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Thirty Casual Decks Under $20 for Magic: the Gathering Core Set 2021


We've been publishing a bunch of cheap casual deck lists after the past few set releases. Today, we have our latest installment of the Thirty under $20 series, with a bunch of cheap, fun decks featuring cards from Magic's newest set: Core Set 2021. Traditionally, core sets are designed with new players in mind, which makes Core Set 2021 the perfect starting point if you're just getting into the game!

Like in the past, with today's decks, we tried to minimize the number of rares that show up in decks, to make them easier to acquire. For the Core Set 2021–only decks specifically, none of the decks has more than one of each rare since those are the numbers you're likely to open if you crack a couple of boxes. These decks are appropriate for fun, casual play and for new players. If you're looking for higher-powered decks (more appropriate for FNM), we play budget decks every week on the Budget Magic series, with a typical budget of $100. If you want to go all-out, you can check out fully powered decks used in tournaments and by pro players.

Standard

First, we have Standard decks, which take advantage of all of the cards currently legal in Standard. Core Set 2021 is the fourth set released since rotation, which means these decks are built around cards from Guilds of RavnicaRavnica AllegianceWar of the SparkCore Set 2020Throne of Eldraine, Theros: Beyond Death, and Ikoria, along with—of course—Core Set 2021 itself. The primary goal of these decks is to keep the price tag down under $20, which means (mostly) avoiding mythic cards altogether and minimizing the numbers of rare cards whenever possible. 

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Core Set 2021 Only

Next, we have some decks made only with Core Set 2021 cards. If you're brand new to Magic, Core Set 2021 is the newest Magic set, and traditionally, core sets are designed with new players in mind, making it a good option if you are just starting out! While limiting the decks to just one set makes them less powerful than Standard decks, the upside is simple: you should (on average) get the cards you need to build all of these decks by cracking a couple of boxes of Core Set 2021. They are also perfect for Magic Arena, especially if you are just starting out and don't have many cards in your collection, since they don't require many rare (or any mythic) wildcards to build. And you'll mostly be rewarded with packs from Core set 2021, so many of these cards will naturally show up in your collection over the next month or two (if they aren't there already). While these decks won't compete at the FNM level, they will be great starting points if you're looking for a way to stretch the amount of fun you get from your booster boxes or from casual free-to-play Magic Arena! One last thing before the decks: unlike the Standard decks, each rare only shows up as a one-of in the Core Set 2021 decks, no matter how good it might be in the deck. This is not only to keep the price down but because if you crack two boxes, you'll get about one of each rare, on average. If you happen to open multiple copies of one of the rares in the decks, don't be afraid to upgrade by sticking it in over one of the less powerful cards!

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Past Thirty under $20s

While this edition of Thirty under $20 was focused on Core Set2021 since it is Magic's latest set, all of the decks from our past two Thirty under $20s are still legal in Standard (at least until September, when we'll have our next Standard rotation)! If you're looking for even more fun, cheap decks to play, make sure to check them out!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. A quick reminder on the way out the door: all of the decks we talked about today are designed to be for casual play, like having fun with a friend on your kitchen table, and aren't really designed for competitive play. If you're looking for more powerful (but still budget-friendly) decks that are perfect for Friday Night Magic, make sure to check out our Budget Magic series. If you are looking for competitive tournament-worthy decks, you can find them on the metagame page. Hopefully, these super-cheap decklists for Core Set 2021 Standard will be helpful and fun! If you have any questions, make sure to let me know in the comments. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, feelings, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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