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Budget Magic: $90 (13 tix) PelakkaMonicon (Standard)

Zdravo, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! Lately, we've been playing a lot of Modern as we wait for Guilds of Ravnica to come and shake up Standard with rotation, but we are making an exception to the rule this week and playing a deck that will be illegal in just a couple of weeks. Why, you ask? Because it's Panharmonicon week! As you probably know by now, Panharmonicon has been my Standard obsession for the past two years—we've played more decks built around Panharmonicon than around any other card in the format. As such, Panharmonicon is deserving of a proper sendoff before rotation. So today, we're taking Panharmonicon out for one last spin in Standard, with the support of some sweet Core Set 2019 cards. Can Panharmonicon compete in the dying days of M19 Standard? How good are the new Core Set 2019 additions? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

First, a quick reminder: if you enjoy the Budget Magic series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Budget Magic: PelakkaMonicon (Modern)

The Deck

PelakkaMonicon is pretty straightforward: we play lots of creatures with enters-the-battlefield triggers, Panharmonicon to double up the triggers, and some ramp to speed up the entire process. Since we've played about a million Standard Panharmonicon decks over the past year, we're playing a bunch of sweet new Core Set 2019 cards that we haven't had a chance to play with Panharmonicon yet.

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Presented without comment.


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PelakkaMonicon plays a lot of expensive cards, which makes our ramp creatures pretty important to the plan of our deck. Servant of the Conduit and Naga Vitalist help us ramp into Panharmonicon on Turn 3 and then help make sure we actually have enough mana to cast our Panharmonicon payoffs. While Llanowar Elves might seem better, we don't have that many untapped green sources for Turn 1, and Naga Vitalist and Servant of the Conduit have the upside of not dying to Goblin Chainwhirler

Meanwhile, Elvish Rejuvenator does double duty in our deck, being both an early-game ramp spell and a Panharmonicon payoff, since we can double up its land-searching trigger. While only being a 1/1 is a bit annoying, and it is possible to whiff, pulling two lands out of our deck for three mana is a pretty good deal, not only making sure we have enough mana to cast our spells but thinning lands out of our deck to increase our odds of drawing action.

Card Draw

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Champion of Wits and Cloudblazer have been staples of Panharmonicon decks for as long as they have been in the format, offering creatures that are fine on their own but are especially powerful with Panharmonicon when we can double up their card-drawing triggers and refill our hand. Champion of Wits offers filtering on Turn 3 along with a chump-blocking body to keep us alive while we wait to get Panharmonicon online. Then, in the late game, we can aftermath it to draw a ton of cards, refilling our hand and hopefully giving us enough enough action to win the game. Meanwhile, Cloudblazer is a perfect card for a Panharmonicon deck, coming down the turn after Panharmonicon to gain us four life and draw us four cards. One of the challenges of building around Panharmonicon is that we tend to fall behind, since we need to take a turn off to cast the artifact. As a result, having cards that can help us catch back up (and eventually pull ahead) after Panharmonicon hits the battlefield is extremely important. Cloudblazer does this and then some, with the lifegain keeping us out of the danger zone and the card draw finding us the finishers we need to close out the game.


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When it comes to closing out the game, we can win by outvaluing our opponent with small creatures and card draw, but more often than not, we are relying on the massive trampling Pelakka Wurm. Right now, in the waning days of our current Standard, red aggro is by far the most popular deck in the format, which makes playing Panharmonicon especially challenging. Even if we can manage to get a Panharmonicon on the battlefield, there is a real risk that we just die a turn or two later to a swarm of small creatures and burn spells unless we can do something very impactful to swing the game in our favor. Pelakka Wurm is this something. With a Panharmonicon on the battlefield, Pelakka Wurm gains us a massive 14 life, which is a huge cushion against aggro. Then, it leaves behind a 7/7 trampling body that can attack through chump blockers. Thanks to all of our card draw, if we can get a Panharmonicon down and get up to seven mana, it's pretty common that we can chain together Pelakka Wurm turn after turn, gaining massive chunks of life and eventually killing our opponent.

