BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
July 9, 2010
So, I am a long time fan of your articles, and I've
submitted a deck before (based on a pretty dumb concept) but
I was hoping to get feedback on a new deck I've created.
It's playtested okay, not as well as I was hoping, but its
won more than its lost. Of course, the decks its faced have
been highly nuanced so I'm not even sure it counts as play
The deck revolves mainly around two cards, Blood Cultist and
Deathbringer Thoctar. The goal is to use artifacts to give
them both death touch and
kill everything around. Thoctar is supposed to be my big
finisher card as he can repeatedly kill if he's already got
a +1 counter and his ability doesn't require him to be
tapped. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to use him in
such a role, which is making me rethink the idea of him
being my win condition. My stall cards haven't done much
more for me. I chose Kederekt Parasite and Bloodhall Ooze
because I love the way they play off each other and no
matter which one my opponent takes out dropping blood
cultist will activate the other one. I also love Parasite's
synergy with sign in blood, though I find it difficult to
justify giving my opponent 2 cards just to cause 4 damage.
Anyway, my stall cards also didn't follow along with my
theory, because I didn't consider the need to drop them both
at the same time. Otherwise my opponents have had no problem
dealing with them.
So, I come to ask your advice Bmoor. I'm preparing for a
game at the end of July with friends who are magic experts
and have kicked my ass ever since I started playing. Any
help you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Well, Brian, the more I look at it, the more I think that
this strategy is just flawed at its basic premise. You've
built a deck that's centered around allowing your creatures
to have abilities that kill other creatures. Sure, killing
your opponent's creatures is a worthwhile endeavor, and
being able to tap a creature to do so without actually
card seems great. But what do you do when your opponent has
no creatures on the board? What if they have creature kill
of their own? Being able to deal with opponent's creatures
is a means by which to defend yourself against their
strategy, not a strategy of its own.
I'm also not thrilled with Bloodhall Ooze or Kederekt
Parasite. As 1/1's, they're too easy to answer. Sure, the
Ooze can grow larger, but only by 1 per turn. It won't get
out of Lightning Bolt range fast enough, and you'll need
three or four turns at least before you can swing with it
without it just getting blocked and killed.
So, remove the Parasite, the Ooze, the Blood Cultist, and
the Thoctar. Cunning Sparkmage and the equipment can stay.
The catapulting deathtouch combo is a good one, it's just
not worth being the center of your deck.
Now, let's turn this into a more straightforward B/R control
deck, shall we? The first candidate for inclusion is the
black and red card that's been turning Standard upside down
since its printing: Blightning. Three to the face and two
cards down is just too good to pass up.
Next, you'll need a real win condition. Something with
teeth. Something that looks your opponent in the face and
says, "Do you have a card that can answer me right now? No?
Well, if you don't draw one on your very next turn, this
game is over.
win." But what could manage that? Well, we're in Black and
Red, so Demons and Dragons sound about right (as long as
Baneslayer Angel doesn't show up) Rise of the Eldrazi alone
gave us Pestilence Demon and Rapacious One, who isn't a
Dragon but will prove its worth in one swing. You could
pretty much pick any sizable beatstick you want. If you
really want to go with creatures that tap to kill other
creatures, I always had a soft spot for Vein Drinker.
Next, since black and red's best finishers aren't usually as
well equipped to protect themselves as those in blue, white,
and green, you'll want some means of hindering your
opponent's ability to kill it. Blightning helps rid their
hand of cards, so let's continue the theme with a playset of
Inquisition of Kozilek. This will make it very easy for you
to ensure that everything goes according to plan, both by
ridding your opponent of a needed spell and by letting you
see what he's left with, so you know what to save your
Terminates and Lightning Bolts for.
That leaves two slots. Personally, I think you should fill
them with planeswalkers. In Black and Red, I'd say your best
choices are Sarkhan the Mad, Sorin Markov, or Chandra Nalaar.
You may not want to pick two copies of the same one, so you
can have both out at once if need be. Planeswalker inflict a
sort of tunnel vision on opponents; that "answer me now
before I win singlehandedly" feeling I was talking about
when I mentioned Demons and Dragons. That's because they
have an uncanny way of generating a bigger and bigger
advantage for you each turn they're in play. Actually, if
you can swing it, maybe the four "Dragon/Demon" slots above
should go to planeswalkers.
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