Welcome back to another installment of a budget deck! This week, we are taking a look at Gruul and what advantages Standard offers to it on a budget.
This weeks deck was actually inspired by a game of limited I recently played. I was drafting Ravnica Allegiance on MtG Arena and ended up facing one of the most unique decks I have ever seen in a draft format. My opponent played an Island, followed by a Mountain, and then a Plains and then started casting as many Goblin Gatherings as they could. After they had 7 or more tokens on the battlefield, they would swing with everything and cast Burn Bright killing me on the spot. The only reason they played Blue and White was for extra support cards, but the core combo of the deck was in Red and proved to be a really potent combo that my slow Simic deck could not match.
When deciding what deck to make this week, I remembered that combo my opponent played against me and realized that Green had a lot of great token making cards this Standard. It was pretty clear at this point what I wanted to do and I found every single card in Standard that makes tokens, and still fit in a RG shell. Cards like Saproling Migration, Spore Swarm, and Legion Warboss are perfect for this strategy. They flood the board well, and provide excellent cannon fodder for the turn we go off.
The deck was still missing something though. As it stood, this deck was ultimately just a token deck, which I have already done in the past with Selesnya. While token decks are fun, they really need something to give them that competitive edge and push them over the top. That was when I stumbled upon Grand Warlord Radha, a card literally designed for the go wide archetype. I have never found a card so perfect for a deck before, as she really fuels this deck to become an absolute monster. Here is an example of why she is so good in this deck
Turn 2 Goblin Instigator
Turn 3 Goblin Warboss. 3 Damage
Turn 4 Grand Warlord Radha. Swing with 6 creatures, generating 6 mana. Cast Burn Bright twice and deal 37 damage by turn 4.
Obviously, this is a best case scenario, but Radha still does so much for the deck beyond casting Burn Bright. If you can’t cast 2 Burn Brights, you can still kick a Saproling Migration and refill the board. Follow up with a Cavalcade of Calamity and literally, any token is a legitimate threat. If going wide and killing your opponent are 2 of your favorite things, you have found yourself the right deck to play.
This deck is probably not as consistent at Mono-Red. It’s not casting anything as strong as a Teferi that can bail you out of a bad game. But for only $20, I’d say it’s a steal and it’s certainly not a deck that your opponents will anticipate facing. Thank you all for reading, I hope you have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!