Red Sledgehammer

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Red Sledgehammer

Postby windstrider » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:28 am

[deck=Red Sledgehammer/Devotion]
Lands 24
21 Mountain
3 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Creatures 27
4 Lightning Berserker
4 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Dragon Whisperer
4 Ire Shaman
4 Flamewake Phoenix
1 Jeering Instigator
4 Thunderbreak Regent
2 Stormbreath Dragon

Spells 8
3 Draconic Roar
3 Roast
2 Crater's Claws

Planeswalker 1
1 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

Sideboard
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
2 Searing Blood
2 Arc Lightning
1 Anger of the Gods
2 Ashcloud Phoenix
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
1 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
1 Mob Rule
[/deck]

I wanted to try something familiar in a more Sledgehammer build and throw in a devotion theme to take advantage of the various mana sinks available. I also wanted more spell-based interaction than normally available to a creature heavy devotion build.
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Postby Khaospawn » Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:11 am

I think that if you're going to play Stormbreath in the main, it's all or nothing. Max out.
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hamfactorial » Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:41 pm wrote:In a pinch, Khaos' beard can help turn this around.

Col. Khaddafi » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:02 pm wrote:I rarely skip a Khaospawn wall of text because I know there is always piss at the end of the rainbow.

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Postby lorddax » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:12 pm

[deck]Big Red with some black around the edges[/deck]
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Postby windstrider » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:38 pm

I really like the look of that Red splash black list. It looks especially powerful and flexible, so why am I not particularly excited by it? It does so many good things, and the cards are individually powerful. I'm just not feeling it as much.
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Postby eldub » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:05 pm

Here's an entire write-up on the archetype by Raph Levy on the deck he played in Brussels: http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=12481

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Postby windstrider » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:55 pm

That is a very good article. It reminds me that I need to read it over for the sideboard suggestions.
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Postby windstrider » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:52 am

Took the following to a 2-2 finish at DTK Game Day. It felt solid, and I had outs to almost everything and would have won another round if I had drawn a Swamp for the Ultimate Price languishing in my hand.

[deck]Big Red splash black[/deck]

Creature Suite
The Best: Zurgo, Ire Shaman, Dragon Whisperer, and Flamewake Phoenix really shined. Zurgo did what he needed to do: get in early. The Shaman really carried some games, and I cast her as a morph only once. The evasion on Whisperer mattered a lot, easily getting over chumps or bigger creatures. The Flamewake flew over everything and just kept coming back for more.

The Good: Lightning Berserker, Ashcloud, Thunderbreak, and Kolaghan. The Berserker sneaked in here and there, but it wasn't as awesome as I had hoped. Opponents couldn't afford to ignore it, though. Ashcloud worked well as an attacker and a blocker; I never did morph it. Thunderbreak made people sweat, just as it needed to. And Kolaghan and the Thunderbreak were just gross together. The 1-of Kolaghan pulled its weight in those games where I had it.

The Bad: Eidolon of the Great Revel did not belong in the main deck. It made several people nervous, and it hurt, but it did far too much damage to me in return. I felt that it wasn't really needed.

Spell Suite
Wild Slash, Roast, and Ultimate Price all did what they needed to do: kill things.

Land Suite
I saw Nykthos quite often, but I think I used it only once. I'm thinking of cutting it for two more Mountains since it conflicted with Lightning Berserker and Dragon Whisperer. Two Swamps was about right.

Sideboard
Virulent Plague absolutely wrecked the token deck I ran against, easily carrying that match for me. Swiftspear was good when I brought in more spells, and her extra toughness mattered. Self-Inflicted Wound was useful against all the green and white creatures running around. And Cut was an out against just about everything. Never cast any of the rest, though I did board them in. The Act of Treason and Mob Rule felt extraneous, so I'd probably cut them for Duress.

Changes
Out go the three Eidolons. In goes another Ire Shaman, and I'm thinking two Silumgar Assassin or Goblin Heelcutter. That way everything except the one-drops has some kind of evasion or pseudo-evasion. I'd considered Pitiless Horde for the raw power, but it's dead in hand if I don't have a Swamp available. I feel like the Assassin has potential here. I'm removing the Threatens from the Sideboard and considering adding in Duress. I feel like it would have helped in at least one match today.

[deck]Big Red splash black v. 2[/deck]
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Postby windstrider » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:51 am

Levy updated his list. He discusses some of the changes here.

http://magic.wizards.com/en/events/cove ... 2015-04-18
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Postby windstrider » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:53 am

I had a nice writeup all ready to go, and the computer ate it. :argh:

I went 2-1-1 today for another top eight and another Thunderbreak promo. After some generous trades, I now have a full playset. That makes me happier than I have any right to be. :)

This is what I had.

[deck]Big Red splash black[/deck]

I added the Caves over the Temples for the incidental lifegain. I'll be switching back to the Temples for the scry, which would work well with Ire Shaman.

Speaking of Ire Shaman, she's easily the best two-drop in the deck an may just be the best card in the whole damn deck. She was just nuts, getting in for scads of damage in every game I saw her. I never even morphed her, preferring instead to have her attack as soon as possible.

Zurgo was great again, and his dash is quite powerful. Dash, as a mechanic, is better than I thought it would be.

I hated the Eidolons. At best, it was a bear. At worst, it did more damage to me than the opponent. Out they go.

The Dragon Whisperers are certainly powerful, but there's a tension there between her and Flamewake Phoenix, so I'll be dropping her down to two. I'm wanting to try out Silumgar Assassin, both for the creature kill and pseudo evasion. I'm thinking the Assassin might work well paired with Ire Shaman. If the Assassin doesn't work, then I'm going with Goblin Heelcutter to go around things.

