Magic on a Budget: “Junkyard”

I have been playing Magic: the Gathering for over 15 years now, playing with passion that is. I always enjoyed building lots of fun, casual and preferably cheap/buget decks. This is one I came up with while ago and just today I “dug up” my old idea so to say, after, enticed by Magic’s archenemy Yu-Gi-Oh, not having touched a single Magic card in like half a year.

I lovingly call the deck I am going to elaborate on in the following “Junkyard”, as it features lots of cheap (and expendable) artifacts. And you are going to “junk” them a lot I promise. The deck consists mostly of Commons and a few dirt cheap rares such as Salvage Titan and Megatog. The only a bit more expensive card I am playing is Glimmervoid, but I happen to own a playset so I included it anyways. Before I will share the decklist and my thoughts on my “Junkyard” Deck with you, I would like to note that I SO wanted to run 4 copies of Mox Opal in this one, but alas I do not have the roughly 100 euros (like 150 USD at the current exchange rate) for a playset of shiny Metalcraft Moxens. So Glimmervoid will have to suffice to support the three colors the deck is featuring.

But without much further ado, here’s the decklist I came up with. I will follow up with my strategic thoughts on the deck right after the deck list:

Budget Junkyar V 1.0:


4 x Vault Skirge

4 x Glaze Fiend

4 x Salvage Slasher

4 x Etherium Sculptor

3 x Atog

4 x Salvage Titan

1 x Megatog


4 x Shrapnel Blast


4 x Thoughtcast


4 x Bonesplitter

4 x Cranial Plating


4 x Glimmervoid

4 x Vault of Whispers

4 x Great Furnace

4 x Seat of the Synod

4 x Darksteel Citadel

The Strategy:

Well I tried to stay budget and I tried to stay original to some degree so I made some unusual card choices in the above deck list – in an effort to give the deck some personal touch. Let me comment on the cards I decided to run in my “Junkyard” Deck one by one!

Vault Skirge:

Why not run Ornithopter you will ask? Well I think in this particular deck, this little guy is pretty amazing.

Vault Skirge is a 1/1 Flyer with Lifelink that will cost you only 1 colorless mana plus 2 Life Points to summon. With Etherium Sculptor, another unusual card I decided to add to this deck, you can even summon Skirge for free (well you still have to pay 2 life, but who cares) so it will be a 1 ATK Ornithopter with Lifelink. Combined with the raw attack power boosts from both Bonesplitter, and even more devastating, Cranial Plating, you will have no trouble in recouping the managable loss of life. In fact the little guy, being a (relatively) hard to block flyer, will net you a ton of life when armed with aforementioned Equipments. It’s the Lifelink thing that makes me choose Vault Skirge over Ornithopter. I may be wrong – testing will show. I have a good feeling with this one though.

Glaze Fiend:

Glaze Fiend is another flyer, 0/1 for 1B. Not impressive at all…so far. What makes Glaze Fiend a four-of for me in this deck is that he gains +2/+2 everytime an artifact comes into play under your control. In a deck with a ton of cheap or even free artifacts, this one will be boosted several times each turn. Your artifact lands certainly help in making Fiend grow huge and I would expect that you will be able to power him up to 4/5 each turn, quite possibly even more on your first few turns when your hand is still well-filled with artifacts to play. The fact that he is a flyer as well makes him a good Creature to equip your Bonesplitters and Cranial Platings to, making Glaze Fiend even more of a threat to your opponent and enabling you to apply massive pressure early on.

Salvage Slasher:

Another 1B casting cost Creature. This time it is a 1/1 without flying but with the great ability to get +1/+0 for every artifact card in your graveyard. Combine that with the Artifact-munching Atogs and your lone Megatog as well as Salvage Titan which can be summoned for free by sacrificing 3 Artifacts and your opponent is in severe trouble. The only thing that limits Slasher as a threat to the opponent is that he has no inherent evasive capabilities like flying. Still a great card that grows in power as the game progresses.

Etherium Sculptor:

This one is a little peculiar. A 1/1 for 1U seems to be nothing special, but it’s ability to reduce the cost of all your artifacts by 1 is what made me run four copies in the deck. Your Artifacts and Artifact Creatures are already cheap as hell but with Etherium Sculptor, you will be able to drop even more of them, and drop them fast, as most of them will cost 1 or even 0 mana with Sculptor out. As mentioned above, for example Vault Skirge will be a 1/1 flying, lifelinked little beast for the mere cost of paying 2 Life Points. Likewise Glaze Fiend and Salvage Slasher will cost ony 1 black mana. I think this makes it worthwile to run 4 Etherium Sculptors.


