RNA Standard: Budget Orzhov Aristocrats

A new set is out, which means even more budget decks to talk about! Last week at the prerelease, I discovered a really simple combo that uses some really cheap cards. In our 2hg sealed pool, we got Gutterbones and Priest of Forgotten Gods which together created a value engine that was unstoppable in limited. These cards are relatively cheap as well, and given the right shell can perform excellently even without each other. Today’s article is going to cover a simple, yet effective deck, that will grind all of your opponents into the dust.

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Aristocrats is a deck that is focused on trading cards with the opponent and coming out ahead. Most of the creatures in an Aristocrats deck have abilities that trigger when they die, so if you can sacrifice them as part of a cost for another spell such as Final Payment, you get double the value. Some of the best Aristocrat cards are those that make a creature whenever they die, giving you even more creatures to work with other sacrifice effects. In Standard, our options include Hunted Witness, Imperious Oligarch, and Deathbloom Thallid which creates an awesome curve of creatures who want to die.

 

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The next secret ingredient in an Aristocrats deck is efficient and powerful sacrifice outlets. Priest of Forgotten Gods is one of the best sacrifice outlets Standard has seen in a long time and will be incredibly powerful when we draw it in our deck. Another great option in our colors is Pitiless Pontiff. While it is no Cartel Aristocrat, it is still a powerful option, and the threat of activation will keep our opponents from blocking it. We also have powerful spells such as Costly Plunder, and Final Payment which require an upfront cost of a creature. Our deck isn’t going to kill our opponent in a timely manner with 1/1’s and 2/2’s, so we top off our curve with a Demon of Catastrophes. A 6/6 flample will close out the game in almost no time at all.

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Aristocrats is a simple, but powerful strategy that has existed in Magic for a very long time. If you choose to splash red, there are lots of really powerful options available such as Goblin Bombardment lite Makeshift Munitions, and one of my personal favorite Aristocrat cards in Act of Treason. There is plenty of power in Orzhov, however, so there is no need to splash. For 25 dollars, you can have a very solid deck with a very solid gameplan, with the potential to expand however you wish. Thank you all for reading, I hope you have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!

Link to Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1606969#paper

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