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$50 Budget RW Myriad with Duke Ulder Ravengard in Commander

Hey folks! I’m back with another budget Commander brew this week. We’ll once again be building a $50 budget Commander deck from scratch with an eye toward making it both fun and reasonably powerful. Today, instead of combo wackiness, I’m focusing on accruing value in unusual ways! 

As always, I’d like to remind you of a couple of things regarding my budget articles:

  • $50 has a different impact on different people, but given that it’s less than the price of a triple-A console game release, I think it’s a price many will be willing to pay for hours of entertainment, which a Commander deck should provide.
  • I’ll be using prices from the ChannelFireball Marketplace to track our costs, specifically the lowest available Near Mint price at the time of this writing. I apologize if listings have changed since then, but that’s just part and parcel of a budget article.

 

 

Today’s commander of choice is Duke Ulder Ravengard!

Duke Ulder Ravengard

The Duke here is all about value in combat. Play a creature, give it haste and myriad, and get a bunch of enters the battlefield or attack triggers for semi-free. Of course, Ulder costs a lot, but we’ll be doing our best to make good use of his ability to get our mana’s worth. The showcase version is nice and cheap at $0.10, so we can fit that into our budget quite easily.

The plan is to build a value-focused Boros deck that draws lots of cards, ramps, and generates incremental advantage via the Monarch and Initiative mechanics. After all, with so many extra token creatures, it should be easy enough to get the Monarch and Initiative back when we lose them! Once we’ve gotten enough of an edge, we can turn on the jets with some of our heavy hitters and transition into “win the game” mode. Let’s take a look at some of the ways we’re generating value!

 

Header - Myriad Targets

Spirited CompanionInspiring OverseerPriest of Ancient LoreSkyscanner

Spirited Companion [NEO] Inspiring Overseer [SNC] Priest of Ancient Lore [CLB] Skyscanner [C19]
$0.23 $0.19 $0.08 $0.10

Drawing cards is the first of many ways we can get a ton of value. I chose to leave out Roving Harper and leave these four in – Companion costs less, and the Priest gains us life, but the Overseer and Skyscanner are the best of the bunch. Why? Well, they fly, making it easier to get the original one through when using a Duke Ravengard trigger on them.

Combustible GearhulkSanctuary Warden
Combustible Gearhulk [C21] Sanctuary Warden [SNC]
$0.80 $0.78

Where would we be without some enormous creatures? Well, without these, we’d be drawing fewer cards. Combustible Gearhulk might not get us the cards we want in every circumstance, but if you target players on low life, you’re more likely to get the draws you’re looking for. Sanctuary Warden is pretty hilarious with myriad, as you can remove the shield counters from the copies without worrying about their long-term survivability. 

Crimson Fleet CommodoreEmberwilde CaptainPalace JailerPalace SentinelsSkyline Despot
Crimson Fleet Commodore [CMR] Emberwilde Captain [CMR] Palace Jailer [Mystery Booster] Palace Sentinels [CMR] Skyline Despot [AFC]
$0.20 $0.49 $0.65 $0.10 $0.60

What’s another great way to draw cards? Becoming the monarch! Crimson Fleet Commodore and Palace Sentinels are pretty unremarkable, but they do what we need them to do. Emberwilde Captain is a good deterrent for opponents who might choose to attack us, and Skyline Despot’s Dragon tokens are great for both attacking and blocking. Palace Jailer is the best of these with Duke Ulder Ravengard, as it doesn’t need to stay in play to keep a creature exiled. Just make sure you’re careful when and how you attack with the Jailer!

White Plume AdventurerBloodboil SorcererCaves of Chaos AdventurerSeasoned DungeoneerGoliath Paladin
White Plume Adventurer [CLB] Bloodboil Sorcerer [CLB] Caves of Chaos Adventurer [CLB] Seasoned Dungeoneer [CLB] Goliath Paladin [CLB]
$0.25 $0.10 $0.15 $0.50 $0.10

If we’re going to hold onto the monarchy, why not take the Initiative as well? These cards actually work much better with Duke Ravengard, as taking the initiative when you already have it just means venturing further into that wacky new dungeon. Bloodboil Sorcerer doubles as a sacrifice outlet when you have extra tokens hanging around from myriad, which is great. White Plume Adventurer helps play a little extra defense, while Caves of Chaos Adventurer gives us more cards! Seasoned Dungeoneer can always target itself, but we are lucky enough to have some other targeting options in this list.

