Grinder Finance – Casale Pridemage

This week I wanted to share some decklists with you and since I’m not Saito, I couldn’t use Saito Wayfinder.  My last name is said similarly to “Qasali” so here we are.

uw spirits

So this is the spirits deck I’ve been playing and planning to play on release day.  The sideboard is probably a lot of hot garbage but I’m not exactly sure which 15 cards I want.  I know I want Always Watching, Plains, Planar Outburst, and Declaration in stone but the other slots are filler.  The 60 cards in the main deck are solid.  If you’re not sure which deck you want to play on release day I’m sure you can’t go wrong with this.  It’s easy to play and pressures a lot of the existing decks in Standard.  If you play against anyone playing G/W Tokens in it’s pre-Eldritch Moon incarnation you basically get a bye.  This deck preys on the natural weakness that decks right now have to flying creatures and is able to play almost all of it’s spells on it’s opponent’s turn.  It has a very faeries-like vibe to it.

What about the finance?  Well right now you can order the whole main deck for under $130 on TCGPlayer.  The lack of must-have mythic rares for the spirits deck means it will be cheap and effective.  If you’re just getting back into Magic I think this deck will be a very good budget deck that will see some price increases after this weekend.  We’ve already seen Rattlechains increase in price after some initial spirits were spoiled.  Once we start seeing results people will be all-in.


Which brings me to the best card from the set for Standard.  Don’t remember what this spider does?


This card was pre-ordering for $2 for a bit.  Almost every major online retailer is sold out and the only copies you can find are on TCG Player for $13!  Why the big change?  What did we miss?!  Everything.

Known Enemies in Standard:

  • Archangel Avacyn
  • Reflector Mage
  • Spell Queller
  • Collected Company

How does Ishkanah deftly deal with these menaces?  Quite easily I must say.  He is big enough to rumble with an Avacyn without dying.  He has a very strong ETB ability making Reflector Mage a lot less useful.  He’s too expensive to be hit by Spell Queller.  And he creates a ton of bodies so it’s unlikely even the best Collected Company can kill you.  This is the kind of card that will let you gas up with Tireless Tracker and grind your opponent out with man lands.   In fact, I made a delirium deck to try to test him out.

abzan delerium

This deck was loosely based on Jeff Hoogland’s Abzan Seasons Past that he played at SCG Orlando.  If you’re expecting a lot of Spirits decks this will be a good choice to play at your LGS.  Liliana and Ishkanah make it very difficult to kill you quickly and the raw card advantage from Tireless Tracker lets you win the end game.  Grim Flayer also provides a lot more value than I initially expected.  If you’re not playing against other green decks he will often trample over for 1 damage letting your trade help set up your next few draws.  I often found myself milling card types to quickly enable delirium.  Sometimes it only took one hit to transform him into a 4/4 which gives this deck some especially aggressive draws.  It might be a mistake not playing all of the Languishes in the main deck but the Ishkanahs buy you so much time against decks I’m expecting people to play.

elder deep fiend

This is another pre-order monster that we could have got in early on.  Elder Deep Fiend has been described as the twisted abomination of an Eldrazi baby between Mistbind Clique and Cryptic Command.  I was on a Magic sabbatical during Lorwyn block so I don’t know exactly how obnoxious that was but I have a good imagination.

temur sac

This is probably the worst decklist I’m going to post because the mana is a self described atrocity.  I wanted to jam all the cool cards that combo with Elder Deep Fiend (Kozilek’s Return, Sanctum of Ugin, and Foul Emissary).  Probably should just cut the red cards and play Duskwatch Recruiter (because that guy is fair, right?) and some more green sources.  The games where you emerge a Deep Fiend from a Foul Emissary are almost impossible to lose.  Getting 8 power and taking your opponent’s turn for 4 mana just feels unfair.  It might be time to update the old wise words of wisdom of “Bolt the Bird” to “Bolt the Emissary.”  Either way I don’t expect Elder Deep Fiend to not be a pillar of the format.


Shambling in at little late to the party is Zombies.  This deck has staying power.


