Over the last few years, Standard sets have broken formats in half with flagship mythics and rares distorting the game as we know it. Fortunately, Zendikar Rising looks to be relatively low-powered compared to previous sets, which is a welcome change. Despite this, there are plenty of budget diamonds in the rough for Modern usage. With Zendikar Rising's release imminent, I'll be taking a deep dive into the previews to see if any new cards fit in any existing budget builds.

I'll be honest, Zendikar Rising looks to be fantastic for the budget-conscious Modern player. There's an exciting new land cycle, powerful uncommons, and rares that work as a casual build-arounds in a local environment. There's something for everyone, and a good chunk of it looks to be affordable.

Mono-Blue Mill

Mill rarely sees new toys that reshape how the strategy plays, but that will change with Zendikar Rising.

Ruin Crab is an improved Hedron Crab for the Mill archetype that delivers one critical advantage—the milling does not target. Ruin Crab blanks Leyline of Sanctity and Veil of Summer which are often impactful when hexproof is the best answer against mill. Ruin Crab won't feature in Crabvine archetypes as the self-mill is critical to the game plan, but I fully anticipate both Ruin and Hedron Crab to feature in optimized Dimir Mill lists. Manic Scribe would be the cut to make, as it was previously seen as a necessary evil in these builds.

Maddening Cacophony isn't exciting compared to previous Mill cards. However, it's a solid placeholder for Glimpse the Unthinkable, which is beginning to creep up in value. Similar to Ruin Crab, the mill does not target, which means it evades hexproof with ease. You will rarely cast the spell for its kicker cost, but it can be recast off a Mission Briefing and brought back with Mystic Sanctuary granting extra milling. It's far from impressive, but it does the job and will offer a better curve compared to Sanity Grinding in Mono-Blue Mill.

With the introduction of these new cards, Mono-Blue becomes more consistent and offers more game on a budget.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Mono-Blue Mill (Budget - Zendikar) by Emmmzyne

'Mono-Blue Mill (Budget - Zendikar)' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Emmmzyne

Event:

Rank:

Freeform

Market Price: $199.63

Cards

Set Adrift

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93280_200w.jpg

Delve (Each card you exile from your graveyard while casting this spell pays for {1}.)
Put target nonland permanent on top of its owner's library.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/khans-of-tarkir/set-adrift

Mission Briefing

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176561_200w.jpg

Surveil 2, then choose an instant or sorcery card in your graveyard. You may cast it this turn. If that spell would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead. (To surveil 2, look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them into your graveyard and the rest on top of your library in any order.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/guilds-of-ravnica/mission-briefing

Fraying Sanity

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/135012_200w.jpg

Enchant player
At the beginning of each end step, enchanted player mills X cards, where X is the number of cards put into their graveyard from anywhere this turn.

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Maddening Cacophony

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222115_200w.jpg

Kicker {3}{U}
Each opponent mills eight cards. If this spell was kicked, instead each opponent mills half their library, rounded up.

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Dismember

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.60

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98390_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Target creature gets -5/-5 until end of turn.

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Hurkyl's Recall

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98504_200w.jpg

Return all artifacts target player owns to their hand.

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Ipnu Rivulet

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/135090_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Pay 1 life: Add {U}.
{1}{U}, {T}, Sacrifice a Desert: Target player mills four cards.

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Logic Knot

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233518_200w.jpg

Delve (Each card you exile from your graveyard while casting this spell pays for {1}.)
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {X}.

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Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222130_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell.

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Ashiok, Dream Render

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $1.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188627_200w.jpg

Spells and abilities your opponents control can't cause their controller to search their library.
−1: Target player mills four cards. Then exile each opponent's graveyard.

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Ruin Crab

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221841_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent mills three cards. (To mill a card, a player puts the top card of their library into their graveyard.)

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Jace's Phantasm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145306_200w.jpg

Flying
Jace's Phantasm gets +4/+4 as long as an opponent has ten or more cards in their graveyard.

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Archive Trap

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $20.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33250_200w.jpg

If an opponent searched their library this turn, you may pay {0} rather than pay this spell's mana cost.
Target opponent mills thirteen cards.

