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By: JustSin, Dave
Feb 02 2010 3:33am
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Mono Red Enchantments

This week in the Enchantment Cycle we're going to continue the mono colored theme from last week.  If you missed it, last time I talked about the power of black enchantments, a color much like red that sees very little enchantment love.  If one was asked to name a red enchantment perhaps the first that would come to mind would be:

Blood Moon

Mono red decks have been dominating in almost every format available to Magic players, especially when goblins are added into the mix.  From Standard to Tribal to 100 Card Singleton there will always be someone who makes a top 8 thanks to the power of red mana.  Blood Moon is usually a key to this deck and in singleton decks you always want Magus of the Moon as well.  Shutting down the mana production of lands through this enchantment adds a bit of disruption to a deck type that is known for fast starts.  Quick burn then continues to dominate especially when you take away the lands from your opponent early on.  But there is more to red enchantments then just Blood Moon.

Another enchantment you'll see in casual play and often in multiplayer is....

Confusion in the Ranks

Not very fun to play against if you ask me, but I do see it all the time.  Several of the good red enchantments don't see play as much these days, but used to have a place in strong decks.  They often times deal with the key characteristic of red mana, which means doing basic damage and keeping the fury of battle going strong.  Take a look at some of the best enchantments that red has to offer:

Goblin Bombardment Havoc Lightning Rift Manabarbs
Pyrohemia Pyrostatic Pillar Pyromancer's Swath Genju of the Spires
Seal of Fire Seismic Assault Sulfuric Vortex Pandemonium

When you take a look at some of these you start to realize that there is more of a depth to the red enchantment pool then you may have thought at first glance.  These enchantments have seen play in decks in combination with some powerful things such as Life from the Loam and have helped those fast red decks burn down opponents.  However, none of these will be the focus of my deck today.  No, today's deck will have a focus that has been noticed by a few before me though I apologize I won't be hunting down the links to those articles.  This one red enchantment in particular got a second wind thanks to the rules changes that came with M10.  Can you guess what it is?.....

Braid of Fire

Yep, now that players can no longer take damage from mana burn, cards that produce extra mana get a new life.  Before these rules changes this card was worthless because it was incredibly hard to get rid of the mana that Braid of Fire generates.  You would have to fill your deck with useless cards just to siphon mana.  Now it no longer matters whether or not you use that mana that is produced by Braid of Fire.  I set about to find a bunch of cards that would work well with the mana produced through Braid of Fire.  The first card I knew that I wanted to go with this enchantment was a new mythic creature that is considered by most to be useless.

Obsidian Fireheart

The ability isn't the best way to siphon out the mana, but to turn all of an opponent's lands against him is a great way to keep on the pressure without doing any work.  Whether or not you cast spells eventually the opponent's own lands will kill him.  The other creatures I found, which I thought would be good ways to siphon off mana were...

Rakdos Pit Dragon Magma Phoenix Kumano, Master Yamabushi

The Rakdos Pit Dragon is a perfect way to clear out mana and with the fire breathing ability you can pump him to crazy sizes.  The Magma Phoenix on the other hand acts as a board clear and you can keep bringing him back almost for free thanks to Braid of Fire.  Then you have Kumano who finally finds a place where he belongs.  With the big mana that can be produced each turn through the braid Kumano becomes a relative machine gun.  With those creatures in place I set about filling in the rest of the deck and here is what I came up with:

 


The Other Red Enchantments:

Blood Moon Blood Moon:  Not much to say about this.  It is one of the most dominating red enchantments out there.  Though it may seem like an odd choice in a deck running only 9 basic lands, but since there are only two in the deck they serve as more of a back up plan instead of a main strategy.

Dragon Roost Dragon Roost:  This is a great enchantment as long as you have the mana to make it worth it.  If you get into the mid to late game with at least one Braid of Fire you'll soon be getting easily the 7 mana you need to make one token.  In fact you can even accelerate to getting this online relatively early in the game and start pumping out multiple dragons each upkeep.

