July 28, 2015

Standard Big Red

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By now, most of us have seen the Top 8 decks from the first weekend of Magic Origins Standard. While those decks are obviously very strong, I always like to take a look at the decks that didn't make the Top 8 cut. Today's deck was piloted by Shane Campbell to a Top 16 finish at the SCG Open in Chicago last weekend. In a 764-player tournament, finishing in the Top 16 is no easy feat—so it's pretty clear that this deck has some potential.

Pia and Kiran Nalaar are the stars of the deck. Three creatures, 4 power, and 4 toughness is a great deal for only four mana, and this card gives you even more than that. Pia and Kiran Nalaar's activated ability is quite strong in an artifact deck. This deck is certainly not an artifact deck, but when you take into account all of the damage you are capable of dealing with spells like Thunderbreak Regent, Stoke the Flames, and Chandra, Pyromaster, it's very likely that Pia and Kiran Nalaar will be able to deal the final points of damage. At the very least, you have produced three creatures that your opponent must deal with, and two of them even have flying!

Another new card from Origins that I think is great in this deck is Foundry of the Consuls. While this land looks very mana-intensive for such a small effect, what's important to remember about this card is it's a land that does something other than produce mana. We haven't had a land like this in Standard in a long time and having cards like Foundry of the Consuls in your deck will definitely help you during those times when you have run out of gas and are in topdeck mode. Foundry of the Consuls also has great synergy with Pia and Kiran Nalaar.

It's pretty exciting to see Big Red perform well at a tournament. Usually when I see a deck with Mountains, the rest of the list contains tiny red creatures like Foundry Street Denizen and Zurgo Bellstriker. Red "Control" decks are quite powerful, but they're pretty rare to see—most control players tend to play blue or white, while most red players tend to play aggro.

Shane Campbell's Big Red



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