Skred Red was a deck that originally premiered back when Coldsnap was legal in Standard. Back then the deck had cards like Stuffy Doll (to target with your Skred), Siege-Gang Commander, and Earthquake. The Modern version (modern being used in the sense of both time and format) has replaced the five mana artifact creature with its much more aggressive three mana counterpart: Boros Reckoner. The Reckoner (along with many of the other cards in the deck) is a welcome improvement as it can not only attack, it can also Deal Damage to opposing creatures with its ability as well.
Let's take a look at the version I'm referring to.
Magic Online user GG_Glenn went 4-0 with the list in a Modern Daily Event, which, as usual, is pretty sweet. When you're battling against things like Scapeshift and Burn variants and you can still go 4-0 that says something. In addition, there was another Skred Red list that made it to the Top 8 of the SCG Premier IQ this past weekend, so it's definitely becoming more popular, and performing well at that. I had seen a list like this a while back, and I never got a chance to try it out. Now was the time, it seems. Interestingly enough there are no cards from Khans in the list (monocolored deck, multicolored set…) and the deck runs about $115 according to the TCGplayer low price! So, that's pretty sweet.
Skred Red vs. Martyr Proc
Skred Red vs. Affinity
Skred Red vs. RW Burn
Skred Red vs. UG Infect
While it seems like I might have thrown away a win against UG Infect by not shooting the Boros Reckoner with Combust in game three when my opponent was exactly at five, in actuality he could have redirected the Boros Reckoner damage to his Spellskite and saved himself. I did however forgot that the Reckoner was white, because who considers him a white creature? The other problem is that I was in the "This is for Blightsteel Agent" mindset, and that's what Combust was for all game. You should get into the habit of trying to reevaluate cards within a game, because their uses can definitely change.
The best part about the deck, as you could probably see, is that we basically have infinite removal. With four Skred and four Lightning Bolt, we're very prepared for the aggressive decks. We also have seven different sweepers in the form of one Pyroclasm, three Anger of the Gods, and three Volcanic Fallout.
The great part about most of those cards is that they combo with Boros Reckoner pretty effortlessly. From Skredding him when we have numerous Snow-Covered lands in play, to all of the Volcanic Fallout / Pyroclasm effects that also help us kill larger creatures or deal more damage to the dome thanks to them also dealing damage to the Reckoner. This is one of the deck's primary gimmicks and should not be overlooked when trying to get those extra few points of damage in. (However, it wasn't until after my matches that I even remembered being able to target a Boros Reckoner with spot removal to hit the opponent with it, so if I overlook that in a match, that's why.)
I was a little skeptical about the four maindeck Relic of Progenitus, but seeing as it cantrips it's never really a dead card. It also has a ton of use against not only decks that use their graveyard for victory (Martyr Proc for example, and their Proclamation of Rebirth), but also decks that simply want to cast delve cards. When your Treasure Cruise can't cost less than six mana, it's really hard to actually cast in the burn deck. There are also matches where the card will be dead, in which case...draw a card! Overall, this might be better as a three/two split with Pyrite Spellbomb, but I'm not sure.
Demigod of Revenge was the key win condition in the deck, with Koth of the Hammer and Boros Reckoner cleaning up the messes that need to be cleaned up. The other Skred Red list that Top 8ed the SCG Premier IQ was running four different five mana fliers: three Stormbreath Dragon and one Thundermaw Hellkite. I'm not sure which package is better, to be quite honest. I like the fact that each subsequent Demigod can bring the previous Demigods back. I like that Stormbreath Dragon has protection from white with so many white removal spells in the format. I dislike the Demigod can't be cast if our fifth land is a Scrying Sheets or a Mutavault. I dislike that Stormbreath only has four power instead of five, cutting back on our clock a full turn. These are all very minor issues and I think in the end it comes down to preference and metagame as they're all very good finishers.
Blood Moon is another super relevant card, and the fact that entire strategies can be based around it in the format should indicate as much. The other version of the deck only had two, and to be honest, the fact that this list had four made me a little more comfortable playing it. The card simply shuts down entire strategies, like Scapeshift. Sure, they can bounce it with Cryptic Command, but good luck naturally finding three basic Islands.
Affinity can be a tricky matchup and, as such, I would actually recommend another Shatterstorm or two in the sideboard. Maybe another Pyrite Spellbomb as well. Etched Champion is insanely hard to deal with for us, but every time we cast Shatterstorm it was very hard for them to recover (for obvious reasons).
Pyrite Spellbomb also deals with Kor Firewalker and, as you can see in the video, he can also be quite problematic. I would probably cut one Guttural Response and one Boil to make these changes. Boil seems very narrow in this format, and the only deck it really hinders seems to be Blue Moon, so that seems like a metagame call, more or less, and we already have immunity to their Blood Moons. With the amount of red decks being played on Magic Online, I would even be tempted to cut the second one for a fourth Dragon's Claw. It's a card you definitely want to hit when playing against red decks.
I'm also tempted to add a Tormented Voice to the deck. We can discard excess Blood Moons or early Demigod of Revenge to get them back later, and it would help us hit missed land drops. But that's just a thought
This deck was awesome, and it's basically a burn deck hidden inside of a control deck. It's super sweet seeing cards like Demigod of Revenge and Scrying Sheets getting the love they deserve again. If you're looking for something strong and unique, as well as affordable, this deck is definitely a great option! Thanks for reading, and I'll catch you on Thanksgiving!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV