August 04, 2015

The Goggles Do Everything

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Welcome to Chandra week!

It's prime time for our fiery Planeswalker here on ReConstructed. We're ready to burn down our opponents with this wonderfully flavorful-yet-effective deck. Grab your Mountains, comb through your Origins cards, and let's prepare to sling some fire!

It wouldn't be very Chandra-like to not hop right into the action, so why delay? Let's take a look at the deck we'll be working with this week:


The Battle Plan

This might not be the deck you immediately think of for Chandra.

Normally, I've seen players try the new Origins Chandra in very aggressive red decks. And there's nothing wrong with that at all—Chandra is a good fit there—but this takes a different approach. Mono-red Beatdown is a really strong deck right now, and there are plenty of nice, tuned decklists you could easily find and use.

More interesting to me is the idea of a "big red" deck—a place where Chandra still shines. And that's what we have today!

This kind of deck is a more controlling red deck. It's going to use burn spells to take down creatures that stand in its way, while slowly grabbing the reins to the game and maneuvering into the perfect position.

The key card here is often Pyromancer's Goggles, sending a flurry of damage at the opponent by doubling all of your burn spells. When Lightning Strike deals 6 and Exquisite Firecraft deals 8, it's not hard to finish your opponent off!

So, what should be modified? Well, there are two primary things.

First of all, having a source of card advantage in a control deck is very important, and finding just the thing so that this deck can keep up on cards is going to be crucial. Second, I want to clean up the deck a little bit and have it be more focused. There are a few different themes going on right now, and ensuring they don't begin to clash is definitely desirable.

What exactly did I have in mind? Let's go full steam ahead and check it all out!

Deck Breakdown

What fits right on in and what should be burned to a crisp? Let's go on a card-by-card journey through the deck and find out!


I'm bringing Hangarback; those other Thopters don't know how to act.

. . .Ahem.

While Hangarback Walker may seem unassuming and like a bit of an unusual fit, it's excellent here. In this deck, you really want something to do early game that can be a bit of a mana sink and also buy you time. Hangarback does that in spades. It comes down on turn two, starts building up immediately, and provides you with at least one creature even if it immediately dies. It also supports other cards in this deck, such as Pia and Kiran Nalaar, very well.

I'm totally down with what this card is doing here. I'll keep the four.


Speaking of Pia and Kiran, here they are! Chandra's family (theme points!) is here, and ready to cause mayhem.

Or perhaps instead of causing mayhem, they'll stick to being card advantage machines.

Spinning up two Thopters provides some extra bodies, and then shooting them away to blow up your opponent's creatures is certainly something this deck is interested in; and it even has synergy with the rest of the deck! While I wouldn't want more than three here—legendary status on a four-mana card—I'm very happy with three of them.


Ah, Chandra! She is a slight nonbo—a "not-combo"—with some of your artifacts because they don't untap her. But artifacts aside, this deck is full of cheap red spells that will cause her to transform quickly. In many games, if you untap with Chandra, you will be able to easily transform her that turn.

Her transformed side is especially effective here. Either you have extra creature control—always welcome—or it puts a huge clock on your opponent as your burn spells incinerate everything in sight! Three is the number I'd like.


Aside from having an incredible card name, the Doom Engine hits hard. Working with a burn-focused deck, the idea here is to do a bit of damage and then land the Doom Engine to create a massive dilemma for your opponent: Even if they kill off the 6/6 creature, the 6 damage to the face should still do the finishing trick! For extra fun, you can Shrapnel Blast it across for a whopping 11 damage!

However, this deck is full of less expensive ways to put threats onto the table. And while Doom Engine is good, every card you play comes at the cost of another, different card in your deck. Instead of building up until six mana, I'd rather have more inexpensive burn spells and rely on cards like Chandra and her parents to get the job done. Goodbye, Doom Engine!

Smash to Smithereens | Art by Pete Venters


The amount of value this card can provide in a game is stunning.

Need to kill off two creatures that are giving you trouble? Zap them both. Want to finish off your opponent? A couple consecutive burn spells off this should do the trick. It's really fun to play and is a great card to build this deck around. And while it's entirely possible that something like Scuttling Doom Engine is more effective as a creature sometimes, Pyromancer's Goggles is definitely way more fun and can dig you out of some pretty crazy situations.

Because it's legendary and costs five mana, I don't want all four—but three is perfect.

Additionally, I still want more sources of card advantage. Fortunately, red has another great card for it which also fuels your Goggles: Outpost Siege. Letting you (sort of) draw two cards a turn will quickly propel you ahead and ensure you always have fuel for the Goggles. I know I need the card advantage, so I'll take all four copies of the Siege.


