Building_on_a_Budget

A budget update of a BDM classic.

Tight Sight '07

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  • Building on a Budget is dedicated to making decks that cost 30 tickets or less on Magic Online. Weekly deck testing is done using Magic Online.
  • This week's format? Extended. This means only Seventh Edition, Eighth Edition, Ninth Edition Tenth Edition, Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse, Odyssey, Torment, Judgment, Onslaught, Legions, Scourge, Mirrodin, Darksteel, Fifth Dawn, Champions of Kamigawa, Betrayers of Kamigawa, Saviors of Kamigawa, Ravnica: City of Guilds, Guildpact, Dissension, Coldsnap, Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, Future Sight, and Tenth Edition are allowed. Phew!
Hello everyone, and welcome back to Building on a Budget! Over the next two weeks, I'll be budgetizing (and updating) a deck made popular by Brian David-Marshall back in 2003. After that, I'm going to do a theme deck evolution for Tenth Edition! So, here's the questions folks:

 Which Tenth Edition theme deck do you want to see Ben evolve?  
White—Cho Manno’s Resolve
Blue—Arcanis’s Guile
Black—Evincar’s Tyranny
Red—Kamahl’s Temper
Green—Molimo’s Might

 Tenth Edition theme decks only have 40 cards. We’re going to be testing a Standard-legal 60-card deck. How should Ben start this evolution?  
Immediately open two copies of the same theme deck and build a mono-colored deck from the 80 cards available.
Immediately open copies of the most popular and second most popular theme decks and make a two-color deck.
Start with one Theme Deck and immediately add 20 cards of Ben's choice.

Now, let's talk Tight Sight. Do you like decking your opponent? I started evolving a deck built around that concept last week with The Joke's On You, but put that endeavor on hold pending the release of Lorwyn. I was reminded of another deck that centered around running my opponent out of cards, however: Tight Sight. Here is the original deck list as it appeared nearly five years ago.

Brian David-Marshall's Tight Sight '03

The total cost of the original version of this deck would be around 87 tickets:

Cunning Wish: 11 (33)
Deep Analysis: 0.5 (1.5)
Delusions of Mediocrity: .33 (.66)
Early Harvest: 1.5 (6)
Far Wanderings: .25 (1)
Flooded Strand: 10 (10)
Future Sight: 1 (4)
Krosan Reclamation: .25 (.5)
Mana Short: 2 (6)
Mental Note: .25 (1)
Moment's Peace: .75 (3)
Predict: .25 (.75)
Quiet Speculation: .25 (.75)
Ravenous Baloth: 2.5 (7.5)
Roar of the Wurm: .75 (1.5)
Windswept Heath: 10 (10)

Total Cost: 87.16 Tickets

Of course, this version of the deck hasn't been updated since Onslaught block, and it's off a budget. The first thing we need to do in order to budgetize and update Tight Sight is to understand how it works.

The goal of Tight Sight is to drop Future Sight (the enchantment, not the set!) onto the board, and then go into an infinite mana loop with Early Harvest, Krosan Reclamation and Deep Analysis/Predict.

Let's walk through the process step by step.

Step one: Play Future Sight onto the board.

Rules Note: Playing a card "as thought it were in your hand" does not mean you can use activated abilities on that card, or use it for payment on other cards. For instance, imagine you have a Secluded Steppe on top of your library with Future Sight. You cannot cycle the Steppe, and you cannot "discard" it to a Wild Mongrel to give Wild Mongrel +1/+1.

Step two: Reduce your library to some arbitrarily low number of cards by playing multiple cards a turn with Future Sight.

Step three: Use Early Harvest to untap your lands.

Step four: Use Krosan Reclamation to shuffle two cards back into your deck. If one of the two Reclamations is in your graveyard, you want to Reclaim the other Reclamation and an Early Harvest. If you don't have the other Reclamation in your graveyard yet, Reclamation two Early Harvests.

Step five: Since Future Sight is in play, you will eventually reach a point where the only cards in your library are Early Harvest and Krosan Reclamation. Cast each of these as they are revealed on the top of your library with Future Sight. Generate infinite mana (or as much mana as you want).

Step six: Once you have an arbitrarily large amount of mana, begin shuffling Krosan Reclamation and Predict/Deep Analysis into your library. Target your opponent with either of these. Repeat this until they are decked. Use Deep Analysis to force your opponent to draw a card with none left in their library. Win.