Now I know you're thinking the same thing I am... there are only 8 enchantments in this deck... that's not really a focus, but here's the thing.  I could fit in more enchantments just to add enchantments to the deck or I can try and keep the synergy together.  By focusing the deck's strategy on a single strength (getting out Braid of Fire and use it to pump out lots of damage and other mana effects) I make the few enchantments there are in the deck more important.  I think it is definitely to this deck's advantage to keep the focus on powering out these mana effects.

Some of the things I wanted to add to the deck in addition to the use of Braid of Fire are the added burn from Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and some search from Solemn Simulacrum (one of my favorite little creatures if you haven't noticed).  Also the Volcanic Geysers allow for a Fireball like burn spell that can be cast at instant speed.  I figured to really get the best use out of the braid mana I would have to use spells that could be cast during the upkeep such as those Grab the Reins and even Starstorm.  I think all the parts of this deck are well focused, maybe more-so then some of the decks I usually build.  So let's see how it performs....


So I sit down to start playing some games... here's how the first few go...

>>> jefguitar sits and the game goes on as usual.  On turn 5 I play Lightning Bolt targeting Seeker of Skybreak and my opponent concedes.  Apparently creature kill isn't casual enough for jefguitar.
>>> Caparco sits down.  He plays turn 1 Forest and passes.  I play turn 1 Terramorphic Expanse and crack it (I know same turn use how rebellious!)... in response Caparco concedes.  Apparently land fetch isn't casual either.
>>> TupakAmaru sits down.  By turn 3 he has three non-basic lands and while I have a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle in play, I still cast Blood Moon.  He concedes... O-K.  I guess I can understand this at least.  That Blood Moon might as well have been an Armageddon when running only non-basic lands.
>>> dla362 sits down.  I keep my hand and he drops to 6.  Then 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... concede.  I hate when people do this.
>>> dovehunter sits down.  Turn 1 he drops a forest.  Turn 2 I drop a Braid of Fire.  He concedes.  What?

What a start 5 games in a row couldn't actually get played for.. no apparent reason... thankfully the 6th time is the charm and it plays out.... I really hope this isn't setting the tone for the rest of the games.

Citanul Flute Razormane Masticore Cloudthresher

Game 1
Opponent: raymond.nee
Deck Type: Mono Green Aggro

Opening Hand:
Obsidian FireheartBraid of FireSnow-Covered MountainDragon RoostRakdos Pit DragonTerramorphic ExpanseSolemn Simulacrum

It's always nice to see a Braid of Fire in the opening hand... especially after the start I had with those other games.  I get it out and started on turn 2, but it stalls out because I can't get enough land to play something that would use the mana.  I even cycle Starstorm trying to find some land.  During the search I even get another Braid of Fire in play on turn 4.  On my opponent's turn 5 he plays a Citanul Flute and starts using it to find creatures thanks to a lot of extra land built up with early game fetches.  Finally on turn 6 I get a fourth land and am torn between casting the Solemn Simulacrum and Obsidian Fireheart.  I get more land going with the simulacrum, but with the fireheart I could start using the mana generated by the Braid of Fires.  I decide that I'm pretty well off so I can get the extra land first.  On turn 7 my opponent plays Acidic Slime and killing the Braid of Fire with the most counters.  On my following turn I draw my third Braid of Fire, but decide to play the Obsidian Fireheart as a means to use the mana from braid.  On turn 8 I use the braid mana to blaze counter a land as well as playing a Braid of Fire and Rakdos Pit Dragon.  At the end of my turn my opponent tutors an answer with his Citanul Flute in the form of Razormane Masticore.  Thankfully I get a turn before it starts killing things and this allows me to kill it with Volcanic Geyser and 5 braid mana.  I use the rest of my mana to blaze a second land.  On my next turn I use the braid mana to blaze a third and fourth land.  As I attack with my Rakdos Pit Dragon my opponent plays Cloudthresher and using it to block.  I pump the dragon and both die, but with the damage done thanks to Cloudthresher my opponent loses at the start of his turn thanks to the 4 damage his blazed lands cause him.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 1 - 0

