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Magic: The Gathering!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

A Small Sacrifice! 

Welcome one and all!  This is Captain Red Zone coming to you with the next Dual Color deck in my series for your viewing delight. This week we’re heading into Red/Black territory. But before we go too far in I want to take a moment to get a little something off my chest.

Dear Black,

I know we don’t get to spend a lot of time together in recent days. I have been spending a lot of time with Green lately but don’t think it’s because of you. My first deck article was all about you. We still get to go out every once in a while but I feel as if I haven’t been giving you the attention you crave. But let’s be honest, you hurt me. A lot. Often. If I didn’t know any better I would say you even enjoyed it. You’re always picking away at my hand, my creatures, and even my life. I remember when I first started this game and you were there in that starter deck with your friend Red and, the ugly chick in your group, Green. We spent a lot of time together and you showed me that I never had to fear a creature because the only one allowed to hurt me was you. Every other color has shown up in an article at least three times, even that bitch Blue. You should know I am willing to show you off more soon, just please take my Red sacrifice this week. I’ll see you for the next few articles and at the next prerelease.

Yours Always (Because I signed that damn contract),


Now that I look back... I don't think it was worth the cards...

Ok, so with that out of the way I want take a look at Black and Red. These two colors have a lot in common. If you want something dead, and I mean DEAD (not that “exiled” stuff), you can rely on them. They both love to do direct damage to players and creatures but they usually have different reasons why. Red wants to get as much damage as possible leaving only the strongest to live and tell the tale. When you think of Red you get things like Wildfire, Pyroclasm, and Lighting Bolt. Black, on the other hand, damages for profit. Usually you get things that will hurt something and gain you that much life, creature tokens, or maybe draw you a card.

But the most interesting part about the two colors has to be their relationship. You see Red is all about emotions. Red loves to give. It gives out chances with its flip coin cards. It likes to give away it’s creatures with cards like Crag Saurian, Goblin Cadets, and don’t even get me started on how loving Bazaar Trader and Zedruu the Greatheated are. It even have a group of creatures that likes to cover themselves in BBQ and honey dip, just so they’ll taste better when THEY FEED THEMSELVES TO A DRAGON!!!


That goblin has a set the size of Grapefruits!!! 

With such a giving color, is it any wonder why Black is one of its allies? I mean Black loves gifts. It’s always ready for anything you’re willing to give it… just don’t expect it to call you in the morning. But Red doesn’t care. It will give itself until Black calls it a night or until it has nothing else to give.

Black is quick to say “Let’s be adults here. Last night was last night. We had some fun but I don’t owe you anything. If you still want to see me fine, but don’t think for a second that I’m going to still be there in the morning. Let’s go.” So let’s give black what it wants, shall we.

Oh, Baby!

Enter Lyzolda, the Blood Witch!

First things first, we are going to need a few guys that love to die. Lyzolda plays a little too rough with her things so we need creatures that not only die, but die for a living… I think that’s right...?

Bloodghast, Ashen Ghoul, Nether Traitor, Doomed Necromancer, and Apprentice Necromancer: When these guys were in High School they were all competing for the “Most likely to be sacrificed and reborn” category of their year book. The two Necromancers can keep tagging each other in and out of the grave but their here for bigger things than that. Bloodghast, Ashen Ghoul, and Nether Traitor are fighting over which one will come back first.

Goblin Marshal, Siege-Gang Commander, Marsh Flitter, Sengir Autocrat, Weirding Shaman, Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, and Grixis Slavedriver: Here is our token package. These guys will keep Lyzolda happy with buy not only give themselves but their friends too. Goblin Marshal gives you five guys to turn into damage while Siege-Gang gives four. Marsh Flitter and Grixis Slavedriver gives you three black creatures that you can turn into draws when they block while Segir Autocrat gives you four, just leave the himself Autocrat for last. Weirding Shaman, with a little help for one of the other goblins here, can keep the 1/1s and draw flowing for a cost.

Extractor Demon, Buried Alive, and Corpse Connoisseur: This is a small “fill the grave” package. Buried Alive is here to toss three dudes into the grave. My suggestion? Both Titans and Ashen Ghoul with the Titans on top of the Ghoul. Then you only need one more dude on top of it to get it back. Corpse Connoisseur can become a good way to fill the grave with all the rise effects here. Extractor Demon can target others but, if you need a few extra cards in the grave, you can target yourself.

Hell's Caretaker, Sheoldred, Whispering One, and Wort, Boggart Auntie: Here we have some recursion on a stick. Sure Hell’s Caretaker makes you sac a guy for a guy, but that’s not the issue if it’s a goblin token getting a Siege-Gang. Wort is here for the three or so goblins and to attack a few times but that it. She’s very protective of her favorite nephews. And if you have to ask why Sheoldred is here, maybe you should give her a read and tell me why she shouldn’t be.

Dawn of the Dead, Dread Return, Postmortem Lunge, Soul Exchange, Footsteps of the Goryo, Stir the Grave, Strands of Night, Unearth, and Zombify: Three repeatable return effects are not going to finish off a table of people your pinging to death. Like any good movie villain will tell you, “Good help is hard to find.” So go ahead and just help yourself with these awesome enchantments and spells.
Anathemancer, Inferno Titan, Grave Titan, Rotting Rats, Phyrexian Delver, and Mana-Charged Dragon:
The reason Anathemancer doesn’t see much play is because you usually only get to use it twice and then *Poof* exiled. But here it can become the bane of anyone who’s playing non-basics. Rotting Rats can give you some hand control here and since most of your stuff will be coming back you’re not affected to badly. The Titans are here because… they're two of the frigging Titans! Grave Titan gives you tokens you can use to draw or attack with and Inferno Titan can help clear the way for you token army that’s not too busy covering themselves in butter. Phyrexian Delver is a great card to bring back from the dead because it brings back other things with it. As for Mana-Charged Dragon, let’s face it: you’re not going to always be the biggest treat on the board. Someone is going to be ready to end the game and you’re going to need a way to give the table a chance to survive. That’s when you load up the Dragon Wagon.


