Magic The Gathering: 2013 Core Set: Sweet Revenge
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The key card in this deck is Burning Vengeance, a 2-Red enchantment with the ability "Whenever you cast a spell from your graveyard, Burning Vengeance deals 2 damage to target creature or player." Are you scratching your head? Now count how many cards with the flashback ability are in the deck. And check out how many of your spells deal damage on their own, too. With spells like these, who needs the combat phase?
You'll need to approach the game in two stages. During the first stage, you'll play defense, fill your graveyard with goodies, hit your land drops, and get a Burning Vengeance or two onto the battlefield. During the second stage, you'll take over the game. Start casting those flashback spells from your graveyard, and kill anything that moves. If there's nothing in front of you but scorched earth, point your Burning Vengeance triggers straight at your opponent.
Fettergeist is a great attacker, but leave it back to block if your opponent has anything to attack with. Preserving your life total during the early game is a top priority. Armored Skaab pulls double duty in this deck, serving as a tough blocker while also dumping some cards into your graveyard. Both of these creatures have 4 toughness, which allows them to survive Slagstorm when you cast it to clear the board. Geistflame, Pillar of Flame, and Silent Departure are all efficient ways to deal with individual threats. Firewing Phoenix is your backup plan if you must resort to attacking for the win.
Putting cards into your own graveyard with Forbidden Alchemy and Armored Skaab may feel counterproductive at first, but so many of your cards can be cast from your graveyard that it's almost like you're putting them into your hand. Cast Think Twice and Desperate Ravings from your hand early on to find more lands to play and more removal to defend yourself with. But hold off on casting them from your graveyard until you have Burning Vengeance on the battlefield.
Sideboarding with this deck is straightforward. Do you need to kill more things early on? Bring in Dismember and Arc Trail. Is your opponent also playing a control deck with lots of card drawing and answers and just a few threats? Turn the tables and bring in Screeching Skaab, Bloodcrazed Neonate, and Secrets of the Dead to apply constant pressure. Swap these cards in for your main-deck removal, which is unlikely to be useful in that matchup.
If you're looking to make the deck even more controlling, the Magic 2013 card Magmaquake can deal with creatures and planeswalkers at the same time. Thundermaw Hellkite is a hasty Dragon that hits like a truck. It could give the deck a different, more proactive angle of attack that mixes well with the Burning Vengeance game plan. If you like everything about the deck but want to try winning with something besides Burning Vengeance, take a look at Talrand, Sky Summoner. With this legendary blue creature, every instant and sorcery you cast comes with a 2/2 flying Drake token.