Budget Build Fridays #2 – One-Cost Wonders

Budget Build Fridays are geared around making affordable decks that are a good starting point for newer players, that you can build from bulk or are affordable. We aim to provide a deck every week with a wide range of playstyles that won’t break the bank.

This week we’re having a look at a deck based around low-costed forwards, Shemhazai, the Whisperer & Spiceacilian (which I still maintain sounds like a pizza.) FFDecks has the cost of this deck for $10.09, and with the majority of the deck being Rares and Commons, hopefully it’s something you can build and try out!

FFDecks.com link: One-Cost Wonders

One-Cost Wonders

The deck functions around cost – you play cheap backups to play cheap forwards, and hopefully get multiple activations of the backups off so that you can play multiple forwards off of your backups (ideally you don’t want to overpay for your forwards, where possible.). Once you have slapped down enough 1-cost tiny bois, you activate Shemhazai and end the game then and there, as in most decks, your opponent isn’t going to be running 1-costs and will not be able to stop you. Ideally you will want to have more forwards than you need before you activate Shemhazai, as otherwise you might get EX-bursted and have an impossibly bad time.

Let’s have a look at some of the card choices:


Archer – This card doesn’t serve a specific cost, but and is here almost entirely on merit of it’s cost. If your opponent’s forward already has some damage piled on it already, you might find that the first strike effect matters, but otherwise its basically here because it’s wind, and 1-cost. You’ll notice that as a theme here.

Black Chocobo – Searchable by Izana and Choco/Mog, and allows you to apply non-Shemhazai based pressure if you need to put the game on a timer. Your opponent will probably try pretty hard to get rid of it, so he works as a lightning-rod for removal.


Chocobo & Chocobo – Searchable by Izana, but NOT searchable by Choco/Mog. You’re more using these if you need to use any party attacks to force any trades/attacks through, and they have the bonus of being absolutely tiny, so you’re able to use them with Shemhazai and Spiceacilian effectively.

Shara – is definitely in this deck. Could easily be another Archer or chocobo, but the 3k damage on entry might help with some first strike-based shenanigans from Archer. She’ll occasionally kill a Thaumaturge or Argath.

Tsukinowa – pairs with Edge to get haste, also cannot be blocked by cost 3 or more. And is 1-cost! I’d have 3 of this card in this list, but I felt that 2 was the right amount to avoid getting name-locked.

Vaan – MVP of the deck. You effectively play him for free off of his own effect (play him off a backup), and if he survives more than the turn he comes out, he starts to gain you CP throughout the course of the game. Again, didn’t go to 3 to avoid drawing dead copies. Every turn Vaan attacks (ideally unblockably with Spiceacilian), he lets you play another forward for free, he’s great.


White Mage – Went to 3 on this guy to avoid getting instantly blown out by cards like forward Shantotto, or Freya’s Cherry Blossom. Also is 1 cost! So fits the deck perfectly.


Yuffie – Same job as Tsukinowa, without the interaction with Edge. Plus it’s Yuffie! She’s cool.

Edge – Another great one in the deck, allows you to play multiple forwards for basically nothing if he gets his attack off. Synergy with Tsukinowa affords him a slot in the deck, even though he is 2-cost. Plus, I’m pretty sure by this point we’ve gotten through the vast majority of the 1-cost wind forwards.

Elementalist – A bit of protection from targeted removal, not that you should really care as all your forwards cost basically nothing. Handy in a pinch to respond to effects that would spot remove some of your stronger cards (Paul, Vaan, Edge). I’m borderline calling this a flex slot.

Izana – Lets you search for Chocobo, Chocobo or Black Chocobo. He’s good!

Paul – New to Opus VI, can really put a clock on the game by effectively removing 6 cards from your opponents deck every time he lands an attack (5 cards milled + 1 for damage). If you’re worried about getting Shantotto‘d or Death Penalty’d (Opus 2 Vincent), you may wish to run a playset of Seven in this slot instead, and she brings the cost of the deck down even more.


Asura – Lets you do more stuff for nothing. You likely won’t be reactivating forwards very often, but you may be using this to pick things up from the break zone, or (more frequently) reactivating your backups to play more tiny, tiny bois. If you find you’re having trouble with The Emperor, you may want to put Chaos, Walker of the Wheel or Diablos in this slot.

Choco/Mog – Lets you pick up Black Chocobo, or Moogle (XI). Might seem a weird slot at first, but it allows you to either pick up more CP, or to get Moogle (XI) for another backup, or even better, to use the S ability to search for Shemhazai or Spiceacilian.

Shemhazai, the Whisperer – basically the win condition of the deck. I don’t think many meta decks run 1-costs at the moment (correct me if I’m wrong), so this card effectively makes all your guys unblockable. For 1 CP. Which is okay, I guess. A definite 3 of in this deck.



Spiceacilian – Another 3 of, allows you to apply consistent pressure while waiting to swing Shemhazai for game. If you have this down and any number of forwards you are basically putting your opponent on a timer.



Evoker – Cheap backup.

Archer – Good to deny your opponent resources, and also a cheap backup.

Geomancer – You can reactivate a character off this when you play it, which means another Spiceacilian activation, another 1 cost forward (or summon) off of a backup reactivation, and he’s cheap to play himself. Really versatile.

Miounne – I wanted to find a second slot for this card, but I couldn’t justify it. She’ll allow you to play Spiceacilian, activate Spiceacilian, play Miounne, bounce Spiceacilian, draw a card, then replace Spiceacilian to activate it again for two unblockables and a draw, which is nice. Also if you bounce a 1-CP backup with her to get the draw, you’re getting great value even after replaying the backup!

Moogle (XI) – Has the incredible effect of letting you search for literally anything. Main target for this will be Shemhazai the Whisperer.


White Mage – Generally in here to remove any threats that could come out of the break zone after you’ve laid waste to your opponent’s deck with Paul. If you spot anything you’re worried about them picking up you can remove it with this, and use the effect later if they try to Devout/Lenne/Miner/Scholar anything. Good times.


Not a huge amount of upgrades available for this deck based on the nature of it, but one card you could certainly consider is legendary Zidane from Opus 1. He has a field ability which means he cannot be blocked by cost 4 or more, and he’s likely to stick around because he is completely untargetable by your opponents abilities and summons. I wouldn’t run more than 1.


That’s the end of this Budget Build Friday, let me know how you get on with it! I lent a friend an older build of this deck, he made a couple of changes and took it to a regionals and did surprisingly well! If your opponent doesn’t know what you’re playing, you can really wreck with this deck, and it’s pretty funny to roll up to locals with it and melt a few faces for a deck that is essentially full of threatening garden gnomes.

Thanks for reading!

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