Let's start by taking a look at the original deck list:
It's easy to see how powerful this strategy can be. Your opponent will be dead on turn three or four with a surprising level of consistency. The deck can be more powerful than ever if you make a few small changes.
The first thing I'd like to do here is add the third and fourth Goblin Bushwhacker. Bushwhacker is perhaps the most powerful spell in this archetype. It's a common from Zendikar, so it shouldn't be difficult to acquire an extra two copies. I'd cut the Spikeshot Elder and a Galvanic Blast for the extra copies of Goblin Bushwhacker. Spikeshot Elder is excellent in many red decks, but I'd like to make this deck as aggressive as possible.
Darksteel Axe presents an interesting dilemma. I'd like to maximize the number of creatures we play in this deck, but I don't want to risk not playing enough artifacts. Flayer Husk seems like a good replacement in this spot. The new Mirrodin Besieged Equipment fulfills all of our conditions of satisfaction. The 1/1 for one mana is going to do a lot more work than its power and toughness may lead you to believe. Cards like Goblin Bushwhacker, Goblin Wardriver, Contested War Zone, and Signal Pest will make everybody into an extraordinarily powerful threat.
Speaking of Contested War Zone, this land is the realest of deals. I must admit that I was skeptical the first time a friend spoke about the power level of this card. It didn't take more than a game or two to evangelize me, though. I found that the "drawback" on Contested War Zone was irrelevant. The level of aggression presented by this deck makes attacking a huge liability for your opponent. It's hard to pull the trigger and get in the red zone when your opponent is threatening a lethal swingback as early as the third turn. I'd like to add an additional three copies of this card. There was a lot of demand for Contested War Zone the first week after Mirrodin Besieged was released, but that seems to have died down a bit. It shouldn't be too difficult to get your paws on an additional three copies.
As we move the deck in a faster direction, the Iron Myr and last copy of Galvanic Blast seem a little out of place to me. I really want to get value out of my battle cry creatures, Contested War Zone, and Goblin Bushwhacker, so I don't really want to draw more than one non creature per game. Chimeric Mass seems like it could be an excellent replacement for these cards. Chimeric Mass is also another artifact that lets us cast our Kuldotha Rebirth on the first turn; I can't stress the importance of this enough.
I'm very happy with the list we've arrived at now. Let's take a look at the new main deck:
If you're looking to put a little extra power into the deck then you can replace one Lightning Bolt and the lone Panic Spellbomb with extra copies of Goblin Guide. If you're lucky enough to have a copy or two of Mox Opal, then I would cut Mountains for those. Some people like having three to four copies of Mox Opal in this deck, but I'd much rather have one or two copies of a card that I never ever want to draw a second copy of.
Now I'd like to take a look at the sideboard. Here's the sideboard that comes with the event deck:
This sideboard has a lot of game against a completely random metagame, but that's not what we're looking for anymore. We want ways to combat cards like Pyroclasm, Ratchet Bomb, Slagstorm, and Kor Firewalker.
Perilous Myr is an excellent way to snipe away Kor Firewalkers. We can even sacrifice it to our Kuldotha rebirth to deal with the Firewalker and make three 1/1s in the process. Unstable Footing is a fine answer to Kor Firewalker, but the high kicker cost makes it difficult to justify playing it over Perilous Myr. It's also nice that Perilous Myr is an extra creature to increase the power level of your anthem effects. Two copies of Brittle Effigy will round out my ways to deal with a Kor Firewalker.
Tuktuk the Explorer is an excellent answer to the board sweepers, the mirror, or decks like Boros that have trouble battling through a 5/5 body. There hasn't been a lot of demand for this guy, so he can usually be acquired with relative ease.
Myr Sire continues in the footsteps of Tuktuk the Explorer. For one less mana, you get an artifact that can be sacrificed to Kuldotha Rebirth. Myr Sire is a great way to increase your chances against the board sweepers. I've also won a few games with the mini-combo of Myr Sire, Goblin Bushwhacker, and Kuldotha Rebirth. Attacking for 10 damage out of nowhere is a scary thing for any opponent.
I'd like to round out the sideboard with a playset of Arc Trail. Arc Trail is a great way to clear the way for your horde against decks that intend on gumming up the table with cards like Squadron Hawk and Stoneforge Mystic.
Here's the finalized sideboard:
I'd like to share a few matches with the deck to give you an idea of how it plays out.
