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Budget Magic: $50 Bogles, Almost (but in Standard)

Hey there, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! Last week, we got to check out some The Brothers' War Standard during the early-access event on Magic Arena, but this week, we kick off our full exploration of the format with a deck I'm super hyped about, a deck that just might be the best budget deck in our new format: Bogles (except without the Bogles and in Standard, but bear with me)! The goal is to use auras to build a massive creature early in the game, protect the creature, and ride it to victory, all while snowballing an absurd amount of card draw along the way! The best part is that the deck is cheap. Very cheap, coming in at just $50 in paper, a laughable 3 tix on Magic Online, and with just 14 total rares and mythics (and if you already have dual lands, just six rares and mythics) on Magic Arena! Does getting an almost-Rancor in Standard in Audacity mean it's time for almost-Bogles to shine in ultra-budget format? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Budget Magic: Bogles, Almost, but in Standard

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The Deck

Bogles, Almost is basically an aura-aggro deck that plays similarly to Modern Bogles, except we don't have any hexproof creatures, so we need to use spells and auras to protect our threats. The main goal is to load up a creature or two with a bunch of auras, grow it into a massive evasive threat, protect it, and smash our opponent to death, all while snowballing with a ton of card advantage!

The Threats

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We kick things off with the two biggest beaters in our deck: Generous Visitor and Kami of Transience. Both creatures grow whenever we cast an enchantment, with Generous Visitor having the flexibility of growing another creature rather than itself. The main idea is to play at least one of these creatures early in the game and, with the help of some auras, quickly grow them into 5/5 or even 10/10 tramplers that can kill our opponent in just a few attacks. It's also worth mentioning that Kami of Transience's second ability—which returns it from our graveyard to our hand at the end of a turn when an enchantment goes to the graveyard—is super powerful. While this ability triggers on any enchantment going to the graveyard, the most obvious way to use is it to get an aura on Kami of Transience so that, if our opponent manages to kill our Kami, we'll get it back to our hand at the end of the turn. Our deck only has 14 total creatures, which isn't a huge number. But the recursive nature of Kami helps make up for this since if we can draw one, it will keep coming back from the graveyard throughout the game.

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Rounding out our creature base are two engine creatures in Stormchaser Drake and Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief. Stormchaser Drake's ability to draw us a card whenever we target it with a spell is one of our easiest ways to snowball card advantage. We play it and protect it, and as we stick auras on it, we draw through our deck to find more auras and protection until we eventually overwhelm our opponent with a massive Drake. Meanwhile, Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief is just a two-of, in part because it's rare and in part because it's legendary. But if we can get it on the battlefield alongside another creature, it allows us to essentially double up each aura we cast. Getting two Audacity or Combat Research for the price of one gets out of hand quickly, letting us build not one but two massive threats.

The Auras

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The main purposes of our auras are twofold: draw cards and make our creatures bigger and evasive. Combat Research is basically just a Curiosity, drawing us an extra card each turn as we get in combat damage with the enchanted creature. Security Bypass isn't quite as good at generating card advantage since it connives rather than draws, but it still helps us filter through our deck and pitch extra lands to find more action. More importantly, its ability to make the enchanted creature unblockable if it is attacking alone is huge. We're usually trying to build one huge threat anyway, so attacking with just one creature isn't usually a huge drawback. But making that one creature unblockable is a massive upside, especially once we have a huge Generous Visitor or Kami of Transience, which often lets us kill our opponent with a single unblockable attack. Finally, we have Audacity, which is basically just the Standard version of perhaps the best aggro aura of all time: Rancor. While Audacity doesn't keep returning to our hand when it goes to the graveyard, so it's not quite as good as literal Rancor, it does draw us a card when it dies, which is still quite powerful. More importantly, giving a creature +2/+0 and trample is a great deal for a single mana, especially in a deck like ours with a bunch of enchantment-based synergies.


