Foreward and Foundations:
This thread and the resources contained within are predicated on the works of multiple players, many of them gold standard by any measure this game has ever had, spending hours grinding on ladder with the self-imposed handicap of budget deck to provide what they believed were the most powerful tools a resource-strapped player could get their hands on.
Henceforth, though the main thesis of this thread contends with much of what came before, I expressed my sincerest gratitude and respect for those who have made and continue to make budget decks.
Previous Resources on budget decks (edited as needed, 1.96 relevance only):
- Duelyst wiki budget deck resources/guides:
- Duelspot “budget” lists: https://duelspot.com/#decktype=budget-deck
- What remains of @niklaren’s S-Rank on a budget articles from duelyst central:
Everything else: https://thebadmagmar.wordpress.com/category/competitive-play/deck-tech/page/1/
- Duelyst wiki budget deck resources/guides:
budget decks have always been a staple for the newcomer. Whether new to the game or merely the faction, these decks provide a gateway to the generals they represent and their playstyle.
Therefore, budget lists have been churned out by top players since alpha.
though a valuable starting point, budget lists too often hew to weaker shells of their constructed counterparts, mimicking wincons at weaker levels while filling out with midrange cards. As expected, other play styles outside of midrange and light aggro are heavily underrepresented.
the above is not necessarily an issue, as the similarities a budget deck can share with its constructed sibling enables teaching to the playstyle despite not having the resources to acheive the full effect.
HOWEVER, in mimicking constructed counterpart wincons with more midrange thrown in, many budget decks neglect the wealth of alternate wincons available at the budget tier. The wanderer archetype is the most popular example of players discovering underused cards and incorporating them into constructed play (ex: letigress --> titan staple, a resurgence in celebrant usage outside of fault, etc.)
Finding budget wincons distinct and often alien from constructed decks of the same factions is a worthwhile goal now more than ever, with the meta stagnant and many players jumping to factions beyond their mains or looking for the next spicy thing.
The goal of this thread:
keeping in line with above, the goal of this thread is to explore budget decks to their fullest, not only as parred-down versions of constructed decks of the same archetype.
focus will center around finding cheese through new cards not typically used at higher levels of play to perform feats constructed counterparts cannot, though for some factions, that may not be possible as of yet.
I. S Rank decklists
Budget ragnora feat. bloodrage. Boasts a far higher damage ceiling than its constructed counterparts while shoring up traditional weaknesses to ziran without resorting to expensive bombs like jugg or elder. Shieldmaster and dampening wave are critically underrated even from a constructed standpoint.
Big Chungus Faie. Succeeds at the highest level of play while maintaining a playstyle distinct from the burn and ramp-centered versions deck builders with more expansive collections gravitate toward.
II. The Lab: decks which maintain a high winrate at diamond, but haven’t ground out enough time to get to S.
Peasant Budget swarm brome. While not a new archetype, budget swarm allows players to cheese out wins with the swarm lyo playstyle popularized by Loewe and later Oracle/Jason in 2017 and 2018, respectively, while also making use of the obscure divine liturgy. Proud in that this deck allows one to roll over premier meta decks while allowing players new to the archetype to give it a try before investing in some of the playstyle’s more expensive tools. One of the first deck to combine all-in swarm and liturgy to boot.
Minos Maehv. A throwback to the older highroll chakram builds, this maehv succeeds in providing a 3 extra value plays outside of shaman on that first bbs play. Red steel minos saw an uptick in use with the increased popularity of hatefurnace, but it also shines here in adding consistency to maehv’s bbs turns: a 4/4 with a growing 4/5 is nothing to sneeze at, giving newer and older players alike a chance at winning shaman-less games they otherwise would have lost.
Aggro Zirix. Nothing really ground breaking here, though the archetype seems to have taken a backseat to the fault meta. Primus shieldmaster remains a powerful tool here, illustrating its use as powerful turn two in an aggro list by enabling you to go face where you otherwise couldn’t and providing a sticky buff target.
Aggro Reva. Again, primus shieldmaster is an incredible tool for aggro, locking boards down and synergizing massively with wild tahr. Songhai’s burst through buffs is incredible. Shoot for one swing turn while holding your burn spells for later turns when you’ve lost board and cannot hit your now-turtling opponent.
This post will be updated as decks hit S and new interactions/playstyles are discovered. Feel free to post your own decks as well. There is no bad data and all ideas will be considered if defended sensibly.