Holiday Monsters

Posted in Feature on December 3, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

It's an (almost) Christmas miracle! I couldn't help but laugh when seeing this very red and green deck, especially once I saw the name of the pilot. Seriously, I'm not making this up! I'm not one to turn down a gift, and the deck did look pretty sweet. It's got a ton of one-ofs, some helper Elves, and more beasts (literal and figurative) than you can shake a stick at.

Xenagos, the Reveler

Even though the decklist may look scattered, there's a method to ChrisKringle's madness. All of the one-ofs are threats, and together they fill out the curve of the deck quite nicely. You will notice that Elvish Mystic is a four-of, because it's irreplaceable, but most of the threats have many other substitutes. It keeps opponents on their toes, gives you outs to draw the right card at the right time, and overall makes your deck more resilient (at the cost of consistency).

Sylvan Caryatid joins Elvish Mystic as the ramp options of choice, with two Kalonian Tuskers and a Scavenging Ooze rounding out the two-drops. Ooze is actually perfect for a one-of, because drawing two is so much worse than just drawing one, given that they compete for the same resource. As with almost every RG deck in this day and age, Domri Rade makes an appearance, accompanied by a grip of other Planeswalkers. Xenagos is the most represented one, with three copies, but Chandra Pyromaster and Garruk, Caller of Beasts are along for the ride as well. There's even an honorary fifth Planeswalker, as Primeval Bounty has enough abilities to qualify.

Another unique aspect about this deck is the removal suite it uses. Between main and board, it has access to Mizzium Mortars, Street Spasm, Homing Lightning, and Time to Feed. That's a lot to consider when deciding which spell to play around, and I doubt most opponents will be able to do so successfully. It's also relevant that multiple of these spells get around hexproof, as Naya Hexproof is definitely a real deck right now.

Whether you expect presents or coal this holiday season, try building this deck and reap the rewards you so richly deserve.

ChrisKringle's Gruul

Download Arena Decklist

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