We’re in the home stretch on my $50 budget upgrades of the five Commander 2021 decks! Last time we handled the Witherbloom Witchcraft upgrade, and this time we’ll be leveling up Lorehold Legacies.
Here’s how this process works: I take a preconstructed deck and make an improvement to it on a $50 budget. 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 right here on ChannelFireball.com to track our costs. All prices were accurate when I wrote this – apologies if prices have changed or cards have gone out of stock since, but that’s just part and parcel of a budget article.
This time around, we’ll be working with this headliner:
Osgir’s two focuses are well-represented by his two activations, though activated abilities themselves could represent a singular theme. If you’re interested in turning a bunch of small artifacts into big damage via attacks or Fling effects, use the first ability liberally. If, however, you prefer to go the Big Value route by turning large artifacts in your graveyard into tons of tokens, focus on the second one. Can you guess where I’ll be putting my attention today?
While you’re thinking about that, here’s the deck as it exists in its primordial out-of-the-box form.
Lorehold Legacies Preconstructed Deck
It’s hard to focus on both the small and large artifact themes simultaneously, though either will work alongside the theme of activated ability usage. I’ll be focusing on what I called the Big Value theme earlier, dumping large artifacts into the yard for personal gain before using Osgir to create token versions of them. As usual, I’ll also be working to lower the average mana value of the list – the starting point is 3.87 ignoring the lands.
Today, I’ll be swapping out a total of 21 cards, with the first eight of them being creatures. Here’s what comes out to begin with:
I like this card, but given that we’re playing a wide range of artifacts, it’s a real crapshoot. I’ll be replacing this with some similar but more reliable effects.
This card is much more suited for the go-wide plan, and we’re off that.
This card is okay, but it’s costly, not immediately impactful and off theme, so it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
The more I look at these cards I cut, the more exciting the go-wide theme seems. Perhaps I’ll build that another time, but for now, Jor outta here!
I built a deck around this card for my newsletter, Commanding Lead (sign up here!) but I don’t think Laelia really fits the themes of this deck at all.
Definitely a better fit in the go-wide theme, Pia Nalaar can pump a huge attacker or move aside an inconvenient blocker, which is not at all what this version of the deck will be about.
I’ll be replacing this card with something very similar that I think will perform much better.
If we were filling the board with Thopters and Servos, this would be great! We’re not, though.
In an uncharacteristic maneuver, I’m actually lowering this deck’s creature count – we’re only bringing six creatures onto the team. Here’s what I’ve got:
Yes, these are some of the exciting cards we’re looking for. Both work well alongside Daretti, Scrap Savant and our other ways to dump artifacts into the yard, but they’re very different. Goblin Welder lives its life with few limitations (besides the many, many limitations in the text box), while Goblin Engineer is restricted to simply swapping our utility artifacts around for some small amounts of value. When considered as a package with Daretti, Feldon of the Third Path and one other card we’ll talk about later, I like the way these cards work alongside Osgir.
These are great to sacrifice with Osgir’s first ability if you actually want some of the artifacts in your graveyard back in your hand, and in a pinch, you can double up on them and re-sacrifice them from there for even more value.
Foundry Inspector is here to reduce the cost of our artifacts across the board, while Loyal Apprentice provides a steady stream of Thopters. I know I said we weren’t going wide, but I wanted some more tokens for Daretti and the above Goblins to work with as raw materials.
We’ve now spent a respectable $18.30, leaving plenty of room for the rest of the swaps. Let’s move on to the noncreature spells that get cut:
While I like Commander’s Sphere in this deck, Boros Locket is the worst three-cost mana rock in the list, so out it goes in favor of something a little lighter.
We’re heavy on wraths, so I’m cutting the ones I like least.
I understand that we’re supposed to recur and re-crack this capsule, but that’s a lot of time and mana for what we’re getting. I’ll pass.
If you don’t want important cards like your commander to get hit with a copy of this, it’s a pretty bad value proposition, and I don’t think a Boros deck can afford to take risks with card advantage like this.
I’m slowly beginning to sour on this card more and more, and since we’ll be adding some more efficient mana rocks that enter the battlefield much earlier, I’m happy to shed this one.
With just one planeswalker and two enchantments, I’d rather put more cards in the lane of our theme since the high end is unavailable on this card most of the time.
It might look like I’m leaving us with just Cleansing Nova, but trust me, I’ve got a replacement lined up for this wrath spot.
I’m not sure I know why this card is here, but I’m happy to say I’ve set it firmly on the sidelines.
Sure, it can hit anything, but for this cost, I’m going to spend my mana elsewhere.
We’re bringing in 11 noncreature spells as follows:
Here are some more discard outlets to help us move through our deck and also get Osgir value. Seize the Spoils is an exciting new option that provides a Treasure, which fits in well with our themes, while Trading Post does its traditional great job at utility effects.
Here’s some more destructive power! Scourglass is a great way to threaten a wipe, and bringing it back with Osgir gives you that safe feeling like the one I get from backing up my data on both a cloud service and an external drive. Is that just me? Anyway, Spine of Ish Sah is a great card to cast, sacrifice and rebuy, and while it’s not going to work well with Osgir’s second ability, it does what Unstable Obelisk was here to do a bit better.
Now we get into some synergistic options. Magewright’s Stone works well alongside Thousand-Year Elixir to support Osgir and some of our other activators, while Mirrorworks takes the results of all of our artifact creators and augments them even further. Trash for Treasure is a one-shot Welder effect, so it’s right at home here.
Here are the cheaper mana rocks I promised! Nothing fancy here, just simple two-mana rocks.
We’ve now spent $36.80, leaving just over $13 to fix up the mana base a little. I’m cutting a Mountain as well as three nonbasics:
I keep cutting this card for dual lands because I really believe it’s going to cost more than it provides over most games.
Great in the go-wide version of the deck that attacks with something huge. This is not that deck.
At some point this part of these articles is just going to be me making an angry face.
Here are the four lands that volunteered to help out with this transformation:
Buried Ruin is a great piece of artifact synergy that’s hard to leave out of decks of this nature, while the other three are accessible mana fixers. Spire of Industry is a solid card in that it mimics Battlefield Forge as long as we have an artifact – and we usually will!
We’ve now spent a total of $48.70, and in doing so, we’ve made a serious impact. The deck has been streamlined theme-wise, and the average mana value of nonland cards is down all the way to 3.66! That’s over a five percent reduction, which is great, especially when you consider I say I want to lower the average mana value of all of these decks and then proceed to largely not do that. Look at me, following through!
Anyway, here’s the deck list – next week we get to wrap this series up for now!