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E-League Deck Clinic

Red Black Land Destruction
by theBrain July 9th 2001

Craigbou writes "hi there here is a r/b land destruction deck i've been working on, and heres what it consists of, could you please help any suggestions are welcomed! thank you in advance...what can i do to improve??and can you also give me a new T2 version"

2 blight
2 sinkhole
4 despoil
4 rain of tears
4 icequake
1 thrashing wumpus
1 army ants
2 lava zombies
4 terminate
1 spontaneous combustion
1 kris mage
2 thunderscape familiar
2 raze
4 stone rain
4 avalanche riders
1 shatterstorm
1 pillage

1 strip mine
4 sandstone needle
1 darigaaz's caldera
1 crosis' catacombs
1 cinder marsh
1 peat bog
4 mountain
7 swamp

First off, let's start by working on the T1 version.
I'm going to work through this deck card by card and then give you a version on my own.

*Blight (2) - Blight is a terrible card in my opinion. Sure, it's BB, but so is sinkhole,
and your opponent will still be able to use the land when he/she needs it.
Blight is a bad option for LD.
*Sinkhole (2) - This card is great ! BB to destroy a land right away ! You should
really play 4 of this baby ;-)
*Despoil (4) - In T1, especially with a land destruction deck, I feel that you should hit
your opponent as fast as possible with LOTS of land destruct. A card with
a casting cost of 3B doesn't really contribute to this. I think you have
better options with 4 mana. Dump this completely.
*Rain of Tears (4) - I guess this card is good enough to make the cut in a b/r LD deck.
*Icequake (4) - See above ;-) . Note though, that 4 1bb LD is enough in this deck, cut the rest.
*Thrashing Wumpus (1) - Playing 1 thrashing wumpus doesn't seem too smart. It's not a card
I generally admire in T1, and especially putting 1 copy in seems
extremely useless. You don't want to pay 3BB for him. Also, T1
usually isn't even really creature based.
*Army Ants (1) - Also, playing 1 copy of this doesn't seem very usefull. It's also a bad
card to play. when you are casting this, you could've and should've casted
stuff like Stone rain and rain of tears. This card is too slow, and that 1
creature is usually easy to take out, since T1 is pretty much Creature
Destruction based. Not a good option this.
*Lava Zombies (2) - At first hand, this seems like a nice creature. But you will never ever
return a creature to your hand, since you've been playing sinkholes and
rains for a couple of turns, and this will be your only creature. (if
you play LD well, you only NEED one creature to kill your opponent.)
This card just isn't good enough.
*Terminate (4) - This is good creature destruction, it's as simple as that. The question is : Are you going to need
that kind of removal. Your sideboard will be tuned to deal with creatures and your maindeck
should be made to deal with land and hand. 4 is playable, but I'd rather see lightning bolt.
*Spont. Combust. (1) - This is a card I couldn't remember. That means you drop it right now ;-)
*Kris Mage (1) - This card is terrible in T1. Well, actually, this Card is terrible Period.
*Thunderscape Familiar (2) - Might seem like a good pick, but don't bother.
*Raze (2) - Don't.
*Stone Rain (4) - What can I say ? Great Card, especially since it's only 2R you're paying. it's good
for the mana curve
*Avalanch Riders (4) - Good pick, since it throws in 2 damage as well.
*Shatterstorm (1) - I know b and r are usually scared of those pesky arties, but I wouldn't bother playing
1 copy. What good artifact are they gonna cast with only 1 or 2 land available ?
*Pillage (1) - Playing 1 copy is useless. This is a good card in LD, although in this deck, I'd think twice
about playing Pillage. it's 2 mountains you need, and judging from the other LD you want to use
I'd rather have 2 swamps and 1 mountain in play in turn 3. It's a mana curve thing.
*Strip mine (1) - yep, this is the best card for LD EVER.
*Sandstone needle (4) - Use regular Mountains, they don't expire. The RR advantage is not needed, since you use
1BB or BB to destroy a land.
*Darigaaz Caldera (1) - apart from the fact that this might slow you down, that extra color G doesn't seem to be
needed for anything in this deck. Drop it.
*Crosis Catacombs (1) - Although U could be nice sometimes, I don't think you'll need it. Drop it.
*Cinder March (1) - Playing 1 fake-dual ? that's a no-no. Play 4 real ones. No explenation needed, right ?
*peat bog (1) - although this might actually get usefull sometime, don't play it.
*mountain (4) - this amount will increase ;)
*swamp (7) - Same ;-)

Ok, let's take a look at cards you missed / didn't consider good enough.

