 can be relevant more often than not. While her ultimate isn't something you're aiming to do in this deck, it's nice to have.
The mana base looks random, but it's actually well-balanced and the shock-lands Blood Crypt and Overgrown Tomb are necessary to give this deck the speed it needs to keep up in the Modern format. Without fetchlands, this deck isn't quite as quick as traditional expensive Jund decks. But it makes up for that by color-fixing pretty well, at the cost of having a lot of lands come into play tapped.
The sideboard is full of answers to many different matchups. It can deal with artifact-based strategies like Affinity, go-wide aggro strategies, and take out bigger creatures that this deck couldn't otherwise handle.
Overall, while I don't see this deck winning tournament after tournament, it's a fun deck to play with solid synergies throughout. If you're looking to build Jund on a budget in Magic Online, this is definitely one to try. In paper, it's pretty cheap for a Modern deck and the pieces are all worth picking up if you're foraying into the format.
Again, thanks to TOTALmtg for this awesome deck!
Keep up with the latest Magic the Gathering and other gaming articles by subscribing below:
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
Lyn is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! While rescuing civilians from boring business practices and energy vampires, this awesomely crazy family conquers evil and creates change.
They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
By supporting us, you support a dedicated parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to several causes. Profits from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature support these causes and our beautiful family!
HIRE OR SHOP WITH LYN | CONTACT LYN