Oran-Rief Survivalist Rampaging Baloths Tajuru Archer

Game 2
Opponent: BRAU74
Deck Type: RG Aggro

Opening Hand:
Forgotten CaveSnow-Covered MountainBarbarian RingGrab the ReinsBraid of FireStarstormBarbarian Ring

Not the best hand for land, but it can still get a turn 2 Braid of Fire.  My opponent starts with a Llanowar Elves and Wurm's Tooth.  With a turn 3 Borderland Ranger and a turn 4 Oran-Rief Survivalist he also gets quite an early life lead.  During my following upkeep I use the Braid of Fire mana to wipe the board using Starstorm.  The following turn my opponent plays Prized Unicorn and I respond with Magma Phoenix.  On turn 6 my opponent plays Highland Berserker and I use my turn 6 to make a mistake.  With the mana from Braid of Fire I was going to take the unicorn and throw it at the berserker, but misclick and don't entwine.  Instead I decide to Lightning Bolt the berserker in hopes of at least getting the damage from the unicorn through, but instead my opponent Lightning Bolts my phoenix and clears the board.  With a fresh start I use my remaining land to cast Rakdos Pit Dragon.  With no response I swing next turn for 9.  The following turn my opponent drops a Rampaging Baloths and makes a token so I'm forced to clear the board once again using Starstorm.  Over the next couple of turns my opponent drops Deadly Recluse and Tajuru Archer as I draw nothing, but lands.  Thankfully on turn 11 I draw Volcanic Geyser.  Turn 12 I use the 10 mana from Braid of Fire to easily use the Volcanic Geyser to burn down my opponent's remaining 12 life.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 2 - 0

Ivory Tower Rakdos Guildmage Sword of Light and Shadow

Game 3
Opponent: GCrunch7
Deck Type: Mono Black

Opening Hand:
Terramorphic ExpanseBraid of FireLightning BoltStarstormObsidian FireheartFungal ReachesKeldon Megaliths

This was a great opening hand, one of the best you can get in my opinion.  It starts with a turn 1 Ivory Tower from my opponent, but with the damage this deck can pump out through crazy ramping mana that's not a concern.  Turn 2 I start with my Braid of Fire.  Turn 3 I use the braid mana to add a counter to Fungal Reaches and hit my opponent with Lightning Bolt.  Turn 4 I get out Obsidian Fireheart and he's ready to put out his first counter off of braid in the following turn.  I do so then swing for 4 and add a second blaze counter.  On turn 5 my opponent plays a Rakdos Guildmage, which I promptly remove with a second Lightning Bolt.  The next turn I use the braid mana for another counter on my Fungal Reaches and cast a Rakdos Pit Dragon.  On turn 6 my opponent plays a Sword of Light and Shadow, but won't ever see a creature to equip it to.  Turn 7 I use mana to add a third blaze counter and pump the dragon to 8/3.  On my opponent's next turn he drops to 4 life because of his lands and decides to concede after the draw. Adding "gg, nice deck", why thank you, it's nice to see someone talk.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 3 - 0

Ornithopter Steel Wall Telepathy

POTENTIAL GLITCH ALERT!!!!
This game contains a glitch interaction with Obsidian Fireheart

Game 4
Opponent: TheBlueKnight
Deck Type: Blue with Artifacts

Opening Hand:
Snow-Covered MountainBraid of FireTerramorphic ExpanseBraid of FireKeldon MegalithsSnow-Covered MountainLightning Bolt

This wasn't a great starting hand, but two Braid of Fires and the potential to dump my hand and use Keldon Megaliths seemed somewhat promising.  Here is my opponent's turn 1:

