SCG Daily – Pimp my Precon: Speed Scorch

This week, I have been taking 8th Edition precons, adding enough lands and commons to make them Constructed legal, then turning them into turbocharged racing machines. It’s like NASCAR… if NASCAR started with lawn tractors. Little lawn tractors. It’s Friday, and the only deck I haven’t powered up is Speed Scorch, the goblin thing, so fire up the torches and let’s start cutting.

This week, I have been taking 8th Edition precons, adding enough lands and commons to make them constructed legal, then turning them into turbocharged racing machines. It’s like NASCAR, if NASCAR started with lawn tractors. Little lawn tractors. It’s Friday, and the only deck I haven’t powered up is Speed Scorch, the goblin thing, so fire up the torches and let’s start cutting.

Here are the rules:

Start with an 8th Edition precon decklist.

Beef up the lands and commons to make it a 60-card deck

Add cards, but use only:

1) The cards from the other precons, plus,

2) Whatever I get doing one draft (or so) per precon

3) Whatever I can accumulate by trading / selling cards from the precon / draft.

The goal is to have the deck win at least 40% of games in some format. That’s not much, but it is a lot to ask a deck featuring Goblin King as it’s single bomb.

Here’s the starting decklist:

Speed Scorch

1 Mogg Sentry R

4 Raging Goblin C

1 Goblin Glider U

4 Goblin Raider C

4 Goblin Chariot C

1 Goblin King R

1 (4) Shock C

1 Guerrilla Tactics U

1 (4) Volcanic Hammer C

1 Demolish U

1 Lightning Blast U

1 Blaze U

1 Enrage U

1 Fodder Cannon U

17 (24) Mountain

Even upping the count on all the instants to 4, and the land to 24, only gives me 53 cards. I will have to add some more commons. With Demolish in the mix, I will add 3 Stone Rains to follow up on the land destruction theme, and 4 Spikeshot Goblins, because those are the only common, in-print goblins I can think of off-hand that are not already in the deck. (And I am not going to think hard enough to have to change that.) Unfortunately, that probably means that I will have to take the pile to the tournament practice room, since playing LD in the casual rooms is not really kosher.

I’m ROFLMAO. I’m 5-0 playing Type Two with this pile. Just games, but the tourney practice room. A curve and some luck, and my opponents all fall. Guess I’m done. Mogg Sentry rules, baby!

I have done my eight drafts this week – the five for the series, plus three more with the packs I won. Drafting is a very random method of getting cards. I have a mix of Red cards that could be put in a deck, including one Pyroclasm, one Pyrotechnics, one Lesser Gargadon and so forth. No good Red rares, and no good Red artifacts. For the whole week, I ended up with one Beacon of Creation and one Vedalken Shackles as Constructed-worthy rares.

Back to pimping the precon. I could modify the deck to build something that looks like a glorified sealed deck, but I have done that all week. Instead, I want to try modifying the deck into a new Type Two archetype. To start the process, I got myself three Uba Masks for a buck.

Yes, I said Uba Mask.

This card is symmetrical, and not terribly good. However, it does mean that if your opponent cannot play a card, she cannot hold it until later. If it hits play, Uba Mask should be good against MUC and Tooth, since it eliminates their hand. It gets better if you stop the opponents from playing their cards by – for instance – mana screwing them.

In other words, Uba Mask and LD might be a combo.

If I’m building my deck around Uba Mask, I want to have a lot of spells I can cast and none that might be stranded. Seething Song and Chrome Mox are great examples of cards that might be stranded, so my mana acceleration should be stuff that I can leave on the table, like Talismans and Wayfarer’s Baubles. In addition, cards are only removed from the game by the Mask when I draw them, but cards that return to hand stay in my hand. That means Hammer of Bogardan, Viashino Sandstalker and Forge[/author]“]Pulse of the [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] would all come back to my hand. That will also break the symmetry of the Mask.

Here’s a first draft of how I might build the deck in real life. Note that I don’t own several of these cards online, and have not playtested this at all. This is more of a thought experiment.

Ubageddon (The Theory)

4 Stone Rain

4 Molten Lava

3 Demolish

2 Pyroclasm

4 Magma Jet

3 Hearth Kami

4 Slith Firewalker

2 Arc-Slogger

2 Shrapnel Blast

2 Oblivion Stone

4 Uba Mask

2 Hammer of Bogardan

1 Forge[/author]“]Pulse of the [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]

Here’s what I could do combining the precon and the Uba Masks idea, and incorporating all the cards from previous drafts – plus the one Arc-Slogger I could get my hands on (metaphorically, these are virtual cards, after all.) I added the four Molten Rains – they are el-cheapo commons, after all, and are often the 15th card in MDF drafts.

Ubageddon v1.0

4 Stone Rain

4 Molten Rain

2 Demolish

2 Pyroclasm

3 Magma Jet

4 Shock

3 Volcanic Hammer

4 Goblin Chariot

1 Emberfist Zubera

1 Lesser Gargadon

1 Arc Slogger

2 Shrapnel Blast

3 Uba Mask

2 Star Compass

1 Wayfarer’s Bauble

23 Mountain

I pull this together and drag its sorry butt into the tourney practice room. I have no idea what the Emberfist was doing there – I think I clicked on it instead of Hearth Kami.

I generally just enter the first open standard game/match in the Tourney practice room. I have wound up facing some fairly random decks (which is what my opponents are probably saying about me and mine.) Tonight, though, I face some reasonable competition. Decent White Weenie with equipment, two Ponza decks, etc. I also faced a Proteus Staff / Charbelcher deck that pulled lands with every fetch card around – not something LD wants to see. I almost had him, though – and would have won the match except that he Belched up 18 cards the turn before he would have died.