Cloister GargoyleNadaar, Selfless PaladinVeteran Dungeoneer
Cloister Gargoyle [AFR] Nadaar, Selfless Paladin [AFR] Veteran Dungeoneer [AFR]
$0.10 $0.27 $0.10

You can’t be in the Undercity and another dungeon at the same time, but these venture cards pull double duty in this list. If you’re already in the Undercity, they move you further through, and if you’re not, you can start a different dungeon! Nadaar isn’t what you’ll usually want to pick with Duke Ravengard’s trigger, but the extra venturing certainly helps.

Knight of the White OrchidLoyal WarhoundPatron of the ArtsPlundering BarbarianKor CartographerSolemn Simulacrum
Knight of the White Orchid [VOC] Loyal Warhound [AFR] Patron of the Arts [CLB] Plundering Barbarian [AFR] Kor Cartographer [CMR] Solemn Simulacrum [C20]
$0.32 $0.29 $0.10 $0.19 $0.10 $0.74

There’s a surprising amount of ramp available in this color pair. Knight and Warhound are both “catch-up ramp” cards, but if you’re already at parity with the rest of the table somehow, Kor Cartographer and Solemn Simulacrum are here to help. The combination of Duke Ravengard and Solemn even gets you cards if the myriad Solemn copies (or the main one) die in combat or get sacrificed! (The myriad copies get exiled at end of combat, so you have to time things right, and you do have to work for the cards.) Plundering Barbarian and Patron of the Arts both bring treasures in with them, and if you need to blow up some artifacts, Plundering Barbarian has that extra mode!

Dawnbringer ClericDuergar Hedge-MageAngel of Finality
Dawnbringer Cleric [CLB] Duergar Hedge-Mage [EVE] Angel of Finality [C20]
$0.10  $1.70  $0.18 

Sometimes value comes from taking out opposing strategies! Duergar Hedge-Mage knocks out artifacts and enchantments with ease while Angel of Finality handles graveyards. Dawnbringer Cleric does everything (for certain values of everything)!

Githzerai MonkKarmic GuideMindclaw Shaman
Githzerai Monk [CLB] Karmic Guide [VOC] Mindclaw Shaman [M13]
$0.10 $0.20 $0.30

Some miscellaneous value cards. Githzerai Monk can help close out a game or just get attackers through. Mindclaw Shaman extracts value from opposing players’ hands, and Karmic Guide does a great job of reanimating key creatures for more ETB value. Don’t worry about paying echo costs for the myriad copies – you’ll never need to!

Inferno TitanSun TitanMyr Battlesphere
Inferno Titan [NCC] Sun Titan [NCC] Myr Battlesphere [2XM]
$0.60 $0.40 $0.40

Here are some of our heavy hitters, replete with ETB triggers just like the rest of our creatures. Myr Battlesphere leaves behind lots of extra tokens (a potential different theme for Duke Ravengard for sure) while Sun Titan brings back some of our value creatures. Inferno Titan? Well, that’s just here to deal some damage.

 

Header - Support

Okay, so we have all of these great ETB effects that work well with Duke Ravengard’s myriad triggers. But what if we don’t have that engine rolling? How can we get more sweet value out of these cards?

EphemerateBlade of SelvesMimic Vat
Ephemerate [MH1] Blade of Selves [CLB] Mimic Vat [C18]
$0.78 $3.35 $0.30

Well, let’s have them enter the battlefield more and more! Trap one of your creatures in the Mimic Vat to get card draws, take the Initiative or otherwise extract value. Blink things on the cheap with Ephemerate and get more myriad going with Blade of Selves!

