Tag: scg-columbus

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - June 19, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Mono-Red Aggro by Festus Resendez (1st a...

Mono-Red Aggro - Firedrinker Satyr

Mono-Red Aggro by Festus Resendez

1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 6/14/2014
It looks like it’s a good time to be a Red mage in Standard, Patrick Sullivan must have been jumping for joy. Not only did the winner of the Grand Prix in Moscow play a Red deck but also Tom ‘The Boss’ Ross piloted one for his Standard portion at the SCG Invitational. The most interesting about that is they all ran on similar but completely different lines and stretched the bounds of Red to the limit. This deck is one of the more creature heavy builds.


With an aggro deck like this the most important factor of your strategy is to be dropping at least one creature every single turn until you mash your opponent into a bloody pulp which is why we find no Scry lands. We start the curve with two one drops that come out swinging with two power each from Rakdos Cackler which if is not unleashed usually means you’re about to die and Firedrinker Satyr who’s drawback will be largely nullified by the amount of beats he will inflict on the opponent. Then we hit a mass of two drops starting with the hasty first striker Ash Zealot, also Firefist Striker that when attacking with two others will nullify the opponents best blocker and then Burning-Tree Emissary that enables your lightning starts by chaining into more spells to advance your board faster then the opponent can mount a defense. We also find two quality three drops to continue the curve with perennial wall of death in Boros Reckoner which turns combat math from simple addition into complex algebra, and Chandra’s Phoenix that has a limited amount of direct damage spells to bring it back but is still a hasty flier to bring forth death from above. Our last creature is the curve topper Fanatic of Mogis that comes in as a late game play once you have your army mobilized to take full advantage of a surprise blast of Devotion to Red to the opponents face, hopefully to put him down for good. There is a support package of burn coming primarily from a full set of Lightning Strike, but also a pair of Shock, a pair of Magma Jet and a singleton Searing Blood all help to either clear the way for your creatures to get through or blast straight up to the dome.

This deck exemplifies what it means to be The Beatdown. It looks like Aggro has positioned itself between Control and Midrange in the metagame right now to exploit it’s speed and destructive nature. Now has been a great time to blast your opponent to bits either using creature or burn based strategies. It’s not likely that this Red mage dominance will continue but shows that any given weekend you can not count out any deck that has power behind it. And counting from twenty to zero has been a fundamental aspect of this game of Magic.

Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - January 29, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Reanimator by Thomas Graves (1st at SCG ...

Thomas Graves
1st Place at StarCityGames Legacy Open on 1/19/2014
Lands (15)

Creatures (7)

Spells (38)


Since the dawn of magic a recurring theme in black decks is the necromantic flavor of reanimation. The ability to make creatures rise from the grave is a very powerful ability indeed. Over the years more and more cards have been printed on that same motif constantly improving in quality and scope. Coupled with ways to search particular creatures from your deck then either discard them to the grave or put them directly there and better more powerful creatures themselves we have an engine designed to crush opponents with relative ease.

The creature package is the most important aspect of the deck and rising to the top we have one of the best creatures ever printed Griselbrand the focus with a full set to ensure his timely arrival. The are also singleton targets with Iona, Shield of Emeria to lock down a particular color of the opponent, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite to hamper any creature based strategies, and Tidespout Tyrant to wreck and permanent centric plans. To get your target into the graveyard there are two packages with either Careful Study to not only dig through your deck but also discard a creature to raise or Entomb which will seek a specific target directly to the graveyard depending on your need. Once you have your target ready you are able to either use Reanimate or Exhume to bring your creature back from the dead. There is also a pair of Show and Tell as a secondary way to get a creature into play, but be wary that your opponent won’t be able to trump with a card of his own. As the deck has blue there is the standard draw engine with full sets both of Brainstorm and Ponder to get the cards you need quickly to your hand as you want to ‘go off’ as quickly as possible. To protect yourself as much as possible you have Force of Will and Daze as counter backup with a pair of Thoughtseize as well that can either strip the opponent or serve as a discard outlet in a pinch. Your land count is low at 15 but you couple that with a set of Lotus Petal which allow for some explosive starts with a deck that is very very powerful.
This is a deck that will no doubt continue to be a force within Legacy as it is capable of doing some very broken things. The true power of this deck lies in the new creatures that are printed and as we saw with the printing of Griselbrand as the continue to push the envelope the power will just continue to grow. I for one am very excited to see how it will continue to grow going forward.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - January 20, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Big Boros by Michael Kenney (1st Place a...

Assemble the Legion

Big Boros
Michael Kinney
1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 1/18/2014

Lands (25)

Creatures (16)

Planeswalkers (3)

Spells (16)

Sideboard (15)

Winning the SCG Standard Open in Columbus this weekend we have a Red/White Midrange deck that its pilot liked to refer to as Big Boros.  It’s a pretty sweet concoction which had the stamina to make it to and take down the final table.  There was some luck handed to him in the shape of an epic misplay in his quarterfinal match when his opponent minused Elspeth and destroyed his own Ætherling but that should not downplay how good this deck actually is.

The core of the deck consists of a wide range of threats capable of performing across a varied field.  The heavy hitters come in the form of Elspeth, Assemble the Legion, Stormbreath Dragon, Purphoros and Chandra which are able to attack from different angles.  The only issue lies with the very limited card selection engines which only come from Chandra and the Scry from Magma Jet.  For supporting characters there are two sets of three drops in Boros Reckoner and Chandra’s Phoenix.  We find some incredible synergy with Young Pyromancer and Purphoros working with the dozen instants to quickly work away your opponents life total one .  Speaking of those instants there is a robust burn package with Magma Jet, Lightning Strike and Warleader’s Helix all of which double as removal.  For true removal there’s a pair of both Chained to the Rocks and Mizzium Mortars to help clear out any opposition.

Putting it all together we have a a resilient package that works hard to diminish the opponents life total quickly and efficiently.  Definitely give this deck a whirl if you like aggresive midrange style decks, you won’t be disappointed.  And we will see if Born of the Gods has any new toys which will continue to push this deck to the forefront.  Perhaps Archetype of Courage, Searing Blood or Brimaz will find a spot.  Only time will tell.

Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter