So, I’m not much of a deckbuilder. I’m a spike through and through, and while sometimes I wish I could be a johnny, I’m happy with my spike-ness and I can accept the fact that I’m not that great at deckbuilding. However, the saying goes that a blind dog finds a bone every once in a while. This article is the story about how my own brew managed to top 8 at an fnm, and at a pretty competitive store to boot. The good news is that this deck is actually pretty cheap to make, so all of you budget magic players have something new to try at your store.
Now first I have a little story to tell. As you may or may not know I’m currently a university student. A couple guys in my dorm play magic, but recently I became friends with the guy who lives across from me and I taught him to play magic. We always have fun playing, but I put a lot of money into magic and he doesn’t really have the money to put into it. We went through a phase of trying to build semi competitive decks together for him to play at our local fnm. At first another friend of mine made a mono-blue control list that I modified a little relying on detain mechanics to stall out the game, but it didn’t do to well. Then we tried making a golgari list but he didn’t have the money for the money cards and I didn’t have the stuff to loan to him. But then we finally hit our jackpot. We split a box of avacyn restored (we got a really good deal for it and I was hoping he would get some good cards out of it) and it was probably the worst box I ever opened, but that’s another story entirely. After we opened he wanted to play a game with a deck he made out of the cards he got. He put together a mono-red humans list that used Riot Ringleader to buff all the humans and Kruin Striker to get a little extra oomph. When we played that game it was as if the light shone down from heaven and I instantly knew what to do. I saw the deck and instantly said to myself Thatcher Revolt! That night we drafted up this list
Mono Red Prison Riot
This list did surprising well. The basic gist of the deck is the Kruin Striker, Riot Ringleader and Thatcher Revolt combo. if you are able to cast revolt with the striker and ringleader on board you deal 15 damage with those creatures alone. The deck is surprisingly fast and all the cards have great synergy. The odd man of the bunch is obviously Stromkirk Noble, but considering he’s the best red 1 drop in standard and he only costs about $3.50 there is no reason not to run him. Hanweir Lancer and Fervant Cather round out our top end helping punch holes for our guys to get through as well as making our guys trickier to block. Finally the suit of removal in searing spear and Pillar of Flame can get rid of most problematic threats as well as give us the reach we need. As of writing this article this deck is a mere pittance of $27.30 on tcgplayer.com after cart optimization. We didn’t really make a sideboard list for this deck as we were really focusing on budget, but if you are looking for a sideboard I would consider the usual stuff for an RDW sideboard. I would throw in a few Mizzium Mortars, some Volcanic Strength, a couple Skullcrack and some Reckless Waif and call it a deck.
We took this list to an fnm and it did much better than I expected it to do. While it did not top 8, it went 2-1 to play for top 8 but unfortunately got beat out in the final round to finish 2-2. My friend was piloting the list so I can’t give you exact matchups, but I think on the right night and with a little bit of luck on your side this deck could top 8. This deck sets the tempo very well, and it performed much better then I expected considering how cheap it is. However we weren’t satisfied with a 2-2 finish. We took the deck and decided that color fixing in standard is simply too good right now to only play one color. IF you are willing to sacrifice a bit of the budget aspect of the deck this is our current list for the deck.
So obviously this deck is slightly more expensive. At the time of writing this deck costs $139.75 on tcgplayer.com after cart optimization. So the deck costs quite a bit more, but it is improved by a large margin. This list kind of takes a color off of naya blitz but keeps the Kruin Striker, Riot Ringleader, and Thatcher Revolt combo alive as well as improving on it. the obvious choice to run white was for Champion of the Parish. If you cast a Thatcher Revolt with a champion on board it is just gross. Frontline Medic is to help late game staying power by allowing you to swing in with everything without fear, as well as saving you from a couple of board wipes, Bonfire of the Damned being the most prevalent. Silverblade Paladin also increases our late game, but I didn’t want to run the full 4 as I wanted to keep the main combo alive. as far as spells go Boros Charm is just an amazing card. It can win the game by giving a 6/6 champ double strike or just burning for 4. Not to mention it can be a blowout if you make your creatures indestructible to kill of a large amount of your opponents creatures. The one card that most people tend to question is the 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben mostly because she makes your combo harder to cast. my reasoning behind it is that you generally don’t want to cast your revolt until turn 4 anyway. You want some of your other 3 drops on board that help your revolt get it’s full value. Thalia is going to hurt your opponent a lot more than she will hurt you. overall the white splash is very beneficial for making the deck much faster in a competitive environment. Our sideboard is still in the works as we barely got what we needed to run the deck in time for the tournament. our current board is 3 Mizzium Mortars, 3 Oblivion Ring, 2 Volcanic Strength, 2 Zealous Conscripts 2 Brimstone Volley, 1 Reckless Waif, 1 Electrickery and 1 Frontline medic but that is by no means a final list.
Now this red white list did top 8. Piloted by my friend Teddy this deck went 4-1 against some surprisingly powerful decks. I watched this deck beat naya blitz in round 2 and in game 5 I was shocked to learn that this deck beat junk reanimator to claim 7th at the tournament. Once again I wasn’t piloting the deck so I really can’t give you a report about how the matchups went but to go 4-1 and beat 2 top tier decks along the way made me pretty happy with it. I’ve never had a rogue deck of mine top 8, and it was also my friends first top 8 finish, so it was a good night.
If you guys are looking for a new list to run, and maybe your looking for something that no one else is going to be running, give either of these lists a try. Both of the decks are very consistent and both are relatively cheap compared to other decks in the format right now, and both lists are proven among a pretty tough field. If you have any suggestions for the deck leave a comment below, I’m always open to suggestions on how to better the deck. Also I recently founded a twitter, so if you want to hear my ramblings, somewhat about magic, follow me @TylerDHumphries, and as always you can email me at TylerHumphries@limitedmagic.com
Also if you are wondering how the deck got it’s name, well what else could I call a deck that focused on strikers riot ringleaders and revolts?