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Budget Magic: $63 (17 tix) Draft Chaff White Weenie (Standard, Magic Online)


PuiznuBudget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! Most often on Budget Magic, we're playing brews, but every once in a while, a really cheap deck shows up in the tournament results and slips into the rotation. This is one of those weeks. Recently, a $60 white aggro deck posted some 5-0 finishes on Magic Online, so today we're going to take Draft Chaff White Weenie out for a spin and see if we really have not just one but two competitive ultra-budget options in Guilds of Ravnica Standard! The basic plan of the deck is simple: flood the board with some draft chaff one-mana fliers like Healer's Hawk and Rustwing Falcon and then hopefully pump them into huge threats starting on Turn 3, with the help of Venerated Loxodon and Benalish Marshal. Just how good is Draft Chaff White Weenie in Standard? Can Mono-White join Mono-Blue Tempo as a second competitive ultra-budget deck in Guilds of Ravnica Standard? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

Editors note: This was recorded the beginning of last week before White Weenie decks broke out at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica. The bad news is the deck is less fresh and unique than it was a week ago, but the good news is Draft Chaff White Weenie is a great ultra-budget starting point to build into decks like White-Red Aggro that dominated at the Pro Tour!

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Budget Magic: Draft Chaff White Weenie (Standard)

The Deck

Draft Chaff White Weenie is a full-on aggro deck. We're looking to flood the board with cheap, evasive creatures; pump them into more meaningful threats; and hopefully close out the game quickly before our opponent has time to draw into their sweepers and bigger threats.

The One-Drops

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The foundation of Draft Chaff White Weenie is four different flying one-drops. Healer's Hawk, Rustwing Falcon, and Duskborne Skymarcher are all basically the same card in our deck. While there are some slight variations, with Healer's Hawk gaining us some life, Rustwing Falcon having an extra toughness to avoid Goblin Chainwhirler, and Duskborne Skymarcher pumping additional copies of itself (and Adanto Vanguard), the reason all of these cards are in our deck is because they cost just one mana and are evasive. Meanwhile, Skymarcher Aspirant gains an extra power at the cost of not having flying immediately, although thanks to all of our cheap creatures, we should be able to ascend before too long, turning it into a flying Savannah Lions

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Legion's Landing gives us an extra one-drop that has some additional upside. Since our deck only has 18 lands, being able to flip Legion's Landing as early as Turn 3 is actually pretty important to the deck, helping to make sure we can cast our powerful three-mana plays. Then, if the game goes long, Adanto, the First Fort gives us a steady stream of tokens to gum up the board. So, why is having all of these one-drops so important? The answer here is that when our deck is working properly, we really want to play three one-drops over the first two turns of the game. These triple one-drops start are essential to our game plan and allow us to maximize the power of our Turn 3 plays.

The Three-Drops

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On Turn 3, our plan is to start buffing our one-drops. Our best payoff is Venerated Loxodon, which not only gives us a cheap 4/4 body on the battlefield but also puts a +1/+1 counter on all of our aggressive threats. While beating down with one-power fliers takes a long time, we can close out the game quite quickly if we can turn all of our fliers into two-power attackers. With the triple one-drop start we were just talking about, Venerated Loxodon comes down for just two mana and grows our team, and if we have more than three one-drops, we can play them along with Venerated Loxodon on Turn 3 to maximize the value. Meanwhile, Benalish Marshal is basically a backup Venerated Loxodon. It's mostly worse because its body is smaller and  it needs to stay on the battlefield to pump our team (while the +1/+1 counters from Venerated Loxodon stick around even if the Elephant dies). This being said, after we dump our hand of one-drops, we want as many of our three-mana payoffs as possible to pump our evasive, aggressive threats and close out the game before our opponent gets the mana for cards like Cleansing Nova or huge fliers like Niv-Mizzet, Parun

Two-Drops

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Rounding out our creature base are a couple of two-drops. Adanto Vanguard is a solid attacker, and the ability to gain indestructible until end of turn is a great way to help overcome our deck's weakness to wraths like Cleansing Nova. A two-drop that attacks for three is good on its own, and it becomes even scarier in conjunction with our Venerated Loxodons and Benalish Marshals. Meanwhile, Remorseful Cleric gives us another evasive threat and has some major upside against decks like Golgari or various Arclight Phoenix decks where exiling the graveyard is extremely beneficial. Mostly, these cards help fill out our curve and maximize our potential for curving out from Turns 1 through 3. 

