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Thirty Casual Decks Under $20 for Magic: the Gathering Zendikar Rising Standard


This week marks the release of the newest Magic: the Gathering set, Zendikar Rising! Apart from being a sweet set filled with some unique tribes and cool land-based synergies, the release of Zendikar Rising is important for another reason: it brings with it rotation, where old sets leave Standard. This makes Zendikar Rising a fresh start of sorts, with just Throne of Eldraine, Theros: Beyond Death, Ikoria, and Core Set 2021 (along with Zendikar Rising itself, of course) legal to play in Standard! In celebration, we have our latest installment of the Thirty under $20 series today, with a bunch of cheap, fun decks featuring cards from Magic's newest set: Zendikar Rising. All of these decks were designed with rotation in mind, which means they will be legal in Standard for at least the next year!

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 Zendikar Rising–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 in both paper and on Magic Arena 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. As we discussed a moment ago, thanks to Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark, and Core Set 2020 rotating out of the format, this means that all of our decks today are built around cards from Throne of Eldraine, Theros: Beyond Death, Ikoria, Core Set 2021, and especially Zendikar Rising. 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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Zendikar Rising Only

Finally, we have some decks made only with Zendikar Rising cards. If you're brand new to Magic, Zendikar Rising is the newest Magic set, and since the release of Zendikar Rising also brings with it rotation (a yearly event where old sets leave Standard), it's the perfect time to jump into the game! While limiting the decks to just one set makes them less powerful than Standard decks, the upside is that you should (on average) get all the cards you need to build all of these decks by opening a couple of booster boxes of Zendikar Rising. They are also perfect for casual play on Magic Arena, especially if you are just starting out and don't have many cards in your collection, because they don't require many rare (or any mythic) wildcards to build. Plus, over the next few months, most of the reward packs on Magic Arena will be Zendikar Rising, so many of these cards will naturally show up in your collection soon, if they haven't already. These decks won't compete at the FNM level, but they are great starting points if you're looking for a way to stretch the amount of fun you get from your booster boxes or from free-to-playing Magic Arena! One last thing before we get to the decks: unlike the Standard decks, each rare will only show up as a one-of in the Zendikar Rising decks, no matter how good it might be in the deck. This is partly to help keep the price of the deck down (both in paper and on Magic Arena) but also because if you open two booster boxes of Zendikar Rising, you should end up with about one copy of each rare in the set. 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 lower-rarity cards!

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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 or for unranked play on Magic Arena, and they 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 Zendikar Rising 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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