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Budget Magic: $50 Arcane Bombardment (Standard)

Hey there, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! This week, we've got a super-sweet (and super-cheap!) Streets of New Capenna Standard deck: Arcane Bombardment. The goal of the deck? Play Arcane Bombardment, cast some random spells, get a bunch more for free, and win the game! The deck can do some pretty absurd things, and the best part is that it's only $50 in paper and 12 total rares and mythics (assuming you're playing best-of-one) on Magic Arena! What crazy things can Arcane Bombardment do in Standard on a $50 budget?  Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Budget Magic: Arcane Bombardment

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The Deck

Arcane Bombardment is essentially a combo deck, with the combo being filling our graveyard with spells and resolving an Arcane Bombardment, which should swiftly win us the game by casting a ton of spells from our graveyard over the next couple of turns.

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Arcane Bombardment might look like a meme or a Commander card, but it's actually an incredibly strong finisher in the right deck. While it takes a bit to get going, it should win us the game over the course of two or three turns by casting a ton of instants and sorceries from our graveyard for free. The power of Arcane Bombardment is how it snowballs. The first spell we cast after we get it on the battlefield will exile a spell from our graveyard and let us cast it for free. On the next turn, when we cast another spell, we'll get to cast the first spell we exiled for free but also exile another card to cast for free. After a couple of turns, we end up in a position where we can cast a Fading Hope or Spikefield Hazard and get 20+ mana worth of spells for free! While there aren't a ton of tricks to building around Arcane Bombardment other than having a bunch of spells in our deck, it is worth mentioning that even though Arcane Bombardment only triggers once each turn, it can trigger on our opponent's turn as well, so having as many instant-speed spells as possible is super helpful since it lets us trigger Arcane Bombardment twice each turn cycle—once on our turn and once on our opponent's turn!

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So, what are we hoping to cast for free with Arcane Bombardment? Our best options are the massive "discard to make a Treasure" spells from Strixhaven: Magma Opus, Elemental Masterpiece, and Creative Outburst. These cards do a couple of important things for our deck. First, they synergize incredibly well with Arcane Bombardment because we can discard them to make a Treasure, which not only gets these huge spells in the graveyard so they can be exiled by Arcane Bombardment but also helps us ramp into Arcane Bombardment. Second, these spells help us close out the game quickly once we get Arcane Bombardment going, making a bunch of 4/4 tokens, dealing tons of damage, and drawing cards. We often end up in a position where we cast a one-mana spell like Fading Hope and end up casting two or three of these spells for free, which is absurd value. Oh yeah, it's also worth mentioning that Arcane Bombardment doesn't care about timing restrictions, so if we cast a spell during our opponent's turn, we can cast sorceries that we have exiled with Arcane Bombardment, allowing us to use Elemental Masterpiece to make blockers at instant speed, which can be quite powerful.

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Big Score and Unexpected Windfall do a bunch of things in our deck. They filter through our library to find Arcane Bombardment, they fill our graveyard for Arcane Bombardment, and, most importantly, they ramp us into Arcane Bombardment. In a perfect world, we can discard a Magma Opus (or one of the other Treasure discard cards) on Turn 2, which gets us to Big Score or Unexpected Windfall on Turn 3 and then Arcane Bombardment on Turn 4!

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Burn Down the House is the perfect sweeper for an Arcane Bombardment deck. Not only does it usually sweep away all of the creatures and planeswalkers on the battlefield, but its ability to make Devil tokens also means it's not a dead card if we exile it from our graveyard with Arcane Bombardment. If we do manage to exile it and don't want to sweep the board, we can always make three 1/1 Devils, which isn't hugely exciting but isn't a bad deal, considering we're getting them for free.

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Finally, we have some cheap removal spells, which do two things for the deck. First, they help slow our opponent down while we are getting Arcane Bombardment online to take over the game. Second, they give us one-mana spells to trigger Arcane Bombardment, which is super important both because they allow us to play Arcane Bombardment and immediately trigger it if we get to seven mana and allow us to double spells by casting one spell during our turn (to trigger Bombardment) and another during our opponent's turn (to trigger Bombardment again).