Seat of the Synod > Ornithopter > Ornithopter > Telepathy


I HATE Telepathy.  I really don't like people knowing in my hand constantly.  It drives me nuts, but I have no choice other than play on.  Turn 2 I get my first Braid of Fire in play and the second on turn 3 as well as hitting my opponent with Lightning Bolt.  On my opponent's turn 4 he plays Welding Jar and Counsel of the Soratami.  On my following turn I play Magma Phoenix.  More artifacts hit the board in the form of Steel Wall.  Now here's where some issues arise.  My opponent has Seat of the Synod, Cloudpost, and Lonely Sandbar as three of his four lands so I decide its a good time to play Blood Moon, which then makes those all Mountains.  The whole time I continue to attack with Magma Phoenix and he never chooses to block.  This makes me nervous because I don't know what he's building up to, but I'm sure it won't be pretty.  He continues to play draw spells, but nothing to show his combo.  The following turn I play Obsidian Fireheart and then use my next turn's mana to put a blaze counter on each of his lands.  Here's where the issue comes in.  My opponent is at 5 life and I have just put blaze counters on 5 of his lands.  I decide not to attack and just pass the turn in order to let the lands kill him.  But instead of taking 5 damage only the lands not changed into Mountains by Blood Moon trigger for the blaze counter!  Now someone can feel free to comment if I'm missing something, but they were lands... that had blaze counters... there aren't any other stipulations.  Any way I still get the win, but it takes me an extra turn... that could have been bad if my opponent got whatever he needed to make his deck work.  It seemed he was building to something, but I'd never find out what.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 4 - 0

Before this game started I was thinking of dropping the Blood Moons because there had been a couple times in previous games where I had them as dead cards in my hand.  This is works against me because it means without playing them I can't get the hellbent effect of the Keldon Megaliths.  However, they became very beneficial in this game because it stranded my opponent with only one Island for a couple of turns.  So I guess I'll take them along in another couple of games and see what happens.

Shock Puncture Bolt Sudden Impact

Game 5
Opponent: marios8
Deck Type: Mono Red Burn

Opening Hand:
Lightning BoltMagma PhoenixRakdos Pit DragonBraid of FireSolemn SimulacrumSnow-Covered MountainVolcanic Geyser
Mulligan to 6:
Lightning BoltTerramorphic ExpanseValakut, the Molten PinnacleBarbarian RingRakdos Pit DragonBraid of Fire

Well I wasn't happy to have to drop to 6, but I could have had a much worse six... this hand at least still had a Braid of Fire, which of course gets played turn 2.  On turn 3 I hit my opponent with Lightning Bolt and get hit back with Shock.  Turn 4 I draw a second Braid of Fire and play it.  As a response my opponent hits me with Volcanic Hammer.  On turn 5 I cast a Rakdos Pit Dragon and have my first out for braid mana.  Unfortunately on my opponent's turn he hits it twice with Puncture Bolt.  A Sudden Impact on turn 7 takes me to 10 life and I respond by using braid mana to hit my opponent with Volcanic Geyser for 6, dropping him to 11.  On turn 8 my opponent plays his first creature with Karplusan Yeti and I respond when I drew my 5th land to play Magma Phoenix.  The next turn my opponent plays a Ogre Taskmaster and attacks.  I of course block, killing the phoenix and wiping the board, although it dropped me to 6 life.  I'm very excited at this point because for the first time I get to use braid mana to resurrect a Magma Phoenix from my grave to my hand.  So it's now turn 9 and I'm at only 6 life.  With a Barbarian Ring in play I decide to play Blood Moon in order to stop myself from losing life to my mana source.  I just can't afford it at this point.  On my opponent's turn he casts a Seething Song and I assume its game over.... but then he passes the turn.  O-K.  My draw on turn 10 is a Rakdos Pit Dragon, which I pump to a 17/3 flyer off of Braid of Fire x2 and swing for the win.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 5 - 0

Swords to Plowshares Lich's Mirror Necropotence

Game 6
Opponent: baguaboy
Deck Type: BWR Cool Stuff

Opening Hand:
Snow-Covered MountainBarbarian RingRakdos Pit DragonLightning BoltObsidian FireheartRakdos Pit DragonBraid of Fire

