Red Rockin’ Extended

Extended, fresh off rotation with that new car smell still in the air is ripe to be broken… with Beasts? Indeed, dear reader don’t look for technology in old Extended, nor even in good Type Two decks of now dead formats. You must dig deep into the likes of Onslaught Block Constructed for the golden technology I wish to impart.

Fast food kills, kids.

Extended, fresh off rotation with that new car smell still in the air is ripe to be broken… with Beasts? Indeed, dear reader don’t look for technology in old Extended, nor even in good Type Two decks of now dead formats. You must dig deep into the likes of Onslaught Block Constructed for the golden technology I wish to impart. Okay, some of the technology might be a little borrowed from other formats. However, Contested Cliffs certainly wasn’t on the Extended radar last I checked. This article is about the Red Rock deck I ran at PT: LA and what should be changed for your PTQ battling pleasure.

This is the deck I ran at LA:





Who plays those?

Everybody asks the same question when they first see my deck. “Dude, what’s with the Farseek?” Allow me to explain. Twenty land is enough for you to, on average, draw three land in nine cards. With Birds, Sakura-Tribe Elders, and one Farseek this would allow me to get to the five mana I desire without trouble. Therefore, I considered twenty-two lands to be a safe amount for my curve. Furthermore, this deck is heavy with four-drops and I wanted another accelerator that could fetch White mana to allow turn 3 Living Wish for Kataki and cast it. One Farseek was all I could fit due to space, but it still beats another land. If I could go back and change only one thing about my deck, it would certainly be the four maindeck Flametongue Kavu. I ended up playing four decks Day 1 that contained no maindeck creatures and almost as many Day 2. Day 2 also had me drawing all four Flametongues game one against Star Wars Kid, who went on to Top 8 with his Heartbeat Combo deck. If one of those Flametongues had been a Duress, I would have won the game and match. Furthermore, I was forced to Living Wish for Spiritmonger against Tsuyoshi Fujita and if Flametongue had been a sideboard option, I would have won that game as well.

I think the best option is to switch one of the Flametongues for one of the sideboarded Duress. I originally had it that way. Sadly, before the tournament I scouted the people registering their decks or playing practice games and all I saw was Affinity, Goblins, and Dredge decks with Wild Mongrels. This prompted my change because a two Duress opening hand should be kept normally, but against Goblins or the Dredge deck it isn’t the best. On the flip side, a two FTK hand must also be kept. However, against all the slower decks it isn’t as bad as it seems because you can target a Sakura-Tribe Elder of your own and then sacrifice it in response to the four damage or even kill a Birds of Paradise. Also, the matchups against the control decks are actually better, so I wanted to skew the maindeck towards the aggro matchups. With Affinity and control decks doing so well in the GPs, however, I feel Duress is still the better maindeck card.

The Goblin Pyromancer and the Silklash Spider are answers to decks that don’t seem popular anymore in Goblins and traditional U/G Madness with Wonder. If you think either of these decks are large in your area feel free to leave them in. Also, Blinkmoth Well was supposed to be an answer for Isochron Scepter, but it costs too much mana to tap Scepter and play a spell with this deck. In the amount of time it takes to have the three extra lands to tap Scepter consistently, Scepter decks just get another Scepter with Fire/Ice and lock you by tapping the Well. Don’t think Scepter Chant is a bad matchup because of this. In fact, the matchup is just fine but Well is simply too narrow compared to wanting colored mana as a potential for Living Wish.

The options are now Darigaaz’s Caldera and Bloodstained Mire. Darigaaz’s Caldera has promise because it gives us all but White mana. Additionally, if we are Wishing for a land, it is likely we will be missing land drops anyway. Bloodstained Mire, on the other hand, has the benefit of getting White mana in the off chance of a double Living Wish draw against Affinity and it doesn’t set the land drops back. On the downside, it also thins our deck of precious land when we use it and if the deck is having mana problems, this is counter productive. I also considered Golgari Rot Farm and Contested Cliffs. Golgari Rot Farm is too slow and I never really feel it’s worth casting Living Wish for Contested Cliffs because the matchups it’s good in are so tempo oriented. This leaves us with two open slots in the sideboard that Cranial Extraction seems best in. It is good against all the decks that FTK isn’t good, so they will swap nicely. It also very effectively neuters several of the decks I will go over in the sideboard analysis.

The modified deck looks like this.

Scepter Chant-

Putrefy really shines in this match. Without Scepter Chant in the format Putrefy probably wouldn’t be in the deck. Simply use your discard and artifact removal to keep Isochron Scepter out of play. I normally Living Wish for Genesis in this match even though Viridian Shaman feels safer because they often play Wrath of God and Genesis plus Witness and Deed or discard is very hard for them to overcome before they die.

-Out: 3 Flametongue Kavu (even if they bring in creatures), 1 Ravenous Baloth

-In: 1 Eternal Witness, 2 Cranial Extraction, 1 Duress


This matchup is one of the most skill intensive matches for this deck. Goblins is both the aggressor and has inevitability with Burning Wish. You must take every opportunity to become the aggressor and Deed must be used at the optimal time or they will overrun you. For example, the best possible turn 4 play is double Sakura into a turn 5 Deed for four. Even if you have the Flametongue Kavu in hand, I would rather take the Sharpshooter Gamble because you can’t win game one if you don’t get ahead and start attacking. Always Therapy for Warchief until they could have cast it, then Therapy for Ringleader, then Burning Wish or Bidding. Use Therapy to strip Ringleader and Matron activations in the mid-game

-Out: 3 Duress

-In: 3 Engineered Plague (This is a poor matchup without these. I know it’s tempting to cut them but you can’t beat Goblins consistently without them.)