I lost the roll and kept 2 Mountain, Chimeric Mass, Memnite, 2 Kuldotha Rebirth, and Goblin Bushwhacker. My opponent played a Raging Ravine and passed the turn. I drew another Goblin Bushwhacker, cast Memnite, cast Chimeric Mass for zero, cast Kuldotha Rebirth sacrificing the Chimeric Mass, and passed the turn. My opponent cracked a fetch land, cast a Lotus Cobra, and passed the turn. I drew another Goblin Bushwhacker, played my Mountain, cast a kicked Goblin Bushwhacker, and attacked for 10. My opponent thought for a bit and decided to take the damage. My opponent played a fetch land, cracked it, cast Precursor Golem, and passed the turn. I drew a Mountain, played it, cast Kuldotha Rebirth sacrificing my Memnite, cast a kicked Goblin Bushwacker, and attacked for 16. My opponent could only block four of the eight creatures, and the other four were enough to deal him lethal damage.
This certainly isn't normal, but I thought I'd share this game because it really showcases the power of the deck. I was able to win on the third turn after losing the roll and having to fight a turn three Precursor Golem without a Lightning Bolt.
Sideboarding: I'm expecting my opponent to bring in Pyroclasm effects. I intend on bringing in my Tuktuk the Explorers and my Myr Sires. Goblin Wardriver drops significantly in power when your opponent has Pyroclasm. Devastating Summons, while still having haymaker potential, is weak to counterspells and Obstinate Baloth.
I kept 2 Mountain, Contested War Zone, Goblin Guide, Myr Sire, Kuldotha Rebirth, and Lightning Bolt. My opponent played a fetch land, cracked it for an Island, cast Preordain, and passed the turn. I drew Goblin Guide, cast it, and attacked. My opponent revealed a Precursor Golem and took 2, and I passed the turn. My opponent played a Forest, cast Explore, played a Raging Ravine, and passed the turn. I drew a Mountain, attacked for 2, my opponent revealed a Halimar Depths, I played a Mountain, cast Myr Sire, and passed the turn. My opponent played Halimar Depths, cast Pyroclasm, and passed the turn. I drew a Goblin Bushwhacker, cast Kuldotha Rebirth, cast Goblin Bushwhacker, and attacked for 8. My opponent played a land, cast Precursor Golem, and passed the turn. I drew a Contested War Zone, played it, cast Goblin Guide, cast Lightning Bolt targeting the Precursor Golem to kill all the Golems, attacked with my team, activated my Contested War Zone, and won the game.
I won the roll and kept 2 Mountain, Contested War Zone, Ornithopter, Signal Pest, 2 Memnite, and Lightning Bolt. I played my Mountain, cast Signal Pest, cast Ornithopter, cast both Memnites, and passed the turn. My opponent played a Seachrome Coast, cast a Preordain, and passed the turn. I drew a Contested War Zone, played it, and attacked with my team. I activated Contested War Zone, and my opponent took 9 damage. My opponent played an Island, cast Stoneforge Mystic finding Sylvok Lifestaff, and passed the turn. I drew a Signal Pest and attacked with my team. My opponent blocked a Memnite, I used my Contested War Zone, and my opponent took 6. I played my Mountain, cast Signal Pest, and passed the turn. My opponent played a Glacial Fortress, cast Squadron Hawk, searched for some copies, cast Sylvok Lifestaff, and passed the turn. I showed my opponent the Lightning Bolt and we were off to Game 2.
I mulliganed and kept 2 Mountain, Signal Pest, Goblin Wardriver, Kuldotha Rebirth, and Goblin Bushwhacker. My opponent played a Celestial Colonnade and passed the turn. I drew a Contested War Zone, played a Mountain, cast Signal Pest, and passed the turn. My opponent cast a Stoneforge Mystic, found Sylvok Lifestaff, and passed the turn. I drew a Goblin Wardriver, cast Goblin Wardriver, and passed the turn. My opponent cast another Stoneforge Mystic, found a Sword of Feast and Famine, cast Sylvok Lifestaff, and passed the turn. I drew a Mountain, played it, cast Goblin Wardriver, and passed the turn. My opponent a his fourth land, equipped a Stoneforge Mystic with Sylvok Lifestaff, and passed the turn. I drew an Ornithopter, cast it, cast Kuldotha Rebirth sacrificing the Ornithopter, cast Goblin Bushwhacker with kicker, and attacked with my team. My opponent blocked a Goblin Wardriver with the Sylvok Lifestaff–equipped Stoneforge, and Goblin Bushwhacker with the other, then realized there was no safe sequence of blocks and conceded.
This deck is certainly worthy of some second glances. An evolution of Into the Breach that looks similar to this is almost certainly tier one in the current Standard format. It may seem gimmicky, but the redundancy available for a deck like this in the form of battle cry creatures and Goblin Bushwhacker makes it very scary for any opponent.
This is definitely the deck I'd be playing if I were going to a Standard tournament in the near future. I'm always a sucker for a good combo deck, and that's what this is underneath the aggro.
I hope you enjoyed the Evolving Event Decks series for Mirrodin Besieged! I'll be quick to jump on the new Event Decks when they're released with upcoming sets.