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Thirty Casual Decks under $20 for Magic: the Gathering War of the Spark

Back in October, right after Guilds of Ravnica was released, we published an article featuring 30 casual decks for Guilds of Ravnica Standard and followed this up by doing the same for Ravnica Allegiance. The response was very positive, so we're back with another round today but with decks for War of the Spark Standard! These 30 Magic: the Gathering decks are all $20 or under—perfect for new players or for fun casual play without breaking the bank. We've broken the decks into three categories. First up, we have a bunch of Standard decks that use cards released over the past year or so. Second, we have a few decks that use only cards found in the latest Magic: the Gathering expansion set, War of the Spark. Finally, we have a handful of decks that were featured in the last 30 casual deck articles but are still playable in War of the Spark Standard with slight updates or no updates at all.

We tried to minimize the number of rares that show up in decks, to make them easier to acquire. For the War of the Spark 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 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 Decks

The following decks are for War of the Spark Standard. Each deck is under $20, and the goal is to minimize the number of rares and avoid mythics altogether. The upside of this strategy is that along with being super cheap in paper and on Magic Online, these decks should also be pretty budget friendly on Magic Arena if you are looking for something different to play in the free-play room. Since the decks are mostly designed for beginners and casual play, I'm not going to break down each deck card by card. If you have questions about any of the decks, make sure to ask in the comments, and I'll do my best to answer!

War of the Spark Only

Next, we've got five decks made only from War of the Spark cards. If you're brand new to Magic, War of the Spark is the newest Magic set, which makes it the perfect starting point if you are interested in trying out the game! While limiting the decks to just one set makes them less powerful than the all-Standard decks we just talked about, 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 War of the Spark. Again, these decks won't compete at the FNM level, but they will be great starting points if you're looking for a way to stretch the amount of fun you get from your War of the Spark booster boxes! 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.

One last thing before the decks: unlike the Standard decks, each rare only shows up as a one-of in the War of the Spark 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!

Updated Decks

While most of the focus at the moment is on War of the Spark since it is Magic's newest set, it's important to remember that all of the decks from our Ravnica Allegiance 30 under $20 article and our Guilds of Ravnica 30 under $20 article are still legal to play in Standard. While many of those decks remain unchanged, some get upgrades from War of the Spark. While I'd encourage you to check out all of the lists, here are a handful of upgraded lists from past articles in the series, to get you started.


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 deck lists for War of the Spark Standard are 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

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