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Thrash with Trash: Introducing the Star City
$0.15 Challenge! - by BSiems
- by BSiems
A few years ago, I wrote a small article for this here site about a homebrewed Tempest-only red Peasant deck that was inspired by a column written by Abe Sargent. In said article, I blatantly mentioned both Abe and Star City Games by name. Back in October, I made an aside referring to a piece I wrote for a competing Magic website. [Note to Self: I really need to write a sequel.]
And then there’s the title of today’s little ditty. Honestly, I don’t know why Ye Olde Pojo Editor still posts my articles.
But since he does (at least I’m assuming he’ll post this as I write this from my own fixed point in space-time, though there’s a first time for everything…) it’s time to explain my premise. In order to do so, I’ll once again namecheck Mister Sargent. Don’t worry, this will all be made as clear as mud soon enough.
A few years ago I read Abe’s article “A Real Burn Deck” detailing a Pauper deck built on a Sligh curve. The notable thing about the deck is not that it’s a burn deck, but that it is a burnt deck. Sargent played up the deck’s theme by literally burning a hole in each and every card. (Click on the preceding link if you don’t believe me.) Needless to say, this impressed me, so much so that I decided to build myself an exact copy of the deck. Since I didn’t feel like getting soot on my hands every time I played, my version would have a difference. Instead of burning each card one at a time, I decided I would take the deck of cards and my favorite rifle out to the nearest shooting range.
I still haven’t (literally) pulled the trigger, however. One particular problem I had with Abe’s deck is that it used a few commons that were just a bit too “expensive” to justify shooting to hell. (Yes, I did just say that sixty Magic commons were too expensive to shoot up immediately after mentioning owning a firearm that easily costs more than a booster box. Don’t judge my hypocritical cheapskate ass!) Therefore, I decided that I had to build a version of the deck that, while keeping to the spirit and intent of Abe’s original, used cards that were extremely cheap. The most common of the commons, as it were. To me, that meant cards that had been reprinted often, meaning that my choice of cards would be coming from the core sets.
With that set of criteria in place, it was time to consult with my favorite Magic online card database. That meant using Star City Games’ spoiler generator to create a list of potential cards. From there, I whittled down my list, shuffled up cards over and over again and repeated until I brewed up the following decklist.
JUNKASS SLIGH (Pauper format legal.)
24 RED CREATURES
4 Arc Runner
4 Goblin Arsonist
4 Goblin Brigand
2 Jackal Familiar
2 Lightning Elemental
4 Mogg Flunkies
4 Raging Goblin
15 RED SPELLS
1 Lava Axe
2 Spitting Earth
4 Volcanic Hammer
4 Wild Guess
4 Goblin Mountaineer
3 Seismic Stomp
A brief aside which I hope will tie things back to this article’s title; discounting popular cards for tournaments and the like, the cost of a typical common on Star City’s website is $0.15, with basic lands costing a quarter. (Ridiculous!) This particular deck costs $13.35 to order from SCG.
Anyway, I’ve been running this deck for about two years now, using it as a casual gunslinger (no pun intended) deck in one-on-one duals. It’s the kind of deck that’s fun to play in-between rounds at a tourney. As the deck is built on a Sligh curve, it has a simple enough game plan: cast creatures on every turn and go on the attack early & often while using your burn spells to clear the way. But since we are playing with what many tourney-obsessed snobs call “dreck,” I will go over some of the finer details of how the deck handles.
Let’s start with the Raging Goblin (who’s always raging about the world, his life, his family and the state of late night T.V.) who starts attacking on turn one, thanks to haste. The Goblin Brigands don’t have haste. They do have a similar hatred for life, as well as an “attacks every turn” clause.
The 2/2 Jackal Familiars -with a hang-up about attacking or blocking on their own- are cheap at a cost of R, but are too cowardly to go it alone. (“We’re good doggies! We never leave our Master and he never leaves us!”) Thus, this deck only packs two. The Mogg Flunkies also have the same weakness as the Jackals, which is more than made up for by their 3/3 bodies.
Speaking of cowardly, the Goblin Arsonist can be a surprisingly resilient threat. He puts the fear of God into opponents, who really don’t want to chump-block the Arsonist because of his “ping anything for 1 when he dies” clause.
A quartet of Arc Runners (5/1 hasters for 2R, but sac ‘em at the end of the turn) and a pair of Lightning Elementals (4/1 for 3R with haste) qualify as cheap, aggressive beef that doesn’t sit waiting. The low toughness does make them fragile, though. So it’s a good thing we have Fling!
Fling: 1R (common)
As an additional cost to cast Fling, sacrifice a creature. Fling deals damage equal to the sacrificed creature's power to target creature or player.
Fling may just be this deck’s secret weapon. With the exception of the Raging Goblins, any creature we throw at our opponent’s head will do at least Shock-equivalent damage. Also, the act of Flinging an Arc Elemental is a truly sublime experience.
The rest of the deck’s spells are burn, burn and more burn. Volcanic Hammers and Spitting Earth are for killing opposing critters while the lone Lava Axe is included as a game finisher (and a tribute to Abe’s deck, which ran two copies.) Oh yeah, there’s also four Wild Guesses ‘cause a little card draw to keep the assault going is always nice.
The sideboard itself is, admittedly, a mess. Goblin Mountaineers are included for the “mirror” match against other red decks, Seismic Stomps will hopefully hose flyers, and Smelts to deal with artifacts in general and Affinity in particular. And if you’re wondering about the inclusion of Stun, its’ primary use is for combat evasion, not card draw. (You will almost always swap it in place of the Wild Guesses, though.)
Hmmmm. It occurs to me that “Junkass Sligh” is horribly outdated. Unfortunately for you, gentle readers, both my word count and patience have reached an end. I leave it to you to figure out how to update and upgrade this deck. Until then, I remain…
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