Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded (control + burst aggro)

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

Threw this together for a few games last night and this thing crushed on all fronts. Really fun, and hard hitting as hell.

Gameplay is pretty straightforward. Race to Purphoros ASAP. Look for hands with mana and ramp to get him out turn 3 or earlier. After that, you really only need about 6 mana.

Lots of control elements with stuff like chaos maw, drakuseth, duplicant, meteor golem, etc. Not to mention legions of powerful flash blockers. Despite having no creatures on board, you're pretty well defended. You've also got quite a bit of CA for a red deck in the form of wheels.

When you're going for a win, the deck has huge burst potential. Double strike, double combat steps, double damage - I've had hundred+ damage turns with the right combos. You can also just throw out 6+ drops and smash normally. Haste is such a huge add for stuff like hellkite tyrant and drakuseth, creatures which were already a good deal for 6 and 7 are now worth a lot more.

Finally, there's some miscellaneous stuff for some neat tricks - doubling creatures when they come down, returning them to the battlefield, countering the sacrifice trigger, etc.

Anyway, had a lot of fun and as I said, the deck is a house.
Purph my Boy

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Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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toctheyounger
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

41????? That's like close to half the deck. Damn. Like I don't think I've ever had a deck that full of beef, and I do get carried away.

I can't wait to take my deck for a spin, just a few numbers shy of 100 myself. A couple of things I wanted to ask about your experience thus far, bearing in mind of course that it's early days so you may not have answers for me.

Firstly in general, how defensible are you finding yourself? I've been tempted to look at things like Platinum Angel and Fortune Thief to keep me away from a loss, purely because of the relative impermanence of a Purph boardstate. I'm assuming it depends if you can find yourself a Sundial of the Infinite or Cauldron of Souls to some degree.

How have you found your draw thus far? My big concern running a rush deck like this that can vomit cards on to the field easy is ending up topdecking which seems like the worst case scenario for this deck. I don't have access to Wheel of Fortune but I am running Magus of the Wheel, Reforge the Soul, Sandstone Oracle, I guess I'm just concerned that isn't enough.

How have the phoenixes played out for you? I've got Squee, Goblin Nabob in for chump blocking, I'm assuming these are a similar function albeit with somewhat more versatility than Squee has in terms of evasion. I might need to try these, especially considering they're not going to cost any more to drop into play.

edit - any reason for no Ilharg, the Raze-Boar? Seems like a freebie to me for sneak attacks and something that's easy to keep playing without having to worry about saving it.
Malazan Decks of the Fallen
| Shadowthrone/Lazav | Raest/Yidris | T'iam / The Ur-Dragon |

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 year ago
41????? That's like close to half the deck. Damn. Like I don't think I've ever had a deck that full of beef, and I do get carried away.

I can't wait to take my deck for a spin, just a few numbers shy of 100 myself. A couple of things I wanted to ask about your experience thus far, bearing in mind of course that it's early days so you may not have answers for me.

Firstly in general, how defensible are you finding yourself? I've been tempted to look at things like Platinum Angel and Fortune Thief to keep me away from a loss, purely because of the relative impermanence of a Purph boardstate. I'm assuming it depends if you can find yourself a Sundial of the Infinite or Cauldron of Souls to some degree.

How have you found your draw thus far? My big concern running a rush deck like this that can vomit cards on to the field easy is ending up topdecking which seems like the worst case scenario for this deck. I don't have access to Wheel of Fortune but I am running Magus of the Wheel, Reforge the Soul, Sandstone Oracle, I guess I'm just concerned that isn't enough.

How have the phoenixes played out for you? I've got Squee, Goblin Nabob in for chump blocking, I'm assuming these are a similar function albeit with somewhat more versatility than Squee has in terms of evasion. I might need to try these, especially considering they're not going to cost any more to drop into play.

edit - any reason for no Ilharg, the Raze-Boar? Seems like a freebie to me for sneak attacks and something that's easy to keep playing without having to worry about saving it.
41 has been a ton lol. I think the balance is pretty good, though. Early on I had some games where I got stuck on mana with a bunch of fatties in hand, then later had some games where I drew too much mana and not enough fatties - I think it's just bad variance and the numbers are pretty decent overall. As you point out, there isn't a ton of draw available. So you really want your draw to count.

Defenses have been totally fine, never a problem really, except when I got mana screwed, and even then I came back and won the moment I got the mana to cast purph. Flashing in huge fatties with nasty etbs and the like does the job quite nicely.

platinum angel i don't understand. If you've got lethal marked on you after to flash in angel, you're just dead next end step. Fortune thief I guess keeps you alive for one turn cycle. If you just play them out instead of purphing them in, I guess it'd make sense, but I've never liked feeling like I'm one doom blade away from death. Anyway as I said I haven't had any trouble with survivability.

In general I've found the deck to play out 2 different ways. If I don't have any hand-refilling (don't forget dragon mage!) and I'm low on beef, then I tend to play a control game and am more likely to hardcast my fatties. Most of them get a huge boost from haste even if you're not exploiting purphs activated ability. If I do have draw, or I've just got a hand with a ton of beef in it, then I tend to play a lot more aggressively and use his ability more often than casting anything. So you modulate your play depending how much gas you've got.

