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60CC – Crimson 187

Oni of Wild PlacesHoly crap, another 60 Card Challenge! Now that all the coding issues and advertising deals are fixed, we can continue on with business as usual. You’ll notice all these cards have the nifty little card pop-ups and links to Cardshark where users are selling them. Ain’t technology grand?

The last time I wrote one of these here 60 Card Challenges, I had a couple copies of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle that were removed from a deck. I figured this time I’d show you what I did with them, because I’m sure the suspense has been killing you, right? Right? Anyone? …Bueller?

 

The Deck
Anyway, back in Kamigawa Block, they printed a cycle of creatures that said “At the beginning of your upkeep, return a [this colored] creature you control to its owner’s hand.” When I saw this, I immediately wanted to build a red deck full of 187 creatures to abuse the ability (a black one too, but that’s not important for this particular article). Red has lots of little guys that do some damage when they hit play, right? How awesome! Of course, the red part of this cycle (Oni of Wild Places) costs freakin’ SIX mana, so that made it a little more difficult to abuse. So never mind the abuse, I’ll just build a deck around it. Plus, it seems like every block gives this deck just a little bit more love, so it should be able to adapt and change with the times. And with that, here it is:

 

Crimson 187
Creatures (28)
4 Flametongue Kavu
3 Ghitu Slinger
3 Murderous Redcap
3 Oni of Wild Places
2 Firemaw Kavu
2 Stingscourger
3 Goretusk Firebeast
2 Spitebellows
2 Keldon Marauders
3 Sparkmage Apprentice
1 Bogardan Hellkite

Noncreatures (12)
2 Cloudstone Curio
2 Furious Assault
2 Gratuitous Violence
2 Warp World
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Gruul Signet
1 Boros Signet
1 Rakdos Signet

Land (22)
22 Mountain

 

The idea was to gain some card advantage by killing off opposing creatures with every creature I played. Or if they’re too big to kill off, just get them out of the way with the Stingscourger. It’s not that hard. If I can’t kill anything off, I’ll just poke my opponents for a few points of damage at a time, not enough to draw any particular ire. The Spitebellows, Keldon Marauders, and Firemaw Kavu are in here to interact with the Oni of Wild Places, doing damage when they bounce back to my hand (or die, of course). The Murderous Redcaps can even die once, giving their life to block an attacker, then bounce back at full strength with the Oni on the field. Goretusk Firebeast and Bogardan Hellkite make good finishers too of course.

The real fun in the deck comes from all the noncreatures though. Cloudstone Curio allows me to get a nice rhythm going with two or more of my creatures, allowing me to wreak all kinds of havoc when I have the mana to pay for it. Furious Assault helps me to chip away at life totals while I’m doing what I’d be doing anyway – casting creatures. Gratuitous Violence just makes the entire deck ridiculous, without having any of the potential to backfire like Furnace of Rath. Sparkmage Apprentice now Shocks for 2 mana, Murderous Redcap is throwing around Flame Slashes that can hit players, and don’t EVEN get me started on the Goretusk Firebeast!

The crazy part is the inclusion of Warp World. Since almost all the creatures have an effect when they enter the battlefield, great things can happen when the world gets warped, including the occasional win and the occasional all-land whiff. Gotta love randomness in your Magic decks. I also threw in the one Gauntlet of Power because it’s was just sitting in my binder and this is a monocolored deck that could use more mana.

 

The Cuts
But of course, it’s got too many cards in it! I’m sensing a trend in my decks here. I also had a few things I wanted to try out in the deck to see how they worked. I had a newly-opened Conquering Manticore that might work out well, and I found another Redcap, another Gauntlet of Power (!) and I thought I might see how a Deathforge Shaman would work out, especially with two Gauntlets. So not only did I have to cut out two cards completely, but I had to make room for these four new cards! Well, no rest for the wicked, so I might as well start cutting.

Goretusk Firebeast costs 6 mana, and that’s massively expensive until the game goes late. And since he basically functions as a finisher, I decided to knock that count down to a pair. Sparkmage Apprentice, however, is basically useless except in the early game, and even then only marginally so, so that became another pair. In went the Redcap and the Gauntlet in their place. Sure the curve went up, but only a little bit.

Looking over the deck, I realized that Spitebellows was completely out of place. It only works properly (you know, the way the rest of the deck does) when the Oni is out there to back him up. Other than that he’s a big expensive blocker, or a somewhat silly burn spell. Besides, I can probably put those somewhere else that would make more sense. So in went the Shaman and the Manticore, keeping the curve pretty much in the same place.

While I was poring over the deck, I realized that I had those two Valakuts that came out of the Chuck Deck. Wait, what? So out came two Mountains and in they went. These go great in this mono-red deck that has enters the battlefield triggers! Duh! They also help out Warp World, just in case I do manage to get the all-land whiff! Surely one of them would be a Valakut, and then I can zot lots of stuff. Yeah, I said zot. That’s the sound I hear when I use Valakut to shoot something. Don’t judge me. It’s a real word (sort of)! See, look:

Zot – verb (slang). To zap, kill, or destroy.

