Game Day Results: Wrath of the Titans

I hope everybody did well at Magic Game Day this weekend. I went 3-1 with my redesigned U/R deck. I’ve been playing this deck for a while, let me give you some background. It started with my purchase of Duels of the Planeswalkers for the PS3. The promo card was Inferno Titan. Not too long after that I was at the release of M12 and one of my first packs held an Inferno Titan as well. Since then I’ve always had at least two of these bad boys in every iteration of my deck. I’ve had my deal of headaches with this deck as I constantly tried to side in cards to deal with the current standard play format. The problem that arises from siding in and putting these extra cards into play is that it derails the main focus of your deck and keeps you on the defensive instead of the offensive. I wanted to play control for the longest time but I was always being out-controlled by somebody else.

So I learned to stop worrying and Love the Bomb . . .

Or multiple ways of bombing the opponent to oblivion. The deck is about 85% 95% complete now, but is able to handle a wide range of decks in the current format.

Inferno Titan by Kev Walker

TITAN’S FLAME: (Current build as of 3/14/12)

 Lands:

  • Mountains -9
  • Islands -8
  • Sulfur Falls -4
  • Buried Ruin – 2

Creatures/Planeswalkers:

  • Chandra’s Phoenix -3
  • Inferno Titan – 2
  • Snapcaster Mage – 2
  • Chandra, The Firebrand

Artifacts:

  • Batterskull
  • Ratchet Bomb
  • Mimic Vat
  • Wurmcoil Engine
  • Shrine of Burning Rage -2

Sorceries/Instants:

  • Dissipate -1
  • Mana Leak -4
  • Negate
  • Ponder -4
  • Think Twice -3
  • Red Sun’s Zenith -2
  • Whipflare
  • Galvanic Blast -2
  • Slagstorm
  • Incinerate -3
  • Blue Sun’s Zenith
  • Increasing Vengeance

I can already see you criticizing the card choices but as I said this is only 85% done. I just rebuilt it recently with what cards I had in my collection, but will get better fitting cards from friends in the near future. That Shock will be switched with another Galvanic Blast, and I’m also thinking of adding another Red Sun, Shrine of Burning Rage, Slagstorm,  Whipflare, and a few other fine tuning cards (not all main deck, but sideboard too)

UPDATE 3/14: I took out the Brimstone Volleys (and put in more Incinerates) because it was too heavy and the morbid wasn’t always readily available. I also took out a Titan and put a Wurmcoil in the main in order to gain life and give me creature superiority. It can be destroyed but I can bring it back twice with the Buried Ruins. I also put the 3rd Shrine on the side to be used in case of Control deck match ups. With the sideboard I added in another steel sabotage to take care of Swords of War and Peace. I also put in a Phantasmal Image to take care of Legendaries like Elesh and Thrun. The Grafdigger’s Cage is also a must in the current metagame of Undying, Birthing Pod,  and graveyards full of Flashback. I thought Hex Parasite would be great in dealing with Planeswalkers, even if it uses Phyrexian Mana. I’d rather be down 4 life than have a Liliana, Elspeth,  or Sorin waiting for me the next turn. The biggest change was with Karn. When those swords hit the board and I can’t counter them, it can be really difficult to win. Karn might cost a lot, but it’s totally worth it. I’ve used him to turn the tide of a games a few times and he was a life saver. Clear the board, then slam them with Titans and Red Sun’s!

SIDEBOARD:

  • Steel Sabotage -2
  • Negate
  • Shrine of Burning Rage
  • Grafdigger’s Cage
  • Karn, The Liberated
  • Hex Parasite
  • Red Sun’s Zenith
  • Dissipate
  • Ratchet Bomb
  • Phantasmal Image
  • Surgical Extraction -2
  • Slagstorm
  • Whipflare

How this Deck Wins:

Mono-red is always a dangerous deck to play with. One thing I’ve noticed with just about every current deck in the metagame is the lack of life gain. Whoever can do the damage the fastest will win. So what I did was strip this deck down to that basic Mono-red idea of burning the other player to a cinder, then threw in some blue to accelerate that process. The blue cards are in there to get you cards, land, and to play critical counters that will allow you to just burn your opponent to oblivion. Aside from the power cards like Inferno Titan and Batterskull that will pound away at the opponent, an early drop of 1-2 Shrines will quickly turn the game in your favor. In know time at all, with all the card drawing, you’ll have those Shrines up to 10 counters a piece and ready to blow. The Phoenix’s are also great for blocking or attacking, coming back to life with each burn spell you fling at the other player. And also don’t forget a 5pt Brimstone Volley, Snapcaster, 5 pt brimstone volley again, reverberate for another 5pt Volley . . . this deck has a lot of weapons in it’s arsenal. Another great combo is the Titan/Swiftboots combo. 3 Dmg in, equip, 3 dmg when attacking, 6 dmg hit. 12 damage in one turn.

