I started working on this deck at the end of the last Modern PTQ Season. After playing in various PTQs around the midwest, it became apparent that Blood Moon would ruin many a deck in this highly diverse, yet mana color intensive format. But being able to shut down most of the decks in the format isn't going to help against aggro builds that drop their main threats before turn 3. Hence the need for an answer for those quick decks like Boros and Robots, which I found in Pyroclasm (which also happens to do a lot of work in this format). The next hurdle to clear is finding ways to shut down the RU combo decks that can typically ignore Moon effects for the most part. For this, I have loaded up the sideboard with cards to answer those decks.
Right now there are three versions of the deck I am testing. The first is my own personal brew, which is more of a semi control deck that wins with Demigod of Revenge bringing back extra copies ditched with Faithless Looting. The second strategy, credited to Greenpoe, is based on Ensnaring Bridge to hold off would-be attackers while building up Koth of the Hammer to his ultimate, all while using Grim Lavamancer and other burn to widdle down your opponent. The latest version is credited to Dukksoup, which focuses on mass sorceries for control, and relying on Magnivore, along with Demigod and Koth for securing the win.
The first few cards listed are ones I have not excluded from any build to date:
Blood Moon - The basis of the deck is built on this card. It's an auto 4 of.
Magus of the Moon - Though a bit more fragile than Blood Moon, Magus can fill in as extra copies of Blood Moon. Occasionally, it will swing for 2 as well.
Molten Rain - You want to keep your opponents off of their color of choice. This hits those pesky basics that get around Moon effects, and also deals 2 if you are hitting their non-basics.
This next sets of cards are ones that I have found very useful in testing:
Faithless Looting - I have yet to not include looting in a list for this deck. Either I am using it for throwing extra Demigods into my grave, pitching extra Moon effects for more cards, or digging to find an answer/win condition.
Grim Lavamancer - This little guy can help shoot down enemy threats, widdle down your opponents life, or swing for 1 if need be. He fits good in the deck, regardless of which strategy you are going for.
Koth of the Hammer - I have liked him in this built from the get go. He wins with Ensnaring Bridge out. He kills Liliana of the Veil with a 4/4 mountain swinging out of nowhere. The only disappointment is drawing more than 1.
Demigod of Revenge - 5 flying haste damage can end games quickly if not dealt with. His reanimate ability works even if he gets countered. What can I say? He is a personal favorite.
Magnivore - Another haste option that fits well into decks that are built around him. Great synergy with Faithless Looting, and he is one of those cards that will make your opponent say "WTF"
Ensnaring Bridge - Another great way of stalling out your opponent. Bridge + Moon effect can effectively shut down nearly every deck in the format. Meanwhile you have all the time you need to wear your opponent down with Koth, Lavamancers and other Burn in your arsenal.
Thoughts about sideboard:
Torpor Orb - This deck does work against Melira Pod, UR Twin, and a handful of other decks in the format, also while not hurting this deck in the slightest.
Shattering Spree - A must have for any red decks facing down Robots, a popular deck which recently won Grand Prix Columbus.
Chalice of the Void - A personal choice for Hive Mind, a deck which isn't overly popular, but can easily win over this deck if not prepared.
Thorn of Amethyst - The best card available for slowing down Storm decks. It wont stop them, but it should buy enough time to take them down.
Dragon's Claw - Another personal choice, which I use against Storm and other burn decks which are unaffected by Moon effects.
Trinisphere - Dukksoup's pick, for what I can only suspect is for the Storm match up.