Lae'zel's AcrobaticsAscend from AvernusPanharmonicon
Lae’zel’s Acrobatics [CLB] Ascend from Avernus [CLB] Panharmonicon [2X2]
$0.23 $0.49 $5.20

That’s not all, though; more triggered abilities await. Lae’zel’s Acrobatics is a fun D&D themed team blink effect that has a shot at double-blinking. You could just run Eerie Interlude, but I like the high ceiling here. Ascend from Avernus brings your creatures back for an additional trip through the value machine, and Panharmonicon just amplifies the whole deck. Sure, it’s about a tenth of our budget, but it’s absolutely worth it here.

Impact TremorsWitty Roastmaster
Impact Tremors [DTK] Witty Roastmaster [SNC]
$2.60 $0.19

With all of our creatures spending so much time entering the battlefield, why not benefit from that via wide-angle damage? Impact Tremors might be costly on our budget, but it sure does work well with myriad triggers, blink effects, and so on. Witty Roastmaster is a nice backup at a lower dollar cost.

Loot DisputeSarevok's TomeUndercellar Sweep
Loot Dispute [CLB] Sarevok’s Tome [CLB] Undercellar Sweep [CLB]
$0.20 $0.30 $0.10

Supporting our initiative theme with more initiative cards is a pretty easy call. Loot Dispute and Undercellar Sweep both support our “attack early and often” theme. Sarevok’s Tome might not seem perfect, but it should be easy to complete a dungeon and unlock that second ability fairly quickly.

Court of GraceCourt of Ire
Court of Grace [CMR] Court of Ire [CMR]
$1.84 $0.30

More support for the monarch theme. We won’t always be able to hang onto the monarch token throughout the turn cycle, but when we can, these effects get even more powerful. Court of Ire is the weaker of the two, but it’s very threatening if we can keep our hands on the crown.

Goblin BombardmentTooth and Claw
Goblin Bombardment [MH2] Tooth and Claw [EMA]
$1.19 $0.16

It’s good to have some sacrifice outlets to put surviving myriad tokens to use, especially ones that don’t cost mana to activate unlike Bloodboil Sorcerer. Goblin Bombardment sends out more pings, for sure, but Tooth and Claw is a surprise winner here. Leaving behind some extra 3/1s is more effective than you’d think!

Swiftfoot BootsAustere Command
Swiftfoot Boots [NCC] Austere Command [CMR]
$0.90 $0.84

Miscellaneous utility! Swiftfoot Boots can keep Duke Ravengard or another high-value creature protected, and Austere Command can clean up problem permanents.

Swords to PlowsharesBoros CharmChaos WarpGenerous GiftWear // Tear
Swords to Plowshares [AFC] Boros Charm [CMR] Chaos Warp [2X2] Generous Gift [MH1] Wear // Tear [CMR]
$1.79 $1.08 $1.00 $1.61 $0.84

This deck does need some interaction, though since we’re going to be drawing a lot of cards, we don’t need a ton. With this suite of cards we should be able to deal with most problems, from opposing wraths to attack-blunting cards like Ghostly Prison and everything in between.

Sol RingArcane SignetBoros CharmFellwar StoneMind Stone
Sol Ring [CMR] Arcane Signet [CLB] Boros Signet [CMR] Fellwar Stone [AFC] Mind Stone [IMA]
$1.40 $0.90 $0.50 $1.20 $0.32

Of course, we need a few mana rocks besides just Sarevok’s Tome. These are cost-effective options, though if you want to dip into Talismans and such, you can do so if you up the budget a bit.

 

Header - Mana Base

Speaking of mana rocks, let’s move on to the mana base since we’re pretty much out of room for anything else. I have a few sweet utility lands to start with:

Access TunnelRogue's Passage
Access Tunnel [STX] Rogue’s Passage [MIC]
$0.36 $0.30

Making creatures unblockable and then targeting them with Duke Ravengard is sweet. It doesn’t make the copies unblockable, but it does help the originals stick around to be targeted by Duke Ravengard again and again.

Slayers' StrongholdSunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Slayers’ Stronghold [CMR] Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion [CMR]
$0.20 $0.10

If you can’t make something unblockable, why not make blocking it a terrible idea? Sunhome can put double strike on a nasty attacker (or even one that’s not nasty to make it a bit stronger) while Slayers’ Stronghold gets a creature up to speed in a hurry.

