So a group called "Magic of Browns Point"* has organized some local budget Commander events, and today they ran a Two-Headed Giant version. It was decided that each deck couldn't cost more than $150 and deck couldn't include any cards in common with its companion deck. My friend, Eric, and I tried to take down the tournament. We didn't succeed, but we came close. Kind of. My deck was a blue/black/green ramp combo deck with moderate disruption. Gneiss Lady Commander: Damia, Sage of Stone 1 Abundance 1 Aether Gale 1 Arcane Denial 1 Beseech the Queen 1 Black Sun's Zenith 1 Boundless Realms 1 Cabal Ritual 1 Cultivate 1 Dark Petition 1 Dark Ritual 1 Decree of Pain 1 Diabolic Tutor 1 Dig Through Time 1 Drain Power 1 Esper Panorama 1 Explosive Vegetation 1 Far Wanderings 1 Farseek 12 Forest 1 Gaea's Touch 1 Gainsay 1 Gitaxian Probe 1 Grixis Panorama 1 Grow from the Ashes 1 Harrow 1 Hive Mind 12 Island 1 Khalni Heart Expedition 1 Kodama's Reach 1 Memory Lapse 1 Myojin of Night's Reach 1 Mystic Snake 1 Necropotence 1 Night's Whisper 1 Nissa's Renewal 1 Painful Truths 1 Pentad Prism 1 Pernicious Deed 1 Pir's Whim 1 Plasm Capture 1 Praetor's Counsel 1 Pull from Tomorrow 1 Rampant Growth 1 Razaketh's Rite 1 Recurring Insight 1 Redirect 1 Regrowth 1 Sakura-Tribe Elder 1 Seasons Past 1 Skull Storm 1 Sol Ring 1 Stomp and Howl 1 Stroke of Genius 1 Summoner's Pact 12 Swamp 1 Sylvan Library 1 The Mirari Conjecture 1 Time Warp 1 Toxic Deluge 1 Treasure Cruise 1 Twincast 1 Urban Evolution 1 Villainous Wealth 1 Walk the Aeons 1 Windgrace's Judgment 1 Zur's Weirding Eric's deck was hard control, heavy on instants. Oloro 2HG Budget Deck Commander: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic 1 Anguished Unmaking 1 Approach of the Second Sun 1 Arcane Lighthouse 1 Arcane Sanctum 1 Azorius Chancery 1 Caves of Koilos 1 Choked Estuary 1 Command Tower 1 Counterspell 1 Countersquall 1 Cranial Extraction 1 Crush of Tentacles 1 Curtains' Call 1 Cyclonic Rift 1 Day of Judgment 1 Deprive 1 Devastation Tide 1 Dimir Aqueduct 1 Disdainful Stroke 1 Dismal Backwater 1 Dispel 1 Dissolve 1 Dragonlord's Prerogative 1 Dromar's Cavern 1 Esper Charm 1 Evacuation 1 Fact or Fiction 1 Fellwar Stone 1 Forbidden Alchemy 1 Gilded Lotus 1 Glimmer of Genius 1 Insidious Will 1 Intervention Pact 11 Island 1 Jace's Defeat 1 Jace's Ingenuity 1 Jeweled Amulet 1 Lim-Dul's Vault 1 Merciless Eviction 1 Mind Stone 1 Mirrodin's Core 1 Miscalculation 1 Mortify 1 Muddle the Mixture 1 Myriad Landscape 1 Mystic Confluence 1 Mystical Teachings 1 Mystical Tutor 1 Negate 1 Opportunity 1 Out of Bounds 1 Overwhelming Denial 1 Pact of Negation 4 Plains 1 Port Town 1 Prairie Stream 1 Reliquary Tower 1 Rewind 1 Rhystic Study 1 Rout 1 Slaughter Pact 1 Standstill 1 Sublime Exhalation 1 Summary Dismissal 1 Sunken Hollow 1 Supreme Verdict 1 Supreme Will 5 Swamp 1 Swan Song 1 Swords to Plowshares 1 Telepathy 1 Temple of Deceit 1 Temple of Silence 1 Thwart 1 Time Stop 1 Underground River 1 Unwind 1 Utter End 1 Victory Chimes 1 Void Shatter 1 Well of Lost Dreams 1 Wipe Away So, our decks were highly unusual for this tournament, and I should explain the thought process some. Eric already had an Oloro deck from a previous budget Commander event, but its dollar value had risen substantially since that event. He initially had the idea of two Oloro decks, and zeroed in on Hive Mind as a compact win condition for such a setup. But I opined that letting both players have the same cards was a bad idea, and he agreed, so he reached out to the organizers. They got similar feedback regarding tribal slivers decks and some other thing, but they did institute the rule. Before we got official word of that, I'd already suggested a combo deck as a companion: Oloro slows down the opposition and protects while Damia builds into a combo kill. In our testing, we began settling on some odd design choices. We have essentially no creatures. This means we blank all opposing creature removal spells. All of my creatures, except my commander, are used for their abilities and do not need to stay on the battlefield to do anything. Eric's commander is his only creature, and he doesn't even need to cast it to benefit from its main ability. Almost all of Eric's important spells except for board wipes are instants. This means he can usually keep shields up and be ready to counter something. My deck uses almost no important permanents other than basic lands, and most of my spells are sorceries. That means no matter what kind of removal spells opponents have, I'm likely impervious to them. Even land destruction is somewhat muted against me, thanks to my high counts of sorceries that fetch lands from my library and spells that bring cards back from my graveyard. We don't focus much on targeted removal, but instead just dispose of all creatures on the battlefield in one fell swoop. Taking the concept of synergies between decks to an extreme, we have almost no ways for one deck to pull off a win by itself. I have Hive Mind in my deck, but most of the Pact cards are in Eric's deck. I have Skull Storm in my deck, but the board wipes are mostly in his deck. He has Approach of the Second Sun, but will need me to hold up countermagic for when he casts the expensive spell, or to set it up by taking extra turns. We were the first team to submit decklists, all the way back on September 8th. I think we got frustrated at cards going up in price, forcing us to make more cuts. But if we'd tested more, we might have run more anti-aggro elements. A key part of our plan was that we would not be outmuscled on control. Eric had some of the best cards for winning counter wars, and I could even help him out with that. The long game was ours, but our defenses against creature beatdown were not as intense as they could have been. *I know Brown's Point as an old, obscure local lighthouse. It's part of (officially, I think) Tacoma, Washington. Apparently the neighborhood in that area shares the name, and a small Magic playgroup from the neighborhood branched out to organizing their own local events.