Soul Sisters/Martyr Proc
Death and Taxes*
Elfball 1-0 (1-0 he quit)
RWU Tempo 1-0 (2-1)
RU Aggro 1-0 (1-1 he quit)
WG Tron 1-0 (2-1)
R Goblins 1-0 (2-0)
Kuldotha Red 1-0 (2-1)
U Merfolk 1-0 (1-0 he quit)
4-5 color aggroish 1-0 (2-0 IQ)
UG Infect 1-0 (2-1)
Jund 1-0 (2-0)
RWU Delver 1-0 (2-0)
Jund 1-0 (2-0)
R/W Midrange 1-0 (1-0 he quit)
W/G Equipment 1-0 (1-0 he quit)
AIR 2-1 (2-1, 1-2, 2-1)
RG Elementals 1-0 (1-0 he quit)
5C Valakut 1-0 (2-0)
RG Valakut 1-0 (2-0)
WRG Equip Aggro 2-0 (3-0)
MBC 0-1 (0-2)
GR Tron 0-1 (1-2)
B Aggroish 0-1 (0-2 IQ)
G Ramp 0-1 (0-2)
RG Tooth and Nail Tron 0-1 (0-1 he quit)
W Control 0-1 (0-2, Isochrom + Silence sucks)
Gifts Control 0-1 (0-2)
RUG Delver 0-1 (0-2)
Well, I see options, not the least of which is that I personally would prefer a ritual over spirit guide.
However, you might want maybe 2 more targeted land destruction such as stone rain or avalanche riders. Basics are absolutely your bane.
If you're going to run a sweeper, then I think volcanic fallout might be the best one.
Other than that, I see lingering souls being trouble if you get that far. Sulfur elemental is just downright evil against token strategies and combines pretty well your strategy otherwise while providing an earlier beater AND smacks counter decks around, too.
I am liking Spirit Guide for the extra body if needed. This usually won't matter, but I can see there being times where I just need to get a blocker on the board. Its also possible I could drop Moon or Magus on Turn 1 with 2 Guides in hand. I may go with a split of 2 Guide 1 Pyretic Ritual 1 Desperate Ritual.
I was thinking maybe more land destruction as well. Maybe Boom? There are a couple of 4 mana spells that look good too, but Stone Rain is probably the best for my current build.
I was thinking Fallout for the board. The only decks where it would matter from my knowledge are Delver/Scepter decks and Faeries. If I am against an aggro deck like Affinity, I really want that damage coming down on turn 2 (or 1 with spirit guide).
I like Sulfer Elemental. If I run both Pyroclasm main and Fallout in the board, its probably not going to be necessary. Its definitely worth a mention though and I appreciate that. I don't think I have ever played the card before.
Well, I really like telling counter decks where to stick it, and sulfur elemental is very good at that. He also happens to hose another strategy I detest, white tokens! He saw quite a bit of play against kithkin in TSP/Lorwyn standard. Along with blood moon/magus of the moon and demigod of revenge. Was quite the mean midrange/rdw archetype, if I remember correctly.
you make a pretty solid point about affinity. I can see wanting some ways of dealing with them.
I don't like boom here, honestly. You've no fetchlands and you're not using flagstones to abuse it. You don't have cascade, really, it sets you both back a turn and it's 2 of your cards for one of theirs. In essence, seriously not worth it. I think maybe 2 stone rain, maybe in place of one of the moon effects (you don't need 8, I think, even legacy dragon stompy only runs 6 typically) and one of the koths. Koth is pretty brutal in here..good find, I think.
I don't know if you run enough sorceries, but Magnivore might be an option over demigod, as well.
I think going aggro is probably the best plan if you're trying to build around 8-moon.dec (while keeping the Spirit Guides of course). RG with Bloodbraid Elf (Turn 3 cascade into a Moon?), Countryside Crusher, and so forth sounds pretty good. You could just run mainly green fetchlands since once you get a Moon out, the fetches will tap for R anyway. If you focus on aggro, I think it's easier to capitalize on the disruption from Moon.
I admit, it looks tempting. The chances of me getting all of those cards in one go is pretty slim. All in Red wasn't really my strategy, but maybe it isn't a bad way to go (with some Blood Moon back up of corse). I'll come up with a list and see how it goes. The couple of games I played against a Jund deck didn't go so well. Maybe it was just bad luck.
Another thought I had was maybe running the Deus of Calamity to keep up with the mana restriction. Its hard to ignore flying, haste and recursion though.
Ensnaring Bridge should be fantastic in this deck. It locks out most of the format, shuts down Emrakul, can stop Twin. With the card disadvantage from SSG and Looting, you'll quickly have few cards in hand which will stop most (if not all) creatures. Of course, it gets better if you choose to run Seething Song. Plus, by running Bridge you can cut down on the Pyroclasm or Bolt count.
