Table of Contents
- Decks Requiring No Rares/Mythics
- Decks Requiring 4-8 Rares/Mythics
- Decks Requiring 8-16 Rares/Mythics
- Complete List of Decks
Hey everyone! With Alchemy rotation on the horizon I’m going to be highlighting a number of budget decks for post-rotation Alchemy for those of you interested in trying the format out without having to invest too heavily, or those of you that just want to try out some new decks without having to spend a ton of wildcards.
If you want the full details on which sets will be rotating out then check out this article here, but some of the main cards we’re seeing disappear are Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Divine Purge, Ascend from Avernus, Calim, Djinn Emperor, Invoke Despair, Tasha, Unholy Archmage, Oni-Cult Anvil, and Diviner of Fates, so the format will definitely be affected in a major way.
Another very important factor for budget decks are the manabase, since the vast majority of good lands (especially dual lands) are rares, and we also have a number of lands rotating out too. The main ones of note that are leaving are the channel lands such as Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire, the slow lands such as Deserted Beach, the ‘triomes’ from Streets of New Capenna such as Raffine's Tower, and Forsaken Crossroads which was a staple in most multicolored decks.
With those rotating out we’ll only be left with the pain lands such as Adarkar Wastes, the allied colored fast lands such as Seachrome Coast, Plaza of Heroes, and Thran Portal for color fixing meaning that three colored decks, and two colored decks in enemy colors are going to be a lot less consistent. Having said that I assume we’ll be getting some additional lands in the next set Wilds of Eldraine (which will be legal in the format in time for rotation) so I’ll be updating this article once we have more details of those cards.
In this article I’ll be highlighting a number of budgets decks, starting off with decks that require no rare or mythic wildcards at all, and then gradually moving towards decks that require a few rares or mythics to function properly (which will generally be the more competitive decks). Some of these will be standalone decks (but the rares and mythics in these are generally good crafts that you’ll likely use in other decks) but I’ll highlight any potential rare or mythic upgrades wherever it’s relevant. Let’s get into it!
Decks Requiring No Rares/Mythics
Mono Black Nazgûl Midrange
This is a Mono Black Midrange deck that is mainly built around Nazgûl as your main finisher, which is really powerful in multiples, especially if you can trigger the ring tempts you off other cards like Gollum, Patient Plotter. The deck also has a sacrifice sub-theme with a lot of cheap creatures alongside Corrupted Conviction and Nasty End to keep the cards flowing, and some high quality interaction in Go for the Throat and Sheoldred's Edict to round the deck out.
Being mono colored means you don’t need any rares for the manabase, and thankfully a lot of the premium black removal is uncommon too. If you enjoy the sacrifice gameplay of this deck and are interested in playing a more competitive build then I highly recommend trying out the Rakdos Sacrifice Midrange list, and if you like the synergy with Nazgûl then I highly recommend trying out the Mono Black The One RingNazgûl, both of which appear later in the article.
Mono Red Burn
This is a deck largely built around burn spells which give you the flexibility of either killing opposing creatures, planeswalkers, or damaging the opponent directly, giving you good reach in the lategame. Fiery Inscription is nice here as a finisher forcing through a bunch of extra damage as you cast your other instants and sorceries.
Unfortunately there’s not a massive density of good mono red threats that aren’t rare or mythic but Monastery Swiftspear and Electrostatic Infantry are both excellent and so we max out on those as the only creatures, and rely more heavily on burn spells since the next best alternatives are significantly worse.
Not all of the burn spells can go face but Rebel Salvo is important to be able to kill Sheoldred, the Apocalypse which is one of the biggest issues for a burn deck and I expect to remain a mainstay in the format after rotation, and Volcanic Spite kills important threats like Crucias, Titan of the Waves while also smoothing out your draws. Then you also have Mishra's research Desk and Wrenn's Resolve to keep the cards flowing so you don’t run out of gas.
Decks Requiring 4-8 Rares/Mythics
This deck actually has no rares or mythics outside of the manabase, but with the deck running eight 1 mana blue spells and eight 1 mana red spells, the manabase just won’t work without some number of dual lands so we need to spend 4 rares on Shivan Reef (rare dual lands are generally a good investment though since they see play across a number of decks usually). Hopefully we’ll get some more enemy colored dual lands in Wilds of Eldraine to potentially improve the manabase in color pairs like Izzet.
This is a deck largely built around cheap instants and sorceries, and we have a number of powerful payoffs to capitalize on casting those cheap spells: Third Path Iconoclast provides you with tokens, Fiery Inscription provides you with extra damage, Tolarian Terror gets discounted very quickly, and Gandalf's Sanction works as a removal spell and very powerful finisher in one, and is potentially the strongest card in the deck. To enable this we run a number of cheap draw spells to keep the cards flowing, and burn spells that can be used as removal or additional damage.
