If you haven't heard the big news, you either aren't paying attention in the Magic world, or you aren't letting us pay attention for you by following us on Facebook. The Onslaught fetchlands (Bloodstained Mire, Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Windswept Heath, Wooded Foothills) have officially been confirmed in Khans of Tarkir.
This is great news for several reasons, the first of which is that it should theoretically lower the price of Zendikar fetches, because you now have five more affordable (and often times more fitting) options for deckbuilding. Now decks that really wanted a UB fetch for example, can use Polluted Delta instead of say Scalding Tarn. This will lower the demand on certain Zendikar fetchlands
The other reason is that for those that do want the correct land but might not own it, like say a Scalding Tarn land for their Twin deck, they can now compromise and use a Polluted Delta instead allowing them to still find Islands and Steam Vents. This makes the barrier for Modern a lot lower in terms of fetchlands which is awesome.
I'm all for affordable decks; I'm just not a big fan of budget decks. The distinction is that an "affordable" deck is something like Rabble Red, or a deck that costs around $100 in Standard. A "budget" deck is a deck that costs an arm and a leg, but has replacement cards in it, such as a Duress instead of a Thoughtseize or a Llanowar Elves instead of a Noble Hierarch. I'm not a big fan of this because it can often change the entire way a deck works or interacts, not to mention lowering the power level greatly.
The reprinting of Onslaught fetchlands have the potential to make certain decks more affordable without forcing people to run budget versions of those decks (by considering running something like Terramorphic Expanse over a fetchland; don't do this).
Anyway, speaking of Modern, the deck we're playing today is a more affordable option. I say this because it's actually quite cheap to build and really fun to play. Check it out.
So basically most of the cost for the deck comes from the Scalding Tarns which, just as I outlined above, can be replaced by the much more efficient Bloodstained Mires.
Magic Online user betalain took this list to a 3-1 finish in a Daily Event and as soon as I saw someone using Empty the Warrens and Young Pyromancer, without blue, I was intrigued. Let's see if my curiosity was justified.
Rakdos Storm vs. Kiln Fiend Combo
Rakdos Storm vs. Monored Burn
Rakdos Storm vs. American Midrange
You win some, you lose some. As with most storm decks, this one was quite difficult to play, especially going in cold. Reason being that if you don't have a storm card in your hand, or a card that can actually utilize all the mana you're producing (Inferno Titan), then you're usually unsure whether or not you should fire off a couple of rituals and hope that Manamorphose finds one for you. It's also tricky to know whether you should fire off that Empty the Warrens for six or wait until you draw a couple more ritual effects. How long will that take? What if you don't draw them? One thing I was uncertain about was whether or not the intention of the deck was to win in one turn, perhaps waiting until you have both Goblin Bushwhacker and can make enough goblins to just win in a single shot.
This is kind of what happened against Merfolk in a match I was unable to record. We basically went all in on six tokens, but he was able to play out two lords and simply stare us down until he had enough unblockable power to win. We might have been able to Breakthrough if we were able to draw something like Goblin Bushwhacker, but what was our other option? To wait and get a higher storm count? In that case we would have been getting attacked for between four and eight damage every turn. It's a tricky situation.
While I don't think the deck is Tier 1, it was pretty sweet, and it was nice to see how impactful an Inferno Titan can be in Modern when the opponent doesn't have something like Path to Exile. I've been playing a bit of Vintage recently and, in addition to decks like UR Pyromancer in Modern, Young Pyromancer has been pretty good in that format as well. Apparently being able to make 1/1 tokens is pretty good and a valuable skill in all formats.
The one card I wasn't completely sold on was Faithless Looting, but then again, perhaps I wasn't drawing it enough; I concede that it might be a necessary evil. I could definitely see situations where I would have a couple extra lands in hand, but be missing a storm card or that last ritual, only to find it with Faithless Looting.
One of the things that was disappointing for me was the fact that it often seemed I had to cast things like rituals or Faithless Looting before I cast Young Pyromancer; either because I wouldn't be able to cast rituals after or because I would find a Young Pyromancer after digging with Faithless Looting. Either way, it was real sad and I didn't appreciate it. Get your life together, Young Pyromancer.
There's not much else to say about the deck. It has a pretty straight forward game plan without much deviation or many odd choices. It's a pretty standard storm deck in terms of the things it's trying to do and how it does them. As I mentioned, it was pretty fun to play (as storm cards tend to be), so if you're looking for something reasonably cheap, give it a try.
Next week I travel to Seattle for the Magic Online Community Cup, so be sure to check out the live coverage all weekend (September 12th-14th) on TwitchTV. Thanks for reading, and I'll catch you on Thursday.
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV