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Akoum Hellhound Art by Jason Kang

Standard on a Budget: Gruul Landfall

Hello Planeswalkers, I am The MTG Hero. The Standard bans are in, and Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is right around the corner. With players not knowing what to play in the meantime, as well as new players coming in and old players returning, I think it is time we do another budget deck to keep us satisfied for a while. So, let’s look at what in my opinion, is the best budget deck you can play in current standard, Gruul Landfall.

This deck is not only budget in paper, coming in at a grand total of $7.57 USD on TCGplayer. It also has no rares or mythics so we can save Wildcards for Kamigawa! In fact, you can get most of this deck from the new player experience deck Savage Lands when you first join and do your first couple of missions!


The Deck

Without further ado, let’s look at the budget beast:

$7.50 Budget Gruul Landfall
by The MTG Hero
Buy on TCGplayer $16.69
Standard
Aggro
best of 1
0 mythic
0 rare
20 uncommon
40 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (16)
4
Akoum Hellhound
$1.00
Instants (16)
4
Snakeskin Veil
$1.00
4
Frost Bite
$1.00
4
Critical Hit
$1.40
Sorceries (4)
4
Blizzard Brawl
$1.40
Lands (24)
4
Evolving Wilds
$1.00
4
Highland Forest
$1.40
60 Cards
$30.84
Sideboard
4
Wild Shape
$1.40
3
Abrade
$0.75
15 Cards
$4.95

This almost doesn’t even look like a budget deck with some quality removal in Blizzard Brawl and Frost Bite. Champions of Standard’s past, Akoum Hellhound and Brushfire Elemental return as centerpieces of the deck. While the over-looked landfall creatures, Skyclave Geopede and Territorial Scythecat, finally get some of the limelight and round off our threats!


Playing the Deck

This is a meat and potatoes Gruul Aggro deck. Early game you want to lead off with Hellhound, when possible, but don’t panic if you don’t have a play turn 1. This deck does a lot of burst damage. We will often win the game in 1 or 2 attacks, so not having that blisteringly fast start doesn’t really matter.

Brushfire Elemental needs no introduction, but Skyclave Geopede and Territorial Scythecat have always been overlooked and that is a real shame since they check all the boxes you want in a good landfall creature. Having trample is huge and makes them the very best combo cards with Critical Strike. Territorial Scythecat is especially worth noting since it gets +1/+1 counters so it will be a constant threat.

For removal we have Blizzard Brawl and Frost Bite. These are basically the best removal spells we have access to which is perfectly fine because they have been some of the best removal spells in the format. Blizzard Brawl’s indestructibility effect is also huge almost guaranteeing a 2-for-1 or a 1-for-1 with the opponent taking some HUGE damage.

Snakeskin Veil is fantastic protection and a small damage boost as well. I’ve used it infinite times as just a combat trick, probably just as many times as I have used it to save a creature from removal. However, its real purpose is to protect our creature when we go all-in with a Critical Hit. This can just end games out of nowhere even through blockers since our “bigger” creatures have trample naturally.

You Happen On a Glade is basically just extra fuel for us. While it doesn’t ramp us a head, it finds us 2 lands so we can trigger our landfall creatures for at least 2 turns. But the ability to return a permanent from the grave to our hand really helps if we need to get a creature back or return an Evolving Wilds for a huge alpha strike turn. I also think it is better than other options we could play.


Sideboard Guide

So, I don’t think playing this deck in Bo3 is the best decision. If you are adamant about it, this is the sideboard I put together:

Versus Aggro Decks

InOut
+3 Abrade-4 You Happen On a Glade
+4 Thundering Rebuke-3 Akoum Hellhound

Versus Midrange and Control Decks

InOut
+4 Choose Your Weapon-4 Blizzard Brawl
+4 Thundering Rebuke-4 Frost Bite

Tips and Tricks

Plan out your land drops in accordance with the amount of damage you can get in. Sometimes it is smart to play a creature and not attack to get in more damage the next turn.

Sometimes it is smart to save an Evolving Wilds to ensure you have landfall triggers when you have no lands in your hand.

Territorial Scythecat is the preferred 3-drop to lead on since it gets counters and will keep growing.

Returning an Evolving Wilds with You Happen On a Glade is a real play. Especially if you have an Evolving Wilds already in play, this sets up for huge turns where you can get three landfall triggers.


Cards You Can Add

It is important to remember that this is a fast deck, and you want to keep it as such, so while cards like Goldspan Dragon are powerful, some cards just don’t support what this deck is trying to do.

Of course, you want to fix your mana. So, this is just an auto-include if you can.

This is a great addition because it is a large threat that can end games out of nowhere while ending games quickly. It can also be a land in a pinch, no reason to not play it.

This is just a fantastic value card. If you are in green, there really isn’t a reason to not run it.

This is just a beating against slow control decks and midrange decks. It pairs well with Esika's Chariot as well. It would be a 2-of in my sideboard easily.

Another fantastic aggressive creature. I would probably top my main deck curve off at this guy and Esika's Chariot.


Conclusion

I think this is the best budget deck you can get. It is fast and punishes any deck that stumbles. If I was light on cash or new to MTG Arena, this is exactly where I would start. The low curve and the ability to end games out of nowhere makes this deck dangerous. Every game is generally exciting when you are trying to put together a kill and so satisfying when you win with a budget brew. Until Next time Planeswalkers, Hero out!

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The MTG Hero
The MTG Hero

My name is The MTG Hero. I have played Magic for over 15 years. I am a consistent high Mythic ranked player. Follow me on Twitch and subscribe on YouTube!

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