Hi everybody and welcome to another edition of the Winner’s Circle! Our FNM winner from two weeks ago was Dan Vania. Unfortunately, I was unable to get in touch with him for an interview. Our winner last week was Dan Morris. I was able to get in touch with Dan and talk with him a little bit about his Black/Red Agro deck. Check it out!
4x Blood Crypt
2x Desecration Demon
3x Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch
2x Lifebane Zombie
2x Mogis’s Marauder
4x Rakdos Cackler
4x Rakdos Shred-Freak
4x Spike Jester
1x Thrill-Kill Assassin
4x Tormented Hero
3x Xathrid Necromancer
2x Doom Blade
3x Madcap Skills
4x Magma Jet
3x Dark Betrayal
2x Erebos, God of the Dead
2x Hero’s Downfall
2x Lifebane Zombie
2x Whip of Erebos
Bill: This isn’t something I’ve seen before this season. There’s a lot of mono colored decks floating around. Esper and Naya too, but not Red/Black. How did you come up with this?
Dan: This deck was something that Buddy Ammerman and I have been thinking about for a while. It was funny to see Luis Nava’s decklist from Grand Prix Santiago was on the same page, for the most part, as far as cards to play. The concept behind the deck is beat down. Once you hit the gas, just keep going.
Bill: Yea! It looks really tough to beat. I like that it has a mana curve too. It’s not just a pile of 1 drops and burn spells. What are the cards that make this deck work?
Dan: The cards that are essential to this deck are Magma Jet, Spike Jester and Lifebane Zombie. All of them help keep the aggression up and force my opponent to deal with everything that I play. My biggest problem with playing agro decks is that they burn out or get flooded and Magma Jet helps solve that problem. Scrying for 2 helps keep the deck moving and get to the cards that are needed.
Bill: Ok. Cool! A friend of mine once said that Magma Jet is the spoon that stirs the burn deck. It’s nice to see that it’s back in action and receiving the respect that it deserves. So how did the deck perform for you at FNM?
Dan: Every match up this week was good games. Round 1 was against a Junk (Green, White, Black) deck. Great games, but my opponent was just missing the right lands to answer what I was dropping onto the field. He had answers but he would be missing one color to play something that would deal with the board state.
Bill: Yes. That’s an unfortunate side effect of playing 3 colors. Sometimes you get the right amount of lands, but they are just the wrong colors for your spells. They will stumble and you will punish them for it!
Dan: In round 2, I went up against Mono Black. Game 1, I was able to play my deck the way it was supposed to and everything worked out for me. Game 2, he was able to shut my game plan down with Thoughtseize. That card is really good. During game 3, there was a point where we were both top decking for the win. I would have been able to get in there and win it but I misplayed to a Desecration Demon. I should have sacked to tap it down and swing in two turns earlier. That is now something I will never do again, hopefully.
Bill: Sounds like some close games. Mono Black is very popular right now and it’s also a really tough deck to beat. If you’re planning on playing competitive magic right now, you need to have a game plan for that match up.
Dan: In round 3, my opponent was against Leo Hammond. Great games all around!! He was playing a Voltron Deck that just made all of his creatures big and nasty. Gift of Orzhov was such a problem for me during our games. It ended up turning into a race. I had more on the board and Madcap Skills was able to put a hold on his guy till I could draw a Doom Blade to put it out of commission.
Finally in Round 4 I faced a mono white deck. Game 1 was just go go go for me. I drew my ideal hand and was able to beat my opponent down with Cacklers and Madcap Skills. Game 2, on the other hand, I had to mulligan down to 5 and lost everything I had on the field at one point to an Angel of Serenity. I will say that I am pretty happy with how game 2 played out because I was still able to get my opponent down to 10 after going down to 5. Game 3 was back to hitting the pedal and holding it down. Turn 2 playing a Spike Jester, getting in for 3 and then turn 3 putting Madcap Skills on it and getting in for 6 more is ideal for me. Turn 4, I played Exavas, Rakdos Blood Witch, unleashed her and swung in. My opponent only had one creature on the board and would have been at 1 but he conceded the match.
Bill: Awesome! I love it when a plan comes together! Great job! Any shout outs you’d like to add?
Dan: I have to give a shout out to my entire L1M2 Team: Buddy Ammerman, Dylan and Tyler Bajer, Brett Fiend and Rob Imbs. I wouldn’t have played this deck or be as good at this game if it wasn’t for all of them.
Bill: I think that’s so cool that you guys have a magic team. Well, congratulations to you, Dan Morris! We are working on a new promotion for our FNMs for the month of December. An official announcement is forthcoming, so all I can say for now is keep an eye on our Facebook Page for that information. I’ll see you all again this Friday and one of you in the Winner’s Circle!