Hi everyone! My name is Will, but you’ll see me around by my alias, “Loxi.” I’ve played Magic since Return to Ravnica and Commander for the past 7 or so years. I’ve always been passionate about the game being more accessible than those unfamiliar with Magic believe it to be, and I am actively driven to find new ways to introduce friends people interested to the game, however the biggest intimidation factor is always one thing: the cost. As such, I have chosen to dive more into the world of budget EDH and the awesome decks and players it can bring to the format.
In this article series, I’ll be focusing on decklists of various complexity and power levels that are great for both new players looking to get involved in the game or veterans looking to try something new. If you’ve wanted to try a new deck and have never played on a budget, I strongly urge you to give it a try, as it gives the opportunity to play with tons of cool and unique cards that, when used properly, can really punch up with the big guns at a table. All of the decks I make will be under $60 USD at the time of creation, and usually low enough below that they should stay that way for a while, barring price spices. I choose this amount since it’s about the cost of mainstream-release video game title: a great sales pitch for all the entrepreneurs here. I will use community collected data and analysis additionally to help guide the deckbuilding process and explain the philosophy to certain card choices.
For pricing, I don’t use Moxfield’s values since they don’t always use the cheapest options at times. I use the Mana Tithe Tool to calculate the cheapest decklist and use a 10-15% buffer of price variance, since not everyone can get the very cheapest version of a card.
For the first list of the series, we’ll be taking a look at one of the new legendaries to come out of Dominaria United: Stangg, Echo Warrior.
A modern upgrade from his old form (an absolute chad, but weak by today’s magic standards), Stangg has a super unique effect in creating a token clone of him whenever he attacks, and also that clone gets token copies of all of his auras and equipment! The token is sacrificed when the turn gets passed, but this still gives a chance to double down on every buff permanent we give to him. We’re going to specifically focus on the aura/enchantment archetype for this build; primarily because we can more easily abuse the constant enter/exit the battlefield triggers from enchantments, as well as be able to run a unique set of auras from other Voltron-like commanders.
Our primary goal with this deck is to stack aura effects on Stangg to make the best use of Stangg Twins. Unlike other aura decks however, we won’t always have to just be killing people with Stangg himself. Our win conditions, in addition to some good ol’ traditional face-beating with our commander, involve going wide using a variety of token generation tools and winning through raw value and card advantage by constantly having threats on board.
You’ll like this deck if you enjoy:
- Combat-based commanders
- Enchantments and buff effects
- A unique playstyle with lots of effects that explode off at once
Some drawbacks to consider while we build the deck:
- We are heavily reliant on our commander, so we have to accommodate for this as well as have backup plans
- Faster interaction has no synergy with the deck’s theme: we run instants, but they don’t provide anything special
- While extremely powerful, other players can usually predict the avenue of attack you’re going to make based on your board.
Next, I’ll break down the deck by sections based on what purpose the cards serve. Just because I don’t mention a card doesn’t mean it isn’t important! Any cards that have straightforward effects or don’t require specific insight I won’t go out of my way to mention. I want to provide a disclaimer as well: every deck should be adjusted to both your individual meta and playstyle. Decks can always be tinkered with and adapted, and nothing should be set in stone forever. Change things around as you see fit! Now, let’s get into the deck!
While ramp is arguably the least exciting part of building a deck, for this list it’s a pretty crucial aspect. We run 12 unique ramp spells (including 1 MDFC, or Modal Dual faced card, which can also be played as a land). Of these spells, 10 of them are castable for below 3cmc. The reason for this is as follows: our commander is essential for the deck to function, and we usually want him out as fast and consistently as possible. With our count of 37 lands, an average hand will allow us to hit our commander on turn 3 just below 80% of the time assuming your hand isn’t all lands that enter tapped. On top of that, we have about a 53% chance to net one or more of our cheaper ramp spells in our opening hand (excluding mulligans). The downside of our ramp package is that we sacrifice some synergy for speed: we run more creature-based mana than anything else; I believe this is worth it in the long run, since the ability to play our commander as fast as possible will help build our engines faster.
- Extra special brownie points to Orochi Merge-Keeper, which can give us even more mana if we want to slot an aura on him at any point.
I like to break down creatures’ roles in this type of deck in two categories: supporters or backup carriers. Supporters help provide non-direct combat benefits to Stangg or just help as payoffs for some of our engines, while not typically being the creatures you’d want to arm up with auras. Backup carriers are, by their namesake, the backup plan. Stangg might just get absolutely stuffed some games; be it by removal or just being denied from attacking regularly. In cases like this we want to have other ways to make use of the rest of our deck.