How it fares against the current metagame:

(just for your information, this current build is what I put together after Game Day to account for my loss)

I went 3-1 on game day. I beat a Wolf/Run, a U/B Control, and a B/R Vampire deck. I lost to a U/B Heartless Summoning-Frost Titan deck. How did I win (and lose)??

  1. Wolf Run (WON)- This deck relies on mana producers to get going. Player threw out some birds of paradise turn one, I Shocked it for 2. Got another out along with 2 Llanowar Elves on Turn 3, but I followed up with a Whipflare the next turn. This deck was crippled by early burn spells. After taking out his mana acceleration, I through out some Phoenix’s, Shrines, and a Titan and it was over.
  2. B/R Vampire  (WON)-Great idea for a deck, I really want to play it, but I don’t think the current build is feasible. Stormkirk captains. Shocked. Interlopers, Whipflared. Countered his Vampire Captains.  Various other spells countered. I was down to 9 life at one point, but busted out my Batterskull and could block all of his creatures at that point and pounded away at him while countering and burning him down. He never had a chance to get his Olivia or Aristocrat out.
  3. U/B Heartless Summoning (LOST)- This deck is really nasty. Once that  first Heartless Summoning gets out you are in trouble. Once that 2nd one hits you’re done. I lost the first game by tapping out and not being able to counter. Once the Titan came out I couldn’t do anything. I also made the mistake of siding in my fast burn cards for the 2nd match, but that was a mistake. He tapped out my red mana early and I was done. I’d recommend siding in all your counters and waiting for that Heartless Summoning. The key cards are the Rune Scarred Demon and Frost Titan and Heartless Summoning. Take those out and then you can take care of the person. Bide your time, throw out those SHrines to build up counters, and once you take care of his key cards, you’ll have ton of mana stockpiled and can blast them with everything you have.
  4. U/B Control (WON) – This is a creature hate deck that my friend plays. Doomblades, Go For the Throat, Black Sun’s Zenith, Curse of Death’s Hold, etc . . . luckily I’m not running that many creatures so it didn’t affect me much. He also was using Snapcasters, Grave Titans, Wurmcoils, and a  Consecrated Sphinx, but the problem is with how heavy they are. Nothing gets going until turn 6. I burned him often and early, with one Shrine in play after the first was countered. Had a Phoenix in for some damage that would come back with each red blast . . . by turn 6 I had a counter ready for him and after that it was Titan time. 2nd game I lost due to him siding in tons of counters and being unable to take out his Grave Titan. 3rd game was over from my opening hand (2 ponders, 2 think twices, 2 island, Shrine of Burning Rage). I was already hitting him hard by turn 4, and had tons of land and cards in my hand. Blasted him before turn 6 with red cards, countered his stuff on turns 6-7, and after the next 2 turns I had my Shrine up to 14 counters. Bye bye.

I haven’t had a chance to play against too many other current metagame decks, but here’s what I think will be affective against them

  • Tempered Steel – Heavy with Negates and counters, keep it light to counter and blast them fast. After their 6th turn they really lose speed and that’s when you counter attack. (NOTE: I lost to this type of deck in the DKA GameDay playoffs and totally redid my sideboard and strategy for it afterwards)
  • U/W/B Spirits: Load up on Whipflares and other all creatures hitting spells. Hold onto those counters for spells like Honor of the Pure. Ratchet Bombs are nice to have against tokens as well. Surgical Extractions should target cards like the Drogskol Captain, Midnight Haunting, or Lingering Souls.
  • G/B Morbid-Undying – Mimic Vat and Red Sun’s Zenith are awesome cards for this type of deck. Totally stops the cards from going into their graveyards, plus gives you more creatures to play with. Whipflare Young Wolves/Strangleroot Geists then Ratchetbomb the next turn. Countering is probably more effective, but having those shrines in play while you fill their graveyard up is good.
  • White/Humans -hate this deck. Not sure what would be effective because I haven’t played against many successfully, but the heavy cards won’t help you here. They will be in play too late. Keep 1-2 heavy hitters in play, then fill up with cheap counterspells, whipflares, and ratchet bombs. Again, I think if you can hold out until turn 6-7, this deck will lose steam with no cards in hand and then you can take control. Keep the board clean then counterattack!

Well, this is all I had for today’s post. I hope you found it insightful, and if you decide to try the deck out let me know how it goes and what changes you make to it! One good thing to come out of trying something different is that NOBODY will be expecting it and nobody will be prepared for it. If I come across any other standard metagame decks, I’ll be sure to update this post with strategies! Good luck and have fun in your next event.

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