The other creatures did what they needed to do. Kolaghan won a game for me after the guy overextended when he was at 5 life. He expected that nothing I had could kill him, and he had me dead to rights on his next turn. He was very surprised when Kolaghan appeared and got him for exactly 5. She stays.

The Ashcloud Phoenix proved to be effective, surprising the heck out of the Abzan Aggro player when I unmorphed it and flew right over his lone Rhino. And the resiliency paid off by blocking a creature after he killed it.

I wanted more burn, so I went up to 10 spells. The Draconic Roar was good as creature kill but somewhat conditional as player burn with only 5 dragons in the list. I'm thinking of dropping it down to one and adding in a Lightning Strike. Stoke was very good, closing out one game for me. And Murderous Cut works much better as a 2-of in the main deck.

So, going forward this is what it will look like.

[deck]Big Red splash black[/deck]
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Postby Aodh » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:46 pm

I like most of what you have to say, and the deck looks awesome. Your argument for removing Eidolon seems bad, though. You should look at how many games you won/loss that can likely be attributed to Eidolon. If it does 18 damage to you and 16 to your opponent and you win, then Eidolon performed well, even though he did more damage to you than the opponent.

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Postby windstrider » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:20 pm

I like most of what you have to say, and the deck looks awesome. Your argument for removing Eidolon seems bad, though. You should look at how many games you won/loss that can likely be attributed to Eidolon. If it does 18 damage to you and 16 to your opponent and you win, then Eidolon performed well, even though he did more damage to you than the opponent.
Thank you. :)

I can say that Eidolon cost me several games on Saturday. The deck wants to be aggressive, and, to me, Eidolon is not an aggressive creature. It's reactive, and it's very good at being reactive. But not here. There's every probability that I'm not using the card correctly. In that case, it doesn't fit my play style at the moment. That's my personal weakness as a player. I'd much rather have things that can sneak around attackers like Ire Shaman, go over them like the flying creatures, or smash into and kill them like Lightning Berserker.

I guess I'm a bust 'eads kinda player when it comes to Magic.
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Postby windstrider » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:44 pm

Bringing the discussion here, so as not to invite more comments against BR in the clan thread. ;-)
Take these comments with a grain of salt. I've played the deck over the weekend, so that's the sum total of my experiences with it.

Looks good, but I think it needs more lands. You really want to hit those land drops, so 23-24 lands is pretty important. Then again, I don't feel comfortable running any deck with less than 23 lands. +2 Mountain, -1 Lightning Strike, -1 Kolaghan's Command? All that double red kinda strains things, and you really want those early creatures.

I want to thank LP for suggesting Ire Shaman. That card is a beast.

I like Kolaghan's Command in the main for the flexibility. Returning something like Ashcloud after it's been killed twice could be quite frustrating.

I'm biased against Eidolon in this kind of shell. I just do not feel like it's aggressive enough. I know it's a good card, but it sucks having to throw one down early because it's what you have in hand. I'm really wondering about trying Bloodsoaked Champion, which would let us keep more opening hands with Swamps. It competes with Lightning Berserker though for that spot, and the Berserker is a great mana sink. Hmmm.

I'm also thinking of Mardu Scout as the other two drop. Zurgo into Scout is 5 damage on turn 2, and this deck fights for each point of damage it deals out. It could also go Bloodsoaked into Scout for the same damage. It also comes back to your hand, which can leave the opponent guessing as to what's coming next. That uncertainty is pretty awesome here. Or you start dropping flying things and removal.

Speaking of flying beasts, good gravy, why didn't we think of Herald of Torment? The life loss sucks, but bestowing it on an Ire Shaman would be very, very potent.

Ok that went off the rails pretty quickly.
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Postby Lightning_Dolt » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:08 pm

Double black makes me hesitant, same reason for no Hero's Downfall.

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Postby windstrider » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:12 pm

Yeah, that is a problem. :( For some reason, I was thinking it was one black to cast, two to bestow.
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Postby windstrider » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:13 am

After thinking about it a bit, and seeing all the control lists like UB Control and Esper Dragons emerging, the deck needs to be faster, hit harder. That leads me to thinking of more dash creatures. Lightning Berserker is going to be very good against the control lists because of the low cost to dash it in. I'm also liking Vaultbreaker here for the 3 dash cost, the 4 power, and the discard & draw ability. Between Berserker, Zurgo, Mardu Scout, Flamewake, and Vaultbreaker, and Kolaghan, the deck now has 15 creatures with haste.

Sadly, that meant saying goodbye to Dragon Whisperer. She's good to great in the right situations, but she's also slower. And the same applies to Silumgar Assassin. That frees up space for +2 Mardu Scout and +2 Vaultbreaker. Scout is there for the potential Zurgo into dashed Scout for 5 damage on turn two. Scout, however, kinda sucks as a later drop, so no more than 2.

I'm also adding Kolaghan's Command as a 1-of to the main deck with another in the side for its flexibility. Whip decks are showing up online, so it can kill a Whip, but it's not dead in other matchups.

[deck]Big Red splash black[/deck]

I'm not liking the sideboard as much, so that will need to be updated as well. Swiftspear is still a good choice for the haste and prowess, especially vs. control. And I took away a Self-Inflicted Wound and Ultimate Price to add 2 Foul-Tongue Invocation for another sacrifice effect. Wound can hit Ojutai, but not Silumgar, but it's still useful against big green or white nasties.
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