Building_on_a_Budget

The granddaddy of all skulkers

Horobi’s Army

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The letter T!oday, Building on a Budget is going to take a brief look into the future. I am going to be building as I normally do except for the little change where I get to include my preview card from Champions of Kamigawa…and I get to add four copies to my deck at zero cost!

Why at zero cost? Well, let's just chalk it up to doing a search in the Magic Online trade room and coming up with zero results.

Back in the day, there were two creatures that some players would swear by while others would scoff at. Both of these creatures were made fun of at one time, yet both found their way into constructed decks. These two little creatures gave judges headaches and spawned a million “does this work?” questions in the days when the rules were less streamlined. The two creatures I am talking about are Skulking Ghost and Tar Pit Warrior.

Now get ready for the granddaddy of all skulkers…

Now 4/4 Flying for four mana is nothing to scoff at, but then there is the ability. Ah, the ability. What would Pizza be without the parmesan? This ability is delightfully symmetrical, meaning that both you and your opponent are cursed by it. So in some respects, it is almost like this creature has no drawback, since your opponent gets it too. In other respects, you could say this creature has an advantage, since you get to build your whole deck around it while your opponent gets to…well…skulk.

Building on a Budget: Horobi's Army (about 30 tickets once the cards become available)

Main Deck

60 cards

13  Plains
11  Swamp

24 lands

Auriok Bladewarden
4  Horobi, Death's Wail
Leonin Battlemage
Master Decoy
Samite Healer
Savannah Lions

24 creatures

Blinding Beam
Night's Whisper
Stand Firm

12 other spells



This deck is designed to do one thing – beat the tar out of your opponent while accumulating targeting effects for when you draw Horobi. Most beatdown decks are unable to utilize the powerful Savannah Lions because they are very narrow or tribal (like Affinity or Goblins, respectively). Since this deck has no particular theme except 'guys that can target,' the one mana beater from the old school fits in perfectly. The deck plays out a crazy collection of early creatures. Not all of them are as threatening as Savannah Lions, but they have their uses. I am sure Samite Healer hasn't seen constructed play in a while, and it will be good for him to stretch out his knees once in a while now that he's not sitting on that bench.

While playing a rag-tag team of guys usually won't get the job done, when you play out Horobi, everything falls into place as your opponent's team seems to immediately evaporate. Just target all their creatures with guys like Samite Healer, Auriok Bladewarden, and Master Decoy. The big trick, of course, is Leonin Battlemage. When you cast Horobi, this guy becomes an easy way to take out multiple creatures in a single turn. Blinding Beam can also serve this purpose, even though it is pretty good simply as a tap effect.

Tips on Playing the Deck

  • Remember not to Stand Firm your guys with Horobi out – same goes for any of the seemingly positive abilities. Really, you should just help your opponent out with those…
  • Night's Whisper is more of a late game spell – your first few turns should be filled with casting various creatures. It is not worth taking a turn off unless you just don't have anything else to do, or really need to find a land or something specific.
  • Master Decoy is pretty good in combination with Blinding Beam. Do they have more than 2 guys that you want to lock down? No problem!
  • You can use Stand Firm in conjunction with the Bladewarden for a little extra punch on defense.

Adding More Money to the Deck

I am going to do this a little differently this week, considering the nature of the article. I tried to keep the deck to 8th Edition and Mirrodin block only cards, so that doesn't leave a ton of options. If you wanted to add cards out of those sets, I would say go with City of Brass to help your mana. However, I want to talk about a card that you could add from a set that will be rotating out of Standard soon…Steely Resolve. You could make a really cool Spirit Tribal deck (assuming lots of Spirit cards in Kamigawa, this won't be a problem) with Steely Resolve set to Spirits. This is a nice way to make your team invulnerable to the drawback of Horobi, Death's Wail while you can still set the rest of your deck up to be useful in conjunction with it! While I can't say what spirits will be able to target things in Kamigawa, there is always Angelic Page as a starting point!

Until next time, don't skulk, be happy!

-Nate Heiss
nateheiss and BuildingOnABudget on Magic Online

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