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As I mentioned earlier, the one place where the Bogles comparison falls apart is that we don't have cheap hexproof creatures in Standard, which means that rather than trusting that our creatures can protect themselves like Modern Bogles can, we need to play spells that protect them. Thankfully, there are several good options for our deck. Cradle of Safety offers hexproof to fizzle a targeted removal spell while also triggering all of our creatures. Slip Out the Back isn't an enchantment, so it doesn't grow Kami of Transience or Generous Visitor, but it still synergizes with Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief (letting us phase out multiple creatures) and Stormchaser Drake (to draw a card), and it's also the strongest form of protection available since phasing out a creature lets it dodge sweepers and edicts along with targeted removal. While rare, there are even cases where we'll use it on an opposing creature as a weird, temporary removal spell, most often to get a blocker out of the way. Finally, Geistlight Snare is pretty absurd in our deck since both Generous Visitor and Kami of Transience are Spirits and our deck is overloaded with enchantments, so it is often a Mana Leak that costs just a single mana, which makes it a solid way to protect a creature from removal while also letting us answer our opponent's big threats, like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse or Invoke Despair.

The Mana

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The mana is in the deck is great for a budget deck, but I wanted to mention it for one reason. Technically, our deck has 14 total rares and mythics, but if you already have Yavimaya Coast and Dreamroot Cascade in your Magic Arena collection, this number drops all the way down to six (four Kami of Transience and two Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief), so the deck might even be cheaper to put together than you think!

Playing the Deck

There's one big challenge to playing Standard Bogles: figuring out when it is right to play slowly and leave up mana to protect creatures and when it is better to simply flood the board with threats even though some of them might die. In general, I play the deck fairly slowly, often trying to wait to deploy threats until I can also leave up mana to protect them, especially in the middle of the game. (Running out things like Generous Visitor on Turn 1 or Kami of Transience on Turn 2 is usually worth it, especially since Kami can come back later if it dies.) Running out cards like Stormchaser Drake or Ivy into a likely removal spell is painful, especially if waiting one more turn will let us leave up a Geistlight Snare or Slip Out the Back for protection, although you can also play too carefully, which happened in one of our games against 5C Control where we waited and waited to draw a fourth land before running out our good threats, but we were too far behind to catch back up by the time the land came. All this is to say, there isn't really a right or wrong answer here, and whether you should run out the creature or wait depends on the threat, matchup, and situation. Just keep in mind that we don't have a ton of creatures in the deck, so playing too loose, running them into removal spells, and losing them for no good reason can come back to haunt us by leaving us with a handful of auras but nothing to enchant.


Almost Bogles felt great! We ended up going 4-1 in our five matches, with our one loss coming to Mono-Red, where we won the game that we got to go first in and our opponent won the two games where they played first. While Mono-Red is probably a somewhat tough matchup, it felt pretty close. Otherwise, we took down Soldiers, 5C Control, Grixis, and Mono-Black, dropping just one game along the way, and that was the 5C Control game where we likely cost ourselves the win by playing too conservatively. 

Apart from reminding me of Modern Bogles, the deck also is a bit similar to Mono-Blue Delver in Standard, which has been one of the best budget decks in the format, although I think Bogles might just be better. It does a lot of what Delver does—sticking a threat, protecting it, and countering some spells—but it draws way more cards and grows much bigger threats much faster. I wouldn't be surprised to find that something along these lines becomes one of the best budget decks in Standard, and we stomped several of the best decks in Standard so easily that Bogles might be a sleeper pick for a legit top-tier deck! 

Perhaps the biggest testament to the deck's power was the game against Grixis where our opponent probably had their best possible draw—four or five targeted removal spells on top of resolving Liliana of the Veil and Invoke Despair (if our opponent could Demonic Tutor up a starting hand, it would probably look a lot like the one they had)—but they still lost. The deck is shockingly strong and resilient and felt really good against the black decks dominating Standard.

If you're looking for a new, competitive budget deck for The Brothers' War Standard and you like drawing tons of cards, building big threats, and snowballing card advantage, Bogles just might be the perfect deck for you!

Ultra-Budget / Non-Budget Decks

No ultra-budget list this week; the deck is already incredibly cheap pretty much everywhere. The easiest way to make the deck even cheaper is to cut rare dual lands like Dreamroot Cascade, although I wouldn't recommend it. The deck really can't afford to play tapped lands (curving out and leaving up mana for protection is too important), so cutting Dreamroot Cascade would probably mean playing more basic lands, which would likely lead to some color-screw and consistency issues at times.

The good news is that there isn't really a non-budget list either. Sure, you can throw a couple of channel lands into the mana base, and some slight sideboard optimization is probably possible, but I think the deck's budget build is fairly close to being optimal. It's one of those decks that just happens to be super cheap!


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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