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Hey all! Itís time for another edition of the Magic Deck Garage. For those who didnít see me last week, my name is Paul Hagan, and I am here to solve all of your deck-building problems. How does the Deck Garage work? Simple! You send me your deck, I fix it up, and you start winning more. If youíd like to see your deck in the Deck Garage, drop me an e-mail at, and make sure to include any information you think is important. Whatís important? Well, it can be the format you are playing, the cards you want to keep, the cards that can be ditched, what exactly the focus of the deck is, and what youíd like to see come out of the Deck Garage. So, drop me an e-mail and Iíll see what I can do.

This weekís deck that needs fixiní has been submitted by Big C, who has finally caved in to his friendsí requests and built a faster deck. With that in mind, letís take a look at what Big Cís deck look like currentlyÖ

3 Crazed Goblin

1 Goblin Glider

3 Goblin Raider

1 Goblin Taskmaster

1 Krark-Clan Grunt

1 Krark-Clan Shaman

3 Krark-Clan Stoker

4 Oxiddea Golem

1 Raging Goblin

1 Ridgeline Raider

1 Skirk Prospector

2 Spark Elemental

4 Barbed Lightning

1 Detonate

4 Inflame

2 Lava Axe

1 Pyroclasm

1 Shock

1 Stone Rain

3 Volcanic Hammer

20 Mountain

Big C mentioned that he wants this deck to be Type II legal and he has a wide variety of 8th Edition, Mirrodin, Darksteel, and Fifth Dawn, but not too much of the older Type II sets (Onslaught, Legions, and Scourge). Thus, I will try to keep every card added within those sets, in an effort to make Big Cís life easier in getting some of the cards. Big C is aiming to make a Sligh-like deck, so thatís where Iíll try to go.

The first thing Iím noticing about the deck is that Big C is all over the place with his card selection. There are eleven 1-ofs in the deck, making it pretty inconsistent. Letís start by cutting Crazed Goblin and replacing him with Raging Goblin, as the Raging Goblin is strictly superior (he doesnít have a drawback, but he has an ability).

-3 Crazed Goblin

+3 Raging Goblin

Next, looking through the cards available in Type II, one of the most solid creatures that I can find as far as small, red guys go is Slith Firewalker. If Big Cís opponent lets the creature run rampant for too many turns, then the game will quickly get out of hand. To make room, letís drop Goblin Raider and Goblin Glider. Why? Because they have a matching casting cost, and Slith Firewalker seems like a good replacement.

-3 Goblin Raider

-1 Goblin Glider

+4 Slith Firewalker

Again, browsing through available cards, I see a creature that doesnít see enough play, but I feel is pretty solid: War Elemental. With the amount of burn spells Big C is running, War Elemental can turn out being huge, and mixed with Slith Firewalker, the two should be more than enough to give Big Cís opponents headaches. To find room, letís drop Krark-Clan Shaman and Krark-Clan Stoker.

-1 Krark-Clan Shaman

-3 Krark-Clan Stoker

+4 War Elemental

Next, because they are now somewhat out of place, letís drop Goblin Taskmaster and Krark-Clan Grunt, two small creatures, in favor of two other small creatures: Spark Elemental. This will fill out Big Cís set, and help with that early damage.

-1 Goblin Taskmaster

-1 Krark-Clan Grunt

+2 Spark Elemental

We still have a couple sub-par 1-ofs hanging out with the creatures in Big Cís deck, so Iíll sneak in the game-ending Blistering Firecat here. I know, I said I would keep it mostly 8th and Mirrodin Block, but the Firecat is too good to pass up! A 7/1 for four mana is decent, and when you throw in trample and haste, you really canít make a strait sligh deck without them!

-1 Ridgeline Raider

-1 Skirk Prospector

+2 Blistering Firecat

If you look at the creatures now, youíll notice that Big C is going to draw a lot of the same creatures every game, because he is playing a full set of many of them. This means he gets his good cards in hand more, which in turn means he knows what to expect out of each game. Here is what we have so far:

2 Blistering Firecat

4 Oxiddea Golem

4 Raging Goblin

4 Slith Firewalker

4 Spark Elemental

4 War Elemental

Now lets turn our attention to the non-creature spells in Big Cís deck. I know it will come as a shock to many of you, but Lava Axe really isnít that good. It costs too much and it isnít very versatile (it only hits a single target), so why donít we replace it with its bigger, better brother Ė Beacon of Destruction. The Beacon is not only an instant, but it goes back into your deck when it resolves (as opposed to the graveyard), allowing reuse whenever Big C draws it up! Because the Beacon is almost no different in cost from Lava Axe in this deck, Beacon can replace the Axe easily.

