Type 2 Fires

Christian submitted this version of his fires deck for type 2.  He's a self-described "newbie" crossing over from pokemon, and to welcome him into the fold of us magical cards players, I'll help him tune his deck to its maximum beatdown potential.  So, here's the list he sent me:

>3x Flametongue Kavu
>4x Blastoderm
>4x Saproling Burst
>3x Shivan Wurm
>3x Sparkcaster
>4x Llanowar Elves

>4x Seal of Fire
>4x Urza's Rage
>3x Armadillo Cloak
>3x Aura Mutation
>4x Fires of Yavimaya
>3x Rhystic Lightning

>4x Mountains
>4x Forest
>3x Shivan Oasis
>3x Treetop Village
>4x Rith's Grove

         So, for those who aren't familiar with the deck, Fires uses elves and other mana creatures and fires of yavimaya to bring out big creatures and send them over to beat your opponent in the head staggeringly quickly.  Of note is the fact that with fires in play, saproling burst lets you create three 4/4 creatures that can attack that turn.  Not bad eh?
         The first thing I want to do with the deck is manipulate thecreature base a bit.  I like llanowar elves, blastoderms, saproling bursts, and shivan wurms.  Flametongue kavu I'm unsure about, I tend to favor the more versatile ancient hydra.  The advantages of the hydra are that it has one more power, and its better for killing multiple creatures as rebels and fires, the two most popular decktypes are known for running.  The one main disadvantage being that it costs more and it has an activation cost, meaning you have to wait before you start picking off your opponents creatures left and right.  Also, the ancient hydra becomes a lot more potent than flametongue kavu with gating, as it can smack the player around too if necessary.  So lets make the hydras a staple, and cut the sparkcaster, which, while decent, don't hold the fort as well, and can cause some annoying situations if you happen to suffer a wrath of god or perish, as they'l just 'gate' themselves.  Also, I feel two cards are absolutely key in this deck:  birds of paradise, and river boa.  Birds because they not only speed you up, but they stabilize your mana also, and river boas because they can singlehandedly smash counter-rebel and skies in the face, as those decks may let you force it through early when they don't have 2 mana or when they don't have a counter ready.  Shivan wurms will stay at three so gating doesn't mess up the tempo of the deck, and only 2 hydras will go in, so the curve does not become obscenely high.  So lets see what we've got for creatures:

4 Birds of Paradise
4 Llanowar Elves
4 River Boa
4 Blastoderm
4 Saproling Burst
2 Ancient Hydra
3 Shivan Wurm

Now onto the spells.  As I see it, of the spells Christian had in this deck, two are musts:  Urza's Rage and Fires of Yavimaya.  Fires is obvious, so I'll explain Urza's Rage.  Counter rebel and Blue Skies are your toughest opponents, and Urza's rage is a terrific way to finish off an opponent or creature that's giving you trouble.  I chose rage over ghitu fire, because even though ghitu fire can kill bigger things and do more damage, its also very easily counterable/preventable, which is something we don't like too much.  So now we're up to 31 cards.  Neither the rage or fires are so vital that we need more than three of them.  We've got room for five cards, and I'll explain why that is when we get to the land.  If you just can't wait, scroll down to the next paragraph, pal.  These last three cards will be cards that fill a need the deck has.  This is sort of my experimental area of the deck.  I'll try out a theory, and you let me know if its crack babble or gold when you get around to it.  I'll make the last five cards like this:  3 thornscape battlemage, and 2 thunderscape battlemage.  The red battlemage(thunderscape) can force discards and also kills annoying enchantments, like fires, burst, crusade, parallax wave, etc, etc, and can occasionally force a discard from your opponent.  The green one(thornscape) does two damage anywhere(a good replacement for the seals of fire we took out, since its a creature to boot), and if you want, Mr. Thorny battlemage can also dispense with an annoying millstone or chimeric Idol when convenient.  All this for 5 mana?!  Seems a good deal to me.
         Now to the foundation of the deck: land.  In a deck that has as many high casters as this, you load it with land, and run the risk of drawing a lot of land in the late game so you draw a lot in the early game and can out guns blazing against your opponent.  If all goes well, there won't be a late-game, as they'll be dead.  We can also add lots of cool lands to this deck to make kicker a lot easier to pay, along with the ever-helpful birds of paradise.  We'll put in city of brass, about, say...12 forests, as we can't afford to draw a hand without green-producing lands in it, 4 karplusan forest, and 2 sulfurous springs and 2 brushland.  That's 24!  I love it when a plan comes together.  So does Hannibal Smith.  The older guys should get that, if you don't, e-mail or just don't worry about it, its not really important.   Two little notes:  treetop village isn't really type 2, so its not advisable, and shivan oasis and rith's grove slow you down too much to risk.  The whole idea is to destroy your opponents creatures and come tromping over with your before they know what hit them.  If you give them time, they do mean things like search out rebels, wrath of god, parallax wave, or fly over you for lots of damage.  I ain't down wit dat, see?  So lets check the finished product!

4 Birds of Paradise
4 Llanowar Elves
4 River Boa
3 Thornscape Battlemage(if this or his brother suck, substitute earthquakes or simoons)
2 Thunderscape Battlemage
4 Blastoderm
2 Ancient Hydra
3 Shivan Wurm

3 Urza's Rage
3 Fires of Yavimaya
4 Saproling Burst(it makes creatures, but its important to remember its a spell)

12 Forest
4 City of Brass
4 Karplusan Forest
2 Brushland
2 Sulfurous Springs

Hope I helped ya out Christian, see you guys in a Flash!
-Wally West