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Big Red

January 3, 2005 

Looking through the last few deck garages, Iíve noticed that there havenít been a lot of red decks, meaning I have been denying all of those red mages out there an opportunity to have their deck worked on. So, hereís this weekís e-mailÖ

Here's a Big Red deck I have been tinkering with for a while:

Creatures: 10
4 Arc-Slogger
4 Hearth Kami
2 Kumano, Master Yamabushi

Spells: 22
4 Shock
4 Magma Jet
4 Electrostatic Bolt
4 Shrapnel Blast
4 Seething Song
2 Pulse of the Forge

Artifacts: 6
2 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Wayfarer's Bauble

Lands: 22
4 Darksteel Citadel
17 Mountains
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
Total: 60

Sideboard: 15
2 Boil
4 Detonate
4 Shatter
3 Grab the Reins
2 Pyroclasm

Basically I have some small burn spells to take out early threats
reactively. Shrapnel Blast and Pulse of the Forge are the spells that
take chunks out of my opponents life in the meantime. Hearth Kami is a
versatile artifact destruction card and a pretty good attacker on its
own. Arc-Slogger and Kumano are great finishers. Kumano is usually
better if you really want to re-use his ability over and over, and he
can handle meloku tokens. The seething songs are usually used to get
Kumano and Slogger into play. The top is for deck manipulation, (as
it magma jet) and the bauble is for early mana accel. I don't use
Solemn Simulacrum, because he is quite expensive and this deck has
difficulty getting to 4 mana.

The biggest problem is getting the right amount of artifacts for
shrapnel blast without crippling my deck. I will blast overused tops,
late game baubles, and some citadels, but something feels wrong about
the numbers. Mox isnt needed here due to card disadvantage and Damping
Matrix isnt used because he would shut down all my creatures.

Please help it would be appreciated.


Billís deck seems like it is pretty solid, but it could still use a few improvements.

The first thing I would like to do is find a way to squeeze in Furnace Whelp. Iíve been a huge fan of this card ever since it came out, and I think it belongs in just about every deck that has a) heavy red and b) lots of removal. The card that jumps out as out of place immediately is Wayfarerís Bauble. Iím not sure it belongs, as this deck really wants to have immediate gratification from almost all of its spells. Even the other mana acceleration provides Bill with an immediate reward. Wayfarerís Bauble really just eats mana for a turn, and so Iím cutting it.

-4 Wayfarerís Bauble
+4 Furnace Whelp

Since he has so many cards that will work with it, Iím going to sneak a couple of copies of Isochron Scepter into Billís deck. Shrapnel Blast, Magma Jet, and Electrostatic Bolt are never bad cards to see on the Scepter, and Bill runs all three. To make a hole for it, Iím removing the Senseiís Diving Top. Why that card? For much the same reason as Wayfarerís Bauble. It eats mana that doesnít need to be eaten.

-2 Senseiís Divining Top
+2 Isochron Scepter

Iím cutting four mountains and sticking in Great Furnace to help cover for the lowered number of artifacts. Bill wonít necessarily want to use Shrapnel Blast with his Furnace early, but it will be there later in the game when it is important.

-4 Mountain
+4 Great Furnace

Also in land, Iím pulling Darksteel Citadel and putting in Blinkmoth Nexus. It can still be an artifact, but it also can turn sideways and deal damage, which is really what Billís deck is all about.

-4 Darksteel Citadel
+4 Blinkmoth Nexus

The final change I am going to make the main deck is cutting Shock. I am aware that Shock is a decent enough card, but it really doesnít do as much as it used to. Electrostatic Bolt, Shrapnel Blast, Magma Jet, and Pulse of the Forge are more than enough to cover the targeted removal in the deck. In its place, I think Bill should play Flamebreak. It takes care of the Troll Ascetics that pop up on occasion, it wipes the board of Meloku tokens, and generally lets Bill catch up if he falls behind in keeping the board clean of trouble-makers.

-4 Shock
+4 Flamebreak

As far as sideboard is concerned, I think Bill was pretty close to home on most of his choices. I like Detonate, I like Shatter, and I like Grab the Reins. I wasnít a huge fan of Boil at first, but any help against Crystal Witness is probably a good thing. I think I am going to cut loose a copy of Shatter and Detonate though, since Bill already has Hearth Kami in the deck and can spare the space. Iím also pulling Pyroclasm, since we added Flamebreak to the main deck. In their place, I am putting in Slith Firewalker. Iíd like to see him in the main deck, but sometimes, he just isnít that good. The Firewalker should come in against pretty much any slow deck that canít deal with early threats.

-1 Detonate
-2 Pyroclasm
-1 Shatter
+4 Slith Firewalker

That about wraps up work on this deck; letís see how it turned out.

4 Arc-Slogger

4 Furnace Whelp
4 Hearth Kami
2 Kumano, Master Yamabushi

4 Electrostatic Bolt

4 Flamebreak

2 Isochron Scepter
4 Magma Jet

2 Pulse of the Forge
4 Seething Song
4 Shrapnel Blast

LAND (22):
4 Blinkmoth Nexus

4 Great Furnace
13 Mountains
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

2 Boil
3 Detonate

3 Grab the Reins
3 Shatter
4 Slith Firewalker

Hope that helps, Bill, and good luck.

Iíll see yíall next week.
-Paul Hagan


-Paul Hagan

  Paul Hagan's Magic the Gathering Deck Garage

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