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Vs. System

Building On Budget:
All That Glitters Can Even Be 10k Gold
(or perhaps yellow in this case)
March 29, 2005
By JMatthew

Welcome to my second installment of “Building on a Budget.” For those of you just joining us on this little journey I’ll toss out the premise once again. Or – better yet – you can simply make your way over to the last Budget article at Building On Budget: Big Splashes in a Little Pond . If you’re to lazy, here it is…split_head_hydroturtle_q

Face it- the majority of Duel Master players don’t have unlimited cash flow. Maybe you’re a kid who just barely squeaks by on tournament fees with your allowance. Maybe you’re an adult and have to deal with bills or a family to consider so you can only allocated so much cash to entertainment. Either way, the majority of players likely fit into one of these categories or something pretty similar. That brings me to the point of this article.

One of the undeniably greatest things about Duel Masters is that you don’t have to break the bank simply to build a single deck that is truly tournament worthy. Back when I played competitive Magic: The Gathering, I remember carrying around Type 2 decks worth an excess of $500 – and I had to if I wanted to win with any real consistency. Yugi-Oh isn’t any better, especially with their lack of limited tournament formats making many decks worth more than their weight in gold. In Duel Masters many of the best cards happen to run under a dollar a piece.

Common Cause

So many collectable cards games in the past (okay – and in the present) grant us few playable commons – at least on the competitive level. Duel Masters actually gives us enough playable commons that you could nearly build a deck straight from them. Let’s check them out…

Gulan Rias, Speed Gaurdian: At first this card likely appears rather limited – and I suppose that assessment would be right. True, it’s powerful versus darkness, but against any other civilization you will quickly find it over-costed. Despite this, Gulan is a Gaurdian an thus can take advantage of two strong light evo’s.

La Ura Giga, Sky Gaurdian: The best cheap creature in the game. The other creatures that are able to match it’s cost fall just don’t match. Either they will fall to this the Sky Gaurdian (such as Deadly Fighter Braid Claw) just don’t quite measure up (such as Aqua Guard and Marine Flower).

Logic Cube: I’m a big fan of tutor style cards (check out my article Strategy and Game Play: The Hidden Power of Tutoring ) and when they come available to everyone in the form of a common I love them even more!

Magris, Vizer of Magnetism: When you add up the numbers, Magris should be just as good as Aqua Hulcus. Frankly, it’s close, but still not the same. Mostly because it’s not from a truly solid race and I would rather have the lower power for a lower casting cost. Still, this a pretty good card in this form for the most part.

Senatine, Jade Tree: A solid blocker for a cheap cost. ‘nuff said.

Solar Ray: Compared to the likes of Holy Awe, this is an easily overlooked card. Still, running Solar Ray may give you that extra kick that you may need in a much more widely available form.

Sundrop Armor: A solid card that I’m sure we all only wish had shield trigger.

Uncommon Ground

There are quite a bit fewer impressive Light uncommons in Duel Masters. Wizards of the Coast does good by us with the cards they have given us. split_head_hydroturtle_q

Diamond Cutter: This card used to be one of the strongest cards in the game. Some of it’s power has been lost through the release of sets, however it’s still more than worth mentioning.

Fu Reil, Seeker of Storms: A commonly underestimated card – mostly because it possesses limited use. While I would not run more than two in a deck, I wouldn’t dismiss this card to easily.

Larba Geer, the Immaculate: Light seems to have the ability to hate nearly every civilization – even itself sometimes.

Mist Rias, Sonic Gaurdian: An unbelievably strong card. I’ve seem 3 or 4 cards a turn drawn with this creature. Now THAT’S some card advantage!!

Toel, Vizer of Hope: This creature really depends upon your local metagame. If there are a lot of people running Holy Awe, this card is a must. If not – then you may be able to do with out it.

Rare Beauty

While rares typically run pretty cheap (dollar wise) in Duel Masters, a few Light rares break this rule, but only slightly. Syforce, for example, will typically cost you a couple of dollars. For the most part, though, even awesome cards such as Holy Awe can be found for pretty cheap. Once again, I haven’t gone into any real detail with these cards, I just want to be sure that you have looked at these. If any of them have passed your eye, you many want to take a second gander.

Dia Nork, Moonlight Gaurdian
Glory Snow
Holy Awe
Syforce, Aurora Elemental
Szubs Kin, Twilight Gaurdian

Thanks for reading this installment of “Building on a Budget.” I hope you enjoyed it and will join me again next week.





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