Alright, so you want to start playing Standard. But you don’t have very many legendaries, and don’t want to spend a bunch of money cracking legendary chests in the hopes of getting the ones you need, and definitely don’t have time to assemble the massive amount of silver you’ll need to forge some of the most expensive Standard decks out there, like Wegu. Fret not! Not all is lost. Solforge has a couple of legendary-light competitive decks, which I will outline here.
Decks I chose were put together from a mixture of tournament results at solforgeladder.com as well as my own noggin. Each deck listed here has 6 total legendaries or less, as I felt that was a reasonable line to try to achieve for a budget player. Free to play can also get there, it will just take a bit longer. For each deck, I will list the deck list, any flexible slots, an estimate of how much silver it will take to forge the entire deck, and any preconstructed decks you can purchase to open legends from the deck (where applicable).
I’ll start from cheapest to forge and go to most expensive. Let’s get on with it!
Darkforged Yetis – 834,750 Silver
3 Shardplate Behemoth 3 Weirwood Patriarch 3 Uranti Warlord 3 Shroudthorn Splicer 3 Ferocious Roar 3 Umbraskin Yeti 3 Dusk Hammer 3 Dendriy 3 Burnout 3 Darkstone Asir
Overview – This list is super cheap and has been making the rounds in the Unlegendary format with Aetherphages instead of Shardplate Behemoths. In Standard, however, Shardplate is much better than Aetherphage, since creatures like Dino Knight and Ebonskull Knight need to be blocked. And when Shardplate gets low, you can pump it back up with Ferocious Roar and Weirwood Patriarch.
This deck is not seen very much in Standard due to how all or nothing it is. It really needs a critical mass of Darkforged and creatures in order to work its magic, which makes it very difficult to stop once it gets going, but tends to make it easy to throw a wrench in your plans so it never gets going. That said, it’s a deck you would not have to force me to play in a Constructed Queue with – it’s fun, it’s explosive, and it can easily go 3-1 against an average field.
Legendary Flex – This deck is actually pretty tight. If you want to completely remove the Shardplates, you can, and add back in Aetherphages. You can also add stuff like Swampmoss Ancient for a large underleveled threat, or even more metagame dependent cards like Herald of Destruction if you find yourself losing to a lot of those kinds of strategies. I would suggest not adding Malice Hermit because even though the Yeti synergy with Uranti Warlord is nice, you really want to be growing your own board, not poisoning it.
Precons – Sadly, Shardplate Behemoth is not a precon, so you’re going to have to forge them or open them.
Zombies – 1,023,700 Silver
2 Xerxes, the Executioner 2 Scythe of Chiron 3 Zombie Dreadknight 3 Xrath, Dreadknight of Varna 3 Xrath's Will 3 Tomb Pillager 3 Leyline Demon 3 Discordant Strike 3 Xithian Direhound 3 Abyssal Brute 2 Howl of Xith
Overview – Zombies is currently the king of budget decks. There are lots of variable builds, some completely Nekrium, others with Alloyin, others with Uterra. I tend to prefer the Alloyin versions, since they can be budget pretty easily and can be expanded with Relic Hunters or Nexus Aeronauts as they are gotten if that’s more your style.
Zombies pops up in standard quite frequently with mixed results due to the shifting metagame. For Constructed Queue, however, Zombies is a very consistent deck full of fast aggression and big creatures, so it’s a very safe deck to build.
Legendary Flex – I included Xerxes, the Executioner in this list as a good source of board control as a creature that your opponent must answer, or you take their guys. Another option is Patron of Tarsus – a heroic option that shrinks your opponents creatures once on a less durable but more aggressive body than Xerxes’s. I prefer either over Epidemic since it allows you to keep playing creatures. Scythe of Chiron is a very good way to push damage and I would not recommend removing it – but replacing one with a Howl of Xith is an option if you don’t feel like forging it.