Other Stuff

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Last but not least, we have a couple more pump spells to grow our creatures. Gird for Battle probably looks strange, but it can be very strong on Turn 2. If we can play a one-drop on Turn 1 followed by another one-drop and Gird for Battle on Turn 2, we can deal a lot of damage quickly while also protecting our x/1s from Goblin Chainwhirler. As for Pride of Conquerors, it's one of our best ways to close out the game in one attack as early as Turn 4 or 5. Thanks to all of our fliers and our ability to ascend quickly when we cast Pride of Conquerors, we're often hitting with several three- or four-power fliers, which is almost always enough to kill our opponent in a single attack.

Wrap-Up

All in all, we finished our video matches 3-2, although we actually played against RWx Angels two more times and lost both (apparently, that's a pretty bad matchup), dropping our total record to 3-2. While the deck is capable of some almost unbeatable starts, we almost lose to ourselves more often than I'd like. The deck is great in games where we draw three or four lands, but things go wrong in a hurry if we draw two or fewer lands or more than four lands. This being said, the land trouble is pretty normal for all-in aggro decks—the downside of going all-in on fast kills is that we don't really have card draw or filtering to overcome variance. 

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As far as changes I'd make to the deck now that we've played some matches, the main deck feels pretty set in general. One card worth keeping in mind is Silverbeak Griffin, which some builds play in the two-drop slot over Adanto Vanguard, since it's better on defense and against Goblin Chainwhirler. It also works well with the evasive theme of the deck. Another possibility would be to splash into blue and try to take advantage of Favorable Winds as another way to pump our team, but this plan currently suffers from bad mana and will probably be a lot more practical after Ravnica Allegiance is released this winter.

So, where does this leave us in terms of ultra-budget Draft Chaff White Weenie? While the deck doesn't feel as strong as Mono-Blue Tempo in terms of competitive ultra-budget options, it's certainly playable and can win a lot of matches. It's pretty sweet to have different tournament-worthy decks that cost in the $60 range in Guilds of Ravnica Standard. While I'd stick with Mono-Blue Tempo if my goal were to win a Grand Prix or SCG Open, Draft Chaff White Weenie is more than FNM worthy and is also a great option for best-of-one play on Magic Arena. Plus, there are a surprising number of ways to upgrade the deck, either by adding more powerful cards like History of Benalia or by splashing into another color. If you like attacking with little white creatures or are just looking for a way to take advantage of your leftover draft cards, give Draft Chaff White Weenie a shot!

Since the deck we played for our video was already ultra-budget, we've got a Magic Arena budget list today instead. While Draft Chaff White Weenie is already pretty cheap in the Arena economy. If you're looking to make it even cheaper, the easiest change it to play Silverbeak Griffin in place of Remorseful Cleric. Discounting the sideboard, this change gets the deck all the way down to 11 rares and zero mythics, which should make the deck pretty easy to build for even new players on Arena

Non-Budget Options

First off, it's important to point out that the deck we played in the videos is technically a non-budget list that just happens to be really cheap. However, if you are looking to tweak Draft Chaff White Weenie, there are three main upgrade paths: Mono-White Weenie, Boros Weenie, and Selesnya Weenie. 

First off, we have Mono-White Weenie, which is basically a bigger version of the deck we played in the videos, trading in some of the super-fast starts for a more robust mid- and late-game plan. The two key additions here are Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants, which not only pumps our creatures by allows us to reanimate our one- and two-mana plays that happen to die, and History of Benalia, which is one of the most powerful cards in Standard, offering a great rate for just three mana. 

 

Second, we have Boros Weenie, which is almost exactly the deck we played in the videos but splashing red for Heroic Reinforcements, which is a mostly upgraded version of Pride of Conquerors, not just pumping our team but also making two 1/1 tokens. Adding an extra color also gives us access to some solid sideboard options, with cards like Experimental Frenzy and Banefire helping against control and Lava Coil providing a permanent answer to annoying creatures like Rekindling Phoenix and Arclight Phoenix

Finally, we have Selesnya Weenie, which is another bigger version of White Weenie, gaining Trostani Discordant and Shalai, Voice of Plenty as additional ways to pump our aggressive creatures and also Emmara, Soul of the Accord for splashing into green. 

As for which of these builds is best, I don't really have any idea. Each build has benefits and drawbacks, but the good news is that there are plenty of upgrade paths if you start off with Draft Chaff White Weenie, so if you start to get bored with the all-in aggro build we played in the video, there are plenty of playable options for switching things up!

Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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