In very red fashion, the cornerstone of this deck is its burn suite. They will mostly be targeted at creatures until it's time for this deck to turn the corner toward finishing your opponent off, and then they can be lobbed at your opponent's noggin via Pyromancer's Goggles.

But there are sixteen currently in the deck, and that seems a little high. You want to find some, but you also don't want your draw to only be single-target burn spells. I'd love to get down to twelve. So, the question is, which ones should this deck play?

Wild Slash is definitely crucial, because it costs a single red mana—meaning you can cast it early on without expending a ton of resources and, also importantly, the turn you play Pyromancer's Goggles you can tap it and fire this spell off. I want all four Slashes.

Lightning Strike is a good baseline effect as an instant that inexpensively takes down creatures early and efficiently. I'm good with all four of those.

Shrapnel Blast is when we come to our first more questionable card. The upside is tremendously high: Shooting off 10 points of damage with one card is ridiculous! However, you won't always have an artifact to sacrifice, and early game you definitely don't want to use this to shoot down a creature and lose your resources if you can avoid it. I am okay having exactly one in the deck, because you can build around it if you draw it and it's alright later in the game, but I do not want to draw one early.

And finally, Exquisite Firecraft. The damage output on this card is fantastic, but I don't want to draw a bunch early because, as a three-mana sorcery, it's a bit inefficient when it comes to removing swarms of creatures. It's good to one-for-one later in the game or to finish your opponent off (and don't forget about that surprisingly relevant spell mastery!), but I'd like to trim down to three copies total.

One thing I would like to add in is something that specifically controls the board. While this deck does feature some cheap creatures, having access to a little bit extra in the way of sweepers is desirable. The card I'd like two copies of here is Anger of the Gods.

Anger of the Gods | Art by Noah Bradley

Anger of the Gods does kill off your own creatures (and exiles Hangarback Walker!), so it requires some caution to use correctly. Often the times when you need it the most are not the times when you have many creatures on the battlefield. I would like to maindeck two of them.


These three legendary artifacts are each interesting in their own way for this strategy. However, on the whole, they aren't really what this deck is looking to do and don't build toward the rest of the game plan. The Chain Veil is only strong if you have active planeswalkers, and this deck's only planeswalkers are Chandras. Sword of the Animist is strong if you want to attack early, but this deck has other things it wants to be doing. There simply aren't enough creatures around to make strong use of the haste off Hammer.

Instead of these, one final card I want to add in is a little more card advantage and selection: Tormenting Voice. In a deck full of legendary creatures and situational burn, sifting through to find what you need is important. Plus, it has one of those good 'ol powerful "I'm being extremely clever up here" moments with Goggles: You discard one card to cast the original but not the copy—meaning if you Goggles this then you draw four total cards! That should do the trick. I'll play four.

With all of those changes in mind and a couple mana base tweaks, that brings the final decklist to:

If you like burning your opponent's face off but don't want to play a rush strategy, this slower game is going to be perfect for you!

There are a few other cards you could try out as well depending on the metagame. If Siege Rhino is huge where you are, then you likely want Roast where Anger of the Gods is sitting. If you find there aren't enough creature-based win conditions for your liking, Ashcloud Phoenix or Stormbreath Dragon are both great places to start.

Have fun slinging burn spells!


McArtor's Mentions

Each time on McArtor's Mentions, we take a look at some of the other great decks sent in over the past week. Check them out!

Joe Cannon's Coco Twin


Origins in Modern

Next week, we're going to round out the Planeswalker theme weeks with Nissa. The week after isn't a theme week—and I don't know about you (well, I do for many of my Tumblr followers who have been sending me Modern decks recently), but I really want to see what Origins can do in Modern!

Show me what you can come up with for this challenge:

Format: Modern

Restrictions: Your deck must contain at least one Magic Origins card

Deadline: Monday, August 10th, at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

Submit all decklists by emailing me at reconstructeddecks@gmail.com.

Decklists should be submitted with YOURNAME's DECKNAME at the top. Underneath should be one card per line, with just a leading number. For example:

12 Mountain

4 Satyr Firedancer

3 Ash Zealot

4 Lightning Bolt

. . . and so on. Please don't use anything but a space to separate the card numbers and names—don't write "4x Lightning Bolt," for example. Well-formatted decklists have a much better chance of being read and making it into the column. Poorly formatted decklists are more likely to be ignored. If I can't read your decklist, I certainly can't talk about it!

I can't wait to see what you all want to do with Modern! Modern submissions always lead to some of the wildest weeks to write about, so send in your best!

In the meantime, if you have any questions or thoughts on this deck, please send them my way! You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr, and it's always fun to hear from readers.

I'll be back next week as we take a look at Nissa for Nissa Week! Talk with you again then!

Gavin

@GavinVerhey

GavInsight



from rss http://ift.tt/1KO1irv

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