Dinosaurs – 1,066,300 Silver
1 Scythe of Chiron 3 Immortal Echoes 3 Bron, Wild Tamer 3 Uterradon Rex 3 Leyline Demon 2 Tarsus Deathweaver 3 Mosstodon 3 Dysian Siphon 3 Dendrify 3 Swampmoss Ancient 3 Roaming Warclaw
Overview – Dinosaurs are the premier deck in standard at the moment. However, you can also build them pretty cheaply at the expense of some power. As you gain more cards and legends, you can start adding in Shardplate Behemoths, Thundersaurs, or Duskmaws. However, even a budget Dinos deck can crush just about any deck with Dino Knight + Immortal Echoes.
Legendary Flex – Bron, Wild Tamer is a must-have necessary card for the deck. He’s huge, he heals your side of the board, and he’s hard to deal with. I chose to include Immortal Echoes over Shardplate Behemoth, Thundersaur, or Duskmaw in order to give the deck a little longevity. I also included Tarsus Deathweaver as an alternative to one of the aforementioned legendaries because it plays so nicely with Dino Knight, Roaming Warclaw, Leyline Demon, and Immortal Echoes.
You can choose instead to play Duskmaws/Shardplate Behemoths instead of Immortal Echoes for a more aggressive strategy; I believe both of these cards are better adds than Thundersaur. However, trying to replace Immortal Echoes with a non-legendary card is very difficult – I could not find one I was comfortable playing with.
Precons – Immortal Echoes is unobtainable outside of forging or opening it. Scythe of Chiron is found in the Campaign, free of charge. Bron, Wild Tamer resides in the Umbruk Uprising precon, so buying three of those will give you three sharable Brons and a few deck slots. If you would also like to buy Duskamws, they are in the Onyxium Twilight precon.
Stasis – 1,133,650 Silver
3 Lucid Echoes 3 Ironmind Acolyte 3 Static Shock 2 Oreian Justicar 3 Ambriel's Edict 3 Stasis Warden 1 Perilous Insight 3 Oratek Battlebrand 3 Nanoswarm 3 Energy Swarm 2 Glacial Crush 1 Barrier Soldier
Overview – Stasis Warden decks are in a bit of an odd place. They are very difficult to play and generally have poor offensive options. This means that the deck will do just about as well as the skill of the person piloting this. This can be intimidating, but it is also rewarding, as you will find yourself winning more and more games as your proficiency of the deck increases.
Stasis Warden decks exist in the metagame at strange times. Generally, Stasis Warden matchups are very one-sided, which makes it just about as easy to 4-0 in a Constructed Event as it is to 0-4. With practice, you can even out the bad matchups through play skill and come out on top more often, but that is again dependent on practice with the deck.
Legendary Flex – The legendaries in this deck aren’t very flexible. No card does what Ironmind Acolyte does – lets you cycle through your deck and gives you a free play of a decently sized creature. Lucid Echoes is also very needed in order to have enough cards in hand to play Ironmind Acolyte, in addition to finding all of the right various situational cards that your deck is comprised of.
Lucid Echoes can be replaced by Ghox, Metamind Paragon as a temporary measure, but I do not recommend it. Ghox is a (very) killable creature, and generally will only draw you 1 card. Additionally, Ghox does not trigger Stasis Warden like Lucid Echoes does.
Precons – Lucid Echoes cannot be found in a precon, so either Reign of Varna Legendary chests or simply forging them would be the best bet. Ironmind Acolyte, however, comes in the Ironmind Intuition deck (along with Ghox, if you choose to go that route).
More to come?
Those four decks are all I have today. Budget decks in Standard are difficult to come by since we have six sets of legendary cards to work with, many of which are core to specific strategies. But there’s still a bit of hope out there, and with the rise of more strategy-specific heroics like Zombie Dreadknight, I’m hopeful that sets to come will have more powerful or staple heroics instead of their like at the legend rarity.
I’ll try to put out another article if anything changes with the full release of 6.1 or 6.2, but for now, this is what we have to work with. I hope this article was at least slightly helpful in helping people with some budget options so they can jump into standard!