Season’s Beatings: Red/Green in different formats

Hi all,

I’m getting ready to celebrate some time off work with some online grinding that I haven’t been able to do for quite a while. I really love where I am with MTGO right now; I have the skeletons of several decks in Legacy and Modern, lots of Event Tickets at my disposal, and time to brew, practice, and enter events coming my way.

But down to business.

Christmas colors are Red and Green, so here are some Legacy and Modern brews as my gift to you.

Modern Aggro

Here’s a turn 3 aggro deck in a format where Wizards is keeping combo decks to turn 4.

For Modern I wanted to present some things that are a little different, but we are stuck within some confines of Red, Green, so you know we are going to go beats first of all. Here we have an [c]Experiment One[/c] deck that is, well, experimental.

[d title=”Gift of the Woods”]
Land
2 Copperline Gorge
1 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Snow-Covered Mountain
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

Creatures
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Experiment One
4 Kird Ape
4 Monastery Swiftspear
3 Vexing Devil
4 Wild Nacatl

Other Spells
3 Colossal Might
4 Groundswell
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Rancor[/d]

There are lots of lines of play here that lead to a turn 3 kill. They have several variations and levels of risk, but the classic line is this:

Turn 1: [c]Experiment One[/c]

Turn 2: [c]Burning-Tree Emissary[/c] into [c]Wild Nacatl[/c] and [c]Vexing Devil[/c]. Attack with a 4/4 [c]Experiment One[/c]. Opponent is at 16 or 12, depending on how they responded to [c]Vexing Devil[/c].

Turn 3: Assuming the opponent is at 16, our creatures have 13 power, but all we need is [c]Colossal Might[/c], [c]Lightning Bolt[/c], or [c]Groundswell[/c] for the rest regardless of the demon being in play.

There are also plays involving [c]Monastery Swiftspear[/c] that are convoluted and require a lot of typing. The point is the keyword “prowess” is insane. [c]Rancor[/c] triggering prowess makes me feel all warm inside, like milk and cookies.

The pump spells here help us operate against [c]Lightning Bolt[/c], so don’t just run them out unprotected.

The [c]Colossal Might[/c] is a strict upgrade over [c]Ghor-Clan Rampager[/c] because it has more synergy with [c]Burning-Tree Emissary[/c], and it can be used during any phase of the game.

Modern Combo

When other combo decks are stunted, let’s play the one that can get there on turn 2. The format now is probably better for Infect than it ever was at Theros’ release: no one is playing [c]Lingering Souls[/c], and Pod players are not running [c]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/c]. If Delver resolves [c]Treasure Cruise[/c], though, you probably won’t have the gas to keep up.

[d title=”Serpent’s Gift”]
Land
2 Copperline Gorge
4 Snow-Covered Forest
4 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Pendelhaven
3 Stomping Ground
2 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

Creatures
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Glistener Elf
4 Ichorclaw Myr
4 Necropede

Other Spells
3 Apostle’s Blessing
1 Become Immense
4 Groundswell
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Rancor
4 Vines of Vastwood[/d]

So we have a plan for everything, but sometimes you draw into the wrong plan against the wrong opponent. There are more trample and protection effects in this deck than in traditional Mono-Green Infect decks, and [c]Ghor-Clan Rampager[/c], despite my earlier-posted reservations, dodges [c]Spellskite[/c]. Also, in a pinch, when the opponent has recklessly used their life total as a resource, he can win handily with regular damage.

Legacy Aggro

RIP Legacy Aggro. I tried so very hard to get Zoo going. I think I am about two months too late to win packs with Zoo. There was a tiny blip where the format primarily had [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] for removal and had a lot of Elves and Delvers. That time, and that time only, was perfect for a Zoo deck whose creatures survived its own [c]Pyroclasm[/c] and [c]Volcanic Fallout[/c]. The combo matches were awkward, I’ll admit, but at the same time, we are more consistent game 1. In games 2 and 3, there is enough hate in Naya colors that we can play to slow them down without diluting our strategy. On a last note about Zoo, while looking through creatures that cost 2 and have 4 or greater toughness, I found [c]Plant Elemental[/c]. What the heck, why isn’t this online? Is there a list of cards that aren’t online but are printed?

Nevermind my failed experiment, though. Let’s fire out another attempt at Aggro in Legacy. This Goblin deck sets itself apart from the rest by maximizing on [c]Goblin Lackey[/c] effects, token generators, and Lord effects. Instead of a solo [c]Goblin Piledriver[/c] swinging for 30, we want lots of 3/3 guys, and we won’t say no to one or two of them having double strike.

[d title”Gift of The Gargantuan…Goblins]
Land
4 Cavern of Souls
7 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Pendelhaven
4 Taiga
4 Wooded Foothills

Creatures
2 Boartusk Liege
4 Gempalm Incinerator
4 Goblin Chieftain
3 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Goblin Ringleader
4 Goblin Lackey
4 Goblin Matron
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Krenko, Mob Boss
4 Mogg Fanatic
1 Stingscourger
4 Warren Instigator

Other Spells
4 Tarfire[/d]

In our sideboard, we want to jam all the [c]Chalice of the Void[/c] and [c]Grafdigger’s Cage[/c] that we can muster against the graveyard-centric combo decks. I know the green-ness of this Christmas-themed Red/Green Goblin deck is in question (did you not see the cost of [c]Boartusk Liege[/c]?), but if we hope to have a chance against Miracles, then we will play [c]Krosan Grip[/c] in the side.

Legacy Combo

Here is a land-centric combo deck with lots of inevitability, which I really like in Legacy with a lot of durdlesome decks going around now. [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c] and [c]Dark Depths[/c] are two win conditions that cannot be countered and in general are very difficult to deal with. We are splashing red in this traditionally Mono-Green deck because Christmas and also because [c]Pyroclasm[/c] feels really good right now. Additionally, we have [c]Boil[/c], [c]Sudden Shock[/c], and [c]Ancient Grudge[/c] as sideboard options. Want to beat Delver and [c]Treasure Cruise[/c]? Play threats that cannot be countered and ignore removal, and you can’t get tempo’d out.

[d title=”Gift of Estates”]
Lands
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cavern of Souls
4 Cloudpost
1 Dark Depths
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Eye of Ugin
1 Glacial Chasm
4 Glimmerpost
1 Karakas
1 Riftstone Portal
2 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Taiga
4 Vesuva
3 Wooded Foothills

Creatures
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Eternal Witness
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
4 Primeval Titan
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 Ulamog, The Infinite Gyre

Other Spells
1 All Is Dust
4 Crop Rotation
4 Expedition Map
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
2 Into the North
2 Moment’s Peace
1 Perilous Vault
3 Pithing Needle
3 Sylvan Library
[/d]

Legacy has questions, and this deck has answers.

I hope you have enjoyed these brews or archived lists with varying degrees of a loosely-based Red/Green theme. Maybe you’ll see one posted with my name on it in January.

-drinkard