This very scientific graph basically explains how I feel about Zombies.  They’re slow and relentless but they’re inevitable.  The more spot removal people are playing the more embarassing the match up becomes.  You can watch here Ross Merriam dismantle Michael Majors who just has a ton of embarrassing removal spells in his hand.  In tradition with the speed of zombies these days, I don’t expect zombies to come out swinging.  Maybe in a few weeks they’ll shamble into top tier which means you’ve got a little more time to get the cards before they go up.  Unlike the emerge deck and the spirit deck, this deck is very heavy on Mythic rares.  I’d assume it will be playing Gisa and Geralf, Liliana, and Relentless Dead in some capacity which means you should really look to pick them up early.  When decks with a lot of mythics get popular it tends to make the deck cost a lot more.  Now I think is the best time to get in on Dark Salvation. Despite how it looks, it’s quite mana efficient if you have a bunch of zombies in play and isn’t completely dead against opponents with no creatures.  I think it being $1 won’t last long if zombies shamble their way to the top.

Biggest Losers


Gisela is embarassing right now.  It looks a lot like a Baneslayer Angel but Declaration in Stone, Incendiary Flow, Reflector Mage, Spell Queller, and Ishkanah make it look embarrassing.  It’s great in combat but falls short to all of the non-combat ways to deal with it.

nissa voice of zendikargideon ally of z

The Gatewatch is not looking so hot right now.  These planeswalkers are not great against cheap flying creatures that are likely to be popular and both can also be hit by Spell Queller.  I’m still expecting to see Gideon in sideboards as 4 mana anthem but I think we could see some serious price drops.

collected company card

We’re not 3 months from the rotation of Collected Company.  I’m expecting it to keep falling as people that want to play with the card already own it.  People who don’t want to play with it are selling their copies to purchase new cheap Standard decks.

Showing some promise 


Bruna, the Fading Light’s trigger is a cast trigger.  Didn’t realize that either.  In addition to being a 5/7 flying vigilant behemoth she also lets you reanimate these without fail:

5a 2560a157203a233

Those cards are all various levels of good depending on how much you paid for them but you get the picture.  She’s an obvious combo with her sister but because it’s a cast trigger you actually need to use Ever After to reanimate them both to get Brisela.


I think this might be the best Oath.  If we see a reduction in decks playing Hangarback Walker and tokens this card gets a lot better.  It can’t be countered by Mausoleum Wanderer and provides a lot of value to decks that would otherwise need an extra turn to get a lot of use out of a planeswalker.  It does a great job protecting walkers from ground creatures because the token doesn’t enter tapped.

Final Thoughts

  • This set is great and will lead to an awesome Pro Tour.  I can’t wait to see what happens
  • This set will be under purchased and you will all hate the prices next Fall.  I guarantee it.
  • Conspiracy 2 comes out next month.  We’ll probably start getting spoilers during the Pro Tour? Maybe the Monday after.
  • Melding cards at the pre-release was basically impossible.

5 thoughts on “Grinder Finance – Casale Pridemage”

    1. I have not personally had the time to work on a zombies deck so I did not post one. You can follow the link to a free SCG article that has a decklist.

    1. I don’t like it in this deck. Deep Fiend synergizes best with value 3 drops which this deck doesn’t have many of. I don’t often get to more than 4 mana so casting the deep fiend by sacrificing one of my smaller spirits is unlikely.

  1. How easy or hard was it for you to turn on Delirium? I thought Ishkanah would drop before it went up, I was wrong but now I think he’s way too high.

    I love your section on Bruna. While she’s only a rare and 7 mana I’ve felt she’s had more back breaking combo/value potential than Gisela for most format decks and applications. I didn’t even think of Bruna being in a GW deck. I’m most curious if Bruna will be a great commander (I have no earthly idea).

    And out of hundreds of players at my LGS 1 person got to form Brisela. A few melded the Rats and Scavengers (or whatever it melds with), and I never heard of the red creature and land melding (Hanweir whatever and whatever) lol. I don’t the exact point of the meld mechanic from R and D, but you are right that it was a limited flop. Maybe in draft you can find some value with the black meld creatures???

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