Today I'm going to show you how you can take an existing archetype and make it a new monster by just changing or adding a color. We can add many dimensions to an existing deck by doing this. Why change an existing deck's colors? Because we know the existing shell is already good and who doesn't like adding blue or other colors to existing decks? Let's get to painting!
First we look at R/G Wolf Run Ramp. Wolf Run is obviously a very good deck but what if we cut the red in favor of blue? BUT ALI WE LOSE KESSIG WOLF RUN OMGOMGOMGWTF!!! Yea I know but we gain blue! And blue supports ramp so well. If you over-ramp you usually have ways to take advantage of that by drawing more cards. Let's get to painting shall we?
- 2 Wurmcoil Engine
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 3 Azure Mage
- 2 Consecrated Sphinx
- 2 Primeval Titan
- 2 Snapcaster Mage
- 2 Treasure Mage
Yep a whooping 27 land in a ramp deck. Who da thunk it? That's the beauty of blue in this deck though. You can ramp as much as you want and not have to worry since you have mana dumps that draw you cards; love Azure Mage! You want to try and refrain from casting Azure Mage early. You'd rather have her when you have six mana so you get at least one activation from her. Have you ever hit someone with a Sword of Feast and Famine while having an Azure Mage? It's pretty insane…
I'm running Buried Ruins to just recur Mindslavers. Too cute? F*** no! More like backbreaking! Gloat in your opponent's face because he doesn't want to scoop. Seriously though I could see running four Inkmoth Nexus over the Buried Ruins. It just depends on your play style; both are insanely good against control decks. I'm gonna stick with Buried Ruins for now.
You have an edge against R/G Wolf Run because of your counterspells and swords. After board you want to become a control deck that counters everything then drops a Sphinx Titan Slaver or Blue Sun's Zenith for a million. I'd be very tempted to cut the Swords from the main deck if I think they are bringing in Ancient Grudge. I would definitely cut them games 2 and 3 if I killed them game one with a Sword of Feast and Famine.
Against U/B you want to keep pressuring them as much as possible. Don't be afraid to Mana Leak an early Forbidden Alchemy since they can't really punish you turn 4 or 5. Games 2 and 3 you really don't want to play the counter war with them since they can gain more card advantage than you through Think Twice Forbidden Alchemy and Nephalia Drownyard.
If you really want to play the countermagic game then I suggest playing an Elixir of Immortality and another Buried Ruin in the board. This will allow you to stop them from milling you. A trick you can pull against Dissipate targeting your artifacts is to Mana Leak your own spell so you can return it with Buried Ruin. It's nothing amazing but you may want to do it.
After boarding you pick up another set of Nexus Contagion Engine Negates Mindslaver and Witchbane Orb. Orb may look inconspicuous but it will shine in this matchup. It turns off any hand disruption edict effects but most importantly their Drownyard. Man that thing can be really annoying sometimes! After sneaking in some poison you can end them with Contagion Engine.
If you like playing lands and drawing cards give this deck a go!
I was talking to Justin Parnell earlier and I told him how I was adding colors to decks. He said “What about adding blue to Mono Red?” I laughed at first but then got to thinking—that's actually not a bad idea. Let's look at a skeleton!
Can you believe it? I actually built a deck that doesn't auto-lose to RDW. It's also a deck with mostly red cards. I must be going insane! I actually think this deck looks like a blast to play. I never got to play Blue/Red Counterburn. That archetype was before my day. Maybe I'll have a chance to play it now.
This deck looks very interesting to say the least. The worst part about this deck is obviously the manabase but we can't do much about that. It's a shame that Stensia Bloodhall is red/black. The only other card I thought about was Ghost Quarter but Ghost Quarter would mainly be there for Inkmoth Nexus and we already have plenty of burn spells for it.
Brimstone Volley is so so powerful. It's not as strong as Shrine of Burning Rage but it can do some heavy lifting. Flashing in a Snapcaster after they've declared attacks seems amazing with Brimstone Volley. You get to kill a guy and then kill another guy or dome them for five! A quarter of your opponent's life for three mana is nothing to scoff at.
This deck should have a good matchup against U/B since you have so many threats they can't deal with. You have Chandra's Phoenix Koth of the Hammer and Shrine of Burning Rage which just kills them outright if they don't answer it immediately. They also can't afford to mill you since if they mill Phoenixes you can start bringing them back to your hand with any burn spell. Bringing in another Koth and the last Phoenix should seal the deal for U/B Control.
