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Budget Magic: $60 (20 tix) Wurm Revolt (Standard)

Bula, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! It's been a few weeks since we've played a Standard deck, but that all changes this week as we head back to Rivals of Ixalan Standard for a sweet ultra-budget deck: Wurm Revolt! Wurm Revolt is basically a really weird ramp deck that's looking to play a bunch of huge Wurms for free with the help of Aid from the Cowl and endless revolt triggers! The rest of the deck looks to take advantage of some cards that are potentially powerful but don't really see much Standard play because they are difficult to build around, like Wayward Swordtooth and Renegade Rallier. Is Sifter Wurm a Standard staple just waiting to be discovered? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Budget Magic: Wurm Revolt (Standard)

The Deck

Wurm Revolt is basically exactly as its name suggests, with lots of Wurms and lots of revolt triggers. The plan is to ramp in the early game, hopefully play an Aid from the Cowl with revolt on Turn 4 or 5, and start dropping huge Wurms on the battlefield for free! The deck has a ton of weird, sneaky synergy, which allows it to spiral out of control quickly, assuming we can make it to the mid- and late game.


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Aid from the Cowl is the centerpiece of our deck. As long as we can consistently trigger revolt, we get a free shot at putting something huge onto the battlefield at the end of our turn. One of the sweet aspects of Aid from the Cowl in our deck is that it plays a lot like Aetherworks Marvel, in the sense that if we don't hit something huge, we are likely to hit another free revolt trigger to spin again the next turn with Aid from the Cowl. Plus, we've got a few different ways of scrying to set up the top of our deck and increase the odds that we hit something game ending with Aid from the Cowl. While there are rare instances where Aid from the Cowl does nothing, more often than not, the enchantment is the best and most important card in our deck.

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Our main plan for triggering revolt every turn is our mana base. Even though we've got a bunch of expensive cards in our deck, we're only playing 20 lands (including four Evolving Wilds, which is a great way of triggering revolt). The reason for the low land count is that we've got the full four copies of both Renegade Map and Traveler's Amulet, which basically act like slow and expensive lands that trigger revolt. These cards help make sure we are triggering revolt to get a free card from Aid from the Cowl every turn, and if we aren't lucky enough to hit a game-ending threat with Aid from the Cowl, we have a reasonable chance of hitting one of our revolt enablers so we can get another free spin with Aid from the Cowl the next turn. Finally, the combo of Renegade Map, Traveler's Amulet, and Renegade Map helps to thin lands out of our deck, which increases our odds of hitting good stuff with Aid from the Cowl

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Rounding out the revolt part of our deck are Treasure Map and Renegade Rallier. Treasure Map is great in our deck. In the early game, it helps to smooth out our draws and find our Aid from the Cowl. Eventually, it flips around and gives us a bunch of Treasure tokens, which are another free, easy way to trigger revolt (and possibly even draw a card, with the help of Treasure Cove). Finally, in the late game, we can use Treasure Map to control the top card of our deck to help make sure we are hitting our most powerful permanents with Aid from the Cowl on a regular basis, rather than just spinning the wheel blindly and hoping to get lucky. 

Meanwhile, Renegade Rallier is mostly just a weird value card. It works really well with our Renegade Maps, Traveler's Amulets, and Evolving Wilds, since we can crack one of them, find a land, and then immediately get back the Map, Amulet, or Evolving Wilds with Renegade Rallier, which basically ends up being a weird sort of ramp. Plus, Renegade Rallier is a relatively on-curve creature for the early game, which gives us a blocker to help stay alive while we are waiting to take over with our Aid from the Cowl and Wurms.


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So, what are we trying to put on the battlefield for free with Aid from the Cowl? Wurms, of course! When it comes to building around Aid from the Cowl, the best hits are things that can impact the board immediately on our end step. This makes Sifter Wurm perhaps the best creature to hit in all of Standard. When it enters the battlefield, it gains us a huge chunk of life to help us stabilize, even if we are behind on board. Meanwhile, the scry three helps us set up our next draw. On the other hand, if we just naturally cast Sifter Wurm, it allows us to scry to set up our Aid from the Cowl flip on our end step, which means we can chain together Sifter Wurms or Sifter Wurm into one of our other huge finishers, both of which are pretty unbeatable for most decks!

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Our other Wurm is Sandwurm Convergence, which is another solid hit with Aid from the Cowl. While we don't get the 5/5 Wurm token right away (by the time the Aid from the Cowl card hits the battlefield, the beginning of our end step will have already passed), making a free 5/5 every turn over the course of a few turns is hard for most decks to beat. Furthermore, since cards like Glorybringer and Rekindling Phoenix are among the best threats in Standard, Sandwurm Convergence does do something immediately when it enters the battlefield on our end step by giving us a reverse Moat, making it so our opponent's fliers can't attack. Basically, Sandwurm Convergence is one of the best cards to put on the battlefield for free with Aid from the Cowl. The fact that it is on flavor for a Wurm deck is just a bonus.

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Overwhelming Splendor, as one of our best Aid from the Cowl hits, is an honorary Wurm. Turning all of our opponent's creatures into 1/1s with no abilities is a huge swing, keeping us alive in most board states and buying us time to find our Sifter Wurms or Sandwurm Convergence to close out the game. More importantly, Overwhelming Splendor stops hard-to-deal-with threats like The Scarab God and Hazoret the Fervent along with random activated abilities on non-creatures. Assuming we aren't extremely behind on board when Overwhelming Splendor hits the battlefield, it's really difficult for us to lose, assuming our opponent can't find something like Cast Out or enchantment removal.


