Is Workshop Aggro possible without Moxen and Lotus?

I started with Vintage two weeks ago on mtgo and really enjoyed the format and the matches. For me personally it's the best format next to legacy and now I am seriously thinking about putting a deck togheter for paper games, which is by far the better form of enjoying Mtg. Just to mention that πŸ˜‰

Fortunately I allready own 3 Mishra`s Workshop and a few other pieces for Mud and I consider to buy a fourth. But saddly I am not in such a financial position to buy the five Moxen and a Lotus. My question now is, if Mox Opal, Lotus Petal and maybe stuff like Grim Monolith, City of Traitors or Metalworker are acceptable replacements for the real Power in Workshop Aggro? I know that this replacements aren't as good as the originals, but when the deck still functions well with it and has a real game against the other Vintage decks, I would go for it. Otherwise just be honest and stop me from making a bad investment, even 1 Workshop is a load of money for me.

I know that most tournaments allow proxies, but I plan on going to Eternal weekend and one or two other sanctioned tournaments, too. So at least I need a deck without proxies.

In my opinion the moxes and lotus are extremely important to making the deck function - but if you like the deck, you definitely can try it.

It's worth noting that people have made the case for no Black Lotus in Workshop decks in the past. I'm not personally a fan of the argument, but you wouldn't be the first person to top 8 vintage champs with Lotus-free Shops.

On the other hand, I wouldn't take a stock shops list and cut Moxes for Opals, it's going to be ugly. Note that Mox Opal in particular is basically only good in decks that run the five original Moxes to get metalcraft faster. I really don't think you'll have much success if you just swap out moxes for other mana and leave everything else the same ... But I think there are some more creative things you could do.

When I'm building a deck with limitations, I try not to run bad versions of more expensive cards, and rather look for opportunities ... in what way can this limitation be a strength?

No β€” it does nothing

For starters, cards like Arcbound Ravager explicitly synergize with Moxes and get a lot worse without them. But other cards, like Null Rod, are better when you don't draw Moxes. A lot of the cards that are particularly good with Ravager, like Walking Ballista and Hangarback Walker, also get a lot worse with a Null Rod in play.

If you can find a way to build your Workshop deck to operate under a Null Rod, you might be able to do some real damage in a mirror match, and probably end up with a better matchup against Outcome decks than a stock Ravager Workshop deck has. My gut instinct is that Null Rod either puts you on some kind of prisony Smokestack/Crucible of Worlds/Ensnaring Bridge build, or something real aggressive with Chief of the Foundry/Porcelain Legionaire/Traxos, Scourge of Kroog.

Cut Moxes for Utility Lands

Mutavault, Karakas, Ghost Quarter, Inventor's Fair are all cards that Ravager Shops would love to run but can't fit. You can even go deep with things like Buried Ruin and Tower of the Magistrate.

Cut Moxes for Depths/Stage

I haven't thought much about how you'd build this, but it has to be nice to have reasonably fast, uncounterable win condition in some matchups. Consider Expedition Map as one drops may get better in a deck replacing Moxes with lands.

Cut Moxes for Bazaars

It ain't budget, but it's cheaper than Moxes and it gives you an idea of how to think outside the box. Dredge Shops deck @Oestrus played in the VSL recently is a deck that runs Workshop and doesn't really need Moxes to operate. Any deck that wants Workshop just for powering out a single lock piece on turn one is in the same boat.

Cut Moxes for Mountains

If you're dropping Moxes and Ravagers, you might have enough room to add nonartifact cards to the deck. Classic workshops decks were 5 color or mono-red and made heavy use of Goblin Welder, a turn one play that might be nice on your mana curve. You might be able to explore other options as well. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben? Fastbond/Crop Rotation? Disciple of the Vault/Vampire Hexmage/Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth? Cutting artifact mana means you have access to options other workshop decks can't even consider.

Cut Moxes for Eldrazi Temples

This is my favorite. Moxless budget Eldrazi is an established archetype, but I think there's room to explore on the edges. Because Eldrazi Temple is an accelerant, you miss the Moxes a little less. My favorite thing about this? You don't even need the 4th Workshop. A while back I was working on a Workshop-Eldrazi hybrid deck for a potential post-Workshop metagame, and I found that 2 or 3 Workshops was all you wanted, 4 was just too many. I was playing with Moxes but I'm betting there's a build without them. You end up with a deck that feels very much like Workshop Aggro. You have less synergy and your mana is clunkier but your individual threats are bigger and more resilient. If you can find a way to make this work Null Rods and Thought Knot Seers, I'm guessing you'll end up with list that's even better against Outcome Combo than stock Ravager Shops is, and pick up a few free wins against players with more Ancient Grudges than Swords to Plowshares

Thank you really much for your helpful answer Brass Man. Now I have a lot of ideas for starting brewing, which is really hard, when you just new in a format. But I'll try. My gut tells me that I should try one of the first options first. Going full aggro or more prison style. Today I talked with an Workshop player at my Lgs and he thoughted about it, but didn't found a good build so far. Considering that maybe I should start on one of your other suggested points. But generally he would pick up a different deck...

I also thoughted of trading my Shops into first pieces of Power and try Grixis Xerox or Mentor. I have nearly all the cards for them in my binder, besides Power, so maybe that's just the better decision for getting into Vintage. I would be also fine with that.
But I am not totaly sure so far and I see, if I could bring a mox less list to work. I played a couple of matches today with Opal as a replacement and it was just awful 😞

Maybe stuff like the Bottled Cloister Stax from last year could work without moxen but with a crucible heavy plan - and playing 2 lands per turn:

VINTAGE Stax Orrery

Main:
4 Ancient Tomb
2 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Buried Ruin
3 Ghost Quarter
2 Inventors' Fair
1 Mishra's Factory
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

2 Bottled Cloister
1 Chalice of the Void
3 Crucible of Worlds
2 Ghirapur Orrery
1 Lodestone Golem
4 Null Rod
3 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Smokestack
4 Sphere of Resistance
4 Tangle Wire
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere

Sideboard:
4 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Grafdigger's Cage
4 Leyline of the Void
2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Walking Ballista

last edited by fsecco

You should consider playing Eldrazi with 4 Null Rods.

With 3 Tabernacle and 2 Bazaars these Staxx list is out of my budget too.

With Eldrazi do you mean the unpowered White Eldrazi list called "Jacodrazi"? I saw a few lists, but full powered, is the powerless variant with 4 Null Rod still a thing?

I don’t think you need to worry about this unless you are going to EW or the handful of tournaments that are no proxy. Just take some basics and a market and build the deck you want. Most tourneys let you have 15 proxies.

Yeah that's of course true, most events have allowed proxies, but EW this year is firmly schedulded. So I think it isn't a good idea to build into a deck like Oaht, Paradoxical, DP Storm or other decks that clearly need all power and can't doing well without it.

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