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Our other big Core Set 2019 addition is Meteor Golem, which is pretty insane with Panharmonicon, giving us an unconditional removal spell that doubles or even triples up with some Panharmonicons on the battlefield. More importantly, Meteor Golem doesn't just kill creatures but any non-land permanent, so it gives us an answer to annoying planeswalkers like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria or Chandra, Torch of Defiance, artifacts like Heart of Kiran, and enchantments like Search for Azcanta. This flexibility more than makes up for the fact that Meteor Golem's body isn't that great, making it a bit underpowered as an attacker. This being said, Meteor Golem is great for clearing blockers out of the way so we can trample over with Pelakka Wurm for lethal.


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Rounding out the deck is a touch of removal. Seal Away gives us a way to deal with opposing creatures in the early game, while Ixalan's Binding is great for cleaning up things like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, The Scarab God, and Hazoret the Fervent. While we only have two copies of each, we can skimp on removal a bit thanks to all of our lifegain, trusting that double-triggering Cloudblazer and Pelakka Wurm can stabilize the game, leaving us more slots to play cards that work with our Panharmonicon plan.


All in all, we finished 3-2 with PelakkaMonicon, which is a fine record for a budget deck. It's also worth mentioning that we played primarily tier decks, managing to beat both Mono-Red Aggro and Grixis Control (along with an interesting UR Planeswalker deck), while dropping matches to GB Vinemare and RB Aggro. Of course, delving deep into the record isn't really all that valuable, since Standard is rotating in a couple of weeks, and both Panharmonicon and the key cards from all of the decks we played against will be leaving the format. 

Perhaps a more important question is where Panharmonicon goes from here. While it will certainly be a casual staple, gracing kitchen tables and filling Commander decks around the world, its competitive future is a bit cloudier. We've played some sweet budget Panharmonicon decks in Modern, but no tournament decks have managed to make use of the artifact. This leaves Legacy. Can Panharmonicon find a home in one of the most powerful formats in all of Magic? For the answer to this question, make sure to tune in for Against the Odds on Wednesday as Panharmonicon week continues!

All in all, PelakkaMonicon was fun and fairly competitive as well. Unfortunately, this doesn't really matter a whole lot because Standard is rotating in just a couple of weeks. Thankfully, Panharmonicon has given us two great years of fun decks, and I'm sure we'll have some more now and then in older formats, in the coming years. Looking forward, the bigger question is what our next Panharmonicon will be. If you've got some ideas from Guilds of Ravnica or the other sets remaining in Standard, make sure to let me know in the comments!

Ultra-Budget PelakkaMonicon

While I wouldn't recommend buying any Standard deck at the moment, with rotation right around the corner, if you're looking to build PelakkaMonicon for around $50, all you really need to do is cut the dual lands and replace them with more basics and Evolving Wilds. While this will make the deck less consistent, we do have a lot of mana dorks, which will help to minimize the impact of cutting dual lands, so PelakkaMonicon can afford a mostly basic land mana base more than most decks. If you're looking to have some fun on the kitchen table, this build is a fine option; just know the deck will be for casual play only, since Panharmonicon will be rotating from Standard shortly.

Modern Budget Panharmonicon

Rather than giving you a non-budget list this week, let's talk about how you can keep playing your Panharmonicons once they rotate. The easiest option is Modern, and thankfully, we already have a few decks ready to go! Here are the Modern Budget Panharmonicon decks we've played in the past.

Check out Modern Ponzamonicon Budget Magic here!

Check out Modern Pan-meria Budget Magic here!

Check out Modern Mono-Black Panharmonicon here!


Anyway, that's all for today. How much will you miss Panharmonicon in Standard? Can we find a good replacement? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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