Black Red Moon with Zhengdong Shan

Posted in Event Coverage on May 22, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

With nine rounds of Modern in the books, only twelve players remain undefeated here at Grand Prix Charlotte. One of these players, Zhengdong Shan, managed to achieve his flawless Day 1 record with an exciting new strategy that's clearly a force to be reckoned with.

Zhengdong Shan

It makes sense to attack opponents' mana bases In a format where three and four color decks run rampant. Blood Moon has always been the card of choice for decks with this plan of attack. Previously, Blood Moon strategies have augmented their strategy with Blue cards, but Shan decided to break the mold and use powerful Black removal and disruption to control the board once he locks his opponent out of casting spells.

I sat down with the creator and pilot of this innovative strategy to talk about Black Red Moon and how it attacks what people are playing right now in Modern.

“I play a lot of Modern on Magic Online,” said Shan, “I noticed that most of my opponents were playing three, four, five colors, or trying to assemble tron. I thought that Blood Moon would be in a good spot and I thought that the black cards were better at cleaning up than Blue cards. I played the deck a lot on Magic Online and won a lot of matches.”

Playing Black with Blood Moon also means that Shan gets to play Liliana of the Veil, one of the best cards in Modern. Liliana is especially good in this type of deck because Shan can use the +1 ability to discard extra copies of Blood Moon or discard spells that are no longer relevant against an opponent with no lands in play.

Zhengdong Shan's innovative Black Red deck is making a big splash this weekend!

As far as the matchups go, Shan was confident in his deck's ability to beat opponent's with ambitious mana bases.

“Black Red is good against creatures and Blood Moon wins a lot of games against Jeskai Harbinger, Jund, and Abzan.”

Shan's deck has some exciting interactions that have caught a lot of his opponents by surprise, “Goblin Dark-Dwellers with Boom // Bust has been very good for me. Boom is very good at blowing up leftover basic lands when I already have Blood Moon in play. Once I have Boom // Bust in my graveyard I can use Goblin Dark-Dwellers to get ahead on the board while also destroying all lands. Then my opponent needs to topdeck everything and start from the beginning again.”

I asked if there was anything Shan would change about the deck going forward.

“I had one Slaughter Games in my sideboard before and the Dark Petition in my main deck is very good with sideboard cards that can win the game by themselves. Scapeshift can be more difficult than I expected and I think one copy of Slaughter Games would help a lot.”

It's clear than Shan is on to something. Will Black Red Moon continue to dominate a field of Modern decks with ambitious mana? Stay tuned to continuing coverage of Grand Prix Charlotte to find out!

Zhengdong Shan's Black Red Moon - Grand Prix Charlotte

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