Game one may be rough against Wolf Run but after boarding you'll have ten counterspells to keep them in check. They also can't block the Phoenix without sacrificing an Inkmoth Nexus. Geistflame along with all your other burn will make sure Inkmoth Nexus doesn't poison you too much and that their mana dorks die. You just have to be careful of Dungrove Elder and Thrun the Last Troll. Those creatures are why I like Wurmcoil Engine more than Batterskull in this type of deck. The Engine gives you plenty of time against Thrun and it kills Dungrove Elders.
Your red matchup seems like it would be pretty even. You can counter or burn all their guys and kill them with a Phoenix or Koth. Late game you can recuperate with Blue Sun's Zenith and Snapcaster Mage. The only major problem I see is a resolved Shrine of Burning Rage; since you have no way to deal with it and it forces you to race them. They are better suited for the race since they have creatures as well. If Shrine becomes too much of an issue we could start running Disperse in the board.
I thought about playing Volt Charge and/or Tezzeret's Gambit in this deck with more Koths and Chandra the Firebrand but I decided to try and make it as competitive as possible. Who knows though? That may be a legitimate strategy with this archetype. Only time will tell!
I know I'll be trying this deck out at my FNMs soon. If it's good enough I'll take it to a bigger tournament.
I see a lot of people giving up on Solar Flare and it makes me really sad. I really like Reanimator decks; they are just fun and solid decks. We also haven't had one in Standard for some time. So let's try and revive it shall we?
- 1 Wurmcoil Engine
- 2 Phantasmal Image
- 1 Rune-Scarred Demon
- 3 Snapcaster Mage
- 2 Sun Titan
- 1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
A lot of people are going lower and lower on Unburial Rites and I'm not sure why. The card is really good against U/B forcing them to use two counters or a Dissipate on it. Hopefully you can try and play around Dissipate because that card is your trump against them game one. Games 2 and 3 Distress should hopefully help clear the way for your spells to resolve. I personally still like Liliana of the Veil in this deck. All her abilities are useful in this deck. So she stays for now.
If you haven't noticed yet I feel like 8+ counters against Wolf Run along with some removal for Inkmoth Nexus is where you want to be against them. This deck does that too after boarding. You also have Elesh Norn main deck to shut off Inkmoth Nexus if they start getting out of hand. Also don't forget that if you need a pseudo Plague Wind you can play Phantasmal Image copying Elesh Norn to give all your opponent's creatures -4/-4. We are also no longer running Oblivion Ring because that card is garbage against Wolf Run. I've had one too many Oblivion Rings Beasted Within at end of turn. If they all adopt the Dungrove Elder plan you may want a third Ms. Vess or a Tribute to Hunger in addition to the Wurmcoil Engine in the board.
Many people know about the Sun Titan and Phantasmal Image trick. This trick also works well with Rune-Scarred Demon. The Demon can tutor up Phantasmal Images which will act as another Demon that tutors up another Image or whatever you need. Need more fuel? Grab another Unburial Rites. Want to protect yourself against any spell your opponent may cast? Get the Dissipate. Want to easily recover from a Wrath effect? Get Sun Titan. Playing against Mono Red? Grab that Wurmcoil Engine.
I really like this deck and would hate to see it fade away so quickly. Live Solar Flare live!!!
The Power 5
Justin Parnell the author of Cubers Anonymous and I are working on a made-up cube of 360 cards. We are creating cards from scratch with their own abilities and mechanics. Unfortunately we believe it will take us about one year to finish the whole cube. This cube will support up to eight players. We assume that about one hundred or so cards will just be renamed since they are staples like Counterspell Rampant Growth and Lightning Bolt. Everything else will be unique. All planeswalkers will be unique; we will have new mechanics that don't currently exist and we will have new “power.”
Instead of blue having most of the power cards like Ancestral Recall Time Walk and Mana Drain we gave each color a power card. We made the power cards so that every color would want its power card. We also didn't make all the power cards instants or sorceries. Every week for the next four weeks I will be spoiling a power card in this cube. The power card for this week is white; it's an enchantment and it's pretty sick.
Art by Anneth Lagamo.
What a beauty!
Thanks for reading folks heart you all!
Ali the Dreamer