Standard has undergone a massive change recently. Between the rules change for companions, and the bannings of Fires of Invention and Agent of Treachery, the format will look a lot different.

What’s going to happen? While it’s obvious that Temur Reclamation, Rakdos Sacrifice, and Azorius Control should remain as some of the untouched pillars of the format, the rest of the format will take some time to find its footing. Now is the best time to try out some sweet fringe decks to take advantage of the shifting metagame.

Today I’m looking at three promising  builds at different budget price points: $25, $50, and $70. These decks fall into general categories of Aggro, Midrange, and Control. Let’s start with the cheapest and fastest.

White Weenie—$25/5 Tix

Creatures (28)
Faerie Guidemother
Giant Killer
Haazda Marshal
Healer's Hawk
Hunted Witness
Loyal Pegasus
Eidolon of Obstruction
Venerated Loxodon

Spells (12)
Elspeth, Sun's Nemesis
Raise the Alarm
Heraldic Banner
Unbreakable Formation
Lands (20)
20 Plains

Sideboard (15)
Gideon's Sacrifice
Apostle of Purifying Light
Devout Decree
Glass Casket
Revoke Existence
Tomik, Distinguished Advokist

This is a throwback to Ravnica Allegiance Standard, where Mono White Aggro reigned supreme. Many will fondly recall curving from Legion’s Landing to History of Benalia and into Venerated Loxodon (and the number of wins it racked up). This homage plays similarly, as it looks to empty its hand extremely quickly and end the game shortly after. The creatures may look subpar, but when they’re backed up by Heraldic Banner or Venerated Loxodon, they threaten lethal in just a few short turns!

Despite their weak facades, these creatures hide a surprising amount of versatility. Faerie Guidemother can push through an attacker for more reach, Giant Killer can deal with big threats like Uro, TItan of Nature’s Wrath and Questing Beast, and Eidolon of Obstruction can slow down Narset, Parter of Veils from digging for a sweeper.

Due to the changes to the companion mechanic, the more aggressive decks have all but lost the use of companions. While we could look at this as a downside, we also don’t have to restrict our deckbuilding to gain certain advantages. Heraldic Banner and Venerated Loxodon can play in a similar manner to how Obosh, the Preypiercer worked in Red or Black aggro decks: as our creatures are so small, both of these cards effectively double their damage potential.

Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis supplies a great board-in-a-box effect that allows us to refuel if the game goes long, and can be Escaped for extra value. Unbreakable Formation works two jobs in this deck: protection against sweepers, and a way to ensure an alpha strike. You can use it to close the gap against Control, or to fight through a stalled board.

White Weenie excels at forcing your opponents into dangerous “sweeper or bust” predicaments, and often the wrath isn’t enough. If you enjoy making your opponents sweat through their few precious draw steps, no other deck will give you that for such a small investment. While not being a particularly popular deck at present, I believe it can really capitalise on the element of surprise and run away with games.

There are a few small upgrades you can add, too: Castle Ardenvale gives you inevitability in your mana base, Hushbringer would be a great sideboard card against Sacrifice decks in particular, and Drannith Magistrate is fantastic against Adventure creatures.

Simic Mutate—$47/20 Tix

Companion (1)
Umori, the Collector

Creatures (34)
Arboreal Grazer
Gilded Goose
Paradise Druid
Pollywog Symbiote
Migratory Greathorn
Auspicious Starrix
Dreamtail Heron
Pouncing Shoreshark
End-Raze Forerunners
Lands (26)
Temple of Mystery
Thornwood Falls
Castle Garenbrig
Castle Vantress
10 Forest

Sideboard (14)
Cerulean Drake
Frilled Mystic
Nylea, Keen-Eyed
Shifting Ceratops
Wicked Wolf

Simic Mutate is a strange beast. It’s a tempo deck, a ramp deck, and a Voltron deck all in one; perfect for when you can’t decide what archetype you want to play. It looks to build up a single creature with multiple mutate cards, allowing you to gain value and tempo before snowballing out of control. It’s an all-creature deck so we can take advantage of Umori, the Collector as our companion. As this deck can cheat on mana, the new companion rule isn’t as big of a hit compared to the more aggressive decks.

The ten early ramp creatures—Arboreal Grazer, Gilded Goose, and Paradise Druid—bridge to your bigger plays ahead of schedule. Mutating Migratory Greathorn onto them will not only increase their battlefield presence, but also ramp you even further. To help make every bit of mana count, Pollywog Symbiote will allow you to mutate more often and make sure you keep finding gas.

The real haymakers in the deck are Auspicious Starrix and End-Raze Forerunners. Starrix can get out of control very easily, often spewing several permanents onto the battlefield from your library when they mutate. End-Raze Forerunners is your true finisher, however; you can ramp into it traditionally for that Craterhoof Behemoth-style kill, or if you’re lucky you can snag one off an Auspicious Starrix mutation.

