Revisiting Red Devotion

Posted in Feature on November 22, 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).

As a whole, Team ChannelFireball was fairly devoted to red at Pro Tour Theros. We had Stormbreath Dragons and Purphoroses aplenty, and were ready and willing to battle against Esper. Unfortunately, Esper was less represented than we predicted, Master of Waves and Doom Blade showed up in greater quantities than we'd hoped, and our tireless devotion was not rewarded as well as it could have been.

Purphoros, God of the Forge

Fortunately for the red gods, the time is now right to pick up a hammer and strike while the iron is hot. Ben Stark has been playing an updated list of our Pro Tour deck to good results, both online and off, and the recent surge of Sphinx's Revelation decks certainly has contributed to his success.

The main deck is almost exactly the same, with Mizzium Mortars replacing Xenagos, the Reveler. As satyrsfying as it is to use Xenagos, the Reveler to make an army, Mortars does more what the deck needs and helps the deck improve its matchup against creature decks. Xenagos, the Reveler is much more anti-control, and this deck is already pretty biased against that.

Ben tinkered with the sideboard with the express purpose of bringing the beats, with Firedrinker Satyr and Skullcrack against Mono-Black Control and Mistcutter Hydra against blue decks. Instead of trying to play the control role against these decks better suited for it, Ben would rather just go to the face with Savannah Lions and Lightning Bolts (essentially). Mistcutter Hydra is basically just a Fireball, with the additional upside of sticking around for more hits.

This deck is more metagame-dependent than many, just because the value of Hammer of Purphoros, Purphoros himself, and Stormbreath Dragon can vary wildly, but it's definitely powerful enough to be worth looking at it if you are sick of losing to Sphinx's Revelation (which I'm not sick of casting yet, by the way).

Team CFB's Devotion to Red

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