The Staples of Budget Magic

Staples are cards that can or should go in any deck. This also has some relevance when it comes to budget decks. Regardless of your play level or overall budget of your deck there is always room for these cards with a lowered price tag. Let’s have a look…

Terramorphic Expanse

Yes, it’s clearly a step behind the usual high priced dual lands but while playing a three color budget deck it’s a necessity. Also for use, it’s clone, Evolving Wilds.

Oblivion Ring

Not the best removal card for white but it’s the best for the price. Oblivion Ring shuts down nearly anything that hits the board.

Mogg Fanatic

The Mogg Fanatic has a long and bloody history. Before the rule changes, Mogg Fanatic could block, assign his damage, then be sacrificed to do two damage in the exchange. Times are different now but this little guy still has some power as a chump blocker that toss damage elsewhere. Mogg Fanatic gets in the trenches and rarely finishes a game alive. A true foot soldier in a red deck.

Tragic Slip

This card kills virtually everything in the game. It’s also very easy to play and set up for. If there is one given in Magic, it’s that creatures die. Adding -13/-13 to that puts butts in graveyards and that’s no joke.

Delver of Secrets

Delver is so good that he is his own deck type. Granted, your deck my not run what is in that decklist but chances are if you are running blue, you will have instants and sorceries and that is what Delver thrives on.


A turn one Duress can win a game. Many non-budget decks are combo decks. These types of decks rely on a certain pairing of cards combined to overpower or win a game. Forcing a player to discard one of their set pieces early is vital. Granted, discard decks haven’t really been a strategy in high level Magic for years but this card still turns up in real contenders recently.

Llanawar Elves

Llanwar elves have been fueling many green decks through the history of Magic. What do you get from this 1/1 for one green mana casting cost? You get a free mana per turn every turn it’s alive. That means every spell in your hand is one turn faster. In a pinch you get an attacker or chump blocker and that can buy you a turn to win.Also see Elvish Mystic, Llanawar’s cousin.

Doom Blade

This card is great. It kills any non-black creature at instant speed and that’s money. Regardless of price tag.

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Lightning Bolt

This card has dominated red decks for the last 30 years. There is virtually no reason why a red deck should not carry multiple copies of this hand of god. It kills mostly everything in the game, deals 3 to the face, can open lanes for attackers, can be tossed as a combat trick, and even end games. if you play red and don’t play this card, stop what you are doing, get 4. It will change your life.

There are more staples out there. What ones did I miss?

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