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Budget Magic: $98 (30 tix) Modern Little Kid GW

Bojour, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time again! We are currently in the countdown until Amonkhet releases, which will bring along with it a bunch of Standard budget decks exploring the new format (prereleases on Magic Online start next Monday, which means that not next week but the following week, we'll have our first Amonkhet Budget Magic). While we wait, there isn't much sense in playing Standard, so this week, we are heading to Modern to beat down like little kids. If you think back to when you first started playing Magic, you probably liked big creatures (for me, this was Arcbound Overseer) and using them to smash your opponent to death by attacking over and over again. Today's Little Kid GW deck is on the same plan—we look to play the most efficient, undercosted, and overpowered creatures at each point on the curve and beat our opponent down before they have a chance to recover! If you like attacking, this one's for you! Let's get to the videos and then we'll talk more about the deck.

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Little Kid GW: Deck Tech

Little Kid GW vs. Grixis Delver

Little Kid GW vs. Eldrazi and Taxes

Little Kid GW vs. Merfolk

Little Kid GW vs. 8 Whack

Little Kid GW vs. Heartbeat Combo

The Deck

Little Kid GW is basically a curve deck. Instead of relying on synergy, we are instead looking to overwhelm our opponents with raw power by playing the biggest, baddest creatures at each point on the curve, from one mana up to four mana, and then backing up our threats with a handful of tricks. As such, probably the easiest way to break down the deck is to work our way up the curve. When our deck is functioning optimally, we'll have a one-drop into a two-drop into a three-drop into a four-drop and then hopefully have our opponent dead on Turn 5 or 6! However, we do need to cheat a little bit and start with the four-drops because their abilities dictate some of the other card choices in our deck.


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Wilt-Leaf Liege and Knight of New Alara are basically our payoff cards. Since we intentionally built our deck to be overloaded with creatures that are both green and white (which are also multicolor, of course), they come down on Turn 4 and work like double anthems for our team, pumping (nearly) all of our other creatures +2/+2. This gives us one-drops that are 4/3s, two-drops that are 5/5s, and three-drops that are 6/6s! While most of our creatures are big (for their mana cost) on their own, they end up bigger than just about anything in Modern once we start playing our Wilt-Leaf Lieges and Knight of New Alaras. 

Wilt-Leaf Liege is easily the better of the two, not only having a bigger, Lightning Bolt-dodging body but also having the upside of randomly hosing discard like Kolaghan's Command. Meanwhile, Knight of New Alara is small—only a 2/2 for four mana—but it does help give us redundancy with the double-lord effect. 


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I tend to think of Dryad Militant as a Savannah Lions that ends up a 4/3 once we play a Wilt-Leaf Liege or Knight of New Alara, but it's actually so much more. I was surprised at just how often its ability to exile instant or sorcery cards when they go to the graveyard matters. Not only does it give us extra value against Snapcaster Mage decks (which want to flashback their removal spells to keep killing our creatures) but it also gives us a weird, maindeckable hoser to decks like Storm and even Dredge (which often wins with Conflagrate). 

Meanwhile, Experiment One is the best of a bunch of bad options. Since we are trying to be aggressive, we really need more than just four one-drops, and after looking over all of the options available to us, it seemed like Experiment One was the best, even considering it doesn't work with Knight of New Alara and only gets +1/+1 from Wilt-Leaf Liege. The good news is that we play so many big creatures that it's pretty easy to get Experiment One up to a 3/3 by Turn 3, which gives us a sort of build-your-own Wild Nacatl with the upside of randomly regenerating through a sweeper. 


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On Turn 2, our goal is to play a 3/3 and keep beating down. For this, we use literal Watchwolf and Fleecemane Lion, which is sort of a Watchwolf with upside if the game happens to go long. While Fleecemane Lion is clearly the more powerful card, it's actually pretty rare that we find ourselves in a situation where we have a Fleecemane Lion on the battlefield along with five mana to try to go monstrous, so most of the time it's just a Watchwolf, which is still fine. Of course, both get the double benefit from Wilt-Leaf Liege and Knight of New Alara, so they often end up as 5/5s by Turn 4.

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Qasali Pridemage is basically a Watchwolf in hiding. While it's technically a 2/2, it does attack for three (if it attacks alone) thanks to exalted. More importantly, the exalted damage comes down with haste. While it might not seem like much, the +1/+1 that Qasali Pridemage gives a creature can be hugely important, allowing a Loxodon Smiter or Wilt-Leaf Liege to attack into a Tasigur, the Golden Fang or Reality Smasher. The other benefit of Qasali Pridemage comes from the fact that Modern is such a diverse format, and you never know when you'll run into a deck that's looking to lock you out of the game with a Blood Moon, Sphere of Safety, or Ensnaring BridgeQasali Pridemage's ability to destroy an artifact or enchantment gives us a main-deck out to these fringe situations. 