Some tweaking is in order. It should be no surprise that stuff like Goblin Chariots and Lesser Gargadon are suboptimal. I have been trying to find better stuff in the trade forums, and have wasted lots of time with trade bots or watching the auction, but haven’t got much of anything. First off, I really don’t have much I want to trade. I have a lot of random stuff, and I am never happy settling on one deck and trading everything else off to build just that one deck. Anyway, the biggest problem is time. I don’t have the time to sit in the trade forums and hunt for cards.

I decided to just bite the bullet and buy some of the cards I needed. I went to MTGO Traders and placed an order. In less than ten minutes I had the 40 odd cards I was looking for in my collection. Did I pay more than I would have finding them in trades? No – not considering the time I saved. I had spent a couple hours in trades at that point, and still didn’t have the third Demolish, Viashino Sandstalkers or a Hammer of Bogardan.

In testing, the Uba Mask is doing its thing fairly well. If I can mana screw the opponent, the Mask keeps them from holding cards in hand until they draw lands. I got mana flooded against a WW opponent, but had the Mask out and had cast Flashfires. I watched a dozen of his cards leave the game while he sat there with nothing but a Bonesplitter, while my Hearth Kami did the final 16 points to him. He did eventually draw lands, but the Lions and Legendary dogs were already gone by that time.

Uba Mask is also far better than Defense Grid, provided you can cast it. Watching Condescends, Mana Leaks and hard counters leave the game is pretty nice.

Star Compass is very marginal, but I don’t have any Talismans that tap for red, and I need some artifact acceleration that stays around to sacrifice to Shrapnel Blast. I may have to try Oxidda Golem here. I wonder if I have any. (I’m not connected at the moment.) [The Great Karnak says, “This is where the people in the forums will mention the fact that you can see your collection offline.” – Knutnak] Oxidda Golem should also help against Circle of Protection: Red, too.

Here’s version 2.0

Ubageddon v2.0

4 Stone Rain

4 Molten Lava

3 Demolish

2 Pyroclasm

4 Magma Jet

3 Shock

3 Volcanic Hammer

1 Hammer of Bogardon

1 Genju of the Spires

2 Viashino Sandstalker

2 Hearth Kami

1 Arc-Slogger

2 Shrapnel Blast

3 Uba Mask

2 Star Compass

2 Wayfarer’s Bauble

22 Mountain


3 Boil

3 Flashfires

2 Hearth Kami

2 Echoing Ruin (might be better as Shatter)

4 embarrassingly random stuff

This deck – at least the Uba Mask – is really intended to beat MUC and Tooth. I haven’t seen either, as of yet.

So far, I am 2-0 against other Ponza decks. Some of that is just luck, due to cheap cards. I am playing Volcanic Hammer, which has allowed my to kill opposing Arc Sloggers with just two cards. I have also been a bit lucky, in that my opponents have made some questionable plays.

I have not added Slith Firewalkers to this deck, but that may change. At the beginning, that was because I had none. Now I have some, so I may try them, or the Oxidda Golems. Shrapnel Blast is doing it’s job so far.

Obviously, I would be playing Chrome Moxen if I had them. Anyone want to spot me a few?

I’m not going to give many details on matches

Time for more testing.

Okay, a dozen odd matches later, here’s the consensus.

Uba Mask is a step slow. When it works, it works well. However, it is not much better than classic Ponza.

I have played 30 or so matches so far, and have faced no Tooth decks – which is a shame, because Tooth should, in theory, be a good matchup. I have also faced no MUC, but I’m not so sure about that matchup.

Oxidda Golem is nothing special, but I don’t have 4 Slith Firewalkers. The only advantage I have found is the Shrapnel Blast, and having one card that can stop Auriok Champion out of the sideboard.

Star Compass is just bad – it will become a Talisman, or even a Bauble. Or Chrome Mox, if I win the lottery.

The deck is pretty good against White Weenie. I have won well more than half, with the loses being things like turn 2 Sacred Ground or Auriok Champion. Flashfires out of the sideboard is the key – that and Pyroclasm. Volcanic Hammers have been good since a lot of creatures become 3/3s when Glorious Anthem hits – which it often does if they go first.

Mono-Green aggro is tough, especially when they play a turn 2 Elder and turn 3 Troll. The deck needs four Pyroclasms, and even that may not be enough. It also need the ability to live through Plow Under, which happens way too often.

Green/x decks, with Birds, Elders and Rampant Growth, are not good matchups either. Same reasons.

As nearly everyone probably knows, Hammer of Bogardan is not very good. I have only once managed to win recurring it. On the other hand, the Genju is fine. It is easy to cast, and makes a reasonable finisher. Maybe more.

Here’s where I may take the deck next, but I’m at deadline. I have to ship this to Knut.

Ubageddon v2.3

4 Stone Rain

4 Molten Lava

3 Demolish

4 Pyroclasm

4 Magma Jet

2 Shock

2 Volcanic Hammer

2 Genju of the Spires

4 Slith Firewalker

1 Arc-Slogger

2 Shrapnel Blast

3 Uba Mask

3 Wayfarer’s Bauble

22 Mountain


3 Boil

3 Flashfires

2 Hearth Kami

2 Thunderstaff

2 Frostling

1 Detonate

2 Vulshok Sorcerer

I had planned to take this into a sanctioned Standard event, but I’m not going to have time. I’m also not happy with the idea of risking 6 Tix on this, at least not yet. If I get the Pyrocalsms and a little more confidence, I may put my money on it. If I do, I’ll report in the forums.


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