The first deck for my 27 budget deck challenge is an Esper Flicker deck. I actually made a paper version of this deck out of the bulk commons and uncommons I had from a Modern Masters box my friend and I split, so there is sort of a set sub-theme. I also have wanted to use Obzedat in a deck for quite awhile. Here’s the list:
This deck is a ton of fun. The idea is that you keep playing and replaying cards with enter the battlefield effects. Our enablers are Momentary Blink, Felidar Guardian, and Deputy of Acquittals. Our pay-off cards are Reflector Mage, Sin Collector, Wall of Omens, and later in the game Lavinia and Obzedat. You are playing control, but you do want to be getting in damage when you can. Obzedat will help close the game with his drain effects, but you don’t only want to rely on blinking him ten or more times to win. Lavinia is the other curve topper. If you can keep blinking her to detain your opponents board, your probably in really good shape. Unburial Rights can save you two creatures out of the graveyard and trigger their ETB effects. I do have some goofy one-ofs in here. Ojutai’s Command can potentially three for one (the dream is counter target creatures, grab a Wall of Omens from the graveyard and draw a card), and give you a substantial tempo boost. Hidden Stockpile, especially if you can hit on curve, is going to give you several tokens that you can sacrifice to it and scry, then replace it. It’s an added bonus to create just a little more board presence or deck filtering, whichever you need more. Other than that, Serum Visions gives us a very efficient turn one, and Doom Blade and Grasp of Darkness are as good a removal as any for the price.
Some details I’ve noticed playing the deck:
- If you have a tapped Felidar Gaurdian, and you are casting a second, target the tapped one first to untap it, then use THAT etb effect to blink your pay-off card.
- Obzedat hits for 5, so don’t forget to swing first if you are going to blink him.
- Deputy of Acquitals and Momentary Blink are really good at saving other creatures.
- Don’t forget about your flashback cards!
So the land base I like for this deck revolves around the “tapped unless you have x basic land type” lands and a few of the new cycling lands which also have the land type. Your paying about two or three dollars for most of these, which as lands go, is pretty reasonable. Because you can draw so much land of off recurring Walls of Omens, you tend to be able to draw a bunch of lands, so the cycling lands are pulling double duty as being able to cycle and having that basic land type for your other non basics.
Detention Sphere can be anywhere between good and insane, and there’s a case to be made for playing it instead of Doom Blade in the main 60. It can nail planeswalkers, which the main deck struggles to deal with, as well as tokens, which can beat us if they go too wide too quickly. Harsh Scrutiny is good against decks with a bunch of creatures (Reflector Mage combos well with it) and Sin Collector is better against control. Lost Legacy can just rip combo pieces out of decks really effectively. One Dispel if we are concerned about getting our stuff killed at instant speed.
Match-Ups, Game 1
Good Against: Creatures, Other Tempo Decks
Struggles Against: Tokens, Struggles to interact with some combo decks, Tron
Fair Against: Control
Most cards in this list are super cheap, so I won’t talk about the ones that cost pocket change. Grasp is a dollar, but you can replace that with any removal or counter spell you like. Maybe you have a fatal push or path to exile already laying around. That slot is there to do with what you wish. Serum Visions is a dollar or two both online and in store. This card is awesome and a good investment; you’ll want it in any blue deck in the future. In a pinch, you could replace this with a read the bones or sign in blood, though you do risk taking a hit to your tempo. Wall of Omens is a bit expensive in a super annoying way, but the card is excellent. The core of this deck is otherwise very inexpensive. Detention Sphere is also an annoying dollar each, but you could replace this with anything that can deal with tokens, and replace your Harsh Scrutiny in your sideboard with something to deal with planeswalkers.
You could definitely upgrade this deck in a few ways. There is way better removal than just Doom Blade. There are a bunch of different pay off cards you could include in this deck, so anything with an ETB trigger could be great. Panharmonicon could even become a budget option for this deck once it rotates out of standard.
If you are looking for a deck that extends games, this one will do it. Even if you don’t win, these games are super fun because this deck can interact with itself and often your opponent so much. In that way, it’s the opposite of deck like storm that’s very non-interactive. I hope you guys try this deck out, and if you enjoy it let me know! I look forward to doing another one of these.