Hey even a girl like Lyzolda has her limits. So you’re going to need to B.Y.O.B. (Bring your own back-up). And here it is.

Deathbringer Thoctar and Screams from Within:
These can help take out token decks with ease. You just cast Screams from Within when you get there and everything with 1 toughness is dead. Then if something is bigger than that, give it the enchantment and wait until the token crisis returns. Deathbringer can ping off everything thing on the field with one toughness. All he needs is for one guy to die. With Lyzolda out you should be able to get more depending on you open mana, but the first one you sacrifice will be enough to get the Thoctar online.

 Basilisk Collar, Gorgon Flail, Onyx Mage, and Quietus Spike: Here is our deathtouch package. If you read my Pinger deck article, you already know the deal here. With a Commander that can ping creatures, why would you not want a way to make sure every point counts? Don’t forget, you also have a Thoctar that would love to be fitted with one of these. Then it could kill everything on the board that looks at you funny. I like to imagine the Thoctar with a sniper rifle pinging off the field with pin point accuracy while the other creatures are all crying “Timmy! NNNOOO! Dave! Dave? NNNNNOOOOO! Make it stop! MAKE IT STO…*Headshot*”… But when someone stops my Thoctar all I see is…

 Respawn in 5..4..3..2..1..Beep


Whispersilk Cloak, Swiftfoot Boots, and Lightning Greaves:
These are here to serve as the basic shroud team. Our guys are small and the ones we want to keep on board could die to a glass of spoiled milk. So we need to keep them locked away in a bubble where we can keep the evils of the world away from them.

Damnation and Black Sun's Zenith: If you have access to boardsweepers, use them. It never hurts to have a few in your deck. You never know when you’re going to fall behind and need a way to slow down the game.

Betrayal of Flesh, Aftershock, Beacon of Destruction, Avatar of Woe, Terminate, Strangling Soot, and Fatal Blow: Not everything is going to die to damage.  Sometimes you’re going to be low on mana, Lyzolda is going to step out, or someone plays something to prevent damage. Those are the times when you’re going to need to just kill something. Hey, in these colors you should expect to get your hands dirty and these are the tool need to make a grave for just about any creature.

Gravestorm, Greed, Phyrexian Arena, Mindmoil, and Infernal Tribute:
Sometimes you’re going to have to do the drawing yourself. Lyzolda said earlier she doesn’t owe you anything so be ready for the times when she decides to tell you she’s busy washing her hair.

Expedition Map, Cabal Coffers, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: Is that a Land being suggested by the Captain? No. That’s two lands being suggested by the Captain. With this much Black mana needed for Lyzolda, we needed a way to get something going. You could also use the mana rocks to help out but let’s just start with these and see where they take us.
Chandra, the Firebrand, Chandra Nalaar, and Liliana Vess: Chandra, the Firebrand is here to ask “What’s better than one Buried Alive? TWO BURIED ALIVE!” and that goes for just about every other non-permanent spell you got. Vess is here to do her usual things: Search for something you need and bring back every creature to your side if it ever gets there. While Nalaar is here to help ping and kill big creatures.

And Sac is Sac!

With 18 Swamps and 18 Mountains you could call this one a wrap. As always, my mana base here is just a starting point. At the bottom, you can check out the deck list. Next week we get to see how Black gets along with one of its biggest critics. As always thanks for the read and I will see you next week for another article!

Hope you had fun and please leave any comments or suggestions.  Until next time,

This is your Captain speaking… We’re heading into the Red Zone!!!

1 Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
1 Bloodghast
1 Kathari Bomber
1 Extractor Demon
1 Hell's Caretaker
1 Doomed Necromancer
1 Nether Traitor
1 Phyrexian Delver
1 Ashen Ghoul
1 Chandra, the Firebrand
1 Chandra Nalaar
1 Grixis Slavedriver
1 Rotting Rats
1 Anathemancer
1 Corpse Connoisseur
1 Apprentice Necromancer
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 Liliana Vess
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
1 Goblin Marshal
1 Grave Titan
1 Marrow-Gnawer
1 Marsh Flitter
1 Sengir Autocrat
1 Weirding Shaman
1 Wort, Boggart Auntie
1 Betrayal of Flesh
1 Dawn of the Dead
1 Dread Return
1 Footsteps of the Goryo
1 Postmortem Lunge
1 Screams from Within
1 Soul Exchange
1 Stir the Grave
1 Strands of Night
1 Unearth
1 Zombify
18 Swamp
18 Mountain
1 Whispersilk Cloak
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Buried Alive
1 Damnation
1 Black Sun's Zenith
1 Aftershock
1 Beacon of Destruction
1 Gravestorm
1 Greed
1 Infernal Tribute
1 Mindmoil
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Gorgon Flail
1 Onyx Mage
1 Quietus Spike
1 Deathbringer Thoctar
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Expedition Map
1 Strangling Soot
1 Terminate
1 Fatal Blow
1 Avatar of Woe
1 Mana-Charged Dragon