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Wayward Swordtooth is a hard card to build around because it doesn't really do anything unless you have extra lands in your hand. Thankfully, Wurm Revolt is the perfect home for the Dinosaur. Renegade Map and Traveler's Amulet help to make sure we have extra lands in hand, as does Thaumatic Compass, and Wayward Swordtooth is great when we regularly have two lands to play during our turn, ramping us into our Sifter Wurm, Overwhelming Splendor, and Sandwurm Convergence naturally in games when we don't have our Aid from the Cowl. Plus, with the help of Treasure Map putting a bunch of permanents on the battlefield when it flips, Wayward Swordtooth will eventually be able to attack and block, and a 5/5 for three is a pretty good deal, offering us a good source of defense while we are waiting to set up our unbeatable late game. Meanwhile, Thaumatic Compass helps to make sure we are making two land drops each turn, and once we flip it around, the Maze of Ith is a great way to keep our opponent's biggest threats under control.


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For removal, we have Ixalan's Binding and Fumigate. Ixalan's Binding gives us a permanent answer to things like The Scarab God and Hazoret the Fervent while also giving us a hedge against planeswalkers, which can be problematic because we don't really have many early-game creatures to keep up the pressure. As for Fumigate, it gives us a way to sweep away the board and gain a bit of life along the way. It's our best shot to stabilize against the aggressive decks in the format and stay alive long enough for our Wurms to matter. 

The Sideboard

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While we're not going to talk about each sideboard card individually, I did want to mention two broad themes regarding the sideboard. First, our sideboard is heavily weighted toward improving our aggro matchup. Against control decks, we have a pretty good shot of simply out-powering our opponent, especially if we can slip an Aid from the Cowl through the opponent's countermagic, but against aggro, we can get run over if we have a slow draw. Cards like Authority of the Consuls, Sunscourge Champion, Haze of Pollen, and Regal Caracal all help against aggressive lists. Second, our sideboard is almost exclusively permanents (the one exception being Haze of Pollen), which helps to support the Aid from the Cowl plan. While hitting a free Sunscourge Champion isn't as exciting as hitting an Overwhelming Splendor, even small bits off free value add up, so it's worth making our Aid from the Cowls as consistent as possible, which is why a card like Thrashing Brontodon is far better than Naturalize in Wurm Revolt.


As for our record, it was a somewhat weird week. We went 3-2 in our video matches and actually went 4-2 overall, considering we played against a very budget Mono-Black Pirate list and crushed it, but you can only post so many matches against Pirates in one video series, and since we had already played (and lost to) Grixis Pirates, I decided to record an extra match to fill in. The other weirdness with the record was the decks we played against: apparently, it was budget / rogue week on Magic Online because, apart from UB Scarab God Midrange and RB Aggro, we played against some wild brews. 

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As for the deck, it felt really good. It has a ton of sneaky synergy and ran really smoothly. This being said, we do have a tendency to get run over by aggro, especially if we don't find (or resolve) a Fumigate in a timely manner. It might be worth adding in a bit more early-game removal to help fight against aggressive decks pre-sideboarding. It's also important to remember that the deck is intentionally ultra-budget, which means you could easily add some black mana to tutor up with Traveler's Amulet, Renegade Map, and Evolving Wilds along with a full playset of Fatal Push and still fall into the normal budget range. 

All in all, the deck was really fun and seemed reasonably competitive. While the weirdness of our matchups makes it somewhat difficult to figure out just how good the deck would be if we had played a tier one list every round, Wurm Revolt did go toe-to-toe with The Scarab God and fought the best card in Standard to a stalemate (eventually winning by our opponent timing out). Plus, it's fun to see forgotten Standard cards like Wayward Swordtooth and Sifter Wurm doing serious work! If you like synergy and slamming huge things into play for free, Wurm Revolt seems like a solid option for Standard, especially considering the ultra-cheap $60 price tag!

Ultra-Budget Wurm Revolt

No ultra-budget list this week. The build from the videos was pretty close to the ultra-budget price range already!

The non-budget build of Wurm Revolt is still fairly cheap, which is one of the benefits of running a mana base with essentially zero non-basic lands, but it does get a handful of sweet upgrades. First, Settle the Wreckage joins Fumigate in the main deck, giving us a faster sweeper that is better at dealing with indestructible threats like Hazoret the Fervent. Carnage Tyrant and Angel of Sanctions offer some additional Aid from the Cowl hits while also being cheap enough that we can hard cast them fairly easily and quickly. Meanwhile, Baffling End gives us just a touch more early-game removal to help out against the aggressive decks in the format. The sideboard also gains Deathgorge Scavenger as a hybrid graveyard hate and lifegain spell, which lets us trim back on cards like Regal Caracal and Sunscourge Champion to add in another Carnage Tyrant and Angel of Sanctions, giving sideboard help in a wider range of matchups. All in all, this build feels like it gets a significant boost of power, but I'm not sure whether this power will translate into significantly more wins. This being said, if you decide to pick up Wurm Revolt, the first upgrade I'd make is Settle the Wreckage because it is really important to fighting against aggro, which was the biggest weakness we found for the build we played for our videos. 


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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