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Trapmaker's Snare

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33456_200w.jpg

Search your library for a Trap card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Mystic Sanctuary

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199417_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)
Mystic Sanctuary enters the battlefield tapped unless you control three or more other Islands.
When Mystic Sanctuary enters the battlefield untapped, you may put target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard on top of your library.

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Devastation Tide

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $2.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171453_200w.jpg

Return all nonland permanents to their owners' hands.
Miracle {1}{U} (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn.)

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $3.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235542_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Dispel

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105594_200w.jpg

Counter target instant spell.

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Visions of Beyond

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180780_200w.jpg

Draw a card. If a graveyard has twenty or more cards in it, draw three cards instead.

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Thought Scour

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216526_200w.jpg

Target player mills two cards.
Draw a card.

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Shelldock Isle

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $8.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15622_200w.jpg

Hideaway (This land enters the battlefield tapped. When it does, look at the top four cards of your library, exile one face down, then put the rest on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {U}.
{U}, {T}: You may play the exiled card without paying its mana cost if a library has twenty or fewer cards in it.

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Hedron Crab

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $6.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33322_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, target player mills three cards.

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Field of Ruin

Market Price: $0.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206646_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Field of Ruin: Destroy target nonbasic land an opponent controls. Each player searches their library for a basic land card, puts it onto the battlefield, then shuffles.

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I don't anticipate Ruin Crab and Maddening Cacophony to be expensive cards once the set is in circulation. However, if you are interested in building toward Dimir Mill in the future, I highly recommend picking these cards up as soon as the set drops. You can extend this build further by adding a couple of Fabled Passage if you want to generate extra value from both Hedron Crab and Ruin Crab. However, Field of Ruin will support the milling considerably and offers a neat interaction with Ashiok, Dream Render as the opponent has to search, which turns on your Archive Trap.

And yes...

You could run a one-off Charix, the Raging Isle as a secondary win condition in Mono-Blue Mill. Not to mention, you are running a bunch of Islands that support Charix's ability and would make for a fantastic story in an FNM environment. Plus, who doesn't love swinging in with an enormous Crab for the win? I know I do.

Boros Hammer

Equipment is back in a big way in Zendikar Rising, and Boros Hammer looks to add more tools to its already impressive arsenal.

One issue with Boros Hammer is that there isn't an effective one-drop that couples with the game plan, and this is where Fireblade Charger comes in. Fireblade Charger is an excellent Equipment target and can deliver crazy amounts of damage either in combat or when the Goblin Warrior dies. Often linear-aggressive strategies such as Boros Hammer can lose out on tempo due to being out-valued, but Fireblade Charger is very awkward for the opponent to deal with.

Fireblade Charger is a very particular card that fits well within a Boros Hammer shell, as does Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients.

Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients is far from game-changing but provides a unique approach in Boros Hammer. Nahiri is an excellent answer for attrition matchups such as Jund or Golgari Rock. All of her abilities are ideal against grindy archetypes as she allows you to refill your hand or attach a Colossus Hammer for free on a token. There will be instances where her -3 ability may crop up, but mostly you will be switching between her first two abilities. You don't want too many copies of Nahiri, as reaching four mana can be challenging at times, but running one or two copies is a safe amount.

As a result, both Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients and Fireblade Charger are ideal in Boros Hammer on a budget.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Boros Hammer (Budget - Zendikar) by Emmmzyne

'Boros Hammer (Budget - Zendikar)' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Emmmzyne

Event:

Rank:

Freeform

Market Price: $111.30

Cards

Sigarda's Aid

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $4.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227273_200w.jpg

You may cast Aura and Equipment spells as though they had flash.
Whenever an Equipment enters the battlefield under your control, you may attach it to target creature you control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/commander-legends/sigardas-aid

Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $0.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221452_200w.jpg

+1: Create a 1/1 white Kor Warrior creature token. You may attach an Equipment you control to it.
−2: Look at the top six cards of your library. You may reveal a Warrior or Equipment card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
−3: Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients deals damage to target creature or planeswalker equal to twice the number of Equipment you control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/nahiri-heir-of-the-ancients

Needleverge Pathway // Pillarverge Pathway

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $3.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221838_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {R}.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235540_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Spellskite

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218815_200w.jpg

{U/P}: Change a target of target spell or ability to Spellskite. ({U/P} can be paid with either {U} or 2 life.)

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Tormod's Crypt

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215346_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Tormod's Crypt: Exile all cards from target player's graveyard.

