Merry Christmas! And what better way to celebrate than to play a red and green deck! I actually wanted to play this list ever since my good friend John Bolt managed to make Top 4 of the SCG Open in Seattle with it, but I also felt like saving it until Christmas was the correct play. I also haven't played a red and green deck for a while. Well, I've played red and greed decks, but they were often supplemented by blue cards. Cause...come on...blue cards.
But not today! Let's take a look at John's deck and see what we're in for.
As you can see the deck is relatively straight forward. You play creatures and burn spells and that's about it. One of the best plays the deck has going for it is a turn one Elvish Mystic into a turn two Goblin Rabblemaster or a Fanatic of Xenagos. That's basically the dream you want to live, followed up by a Polukranos, World Eater or an Ashcloud Phoenix. John did end up losing in the semifinals, but making it there to begin with is no small feat! Let's try and get an idea how he managed it.
RG Midrange vs. Naya Superfriends
RG Midrange vs. Temur Midrange
RG Midrange vs. Abzan Midrange
RG Midrange vs. Jeskai Tokens
We're not going to go into too much detail, because it's Christmas and we've got things to do, but I will say I was a fan of this list.
The thing is I usually hate decks with Elvish Mystic in them; reason being that they're terrible topdecks. The same is true with Sylvan Caryatid to a lesser extent. To me at least Sylvan Caryatid has a lot more going for it in the early game. It can add any color mana, and it can block much more favorably than its elvish counterpart. He also doesn't die to things like Lightning Strike and Magma Jet, but don't get me wrong, I still hate topdecking a Sylvan Caryatid in the late game.
This deck comes out of the gates pretty quickly and I didn't really mind the Elves here. Another bonus is that we only have four of them (rather than something ridiculous like eight or 12 mana creatures), and they're all used for one very specific purpose: to ramp us into a very strong turn two.
One thing that was interesting was that our opponents basically never gave us a 4/4 Fanatic of Xenagos. Not permanently, anyway. They would always choose to make him a 3/3 with haste and +1/+1 for the turn. This was interesting as it ended up giving us more pressure than I would have expected, especially since we were also running four Crater's Claws and four Stormbreath Dragon, both of which can close out games fairly quickly when your opponent is at or near ten life. At first I thought the single Polukranos, World Eater was a little odd, but truthfully, it prevents you from drawing multiples when you already have one in play, and let's be honest, the deck isn't hurting for large creatures to play.
This deck was really sweet and I was super surprised by its power level. Especially consider how linear our game plan is: playing big creatures and firing off burn spells. I might even take it to my final FNM in Florida tomorrow! Oh yeah, one more thing. In case you were living under a rock, this happened...
Thanks for reading and I'll catch you guys next week when we begin our Best Of week! Thanks for an amazing 2014. It wouldn't have been nearly as awesome without you guys. Happy holidays you guys!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV