Hey everyone! This week I took my Rabble Red deck that I piloted at Pro Tour M15 through some two-man queues on Magic Online. This deck served me well at the Pro Tour (I made Top 25), and many of you asked me if it's a good choice for the upcoming World Magic Cup Qualifiers. Rabble Red is a great deck in the right metagame but can be terrible in others. For example, the Pro Tour was full of control decks like Esper and UW and Black devotion variants such as BW Control and BG Devotion. Rabble Red shines in those kinds of metagames.
However, last weekend at GP Utrecht we saw an entirely different environment. Monoblue Devotion, a deck that didn't really shine at the Pro Tour, was everywhere at GP Utrecht and even finished in first and second place! Rabble Red may not have been such a good choice at GP Utrecht.DECKID=1209761
There are two archetypes that are extremely unfavorable for Rabble Red. The first is Monoblue Devotion. Monoblue's creatures have nearly the same cost as Rabble Red's but they just outclass ours. 1/4 and 2/3 creatures trump 2/1s and 1/2s, and Master of Waves will guarantee that no creatures are ever getting through. We can beat the deck of course, but it's really, really hard. You need to set up a board of creatures including Legion Loyalist to get past the Elemental Tokens and Firefist Striker for even more evasion, and then you need a Dynacharge to finish them off. It's pretty hard to set up but the matchup can still be won at least.
The other unfavorable matchup for the deck is RW Burn. There was a copy of RW Burn in the Top 8 at both the Pro Tour and at GP Utrecht, so the deck is definitely on people's radar. This matchup is very hard to win for us because of Young Pyromancer. If we don't kill this guy the turn he hits the battlefield, we won't be able to attack through the tokens it creates. Not to mention the RW Burn player will be constantly killing our creatures and it's really hard to get something to stick. Warleader's Helix is another huge problem because it will kill one of our guys and Undo any of the damage we've done that game. They have Satyr Firedancer after sideboard which is another must kill creature in the deck. Satyr Firedancer will speed up their clock by a considerable number of turns with the RW Burn player still controlling our board. It also turns Searing Blood into a two-for-one.
With two nightmare matchups and a decent amount of great ones, Rabble Red is still a fine choice for World Magic Cup Qualifiers. You still need to be aware of the local metagame however. If you suspect that RW Burn and Monoblue Devotion will be a large percentage of the field, maybe you should choose a different deck.
Onto the videos!
Rabble Red vs. Junk Midrange
As you can see, this is the exact kind of deck you want to be playing against. Three color midrange decks play a large number of scrylands making their deck incredibly slow. We are playing one-drops while their removal spells cost two or three mana so we will be able to deal six to eight damage before they can even kill something. As you could see from the video, Desecration Demon is rarely a problem for us because our game plan is to flood the board quickly, so we should always have plenty of creatures to sacrifice while still being able to deal a healthy amount of damage.
Rabble Red vs. Monoblue Aggro
This Monoblue deck we played against was more of a rogue deck than anything. It was faster than Monoblue Devotion but didn't play the powerful finisher Master of Waves. Ensoul Artifact on a Darksteel Citadel was certainly a problem for us but once our opponent was on low enough life he had to keep it back on defense , giving us time to draw into more threats and burn spells.
While this deck definitely has some potential I don't think it's better than Monoblue Devotion. I do think it can be a very powerful strategy after the rotation.
Rabble Red vs. Rabble Red
Our build of Rabble Red doesn't have very much for the mirror match. We have cheap removal spells such as Magma Spray but if you want to gain an edge in the mirror, there are plenty of other cards you can play in your sideboard. Any two-for-ones are excellent in the mirror and there are a few great options available to us. Electrickery, Weapon Surge, and Coordinated Assault are some great tricks that can give you an advantage in combat. They may not hit as hard as Titan's Strength or Rubblebelt Maaka, but they are efficient ways to kill two or more of your opponent's creatures at once.
Rabble Red vs. GR Devotion
Green based devotion can be a tough one depending on what you draw. As you can see from the video, we weren't able to get there in the games where we had a slow start, but won the game where we were able to apply pressure while being able to keep their devotion count low. Sometimes Devotion decks just get their god draw and there isn't much you can do, and this video showcased that.
Overall I'm still happy with the deck and won't be putting it down for a while. It's super fun to play and unlike other red aggro decks, this one has so much late game with Goblin Rabblemaster and Stoke the Flames.
This weekend I'll be at Gen Con for the best four days in gaming! I'll be at the TCGplayer Booth (#2529) for most of the weekend so be sure to stop by if you want to play a game, get some tokens signed, or just say hi. Thanks for reading and I'll see you then!
Melissa DeTora@MelissaDeTora on twitterwww.facebook.com/MelissaDeTora on Facebook