There are three stages that you go through when playing Tight Sight:

Stage One: Achieve Threshold

Far Wanderings is key to this deck, because it is amazing mana acceleration if you can achieve an early threshold. This deck has many cards which enable that goal—Mental Note puts three cards into your graveyard, as does Careful Study. Quiet Speculation gets four (itself plus three flashback cards), and Predict is good for a couple of cards. Once you build up to threshold, you'll be able to go nuts with Far Wanderings, which in turn enables you to play Future Sight or get larger Early Harvests.

Note the synergies in Stage One. The deck plays several flashback cards (Moment's Peace, Deep Analysis), so milling yourself with Mental Note or discarding cards with Careful Study can be advantageous. At the same time that you are building towards threshold, you are often putting spells to-be-cast-later into your graveyard.

Stage Two: Thin your Deck

Once Future Sight is on the table, you need to get yourself down to as few cards left in your deck as quickly as possible. Use all the card drawing at your disposal to burn through your deck. Cast multiple Early Harvests and Far Wanderings to generate mana. Use Krosan Reclamation to recur Early Harvests if need be. Mental Note and Careful Study can push you past dead cards (such as extra Future Sights, or lands past the first you play each turn).

Stage Three: Go Infinite, Deck Your Opponent

This is detailed above, but it involves recurring Krosan Reclamation and Early Harvest, and ending the game with infinite Predict or Deep Analysis.

The core of this deck revolves around four copies of Future Sight, four copies of Early Harvest, four copies of Far Wanderings, and two copies of Krosan Reclamation. The cost of these fourteen cards is 11.5 tickets, and these cards are non-negotiable. The rest of the deck can be changed around as we see fit, so let's start seeing how Tight Sight looks on a budget.

First, let's remove all the sideboard cards. This removes 16.41 tickets from the cost of the deck, reducing it to a 70.75 ticket deck. Next, let's remove any card which costs more than a couple of tickets. This takes out three copies of Cunning Wish (33 tickets), a Flooded Strand (10 tickets) and a Windswept Heath (10 tickets), reducing the cost of the deck by a tremendous 53 tickets! This leaves us with a deck that costs only 17.75 tickets, and makes it so we have five holes in the deck to fill, at the least.

17.75 tickets we can work with!

Let's remember that the last time we touched the Tight Sight deck was between the release of Onslaught and Legions. This means we have a ton of sets to choose from when picking cards to add to this deck. This includes Scourge, all of Mirrodin Block, all of Kamigawa Block, all of Ravnica Block, all of Time Spiral Block, Ninth Edition, Tenth Edition, and Coldsnap. Keeping in mind that our three goals (achieve threshold, thin our deck, go infinite), let's see what these sets have added to the card pool for this deck.

Dredge

Dredge cards help us achieve two of our three goals: Achieving threshold and thinning our deck. Let's say that we discard a Golgari Grave-Troll to a first-turn Careful Study or mill it with Mental Note. On the second turn, if we dredge Golgari Grave-Troll, voila! Instant threshold! Dredge also helps us get past dead cards while Future Sight is in play. Imagine that the top card of your library is land, and the next two cards on top of your library are lands. With Life from the Loam or Golgari Grave-Troll, you can use a Deep Analysis not only to mill past those cards, but to draw a second card afterwards as well.

Storm

The old version of Tight Sight dedicated a lot of space to Predict and Deep Analysis. Scourge introduced the storm mechanic, which lets you copy the storm spell for each previous spell that has been played that turn. Games tended to take a while to finish as you generated a ton of mana, and then had to spend time recurring Deep Analysis over and over again. Storm might help this deck kill a lot more quickly and efficiently, mainly with the use of something like Brain Freeze. Instead of having to recur Deep Analysis thirty times to deck an opponent, you need to cast one large Brain Freeze and follow it with a single Deep Analysis against an opponent with a depleted library.

In addition to those two mechanics, there are several cards which add to the power of this deck. The first and foremost of those is Sensei's Divining Top. The Top not only smooths out your early draws, but helps you control which cards are getting milled by Mental Note, keeps you from getting stuck with a dead card on top of your deck when Future Sight is in play, and lets you draw a ton of cards while Future Sight is in play. If you have a Divining Top and Future Sight in play, you can tap Divining Top to draw a card, then replay it immediately from the top of your deck. This not only allows you to rapidly draw through your deck, but it also sets up a large storm count.

Rampant Growth was the alternate mana-acceleration spell to Far Wanderings for Tight Sight, but Sakura-Tribe Elder is superior in nearly every way to Rampant Growth, due to the fact that it can block. It seems like a simple swap to switch out Rampant Growths for Sakura-Tribe Elders.