Mono White Control
This deck requires 4 mythics for The One Ring (which is the most powerful card in the whole format and is seeing play in a huge variety of decks), and 3 rares for Sunfall (which will probably be the sweeper of choice going forwards if control is a viable option).
The big appeal to budget mono white decks is you have a great selection of high quality interaction at uncommon: Lay Down Arms and Ossification are very good cards on rate if you’re mono white, Lost to Legend lines up very well against a lot of the top cards right now like Crucias, Titan of the Waves, The One Ring and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, and Reprieve is one of the best counterspells in the format post-rotation, and is an effect white doesn’t normally have access to.
Outside of that we have Union of the Third Path which is great at offsetting the life loss from The One Ring, Inscribed Tablet to improve consistency and give you more early plays, and Combat Thresher as an early game defensive option, and a lategame finisher. If you’re a fan of this archetype and want to improve the deck, the first options I would look to are planeswalkers such as Archangel Elspeth and The Eternal Wanderer to replace Combat Thresher as a finisher.
Decks Requiring 8-16 Rares/Mythics
Rakdos Sacrifice Midrange
This is definitely the list I recommend the most if you’re interested in getting into competitive alchemy since all of the rares and mythics are all part of the core shell that makes up the majority of the top decks in the format right now.
Crucias, Titan of the Waves has been one of the strongest cards in Alchemy ever since it came out since it snowballs the game in your favor so quickly helping to ramp and find your best cards, and can also be used as a tutor effect. We’re utilizing that tutor effect in this deck to be able to find the other 2 mythic cards since if you discard a 3 drop and name ambitious, you’re guaranteed to get either The One Ring or Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.
The One Ring is probably the most powerful card in the format right now and pairs incredibly well with Sheoldred, the Apocalypse since it immediately offsets the life loss while being a great card on its own, so by getting two Crucias, Titan of the Waves activations and discarding two 3 drops you get to assemble the strongest synergy in the whole format.
The rare wildcards are all in the manabase for the red black dual lands (I think this deck would be playable without the dual lands so could be craftable with only 6 mythics if you don’t have the rares, although it will definitely be less consistent) which are run in all variations of the RBx Crucias, Titan of the Waves shells that are dominant in the format right now so should be a solid wildcard investment too.
The rest of the deck has a sacrifice sub-theme going on with payoffs like Corrupted Conviction and Charforger helping you produce card advantage, and some premium removal to round the deck out. In terms of upgrades, the best way to evolve this shell would be to work towards the regular Rakdos Midrange shell (sample list below) which is my pick for the best deck in the format post-rotation assuming we don’t get huge additions in Wilds of Eldraine.
Mono Black One Ring Nazgûl
This is probably the closest to a fully-formed competitive deck although it does require 8 rares and 8 mythics. Having said that, Orcish Bowmasters, The One Ring and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse are all staples in the format, and Call of the Ring is a decent card in its own right (although you could potentially replace it with 1 Cut Down, 1 Sheoldred's Edict, and 2 Dreams of Steel and Oil if you wanted to save 4 rare wildcards and only craft the staples which you’ll very likely use in other decks – this will make this deck less powerful though).
This list is another midrange deck but this time we’re maxing out on both The One Ring and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse which are two of the most powerful cards in the format, and synergize incredibly well together. Similar to the previous Nazgûl list we’re running the full 9 copies of Nazgûl which are great to assemble in multiples, but we’re also running Call of the Ring which is a great card advantage engine that also provides additional buffs to your Nazgûl army too providing extra synergy.
To round the deck out we’ve got some great quality black interaction and Orcish Bowmasters which is an incredibly strong card on rate, especially when so many other decks are running The One Ring, whilst also being good against other smaller creatures including opposing Orcish Bowmasters.
I don’t think there’s really that much in the way of upgrades for this deck since it’s already running the full package for each of its synergies, but there are some other options you could consider for your interaction package such as Dreams of Steel and Oil to prey on other The One Ring decks, or Lonely End if you want additional incidental lifegain.
With a big portion of the card pool leaving and very little information on the Wilds of Eldraine cards currently, it’s hard to say exactly what the format will look like post rotation, but with the information we have available right now these are the lists I’d recommend playing if you want to try out Alchemy, or you just want to try out some new decks without breaking the wildcard bank.
Once we have the full set details for Wilds of Eldraine I’ll definitely return to this article to provide further updates. Thanks a lot for reading!
Complete List of Decks
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