For key Supporters, we have Chishiro, the Shattered Blade as a backboard-shattering slam dunk include, making an absurd number of tokens in addition to giving us a little boost to stats on Stangg or our carriers. Akki Battle Squad and Wulfgar of Icewind Dale give us chances to make extra Stangg Twins: while the “Legendary Rule” only lets us have one on board at a time, it gives us a whole extra cycle of enchantments entering/exiting in a turn, in addition to an extra combat step from the Akki. Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar lets us spread the love from Stangg getting in for face damage. While I don’t normally like raw lifegain cards on their own, this deck is SUCH a great home for Nexus Wardens, which provide us with a downright stupid amount of lifegain on top of a decent blocking body.
- Special notice for our two “enchantress” cards we run, which account for a reasonable amount of the budget: Setessan Champion and Eidolon of Blossoms. Both of these provide card draw when enchantments enter, not just when cast, so all of those juicy Stangg Twin triggers will fill up our hand in a heartbeat.
Our key Carriers are the Aura Gnarlid and Yavimaya Enchantress, which are powerful threats during our turn since they will see Stangg Twin’s auras in play during combat. Kami of Transience is also powerful since we can pretty much always have it back to our hand as a threat due to its unique recursion clause. The most contentious slot here would be given to Valduk, Keeper of the Flame. Without auras actually attached to him, Valduk is somewhat of a dead card, and realistically we almost always will pick Stangg over him as a target. However, in games where our favorite gigachad is sorely out of commission, Valduk can provide as a powerful backup commander since we can just dump auras on him to make tokens as a win condition. If there’s a better card you enjoy, feel free to use it for this slot, but you’d be hard pressed to find a suitable backup that can generate as much value as Biggie V.
Instants and Sorceries
A standard variety of draw, removal, and utility. We don’t need as much draw but having a small amount of non-conditional draw helps smooth out bad hands and helps to recover bad board losses. Creeping Renaissance is a staple here, allowing us to get back all of our enchantments if Stangg dies or we end up having to discard too many, and can get back creatures in a pinch (and as an added bonus you can Renaissance 2: Electric Boogaloo from the graveyard later). We also run a bit of protection for Stangg in the form of Silkguard and Bolt Bend so we can at least keep our opponents on their feet a bit. Finally, we have two board wipes, as we can easily be overrun by decks that tend to go pretty wide on board.
Nettlecyst is a house. I don’t care if it’s not as synergistic, this card makes Stangg hit like a bus when he attacks and has his buddy on board.
Last but certainly not least, we have the meat of the deck; a whopping 30 enchantments, with the majority of them being auras. We realistically have auras to accomplish a variety of tasks: however, a significant portion (8, to be specific) draw a card on entry or exit, which act basically as mini draw-engines for us to dig through our deck as well as increase the number of enchantments on board at once.
- Bonus points to Bequethal and Fruit of the First Tree for being really weird cards that do some serious work in this deck.
We also have several auras that generate tokens in a similar way, like Mantle of the Wolf and Gift of Wrath among others. We have a few for protections and utility, such as Snake Umbra and Alpha Authority to give protections and evasion. Lastly, we have the real firepower: Ancestral Mask and Unquenchable Fury, which make as great finishers: the latter being especially good against control players or anyone playing with a full mitt.
- Shoutout to Runes of the Deus here as well, which would let a naked Stangg swing in for a total of 20 trampling damage on a player. Did you know this is the only aura in Gruul colors that provides Double Strike?
Card Swap Choices
If you wanted to upgrade or change some cards, here are a few that didn’t make the cut, but I could totally see being a good fit:
-Nylea’s Colossus is incredible, but we just don’t have the budget space for it. 100% worth an upgrade if you enjoy the deck.
-Similarly, Helm of the Gods and Karlach, Fury of Avernus both were solid choices that I couldn’t justify the budget space for but would be good if you had or wanted them.
-Lizard blades is a solid source of double strike, which is really powerful and a tool we lack in the auras version of this deck, but you lose a bit of synergy with it being basically an equipment slot.
-Colossification is the big Timmy enchantment and realistically, if you can untap after letting this rip you probably just win. If you think this seems fun go crazy, but a word of warning: if you play this card without a way to untap Stangg after, the entire table will go to DEFCON 1 in order to remove your commander and/or your noggin’ before the turn comes back your way.
Stangg auras provides us with a really unique take on the auras archetype, straying from the traditional voltron shell for a more value-oriented and diverse game plan. I hope you all enjoyed the read! Feel free to reach out with any suggestions for decks or things you’d like to see. Until next time!
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