Posted in GRAND PRIX STOCKHOLM 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on October 26, 2014

By Tobi Henke

While sadly no longer on course for Top 8, Mikael Magnusson has brought one of the most interesting decks we've seen all weekend: an almost creatureless blue-red counter-burn strategy.

The most flashy aspect of the deck is clearly its ability to deal 8 damage in one strike with Riddle of Lightning revealing Dig Through Time or Treasure Cruise. "I had a great game yesterday, where I was at 1 life facing a massive army of creatures with my opponent at 22. At end of turn, I targeted him with Magma Jet, put two cards on the bottom, cast another Magma Jet and put another two cards on the bottom, then Riddle of Lightning, put three cards on the bottom, blind-flip Dig Through Time, cast Dig Through Time, had another Riddle of Lightning for 8, and finally Lightning Strike for a total of 23 damage," Magnusson recounted excitedly. "He didn't expect that."

Mikael Magnusson


However, Riddle of Lightning had not always been part of the deck. "The origin of the deck is: I wanted to play with Keranos basically," said Magnusson. "So at first I just had a blue-red deck with Keranos and Sarkhan. Later I talked to Nicolai Herzog who had come up with Riddle of Lightning which my deck originally didn't have. Now I'm playing sort of a mish-mash between his deck and mine."


The deck proved worthwile and Magnusson decided to go for it. "I love playing controllish decks," he explained, "and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity."

Mikael Magnusson – Grand Prix Stockholm 2014

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"The worst match-up for the deck is everything that has a three-mana toughness 4 creature like Anafenza, the Foremost, Brimaz, or Savage Knuckleblade. If they cast it on turn two or three you usually can't counter it, can't Lightning Strike it ..." said Magnusson. "The best match-up is probably Mono-Red because of Anger of the Gods. You basically can't lose to Mono-Red."

When I talked to Magnusson he was 9-3. "I lost a close match against Jeskai Aggro, and twice against Green-Red Devotion, once because I misplayed and once because of mulligans in one game and being stuck on three lands in the other. Also, Genesis Hydra is pretty problematic as counters don't really help against its triggered ability. You always need two cards to deal with it."

Magnusson was still happy with the deck though. "I wouldn't change much. I mean, I used every single sideboard card and everything in the deck was quite good. I think I'd stick with it."