Dolzero, I'm liking the new list, but the 61st card to cut is obviously the 4th blood moon, to me. If you wanted to keep 6 moon effects, you'll want a 3rd magus. After that, I'd just cut a pyroclasm. You've got faithless looting to help you dig to it, and against any deck you cast it against (say, affinity, as you already mentioned) will have barfed up the majority of its hand and the one should be enough.
Yeah, you could build the whole deck around Moons, Koth and Ensnaring Bride by making sure all your win-cons can win under a bridge- Jaya Ballard is a major candidate, dealing out 3 a turn and ensuring that Bridge keeps them locked down, and she can finish them off immediately once they get to 6 life. Plus, she hates on blue.
Lavamancer could work too, since you've got Fiathless Looting to fill your graveyard, just throw in some fetches and he'll win you games under a Bridge.
I usually didn't play the LD on turn 2, even if I could. I find its better to save those cards for when there is a clear land to target, or after you play moon.
The deck is playing a little bit better. Did go 2-1 against the same Jund deck. Getting a Moon down before they have the mana to answer it is killer. Demigod is a killer too, and I don't want to ditch him for bridge. In fact I wish I had something else as reliable. Koth's best move was taking out a Liliana with the 4/4 mountain I just untapped. Couldn't get him past Bloodbraids and Bolts to get to his emblem though. Seething Song kind of sucks when you draw it late game. An extra 2 when you already have 6 lands doesn't do a whole lot. Maybe throw in a couple of Banefire or something somewhere. I could probably cut the Stone Rain for them.
Maybe there is a more control version to go. Ditch the Seething Song, Demigod, LD, throw in Lavamancer, Ensnaring Bridge and a ton of burn to empty my hand fast. Lavaspike and Incinerate come to mind. I might give it a go eventually, but for now I am gonna keep up with the current build.
Played a bit vs a Delver Scepter deck last night. Pyroclasm is pretty good at removing their threats, especially the always pesky Geist of Saint Traft. I went 1-2 against it, and like with the Jund build, Blood Moon really does a lot to shut them down. The only downside against this deck is that they still can cast and use Scepter with a moon effect on the board. Games were close though and I would probably fit in some kind of artifact hate into my board, which I think would do good against a scepter along with covering the affinity match up. I also found that Faithless Looting was a good way to ditch extra Koths, Moons and mana ramp late game.
This deck could make fun of Genju of the Spires and a pinger like Cunning sparkmage. Play the genju and kill it with sparkmage. Rinse and repeat. When his lands are under control use the genju to win the game. Seems fun?
Private Mod Note
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
I am petitioning for the removal of mythic rarity and boycotting overpriced singles. Sig this to join the cause for a more affordable Magic the Gathering.
Possibly discarding the cards you want to keep is bad. The second ability is dependent on your opponents conditions, which I admit could be good if your opponent gets stuck with a full hand of cards they can't play. Still, it's only good conditionally. The ultimate is not likely to happen and its dependent on your opponent having creatures.
I have been toying with a deck I call Landstill (EDIT: just found out that was an actual deck, though I have no idea what it looks like) and it has a similar aim. I went R/W with mine so as to also run Hokori, flagstones, and Ajani Vengeant.
If I had more Magi I would run them, but it is not top on my buy list. It is essentially a RW control deck with the idea that I will be less screwed by my hokori and Moon due to my artifact sources. What those sources will be is throwing me- I could run Signets in the place of the Myr but I am on the fence.
I am probably going to yoink SSG from your build, though, as that is a lovely idea. The possiblity of t0 Leyline and t1-2 Moon, makes me very happy.
Pyroclasm goes a long way to setting back Melira Pod, while the Molten Rain hurts their costly mana base. Its definitely a favorable match up for this deck.
I keep giving the Ensnaring Bridge build some thought. Cunning Sparkmage, Grim Lavamancer and Basilisk Collar all keep coming to mind, along with Koth. I could sit with 2-3 cards in hand with bridge and use them to kill off anything that can get through. Haven't gotten a deck list together yet, but I think it could work.