Magic: the Gathering: Budget Standard Polymorph


Blue/Green Polymorph recently took 3rd at a Star City Games tournament in Orlando, and Tim Sussino ran aBlue/Red Polymorph deck in Pro-Tour San Diego, and for quite some time there has been talk of building a good  Polymorph deck in Standard.   There’s also been much talk online lately about the lack of good Blue cards being released by Wizards, and I think Polymorph is the answer to Blue Control in the current Standard (at least from a budget standpoint, a certain planeswalker might also be seen by many to be important).  The Competitive Standard forum over on MTGSalvation has discussed everything from Blue/Green/White Bant Polymorph decks, to Blue/Red, to Blue/Black and an assortment of combinations and cards, with win conditions primarily being found in Iona, Shield of Emeria and Progenitus.

What most of these decks have in common, however, is a high price tag.  The Star City Games U/G 3rd place deck costs $180 in Jace, the Mind Sculptor alone!  (Note: All prices in this post will be based on prices as of today – 03/30/10 – on Star City Games).  So, for many, this might be unrealistic.  When considering a deck as “budget” I like to think of the entire deck coming in at around $50.  However, the deck still needs to be playable, and hopefully, competitive.

Budget Polymorph

Spells (29)Wind Zendikon

Creatures (6)

Lands (25)

Sideboard (15)

Pricewise, I come pretty close to the $50 limit.  Main deck runs about $47 and change, and the sideboard is an additional $12.20, so just shy of $60 for the whole shebang, which isn’t bad for a deck that I think will work quite well.

This deck is pretty much based upon how much fun I think it would be to Polymorph a Zendikon, so the land goes back into my hand, have a Admonition Angel or Roil Elemental enter the battlefield off of the Polymorph, and then play the land to trigger a Landfall effect to either remove a pesky permanent from the game or gain control of a pesky critter.

Iona, Shield of Emeria

Of course, the deck also runs one copy of Iona, Shield of Emeria which is the most expensive card in the deck at $8, but since it can be a complete “I win” condition, I think it’s worth the money.  Martial Coup is acting as the poor man’s Day of Judgment, and Magosi, the Water Veil fills the same role at $.75 as a sort of replacement for the nearly $10 Time Warp.  Likewise, Sejiri Refuge is a fully functional, though less costly dual land.

Cards that could help, but break the budget.

Path to Exile

Path to Exile would be a star in this deck, as it has already been proven to be in many Standard decks.  You could spot remove one of an opponent’s baddies, or zap one of your Zendikons to end up with two lands in hand for Landfall triggers.  However, that being said, Path to Exile is a pretty expensive uncommon at $7 a piece, so I went with Oblivion Rings, instead.

Fetch Lands

It’s always good to have the mana you want, plus adding Landfall triggers is a bonus, but all of the current fetch lands are pricey.  Bant Panorama is acting in this capacity in my budget version of Polymorph, and you could add Terramorphic Expanse for another low-cost option.  Of course, the best Fetch Land for this deck doesn’t exist in Standard right now anyway.

Jace [ ___ ].

Both Jace Beleren and Jace the Mind Sculptor would be welcome additions to this deck.  Both add significant card advantage, and the newer Jace could easily trade in for the Ponders.  Jace Beleren is by far the more budget friendly of the two, but Jace 2.0 definitely has some good tricks up his billowing blue sleeves.


Celestial Colonnade would be great in this deck (along with other duals), and could easily replace the Dread Statuary or definitely replace the Gargoyle Castles, or perhaps even replace the Sejiri Refuges.  They would give you your Blue or White mana, plus some hefty bodies.



I don’t think he’s absolutely necessary in a Polymorph deck because Iona, Shield of Emeria is strictly a more sure win, but as a sideboard addition, why not?  If anything, he’s just so cool.  At $12 each, though, he was a bit too costly for the budget.

In closing…

Budget Polymorph is a possibility, and with the April 23 entrance of Rise of Eldrazi into Standard, an on-the-horizon competitive reality.  The Eldrazi that have so far been spoiled, uncommon Eldrazi such as Pathrazer of Ulamog or (egads!) common ones such as Ulamog’s Crusher have huge abilities, plus are colorless which makes them so much easier to “hard” cast from hand if necessary (and we haven’t even seen all of the Eldrazi yet!).  Blue/Colorless just may be the Budget Polymorph of the future (with a singleton White Iona, Shield of Emeria for good measure).

Pathrazer of Ulamog Polymorph


One response to “Magic: the Gathering: Budget Standard Polymorph

  1. Pingback: Super Villains: Magic: the Gathering Standard Deck « Sa1va7ion

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