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By: BaldEagle247, Peter Hollman
Jan 24 2008 12:37pm
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Last week, I talked about a deck using Neverending Torment as a win condition.  Last week i also said that this week's aritcle would be about Endless Swarm.  The only problem with that is when i started this series, i didn't realize how utterly horrible Endless Swarm was.  Except for in a snake deck, Beacon of Creation is better in every way, shape, and form.  Sure I could throw together some snake deck using it and call it a day, but i prefer to be inventive and not bore my readers.  This means that today I will focus on Undying Flames.  As some of my readers from last week have pointed out, there are two very effective uses of this card.  One of the uses would be to make a Red Green White deck and use Autochthon Wurm.  Another use would be Mono-Red with with cards like Myojin of Infinite Rage for land decimation while my flames slowly kills my opponent.  Rather than picking one and winging it, I'll construct two decks and let you decide which one is more effective
Undying Flames

 

Tamanoa
I'll begin with the Red Green White deck.  While Undying Flames can hit the opponent for sixteen damage, filling our deck with high mana cost cards is asking to die before we can play anything.  The first thing that we need is a back up plan, in case we can't cast our Undying Flames.  This comes in the form of Mirari's Wake and Heartbeat of Spring.  Wake is in my opinion one of the best casual cards out there.  No card can compare with the power it brings to the table.  Wake is the only mana boosting card which only affects your lands.  I can't overstate how powerful that is.  This allows a turn six Darksteel Colossus without any other mana acceleration, and hes a 12/12(not like that actually matters, he's gonna kill them either way)  Heartbeat can do the same thing, but it lets our opponents double their mana as well.  Also, wake costs five mana, to heartbeat's three, but in our deck, higher mana is better. 

Now that i have a backup plan, as well as a mana booster for playing my Undying Flames, I need some creature removal, and i need some that can go through our epic spell.  This means channel, which brings two cards to mind, Arashi, the Sky Asunder and Jiwari, the Earth Aflame.  Arashi takes out all of the pesky flyers while Jiwari nukes all the ground hugging creatures.  These cards are even more effective with Mirari's Wake or Heartbeat of Spring out.  Both of these creatures also help me with board control when they are in play, but their main goal is to help me stall until my Undying Flames can kill my opponent.  Wrath of God, one of the most famous mass removal cards in Magic, does not make it into my deck.  I thought long and hard about whether to include Wrath, but decided against it.  The entire goal of this deck is to get off a fast Undying Flames and to kill the opponent(s) before they have time to save themselves.  Its possible for this deck to go off on turn five, and kill them on that same turn, so Wrath seems kinda pointless to me, plus when i have creatures in play, they should be bigger than anything my opponent has.
Jiwari, the Earth Aflame

Reiterate
Undying Flames is a rather slow way to kill our opponent, considering it cannot do the twenty required damage in one hit.  This is where Reiterate comes in.  Reiterate allows us to copy our flames on the first play and hopefully kill them as soon as we play it.  It is also helped by its Buyback keyword, probably my favorite keyword ever. Walk the Aeons combo anyone?  Anyways, Reiterate allows us to copy spells, which helps against control decks, a counters counter if you will.  Because of Wake and Heartbeat, we should be able to play reiterate and its buyback many times on one turn, while we are waiting for our Undying Flames.  While every card mentioned so far is crucial to this deck, nothing, I repeat NOTHING helps us as much as Congregation at Dawn.  Some of my readers may have already figured it out, but just to be clear in regards to what this card does in this deck, i'll explain.  Congregation at Dawn on the same turn as Undying Flames allows me to reveal, lets say Draco, Darksteel Colossus and Autochthon Wurm for a combined fourty-two damage, and with one wake or heartbeat out, requiring only nine land, but we can do with six if we only replicate once, which would still hit our opponent for thirty-one damage.  This means that the turn after we play Mirari's Wake we can nail our opponent for thirty-one damage.   Rather than explain my mana base, i'll present the finished deck and let common sense explain my land.

Creatures: 14
3x Arashi, the Sky Asunder
3x Autochthon Wurm
3x Darksteel Colossus
2x Draco
3x Jiwari, the Earth Aflame

Land: 24
4x Forest
3x Mountain
1x Plains
2x Krosan Verge
4x Sacred Foundry
4x Stomping Ground
4x Temple Garden
2x Wooded Foothills

Enchantments: 6
4x Mirari's Wake
2x Heartbeat of Spring

Sorceries: 8
4x Farseek
4x Undying Flames

Instants: 8
4x Congregation at Dawn
4x Reiterate

Draco

He cost a lot of mana, which is good for us.

Now to move on to the mono-red version of this deck.  A few of the cards transfer over, as they work well in any setup of this deck.  Jiwari, the Earth Aflame, Reiterate, Darksteel Colossus and Draco all transfer over from the multi deck.   Myojin of Infinite Rage is a natural fit in this deck.  Not only is he a great card to reveal from Undying Flames, but he works amazing already on the field when we play Undying FlamesCrucible of Worlds seems like a great fit with him, but since i plan on using his ability only after i play my epic spell, it seems rather pointless.  The problem with this deck is it won't be as fast to kill as the previous version, because land accel is not nearly as prevalent with red as the only color.  This means that some good burn is needed.  Now for the burn to help us, we need it to have a fairly high mana cost in case we reveal it with Undying Flames and be effective at the same time.  Two such examples of this are Beacon of Destruction and Rift Bolt, as we can play the bolt for one mana but if revealed, it deals three damage.  The land works fairly easily with Cloudpost and Vesuva.  Another important addition is mana boosters, which red is famous for.  This deck works a lot like a Dragonstorm deck, with the goal being to get out an early myojin or Undying Flames. Without further ado, i present the second decklist, faster to get off, but perhaps slower to kill?
Myojin of Infinite Rage

Beacon of Destruction

Creatures: 14
2x Draco
3x Darksteel Colossus
3x Jiwari, the Earth Aflame
4x Myojin of Infinite Rage
2x Simian Spirit Guide

Land: 22
4x Cloudpost
4x Vesuva
14x Mountain

Insants: 14
4x Reiterate
4x Seething Song
4x Desperate Ritual
2x Beacon of Destruction

Sorceries: 10
2x Rift Bolt
4x Rite of Flame
4x Undying Flames

For the most part, the multi-colored deck will win as soon as it gets its combo off, but at times it can be slow.  The mono-red deck can go off on turn 1, and i've had a turn 1 kill by reiterating flames and revealing myojin and colossus, buts thats a rarity.  Altho getting a colossus or Myojin out turn 1 or 2 is game in itself.  The multi deck is more consistent, but the mono-red decks possibilities are endless.  Thats all for this week, and for my series on epic deck, as the last two spells are too horrible to create a deck around.  Next week i'll be back with a deck centered around some insane comboing off of Djinn Illuminatus. And no, it doesn't have to do with Pact of the Titan.