Mono-Red Cruise at GP San Antonio

Posted in Daily Deck on January 9, 2015

By Shuhei Nakamura

Shuhei Nakamura is a member of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame, former Player of the Year, and is one of just six players with more than 400 lifetime pro points.

This week, we've been looking at various expressions of blue-red decks that feature Treasure Cruise. I was intrigued by the fact that this archetype is showing up in all Constructed formats, so I thought it would be interesting to examine how the deck gets redefined through different formats. So far, we've looked at the Legacy, Modern, and Vintage versions, which leaves us with one format: Standard. And so, today we'll be looking at the deck Gareth Aye used to make it into the Top 8 of Grand Prix San Antonio last month.

However, trying to adapt the original Legacy deck to the Standard format presents us with some insurmountable difficulties. Chief of these is the inability to use Delver of Secrets, which is an essential pillar of the deck, being one of the main paths to victory. Even if we accept Firedrinker Satyr as a replacement, next we have to look for alternatives to Young Pyromancer and the numerous one-mana draw spells, none of which exist in Standard.

The only decent solution is to include three-mana cards that should be familiar to regular readers of this column; cards like Hordeling Outburst, which makes three tokens, and Goblin Rabblemaster, who's also adept at making tokens. Then, top off the burn with Treasure Cruise.

We can see it's a valiant attempt to reproduce the blue-red Legacy deck, but it's an uphill struggle. If the Legacy version looks to play something early that leads to an auto-win should it survive, the Standard version looks to control the board with burn while dropping creatures that are essentially walking burn spells and use them for as long as possible. The actions between the two versions as similar, but the roles are reversed. Still, the recipe is the same: burn, beat, draw. The score is the same, even if one is playing a trumpet and the other a flute.

Gareth Aye's Mono-Red Cruise—Top 8, GP San Antonio

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