Brew For Your Buck - Discarding Artifacts

(Riddlesmith | Art by Eric Deschamps)

Trash is Treasure

Hello fellow brewer and welcome back to Brew For Your Buck, where we swap out the top 10 most expensive cards in a deck with 10 budget cards that add a unique twist. Before we get to our deck, I just want to thank everyone that voted in the polls from my stats article for 2023. Your feedback is important to me and well noted. If you didn't get to vote, you can always leave me a comment on any of my articles.

Anyways, to kick off 2024 we're headed into the world of Dimir. Blue is the least represented color in the series so far, but it's just after the holidays and I need the comfort of black mana to help get the year started. This deck is also one of my personal decks, and the idea I have for a budget package is one I've been toying with for a while, so I figured let's put it to the internet to see what you all think. Our commander comes from the Streets of New Capenna precons, but isn't one of the face commanders:

Oskar is really cool for a number of reasons. He can avoid the commander tax pretty well, making him easy to recast over the course of a long game. The self-discard theme is obvious, but the power of his second ability might not be on first glance. That triggered ability allows you to ignore timing restrictions on cards traditionally cast at sorcery speed. This allows us to do some sweet jiu-jitsu with the stack that our opponents can't, giving us cool angle of attack. We can also use him to take advantage of cards that care about spells being cast from a graveyard or cards leaving your graveyard. The average deck's starting price is $286.44. Let's take a look at the expensive cards that we're taking out:

            1. Rhystic Study ($33.14)
            2. Fierce Guardianship ($32.53)
            3. Cyclonic Rift ($28.46)
            4. Demonic Tutor ($28.44)
            5. Reanimate ($13.80)
            6. Ledger Shredder ($9.41)
            7. Bone Miser ($8.54)
            8. Toxic Deluge ($8.36)
            9. Teferi, Master of Time ($4.66)
            10. An Offer You Can't Refuse ($3.64)

Total Value of Cuts: $170.98

No surprise here. This is basically a list of Dimir-colored format staples. The only one that really stands out is Bone Miser, which from personal experience is a bananas card for this deck. If you find that you've hit your mark for budget, you might want to put that back in. Replacing the expensive lands leads to an additional $71.35 (this number will change slightly at the end) in savings, for a total of $242.33.

Right now, both the average list and my personal list are kind of just a pile of Dimir cards that say the word "discard" on them. I wanted to see if I could give the deck a bit more of a focused theme. In my searching, I stumbled down a path that many Commander players travel, and thought "let's build an Artifact deck." Whether or not you become the villain at your table after this journey is up to you, but there are some sweet artifact build arounds that synergize great with what this deck is already trying to do.



Dumping the Debris

Having access to a discard outlet is extremely important in this deck. Oskar can get you around those timing restrictions but only if you have the ability to pitch a card. Fortunately, we have access to some good ones when we lean into the artifact theme. Riddlesmith ($0.11) is the cheapest mana-wise, just keep in mind that it triggers on cast and not on entering the battlefield (ETB) like our next one. Transplant Theorist ($0.08) is an artifact itself, and is a nice blocker for our more controlling deck. Finally, Armix, Filigree Thrasher ($0.10) is not only a discard outlet but gives us removal as well. All three are two-for-ones in the deck, assuming we're casting the discarded card with Oskar's ability, making them pseudo card advantage as well.


Pitch it for Pennies

Just like our commander, our next set of cards can be cast for a cheap, reduced, or alternate cost. Nothing about Oskar's ability prevents using alternate costs, so these are especially valuable to discard to other effects since casting them doesn't cost a lot of mana. Foil ($0.34) is one of my pet cards and does a half decent impression of the Fierce Guardianship that we removed earlier. The mana we don't pay to counter a spell can be used to cast whatever you discarded to pay the alternate cost. We can play Mistvein Borderpost ($0.25) for one mana out of the graveyard and bounce a land that can be discarded to something else later, like discarding it to Foil!


Thought Monitor ($1.02) is pretty straightforward, but also gives us another discreet mana value to decrease Oskar's cost if the Thopter ends up in the graveyard. Moonsnare Prototype ($0.05) is already a flexible card, doubling as ramp or a bounce spell depending on what you need it to be. Oskar allows it to be both if you want, since discarding it to its own Channel ability will trigger our favorite dumpster diver and then we can cast it to use as mana rock. Of course, this can also just come out on turn one, providing early ramp in colors with less than stellar access to acceleration.


Trash Value

In general, discarding a card is inherently a bad thing. While our deck focuses on turning it into an advantage, we still want to maximize the value of the cards we are binning, since against three opponents, every card matters a lot. Urza, Powerstone Prodigy ($0.02) is another discard outlet that turns our discarded cards into mana and artifacts on the board. Imotekh the Stormlord ($0.47) lets each artifact we cast with Oskar's ability bring two friends along with it. Scrap Trawler ($0.30) is a staple in many artifact decks. While it does it's usual recursive job, we get an edge by having it to get us more discard fodder as well.


Wrap Up & Savings

Let's see what we saved:

Out  Price  In  Price 
Rhystic Study  $ 33.14 Riddlesmith  $ 0.11
Fierce Guardianship  $ 32.53 Transplant Theorist  $ 0.08
Cyclonic Rift  $ 28.46 Armix, Filigree Thrasher  $ 0.10
Demonic Tutor  $ 28.44 Foil  $ 0.34
Reanimate  $ 13.80 Mistvein Borderpost  $ 0.25
Ledger Shredder  $ 9.41 Thought Monitor  $ 1.02
Bone Miser  $ 8.54 Moonsnare Prototype  $ 0.05
Toxic Deluge  $ 8.36 Urza, Powerstone Prodigy  $ 0.02
Teferi, Master of Time  $ 4.66 Imotekh the Stormlord  $ 0.47
An Offer You Can't Refuse  $ 3.64 Thought Monitor  $ 1.02
Total  $ 170.98 Total  $ 3.46
Total (Lands)  $ 69.07
Original Deck Price  $ 286.44
    New Price  $ 49.85
    Total Savings  $ 236.59
    Savings 83%


Over 80% savings is not a bad way to start 2024! As a bonus, instead of replacing the expensive lands with basics, I took the liberty of putting Vault of Whispers ($0.69), Seat of the Synod ($0.90), Darksteel Citadel ($0.52), and Mistvault Bridge ($0.17) into the final list.

So, what do you think? Obviously you could add a lot more artifacts-matter cards to the deck as well to really lean into the theme. Is there anything I missed for our budget package? Let me know in the comments and I'll see you next time when we brew for your buck!


View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Creatures (29)
Artifacts (12)
Enchantments (6)
Sorceries (7)
Instants (12)
Lands (33)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
View this decklist on Archidekt


Follow me on Twitter @BrewForYourBuck

Please note: card prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of writing, but prices can vary over time and between locations.

Read more:

Brew For Your Buck - Here Are My Dragons

Wombo Combo - Dimir Edition

Brian played Magic intermittently between 2003 and 2017 when he fully embraced his love for Commander. Finding ways to maximize the value of each piece of cardboard in the deck is one of his favorite things to explore, especially if it involves putting lands in the graveyard! Outside of Magic, Brian works as a consultant in the marine industry, turning his passion for boats and ships into a career.

EDHREC Code of Conduct

Your opinions are welcome. We love hearing what you think about Magic! We ask that you are always respectful when commenting. Please keep in mind how your comments could be interpreted by others. Personal attacks on our writers or other commenters will not be tolerated. Your comments may be removed if your language could be interpreted as aggressive or disrespectful. You may also be banned from writing further comments.