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IQ on Magic: the Gathering

(UGR) Wildfire
April 27, 2006

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”


We’re witnessing an environment taken over by multi colored creatures and spells. An environment where mono-color decks are a thing of the past, but could those two and three color decks withstand loosing most if not all of their lands? It’s time to get back to the basics.




            We’ve all seen Wildfire decks and their eternal struggle to survive long enough to achieve their purpose. Always fighting an uphill battle against a quick rush, practically giving up against control and hoping it can go off before your opponent’s combo is set off. With all of those deck archetypes in our current environment trying to revive this forgotten deck seems near impossible. An old proverb tells us to never give up because if we try hard enough we will find a solution to every problem. Lets put it to the test.




            The theory which is a lot easier said than done is rather simple. If you’re afraid of being rushed, play more creatures. If counter magic is the problem, play some of your own. If you’re too slow, play acceleration and so on. We know what we need, now we only need to find cards that can cover our basic needs. The first thing we need is utility, look for creatures that can serve multiple purposes. We need more speed, a bit of counter magic and ways to deal with whatever any opponent may throw out there. As you can see we want a lot of things and have a lot of potential problems to take care of. The best thing we can do at this point is take things one step at a time.

            Let’s start off with a way to stop the fastest rush an opponent can send our way. The best way to cover that is with a decent amount of low cost creatures, this is where Sakura-Tribe Elder, Wood Elves, Coiling Oracle and Silkwing Scout come into play. Not only are all of those creatures easy to play in the early game but they also have the ability to get more lands into play. Coiling Oracle is the only one that’s not guaranteed to get a land into play but worst case scenario he draws you an extra card, not too bad for a creature that only costs two.

            That should give us a fighting chance against the quickest of decks and it also gives us enough acceleration to keep up with your average combo engine. The next part of the equation requires us to play a bit of counter magic which is where Mana Leak and Remand come into play. Remand is almost mandatory because of its ability to counter any spell for one blue and one colorless and most importantly because it allows you to draw a card while you’re at it. Mana Leak is a blast of the past, but it’s as good as the day it was released. For the same cost of Remand it allows you to do just about the same thing, except for the card drawing part but who can complain when you only need one blue mana to be able to play either counter spell?

            From what we have so far it looks like we’ve answered all of our problems and even have a couple of Repeals for flavor and to handle any pesky cards we don’t want in play.    




            As you can see by now this deck has two major weapons, speed and power. The early game is all about getting your land in play as quickly as possible to make ensure you’re the one calling the shots, instead of trying to catch up to your opponent. You have fifteen creatures that can help you get all the acceleration you need, the only thing you have to decide is in which order to play them. The only thing to keep in mind is to make sure to have two red sources by turn four or five which is usually when you can play the first Wildfire if you need to reset the board.

            You’ll be able to either have a lot of small creatures in play or force your opponent into top deck mode and pray he draws lands. Either way, that alone is not enough to win the game. The small creatures as useful as they may be are not strong enough to take out your opponent and he will eventually draw more lands and replenish his resources. This is where the big guns come into play.

All of your other creatures can withstand Wildfire and they each pack a punch along with miscellaneous abilities your opponent will not be happy to see. Take Protean Hulk for example, he’s a beast that’s as big as they come but his ability to get other creatures from your deck into play when he hits your graveyard is just as devastating as his 6/6 strength and defense. If your opponent is able to take him out, he can get another threat into play like Keiga, the Tide Star or Cerulean Sphinx but if what you need is a bit of acceleration lets not forget about bringing three Coiling Oracles or Sakura-Tribe Elders on his way out.




            Once again I’m still waiting to see the new “decks to beat” before I finalize the sideboard, but I can already tell you I see four Blood Moons in it. It’s safe to assume every deck out there will at least be playing two colors and there might be a few that’ll push their consistency and try three. This deck itself runs three colors but most of the lands are basic and most importantly the deck was built with Blood Moon in mind. Once Blood Moon hits play the deck will offer ten mountains, seven islands, eight forest and you’ll still have fifteen creatures that’ll help you tutor for any land you may need, something your opponent won’t be able to fall back on.

            To be honest, I’m dying to play the Blood Moons main and drop the two Repeals, one Mana Leak and one other but want to see what the environment will look like first. I know it sounds crazy but once you stop and think about it long and hard it almost makes a bit of sense. = )



That’s pretty much the deck and all there is to know about it. I can sit here and tell you just how fast and consistent it is but what’s the fun in that? Try it out and take it for a test drive, you just might like how it runs. I dare say the final version will probably drop two lands and trade them for Sensei’s Divining Top but I’ll leave that up to you. After all, you have to figure out what works for you.


Q Signing off.  





Land: 25

2x Breeding Pool

2x Steam Vent

4x Stomping Ground

2x Mountain

7x Island

8x Forest


Creatures: 21

4x Sakura-Tribe Elder

4x Coiling Oracle

4x Wood Elves

3x Silkwing Scout

1x Arashi, the Sky Asunder

1x Cerulean Sphinx

2x Keiga, the Tide Star

1x Protean Hulk

1x Simic Sky Swallower


Other: 14

2x Repeal

4x Remand

4x Mana Leak

4x Wildfire




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