The original version of Tight Sight ran a couple of Fetch Lands. This was both to thin the deck, and to have a way to shuffle if there was a dead card on top of the deck with Future Sight. Sensei's Divining Top makes it extremely hard to be stuck with a card you can't play while Future Sight is around, so this is less of a problem post-Kamigawa. Still, it might be advisable to test a version of this deck with Terramorphic Expanse—it is not great that the land comes into play tapped, but it serves the purpose of thinning, color-fixing or shuffling.

Here's the first version of a Budget Tight Sight deck that I built, incorporating the above changes, and keeping the deck on a budget:

Tight Sight '07
Version 1

Please note that I took out the Predicts entirely. Predict might have a place in this deck still (especially with Divining Top), but Divining Top serves almost every purpose that Predict did—making sure the top card of your library wasn't a dead (unplayable) card, looking further down in the deck, and card drawing. A single Brain Freeze acts as an alternate kill condition to Deep Analysis—and if you discard it early, that's fine because you don't need it until the end of the game when you can easily Krosan Reclamation it when it's time to go for the kill.

I'm not sure that three dredge cards are the right number, but I want to test the deck and see how they work out. It might be better to play more cantrips (Predict) and cut out dredge entirely, or it might be better to add in more dredge and cut out some of the card-drawing (Deep Analysis?). This is why playtesting is so important to deck building, and deck building can't be done in a vacuum—I need to get a feel of how much the dredge cards help me achieve threshold quickly and/or thin the deck, as opposed to having card-drawing spells that I could cast to get further down in the deck.

I'm also keeping in the back of my mind the possibility of adding in Cloud Key to help power up Sensei's Divining Top. This deck really, really, really has troubles with graveyard hate, and people are packing Tormod's Crypt all over the place these days. With Cloud Key naming artifact, I can chain two Sensei's Divining Top with a Future Sight out (each is played and cast for free), allowing me to get an infinite (or arbitrarily large) storm count for Brain Freeze without needing to dip into my graveyard.

I played a handful of games with the first build of Tight Sight, and then decided that this deck really needed to be in the tournament room, and not in the casual room. While it was a blast to play, people in the casual room weren't having that much fun playing against me. Plus, this deck will win a lot of Game 1s on the strength of an opponent not having graveyard hate main-deck—but I want to see if I can stand up to a sideboarded match. Next week's article will deal with building a sideboard for Tight Sight '07 and bringing it to the tournament room. For now, enjoy the game logs below, and feel free to bring your suggestions about how to improve Tight Sight for my article next week!

Game 1: ANGARSKEW (Blue-Green Aggro-Control)

I get beat down by guys, with ANGARSKEW using his countermagic to stop my key spells. I try to stall out with multiple Moment's Peace, but they don't last forever. I end up dying to multiple Elves and Mystic Snakes.

Record: 0-1

Game 2: teavis (Mono-Black Aggro)

He drops third-turn Underworld Dreams and fifth-turn Shimian Specter. Uh oh! I use Sensei's Divining Top plus Dredge to thin out my deck, and use Future Sight to set up Moment's Peace on top of my library. This buys me enough time to get into Early Harvest/Krosan Reclamation mode, which ends the game with Brain Freezes for 24 and 32 cards, followed by a Deep Analysis targeting teavis.

Record: 1-1

Game 3: bennykdogg (R/G Aggro)

He gets a quick start, and I have to cast Life from the Loam and dredge it twice to get threshold. Unfortunately, three of my first four cards dredged are Early Harvests! Still, I get a fourth-turn Far Wanderings for three, follow it with Future Sight and another Far Wanderings for three, and cast a third Far Wanderings for three, ramping me up to fifteen mana on turn six! This allows me to cast lots of Careful Studies and the such to get a Moment's Peace or two to stop his offense, and then I go off on him, decking him with Brain Freeze.

Record: 2-1

As many of you may have read in Scott Johns's announcement about the site shuffle, Building on a Budget is moving to Wednesdays! This means that I will have extra days to read forum feedback and incorporate it this week. Please, go nuts with card ideas for Tight Sight in the forums of this article! I have a great lead time this week due to the deadline change, and that means I can incorporate a lot more reader feedback directly into my playtesting and card choices than usual. See you all next Wednesday!

Is BoaB’s March of Machines deck (from last week) Budget?
Yes, it is budget! 3027 70.6%
No, it is not budget! 1261 29.4%
Total 4288 100.0%
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