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My Red Deck Went Undefeated February 17, 2009

Posted by James in : all, strategy, tips, constructed, standard , trackback

On February 14th I played in a cash prize tournament at Superstars and I won $200. There were six rounds and I won the first four. Then I just had to wait to play in the top 8, so I had two “intentional draws.” Then I won the first match of the top 8, and the top four players all split the prizes at the end. I technically won the tournament due to tiebreakers, but I didn’t play it out.

There was a lot of luck involved. My opponents seemed to draw poorly overall, but I still think the deck I played has potential. I called it “mono blue” but whoever listed my deck on the internet changed the name to “mono red.” If you take a look at the deck list you can see why:

4 Ashenmoor Gouger
3 Boggart Ram-Gang
4 Demigod of Revenge
4 Figure of Destiny
3 Hell’s Thunder
4 Hellspark Elemental
4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Flame Javelin
4 Incinerate
4 Lash Out
22 Mountains


4 Everlasting Torment
1 Hell’s Thunder
2 Ignite Disorder
4 Vexing Shusher
4 Volcanic Fallout

I finished making the deck moments before the tournament started with almost no preparation. I think the deck should have the following changes: It should have had four Boggart Ram Gangs and one less Hell’s Thunder. I’m not sure the best way to make the sideboad, but Ignite Disorder and one Everlasting Torment could be changed. One could be another Hell’s Thunder.

I played against faeries, five color control, and red-black. I have an advantage over red-black because they play pain lands.

Against 5 color control, as long as the opponent taps out during his turn to play Banefire or Wrath of God, I will be able to deal a lot more damage during my turn. A lot of five color control decks have replaced Kitchen Finks with Plumeveil, which was one of their best hopes of beating mono red. Against 5 color control, I sideboard out 4 Lash Out, which is almost useless against the deck, and I put in 4 Vexing Shusher. I also took out 2 Hellspark Elementals for a Hell’s Thunder and an Everlasting Torment.

I don’t think Faeries stands a strong chance against this deck. When playing against Faeries, I took out Demigod of Revenge and Hell’s Thunder for Vexing Shusher and Volcanic Fallout. I might have also taken out a couple Hellpspark Elementals. Demigod and Hell’s Thunder in particular aren’t good against faeries because they can just block with a token.

I am worried about Bant with lifegain. Kitchen Finks and Rhox War Monk could give me a good reason to sideboard in Everlasting Torment. I haven’t tested the deck out against Bant, but I wouldn’t be surprized if it could beat mono red. Fortunately, Bant doesn’t seem to be one of the most competative decks right now. Faeries, red, red-black, and 5 color control seem like the best decks.

I found the deck lists from the tournament at TCGplayer by doing a Google search for “James Gray magic the gathering,” but I also found a page for another James Gray who plays magic. This isn’t me:

I’m not sure how I can best differentiate myself from all the other James Grays out there. I might not be as well-off as the writer/director James Gray, and I don’t want to live in his shadow. Instead my life should count. To differentiate myself to the smallest degree, my full name is James Wallace Gray.

I am currently selling a mono red deck on ebay quite similar to the one that I won with. Take a look here.


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