Deck Tech: Big Red with Joseph Pinkley
It seems like Koth of the Hammer has been sitting on the sidelines for months, anxiously watching as Hellrider, Huntmaster of the Fells and other red four-drops find their way into many starting lineups in the battle for Standard superiority. Well, don’t worry fans, because Joseph Pinkley decided to make this weekend hammer time.
Joseph Pinkley shows off his Big Red deck.
You see, ol’ parachute pants is the centerpiece for Joseph’s Big Red deck that accelerates into some very powerful plays like off of Sphere of the Suns and Koth’s second ability. Inferno Titan, Devil’s Play, Batterskull and Karn Liberated offer a dangerous spread of win conditions, and we’re not even counting Koth’s own knack for victory dances.
"I’ve been trying to get this deck to work for a while," Joseph said. "It’s basically built around three plans. The first is the normal control plan where you kill all of their guys and then drop huge bombs. That’s how it plays about sixty percent of the time. Then you have the two-four-six plan with Sphere of the Suns into Solemn Simulacrum into Inferno Titan. And then there’s Turbo Koth, where you ultimate Koth of the Hammer early with Tezzeret’s Gambit."
Joseph was inspired by his friend Scott Fitterer’s mono-red version that used Ichor Wellspring and Mycosynth Wellspring to enable its long game, but Josh decided to include a blue splash for Desperate Ravings, a card he thinks is one of the best draw spells in the format. Combined with Tezzeret’s Gambit—another underplayed draw spell—Joseph is able to grind out a lot of decks before quickly killing them with one of his many bombs. Tezzeret’s Gambit and Contagion Clasp also allow him to proliferate Koth into ultimate mode ahead of schedule, supplement the poison attack from Inkmoth Nexus, and keep his Sphere of the Suns from running dry.
And with all of the random artifacts lying around, Galvanic Blast becomes very powerful. Joseph thinks the card is underplayed in the format, so he’s making sure to show its strength off today by roasting everything to a metallic crisp before deploying his big boom booms. Devil’s Play and Red Sun’s Zenith provide outlets for all of the mana the deck can produce and they help take care of undying threats pretty easily while a full complement of Slagstorm plus two Whipflares in the sideboard keep swarms under control, and are especially good against the token decks that are catching on.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the deck is the Koth plan. Sphere of the Suns into Koth of the Hammer into a turn four emblem means no deck is going to live as Joseph gets free Rolling Thunders every turn for the rest of the game, allowing him to easily suppress or race any opposing threat. Even without it, the big red plan of early Inferno Titans backed by a boatload of removal should do the trick when he has to be the beatdown.
Joseph loves his deck, but admits he may have to retune the sideboard for the metagame in future tournaments. The deck is definitely a sweet idea that has the power to bust down any opponent, so it can’t be overlooked. Check it out below and let us know what you think. And don’t forget about all of the new toys red is going to get come Avacyn Restored.