One of the very few non-Artifact Creatures I am running in this deck. And he has a fine taste for metal! (Just as I have!). In a Deck which runs a total of no less than 44 Artifact cards which are either dirt cheap or free altogether to play, there should be more than enough food to feed the ‘Tog. Atog will get a +2/+2 boost for each Artifact you sacrifice for him (until the end of turn) which can make him ridiculously huge while at the same time dumping Artifacts in the graveyard to make your Slavage Slashers bigger and bigger.

Salvage Titan:

A “crap rare” that found its home in this deck of mine. Let’s have a look at the big guy:

A 6/4 that can be summoned for free if you sacrifice three artifacts. In a deck like this one with so many cheap and free artifacts, this special summoning condition can be satisfied pretty easily and early on. As mentioned above, Salvage Slasher will benefit from Salvage Titans ability and grow each time you use it. On top of that you can even retrieve the Titan from your graveyard by banishing 3 Artifacts from your graveyard, although this is kinda counterproductive if you have one or more Salvage Slashers in play. Still it can be handy at times.


I am running one lonely copy of Atog’s big brother,  Megatog, as I like the card and it can be just the finisher you need in mid- to late-game (if there is such a thing like a “late-game” with a fast deck like this one…) getting +3/+3 and Trample until end of turn for every Artifact you sacrifice. It is the Trample bit that makes Megatog much more dangerous for your opponent as all damage to the player from Atog can be prevented with just one puny blocker. Not with Megatog. I can imagine finishing off any opponent in one giant Megatog-attack, sacrificing all your artifacts to deal lethal damage in one mighty rush!

Shrapnel Blast:

Dealing 5 damage for 1R at instant speed is nothing to sneeze at. The additonal cost of sacrificing an artifact is managable considering the multitudes of free or very cheap artifacts I am running in this deck. A good move for example could be to tap Great Furnace and another land for paying the casting cost of Shrapnel Blast and then conveniently sacrificing the tapped Furnace for Blast’s additional cost. I can see this card as THE way of pushing through the last few points of damage when your opponent managed to put up their defenses after an early ambush of your Artifact critters…


This basically lets you draw 2 cards for just 1 blue Mana in a deck full of (cheap) artifacts. Almost as good as Ancestral Recall…almost. In general I love cards that let you gain card advantage, which Thoughtcast does and I needed a way to restock my hands after having played all the low-cost artifacts in the deck so I thought this would be a natural fit!

Bonesplitter & Cranial Plating:

Bonesplitter gives a +2/+0 boost at a very low cost which is great combined with your hard-to-block Creatures such as Vault Skirge and Glaze Fiend or even the trampling Megatog. Cranial Plating, while only a wee bit more expensive to cast, is a lot more threatening than that, giving the equipped Creature +1/+0 for every artifact in play. Now in a deck with no less than 44 artifact cards, that means severe trouble for your opponent and your flyers will be happy to grab a Cranial Plating (or two…or three!!). Admittedly, there is somewhat of a dyssynergy with Atog and Megatog as the ‘Togs eat up all your artifacts, weakening Cranial Plating while they are at it. Making good play choices should keep that problem in check though!

Glimmervoid and the Artifact Lands:

The only non-Artifact Land I am running are four copies of Glimmervoid. While I wanted to play 4 Mox Opals to support the three colors in this deck, my limited budget (and I remind you: this is supposed to be a budget deck) prevents me from getting some. So Glimmervoid, along with the Artifact Lands of the three colors I am running will have to do. That means I have 8 sources of mana for each of the three colors this deck features, which should be enough in many or most cases…


Well, this is my “Junkyard” budget deck for you guys! I solemnly swear that many, many more M:tG deck articles (along with articles on Yu-Gi-Oh and more obscure card games as well as some on my own games I designed) will follow. Next up will be my Legacy Scepter-Chant Deck, which does not qualify as a budget deck by any means, and probably an article about one of my many  EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander, go google it if you are not familiar with that great, fun format!) decks. So stay tuned and I hope you enjoyed reading this my first Magic deck article on my new blog. If you happen to have an comments, suggestions, questions and constructive (and only constructive!) criticism, feel free to drop me a line (or two) below in the comments!



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