This was a great hand if only I had drawn land earlier.  As you can guess turn 2 Braid of Fire and use the mana for a turn 3 Lightning Bolt to the head.  On turn 4 my opponent plays Duress and forces me to discard Volcanic Geyser.  I finally get my third land on turn 5 and on my opponent's turn he plays a Royal Assassin followed by Khabal Ghoul.  On turn 7 I play Obsidian Fireheart with a thought in mind.  As expected my opponent kills it with Terminate and thus pumping the ghoul.  This opens the opportunity for him to attack and for me to use the six mana from braid in order to use Grab the Reins to steal his assassin.  My plan was to use the assassin to kill the ghoul, but he responds with a Lightning Bolt to kill the assassin instead.  With that plan ruined I play a new Obsidian Fireheart, which is met with Swords to Plowshares and pumping the ghoul again.  On turn 9 my opponent plays Lich's Mirror and I have cause to pause.  I have no artifact removal in the deck so I can't really get rid of it and I wonder how in the world can I win this game??  So I decide to tough it out and look forward to the opportunity to analyze the loss.  I use my turn to play my third Obsidian Fireheart, but this too dies to Earthquake.  My next try is a Rakdos Pit Dragon that actually survives long enough to attack!  I pump it to 13/3, killing my opponent, and triggering the Lich's Mirror.  With only 7 life left I have to dish out 20 additional damage to my opponent.  A little disappointing, but I play a second Braid of Fire and pass the turn.  Of course in my opponent's new hand he has a Swords to Plowshares for my dragon.  I played a second Keldon Megaliths and Rakdos Pit Dragon that gets hit by Swords to Plowshares again!  Ugh!  I take my next turn to play Magma Phoenix and finally have the opportunity to use my hellbent megaliths!  On turn 13 my opponent plays Necropotence and I totally get the Lich's Mirror now, self damage all cleaned up by the mirror, I can understand where his deck was headed.  He pays 4 life and gets 4 cards.  He then kills my phoenix and takes 3 damage in addition to 2 from the megaliths.  Then his next turn he pays 2 life to have Sacred Foundry come in untapped so he can play Dark Ritual and Tar Fiend.  I then use Barbarian Ring to drop my opponent to 4, my megaliths to drop it to 2 and cycle the Forgotten Cave I drew to get Lightning Bolt, which wins me the game.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 6 - 0

Deadly Recluse Eternity Vessel Baloth Woodcrasher

Game 7
Opponent: DragonHulk
Deck Type: GW Landfall

Opening Hand:
Forgotten CaveTerramorphic ExpanseLightning BoltBlood MoonSolemn SimulacrumObsidian FireheartValakut, the Molten Pinnacle

This was the first game in awhile where I didn't get a Braid of Fire in the opening hand, but it was a still rather strong hand.  My opponent's first turn consisted of a Forest, Llanowar Elves, and two Spidersilk Nets.  I did draw a Braid of Fire on turn 2 so I didn't miss a turn where I had that drop.  The mana from the braid kills the Llanowar Elves thanks to Lightning Bolt and I cast Solemn Simulacrum.  Things are looking good for getting some Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle damage, but all game I wouldn't get to that point.  Turn 5 sees a Deadly Recluse  for my opponent and a Obsidian Fireheart for me.  My opponent attaches both Spidersilk Nets to the spider and I make the mistake of attacking into it with the fireheart and it dies to deathtouch.  Turn 7 my opponent plays Eternity Vessel where his life is 15 and I drop Dragon Roost.  More trouble comes around in the form of Baloth Woodcrasher.  My biggest defense is the dragons I start pumping out with the Braid of Fire mana.  I even manage to get a second Braid of Fire in play on turn 9.  On my opponent's turn he plays Kor Cartographer that pumps the baloth that was also enchanted by Oakenform.  When attacked by all three I have only 2 dragon tokens to block with and am shortly facing 3 life.  Another turn and another 2 dragon tokens later I'm looking at 2 life.  On turn 11 I make two more tokens and play a Rakdos Pit Dragon.  With a land play on my opponent's turn I have to use three dragons to block and kill the baloth.  At the beginning of turn 12 I have one token and my Rakdos Pit Dragon.  I continue on to make two more tokens and play a second pit dragon.  My opponent's only response is to play Veteran Swordsmith.  I make 3 dragon tokens and now my opponent is staring down 6 dragon tokens and two Rakdos Pit Dragons.  With only one available blocker and 9 life my opponent concedes.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 7 - 0

