“Skreds dead baby, Skreds dead.”
Modern season has started so I thought I’d better get involved.
It all started with “a little brew” with one of my testing buddies, we saw the success of Blue Moon at Pro Tour Born of the Gods but after playing it for ourselves we decided that it wasn’t fast enough once it had the game locked down.
We started with what we had dubbed, “Pale Moon”. The idea was that we would operate from a Red/White Control shell with Blood Moon and access to great removal spells, Stormbreath Dragon, Koth of the Hammer and Ajani Vengeant. Ajani felt good when we are already trying to control people’s mana with Blood Moon.
White also gives you access to some of the best sideboard cards available to the format. I was happy to develop the deck a little further– but then it happened; I stumbled upon Skred and along with it some CalebD videos on Channel Fireball. I was more than impressed with the style of deck; not having to worry about your own manabase and a really fast clock once you’ve got the game locked down.
I decided to make some changes from the established lists as sometimes red heavy lists are usually under-developed, or hindered by budget restraints. I decided to cut the Pyroclasm effects from the main and replaced them with more land destruction as they are more useful in more match-ups. You can always chop and change this depending on the meta.
Here is the list I came up with, I’d decided to take it out for a spin down at my local Modern tournament.
21 Snow-Covered Mountain
2 Scrying Sheets
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Koth of the Hammer
4 Stormbreath Dragon
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Volcanic Fallout
4 Molten Rain
4 Blood Moon
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Faithless Looting
I enjoyed playing the deck, I picked it up easily and my only loss before the top 8 was against a decent B/W tokens list.
I felt really comfortable playing against GB Rock, Jund and UWR control and I didn’t feel like I was out against Scapeshift as in my match against it. In game one my opponent put me within burn range but I landed a Blood Moon when he was tapped out. In game three I threw A LOT of land destruction at him and he ran out of blue mana sources. I was then able to land another Blood Moon, then killed him with a set of Avalanche Riders.
I was finally knocked out by Affinity in the semi-finals, I didn’t feel like the underdog in the matchup; it felt fairly even. In game one I ruined him, in game two he ruined me, in game three I mulliganned, he Thoughtseized my Shatterstorm and bashed me to death with an Etched Champion.
Some of the card choices I’ve made might seem strange, but I feel like some of the typical manarocks aren’t that great. Turn two Mindstone into turn three Koth is fine, but a lot of the time it is just another way for you to grow your opponents Goyfs.
Maybe contrary to my previous point I really liked Faithless Looting, it helps you bin off extra copies of effects you don’t need and lets you profitably sandbag excess lands for the purpose of later drawing more cards. The flashback may be at odds with the maindeck Relic but the Relic has so many useful interactions in game ones that it’s completely worth it.
Skred is perhaps the most powerful red removal spell in the deck. It’s much like a Path or Swords, it can be used to target your own Boros Reckoner although I always feel this was a little too cute and only really doable if in response to your opponents removal spell or when the opponent is F6.
Koth of the Hammer… this card was insane and killed a fair few Liliana of the Veil on the day. The +1 ability is really good as a haste attacker that dodges sorcery speed removal and completely blanks Abrupt Decay and Path to Exile. The -2 as any ritual effect is insane and I have made the aggressively mediocre play of Koth, Ritual, make Reckoner, Bolt your guy, go. The -5 is easily attainable and is practically unbeatable.
I will be playing this deck for the season, I enjoy the games I play with it and feel like it is certainly powerful.
Eternal formats have a lot of options and there is a lot of power available. Attacking a developed metagame and closing the game quickly seems to be a really important thing to be doing right now.
You also have a lot of unexpected options, for example a large portion of decks can’t really deal with a game one Relic, and Delver builds can’t realistically deal with an instant speed uncounterable Wrath via with the maindeck Volcanic Fallout. Note that Fallout is also quite good when people are trying to “go off” with Kiki Jiki or Splinter Twin.
Aggressively attacking peoples manabases just feels like where I really want to be right now, forcing my control opponents hand with Molten Rains and other threatening cards until I can stick a Blood Moon really puts them under a lot of pressure.
How would you take this deck forward? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments area.
Thanks for reading,