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Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Type II Red / White Isochron- 5.12.05
Hey all, and welcome back
to the deck garage! This week, we’re heading back into the
realms of Type II, or Standard, with a Red / White Isochron
Scepter deck. The e-mail I received is below.
my deck works good right now but i was
wondering how to improve it. this deck is based around my
isochron scepters, once one of them with a holyday on it is
out that usually means game over for who ever i am playing.
it is a completely creatureless deck. here is whats in it. i
am on a limited budget.
1-tower of eons
It looks like our contributor is off to a decent start, but
we have a bit of work to do.
Kicking things off, I’m looking at the deck and seeing a
number of cards that seem out of place. Darksteel Forge just
costs too much for what it does, as are both Pyrotechnics
and Lava Axe. Tower of Eons has close to the same problem,
as its activation cost is too high to be of any real use.
Planar Portal is sitting on the edge, with a 6 casting cost
and a 6 activation cost. I’m going to play it safe and get
rid of the Portal as well. My reasoning is that anything
that has a converted mana cost of 6 or higher should be
helping you win the game, not going to get the cards that
help you win the game.
-1 Darksteel Forge
-2 Lava Axe
-1 Planar Portal
-1 Tower of Eons
Now that we’ve cleared out the deck a bit, we can review
what cards can be played on Isochron Scepter. Shock and Holy
Day are the two major spells, as mentioned in the e-mail.
Hallow, Blessed Reversal, and Awe Strike are also hanging
out to help deal with some of the damage coming at the
deck’s pilot. Finally, we have a lone copy of Shatter
hanging out to deal with artifact threats.
I’m going to start by cutting out Hallow and Awe Strike.
Hallow is really only decent against a couple of spells,
most of them red, so it can probably be cut, or at least be
shoved in the sideboard. Awe Strike is really just doubling
up on the job that Holy Day is doing, so we can afford to
get rid of it. In their place, I’d like to add another way
to deal some damage and prevent creatures from doing damage,
so in goes Raise the Alarm to help make either cheap
attackers or cheap, fast blockers.
-2 Awe Strike
+4 Raise the Alarm
The same things that I said above about Awe Strike can be
applied to Blessed Reversal. With this in mind, why don’t we
change the sole copy of Blessed Reversal into another copy
of Shatter, helping stop some of the artifacts that are
still floating around in the Type II environment.
-1 Blessed Reversal
I don’t really see a good reason to play Lightning Blast,
especially with the Isochron theme of this deck. Why not run
another burn spell that can be used on Isochron, even at the
cost of slightly less damage? Magma Jet might be the best
burn spell in Type II right now, if only because the
attached Scry ability can help you find the cards you need.
-4 Lightning Blast
+4 Magma Jet
To help maximize the amount of good burn spells drawn over
the course of any given game, let’s add a couple more
Volcanic Hammer – I guess you can’t argue with three damage
for two mana. To make room, I’m going to cut Granite Shard –
which is too slow for this deck – and Nuisance Engine, which
is somewhat irrelevant since we added in Raise the Alarm.
-1 Granite Shard
-1 Nuisance Engine
+2 Volcanic Hammer
OK, so as it stands now, we have eighteen spells that can be
attached to Isochron Scepter, so it should be seeing plenty
of use. However, I’m not satisfied with Barbed Lightning,
and we have four more slots to fill – six if we lower the
land count in this low casting cost deck.
I think this might be a deck where a full set of Leonin
Abunas is warranted. Isochron Scepter is the key to victory,
meaning an opponent with several artifact-removal spells
could be a *huge* issue. Leonin Abunas helps solve this
problem, and provides the deck’s pilot with a large blocker
if necessary. Let’s replace Barbed Lightning with the
somewhat more relevant Abunas.
-4 Barbed Lightning
+4 Leonin Abunas
I mentioned replacing a few land earlier, and here’s why –
if you look at every card in the deck thus far, aside from
Leonin Abunas, everything costs one or two mana. Twenty-four
lands seem like a bit much for that mana curve. Let’s cut
two land in favor of two more Welding Jars, which will help
protect the Isochron Scepters a little bit more.
+2 Welding Jar
Since we have four slots left, and aside from small burn
spells we have no big way to win, I want to add one more win
condition. With a single Isochron Scepter on the table, you
only really need two mana per turn, assuming you don’t have
another spell from hand to play. With this in mind, why
don’t we include a creature that is somewhat mana intensive?
Furnace Whelp fits that bill.
+4 Furnace Whelp
Again, we have a low mana curve in this deck. This means
that Cloudpost is probably unnecessary, so let’s cut that.
In its place (and in the place of a couple of basic lands),
we can add yet another way to deal damage – Blinkmoth Nexus.
+4 Blinkmoth Nexus
The last change I want to make is to swap two Plains for two
Mountains, just to smooth out the mana and to provide the
pilot with enough red mana to power Furnace Whelp.
I think that about wraps up work on this deck. Here’s what
it looks like…
4 Furnace Whelp
4 Leonin Abunas
NON-CREATURE SPELLS (30):
4 Holy Day
4 Isochron Scepter
4 Magma Jet
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Welding Jar
4 Volcanic Hammer
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
Hope that helps, and good luck!
I’ll see y’all next week.