Withered Wretch is key as a Living Wish target, followed by Genesis. Occasionally, if they have very few cards in their graveyard, Genesis is sometimes a better choice to wish for first. Protect your Living Wishes and your Extractions for Psychatog with discard and you’ll be fine. Dredge is a replacement effect so you can’t remove cards from the graveyard in response to Dredge. The last opportunity is when they move from their upkeep to their draw phase. This also means that they cannot Darkblast Wretch and then Dredge Darkblast back in their draw before you have a chance to remove it. Either they are in their draw phase and cannot cast Darkblast before they draw for their turn or you will receive priority before they draw for their turn because they are in their upkeep. Withered Wretch is much better because it survives Darkblast in this matchup.

-Out: 3 Pernicious Deed (they side Deeds of their own so on-board answers aren’t effective), 3 Flametongue Kavu

-In: 1 Spiritmonger, 1 Eternal Witness, 2 Cranial Extraction, 1 Duress,1 Dwarven Blastminer


I normally Therapy in the early for Sakura to stunt their mana growth, then go for Gifts Ungiven and Fact or Fiction. Use Pernicious Deed to answer Heartbeat Of The Spring in the early game. Also, don’t draw to many Flametongue Kavus game one. Always Living Wish for Withered Wretch. Once you play Wretch, do the best you can to keep them from playing Heartbeat because you have to kill Wretch to answer it. After you get Wretch out, leave mana open going into their turn. Then, if they attempt to bring any cards back from their graveyard simply remove the card in response. Still use this mana to remove cards at the end of their turn though, unless you think they would want to Cunning Wish for the removed card and otherwise couldn’t. If they don’t play Heartbeat of the Spring while you have Wretch out, they can’t win. This deck needs to accelerate turn 2 and has problems with its mana in general, so disrupting that is your primary road to victory.

-Out: 3 Flametongue Kavu, 2 Putrefy

-In: 1 Eternal Witness, 2 Cranial Extraction, 1 Duress, 1 Spiritmonger


Drawing too many Deeds can be bad here, because it gives them time to achieve card advantage, but using discard to force one into play is just fine because they have to do something like boomerang it to protect Psychatog.

-Out: 1 Pernicious Deed, 3 Flametongue Kavu, 2 Putrefy

-In: 1 Spiritmonger, 1 Eternal Witness, 2 Cranial Extraction, 1 Duress,1 Dwarven Blastminer

Boros Deck Wins-

Baloth is a better Wish target in this match, so move one to the board for the Spiritmonger. Engineered Plague should name Spirit for Kataki, Genju of the Spires, Frostling, and Hearth Kami. If they don’t play many Spirits, then name Wizard for Lavamancer. This matchup often honestly hinges on whether you have Sakura turn 2 and Baloth or Flametongue Kavu turn 3. If you do that, you win almost always. If you don’t, better hope they play a lot of Spirits for Plague.

-Out: 1 Ravenous Baloth, 4 Cabal Therapy

-In: 1 Spiritmonger, 1 Duress, 3 Engineered Plague


This matchup is all about Living Wish for Kataki or Deed when they don’t have Needle. Fetchlands always get Sacred Foundry in this match. This matchup is fantastic. I mulliganed to five against Olivier Ruel in the PT and still won.

-Out: 4 Cabal Therapy

-In: 1 Spiritmonger, 1 Viridian Shaman, 1 Duress, 1 Flametongue Kavu

Balancing Tings-

This is by far the worst matchup for this deck. If you don’t draw Living Wish game one you just sit and wait for them to peel and blow up the world. Try to hold a hand of only two land and an accelerator or no hand at all. If you do wish for Blastminer, you can force them to play all the land from their hand just to still be able to go off and you’ll recover faster. Destroy the lands that produce Green and White when sacrificed first. Therapy for Burning Wish. Extraction for Terravore.

-Out: 4 Pernicious Deed, 3 Flametongue Kavu

-In: 1 Eternal Witness, 1 Kataki, 1 Duress, 2 Cranial Extraction, 1 Darigaaz’s Caldera, 1 Spiritmonger

I feel that this deck, like many Rock decks, has solid but not fantastic matchups against the whole field. It completely destroys Affinity, fairs well against the control and aggressive decks, and fairs poorly against Tings and any combo deck you don’t draw discard against. I would happily play this at a PTQ because it never loses to itself. Unlike some decks that need to draw specific cards, Red Rock can answer anything your opponent throws at you with solid standalone cards. Synergy is good, but the of necessity of producing a combination of cards for any of them to be effective is risky in a PTQ where such power is unnecessary against weaker opponents.

On a side note, all the Affinity decks I see play Chromatic Sphere over Terrarion. Terrarion says draw a card when Terrarion is put into the graveyard from play – it isn’t part of the activation ability. So you can, for example, sacrifice it to Arcbound Ravager and draw a card. Plus, it singlehandedly makes two Black mana, which seems very good for moving Cranial Plating on the fly. The only situations I would rather have Chromatic Sphere is when Thoughtcast costs only one Blue or if I’m sacrificing in order to cast what I draw with that mana. However, both of those situations involve the potential loss of only one life in the most aggressive deck in the format. Just a little food for thought.

Until next time, Good Battles.