Editor’s note: Please welcome Rob San Juan to Modern Nexus, who will be writing a weekly feature and some other behind-the-scenes content.
Hello, Nexites! My name is Rob San Juan, and I’ll be restarting the old “Deck of the Week” segment. This was previously handled by our editor, Jason Schousboe—I’ll be taking it over for the days to come. In case you’re wondering what this is about, I’ll be featuring Modern decks that are under the radar but have performed well in tournaments. Who knows? One of them might just help you win a big one without having to worry about being prepared for by potential opponents.
The recently concluded Pro Tour Ixalan featured the Standard format, so there’s not much to see there. However, secretly making shockwaves online is this new black-red aggro deck that went undefeated after 15 games in three different Modern leagues:
BR Discard Aggro, by 1310HaZzZaRd (5-0, Competitive Modern League)
4 Flameblade Adept
2 Flamewake Phoenix
4 Hollow One
4 Street Wraith
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Fiery Temper
4 Burning Inquiry
1 Call to the Netherworld
4 Faithless Looting
3 Cathartic Reunion
1 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Stomping Ground
3 Verdant Catacombs
2 Lightning Axe
3 Ancient Grudge
3 Dragon’s Claw
4 Leyline of the Void
|Buy deck on Cardhoarder (MTGO)Buy deck on TCGPlayer (Paper)|
This deck is pretty straightforward in its approach. All it wants to do is to punish your opponents using cheap but efficient creatures. A turn-one Flameblade Adept is very lethal, and it could simply end your opponent’s night as early as turn three, given the correct sequence of draws and resources.
This deck is all about generating advantage. Discarding cards like Bloodghast, Flamewake Phoenix, and Fiery Temper to your Burning Inquiry, Faithless Looting, and Cathartic Reunion fixes your hand or disrupts your opponents while constantly applying pressure. Cycling Street Wraith gives you a cantrip of sorts that pumps the Adept and your graveyard, while also minimizing the cost of Hollow One (until sometimes, it’s basically free to cast!). Then, after all the discard and cycling action, Gurmag Angler feeds off your graveyard which is almost always full to the brim.
Looking at the sideboard, it stays within the deck’s concept of being disruptive (by adding Thoughtseize) but still offensive at the same time. It also provides backup that could prove useful in some lopsided matchups. Here, you’ll see use for the green mana source that may otherwise seem odd in the flashback cost of Ancient Grudge (besides the fact that your opponent could overthink what you’re doing because of the Stomping Ground). The Leyline of the Void basically shuts down most graveyard-dependent decks that could pose problems to our deck. The Dragon’s Claw is gas in matchups such as Burn and other rogue decks that are red-heavy.
In a nutshell, this deck is all about hitting hard and ending games real quick. It doesn’t require serious planning while playing, unlike Storm and control decks. It barely defends itself in creature-filled boards (Bloodghast can’t even block!), but has able-bodied crits to get the job done and, most importantly, threatens your opponent at every turn possible. Just what you expect out of a classic black-red deck.
So that’s it for this edition of “Deck of the Week.” Stay posted for our next feature next week. Until then, happy shuffling and thanks for reading!