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BMoor's Magic The
Ah, the good old standby, the burn-heavy red deck. Red decks win, they say, so let's find out why yours isn't yet. First, we need to isolate your strategy. Somehow I don't think this deck has much more of a strategy than "play creatures and burn spells". There's nothing wrong with that, mind you, but we can do it in style. To get a feel of how a game with this deck might play out, I'd like to start here by mapping your mana curve. Mana curve, for those who don't know, refers to the distribution of mana costs in your deck. A deck with a lot of high mana costs is said to have a high mana curve. So let's start-
Magus of the Scroll
Martyr of Ashes
Adamaro, First to Desire
Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
Pulse of the Forge
Furnace of Rath
(FIVE MANA-- NOTHING)
(SEVEN MANA-- NOTHING)
Okay, so imagine we graphed this out. Six 1-mana cards, one 2-mana card, six 3-mana cards, etc. There's a lot of cards here that cost one mana. That's good because it means you'll rarely have to mulligan due to not enough lands, and also you'll be able to get a quick start and begin the game in a good position. It's also bad because you don't get a lot for one mana. By the fifth or sixth turn, those one-mana creatures are going to look awfully insignificant. Then at two mana, you've got almost nothing. That means that on your second turn, you're likely to want to play two one-mana cards to further improve your board position. On turn three you've got another glut of cards to choose from, so that's where the small advantage you gained in the first two turns will start to become a more significant lead. By now your opponent should be on the defensive. Turn four, you can play Rathi Dragon or Furnace of Rath-- either one is almost guaranteed to swing the game definitively for you. But this is where the trouble starts-- you only have one copy of each card, so chances are you won't draw either. More likely you'll just play another one-mana or three-mana card. Maybe one of each. And by this point, you'll probably have played out nearly your whole hand. Turn five looks awfully anemic, and turn six doesn't brighten things up either. By this point, your opponent has probably found some defense, and may even be putting the pressure back on you, swinging the game back in their favor. If you have burn spells or Magus of the Scroll, you can keep killing their creatures, but the Magus is the only thing that can really provide a permanent solution. Even Jaya Ballard requires you to have cards in hand. If you don't, then the trouble starts.
So what can we do to prevent this? Well, the first thing we can do is make sure all those little one drops continue to be relevant. I have my doubts about Goblin Cohort, but it does make a good blocker at least, so it can stay. Raging Goblin (do you have 2 or 3, by the way? You don't have 5 I hope) gets obsoleted awfully quickly, but it is quite good early. Consider trading some or all of them for Goblin Balloon Brigade, which can fly over for damage even when the ground gets clogged up. Next, there's the issue of Martyr of Ashes and Magus of the Scroll. Magus of the Scroll's ability works best when you have exactly one card in hand. With your deck, that's not so hard. Matryr of Ashes gets better when you have plenty of red cards in hand. And that might be harder. Also, since the Martyr will kill most of your other creatures, it's probably best to drop it in favor of something else.
Speaking of killing a lot of creatures, you seem to be able to do that well. Obliterate, Jaya Ballard's third ability, and the Martyr will all "reset" the game by taking out all the creatures...if your opponent doesn't have any that can survive. You want to save these effects for when you need them most; when your opponent's creatures are all better than yours, or when he or she has many more of them.
So, anyway, what to put in instead of the Martyr? Well, you don't really need the effect the Martyr gives you since you have those other cards, so we'll come back to that.
Now then, the next way for this deck to hold on to the advantage it generates by turn three or four is by continuing to draw extra cards. Unfortunately, red has barely any card draw at all. Most red decks like yours draw cards with Howling Mine, but that can get expensive due to being a popular card. You might try Candles of Leng, a card that's fairly good, but hasn't really caught on yet. It can backfire, granted, but it's something at least.
After all is said and done, your best bet is to make every spell count for as much as it can. Take out Seething Song-- alone, it can't help you, it can only combo with other cards and you don't need that much mana anyway. Also take out Detonate-- if you want to destroy artifacts, Shatter is the best card to do it. Also try Demolish, a fine turn four play. Destroying a land on turn four is a great way to ensure that they take longer to cast their best spells, while your quick advantage overwhelms them. Adamaro, First to Desire needs to come out-- it's too easy for an opponent to control how big he is. A better choice would be Viashino Sandstalker-- yes, you have to play him every turn, but that works with Goblin Cohort and makes it impossible for your opponent to kill it on his own turn. Think of it as casting Pulse of the Forge every turn (which, incidentally, is a good card). Mindslaver and Obliterate should also come out-- you don't really want the game to go that long-- and in their place can come a pair of Flame Wave, a card which is almost guaranteed to win you the game if it resolves. Frankly, I'm amazed it's an uncommon.
Finally, with so many one-mana cards, you don't need 25 lands. 21 should be enough. Cut four lands, including the Great Furnace (for your deck, it's just a land that dies to Shatter). Those four slots can be used for more of the good stuff I talked about here. More Magus of the Scroll would help too, but they're expensive.
Hopefully, I've made it clear what you can do to make this red deck win. Now it's up to you to bring the heat to every game you play. Good luck!
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