-2 Lava Axe

+2 Beacon of Destruction

Next, Iím going to cut the lone Stone Rain (it isnít doing much good all on its own), the Shock, and the Inflames (no good unless you are already doing damage) in favor of an additional Detonate and four Electrostatic Bolt. Shock looks like a better choice at first glance, but with the current Type II environment containing a *lot* of Affinity, it seems like it would be a better call to run Electrostatic Bolt.

-1 Stone Rain

-1 Shock

-4 Inflame

+1 Detonate

+4 Electrostatic Bolt

The Type II environment right now has a lot of little men in it Ė Arcbound Ravenger, Ornithoper, Arcbound Worker, Soldier Tokens, Goblins of all shapes and sizes, etc. Thus, I would suggest dropping all four Barbed Lightning (they are good, but not great) in favor of three more Pyroclasm.

-4 Barbed Lightning

+3 Pyroclasm

Some might consider the Pyroclasm excessive, but a couple of weeks ago, I was playing Astral Slide in Friday Night Magic, and almost every match saw Pyroclasm coming in Ė full force. After this experience, I suggest playing a full set of them! This could wind up being a bad call if Big Cís local metagame is more control oriented, but that is up for him to decide.

Finally (for the maindeck, at least), as we have two slots left, Big C should probably fill them with Mountains. His deck currently looks a big mana-light, especially since I think Iíve upped the mana curve slightly.

Now, as with last week, I wouldnít feel right sending a player out into the World of Type II without a sideboard, so weíll start with full complements of Echoing Ruin and a pair of Granulates. These should come in against Affinity (obviously), and although they wonít guarantee victory, they will make life somewhat easier.

4 Echoing Ruin

2 Granulate

Next, with the resurgence of White-Blue Control over the last few weeks (Thanks, Nationals), Flashfires seems like it could really make an impact on that match-up.

3 Flashfires

Next, Iím not sure if Iím the first on this one or not, but doesnít Threaten seem really good against Tooth and Nail? ďOh, gee, youíve made a gigantic Darksteel Colossus. What will I---STEAL IT! SMASH YOU!Ē OK, you might get in trouble for yelling ďSMASH YOUĒ in the middle of a tournament, but you get the pointÖ

3 Threaten

Finally, against a lot of decks in general, try out Damping Matrix. Over the course of that Friday Night Magic I mentioned above, I faced Affinity, White Weenie, and Beasts, and it was really nice to have against all of them!

3 Damping Matrix

So, in the end, Big Cís decklist looks like thisÖ


2 Blistering Firecat

4 Oxiddea Golem

4 Raging Goblin

4 Slith Firewalker

4 Spark Elemental

4 War Elemental

2 Beacon of Destruction

3 Detonate

4 Electrostatic Bolt

4 Pyroclasm

3 Volcanic Hammer

22 Mountain


3 Damping Matrix

4 Echoing Ruin

3 Flashfires

2 Granulate

3 Threaten

I hope that helps Big C out. Good luck, man!

Now, before I wrap things up, I though I would share a fun experience with yíall. My local gamestore (and place of work), The Game Closet, held a Red-White-and-Blue Tournament to celebrate the 4th of July. The rules? Simple: (A) You must have a bare minimum of 12 red cards, 12 blue cards, and 12 white cards, (B) gold cards count towards one color, not all of them, (C) no counterspells of any sort, and (D) nothing degenerate Ė meaning your deck has to be fun!

I donít think it would really be worth anything to do a tournament report (how would you use it?), but I thought yíall might like to see the winning decklist, designed by moi in about 20 minutes the morning before the tourney:


4 Flametongue Kavu

4 Grim Lavamancer

4 Lightning Bolt


3 Disenchant

2 Exalted Angel

4 Mother of Runes

4 Swords to Plowshares


4 Fact or Fiction

4 Lightning Angel Ė I had to play this card!

4 ManíOíWar

LAND (23):

4 Adarkar Wastes

4 Battlefield Forge

4 Flooded Strand

2 Island

3 Mountain

2 Plains

4 Shivan Reef

I didnít make a sideboard, as that seemed rather pointless. The basic concept behind the deck was to play cards I liked playing the first time around (in Type II or casual), so I did just that. The deck ran fairly well, though I wound up taking a bit more damage than I would have liked toÖI guess thatís the drawback of 12 painlands and 4 fetch lands! Major props go to Lightning Angel for being the best card in the deck. Who saw that coming with cards like FTK, FoF, and Swords hanging out?

Anyways, I guess that wraps it up for this edition of the Deck Garage. Feel free to drop me an e-mail about a deck at any time, just send an e-mail to Also, if yíall would like to see more fun decks like the one above, go ahead and tell me so Ė Iíd be happy to share the fun decks we have floating around our casual tourneys up at the store, or at the very worst, whatever I play that week!

Happy gaming!

-Paul Hagan



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