When I was recently reassembling my Odyssey era Red Green Beatdown deck, I had to think back to a deck type which was very appealing to me back then but I simply could not afford it as some of the cards included were out of my reach so to say, moneywise that is. The deck revolved around Creatures with Threshold, and would get great stats boosts and additional abilities once the “Threshold” of 7 cards in your graveyard was reached. Intrigued and curious about the approximate costs of such a deck nowadays, I checked and now the cards in question, Mystic Crusader and Mystic Enforcer both go for less than 50 cents a copy. Here’s Mystic Crusader as an example:
The rest of the cards needed for the deck I had in mind were Uncommons, some of them ironically more expensive now than the once so costly Rares. Here is a list of the Blue/White/Green Threshold Deck I came up with rather quickly. Please see it as a first rough draft which will take some testing, tinkering and tuning until it can be called final. What I have here should be decent at least though. On last note: While this deck is announced as a buget deck in the title of this article, I am actually running dual lands, namely Tundra and Tropical Island – just because I happen to own those. I think the deck would do very well if you replaced them with basic lands instead as well. But now on to the deck list:
UWG Threshold (Legacy):
4 x Nimble Mongoose (G)
4 x Basking Rootwalla (G)
4 x Werebear (1G)
4 x Wild Mongrel (1G)
4 x Mystic Crusader (1WW)
4 x Mystic Enforcer (2WG)
2 x Wonder (3U)
4 x Mental Note (U)
4 x Careful Study U
4 x Breakthrough (XU)
2 x Roar of the Wurm (6U)
4 x City of Brass
2 x Flooded Strand
2 x Windswept Heath
2 x Riftstone Portal
2 x Nantuko Monastory
2 x Tundra
2 x Tropical Island
2 x Island
1 x Plains
1 x Forest
The basic strategy is to reach Threshold, having at least 7 cards in your graveyard that is, as soon as possible by using Fetchlands, discarding to Wild Mongrel, which also grows as cards are discarded to it, or through cheap blue card cycling in the form of Mental Note, Carefull Study and, most potent, Breakthrough. Once you reach Threshold many of your Creatures will receive immediate and considerable stats boosts as well as additional great abilities which should enable you to overpower the opponent very quickly. Let us take a look at the cards one by one now:
A 1/1 for G that cannot be target of Spells and Abilities which grows to be a respectable 3/3 when Threshold is reached.
Another 1/1 for 1 green Mana that can be powered up once per turn to be a 3/3 as well at the cost of 1G. The cool thing about this one is that you can play him for free when discarded from your hand. A great first turn play would be to play an Island (or any blue mana producing dual land), cast Careful Study and discard one or even two Rootwallas to it, which will give you one or two 1/1s for no cost on turn 1.
Werebear is mediocre mana acceleration which can be tapped to produce 1 green Mana. With Threshold however, Werebear grows to an impressive size of 4/4.
Mongrel once was a staple in any green deck and is another very efficient Creature which acts as one of your main ways to reach Threshold as early as possible while triggering the occasional Madness of Basking Rootwalla (this is no dedicated Madness deck as has to be noted). Wild Mongrel is a lackluster 2/2 for two Mana, but what makes him so useful (and also dangerous to your opponent) is the ability to discard any number of cards any time to give him a +1/+1 boost with the option to change its color to whatever you want for the remainder of the turn. The latter can be useful to avoid pinpoint destruction that excludes Creatures of certain colors.
Maybe the worst Threshold Creature in the deck and probably a bit hard to cast, requiring two white Mana (plus 1 generic), I still wanted to run this one, as Protection from black and from red can be useful in certain match-ups, plus he will be a 3/2 Flyer when you reach Threshold.
Enforcer is kinda like Crusader’s big brother, starting as a 3/3 Creature with Protection from black for 2WG. Once Threshold is reached however, he will get +3/+3 and Flying, making him a 6/6 Flyer for 4 Mana which is pretty awesome.
This is best located in your graveyard, as all your Creatures will get Flying as long as it is there. While your bigger Creatures Crusader and Enforcer get Flying anyways when Threshold is reached, many of your “smaller” Creatures do not have any evasive capabilities. That is where Wonder comes into play.
A simple way to get three cards at once into your graveyard cheaply. Discard the top 2 cards from your deck and draw a card.
Draw 2, then discard 2. A great way to cycle through your deck inexpensively while dropping cards into your graveyard. Ideally, as noted before, you can discard 1 or 2 Rootwallas to play them for free via their Madness abiltiy.
Probably the most potent way of filling your graveyard in this deck. Pay XU, draw 4 cards, then discard all cards from your hand except for X. This should enable you to hit the magical number of 7 cards in your graveyard, enabling your cards’ Threshold abilities, in next to no time.
Roar of the Wurm:
Should be discarded somehow and played for the Flashback cost of just 4 Mana, generating a quite cheap 6/6 Wurm token.
City of Brass:
Supporting 3 colors in a deck that is meant to be played fast can be a bit hard. City of Brass can help out and I don’t mind the managable life loss caused by City.
I play 2 Windswept Heath and 2 Flooded Strands and would like to play more as they are great for filling your graveyard, but alas I cannot drop my last basic Forests, Islands and Plains.
This is meant to be discarded as it gives, as long as located in your graveyard, every one of your lands the ability to be tapped for either 1 white or 1 green Mana. And yes, even your Fetchlands would produce Mana if that is the case.
When Threshold is reached, Monastory can be brought to life to be a 4/4 First Striker for just WG.
On a closing note, I wanted to include some other cards as well such as Quiet Speculation in conjunction with Deep Analysis and of course some countermagic like Daze or Force of Will. The latter would be really handy but I feel I have to few blue cards to support the alternative casting cost of exiling a blue card from hand instead of hard-casting Will for 3UU. Testing will show if the deck fares well even devoid of all countermagic or other control cards.