[Top 5] Best MTG Arena Budget Decks

Best MTG Arena Budget Decks
Budget Friendly decks to build!

Budget decks are amazing to climb the ladder with - they don't cost too many wildcards and you get to play a functional deck. 

If you’re new to Arena, you’re not going to have the best cards at your disposal. It can be a challenge to figure out how to make the most of your ever-growing card collection. Budget Decks are one of my favorite ways to do this since they’ve been community tested to do well on ladder with a low building cost. 

Here are the top 5 MTG: Arena Budget decks based on their win percentage on Magicarena.pro.

5. UW Fliers

Sephara is what makes this deck tick. As long as you have a way of getting her out, then you're good. 

Our first budget deck is Azorious (UW) Fliers, which comes in with a win rate of 55.61%. While the original list runs out-of-rotation cards like Siren Stormtamer, those can be easily replaced with more accessible one-mana fliers. Azorius Fliers’ major linchpin is Sephara who comes down as a 7/7 flier that makes your other fliers indestructible. 

If you lack the wildcards to craft Sephara and Hanged Executioner, then you can replace Sephara with another flying bomb and Executioner with either removal or a token generator to get Sephara out as soon as possible. Ideally though, if you have the wild cards available, I would try and craft one of each.

What is great about this deck

  • You get a fleet of evasive creatures
  • Card draw through Winged Words and Spectral Sailor
  • Sephara is a strong, early win condition
  • There are plenty of cheap fliers in common and uncommon rarities

How This Deck is Played

  • Turns 1 - 2, you want to play as many cheap fliers as you can. On Turn 2, the best play is to cast 2 one-mana fliers.

    • Spectral Sailor is great to flash in so you can draw in later turns
    • Pteramander can be used if you’re running a spell-oriented variation on this deck. Otherwise, this can be replaced with any 1 mana flier.
    • Faerie Guidemother is going to be played as a creature more often than naught, but it’s included since you can sometimes cast her for the adventure to swing for lethal.
    • Faerie Miscreant is a great budget play since it can also draw you a card if you play more of them and is still a cheap 1/1 flier.
       
  • Turn 3, play either a one-mana or a two-mana flier, then tap all four, pay one mana and play Sephara.
    • If you want a safer play, then Hanged Executioner is a great play here.
    • If you don’t have Hanged Executioner or Sephara, then Cloudkin Seer is a great replacement. While it won’t give you an extra creature or act as removal, Cloudkin will draw you a card to make sure you can keep swamping your opponent in fliers.
    • If you’ve played at least two other fliers, then Empyrean Eagle is also a great Turn 3 play since you can buff your entire board.
       
  • Turn 4+, if you haven’t got Sephara or your late-game bomb out by this time, you want to be working toward that now. Draw cards with Winged Words or Spectral Sailor to look for what you need. If possible, keep mana open for Rally of Wings in case your opponent attacks and you need to block and remove one of their creatures.
    • An alternate way to win is to play as many Empyrean Eagles as you can. This way you can have a fleet of strong fliers that can either end the game or buy you time to stabilize.

Cards

4 Healer's Hawk (GRN) 14
4 Pteramander (RNA) 47
4 Rally of Wings (WAR) 27
4 Hanged Executioner (M20) 22
3 Sephara, Sky's Blade (M20) 36
4 Faerie Miscreant (M20) 58
4 Spectral Sailor (M20) 76
4 Winged Words (M20) 80
4 Empyrean Eagle (M20) 208
10 Plains (ELD) 250
11 Island (ELD) 254
4 Faerie Guidemother (ELD) 11

4. Aristocats

Easy to make, and once you have Witch's Oven, it can be a pain in the ass to deal with. 

Aristocats is currently at a 55.6% win rate, but the number of players using it is rather low with only 48 players in the last 30 days.

Aristocats revolves around Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven. The idea is that you sacrifice the Familiar as many times as you can to keep gaining one life and forcing your opponent to lose one life. Once you have more creatures that will trigger whenever a creature you control is killed, then you can start draining your opponent of more life. 

What is great about this deck

  • Cauldron Familiar can act as a permanent blocker. You just have to sacrifice it after you declare blocks. 
  • Redundancy is built into the deck through Giant’s Skewer acting as a backup for Witch’s Oven
  • Gaining life gives you more breathing room against aggressive decks
  • Core cards are commons and uncommons. Rares are nice to have but not necessary to the deck.

How This Deck is Played

  • Turn 1, play the cat. Meow.
  • Turn 2, play the Oven and sacrifice the cat.

    • You could also play Skewer if you suspect your opponent may have artifact removal. This way you can draw removal away from Witch’s Oven. If your opponent doesn’t remove the Skewer, then you have another way to make food tokens.
    • In later turns, you can equip the skewer to the cat and attack. If your opponent blocks and kills Cauldron Familiar then you can use the food token it made to resurrect it again.
       