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Flayer Husk

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/219625_200w.jpg

Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, create a 0/0 black Germ creature token, then attach this to it.)
Equipped creature gets +1/+1.
Equip {2}

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Open the Armory

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227128_200w.jpg

Search your library for an Aura or Equipment card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Wear // Tear

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $0.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227383_200w.jpg

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Postmortem Lunge

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/39568_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Return target creature card with mana value X from your graveyard to the battlefield. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.

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Path to Exile

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $3.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218377_200w.jpg

Exile target creature. Its controller may search their library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Battlefield Forge

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $1.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236143_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Add {R} or {W}. Battlefield Forge deals 1 damage to you.

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Boros Charm

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $1.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236109_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Boros Charm deals 4 damage to target player or planeswalker.
• Permanents you control gain indestructible until end of turn.
• Target creature gains double strike until end of turn.

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Swiftblade Vindicator

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218820_200w.jpg

Double strike, vigilance, trample

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Kor Duelist

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98744_200w.jpg

As long as Kor Duelist is equipped, it has double strike. (It deals both first-strike and regular combat damage.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/modern-masters-2015/kor-duelist

Kor Outfitter

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33347_200w.jpg

When Kor Outfitter enters the battlefield, you may attach target Equipment you control to target creature you control.

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Colossus Hammer

Market Price: $2.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192744_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +10/+10 and loses flying.
Equip {8} ({8}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

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Mirran Crusader

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98598_200w.jpg

Double strike, protection from black and from green

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Swiftfoot Boots

Market Price: $2.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/231281_200w.jpg

Equipped creature has hexproof and haste.
Equip {1}

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Apostle's Blessing

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98735_200w.jpg

({W/P} can be paid with either {W} or 2 life.)
Target artifact or creature you control gains protection from artifacts or from the color of your choice until end of turn.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235546_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Fireblade Charger

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222150_200w.jpg

As long as Fireblade Charger is equipped, it has haste.
When Fireblade Charger dies, it deals damage equal to its power to any target.

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Ancestral Blade

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226730_200w.jpg

When Ancestral Blade enters the battlefield, create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token, then attach Ancestral Blade to it.
Equipped creature gets +1/+1.
Equip {1} ({1}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

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Magnetic Theft

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $7.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11881_200w.jpg

Attach target Equipment to target creature. (Control of the Equipment doesn't change.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/fifth-dawn/magnetic-theft

Fireblade Charger won't be expensive as it's uncommon. Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients may be expensive upon release due to the planeswalker typing, but I don't anticipate this becoming expensive as it's a heavy build-around card. I suggest waiting a month or so for the set to bottom out and circulation to be frequent before acquiring the planeswalker.

Resolute Strike is a close impersonation of Magnetic Theft that could be tempting to include. However, with Fireblade Charger being the only viable Warrior in the build, it's not ideal. It may be a good inclusion in the future if there is a continual theme with Equipment and the Warriors to support it.

Perhaps my favorite card to come from the set is Thieving Skydiver.

Thieving Skydiver will see heavy play in Commander with the high quality of artifacts available. Despite this, I believe it has legs (or fins?) in a hyper-budget variant of Colossus Hammer in the Azorius pairing.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Azorius Hammer (Budget - Zendikar) by Emmmzyne

'Azorius Hammer (Budget - Zendikar)' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Emmmzyne

Event:

Rank:

Freeform

Market Price: $36.95

Cards

Unsummon

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192528_200w.jpg

Return target creature to its owner's hand.

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Oust

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/104210_200w.jpg

Put target creature into its owner's library second from the top. Its controller gains 3 life.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/duel-decks-zendikar-vs-eldrazi/oust

Apostle's Blessing

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98735_200w.jpg

({W/P} can be paid with either {W} or 2 life.)
Target artifact or creature you control gains protection from artifacts or from the color of your choice until end of turn.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/modern-masters-2015/apostles-blessing

Kor Duelist

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98744_200w.jpg

As long as Kor Duelist is equipped, it has double strike. (It deals both first-strike and regular combat damage.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/modern-masters-2015/kor-duelist

Soul-Guide Lantern

Market Price: $0.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206867_200w.jpg

When Soul-Guide Lantern enters the battlefield, exile target card from a graveyard.
{T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Exile each opponent's graveyard.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Draw a card.

