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By: kelvinmai, Kelvin Mai
Aug 06 2013 12:13am
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I'm going to be honest with all of you right now. I felt a little burnt out on brewing new things, and took a break from writing. I felt uninspired to play any magic, but I went to FNM anyways.  I wanted to support my LGS than anything else.  Fortunately this deck was so fun that it brought me back into the thick of things and straight into writing this article.

Mono Red Control 

I did in fact have decks lined up for this article but I won't go over it in depth as my passion right now lies with Liliana of the Dark Realms. That doesn't mean I don't have anything to show for it, this is mono red control. Quite honestly if I don't write about this one now I probably won't ever write about it.   It's simply not that good. The concept is neat because red is a nice combination for control decks, like UWR and Grixis, but by itself it's not really known for it's controlling nature. There are some cool cards in M14 that makes it a possibility, the top pick being Chandra's Phoenix and there is the dream of using Pyromancer's Gauntlet competitively.

Mono Red Control
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Chandra's Phoenix
8 cards

Other Spells
4 Pillar of Flame
4 Searing Spear
4 Mizzium Mortars
4 Flames of the Firebrand
3 Chandra, Pyromaster
4 Young Pyromancer
2 Blasphemous Act
2 Burning Earth
1 Harvest Pyre
19 cards
20 Mountain
4 Mutavault
24 cards
Chandra's Phoenix

As you can tell this is definitely a control list.  There are 12 creatures and the rest are spells. It plays like mono black where you focus on killing each of their creatures while you are advancing with your creatures and slowly winning. Young Pyromancer is a great creature that gives all your spells extra value. Sure I'll kill your guy and get one of my own. Burning Earth is a house, it is probably the best punisher card right now because every deck is playing every color and it just shuts down each deck that is running three or more colors. The main win condition is the assault from the Phoenix. The firebird just won't die with her army of minotaurs and elementals, but the back up is the obvious Blasphemous Act and Boros Reckoner combination.  Harvest Pyre acts as another Blasphemous Act when you have to dodge cards like Blood Artist or just need to hit a number bigger than 13. Once again this deck is completely unrefined so if you invest into it be ready to make a lot of changes.

Problems with GRUB?

This is the deck as it sits from last week's article. What is the first thing you notice? Ok after the fact that I'm missing a couple of the cards on MTGO. The biggest thing you'll notice is that the 3 slot is extremely lonely.  I want to smooth out the mana curve a bit. To do this I'm looking to the 2 slot and seeing what I can replace there. In the first two turns I want to ramp and fix my mana a la Farseek so leaving up mana for a Victim of Night seems unrealistic. The first thing I'll do is replace Victim with Putrefy. This helps with many other things too. In a Jund matchup I always hate seeing a victim in hand because their go to creature is always Huntmaster of the Fells or Olivia Voldaren and the creature that you are allowed to kill is the Thragtusk which often times feel like a wasted card. In addition Putrefy kills regenerating Varolz and it even helps our deck against artifacts, too bad it's not Mirrodin. Next on the chopping block is Far/Away which is almost always being used for the sac effect. There are better sac effects in standard if that's all we're using it for, and let's be honest the unsummon effect is almost never needed in a deck with Mutilate. The first that comes to mind is Devour Flesh but remember we need to fatten up our 3 slot so the next best thing is Tribute to Hunger. Tribute offers some life gain which is huge for us as I've mentioned that so far the biggest weakness to this deck is hyper aggressive decks (normal aggressive isn't such a problem). 


The next problem is the colors. It's no secret that black and blue are the base of the deck.  It always felt that red and green were fighting for some attention. We want early green for Farseek but we also want double blue for Jace and Opportunity.  I decided to slim down the red. Including Putrefy helps give green a larger identity in the deck. In addition the weakest card in the deck has got to be Chandra, the Firebrand and as much as I liked her in Grixis Control she just doesn't do as much in this deck. I want to keep her in the sideboard though, because she's still a force to be reckoned with against UWR and Esper.  They have no way to deal with her as she slowly ticks them down from 20. So what to replace her with? Well I've always felt another Dreadbore or enchantment removal would be nice so let's just combine the two and add another member to our super friends team. Let's give a warm welcome to Vraska the Unseen. Once again we're adding more green and sacrificing red for this change. Vraska being 5CMC also smooths out our mana curve even more, taking away from our congested 4 slot. 

Alchemist's Refuge

Onto the lands, I like most of it the way it is. Kessig Wolf Run has surprised me as a game winning land even in a deck with as few creatures as this one. Desolate Lighthouse, the other utility land, is one that I never really utilized. It suffers the same problem as Chandra in that it was amazing in it's days in the Grixis Control deck but it's impressiveness just never fully translated over to this deck. And I'll be replacing it with Nephalia Drownyard as much as I hate that. I'm not sure if you guys know or not but I hate playing against counterspells which is why I usually opt to not playing them in my decks, well the same goes for drownyard.  It does open us up to using a card like Psychic Spiral in the sideboard, which is something I am not against. The alternative is Alchemist's Refuge but there really isn't anything I'd flash in when I already have Quicken and a 11 mana Nicol Bolas is a very steep price. Onto the actual mana base, the only change here is cutting the Dragonskull Summit for more Woodland Cemetery

This is the new and improved list.

The Sideboard

Ok the main deck didn't go through a drastic change, but each of the changes were very important. The sideboard however is another story, as we're going to be starting from scratch. The reason being the meta at the time was ever changing so there was no telling what you needed to be prepared for. Last time I didn't know what to bring with me, and opted to just bring the same sideboard I've been using pre rotation some cards were good, and others were not.

Blood Artist

So what do we need to be prepared for? Aristocrats is still a force to be reckoned with and it is the worst match up, in my opinion. For them we pack in some heat in the form of Pillar of Flame and we'll make them smaller with Curse of Death's Hold. A rising star coming off of the same shell as aristocrats is BW Humans that abuses Blood Artist and Xathrid Necromancer should be dealt with in a similar fashion as the aristocrats. Next up is the UW based control decks. Whether it be UWR or Esper I have learned that the best card to bring in is Dispel so that we can make sure we actually play a game of magic. Nephalia Drownyard is a real pain but we still have Pithing Needle to save us from that, and the needle also doubles up as a stop to planeswalkers. And then we have good old Duress to take troublesome spells out of their hands before they can even cast them. Our one-of package contains Barter in Blood for when we need an extra Mutilate, Ratchet Bomb against the token decks, and the Chandra that we cut from the main deck.

 Check Out

So something I've been forgetting to do with each of these deck tech articles is including the price and link of the deck. So before I forget here is the deck that you can get at MTGOtraders. As of writing this the check out is listed as 75 tickets but that's because Jace is out of stock and for some reason Liliana isn't showing up in the deck even though it's ripped straight from my MTGO client so expect it to be closer to 110 when getting the full deck. 


These cards are really good. by TennieCamp at Tue, 08/06/2013 - 17:21
TennieCamp's picture

These cards are really good. I like it. Good job on this. - Integrity Spas