Aura Shards Rhys the Redeemed Enchanted Evening

Game 8
Opponent: QuietMarketer
Deck Type: GW Enchant Maker + Killer

Opening Hand:
Magma PhoenixDragon RoostMagma PhoenixSnow-Covered MountainRakdos Pit DragonObsidian FireheartLightning Bolt
Mulligan to 6:
Obsidian FireheartLightning BoltLightning BoltBarbarian RingKeldon MegalithsStarstorm

Ok this was a fantastic game in my opinion so I hope you don't mind, but this will be a long break down.  Feel free to skip it, but I had a lot of fun in this game and my opponent had a really cool deck.  So here it goes..

Turn 1
Sin: Keldon Megaliths
Marketer: Forest, Rhys the Redeemed

Turn 2
Sin: Draw Solemn Simulacrum, Barbarian Ring, Lightning Bolt targeting Rhys the Redeemed
Marketer: Plains, Wheel of Sun and Moon

Turn 3
Sin: Draw Solemn Simulacrum
Marketer: Forest, Aura Shards

Turn 4
Sin: Draw Snow-Covered Mountain
Marketer: Sunpetal Grove, Living Wish fetching Rhys the Redeemed

Turn 5
Sin: Draw Magma Phoenix
Marketer: Plains, Abundance

Turn 6
Sin: Draw Volcanic Geyser
Marketer: Chooses non-land with Abundance and reveals Master of the Wild Hunt

Turn 7
Sin: Draw Snow-Covered Mountain, Snow-Covered Mountain, Solemn Simulacrum fetching Snow-Covered Mountain #3
Marketer: Chooses non-land and reveals Seedborn Muse, Rhys the Redeemed destroying Solemn Simulacrum with Aura Shards (I draw Braid of Fire), Master of the Wild Hunt

Turn 8
Sin: Draw Snow-Covered Mountain, Snow-Covered Mountain, Solemn Simulacrum fetching Snow-Covered Mountain #5, Lightning Bolt killing Master of the Wild Hunt
Marketer: Chooses non-land and reveals Aura Shards, Seedborn Muse killing Solemn Simulacrum with Aura Shards (I draw Snow-Covered Mountain)

Turn 9
Sin: Draw Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, Magma Phoenix, Marketer makes an elf token with Rhys the Redeemed
Marketer: Chooses non-land and reveals Shield of the Oversoul, Shield of the Oversoul targeting Rhys the Redeemed, attacks with Rhys the Redeemed + Seedborn Muse and I block Seedborn Muse going to 15 life

Turn 10
Sin: Draw Terramorphic Expanse, Terramorphic Expanse fetching Snow-Covered Mountain and using Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle for 3 damage (17 life), Obsidian Fireheart, blaze Sunpetal Grove, Marketer creates an elf token
Marketer: Drops to 16, chooses non-land and reveals Shield of the Oversoul, Shield of the Oversoul targeting Seedborn Muse, Living Wish fetching Master of the Wild Hunt

Turn 11
Sin: Marketer casts Silence, cycle Starstorm drawing Terramorphic Expanse, draw Volcanic Geyser, Terramorphic Expanse fetching Snow-Covered Mountain and dealing 3 damage (13 life), blaze counter Plains, Marketer creates an elf token, Barbarian Ring targeting Marketer (11 life)
Marketer: Drops to 9, chooses non-land and reveals Idyllic Tutor, Idyllic Tutor fetching Enchanted Evening

