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Budget Magic: $97 (22 tix) Modern Infinite Pili-Pala


For this weeks installment of Budget Magic, we have a Mono-Blue combo deck built around Pili-Pala and Grand Architect — a two card combo that generates infinite mana (and also takes an infinite amount of clicks on Magic Online). While not quite as cheap as last week's Restore Balance deck, this Infinite Pili-Pala brew is still surprisingly affordable coming in at 21 tickets on Magic Online and $97 in paper. Plus, you really can't put a value on the look on your opponent's face when they lose to a Pyromatics replicated 19 times or a Blue Sun's Zenith for 49. Just a quick reminder, if you enjoy the video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to keep up on all the latest videos.

Deck Tech

Round 1 vs Ghostway

Round 2 vs GW Hatebears

Round 3 vs UWR Control

Potential Additions

Before talking about some potential improvements for the deck, I wanted to very briefly mention a couple of subtractions you could implement to make the deck even cheaper. First, while Remand is very good in the deck, I'm not sure it's completely necessary. If you want to knock $30 off the paper price (and 10 tix off the Magic Online price), you could probably cut the Remands and replace them with another Anticipate and another Swan Song. Also, the Vapor Snags in the sideboard can just as easily be Unsummon or Echoing Truth, which dosen't amount to a huge savings, but it does shave another $3 or $4 from the paper price; when you are building on a budget, every dollar counts. 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Pact of Negation is the card I'm most excited about trying in this deck. Since our combo is always game winning, Pact of Negation is basically a free hard counter. When we combo off we don't plan on having a "next upkeep," so we don't really have to worry about paying for the "you lose the game" trigger. I would definitely like to find room for two or three in the main deck, although I'm not completely sure what to cut. I'm not convinced all eight transmute cards are really necessary, so I might trim one Muddle the Mixture and one Drift of Phantasms for two copies of the blue pact. 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Even though it doesn't help our combo plan, I'm tempted to try Vedalken Shackles in this deck. We have an almost mono-islands mana base, which is perfect for powering up the artifact, and stealing a Siege Rhino or Tarmogoyf actually gives us a reasonable plan b if our combo gets shut off. One of the major reasons that Vedalken Shackles isn't heavily played in Modern at the moment is how easily it dies to Abrupt Decay — but in this deck, dying to the GB instance is actually more of a plus than a minus. As I'm sure you've noticed, both Pili-Pala and Grand Architect are juicy Abrupt Decay targets, so getting our opponent to spend an Abrupt Decay on something other than our combo pieces is actually a small victory. 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

While I'm not sure Cryptic Command does anything essential for our deck, it's hard for me to not want to include the modal instant in any deck that can cast it. The problem here, again, is what to cut. Since pretty much every card in the deck is either part of the combo or helping us set up the combo, there really isn't a lot of wiggle room for non-essential pieces. Probably the easiest change is just to cut Into the Roil, since Cryptic Command does everything it does (bounce/draw a card), while also doing a bunch of other things that Into the Roil can't. This is what my list would look like with no budget constraints. 


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