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Budget Magic: $30 (16-Rare) Simic Burn (Standard)

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Budget Magic! This week, we're delving into Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard for one of the sweetest (and cheapest!) budget decks I've built in a long time: Simic Burn! The idea is to burn the opponent out of the game with the new crime lands, like Lush Oasis, with the help of Spelunking, Doppelgang, and some sneaky Desert surveil synergies. If that doesn't work, we have some big beaters like Colossal Rattlewurm and Bonny Pall, Clearcutter that take advantage of all of the lands we get on the battlefield. The best part is that the deck is super cheap, at just $30 in paper and 16 total rares on Magic Arena! Can Simic Burn be a thing? How strong are the new crime Deserts in Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard? Let's get to the video and find out!

Budget Magic: Simic Burn

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The Deck

Simic Burn is basically a ramp combo deck. The plan is to ramp aggressively in the early game and then burn the opponent out of the game with an absurd combo turn involving Arid Archway, Lush Oasis, Spelunking, and Doppelgang. Here's the plan!


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In the early game, all we really want to do is ramp as much as possible. To pull off our combo, we'll ideally get up to at least 11 mana, which sounds like a lot, but it's actually pretty easy considering every nonland card in our deck can add extra lands to the battlefield. Each of our ramp spells has a different upside. Glimpse the Core is the cheapest, ramping us on Turn 2. Topiary Stomper leaves behind a body. Invasion of Zendikar can flip into even more ramp. Map the Frontier and Dance of the Tumbleweeds can grab Deserts alongside basic lands, which is super important to our plan. (Plus, Dance of the Tumbleweeds can occasionally make a massive creature in the late game.)

The Combo

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Technically, Spelunking is another ramp spell, but it's also one of our most essential combo pieces since it allows our lands to enter the battlefield untapped. This works well with our ramp spells in general, all of which put tapped lands into play, but it works especially well with some of the new Deserts...

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The two most important lands in our deck are Arid Archway—the new bounceland that also happens to be a Desert—and the new crime Deserts that deal a damage when they enter the battlefield, like Lush Oasis. Conduit Pylons also deserves an honorable mention thanks to its enters-the-battlefield scry ability, which is essential to our deck's plan. Arid Archway specifically works really well with Spelunking, essentially giving us a painless Ancient Tomb in Standard!

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The combo itself is a little confusing to explain in writing, so make sure to check out the video. It's pretty intuitive once you watch it happen, but here's the basic idea: We get up to 11 mana, which is enough that we can cast Doppelgang with X = 3. We cast Doppelgang targeting Spelunking, Arid Archway, and Lush Oasis. We'll get three copies of each, which will also give us a huge pile of triggers. The trick here is we want Arid Archway's land-bounce trigger to resolve before Spelunking's "draw a card and put a land into play" trigger. What happens is we'll deal three damage to our opponent from Lush Oasis and bounce three Deserts back to our hand with Arid Archway (which also allows us to scry three times to find another Doppelgang, if we don't already have it); then, Spelunking will resolve to let us put the lands we bounced with Arid Archway back into play and draw us some cards. Which lands we bounce with Arid Archway really depend on the situation. Goal number one is to find a second Doppelgang, so we can bounce and replace Conduit Pylons to scry three more times if we need to; otherwise, we can bounce and replay Lush Oasis to deal more damage to our opponent.

While the most common Doppelgang pile is bounceland, crime Desert, and Spelunking, it's worth mentioning that it's sometimes better to copy two Arid Archways (to make even more mana) or two Spelunkings (to draw even more cards). 

Thanks to Spelunking making all of our lands come into play untapped and Arid Archway making two mana, we actually end up generating mana if we cast Doppelgang with X = 3. We get three new Arid Archways, which make six mana, three new Lush Oasis that make three mana, and three new lands from Spelunking, giving us a total of 12 mana. We also scry a ton of times, which means we should be able to draw another Doppelgang. At this point, we can likely cast Doppelgang with X = 4, so we can simply copy four crime Deserts to deal 16 more damage to our opponent's face, giving us more than enough to win the game on the spot. If we don't have enough mana, we can always repeat the original process, copying bouncelands and Spelunkings, surveilling a bunch for another Doppelgang, and casting an even bigger Doppelgang to copy even more Lush Oasises to win the game! 

Like I said, this deck isn't super easy to write about. It sounds super complicated, but it will make sense if you watch the deck combo off once or twice. 


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Rounding out the deck are Colossal Rattlewurm and Bonny Pall, Clearcutter, which support our primary plan of ramping while also giving us massive creatures that can close out the game by attacking if we can't win with our Doppelgang Desert burn combo for some reason. Colossal Rattlewurm is pretty absurd. Outside of ambushing opponents' attackers with flash, we can also just surveil it into the graveyard and use it as a ramp spell. Meanwhile, Bonny Pall, Clearcutter adds an absurd amount of power to the battlefield—in one game, the Beau token was a 48/48!


Record-wise, the deck actually performed surprisingly well. We went 6-3 for a 67% match-win percentage, which is good overall and great for a $30 budget deck! Our toughest matchup is aggro, which can just run us over before we get the combo set up, although I think this problem can be solved with the non-budget build, but more on this in a minute. Otherwise, the deck crushes midrange and other ramp decks and does pretty well against control, especially after sideboarding, when we can bring in a bunch of Negates to protect our combo.

As far as changes to make to the budget build, there really aren't any. While it would be nice to have a sweeper against aggro, that isn't really Simic's strength. Otherwise, the deck performed incredibly well in its current form!

So, should you play Simic Burn in Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard? I think the answer is an easy yes. The deck is incredibly fun, does a bunch of super-unique things, and has some huge combo turns! Plus, it's about as cheap as a deck can be. So if you are looking for an ultra-budget option for Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard that is oddly competitive and super fun to play, this would be my pick. Really, Simic Burn is one of my favorite budget brews in a long time. Give it a shot—I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Non-Budget Simic Burn

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As far as non-budget Simic Burn, I'm not sure there's a ton to do while keeping the deck in Simic. Some sideboard slots could probably be upgraded, but that's about it. As such, I think the best way to improve the deck is by making it a three-color build, which should be easy enough to do thanks to all of our ramp spells that can fix our mana. 

As I mentioned before, the biggest weakness of the deck is that it can be run over by aggro. Having some sweepers and cheap removal would go a long way toward fixing this issue. My first impulse was to splash into white for Sunfall, although I thought about it more, and splashing into black might be even better. We could play Deadly Cover-Up and Path of Peril as sweepers to help against aggro and Duress to fight against counterspells, which are the easiest ways to fight Doppelgang itself. 

The main deck would look mostly the same, maybe trimming a handful of ramp spells to play a few Go for the Throats, and then I'd just overload the sideboard with sweepers and discard to improve our hardest matchups. While this would add to the deck's cost, the upgrades might not actually be as costly as they look since we could probably get away with playing more crime Deserts rather than more expensive dual lands. This leaves us with something like this build, which still just costs $50 in paper!

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Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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