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CardShark Content - Dennis N Santana (6/23/2005)

I welcome you to the 5th and final installment of the budget cycle of articles! I am sorry if that last one went down a little hard. I suppose I shouldn't have been messing around if I wanted to make a deck for cash strapped folk, and should have made something a little less…odd. So to make up for my mistake, here's a rough budget list, minus the prices for the old cards. It should fit the budget like everything else as well.

Creatures- 24

4: Aqua Hulcus
4: Angler Cluster
4: Aqua Guard
4: Corile
4: Crystal Lancer (50-80 cents each)
4: Aqua Surfer

Spells- 24

4: Spiral Gate
4: Brain Serum
4: Energy Stream (25-50 cents each)
4: Shock Hurricane

This one sort of has the same themes as the last one, save that this one is more straightforward, with beats, defense, consistency, and maybe a few too many draw spells. I put them in place of the crystal memory, but sadly, they might not be as good. But they keep the cost down. Replace with Crystal Memory if you have them, otherwise, be prepared to draw into quite a few more draw spells in the course of the game.

Now, while crossing my fingers in the hope that this might fix my earlier blunder, and with a new rule in place (I'll keep it simple, straight and consistent, and wont go out of my mind with crazy deck ideas.), I present to you, the Fire Civilization!

Fire Civilization's strengths are fast, powerful attacks. Its early game creatures can fight on their own terms very well and its late game creatures truly shine when played, capable of double breaking, attacking untapped creatures, and boosting their power way beyond the other civilization's creatures with Power attacker abilities. In fact, I've seen more and better power attacker creatures in Fire than in other civilizations. It also has some removal on its side, and a few strange creatures you won’t see anywhere else, such as the Machine Eaters, one of which has a nice take on mana denial, and the mysterious Fire Birds and their support of the Armored Dragons.

Here's the decklist:

Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!

Creatures (24)

4: Armored Cannon Balbaro (35-1.00 each)
4: Mini Titan Gett (50 cents each)
4: Brawler Zyler (10-20 cents each) (I actually saw one for 10 dollars. Jeez.)
4: Choya, the Unheeding (10-20 cents each)
4: Migasa, Adept of Chaos (50-80 cents each)
4: Baby Zoppe (10 cents each)

Spells (16)

3: Tornado Flame (40-75 cents each)
3: Phantom Dragon's Flame (10 cents each)
3: Rumble Gate (44 cents each)
4: Crisis Boulder (80-1.00 each)
3: Comet Missile (50-60 cents each)

At the worst prices this deck barely scrapes 20, maybe passes it by two or three quarters. At the best prices, this deck cruises along under 17 dollars.

This deck comes online when it reaches 3-4 mana, dropping fast creatures to get in a little offense, and then using your spells to provide cover fire. Later in the game however, you'll find yourself faced with creatures that may be a little too powerful to handle. Try to end the game as quickly as possible. I didn't include Rikabu Screwdriver because it's a good card and it became hard for me to judge its price. In the end, after checking other sites, I decided to let you be the judge of whether you can spend anywhere from 2.00 to 4.00 dollars on a set of screwdrivers, and put in Baby Zoppe instead.

Now, for the rundown.

Armored Cannon Balbaro: A budget evo, Balbaro is a baby zoppe with another human and a 3 cost bolshack with 2 humans, one of them being Migasa. Provided you can fuel it, it should have little trouble ripping through creatures.

Mini Titan Gett: Although it has to attack every turn, Mini-Titan Gett does what it does well enough to warrant its inclusion. Good Evo-Bait, along with Zyler.

Brawler Zyler: Evo bait.

Choya, The Unheeding: It was either this or Immortal Baron Vorg, so I decided to use this guy. If it runs into a blocker, it won’t lose, though it won’t win either. It makes a nice distraction for the opponent, seeing as how they either lose a shield or block a creature that will be destroyed, thus paving the way for other creatures to attack as well.

Migasa, Adept of Chaos: Anyone can be a finisher with Migasa around, and it gets around that nasty ´´Budget Evos can't have Double Breaker´´ trend. Migasa comes online fairly quick and next turn, any creature can easily be turned into a double breaker and sent to smash things. The downside to this is that it's very vulnerable after using its ability, so make sure you have a good opening before trying.

Baby Zoppe: This should be the slot for Rikabu Screwdriver, but I decided on baby zoppe because it's cheap and becomes a pretty decent deal in a mono-red deck. Other things running through my mind were Kamikaze, Chainsaw Warrior, the speed attackers that return your hand, or maybe some generic humans, but in the end, Zoppe is a nice, low cost alternative.

Tornado Flame: Remember that talk about notable triggers? Almost everyone recognizes Tornado Flame. It's a great shield trigger card that wrecks early game creatures.

Phantom Dragon's Flame: Is really bad. However, it’s a shield trigger, and it kills turn 1 blockers, turn 2 creatures, and some tech creatures like Elf X. For that, it's worth the inclusion.

Rumble Gate: Turns the majority of your creatures into removal spells. This card is exceptional with Balbaro. Nothing much to say about it other than that.

Crisis Boulder: Mana Denial and Creature Kill rolled into one, and you let your opponent pick which one he/she wants to get hit by. Be wary though, they will usually choose to throw away that mana card rather than throw away that double breaker that's been a pain in your rear end for so long. This card isn't a removal spell, but rather it helps you slow down and wear away your opponent's strengths, long enough for you to score. This card is fantastic in the early turns, off a trigger.

Comet Missile: Without Rikabu, this card is your best defense against larger blockers, with a very good cost and the shield trigger ability to boot. A nice turn 1 play, if your opponent is light or water and dropped that La Ura Giga or Aqua Guard before passing their turn.

How to make it cheaper? Get all the cards at the best possible prices. How to make it better? Screwdrivers, Valdios, the works. Cyclone Panic is a pretty good card to replace the comet missiles once you get your Screwdrivers. Spastic Missile is much better than Phantom Dragon's Flame. You could try Magma Gazer in place of Rumble Gate. It costs less, doesn't let you hit untapped creatures, but in the end, it saves you the trouble of having to wait for opportunities in order to protect Migasa from certain destruction in battle.

As for the Water Deck Fix I made, the way to make it better is to get crystal paladins and memories. Other than that, maybe you might want to find some other liquid people to use as well, since Surfer's too high-cost to be evo fodder and you might lose your guards and hulcus before evolving them, though conscious playing can solve this (keep a guard in your hand until you can evolve it on the same turn you play it). Maybe remove angler cluster or corile for them. I personally like Corile a lot, even though cluster is a superb blocker when it's in a mono-water deck.

That's it for my budget article. I'm still tweaking my other ideas, but I've got one that I think you might find interesting. Until then, may you have fun with Duel Masters, budget or not.

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