War RoomWindbrisk Heights
War Room [CLB] Windbrisk Heights [NCC]
$1.54 $0.30

And here’s some value. Card draw from War Room doesn’t cost too much health, though it does require a little bit, and Windbrisk Heights can get us a free spell quite easily.

Alpine MeadowBoros GarrisonLorehold CampusRustvale BridgeTemple of TriumphWind-Scarred Crag
Alpine Meadow [KHM] Boros Garrison [2X2] Lorehold Campus [STX] Rustvale Bridge [MH2] Temple of Triumph [M20] Wind-Scarred Crag [EMA]
$0.23 $0.30 $0.10 $0.20 $0.23 $0.10

Let’s get into some dual lands! These always come in tapped, but on the plus side, they do make both colors of mana, and we will need quite a bit of fixing due to the heavy weight placed on white mana in this list.

Ash BarrensCommand TowerExotic OrchardPath of Ancestry
Ash Barrens [CLB] Command Tower [CLB] Exotic Orchard [C21] Path of Ancestry [CLB]
$0.20 $0.16 $0.20 $0.20

More fixing! Ash Barrens may not be my favorite two-color fixer, but I felt like having a card like this that grabs a basic would be nice for effects like Duergar Hedge-Mage. It’s like a Pathway, but worse! Path of Ancestry has plenty of Humans and a few Soldiers to work with too, though Nobles are few and far between.

Battlefield ForgeFurycalm SnarlRugged Prairie
Battlefield Forge [C20] Furycalm Snarl [STX] Rugged Prairie [A25]
$1.19 $0.59 $1.13

And here are some duals that (usually) enter untapped. Between these and our basics – seven Mountains and 12 Plains – we’ve got a decent chance of casting our spells on time.

 

Header - The Final Deck List

At this point we’ve spent $48.85, which is close enough to our $50 budget that I don’t feel too much of a need to tinker further, and we’ve got a decent list full of sweet value. The average mana value among nonlands is 3.54, which is a little higher than you might expect for a Boros aggro list, but this isn’t really Boros aggro, is it? It’s Boros value! Here’s the full deck list – see you next time for more sweet brews.

Commander: Duke Ulder Ravengard
1 Access Tunnel
1 Alpine Meadow
1 Angel of Finality
1 Arcane Signet
1 Ascend from Avernus
1 Ash Barrens
1 Austere Command
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Blade of Selves
1 Bloodboil Sorcerer
1 Boros Charm
1 Boros Garrison
1 Boros Signet
1 Caves of Chaos Adventurer
1 Chaos Warp
1 Cloister Gargoyle
1 Combustible Gearhulk
1 Command Tower
1 Court of Grace
1 Court of Ire
1 Crimson Fleet Commodore
1 Dawnbringer Cleric
1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
1 Emberwilde Captain
1 Ephemerate
1 Exotic Orchard
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Furycalm Snarl
1 Generous Gift
1 Githzerai Monk
1 Goblin Bombardment
1 Goliath Paladin
1 Impact Tremors
1 Inferno Titan
1 Inspiring Overseer
1 Karmic Guide
1 Knight of the White Orchid
1 Kor Cartographer
1 Lae'zel's Acrobatics
1 Loot Dispute
1 Lorehold Campus
1 Loyal Warhound
1 Mimic Vat
1 Mind Stone
1 Mindclaw Shaman
7 Mountain
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Nadaar, Selfless Paladin
1 Palace Jailer
1 Palace Sentinels
1 Panharmonicon
1 Path of Ancestry
1 Patron of the Arts
12 Plains
1 Plundering Barbarian
1 Priest of Ancient Lore
1 Rogue's Passage
1 Rugged Prairie
1 Rustvale Bridge
1 Sanctuary Warden
1 Sarevok's Tome
1 Seasoned Dungeoneer
1 Skyline Despot
1 Skyscanner
1 Slayers' Stronghold
1 Sol Ring
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Spirited Companion
1 Sun Titan
1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Tooth and Claw
1 Undercellar Sweep
1 Veteran Dungeoneer
1 War Room
1 Wear/Tear
1 White Plume Adventurer
1 Wind-Scarred Crag
1 Windbrisk Heights
1 Witty Roastmaster

 

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