  • Turn 3, play Bloodthirsty Aerialist if you have Cauldron Familiar and the Oven on the board. This way you can sacrifice the cat, then buff Aerialist immediately.
    • If you don’t, then Ayara or Foreboding Fruit are also equally good plays. Ayara is better if you want to start gaining more life, and Foreboding Fruit will help you find removal to play.
       
  • Turn 4,  you can play Baked Into A Pie to remove any large threats. This can also help you create a surplus of Food tokens so you can use Spark Harvest, sacrifice Cauldron Familiar, then bring the Familiar back.
    • If the coast is clear, play Vindictive Vampire. It’s a clunky play, but all of your removal is at sorcery speed so you might as well develop your board as much as you can.
       
  • Remember, you can use your cat to block and make a food token. This can shut down strategies that rely on a small number of creatures without Trample.
  • If you don’t have the Oven, then Giant’s Skewer attached to Cauldron Familiar can also work as a backup plan. If you attack, either your opponent blocks the cat and gives you a food token, or they don’t block and the cat deals damage to their life. It’s a win-win!

    • This strategy also works if you need Oven Familiar as a blocker too. 

Cards

4 Vindictive Vampire (RNA) 90
4 Spark Harvest (WAR) 105
4 Bloodthirsty Aerialist (M20) 91
4 Bake into a Pie (ELD) 76
4 Witch's Oven (ELD) 237
24 Swamp (ELD) 261
4 Ayara, First of Locthwain (ELD) 75
4 Cauldron Familiar (ELD) 81
4 Foreboding Fruit (ELD) 88
4 Giant's Skewer (ELD) 91

3. Boros Aggro

Boros Aggro! Surprisingly a flexible deck. 

This is the only pre-constructed deck on this list, but it’s hard to argue against a 53.7% win-rate with over a thousand players using it. Plus, it has the best price for any budget deck- free. 

Boros Aggro wants to make some very fast creatures and swing for as much life as you can get away with. This deck also packs plenty of combat tricks to remove or destroy any bothersome blockers that could slow down your game plan. 

What is great about this deck

  • Pretty fast at establishing its game plan
  • Combat Tricks can help you get lethal or tip attacks in your favor
  • Creature-heavy, so you can control the board pretty easily with this deck
  • This deck is free since it’s given to you

How This Deck is Played

  • Turn 1, play Goblin Banneret or Healer’s Hawk. You want an early board presence so you can swing for damage as soon as possible.
  • Turn 2, attack with your creatures from Turn 1 and keep a combat trick in hand. If your opponent blocks, you can either buff Banneret, or play Surestrike or Integrity to keep your creature alive and destroy theirs.

    • If your opponent didn’t block, then develop your board more. Legion Guildmage or Boros Challenger are the best options here.
       
  • Turn 3, this turn is a bit more open-ended. Ideally, you should play Skyknight Legionnaire, Tajic, or Legion Warboss to keep the pressure on. But, if your opponent has any threatening creatures, you can play a removal and a one-mana creature here too.
  • Turn 4, you should be figuring out a way to drop your opponent to lethal ranges. Aurelia and Intervention can help create a large gap between your life total and your opponent’s.

    • Truefire Captain can hold the board hostage against your opponent if they have a big enough creature. If you play the Captain, any damage the Captain takes is also dealt to your opponent. 

Cards

10 Mountain (DAR) 262
10 Plains (DAR) 250
3 Healer's Hawk (GRN) 14
1 Light of the Legion (GRN) 19
2 Roc Charger (GRN) 24
2 Sunhome Stalwart (GRN) 26
3 Goblin Banneret (GRN) 102
2 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
1 Legion Warboss (GRN) 109
2 Sure Strike (GRN) 118
1 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice (GRN) 153
3 Boros Challenger (GRN) 156
2 Justice Strike (GRN) 182
2 Legion Guildmage (GRN) 187
2 Skyknight Legionnaire (GRN) 198
1 Swiftblade Vindicator (GRN) 203
1 Tajic, Legion's Edge (GRN) 204
2 Truefire Captain (GRN) 209
2 Integrity // Intervention (GRN) 227
1 Response // Resurgence (GRN) 229
4 Boros Guildgate (GRN) 243
1 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254
1 Act of Treason (RNA) 91
1 Tectonic Rift (M20) 161

2. Simic Flash

Frilled Mystic is a counterspell on a creature. Fun times for everyone except your opponent. 

This is a deck that can hang with some of the more tuned Standard decks. Simic Flash only uses approximately 8 rares, 4 of which aren’t necessary to the deck (Breeding Pool). It’s currently sitting at 55.50% win-rate with 964 players in the last 30 days. 