Playing the Deck

In general, playing Arcane Bombardment is pretty straightforward: ramp into Arcane Bombardment, cast spells, and win. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, be aware of the cards that you put into the graveyard. While Arcane Bombardment has enough power that it can win even with a bunch of bad instants and sorceries in the graveyard, the less chaff we have in our graveyard, the more likely we are to exile the big finishers like Magma Opus and Elemental Mastery. This doesn't mean that you should avoid casting Spikefield Hazard or Fading Hope or whatever, but it is worth keeping in mind. The higher the percentage of big, expensive spells in our graveyard when we resolve a Arcane Bombardment, the more likely we will be to exile the good stuff and win the game.

Also, don't underestimate the possibility of winning by casting our big spells naturally. We had a couple of games that we won without drawing Arcane Bombardment at all, by using things like Big Score and Unexpected Windfall to ramp into Magma Opus and friends. While not as splashy as getting these spells for free with Arcane Bombardment, it can still work.

Oh yeah, in the early game, it's also important to think about what we'll be casting after we resolve Arcane Bombardment. It's painful to spend six mana on Arcane Bombardment and not have a way to trigger it immediately and start running the value train. Ideally, we'll be able to hold onto a Fading Hope or Spikefield Hazard or foretell a Demon Bolt to have a one-mana spell available to trigger Arcane Bombardment the turn when it comes into play.

Finally, be aware of the timing of casting spells with Arcane Bombardment on the battlefield, especially after sideboarding, when we might have some counterspells in our deck. In general, counters are pretty bad hits with Arcane Bombardment, but it is possible to exile one to Bombardment, wait until the opponent casts something, and then cast an instant like Negate or Disdainful Stroke to counter what our opponent cast. Likewise, if we have something like Elemental Masterpiece exiled, casting a spell on our opponent's end step is ideal so we can untap and attack immediately with the 4/4 Elementals. The deck is powerful enough that you can win a lot of games just by haphazardly slinging spells, but little tricks like this can be important in close matchups.


Record-wise, we finished 3-1 with Arcane Bombardment, with our one loss coming to Esper Control, which is a super-tough matchup thanks to Vanishing Verse and Void Rend giving the deck a bunch of ways to kill Arcane Bombardment. In theory, we can fight through this with Tamiyo's Safekeeping from our sideboard (which we can cast with Treasure mana), but even so, Esper is really tough. The good news is that we eat creature decks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner thanks to our solid removal and Arcane Bombardment's ability to take over games.

As far as changes to make to the budget build of the deck, I don't think I'd change anything in the main deck—it felt great—although I would like to find a better plan for control in the sideboard. It might be something like Hullbreaker Horror, which we can ramp into, or maybe more copies of Tamiyo's Safekeeping to protect Arcane Bombardment.

So, should you play Arcane Bombardment in Standard? I think the answer easily is yes. It's super cheap in both paper and on Arena, incredibly fun to play, and surprisingly powerful. If you like slinging spells and having huge turns, it's likely the perfect budget Standard deck for you!

Ultra-Budget Arcane Bombardment

No ultra-budget build this week. At just over $50 in paper, the deck already falls into the ultra-budget price ranks. As far as Arena is concerned, I'm not sure there's really a way to make the deck cheaper. While the Smoldering Egg in the sideboard isn't necessary, you don't have a sideboard if you are playing best-of-one, so that isn't really a concern. Otherwise, the rares / mythics in the deck are all uncuttable, with Arcane Bombardment, Magma Opus, and Burn Down the House all being foundational pieces of the build.

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Finally, our non-budget build of Arcane Bombardment doesn't get any changes to the non-lands in the main deck. All of the upgrades come to the mana base (which gets untapped dual lands, creaturelands, and channel lands) and the sideboard (where we add Hullbreaker Horror as a way to beat control decks). 


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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