Down And Dirty – R/G Chronic

Read Kyle Sanchez every Monday... at StarCityGames.com!
I think it was Craig “Lightning Helix” Jones who commented on all the quality burn spells in the current format. There are so many good ones that if you throw them all in a deck you can just win randomly, because all your burn gains synergy with all your other burn. This deck is very similar, because there are so many cards that produce several creatures that it makes all of your opponents’ spells less efficient.

I am inspired.

Inspired by what? I don’t know yet… but I am, and will be, inspired.

It could be a garden, lush and green, with pink flowered trees lining the sides of a humble gray metal fence. There are half a dozen oaks surrounding the garden, with numerous woodland creatures stumbling happily about the connecting trees, as the day patters on and the sun drifts higher in the afternoon. A fountain sits in the middle, with birds washing themselves with the water as it drizzles from the sky. The garden is offset by a stormy black cloud in the background, looking to wreak havoc on this tranquil domain and its curious inhabitants.

Or perhaps an alley, dark and mysterious, filled with bubble gum wrappers and shattered glass scattered about the dampened asphalt. A homeless fugitive curls up between a worn piece of cardboard and the cold metal dumpster as the street light flickers, providing brief illumination to his grizzled face. A cat stumbles by, inspecting an open trashcan for a potential late night snack. While rummaging, a bottle falls from several stories up and crashes onto the hard pavement; the cat jumps, and in an instance is engulfed by darkness as it skitters away.

Now a windy beach on a cloudy day, warm and bright, with the sun peeking through in fits and spurts. A young boy plays with his kite as his mother watches in silence. She’s watching closely, looking out for any problem that might arise. Down the beach is an elderly couple sprawled out on a large striped beach towel. They are holding hands as the tide comes in, soaking their feet every few seconds as they stare blankly into the endless sea.

Next, on top of a hill, overlooking a beautiful city. Several cars are parked here, taking in the pure beauty of the night. With lights scattered about, the city is a giant reflecting pool of the starry sky above. You turn the lights and motor off before you put your arm around her and draw her in close. You stare out for a few more seconds and comment on the natural beauty of the stars contrasted to the mechanical beauty of the millions of lights. The moon eventually comes out from hiding behind a massive dark cloud, and wishes the millions in San Antonio a good night before it disappears once more. You turn it to a smooth jazz station to set the mood before you make your move.

I’m actually not inspired at all, which is a huge dilemma for an aspiring writer / artist / entrepreneur / solicitor / actor / car salesman / all around good guy like myself. I get tons of quirky ideas throughout the day. Like how wicked it would be if they made a sitcom about two teenagers, Chuck and Gleena, and how they deal with their flamboyantly “cheerful” parents, Greg and Sugarspiceandeverythingnice. All the kids at school laugh at them behind their backs, especially their respected rivals Mason and Velvet-Orange, who also happen to be siblings. It’s pretty much the standard awkward teenage year comedy splashed with some “cheerful” humor. I definitely think our culture as a whole can handle it… however, I’m sure it’ll have its detractors.

The problem is that I can never remember my good ideas after I think of them. I’m an avid watcher of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Larry David is frequently seen jotting something down on his trusted notepad. It’s so he remembers his ideas later. I’ve been meaning to try that, but I keep forgetting to pick up a notepad.

Another sitcom that I’m making is a seven-episode pilot about the trials of the Energizer Bunny, and his adventures while exploring exotic locations around the globe, like Tasmania, Helsinki, and Las Vegas. His everlasting charge and signature motto “It Just Keeps On Going And Going And Going And Going…” will inspire countless millions and bring forth an age of prosperity to all viewers. Some will form cult-like religions based on him; however, the Energizer Bunny is a honest soul who is just looking out for the good of mankind. Like Superman. Except he has a thirteen inch… heh.

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In all seriousness this is the best deck Standard has ever seen.

This deck is one of the most fun decks I’ve ever played. I feel like one of those guys who carries around those wicked looking dice pouches, playing my wicked token deck with tons of dice and those weird looking colored glass things scattered about. Truthfully though, this deck is actually the nutter butters. For some reason, the metagame just can’t handle a deck like this. There aren’t enough counter decks out there to stop your late game spells like Siege-Gang and Overrun. They just Remand them, and you destroy them next turn. I’m not even sure if a token-centric deck like this has ever existed in Magic. I remember “Saproling Burt,” a deck with which David Williams made Top 8 about a millions years ago, but it only really had Saproling Cluster as its janky card. This deck is full to the brim with janky cards. Most of them aren’t even cards you want to see in your Limited deck.

