For today’s budget Standard deck, we’re upgrading the black/red starter deck titled “Treasure Hunt.” The additions will set you back eight common, eight uncommon, four rare and three mythic rare wildcards. This is a grindy Treasure sacrifice deck that can ramp out large threats ahead of schedule or play a more controlling game when necessary.
Upgraded Treasure Hunt | LegenVD
The early creatures in the deck consist of Shambling Ghast and Eyetwitch. These can both be sacrificed to an early Deadly Dispute, which can lead to very explosive starts where we could have access to up to five mana on turn three. The inclusion of Eyetwitch also means we need to come prepared with some Lessons in the sideboard, with most notably Mascot Exhibition as an additional late game finisher.
The deck has more ways to generate Treasure early on with creatures such as Kalain, Reclusive Painter and Skullport Merchant. The one free copy of Xorn further increases Treasure production. Skullport Merchant is a great card draw engine that can also help sacrifice Eyetwitch and Shambling Ghast where needed.
The deck also has a small dragon subtheme, with a copy of Inferno of the Star Mounts, two copies of Immersturm Predator and now three copies of Goldspan Dragon. You don’t have to spend any wildcards on Inferno as you can simply borrow it from the “Savage Lands” starter deck. Predator further ties into the sacrifice theme, so it plays well with all our cheaper sacrifice fodder. Goldspan Dragon probably doesn’t need an introduction as one of the most powerful cards in Standard. It also happens to have amazing synergy with the rest of our deck, so those are two mythic wildcards well spent.
Dragon’s Fire is a great removal spell when you can reveal one of the larger Dragons to deal more than the baseline three damage. You still have the one copy of Soul Shatter as a great answer to opposing copies of Goldspan Dragon. Meteor Swarm was borrowed out of the “Fireworks” starter deck as a versatile removal spell or pseudo-sweeper.
Additional one-ofs include Orcus, Prince of Undeath, Gelatinous Cube and Westgate Regent. Gelatinous Cube also didn’t cost any wildcards, as you can find it in the “Control Center” starter deck. Orcus is another great mana sink that can either wipe the board or reanimate multiple creatures. Gelatinous Cube is removal in creature form and alongside Soul Shatter, it can help answer annoying threats like Koma, Cosmos Serpent. Westgate Regent mostly lives in the shadow of Goldspan Dragon, but there will be situations where it can be even better.
A good sideboard includes multiple copies of Burning Hands to deal with large green creatures or planeswalkers like Wrenn and Seven. Check for Traps or Duress can offer interaction against more controlling strategies where your typical removal may be a little lackluster. You can also try to diversify your threats with planeswalkers such as Lolth, Spider Queen, Zariel, Archduke of Avernus or Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor. Against very low to the ground aggressive strategies, you may also want to consider sweepers such as Cinderclasm or The Meathook Massacre. Keep in mind that you still need to save some space for the various Lessons, with Environmental Sciences, Necrotic Fumes and Mascot Exhibition being the most important ones.
The main upgrades that are left involve the mana base. A couple creaturelands like Hive of the Eye Tyrant offer an extra mana sink and give you more staying power in grindy matchups. Haunted Ridge from Midnight Hunt is an obvious upgrade over Sulfurous Mire unless you want to make use of a potential snow theme with Blood on the Snow by swapping into Snow-Covered basics. I would also recommend adding a second copy of Mascot Exhibition to the sideboard if you can afford it.