Christmas Across The Formats!

Gruul kids unite! Mrs. Mulligan is bringing you holiday cheer in the form of a great red and green deck in every format you care to play during your December celebrations!

It’s Christmas time, and everything is decked out in red and green, even our decks! If you want to stay in the holiday spirit while at your next Magic tournament, check out these sweet red and green decks.

Energy is one of the new mechanics introduced in Kaladesh. It is a resource that you can gain and use, but you do not lose it when moving into a new phase or turn. This lets you save up to large amounts of energy and use it very effectively. Excellent removal spells such as Harnessed Lightning become more powerful in a deck that synergizes around the energy mechanic.

G/R Energy is a current Standard deck focusing on this mechanic. It uses cards like Attune with Aether and Aether Hub to gain energy while performing a different ability as well. This, along with creatures that give you energy upon entering the battlefield, accumulates over several turns and can be used later for effective bonuses.

Every creature in this deck has an ability that relies on energy. Some, like Longtusk Cub and Voltaic Brawler, become more powerful by spending energy on them. Servant of the Conduit allows you to fix the colors of your mana and ramp a little bit by spending energy. Lathnu Hellion is different because it requires you to pay energy at the end of your turn in order to keep it alive. This is a downside because it is very powerful for the cost, but when put into a deck with the ability to make a lot of energy, the Hellion becomes an excellent beater.

G/R Energy is an aggressive deck that relies on efficient creatures that will continue to grow throughout the game. As an added bonus, there is a combo with Electrostatic Pummeler and the various pump spells in the deck. You can pump Electrostatic Pummeler and then use the energy you have saved up to double its power as many times as you can afford, often leading to lethal damage in one swing.

While it is not one of the three strongest decks in Standard, it is definitely a good, consistent, and powerful deck. I think we will continue to see this deck through Aether Revolt and maybe even beyond.

This Tier 2 Modern deck has been performing well lately. It works as an efficient ramp strategy into large powerful creatures. Sakura-Tribe Elder, Explore, and Farseek allow you to ramp and cast a Primeval Titan early. Unanswered, a Primeval Titan can end the game very quickly, especially in conjunction with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.

This deck also plays Scapeshift, which combos with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle to have many lands enter the battlefield and do direct damage to your opponent. You will regularly have six or more lands on the battlefield by turn 4 when you can cast Scapeshift. If you have enough Mountains and a Valakut on the battlefield, it can often spell death to your opponent. If your opponent has fetched twice or shocked in a land, you only need seven lands to kill them with Valakut damage on a Scapeshift.

There are some variants that run other payoff cards like Through the Breach; Emrakul, the Aeons Torn; and Xenagos, God of Revels. These are more explosive and powerful finishers but they also rely more on ramp and as such are less consistent.

Part of the reason this deck has been performing so well lately has to do with Dredge, a very good matchup because it runs Anger of the Gods maindeck. As Dredge has grown to be a more popular deck, this combination of Primeval Titan and Scapeshift has been more prevalent and successful as a result. It’s been around for a while and tends to grow in popularity as it becomes better-positioned in the metagame.

Lands is a combo deck where over half of the cards are lands. It uses ramp spells to play extra lands each turn and either denies their opponent mana or creates a 20/20 Marit Lage token to finish the game. It plays The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale as a prison piece, slowing your opponent down until you can win the game.

The primary combo in Lands revolves around Marit Lage. Marit Lage is an indestructible 20/20 flying creature that you get by removing all ice counters from Dark Depths. Paying to remove all of the ice counters would take far too long, but by copying Dark Depths with Thespian’s Stage, the new copy of the legendary land does not have any ice counters and will transform into Marit Lage.

Being a deck based on lands has other perks as well. There are a large number of utility lands that can be chosen to combat your metagame. Bojuka Bog is a common choice to combat Dredge, and Glacial Chasm can save you from a lethal Price of Progress from Burn. In addition to these utility lands they play Rishadan Port and Wasteland to keep their opponents off mana, which is especially painful for land-light decks often found in Legacy.

Lands is one of the few decks that can safely play Gamble, often tutoring for Life from the Loam. It is often too dangerous to discard a card at random, but with Life from the Loam in their hand, it no longer matters what gets discarded. Any land that is discarded can be gotten back, and if Life from the Loam is discarded, you can just dredge it back into your hand to cast next turn.

Lands does very well against fair decks like Delver or Punishing Jund. Its ability to stunt creatures with The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and out grind with land destruction makes them quite favored in fair matchups.

Atarka Red is a super-fast aggressive deck, much like Burn. It plays small creatures with a mix of haste, dash, and prowess abilities to push through a large amount of damage very quickly. Monastery Swiftspear and Abbot of Keral Keep make up the core of this deck, getting the damage in early. Dragon Fodder, Hordeling Outburst, and Goblin Rabblemaster swarm the battlefield more quickly than most removal can deal with. And Atarka’s Command and Reckless Bushwacker grow the team for a turn to push through more damage quite quickly.

Backing up this suite of powerful creatures are burn spells to take care of the last few points of damage or those pesky blockers. Wild Slash and Stoke the Flames each do damage directly to your opponent and can hit creatures too. Smuggler’s Copter is a natural addition to this deck to help filter through the cards in your deck. You will often only want three lands on the battlefield, so it allows you to filter away any extra lands and dig to the final points of damage sooner.

With most new formats, it is often safe to take a quick aggressive deck to early tournaments. Until the format has been figured out, being able to deal the most damage the quickest is a good strategy. This deck certainly brings out the fastest little Goblins and charges into battle with little hesitation, making it a good deck for early Frontier tournaments.

Xenagos, God of Revels
Kerrick Long
Test deck on 12-19-2016

As Commander decks go, Xenagos, God of Revels is pretty straightforward. You cast ramp spells into the biggest and most powerful creatures ever printed in red and green. Then you cast Xenagos and double them, ideally killing a player with each swing.

The first step with this deck is to ramp up and be ahead of the other players. This includes “Sol lands” like Ancient Tomb and Temple of the False God, as well as more traditional ramp spells. Running Into the North, Cultivate, and Wood Elves allows you to fetch basic lands from your deck, both ramping you and thinning your deck so you are more likely to draw raw power.

This deck runs Burgeoning and Carpet of Flowers to make mana and ramp based on your opponents’ mana, the best mana rocks in Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, and Sneak Attack to sneak in those big creatures even earlier. Running Green Sun’s Zenith allows you to tutor any creature you may be looking for. Hunter’s Insight, Hunter’s Prowess, and Soul’s Majesty each allow you to draw a lot of cards based on the power of your own creatures.

Red and green have access to some really good hate cards like Blood Moon, Acidic Slime, and Ruric Thar, the Unbowed for all of those tricky situations you might find yourself in. Lurking Predators can help you put more threats on the battlefield and you can possibly dissuade your opponents from casting anything through the threat of activation.

It takes advantage of extra combat steps better than probably any other deck. Xenagos’s ability is until the end of turn, so when you cast Relentless Assault, Savage Beating, or World at War, you can quadruple your creature’s attack power for the second attack! There are seven cards that can grant extra combats in this deck, making it quite likely that you will see one in the course of a game.

All of these cards are backed up by a pile of large and powerful threats such as Phyrexian Hydra, Panglacial Wurm, and Giant Adephage. A few hits from these, especially with Xenagos’s ability, and your opponents will be knocked from the game. Every card in the deck plays a role and helps to make the deck very powerful.

I hope you enjoyed this Christmas spotlight on the red and green decks across the formats. Do you have any other decks for Christmas or decks that are just perfect for other holidays? Share your cool decks in the comments, and as always, happy gaming!