Simic Flash wants to play creatures and spells on your opponent’s turn so you can buff Brineborn Cutthroat. This deck is difficult for your opponent to interact with since everything in this deck has flash and it can easily keep mana up for counterspells.  

What is great about this deck

  • Has flexible options since you don’t have to play anything at sorcery speeds
  • Brineborn is an uncommon and pretty easy to acquire
  • Deck packs plenty of common and uncommon control options to delay your opponent
  • Nightpack Ambusher is the only necessary Rare

How This Deck is Played

  • Save your mana and play everything on your opponent’s turn. Ideally, you want to wait for your opponent to be tapped out before you play any of your creatures.
  • Turn 2, flash in Brineborn Cutthroat when your opponent is tapped out so you can start buffing him.
  • Turn 3, protect the Cutthroat at all costs with the counterspells you have in hand. On Turn 3 against most black decks, expect to see a Swift End being played.

    • If your opponent didn’t play anything threatening, you can start flashing in Spectral Sailors or Faerie Duelists
    • Faerie Duelists also make great surprise blockers
       
  • Turn 4, if your mana is still available, play Nightpack Ambusher to put a clock on your opponents. This way, every time it’s your end step, you will make a 2/2 wolf and If your opponent doesn’t answer the Ambusher, then you flood the board with fluffy angry canines.

Cards
8 Island (M19) 266
4 Sinister Sabotage (GRN) 54
3 Essence Capture (RNA) 37
2 Faerie Duelist (RNA) 39
3 Quench (RNA) 48
4 Frilled Mystic (RNA) 174
4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246
1 Simic Guildgate (RNA) 258
6 Forest (WAR) 264
3 Anticipate (M20) 45
4 Brineborn Cutthroat (M20) 50
2 Negate (M20) 69
4 Spectral Sailor (M20) 76
3 Unsummon (M20) 78
4 Nightpack Ambusher (M20) 185
1 Temple of Mystery (M20) 255
4 Thornwood Falls (ELD) 313

1. Budget Cavalcade

Cavalcade of Calamity: Welcome to a Carnival of Pain!

And now for our #1 Budget deck, Budget Cavalcade! With a winrate of 56.8% and 310 players using just this variation in the last 30 days, Cavalcade remains one of the easiest and strongest decks to make if your collection isn’t very big. 

This deck is great because it is one of the top aggro decks in general. Cavalcade can stabilize fast, remove creatures that are in its way, and safely swing into opponents with the proper setup. This deck can accomplish everything it needs to with just a strong body of commons and Uncommons, which makes it the ultimate budget deck.  

What is great about this deck

  • Cavalcade of Calamity is just an uncommon, so it’s not terribly difficult to acquire
  • Removal and creatures are all Commons and Uncommons
  • The only 2 Rares necessary are just 2 copies of Chandra, Alcolyte of Flames

How This Deck is Played

  • Turns 1-3, play cheap creatures that can put damage in where it can. Scorch Spitter and Torch Carrier are perfect here.
  • During these early turns, you should also use Shock whenever you have open mana to remove any creatures that can safely block and kill your creatures.
  • Turn 3, if you're afraid that your opponent may have an answer to Spitfire, then you can play Legion Warboss instead. The tokens from Warboss will make a Cavalcade turn even more damaging and dangerous.
  • Before you play Cavalcade, play Chandra’s Spitfire. With Spitfire on the board, you can deter your opponent from attacking you since it has a flying 1 / 3 body.

    • If you ever need the Spitfire to block and kill a large creature, you can play Shock and deal 2 damage to your opponent then block with your 4/3 Spitfire.
       
  • Once Spitfire is on the board, play Cavalcade of Calamity and attack with all of your creatures. Each Cavalcade trigger will then buff Spitfire by +3/+0, netting you a massive flying threat that will most likely end the game in that one swing.
  •  

Cards

20 Mountain (DAR) 262
2 Legion Warboss (GRN) 109
4 Torch Courier (GRN) 119
4 Cavalcade of Calamity (RNA) 95
4 Light Up the Stage (RNA) 107
4 Skewer the Critics (RNA) 115
4 Grim Initiate (WAR) 130
2 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame (M20) 126
4 Chandra's Spitfire (M20) 132
4 Scampering Scorcher (M20) 158
4 Scorch Spitter (M20) 159
4 Shock (M20) 160

You may also be interested in:

More on this topic:
As a coffee-powered typist, Chris is an expert at playing through caffeine-powered binges and writing about what happens during those binges.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Top 3 Favorite Games:Titanfall, Mass Effect 3, Megaman Legacy Collection
This article makes me feel:

More Top Stories