Removed From Game – The Twelve Decks of Christmas #7: Runeflare

The StarCityGames.com Open Series returns to Dallas/Fort Worth!
Monday, January 4th – For the second week of his daily Twelve Days of Christmas article series, Rich Hagon brings us Runeflare, Boros Bushwhacker, Vampires, and much more!

There’s no doubt that the Deck Tech story of the first day of Worlds in Rome was the creatureless deck concocted by rogue deckmaster Joel Calafell. If you like attacking for two, you’re going to be doubly disappointed by today’s deck. Not only does it feature a grand total of zero creatures, but it also drums into your hapless and helpless opponent the utter futility of turning to power and toughness as a route to victory.

Since that first appearance on the global scene, various players have been tinkering with the deck, and this version we’re going to play with today utterly ignores the white part of Calafell’s idea, eschewing Day Of Judgment, Angelsong, and Safe Passage, for a Red package that gets opponents to dead rather quicker than the original. Let’s look at the list:

At the heart of the deck are the card draw engines. Howling Mine has been around since the dawn of time, and Font Of Mythos is the turbo-charged version. Both pose the same problem to the deck designer. They’re symmetrical cards, in that both players get the benefit of drawing extra cards. Sometimes, they’re worse than symmetrical, since the bonus card or cards go to your opponent first, plus the fact that you’re the one who has Invested in the artifact. Seeing an opponent draw two extra cards and then use one of them to destroy your Font Of Mythos is one of the more frustrating aspects of playing the deck.

However, your opponent drawing lots of cards is exactly how you’re going to win the game. Use Lightning Bolts to kill early beaters. If you need to, make a handy copy of it with Twincast, but only when you really need to, since Twincast is part of your main win condition. Whiplash Trap and Into The Roil are only temporary solutions to opposing creatures, but temporary is a good word for what you’re trying to do, because once you reach five mana, you’re likely to be granting yourself not just bonus cards, but bonus turns.

Against all but the quicker monster decks, opponents should already have a fair number of cards in their hand when you move to deliver the kill. With a Font Of Mythos and Howling Mine in action, it’s easily possible your opponent will end their draw step with ten or more cards in hand. At that point, Runeflare Trap plus a Twincast equals lights out time, and there are few more delicious feelings in Standard right now. Go play, and enjoy never having to turn a creature sideways. See you tomorrow, when we’ll make up for lost time with monsters on turn 1.

As ever…