Last week I put out a call to the community to hook a scrub up with a deck that met a few requirements. I wanted to play a competitive deck, I wanted to be somewhere in the mid-range world, I wanted to play Green and Red, and…Gyre Sage had to be in the deck. After being suggested several fun, playable lists, I settled on the following decklist by Drew Neperud:

Reddy Greeny

Creatures (29) (29)
 Burning-Tree Emissary
Experiment One
 Flinthoof Boar
 Ghor-Clan Rampager
 Gyre Sage
 Thundermaw Hellkite
 Vexing Devil

Planeswalkers (2) (2)
 Domri Rade
Lands (23) (23)
 Cavern of Souls
 Kessig Wolf Run
 Rootbound Crag
 Stomping Ground

Spells (6) (6)
 Searing Spear

Sideboard (15)
 Ground Seal
 Gruul Charm
 Act of Treason
 Armed // Dangerous
Bonfire of the Damned

I instantly began trying to trade and spend my precious store credit for this deck. Orlando, ever wise and practiced in deck building, has been on my case since I started playing about proxies. “It doesn’t make sense to spend all your money and store credit on a deck you may not want to play,” he would remand. So I caved, printed out some proxies, and shuffled up. So this week my deck got some amazing testing in.

My first games were against fellow Hipster Zac, who was playing Auras. I out-raced him two times out of four. It was a thrill on turn two to go, “Land, Burning-Tree, Burning-Tree, Spear you.” I kept bad hands to see how the deck dealt with bad hands. And with a two-lander (as long as both colors were represented) it bounced back fairly well, but all my losses were direct results of my not going down to six cards. This deck starts early, and if I can bring the heat I can really keep pressure on my opponent.

Next up was Seth, who brought B/W Zombies to the table. We only played a few games, but this really felt like a fun, fair fight. For as much as I wanted to swing into him, he also wanted me to swing. It was like he was begging for cards to go to his graveyard. Overall, with a little tweaking, I think this match-up probably favors the quicker deck…though I’m not sure which deck is quicker.

Now that I’ve played with this deck I’m going to make some changes. First up, I’m getting rid of my one big request. Gyre Sage…you’re out! Now the hunt for a proper replacement begins. For now, I’m going to switch it out for Pyreheart Wolf and see how that plays. Even though it costs one more mana, I think it has a much bigger impact on the board than Gyre. Sorry Gyrie (that’s my pet name for Gyre Sage, duh). Also, I found no need for Cavern of Souls in the deck. I mean, I understand the need for it from a purely logical point of view, but I’m running too many different kinds of creatures and types. Every time I had a Cavern in my hand I wished I’d had a land that produced colored mana. Finally, I may need some more burn in the deck. Maybe some Pillar of Flame‘s?

Deckbuilding is a blast, but now that I’ve got a fairly competitive deck it’s time to take it out for a test drive. Come play against me this Saturday during Magic Game Day at 20ss!

*Featured image from the awesome proxy site I used, Magic: the Gathering Proxy Generator!

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