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Loxodon Smiter is simply huge for its mana cost, being a 4/4 for three and jumping all the way up to a 6/6 once we get a Wilt-Leaf Liege or Knight of New Alara on the battlefield. While the main reason it's in the deck is to be a huge beater, it also gives us some weird value in specific matchups, avoiding counters against hardcore control decks (which has become more of a concern with the rise of UW Control in the format) and hosing discard as well by going directly to the battlefield. 

Meanwhile, Dauntless Escort is basically the original Selfless Spirit. While sacrificing our three-mana 3/3 to hose a wrath or sweeper doesn't feel as good as sacrificing a two-mana 2/2, it still gets the job done in a pinch. Otherwise, it's roughly on-curve and works well with all of our four-mana lords. 

Other Stuff

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We only have one non-creature, non-land card in the main deck, but thankfully it's a good one. The main purpose of Dromoka's Command is to be a removal spell that can often get us a two-for-one if we also use it to fizzle a removal spell or put a counter on one of our creatures during combat. Since our deck is so overloaded with huge creatures, it's rare that we won't be able to use it to fight and kill any creature on our opponent's side of the battlefield, and it also gives us the upside of countering an Anger of the Gods to wipe away our board, or a lethal Lightning Storm or Conflagrate to the face. 

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We aren't going to talk about all of the lands—the main goal with the manabase is to play as many budget duals as possible but only ones that have a reasonable chance of coming into play untapped because we really want to curve out from Turns 1 through 4. However, Gavony Township and Stirring Wildwood are important enough that we should discuss them for a minute. One thing you probably noticed about the deck is that we don't really have a source of card advantage. For us, Gavony Township and, to a lesser extent, Stirring Wildwood help fill this void by giving us something to do with our mana in the late game when we are empty handed. Gavony Township pumps our entire team, while Stirring Wildwood is both a green and white creature, so it ends up a 5/6 with reach if we have a Wilt-Leaf Liege or Knight of New Alara on the battlefield.


And that's basically the deck. Probably the best way to play it is to be aggressive, but know that it's okay to go long if you run into a true aggro deck, since your average draw is going to be more powerful than your opponent's average draw. The one thing the deck is missing is Path to Exile. While I wouldn't play it over Dromoka's Command, it would be nice to have a playset of Path to Exile (while likely trimming two-drops) as additional removal. As you saw in some of the matches, we ended up with huge board stalls in some games, and while we usually ended up winning these games in the long run, the strategy can be risky because some opponents will find a flier or burn spells to kill us before we can overwhelm their board with lords and Gavony Township activations. All in all, we finished 3-2 in our video matches, but counting an additional loss to Tron, where we got Turn Three'd in game one and mana screwed in game two, we actually ended up with a 3-3 record. 

Ultra-Budget Little Kid GW

The biggest challenge with building an ultra-budget version of Little Kid GW is the mana. In the build we play on video, the mana was already stripped back to the point where it was just barely good enough, and it's even worse for the ultra-budget build, with Blossoming Sands replacing a land that at least had the potential to come into play untapped sometimes (Sunpetal Grove). Having tapped lands isn't really a big deal with some decks, but our deck is so focused on curving out that it's hard to stomach playing off-curve to make room for tapped lands. Otherwise, we lose Gavony Township, which is good in the deck, but I think we activated it a single time in all five of our matches, so it doesn't come up all that often, and we switch the numbers on Wilt-Leaf Liege and Knight of New Alara, leaving us with the same total numbers of the double-lord effect but with more copies of the more fragile (but cheaper) Knight of New Alara. All in all, this build will play about like the one in the videos but will struggle a bit more with the clunky mana base, which means it probably shouldn't be taken to a tournament without better mana. The good news is that you can play whatever Modern-legal GW duals you have around and it will improve the deck. While fetches and shocks are the best, even the standard-legal dual lands would be an improvement. 

Non-Budget GW Little Kid Luck

For our non-budget list this week, we have an old Sam Pardee build that is very similar, with a light black splash to take advantage of Siege Rhino, discard like Thoughtseize, and the flashback of Lingering Souls. The basic idea of the deck is the same—play big GW creatures really quickly—but the non-budget build does get some very strong upgrades. Instead of playing Savannah Lions on Turn 1, it has mana dorks like Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch to let us play its big three- and four-drops even faster. Voice of Resurgence is a great two-drop, and the life gain from Kitchen Finks is helpful against aggro. If you are going to play Little Kid GW at a Grand Prix or SCG Tour event, I'd probably start here. 


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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