Welcome to the Budget Depot! We’ve reached episode #5 and in typical JankJunction fashion we’ve built our deck around a 7cmc creature that dies to most of the removal spells in the format!
Emeria Shepherd has been one of my go-to brew targets from the very moment it hit standard. I once x-0ed my local FNM with Emeria Shepherd and See the Unwritten. Sadly I never played the deck again (brewers life!). Once Amonkhet dropped cycling on our laps I knew I would be revisiting the concept. How does it all work? One word. VALUE.
Servant does several things that the deck needs. It ramps, it fixes and against aggro decks hopefully trades for a creature later in the game.
Greenwarden is an excellent value creature and can beat down when situation calls for it. You will often be getting back an evolving wilds with it for even more value.
Angel acts as a bit of interaction in a deck that sorely needs it. Its a great Emeria target and can also be embalmed if it dies or gets milled.
Traverse if fantastic here. It lets us consistently find land drops and later in the game tutors up our Emeria Shepherds. The deck has zero problems hitting delirium. NOTE: Try to avoid searching out basic plains early in the game.
Grapple stocks our graveyard with juicy Emeria targets and lets us hit land drops. Later in the game this card reads, “Return target permanent to the battlefield and draw the 2nd best card from your graveyard.” Recurring evolving wilds with an Emeria Shepherd on the battlefield is big game.
We need to ramp and this enchantment does that. It also replaces itself and fuels delirium. I waffled a bit on whether to run this or Gift of Paradise and in an aggro meta the 3 life might be the way to go.
Bounty ramps us to 7 mana on turn 5 (provided we played it on turn 3) and provides card advantage which is important in the grindier matchups. It can also be reanimated by Emeria Shepherd!
Guess what Hedron Archive does!? It ramps and draws cards! And guess what else? It can be reanimated with Emeria Shepherd! Worth noting it also helps to turn on Traverse.
Kiora, Master of Depths has finally found her home! Can we guess what she does? Does it ramp? Check. Provide card advantage? Check. Stock the graveyard? Check. Win the game if left unchecked? Uhh…check. Say we managed to play this sassy merwalker on turn three with servant of the conduit. That means on turn 4 we have access to 7 mana! Kiora also interacts well with our enchanted lands
Ajani Unyielding is another walker that while it seems poweful, it hasn’t found a home. Most of that reason is the cost. 6 cmc is quite a price to pay for a walker that kills a creature and then dies. But in this deck we don’t care if our walkers die, and we never plan on paying any mana for Ajani.
Cycling permanents shine in this deck and Cast Out is no exception. It deals with everything except manlands and can be reanimated by Emeria Shepherd. (I feel like I’ve said this a million times already).
LOOK AT THAT ART. Bask in its awesome glory! We all know that control magic is good. But is it good at 7cmc? Maybe. Is it good at 0 cmc? HELL YES. Is it even better at instant speed? You better believe it! This card is so much fun. Its good early and late and you really can’t ask for more than that.
Evolving Wilds is the most important land in the deck. It fixes all of our colors, but most importantly it finds plains.
You won’t often be cycling Scattered Groves as we would rather be reanimating a permanent with it.
^^ See above. This also makes blue mana.
Having access to so many lands with dual basic types is what allows this deck to go off. Most of topdecked lands in the late game are going to be bringing a permanent back from the graveyard.
Marvel is the biggest deckbuilding limiter in the format. If you don’t have a plan for that then you should plan on losing. Manglehorn destroys Marvel and also causes it to enter tapped, which might buy you enough time. Maybe.
Declaration has risen in stock for me lately. It handles all of the annoying recursive creatures in zombies while also being able to handle the swarm of tokens they produce. It also is one of the spells you have that can deal with a resolved Ulamog. That is more of a side benefit than a reason to play the card. Bring this in against marvel if they are playing Whirler Virtuoso.
I’m iffy about this in the sideboard, but it is flexible and we are ramping so it stays for now.
Yep we’re splashing black to deal with Marvel. This is the cleanest answer we have to problematic artifacts. Its also great against Blue Gearhulk decks. NOTE: Bring in the swamp when you bring these in!
Cast Out is great and sometimes we want all 4 copies.
Bring these in against aggro creature strategies like zombies and humans. It’s also decent to bring in against the creature based Marvel decks that are less focused on the Ulamog or bust plan.
4 Servant of the Conduit
1 Angel of Sanctions
1 Greenwarden of Murasa
4 Emeria Shepherd
4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
4 Grapple with the Past
4 Weirding Wood
2 Bounty of the Luxa
2 Cast Out
2 Hedron Archive
3 Kiora, Master of the Depths
2 Ajani Unyielding
3 Lay Claim
4 Canopy Vista
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Prairie Stream
4 Scattered Groves
2 Declaration in Stone
2 Quarantine Field
2 Cast Out