Turn 12
Sin: Draw Keldon Megaliths, Snow-Covered Mountain doing 3 damage (6 life), Volcanic Geyser targeting Marketer for 8

There was a lot of good stuff here.  First off because of the Aura Shards machine I couldn't cast Braid of Fire.  As worried as I was it worked out no problem thanks to a little extra cheese.  This was also the best instance I've had so far of using Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.  I managed to get almost every Snow-Covered Mountain out of my deck.  Not to mention this win came in a game where I had to drop my hand to 6 cards, didn't get my third land until turn 4, and my fourth land didn't come until turn 7.  I think my opponent could have kept some pressure on if he'd chosen to attack with his now indestructible Rhys the Redeemed and Seedborn Muse.  Sorry for the long break down, but I thought it deserved it because this game really did a great job to show the aspects of this deck.  Even when the main strategy, Braid of Fire, got shut down I was still able to pull through.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 8 - 0

Sickle Ripper Murderous Redcap Scarscale Ritual

Game 9
Opponent: twisters20
Deck Type: BU Persist

Opening Hand:
Blood MoonBraid of FireObsidian FireheartValakut, the Molten PinnacleLightning BoltLightning BoltRakdos Pit Dragon
Mulligan to 6:
Obsidian FireheartTerramorphic ExpanseRakdos Pit DragonSolemn SimulacrumRakdos Pit DragonBraid of Fire
Mulligan to 5:
Obsidian FireheartTerramorphic ExpanseKeldon MegalithsMagma PhoenixLightning Bolt

I was not happy about having to drop down to 5, but I had a two land hand with a one drop so I figured what the heck.  My opponent starts with a turn 2 Sickle Ripper that I kill with Lightning Bolt.  On turn 4 my opponent drops Murderous Redcap targeting me and I respond with Obsidian Fireheart.  On turn 5 my opponent attacks with the redcap, which dies, comes back, and does 1 damage to me.  Then he casts Wingrattle Scarecrow and sacrifices the redcap with Scarscale Ritual.  I blaze a land and attack on my turn.  Then my opponent drops a Wanderbrine Rootcutters and I kill it with Lightning Bolt.  My following turn I blaze a second land and swing again for 4.  One more turn and I blaze land number three, attack for 4, cast Lightning Bolt, and leave my opponent at 2 life.  Beginning of turn 8 the blazes trigger and he dies.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 9 - 0

Hollow Specter Megrim Parasitic Strix

Game 10
Opponent: Leejo
Deck Type: BU Discard

Opening Hand:
Valakut, the Molten PinnacleTerramorphic ExpanseBraid of FireSnow-Covered MountainTerramorphic ExpanseSnow-Covered MountainBarbarian Ring

Welcome back turn 2 Braid of Fire and hello turn 3 Braid of Fire.  My opponent's first play came on turn 4 and was Guul Draz Specter.  I use the mana from the braids to cast Volcanic Geyser for 2 and killing the specter.  On turn 5 my opponent plays Megrim and I cast Magma Phoenix on my turn.  To cancel my attack my opponent plays Hollow Specter and I have to keep my Magma Phoenix available for blocking, but I do get a third Braid of Fire.  Turn 7 I draw and play Obsidian Fireheart.  My opponent finally gets his first Island, plays Foresee, and Hypnotic Specter.  During my upkeep on the following turn I get 13 mana off of braids.  I use 4 of it to kill the specters using Starstorm and then blaze three lands.  I attack, dropping my opponent to 13 and cast a fourth blaze counter.  My opponent plays Parasitic Strix to use as a blocker, but with the 16 mana I get from braid I steal it with Grab the Reins and blaze another 4 lands.  My attack doesn't quite kill my opponent, but the 8 damage from his own lands will finish the job.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 10 - 0


Ack so the original ending got cleared out so let's try this again shall we?

