We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.
So I'm pushing back the Future Sight article by another month due to something I want to talk about that's been coming up more and more lately in the Magic community, deck prices. Modern decks have actually gone up in price lately and the format is now out of reach for many that want to play. This is the duality of our game, the more popular it is the more expensive our cards will become, making it even harder for new players. Pauper is an amazing alternative, for now. As it too becomes more prevalent it's likely those prices will rise as well. EDH has many budget options but as a recent episode of The Command Zone stated, the deck that has the highest price will win more often than a budget deck. I spent the past month looking for a solution and I believe I found one in the form of a new format I've crafted similar to Penny Dreadful. I present, for the approval of the players, Baroque.
The deck building restriction for Baroque is simple, no cards in your deck can be worth more than $1.00 (USD) according to Scryfall, the usual "no conspiracies, no un-cards, etc" applies as well. Baroque will rotate when Standard does so even if a card in your deck goes over a dollar you won't have to remove it until Standard rotates out. This makes it very easy to maintain your deck, every rotation just check your cards and find alternatives for what's rotated. This also means that most big cards aren't legal in the format so new alternatives must be found. The best part though is that every type of deck is represented in the possible meta. I've compiled multiple deck lists as you'll see below. I've given the technical names on this article and some fun alternatives on the decklists.
Do you like Aggro? Well Baroque boasts builds of Bogles, Red Deck Wins, and White Weenie
This build is pretty straightforward, get one of our evasive creatures out and swing in with our enchantments boosting it. Classic Bogle cards like Ancestral Mask, Ethereal Armor, and well Slippery Bogle are all legal making this a pretty easy transfer. Our sideboard features the standard removal as well as the spicy additions of Dryad Sophisticate, for our Tron matches (yes, Tron is a deck) and Rampage of the Clans which can be used to flood the board with 3/3 Centaurs at instant speed.
One of the main issues I've found with this format is that, unlike other formats, quick mana isn't really a thing. RDW gets around this by just being able to play 24 mountains. Bomat Courier gives us solid card advantage if we can get it down early and our multitude of burn spells combined with Chandra's Phoenix can give us a near impossible to remove threat in the air. All in all RDW is a solid build of the classic strat.
White Weenie (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1699541#paper
Similar to RDW White Weenie wants to get creatures out fast and swing in with them, however we get to mix in a little splash of midrange type cards to push through. Cards like Imposing Sovereign give us an edge over RDW by tapping down their hasty dudes and Mentor of the Meek makes sure our hand remains full. We also run multiple anthems to boost our on board attackers for one final push through our enemies defenses. Our sideboard has one addition I'd like to specifically point out which is Eight-and-a-Half-Tails. This is the Mother of Runes of Baroque, in specific matches this card will save you in a pinch.
What about Midrange decks I hear you say, well we got you covered with Boros Vehicles and Merfolk decks.
Entering the format due mostly to the drop in price of Kaladesh singles, Vehicles is a super fun option combining bits of Affinity and Mardu Vehicles. Court Homunculus and Toolcraft Exemplar give us early crew targets while Depala gives us the ability to crew late game as well as dig. Dispatch and Galvanic blast make sure we're able to keep the board clear or even ping to the face if needed. Finally our vehicle selection is pretty great. Vehicles like Heart of Kiran, Peacewalker Colossus, and a single copy of Skysovereign, Consul Flagship allow us some pretty good finishers. A solid Midrange if ever there was one.
Anyone for a game of Standard? Baroque Merfolk is given amazing help by the new Green Merfolk from Ixalan. Our early game includes Mist-Cloaked Herald and Triton Shorestalker to give us some unblockable threats which can be targeted by their best friend Jade Bearer. Merfolk Mistbinder and Merfolk Sovereign encourage our little guys as they smash into enemy lines. Deeproot Waters ensures us a small army while Wistful Selkie gives us an Elvish Emissary like effect. And for disruption our copies of Repulse and Harbinger of Tides are solid plays. Our sideboard could use some work but Baroque Merfolk is a fun option for the format.