Ha!

Okay, back to the final issue. I still had two too many cards (you read that as “tutu Minnie” didn’t you?) and I had to remove something! After mulling over it a while, I realized that the tiny little incremental help I get from Furious Assault isn’t really worth it. If I primarily played in one-on-one duels, it would be much better. But against 3 or more other people, it’s just not pulling its weight. It doesn’t even benefit from Gratuitous Violence! So out it came, and now I’m down to 60 cards! As always, here’s the complete list of changes I made, in no specific order.

 

-1 Sparkmage Apprentice
-1 Goretusk Firebeast
+1 Murderous Redcap
+1 Gauntlet of Power
-2 Spitebellows
+1 Deathforge Shaman
+1 Conquering Manticore
-2 Mountain
+2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
-2 Furious Assault

 

And of course, the finished deck can be seen here.

 

Crimson 187
Creatures (27)
4 Flametongue Kavu
4 Murderous Redcap
3 Ghitu Slinger
3 Oni of Wild Places
2 Firemaw Kavu
2 Stingscourger
2 Goretusk Firebeast
2 Keldon Marauders
2 Sparkmage Apprentice
1 Bogardan Hellkite
1 Deathforge Shaman
1 Conquering Manticore

Noncreatures (11)
2 Cloudstone Curio
2 Warp World
2 Gratuitous Violence
2 Gauntlet of Power
1 Gruul Signet
1 Boros Signet
1 Rakdos Signet

Land (22)
20 Mountain
2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

 

Final Analysis
Final analysis, huh? There really aren’t too many overarching conclusions to draw from this one, at least not any new ones. As always, beware of the “cute” things you put in your decks, as most of the time they’re not going to pull their own weight. In this case, the Furious Assaults were just cute. They helped out a little bit, but more often than not they just didn’t do enough to warrant their position in the deck, so they got cut. That, and they were talking about my momma. That’s the rule – you talk about my momma, you get cut.

As far as the other substitutions, there’s really not much more to tell. I found cards that the deck really needed in the Gauntlet and the Redcap, so I pulled out cards the deck needed a little less. The Apprentice was less useful and the Firebeast was too expensive and didn’t need a third copy, so out they came too. Spitebellows didn’t interact with the rest of the deck either. Why would I want a creature with a “leaves the battlefield” effect in an “enters the battlefield” deck? Easy answer – I wouldn’t.

Of course, a valuable lesson I learned from this deck a long time ago isn’t included in this discussion. I used to have Seething Song in here. As you know, they’re spells that give you one boost of mana and that’s that. After I cast Warp World and proceeded to flip up 3 of my 4 Seething Songs, I decided they were a bad idea. I replaced them with some Signets so that I’d have more permanents. In fact, other than the Warp Worlds themselves, the deck is made up entirely of permanents. This makes Warp World always get me the same number of cards back into play (unless I happen to hit the other Warp of course). What does all this long rant mean? Be sure your deck isn’t working against itself. You have enough to worry about fighting off three or more opponents, you don’t need to be fighting against your deck too, you know?

Right then, that about wraps up this edition of the 60 Card Challenge. What do you guys think? I’m open to any and all suggestions, comments, criticisms, concerns, advance lottery numbers, and gas cards. If you have any of the above, just click on Comment down below and let me know what you think!

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4 Comments

  1. April 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Still one of the most amazing decks I’ve seen.

  2. FWulf
    April 22, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    This deck just makes me laugh. I do have some cards that you may want to look at for adding.

    Changeling Berserker
    In the Web of War
    Keldon Champion

    All of these would up the mana cost of the deck, but have a huge affect. In the Web of War could paint more of a target on your back, but it makes each creature you bounce ridiculous when you replay it. I would only put in 1 in any.

    Keldon Champion is a different firebeast. It works better when there are no blockers on the field, but that isn’t always the case. This card is probably the least likely to make it.

    Finally, my personal favorite for this deck, Changeling Berserker. This just makes the 187 redonk. It comes down, hides one of your creatures then swings for 5. If he dies, whatever, you get your creature back. When you get a cloudstone down, let the shenanigans ensue (sp?). Play a 187 creature, bounce Berserker, get 2 triggers. If you have enough mana, replay him and swing for 5 again. I would personally drop the Manticore and one Firemaw for 2 of these at least.

    Just think this over, it could be very helpful.

    -FWulf

    • April 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      You know, the Changeling Berserker isn’t a bad idea at all. The Keldon Champion does work as a possible replacement for the Firebeast, and the Haste definitely helps, but I dunno. It would need some testing, I might have to look into that. In the Web of War is better suited to my Chuck deck, which you can find in the 60CC section here on the site ;)

  3. June 10, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Another update! I replaced the two Sparkmage Apprentice with a pair of Changeling Berserkers, as per FWulf’s suggestion. And the Conquering Manticore got replaced with an Inferno Titan now that I finally have one.

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