10 Nov 2011

Innistandard IV: Fast and the Fugious

I'd like to begin this article by way of an apology. Our top finishing deck from the Game Day was in fact mono-red piloted by Olly.

I've spoken about this type of build before but not in a standard context.
The main type of red deck currently floating around is Red Deck Wins (RDW). RDW employs cheap creatures and direct damage spells to quickly finish off an opponent and, therefore, has a short game strategy in mind.
Here's Ollys list:

Act of Treason 4
Traitorous Blood 1
Fling 4
Infernal Plunge 2
Brimstone Volley 4
Shrine of Burning Rage 2
Galvanic Blast 4
Slagstorm 1
Chandra, the Firebrand 1

Stromkirk Noble 1
Reckless Waif/Merciless Predator 2
Grim Lavamancer 2
Perilous Myr 3
Stormblood Berserker 2
Chandra's Phoenix 4
Hero of Oxid Ridge 1

Mountains 16
Copperline Gorge 3
Rootbound Crag 2
Kessig Wolf Run 1

The nice thing about Ollys build is that it was built on a budget. The deck, therefore, uses spells like Act of Treason and Treacherous Blood to gain control of an opponents creatures and then send them in to attack or use fling to sacrifice the stolen creature thereby dealing direct damage whilst denying your opponent a creature. During the tournament, Olly gained control of Primeval Titans and Mirran Crusaders to turn the tide of the game.
Fling also works nicely with Chandra's Phoenix; sacrifice the Phoenix to cast Fling and deal two damage then the triggered ability from the firebird resolves and is returned to your hand.

The second build I'd like to look at is the Deathfed event deck.
Personally, this deck is the lesser of the two Innistrad event decks so that's why I want to take a look at it. Lists for both decks can be found here:

Before I begin I'll make the obvious statement that these decks are designed to give players a basic standard deck to use at FNM events.

Firstly, the mana base is a bit odd. Forests, Islands and one Hinterland Harbor I can understand but the addition of 3 swamps just to enable flashing back Forbidden Alchemy and Spider Spawning seems a bit out of place.
So lets adjust:

Darkslick shores x 4
Forest x 10
Hinterland Harbor x 2
Island x 6
Woodland Cemetery x 2

The second observation I'd make is that there is only one Splinterfright which seems odd for this deck but then you do get a full set of Boneyard Wurms to counteract this. Splinterfrights are also cheap to pick up or trade for and should be easy to acquire.
Birds of Paradise and Viridian Emissary make mana access easier and can help you to ramp up your milling process.
Skaab Ruinators make the most of your dead creatures and provide a 5/6 flying body to smash into your opponents face whilst Wurmcoil Engine interacts well with graveyards and gains you some life.
Topping off the curve is Sheoldred, Whispering One. This black Praetor provides further synergy with your graveyard whilst clearing away opponents blockers.

Birds of Paradise x 4
Boneyard Wurm x 4
Sheoldred, Whispering One x 1
Skaab Ruinator x 2
Splinterfright x 3
Viridian Emissary x 3
Wurmcoil Engine x 1

With regards to other spells, Forbidden Alchemy is an essential card. It can draw the card you need whilst further fuelling your graveyard. Dismember and Mana Leak are easy removal and counter spells.
I'll include Ponder in this list but I'm not sure how neatly it will fit. On the plus side side you can arrange your library and draw a card that you don't wish to mill. On the other hand, Forbidden Alchemy might be all you need.
Unburial Rites is a nice card as it allows you to return creatures to the battlefield and can be flash-backed via Birds of Paradise.
If you want to splash out a bit or are looking for a use of Garruk 3.0 then this build may work well for him. If he transforms then his ultimate is a nice finisher in a graveyard themed deck whilst his second ability can fuel your graveyard and then search up another threat.
The Wizard's blurb suggests adding Jace, Memory Adept but at five mana to mostly use his 0 ability, personally, I don't think he's needed.

Dismember x 3
Forbidden Alchemy x 4
Garruk Relentless x 2
Mana Leak x 4
Ponder x 4
Unburial Rites x 3

Once again I hope this has further fuelled the deck building fires.

John, Forbidden Alchemist

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