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Brass Squire

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227376_200w.jpg

{T}: Attach target Equipment you control to target creature you control.

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Colossus Hammer

Market Price: $2.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192744_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +10/+10 and loses flying.
Equip {8} ({8}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

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Trophy Mage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162803_200w.jpg

When Trophy Mage enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an artifact card with mana value 3, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Azorius Charm

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145459_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn.
• Draw a card.
• Put target attacking or blocking creature on top of its owner's library.

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Trinket Mage

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162802_200w.jpg

When Trinket Mage enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an artifact card with mana value 1 or less, reveal that card, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Ogre's Cleaver

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/34914_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +5/+0.
Equip {5}

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Disenchant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227260_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235540_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Dispel

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105594_200w.jpg

Counter target instant spell.

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Disdainful Stroke

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230900_200w.jpg

Counter target spell with mana value 4 or greater.

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Tranquil Cove

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/231284_200w.jpg

Tranquil Cove enters the battlefield tapped.
When Tranquil Cove enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life.
{T}: Add {W} or {U}.

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Kor Firewalker

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161435_200w.jpg

Protection from red
Whenever a player casts a red spell, you may gain 1 life.

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Kor Outfitter

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33347_200w.jpg

When Kor Outfitter enters the battlefield, you may attach target Equipment you control to target creature you control.

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Thieving Skydiver

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222014_200w.jpg

Kicker {X}. X can't be 0. (You may pay an additional {X} as you cast this spell.)
Flying
When Thieving Skydiver enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, gain control of target artifact with mana value X or less. If that artifact is an Equipment, attach it to Thieving Skydiver.

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Slither Blade

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222367_200w.jpg

Slither Blade can't be blocked.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $3.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235542_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Dovin's Veto

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $1.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187186_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Counter target noncreature spell.

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Open the Armory

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227128_200w.jpg

Search your library for an Aura or Equipment card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Paying three mana to cast a 12/11 doesn't seem too bad, does it? Although the Merfolk Rogue will lose flying, it's a tempting trade. Plus, it can steal other artifacts that the opponent may have and generate tempo in your favor.

Outside of brews such as this, I don't anticipate to see Thieving Skydiver in Modern outside of Merfolk as an option for artifact-heavy metagames. Or maybe, it could be a Merfolk mirror breaker to steal those Aether Vial, for the day when Merfolk becomes the most represented archetype in Modern...

Mono-White Death & Taxes

Like Mill, Death and Taxes rarely receives new cards, but when it does, they are very good.

Archon of Emeria is a remarkable card. Yes, it does not pass the Bolt test in Modern, but most of the creatures within Death and Taxes don't. Most importantly, it ignores Wrenn and Six, which usually is a nuisance if you play the strategy. Not to mention, it has both Thalia, Heretic Cathar's and Eidolon of Rhetoric's abilities stapled onto an evasive body. In Death and Taxes, you often close out the game with cheap flying threats such as Flickerwisp, and Archon of Emeria fits well with this approach.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Mono-White Death & Taxes (Budget - Zendikar) by Emmmzyne

'Mono-White Death & Taxes (Budget - Zendikar)' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Emmmzyne

Event:

Rank:

Freeform

Market Price: $111.76

Cards

Smuggler's Copter

Market Price: $4.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122743_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Smuggler's Copter attacks or blocks, you may draw a card. If you do, discard a card.
Crew 1 (Tap any number of creatures you control with total power 1 or more: This Vehicle becomes an artifact creature until end of turn.)

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Phyrexian Revoker

Market Price: $1.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218816_200w.jpg

As Phyrexian Revoker enters the battlefield, choose a nonland card name.
Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated.

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Flickerwisp

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/231224_200w.jpg

Flying
When Flickerwisp enters the battlefield, exile another target permanent. Return that card to the battlefield under its owner's control at the beginning of the next end step.

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Thalia, Heretic Cathar

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $5.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/119689_200w.jpg

First strike
Creatures and nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

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Field of Ruin

Market Price: $0.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206646_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Field of Ruin: Destroy target nonbasic land an opponent controls. Each player searches their library for a basic land card, puts it onto the battlefield, then shuffles.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235540_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Containment Priest

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215511_200w.jpg

Flash
If a nontoken creature would enter the battlefield and it wasn't cast, exile it instead.

