Do you enjoy NONSENSE?  Would you like to draw your entire deck in Standard?  If you’ve answered yes to any or all of these questions buckle up and get ready for a wild ride!  If you are a Spike, you should probably head to /r/spikes

Welcome back, everyone!  It’s been quite a while since our last Budget Depot.  We took a bit of a break during the standard bannings, but Ixalan is here and boy do we have something special today.

The deck began, as most Jank decks often do, as a Panharmonicon deck featuring Hostage Taker, Cloudblazer and the rest of the ETB crew.  As I began to test the deck, I realized that Panharmonicon was unnecessary.  The deck’s real power was Unesh + Arcane adaptation.  So back to the drawing board I went.  We’re back with an Oketra’s monument deck, with a Sphinx-Cat-Warrior-Vampire finish.  Let’s check out the deck tech.

Unesh, the Crazy Cat Person



4 Anointer Priest
4 Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign
3 Regal Caracal
3 Inspiring Cleric
4 Legion Conquistador
3 Aviary Mechanic
1 Perpetual Timepiece
4 Arcane Adaptation
2 Sailor of Means
4 Oketra’s Monument
4 Cloudblazer
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Meandering River
7 Island
9 Plains


4 Fairgrounds Warden
1 Aviary Mechanic
1 Inspiring Cleric
1 Sailor of Means
4 Negate
4 Cancel

Unesh, the Crazy Cat Person - Deck Tech

Unesh, the Crazy Cat Person vs. Grixis Pirates

Unesh, the Crazy Cat Person vs. Naya Dinosaurs

Unesh, the Crazy Cat Person vs. Mono-Blue Shenanigans

Unesh, the Crazy Cat Person vs. Mono-Blue Shenanigans

The Deck

It’s hard to nail down the deck’s archetype.  It’s a bit weenie, a bit combo, and a bit midrange all wrapped up into one.

The Combo

Eventually, we want to have the following permanents in play: Oketra’s Monument, Arcane Adaptation(naming Sphinx) and Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign.  Once that happens all hell breaks loose.  All of our white units now cost 1W or 1WU.  When you cast a creature Oketra’s monument creates a 1/1 Sphinx Warrior with vigilance which triggers Unesh.  The creature you cast ETB’s and triggers Unesh.  And you can start to see how this gets out of hand.

Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign

Oketra's Monument

Arcane Adaptation

Staying Alive

In order to live until we reach that sweet, sweet value Nirvana, we’ll need to gum up the board.  If you’ve seen our previous Oketra weenie deck, you’ll have a good understanding of what is going on here.

Without Bygone Bishop the deck really lacked a way to consistently draw cards.  While that issue hasn’t been completely solved, Legion Conquistador is a pretty good replacement.  Inspiring Cleric is an amazing anti-aggro card and a welcome addition to the team.  Anointer Priest is still amazing, but definitely misses her big bro Pious Evangel.

Legion Conquistador

Inspiring Cleric

Arcane Adaptation

Anointer Priest

Sailor of Means allows us to reach Cloudblazer and Unesh mana without running 26 or so lands.  He can also block well on the ground.

Cloudblazer and Aviary Mechanic are back to their old shenanigans, but this time aviary mechanic gets a new toy to bounce: Arcane Adaptation.

Sailor of Means


Aviary Mechanic

Aviary Mechanic

Why not Cats?

Sub in any other tribe with a payoff in Standard.  Indestructible Sphinx-Horses?  Done.  How about Dinosaur-Pirate-Clerics.  So blase.  Regal Caracal could really be anything, but it really does help stabilize the board.  It doubles as a win condition late in the game when you get your second Adaptation down and everything gets +1/1 and lifelink.

Speaking of the end game.  You’re going to deck yourself with this deck at some point.  Which is why we’re packing a 1-of perpetual timepiece.

Regal Caracal

Perpetual Timepiece

The Manabase

There isn’t much to discuss here.  The mana base is extremely budget and “functional.”  The deck would benefit immensely from Glacial Fortress and Irrigated Farmlands.

The Sideboard

Pretty basic sideboard.  Fairgrounds warden for creature-based decks that lack removal.  Additional pieces of our main-deck as necessary.  Negates and Cancels.  NOTE:  In an ideal world Cancel would just be Siren Stormtamer.  But because today is day 2 of IXL being available online, they cost $1.68.

The Results

We were 2-2 in our matches, but the fun in this deck is turned way up to 11.  It will be interesting to see where the metagame settles and see if the deck can be adjusted accordingly.  I’d like to try Approach of the Second Sun here.  You’re going to draw your entire deck, so seeing the second copy will not be an issue.  The only real issue would be decking yourself, before being able to cast it again.

That’s it for this week!  Go forth and engage in many shenanigans.  Check out the rest of our budget articles and be sure to to get notified when new articles are posted!


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