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Vs. System

Building On Budget:
Seeing the Wood for the Trees
By JMatthew
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…bronze_arm_tribe

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 weakness!

Uncommon Delights

I’ve never been to impressed with the bulk of the
bronze_arm_tribeNature 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. 

Rarely Surpassed

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 gander.

Cryptic Totem
Fortress Shell
Nocturnal Giant
Rumbling Terahorn

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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