To round out the deck we have our primary means of interaction. Gemrazer is perfect for destroying key permanents like Wilderness Reclamation and Embercleave, which are bound to see considerable play. It’s also worth noting that it has reach and trample, in case you need to punch through a board stall or stop a flier. Pouncing Shoreshark can bounce a creature every time it mutates, and multiple copies will stack (mutating one Shoreshark onto another will bounce two creatures). A free Unsummon every time you play a card is backbreaking for any creature-heavy decks.

You may notice that we’re not running Sea-Dasher Octopus, which seems like an oversight at first. While it is a fantastic creature to mutate with, it doesn’t provide any immediate value by itself when it mutates. As we’re looking to go over the top of our opponents, its stats are also severely lacking in our game plan. The sneaky cephalopod is better served in a more exclusively tempo-based deck with ways to protect its threats.

If you enjoy atypical builds with unusual decision trees and adaptive play patterns, then this is the deck to sleeve up. The fact that it’s gaining traction and already looks to be a player in the new Standard format, makes this my pick for the budget deck that will keep your inner spike happy.

The upgrades to the deck carry quite the hefty price tag, however. If you’re looking to add a playset of Breeding Pool to the manabase, the deck’s cost triples ($100 for four). If you have any copies of Questing Beast or Brazen Borrower, they can be spread between the main deck and sideboard too. These are expensive cards for a reason, as their raw power and versatility are unmatched in Standard.

Orzhov Doom Foretold—$70/25 Tix

Creatures (7)
Orzhov Enforcer
Murderous Rider
Archon of Sun's Grace
Cavalier of Dawn

Planeswalkers (4)
Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage
Elspeth, Sun's Nemesis

Spells (25)
Agonizing Remorse
The Birth of Meletis
Oath of Kaya
Treacherous Blessing
Doom Foretold
Kaya's Wrath
Elspeth Conquers Death
Lands (24)
Temple of Silence
Scoured Barrens
Castle Ardenvale
Castle Locthwain

Sideboard (15)
Aphemia, the Cacophony
Devout Decree
Noxious Grasp
Kunoros, Hound of Athreos
Elspeth, Sun's Nemesis
Kaya's Wrath
Ethereal Absolution
Thought Distortion

The final deck of the day is a quirky little number, inspired by the Orzhov decks in the first few weeks of Theros Beyond Death Standard. Doom Foretold decks carved themselves a niche ever since Bryan Gottlieb came first in the Fandom Legends tournament late last year, sporting an Esper Doom deck. Fundamentally they are control decks, but they control the game by removing permanents and placing the opponent in Doom Foretold’s infamous vice-like grip. This build looks to stall the opponent long enough to get them in the Doom Foretold chokehold, then mitigate the symmetrical effect by sacrificing inconsequential permanents.

Aside from the main game plan with Doom Foretold, we also have one Archon of Sun’s Grace. It’s great against aggro, and with nearly twenty enchantments in the deck it can really go wide and take over a game. Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis is perfect at nearly any stage of the game: it can provide blockers in the early game, build up your board in the mid-game, then Escape and pressure the opponent’s life total to finish.

Oath of Kaya and Murderous Rider are our main removal spells, both of which can help preserve our life total. The three Kaya’s Wrath are critical against the faster decks, and can gain some life if we have any creatures out. Cavalier of Dawn provides a nice catch-all answer to any nonland permanent, and Elspeth Conquers Death can send your opponents back to the stone age, particularly if they’re running midrange strategies.

Agonizing Remorse and Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage provide disruption. These are our best weapons against control decks, allowing us to strip them of important resources. Davriel can also double as a tertiary win condition with his decent impression of The Rack. Orzhov Enforcer, The Birth of Meletis, and Treacherous Blessing each provide sacrifice fodder, while th efirst two also help block and stall the game.

This is certainly an unusual deck, but it’s a blast to pilot. Playing a control deck for under $75 is almost unheard of outside of Pauper, let alone one as unique as this. If starving your opponent of resources and wearing them down through endless attrition sounds like your idea of a good time, then this is the deck for you.

For upgrades, Godless Shrine is the obvious choice to improve the mana base, aongside a pair of Fabled Passage—though this will double the cost of the deck. However you can also take this build and go really crazy with it, transforming it to have Yorion, Sky Nomad as your companion. Doom Foretold decks have been laying dormant for a while, and I think now is a great time to revive the archetype.

These are just three decks out of dozens that might now be viable, thanks to the latest format shakeup. Whether it’s aggro, midrange, or control, there’s bound to be something in this new format that suits both your playstyle, and your wallet.

Scott is an Irish content creator and head of the budget division of the Izzet League. His primary focuses are Pioneer, Modern, and Pauper, and he can be found storming off on Twitch and Youtube.

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