G/B in Standard totally has access to Fireball, right?
This attack can actually represent lethal thanks to the interaction between Noose Constrictor and The Gitrog Monster. I’m threatening 13 damage as is, and if I chain 5 lands together, that’s game! Here, of course, I didn’t have quite that much damage, but it sure makes life miserable for the opponent. That’s just a sampling of today’s Budget Brew.
The name G/B Madness Frog doesn’t even paint the whole picture, but it does explain one of the deck’s sweeter paths to victory. First and foremost, this is a Noose Constrictor deck—Wild Mongrel is back in full force with this deck. It’s even a Wild Mongrel that blocks Smuggler’s Copter!
Sultai Madness Frog (35 tix)
While that may somewhat look like a random pile of creatures and spells, this deck has incredible synergy. There are tons of awesome interactions, so let’s look at some of those cool combinations.
This was the card I was looking to abuse the most. I tried putting it in a whole slew of shells and just couldn’t find anything that made the card shine. The key is that you absolutely need to be able to dump your hand and turn on the Orrery consistently. Otherwise, it might actually help out your opponent more than you! Noose Constrictor is the perfect enabler and even hits your opponent for a ton of damage in the process of getting down to 0 cards in hand. Here’s a picture of it going off:
As you can see, Haunted Dead is another way to dump your hand to Orrery. One neat trick you can use is to activate Haunted Dead twice without passing priority if you only have 1 Haunted Dead in the graveyard but want to dump 4 cards to retrigger Orrery the following turn.
In addition, the extra land drops aren’t trivial and help you cast multiple of your expensive spells at a time. Your opponent gets to dump their hand too though, so be careful. Against some really fast decks like R/B, it’s safer to just board out Orrery and play a more traditional game.
Key to the City
This is another way to get cards out of your hand to trigger Orrery, but that’s just the surface of what the card does. It also helps dump key cards in your graveyard to enable your graveyard synergies to take over a game and on top of that makes your giant creatures like Noose Constrictors or The Gitrog Monster unblockable!
If you do end up using Key to dump your hand, be sure to always draw with it after you’ve drawn 3 with Orrery. You won’t actually have to decide if you want to pay until after you see those cards and that will clearly impact your decision. Orrery does help you get a ton of lands into play though so you’ll often be able to pay for extra Key cards.
Prized Amalgam/Scrapheap Scrounger/Haunted Dead
This is your beatdown graveyard package. The idea is the same as various other Prized Amalgam decks. You want to dump Amalgams with Keys and Constrictors, then bring them back into play with Haunted Dead or Scrapheap Scrounger. Sometimes you get lucky and are just attacking your opponent for a ton early on, because you draw multiples of these pieces together:
Not a bad way to use your third turn!
Going wide and attacking your opponent for a ton is often the way you beat Emrakul, and that was very clearly important in the game shown here. One thing you have to be careful with Emrakul is that Noose Constrictor is very bad against it. Bye bye hand! For this reason you’ll often need to set up a Voldaren Pariah to eat an opposing Emrakul and also make it less devastating by removing any Noose Constrictors you have on the battlefield.
Weaponcraft Enthusiast/Voldaren Pariah/The Gitrog Monster/Arborback Stomper
This is your mini-Eldritch-Evolution package. Weaponcraft Enthusiast is nice because it provides a bunch of bodies to Pariah and that’s your main way of interacting with your opponent when you aren’t just goldfishing with a bunch of Amalgam triggers. Conveniently, Amalgam also is great with Evolution and just comes right back while also tutoring whichever key 5-drop you might need at the time. This helps fight against some of the truly nutty openings Standard is capable of:
The sideboard also looks a bit strange, but it’s really just two different halves that you’ll use versus different decks. I mentioned earlier that Orrery is bad versus fast decks since they can get free draw 3s and have discard to help ensure that plan, much like you do. In those matchups I like turning into more of an Eldritch Evolution deck. That’s why there are extra good 3s to sacrifice in the form of Catacomb Sifter, and the extra 5-drops to tutor for or just draw naturally.
In those matchups I like swapping in the Island for a Swamp. You’ll end up cutting some of your grindier cards that also happened to help with Orrery, like a couple Keys and a Scrapheap Scrounger. By making these changes it becomes much harder to get Amalgams into play, and that’s why casting them ends up being important. In the main deck there’s only 2 Botanical Sanctums to do that, since your main plan is returning them, but the Island more than triples your chances of casting them thanks to the Evolving Wilds. You’re still planning on returning them a majority of the time but it’s not bad to have a good plan B.
My favorite part of the sideboard though is the playset of Perpetual Timepiece. Against slower decks this becomes a relatively quick clock of activating your graveyard package. Those types of decks really can’t afford to consistently remove a stream of Amalgams and Scroungers, and Perpetual Timepiece helps ensure you’ll get to that board state eventually. Alongside that you still have a bunch of time to set up Ghirapur Orrery advantage or Noose Constrictor with Gitrog combos. Long games are perfect for this deck and it can out-grind some of the toughest go-big decks in the format!
I really can’t say enough good things about this deck. It was ultimately the perfect combination of cross synergies from my brewing. This very well might be the most powerful budget brew I’ve built to date and happens to also be an incredibly fun playing experience. I hope you’ll pick it up and enjoy some shenanigans!