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Rest in Peace

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $4.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161538_200w.jpg

When Rest in Peace enters the battlefield, exile all cards from all graveyards.
If a card or token would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.

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Aven Mindcensor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233511_200w.jpg

Flash
Flying
If an opponent would search a library, that player searches the top four cards of that library instead.

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Mirran Crusader

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98598_200w.jpg

Double strike, protection from black and from green

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Leonin Arbiter

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $6.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/139817_200w.jpg

Players can't search libraries. Any player may pay {2} for that player to ignore this effect until end of turn.

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Kor Firewalker

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161435_200w.jpg

Protection from red
Whenever a player casts a red spell, you may gain 1 life.

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Disenchant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227260_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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Path to Exile

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $3.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218377_200w.jpg

Exile target creature. Its controller may search their library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Thraben Inspector

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218615_200w.jpg

When Thraben Inspector enters the battlefield, investigate. (Create a colorless Clue artifact token with "{2}, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.")

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Settle the Wreckage

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $3.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/141999_200w.jpg

Exile all attacking creatures target player controls. That player may search their library for that many basic land cards, put those cards onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Ghost Quarter

Market Price: $1.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166821_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Sacrifice Ghost Quarter: Destroy target land. Its controller may search their library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Vryn Wingmare

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215607_200w.jpg

Flying
Noncreature spells cost {1} more to cast.

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Blade Splicer

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218323_200w.jpg

When Blade Splicer enters the battlefield, create a 3/3 colorless Golem artifact creature token.
Golems you control have first strike.

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Archon of Emeria

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221969_200w.jpg

Flying
Each player can't cast more than one spell each turn.
Nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

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Flagstones of Trokair

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $3.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234118_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {W}.
When Flagstones of Trokair is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may search your library for a Plains card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Charming Prince

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198860_200w.jpg

When Charming Prince enters the battlefield, choose one —
• Scry 2.
• You gain 3 life.
• Exile another target creature you own. Return it to the battlefield under your control at the beginning of the next end step.

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Restoration Angel

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/231273_200w.jpg

Flash
Flying
When Restoration Angel enters the battlefield, you may exile target non-Angel creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.

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Tocatli Honor Guard

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/142000_200w.jpg

Creatures entering the battlefield don't cause abilities to trigger.

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Burrenton Forge-Tender

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145276_200w.jpg

Protection from red
Sacrifice Burrenton Forge-Tender: Prevent all damage a red source of your choice would deal this turn.

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For the current metagame, Archon of Emeria is an excellent choice as it hoses Prowess and the Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath piles that are popular at present. Despite its power, running no more than two is the rational number. It's an excellent effect to have access to, but it does become worse if you draw multiple copies across the game. Fortunately, cards like Archon of Emeria do not demand a high price tag due to its unique application, so these will be affordable to pick up on release.

Pathway Lands

As you noticed in the Boros Hammer list, I added a set of Needleverge Pathway // Pillarverge Pathway, which is the newest land cycle to come in Zendikar Rising.

Called the "Pathway lands," this cycle shows off the modal double-faced card mechanic by allowing you to play mana fixing that enters untapped for not life cost. I'll be honest—I believe this cycle to be fantastic, and it's ideal for aggressive two-color strategies. Extending this, I think they are on par (if not better) than the fast lands for Modern, depending on the archetype.

With fast lands rising in price due to their singular printing, these Pathway lands make for an excellent alternative option. These seem cheap at the moment as the mechanic is unexplored from a practical approach, but once players get their hands on these cards and use them, I expect the price to rise. With this, I recommend preordering a few for your existing decks if they are aggressive, use two colors, and you want smoother fixing. There isn't a world where strategies such as Jund or Grixis Death's Shadow would want these, but Bogles, Izzet Blitz and Boros Hammer are interested. Also, the Pathway cycle will come full circle in Kaldheim next year which is fantastic for Modern and Pioneer, so grabbing these will save a lot of effort next year.

Zendikar Rising looks to be fantastic for the budget-conscious Modern player. Although prices can skew due to hype and speculation, the set looks to be relatively affordable, with the return of Expeditions allowing more circulation of singles. I'm thrilled to see how the set will shake up Eternal formats and what new strategies will be born from it.