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Building On Budget:
Seeing the Wood for the Trees
July 25th, 2005
Welcome to my third 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…
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.
The Common Good
While ultra hot rares maybe the heart of a collectible card
game, commons are the body to transport that heart around.
Strong commons are not so uncommon to Duel Masters and can
typically run you between 10 to 25 cents each (and often
free if you have a friendly trade network where you play).
I present to you what can easily be argued as some of the
best nature cards in the game in no particular order.
Bronze-Arm Tribe: This is has been one of the best,
cheap creatures since the start of the game. Not only do you
get a 1000 power body on the table, but you also get any
extra mana, kick you up to a potential 5 mana of turn four.
Crow Winger: Yes – another Beast-Folk. Sorry, Beast-Folk
is one of the best things Nature has going for. This
particular creature doesn’t always look great upon first
read, however a lot more decks are including either Water or
Darkness in their decks. This makes Crow Winger into a
cheap, yet big creature. Ultimately, the ability of Crow
Winger forces your opponent to second guess themselves which
can lead to mistakes and thus wins for you.
Raging Dash-Horn: An often overlooked common, likely
to due to the lack to mono-Nature decks currently being
played. However, if you choose to play mono-Nature this
decks should be included at all cost. Five mana for a 7000
double breaker with out it being an evo is unheard of!
Smash Horn Q: Alone this creature is not all that
impressive. Mix any other survivor into the mix and you
begin to see a rather potent threat. Imagine as you begin
setting down you second Smash Horn Q – 3 mana for a 4000
power creature and you are able to add +1000 to another one
of your creatures! You can’t beat that!
Torcon: While 2 mana for a 1000 power creature is not
all that impressive the shield trigger ability and the fact
that he is a Beast Folk completely make up for his apparent
I’ve never been to impressed with the bulk of the
uncommons in Duel Masters. However, there are a few
noteables of which I would not pass on if I was considering
Nature in my deck.
Barkwhip, the Smasher: Many people have stated that
this card is so power that it should have been a rare.
Frankly, I’m glad and proud of Barkwhip’s uncommon status.
There’s nothing wrong with a card, even this powerful, being
available to everyone!
Innocent Hunter, Blade of All: While four mana for a
merely 1000 creature is a joke, this little Beast Folks
special ability makes him all the more worth considering.
Mana Crisis: Once again, mana destruction decks have
been gaining some more attention. While we have yet to
witness a tournament winning mana destruction deck I’m sure
it won’t be long. When we do get to see one I’m sure this
card will be the backbone of it.
Rares typically run pretty cheap (dollar wise) in Duel
Masters – most of them can be had to merely a buck or even
less. 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
Thanks for reading this installment of “Building on a
Budget.” I hope you enjoyed it and will join me again next