Ever played Modern but were too discouraged by the initial investment? Well, have we got a deck for you! The main deck comes up to roughly 100$ and it’s actually fun to play. You have a nice balance of threats,removal and ramp. The sideboard is of course jam-packed with great Red hate cards. It’s probably not a deck for everyone but I do like to rock it once in a blue moon (more like Red Moon, amirite?)
4 Coldsteel Heart
3 Relic of Progenitus
3 Mouth of Ronom
3 Scrying Sheets
19 Snow-Covered Mountain
3 Blood Moon
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Damping Matrix
2 Sowing Salt
It may not look like much and is probably a shocker to people that are only used to seeing the one dimension of Red: burn. I always liked the hate and control elements of Red since it made it somewhat of a more refreshing flavor. My first article on here was actually for a similar deck shown here.
The Modern list is one from a local Modern tournament in Montreal. The tournament had a pretty big turnout, so it’s not like it randomly performed well with extreme luck. I watched a few games and it really impressed me in how it just churned out these huge threats (Inferno Titan) and ramped up to things like a turn 3 Solemn Simulacrum or Koth thanks to Coldsteel Heart. It also has Boros Reckoners to stave off the aggro decks as well (something that was not printed when the Big Red deck was made).
You also get some card draw/advantage via Relic of Progenitus and Scrying Sheets (as well as Solemn Simulacrum sacrificing himself for the greater good). Pyroclasm can be a blowout against decks like UR Delver since it catches Young Pyromancer, the tokens it makes and Delver of Secrets (flipped or otherwise). With a Boros Reckoner on your end, you can even catch their 4-toughness guys. All your other creatures are not dying to Pyroclasm either.
Lightning Bolt is obviously a must in the deck, since it’s the measuring stick for creature resilience (aka. passing the Lightning Bolt test). Skred is really awesome for the bigger creatures late game (29 snow permanents in the deck). Unless you absolutely need to, never aim the Lightning Bolts at your opponent’s head. Skred can become rather deadly when paired with a Boros Reckoner on the battlefield. That’s some insane fire damage right there!
On a small sidenote: I really love the Relic of Progenitus in this build. It’s something you definitely have room for and can easily be an upside against any graveyard-based deck (or just bothersome Tarmogoyfs). Also, if you activated Scrying Sheets only to see an instant you can’t draw with it … just scrap your Relic and grab a timely removal piece. Another artifact that’s occasionally useful is the Hammer of Purphoros. You haven’t seen how good this thing is until you’ve dropped an Inferno Titan with it in play. 6 points of damage split however you want? Wow! Really? While flooded, you can just clear their board and pump your Inferno Titan for the killing blow. Or just scrap your lands in exchange for some hasty 3/3 tokens.
Yep! like any good little control deck you get to pad your life total a bit when things don’t go your way. Wurmcoil Engine almost always demands an answer, usually in the form of Path to Exile. Batterskull does as well, plus it can often be more resilient by bouncing it back to your hand or just straight up equipping it to one of your other creatures in play.
It’s also really nice to see these 1-of’s in the deck. Genju of the Spires is cute and better than it seems, since it dodges sorcery speed removal or just attacks after you Pyroclasm the board. Thundermaw Hellkite and Stormbreath Dragon are great at keeping most opposing fliers at bay on top of have some sweet abilities.
… even Planeswalkers !
Aside from Liliana of the Veil and the odd Karn Liberated, it’s not very common to see planeswalkers in Modern decklists. As soon as I saw that this particular build was running Koth of the Hammer, I was immediately intrigued. He’s a nice change from all the Chandras that we are used to seeing in Red decks and I think this build can almost even play a Sarkhan the Dragonspeaker instead of maybe one of the dragons. I would maybe try one in the sideboard and see how it goes. The fact that he double as a removal against some 4-toughness guy like a Linvala, Restoration Angel or Spellskite is gravy.
Koth is great in almost all stages of the game, except it you need to stabilize. You get that early aggro/extra mana early game.
Turn 2 Coldsteel Heart
Turn 3 Koth of the Hammer
He can give you an insane mana boost late game with his -2 as well, If you’re thinking of dropping down a couple of threats in the same turn or just going all-in with Inferno Titan‘s firebreathing ability. Although if you can go for his ultimate, then by all means..,
Enough about the main deck. I’d really recommend adding it to your Modern testing gauntlet and seeing how it performs. Also, since the expensive cards are mostly in the sideboard – you can probably proxy them while testing (just remember you can’t proxy them in a real event). You can also try variants of sideboard cards, like a Shattering Spree over a Shatterstorm if you feel you might need to cast it earlier against deck like affinity. If you find yourself having problems against Birthing Pod decks, you can also try Torpor Orb. It can screw over a few of you creatures, but will probably do much more harm to your opponent. Same goes for something like a Spellskite if you are trying to combat Splinter Twin decks. Damping Matrix kind of combats Birthing Pod (which is still one of if not the top Modern deck at the moment. It shuts them down in a different way, by going directly after the Birthing Pod itself. It also hits Splinter Twin, since it’ll prevent them from actually activating the creature enchanted by the Splinter Twin as well as hitting Kiki-Jikki.
Maybe the deck can play a 1-of copy of Fate Reforged‘s newest spoiler:
Yeah, it’s legit
So what are you waiting for? Give it a shuffle! Oh, an Happy Holidays!