So far I haven't had any games where I've had little enough to do (and a phoenix) that having a phoenix to return has mattered. Those (plus zodiac dragon) make a lot of sense if you run out of gas, but when you're firing on all cylinders they're pretty lackluster. 3-damage-all creatures have generally been really solid when playing control, though, so I could definitely see magma phoenix really shutting some people down. But the stars haven't aligned yet for me, I've either had no phoenix, or a phoenix but other better stuff to do that wins the game.

Ilharg I don't like.
-He doesn't work with any attack triggers creatures, or dies triggers creatures, or tap ability creatures, which is a pretty large number of our creatures.
-He does offer the possibility for the etb creatures to return to hand, which imo is really the only real upside here, but they have to go into combat and survive first (pretty tough for cards like angrath's marauders).
-More importantly, he's gotta survive too, which can be pretty tough given he has no evasion in terms of avoiding lethal blocks.
-His ability also lacks any timing nuance that purph provides, which really improves the effectiveness of many of our cards (WGD and thopter assembly, for instance, as well as just generally acting in response).
-A 6/6 trample on the ground, in a deck like this, is honestly pretty meaningless most of the time
-He "protects himself" in a way that's honestly not good. We have so many fatties that he's probably replacing another fatty in your draw, and our draw can be sacred. It's certainly far from free protection. You're basically skipping a future draw step. I think I'd frequently want to not put him back into the deck at all, in the hopes of drawing something higher-impact. A far cry from "not having to worry about saving it".
-He competes with our commander on cmc.
-By the time you can cast him, you could probably just hardcast a lot of the fatties he's good with anyway.

I mean, yeah, he's great if you can keep retriggering meteor golem or whatever, but he works with a relatively few of our creatures and requires a fairly specific situation to do that without dying or letting the other attacker die and render the benefit he provides irrelevant. Plus, one of the things I like about this deck is that frequently we just don't care about enemy removal. Our creatures are dying anyway, they've got haste for tap abilities...frequently cards like doom blade are almost irrelevant against us. With Ilharg, we're reversing that virtual card advantage by providing real targets.

Imo, if you want to play Ilharg, you should just build an ilharg deck optimized for ilharg. More etbs and damage triggers instead of attack/tap/dies triggers, cheaper haste enablers that don't compete on cmc with him, etc. Especially with Purphoros, who's so hard to kill, I don't want to bother with redundancy.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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toctheyounger
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

This all seems pretty promising. I can totally understand having a high critter count, you really want to make sure you're grabbing a hand full of them every time you wheel. No point playing Purph if you can't sneak attack, so it does make sense.
DirkGently wrote:
1 year ago
Defenses have been totally fine, never a problem really, except when I got mana screwed, and even then I came back and won the moment I got the mana to cast purph. Flashing in huge fatties with nasty etbs and the like does the job quite nicely.
I'm really pleased to hear this - I didn't want to have to justify making room for emergency plans. Partly that's because they're fairly flimsy anyway - neither one is particularly resilient, and if you're that close you're probably done for anyway. I'd much rather be proactive and steal a win than put any effort into defending a loss.
DirkGently wrote:
1 year ago
So far I haven't had any games where I've had little enough to do (and a phoenix) that having a phoenix to return has mattered. Those (plus zodiac dragon) make a lot of sense if you run out of gas, but when you're firing on all cylinders they're pretty lackluster. 3-damage-all creatures have generally been really solid when playing control, though, so I could definitely see magma phoenix really shutting some people down. But the stars haven't aligned yet for me, I've either had no phoenix, or a phoenix but other better stuff to do that wins the game.
This is fair enough - to me they seem like a filler for more wheel effects or straight draw - if they were available you'd play them instead. I like a recurring Slagstorm, though, that is kinda cool. I'm on the fence regarding Squee, Goblin Nabob - I don't think he's going to last personally, which means I likely free up a slot from his departure and his best friend Skullclamp. That being said I definitely have less wheels than you so there's a fair chance Clamp could be valuable.
DirkGently wrote:
1 year ago
Especially with Purphoros, who's so hard to kill, I don't want to bother with redundancy.
This is pretty much it for Ilharg. He's cool in some ways, but yeah, there's higher value creatures to be playing regardless. I get where you're going with this, and it makes sense. I had considered him a lock, but you're right, there's definitely going to be better stuff you're wanting to topdeck than a 6/6 trampler.

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.
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| Shadowthrone/Lazav | Raest/Yidris | T'iam / The Ur-Dragon |

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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 1 year ago

May I suggest Crater Hellion, Volcano Hellion, and Erratic Portal? Both the Hellions are excellent removal on formidable bodies in my experience (plus the echo is irrelevant here) and the portal provides affordable reuse of key effects.

Bloodfire Colossus may also be worth a look for post-combat wipes or a sneaky 4 mana Inferno.
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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

All really solid suggestions. My excuse for not noticing the creatures is that I don't have them in my collection. They're pretty bad outside of here so I hadn't considered them playable when I last went through the old sets. Maybe I'll pick them up though.

Not sure how I missed Erratic Portal though. That does make a lot of sense.

As much as I enjoyed this deck, though, it's been disassembled. Also I can't really play anything at the moment, of course. I'll add those creatures to my wishlist and likely include them if I rebuild later, though.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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