I think it was Magic: the Gathering UK National Champion Professor Craig “Lightning Helix” Jones* who commented on all the quality burn spells in the current format. There are so many good ones that if you throw them all in a deck you can just win randomly because all your burn gains synergy with all your other burn. This deck is very similar, because there are so many cards that produce several creatures that it makes all of your opponents’ spells less efficient. Especially when compared directly to Prof’s all-burn strategy. The one-for-one removal spell plan doesn’t work. Any three-color Blink decks that don’t have Wrath don’t have a chance in hell against an army of stupid tokens. And the reprinting of Overrun gives this archetype an “I Win” card, which enables much more explosive games.

The shear mass of tokens provides a good offense, but it’s the lands that are really the exciting part about the deck. There are so many cool lands that give you something to do if you’re dead in water. Everyone knows how good Treetop Village is, but Kher Keep can really be the dagger that pushes you over the edge sometimes. It’s also quite handy at providing chump blockers for opposing Gargadons and Tarmogoyfs. Pendelhaven is another card that gives you a huge edge against other aggro decks.

Another appealing aspect about this deck is its low number of lands, which enables better late game draws.

The sideboard is pretty meh, and it’s based solely off the metagame in my area. There are a few Angelfire decks with Wrath running around, so the Boom/Bust and Magus should keep them off White mana long enough to Overrun them. Dodecapod is for this annoying Goyf-Rack kid who beat me a couple of weeks ago when I was playing R/G Sadin. I was mana screwed in two games and he got very aggressive draws. I mulliganed to five and kept a one-lander with Gargadon and a couple of Tarmogoyfs. Seven turns later Gargadon had four counters on it and I still didn’t have another land. To top it off he actually had Riftsweeper to completely blow me out.

Indrik Stomphowler is there as part of the small Chord package. He’s for cards like Story Circle I guess, although I’m not sure how useful he will be. The Numot and Ghost Council are there just for fun. Ghost Council is another way to perform well against Wrath or Damnation, and Numot is the perfect end of turn Chord target against U/W/x Control decks that don’t have instant speed answers. The Chord package in general is good at getting past counters since you can bait out a Scatter the Seeds or Chord, then resolve an Overrun or Gaea’s Anthem on the next turn.

I seriously don’t think this deck has a bad matchup. Omni Chord can be a bit scary since they have Crovax, so your goal in that matchup is to get an Anthem down ASAP, or just kill them on turn 4 or 5 with a huge Overrun. Anthem really isn’t the best answer to Crovax either, since they can just Cloudskate or Venser the Anthem if they have enough time. R/G Sadin is nearly a bye, as there’s really no way they can win unless they draw twenty points of burn damage. Their Tarmogoyfs and Gargadon are easily trumped by tokens, and they can’t really afford to waste burn on my creatures since I can produce a mass of them very quickly. Plus, how awkward is it to waste a Char or Rift Bolt on a Saproling?

Traditional Angelfire decks with Wrath of God are also extremely Easy to beat. If you get a Gargadon suspended early it’s just game over for them, since their Wrath of God does nothing but bring in an angry 9/7 beast. They also don’t have very good Blue permission, other than a sometime singleton Pact of Negation and Remand, so you can basically goldfish against them. Blink-Touch decks are a bit tougher, but unless they get a quick Lightning Angel out this deck will usually have enough time to overwhelm them with tokens, and since they don’t have Wrath there really isn’t anything you have to worry about.

The laughable synergy of Arcane Laboratory and Erayo is quite the lock. I played with this deck a lot of Magic Workstation, and every time I got the combo out they disconnected on me. There were even a few Rock players who played turn 1 Duress, only to find that I was going to flip Erayo on turn 1, which happens pretty frequently. You will almost always be able to flip Erayo in the first three turns, and with the help of Confidant, Sensei’s Diving Top plus shuffle effects, and Serum Visions you can dig through a good portion of the deck to find the combo or the Arcane Lab once it’s flipped.

The first version of this deck kept losing to turn 1 Kird Ape or Arcbound Worker, and I was usually able to lock them on the next turn, but that one or two creatures that got through made me lose a bunch of games. Repeal is usually able to take care of one guy, but I always tend to use it to acquire the four spells to flip Erayo. So I added Damnation to clean up that angle. One of the funny things about this deck is that after you lock them you have to kill them with Dark Confidant and Erayo beats, but they will usually just concede. This deck really isn’t that good, but it can surprisingly win a lot of games if you keep drawing the Erayo.

Thanks for reading,


Top 5 Picks

1) Scenic Word by Beirut
2) Black Shampoo by Wu-Tang Clan
3) Screenager by Muse
4) Twin Cinema by The New Pornographers
5) Imagine by A Perfect Circle

* You know what they say, the longer the title, the longer his humpff.