Welcome back everyone! This week I decided to have a little fun and brew a budget deck that is at home on the kitchen table. At the time of writing the whole deck can be purchased for $25.61 on Magic Online, or $91.31 in paper. This deck also has history behind it as well as value. The origins of this deck harken back more than a decade, to the first ever “build around me” card to take hold of my brewers brain.

“And you thought lucky rabbits feet were cruel…”

Krark’s Thumb is a very unique card in the history of Magic. Only a handful of coin flipping cards have ever been printed, and until Krark’s Thumb came along, we were at the whims of fate when we played them. I think that is why I was drawn to Krark’s Thumb when I first saw it. It allows you to make your own luck, to cheat fate.  

So ask yourself, do you feel lucky, punk? Because I know I sure do!

Flip, Flip, Flipadelphia!

Spells (38)
Chance Encounter
Goblin Bomb
Mijae Djinn
Mana Clash
Karplusan Minotaur
Planar Chaos
Fiery Gambit
Squee's Revenge
Stitch in Time
Game of Chaos
Ral Zarek
Krark's Thumb
Lands (23)
Shivan Reef
Temple of Epiphany
Sandstone Needle
Crystal Vein

How We Win

Chance Encounter is our de facto win condition. By itself it can take a long time to go off. Not only do we need to enable a large amount of coin flipping in order to get counters, we also have to win the coin flips. Krark’s Thumb helps us win the coin flips, now all we have to do is design the rest of the deck to make sure we have as many chances as possible.

Goblin Bomb may seem a much better win condition than Chance Encounter at first. It costs half as much to cast, and requires half as many coin flipping counters in order to win. The trouble is that Goblin Bomb is self focused, it only cares about the coins you flip with it on your upkeep. No amount of secondary coin flipping will help you win the game faster. Five turns is a lot to win a game, even a casual one, but dealing twenty damage to our opponents face is far too much fun not to include in the deck.

Mijae Djinn is a less subtle, more brute force way to win the game. As a 6/3 for three red mana, Mijae Djinn is a highly efficient threat. The so called “downside” of flipping coins in order to do damage is turned into a strength when taken into the context of the deck as a whole.   

How We Flip!

Now that we have our win conditions, we need ways to flip coins as often as possible. Mana Clash is our most efficient way to get the ball rolling with a simple investment of one red mana. With a Krark’s Thumb, and a little luck, you could theoretically kill your opponent in one shot by choosing whichever outcome keeps the coins flipping.

Karplusan Minotaur has the potential to generate a huge number of coin flips thanks to cumulative upkeep costs. He also acts as removal for any pesky creatures or planeswalkers your opponents play. With the number of coins flipping in this deck Karplusan Minotaur will mow down a field of Deathrite Shamans, Young Pyromancers, and even an occasional Tarmogoyf. You better not be unlucky though. Three lost flips in the same turn will most likely mean the Minotaur will bite the dust.   

Planar Chaos is our combo protection. Honestly this card is so fun I kind of want to try it in the sideboard of a serious legacy deck. Imagine the look on your Storm opponents face when they realize that not only do they need to assemble their complex combo, they also have to win multiple coin flips in a row in order to have their combo resolve. The upkeep cost can be a bit risky, but with a Krark’s Thumb you should be able to keep one in play long enough to stall out the combo player.

Fiery Gambit, Squee’s Revenge, and Stitch in Time are powerful one-time spells that would be absolutely broken if not for their coin flipping “downsides”. These spells are high risk, high reward scenarios and fortune favors the bold. We are playing a casual game after all, so I choose to follow the policy of “flip all the coins, never stop flipping, ever”.

To round out the deck we have one of the most underrated planeswalkers, Ral Zarek. I have had a soft spot for Ral ever since he was printed. He is a key piece of one of my favorite decks, Stasis, which I wrote about a few months ago. How could I not include the coin flipping planeswalker in the coin flipping deck! The fact that he can ramp your mana, or Lightning Bolt a creature, is an added bonus.

Destroying all of our permanents is not really something we want to do to ourselves. We win the game by assembling key permanents and adding counters to those permanents. However, as anyone who has played a casual multiplayer game will tell you, sometimes the game just gets out of hand. You are stuck fighting an uphill battle that you cannot possibly win trading card for card. These are the situations that call for Boompile, sometimes you just need to hit the reset button on a game.

The Manabase

I tried to keep this deck as budget conscious as possible, which is why we have Shivan Reef instead of Volcanic Island and Sandstone Needle instead of Ancient Tomb. If you wanted to add a little money to the deck this is where you would add it. Adding Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors will help increase your win percentages, but will also come with a hefty price tag. The rest of the cards in the deck are already the best at what they do. Conveniently they happen to also be cheap.

The Spicy 61st

Whenever possible I like the spicy 61st card to capture the essence of the deck. Game of Chaos does this perfectly. Not only is it a description of how the deck plays as a whole, it is also a wildcard capable of winning the game on its own. The top tier achievement for this deck would be to drop your opponent all the way from twenty to zero using only this spicy card.

I hope you all have fun taking this cheapo deck for a spin. If you end up playing it online or in paper be sure to let me know!

Jerry Mee is a Boston Native who has been playing Magic since Onslaught Block. Primarily a Legacy player, he cohosts the weekly Leaving a Legacy Podcast found on Mtgcast.com. He can be reached on Twitter at @Jmee3rd

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