*Dark Ritual - You have to have this. I don't know how obvious I can get ;-). Yes, you need 4.
*Mox Ruby, Jet - If you have this, use it.
*Black Lotus - Same.
*Agent of Stromgald - Hmm, a 1/1 for R that turns R into B. Seems usefull for a first turn drop. Playing 2 of those seems smart.
*Juzam Djinn - 5/5 for 2BB ? w00t ! that's great. I can understand though if you don't have these 4 times.
*Ph. Negator - Another option to replace Juzam. Not too good with a metagame of reb burn and sligh... Not my favourite creature for this deck, but good enough.
*Ph. Scuta - Now there's a creature that's perfect for this deck. Even if you do have Juzam, this might be a better option. Juzam is bound
to cost you more life then 2, and a spirit link won't hurt scuta as much as it will juzam. This
card is a great option for this deck. Put in 4 !
*Diabolic Edict - You gotta have this. At least 3 to get rid of Morphlings and stuff
*Obliterate - This seems like overdo-ing it,but I think putting 1 in the deck gives it a nice touch. It might just save
your ass the one time you need it. This will be card #61 (win the "I deck you" race ;) )
*Demonic and vamp. tutor - Play these, they are always usefull :)
*Cursed Scroll - Hey, a first turn threath, that's what this deck is missing, put in 4 !
*Mox Monkey - Formerly Known as Gorilla Shaman. This card is v. usefull, put in 2.
*Duress - Another first turn annoyance. This is great to get rid of counterspells and cards like moat. V. good vs Combo too.
*Lightning Bolt - Kill creatures, Kill players. 3 dmg for R ! wow, count me in ;)
*Wasteland - There's plenty of non-basic in T1. Play at least 3, and prolly 4.
*Creature Lands - Spawning pool is a good option, I'd play 1 or 2 of those. The Red one isn't good enough, but Pool is.
Pool regenerates, so he can't waste it, and it's a nice blocker.

Ok, lets put these cards in the deck, and see what happens.

Deck: (assuming you don't owe lotus and moxen)
4 sinkhole
4 rain of tears
3 diabolic edict
4 duress
4 cursed scroll
2 gorilla shaman
4 dark ritual
1 obliterate
4 phyrexian scuta
4 stone rain
4 avalanche riders
1 demonic tutor
1 vampiric tutor
4 lightning bolt

1 strip mine
6 mountain
9 swamp
4 wasteland
4 badlands
1 spawning pool

The Sideboard : The sideboard for this deck completely depends on your metagame : Are you expecting the 'standard' archetypes, or could
it be that you will be running into a complete T2 fires deck. (no jokes this happens around here)
I'll just make some sideboard suggestions, and you can compose your own sideboard.

*Powder Keg : Great vs WW and Elfball decks, you will kick their hinie ;-)
*engineered Plague : Great vs Elfball and random decks like T1 rebel (remember fires ? :P )
*Obliterate : Putting 1 extra in won't hurt you too much. Usefull vs controll
*Nether spirit : v. usefull vs. controll, and your oblit. won't hurt it ;)
*Pillage : Against those artifact decks
*Hammer of Bogarden : Good vs a lot of decks, but specially vs control
*Thormods Crypt : Never leave home without it. Good vs combo, recursion decks like CounterPhoenix. Use it !
*Terminate : hey, removal is great, and this is prolly the best you can find, apart from Edict.
*Diabolic Edict : Putting a 4th in here won't hurt you...
*Lot's of other cards : Just try to guess at the metagame, and decide what anti-color cards you can put into it.

As for a T2 version, I don't know if that's viable. I doubt it will get you T8. It might be a nice suprise though.
Maybe you can turn it into some sort of wildfire deck : http://leden.tref.nl/~keesvis/magic/deckindex.htm
That link has a deck which is MonoR wildfire. Oh well, be creative ;)

-Rudy van Soest, theBrain on NewNet IRC
Comments can be emailed to Morfling@chello.nl , or tell me on IRC or ICQ 81333723