Have you forgotten Control scream the Blue players, well...maybe.
Dimir Winds (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1701519#paper
As a quick disclaimer, I have no idea how to build control and I think this may actually be midrange but nevermind that. Dimir Winds relies on it's heavy amount of removal and counterspells to make it to either a Sphinx of Foresight or a Wydwen, the Biting Gale. Judge's Familiar and Oona's Warden give us some quick defense and running them allows us to play Favorable Winds since all our creatures have flying. We're running Countersquall, Force Spike, and Deprive to keep our opponents down while Smother and Ultimate Price keep their board clear. This deck is mean and consistent but boy is it fun.
And last but not least are the Combo decks; Owling Mine, Dredge(?), and Mono-Blue Gift.
Owling Mine (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1695679#paper
I am so glad this can happen, Owling Mine is one of my favorite decks of all time and we get almost all the pieces. Ebony Owl Netsuke, Black Vise, and Fevered Visions give us repeatable damage based on cards in hand while Cerebral Vortex, Molten Psyche, Runeflare Trap, and Toil /// Trouble give us extra spell based damage. Arcane Denial keeps their threats off board and fills their hand while Prosperity, Vision Skeins, and Dictate of Kruphix. make sure both players have full hands. I'm ecstatic to see one of my favorite decks playable in my format.
Mono-Blue Gift (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1700134#paper
Taking a hint from a Standard season gone by, Mono-Blue Gift aims to reanimate a massive threat as quick as possible using Argivian Restoration and God-Pharaoh's Gift. The big bads we sport are Ulamog's Crusher, Artisan of Kozilek, and the main guy Desolation Twin. Our ways of getting Gift and it's targets into the grave are pretty solid including Taigam's Scheming, Contingency Plan, Careful Study, and Frantic Search. Early game we can get Judge's Familiar for disruption or Hapless Researcher for additional digging. Nothing too spicy in the sideboard but two copies of Tolarian Winds are a nice touch in my opinion.
You may be wondering why Dredge (?) has that question mark, it's because this deck really isn't a dredge deck, it has more in common with Hollow One than anything else. The one Dredge card run is Golgari Brownscale which is included more for it's life gain than anything else and is completely on the chopping block for if the deck gets upgraded. We run a lot of rummage effects and discard payoffs to get both value and threats into the right zones. Our payoffs are cards like Basking Rootwalla, Flameblade Adept, and Wild Mongrel while we run Faithless Looting and Tormenting Voice to get the right cards into the right zones. Bloodsoaked Champion is a card that works similar to Rootwalla in the deck and helps us with repeatable aggro. This deck is shaky, I wasn't sure if I should lean on the graveyard or discard strat so it's very open to improvement. I do want to point out the inclusion of Darigaaz's Caldera in our mana base though since I love the lair cards.
Now these aren't all the possible decks of the format, I mentioned Tron earlier and that was good reason. The main problem is there are some pieces of decks that I personally can't figure out how to make, and it's my hope you guys can. Here's a quick list of decks that can be made, I just couldn't figure out.
- Storm - (Grapeshot, Empty the Warrens, Fecundity.)
- Affinity - (Galvanic Blast, Dispatch, Carapace Forger, Ardent Recruit, most of the artifact lands)
- Death and Taxes - (Lodestone Golem, Vryn Wingmare, Flickerwisp)
- Tron - (Cloudpost and other Locuses, Eldrazi)
- Charbelcher - (Goblin Charbelcher)
- Mill - (Drowned Secrets, Jace's Erasure)
- Chromatic Beatdown - (Glass of the Guildpact, cheap multicolor creatures.)
Baroque is a format full of possibility, if you're willing to give it a shot leave a deck list below. Let's play on untap. Try the format with your friends and tell me about it. Baroque is something I want to see more of in the community. Even if you don't try it out, leave a comment. I love hearing from you guys. As always this has been East2west with CCC.
Here's the current list of cards legal in Baroque: Full List
East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.