So I have to say that going into this article I didn't really expect this deck to have so much success.  Sometimes you start with an idea and put it together with big hopes.  However, you know that you're going to have to revise it probably and worry that your original plan wasn't going to work out.  I was definitely feeling this way and was a little nervous because I wasn't quite sure where I could go as far as making fixes.  Removing the few enchants that there were would really negate the whole enchantment theme thing.  But this deck really impressed me because it was able to stand up to a bunch of different situations and there was one combo I'm glad worked as well as I hoped...

Braid of Fire   &   Obsidian Fireheart

These two cards worked awesome and it was a lot of fun to see Obsidian Fireheart get some use as a quality creature.  With a turn 2 Braid of Fire you can play your turn 4 Obsidian Fireheart and on the following turn you get enough mana from the braid in order to use your first blaze counter.  There were a couple of games where I managed to get all of my opponent's lands covered with blaze counters and in most games I would have at least 3 or 4 lands doing damage.  It is a hard thing for an opponent to stop and perhaps one of the easiest ways to clear the counters is to destroy your own lands since even after the Obsidian Fireheart is dead "the lands still burn".

Also the Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle worked as an effective secondary strategy and aided well with the burn.  One hold back is having 9 Mountains because you only get 4 triggers off of the pinnacle.  Though it is all likely possible that you'll have multiple Valakut, the Molten Pinnacles.  You also get some nice fetch out of the Solemn Simulacrums and the Terramorphic Expanses to really help aid this strategy.  After playing this deck there are very few things  I would change as far as card choice because it all worked so well together.  One change that could be made would be dropping the Keldon Megaliths for two more Mountains would allow for you to get more triggers off of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.  The only other change I would make could be dropping the two Blood Moons.  They worked great when you needed them, but could be switched out for any other cards that fit the player's preference.  Having both of those in the deck can cause an issue if you're holding the Blood Moon to keep your non-basic lands.  This negates the hellbent and makes it pointless to keep them as non-basics.  It's quite the loop.

Finally the Rakdos Pit Dragon is such a must have.  On more than one occasion I was able to swing for the win using a dragon that had been made huge thanks to the Braid of Fire.  Each piece of the deck really, for the most part, worked well together.  I really hope you guys reading this at least take this deck for a test drive because it was a lot of fun to play.  It's not quite your average burn deck, but still puts out pretty nice burn damage if asked.

Hm.. I think that was a bit clearer than the original so maybe you should consider yourself lucky that it got lost..... any ways!


I hope you enjoyed checking out what red had to offer in the way of enchantments.  I had been thinking that I would continue on the path of mono-colored decks in order to examine what each piece of the wheel offers enchantments.  I will continue to do this, but for the next article I'm going to have a short break and look at another popular format that isn't Standard.  When reading the comments for my tribal enchantment article ShardFenix mentioned Extended and I realized that I hadn't had any plans for doing an Extended enchantment deck!  So it should be fun as I put together an Extended deck and venture into a format that I haven't played since ONS rotated into Classic.  Not sure what will come of it so you'll just have to check in next time and together we'll figure out what I'm going to play.  Until then!

-JustSin

2 Comments

Nice article by Veralucis (not verified) at Wed, 02/03/2010 - 20:07
Veralucis's picture

Congrats for the article. I've found it (and the previous ones also) very amusing and well written. It's a pity to face all those stupid concede games without much sense, but you continue and make the deck work so well.
I'm enjoying these last articles on enchanments and I think you're taking them to some interesting places.
On the deck itself I have to ask about Kumano. It didn't seem to have so much game, did it?

Thanks for the feedback I'm by JustSin at Wed, 02/03/2010 - 20:56
JustSin's picture

Thanks for the feedback I'm really glad to hear you're enjoying the series. If you think its funny how people leave games stay tuned because I make notes on it in each article and some of the instances are quite amusing.

Yes! You're very right about Kumano. I have to say I was a bit disappointed because this seemed like the perfect outlet for it. I think that if I wanted to move it more to the front I'd have to up the count to at least three because the few times it saw play I was having more fun with the Obsidian Firehearts or was going for a kill with Rakdos Pit Dragon, both of which just outshined Kumano.