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Budget Magic: $57 (7 tix) Modern Blistering Rage


Ni hao Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again. This week we are heading back to Modern for what might be the most exciting Budget Magic deck to date — Blistering Rage. Yes, I realize this means we are playing Modern two week in a row, and while I typically try to rotate through formats, this deck popped up out of nowhere (and by nowhere I mean the comments to last week's Budget Magic on Reddit after going 3-1 in a Daily Event). After playing some matches I realized the deck is so powerful and fun I couldn't wait to post the videos, especially since the GP Charlotte is coming up this weekend. If you are heading to the big event and don't want to spend $1,000 on a Modern deck (or want to kill your opponents on turn two), this just might be the deck for you. Anyway, let's get to the videos and then we'll talk a bit more about the deck. Just a quick reminder — if you enjoy the Budget Magic series and the other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to catch all the latest videos.

Blistering Rage - Deck Tech

Blistering Rage vs Amulet Bloom

 

Blistering Rage vs UR Twin

Blistering Rage vs Grixis Delver

Discussion

Talk about explosive! If you watched the videos, you know that when this deck is running right it may very well be the fastest deck in Modern. I mean, we beat Amulet Bloom on turn two and then on turn three through a chump blocker and two Radiant Fountain triggers. The basic idea is to resolve a creature on turn one or turn two, and then resolve two pump spells and a double strike spell on turn two or turn three with Desperate Ritual and Manamorphose adding additional triggers and explosiveness. 

Of course this strategy isn't without risk. Much like Infect or Boggles, a well timed removal spell can spell doom and cost us our entire hand. This gives the deck a sort of Goblin Charbelcher quality — we pretty much do our thing and try to put our opponent to the test as quickly as possible. We can usually play around burn spells easily enough (with pump spells), but if our opponent has a Terminate or a Path to Exile (and we don't have protection), we just sort of tip our hat and say well done. Thankfully, since we often lead with an innocuous looking one-drop, our opponent isn't usually expecting to die on turn two or three, so they tap out more often than they should and our deck is built to punish even the slight stumbles or misplays on the early turns. 

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If we had the option, I'm pretty sure we would just play 12 copies of Monastery Swiftspear. Blistercoil Weird is basically an almost strictly worse version of the human monk, and while Kiln Fiend is very good at getting free wins, it is also very difficult to protect since it costs two mana. This said, I'm pretty sure these are the three best creatures for the deck. Nivix Cyclops and Wee Dragonaughts are cute, but they simply cost too much mana to work in this build. We are not a control deck; we are an all-in combo deck looking to kill our opponent as quickly as possible. 

Just a quick note: you really can't keep an opening seven that is lacking a creature. With only 12 in the deck, it's possible that you'll go another several turns before you draw one. If you are not getting a creature onto the board by turn two, it will be very difficult to win. As such, you need to mulligan aggressively to find a creature, just like you would playing Boggles. 

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Assuming we have one creature in our opening hand, the next most important cards to have are the pump spells. Thanks to the prowess (and pseudo-prowess) triggers on all of our creatures, having two pump spells is the easiest way to win the game on turn two or three. The way this deck is built is more brilliant than I first realized: Let's say we play a Blistercoil Weird on turn one. The first Brute Strength or Titan's Strength pumps it to a 5/5 while the second puts it all the way up to a 9/9. This means we are one prowess trigger away from being a 10/10. Where can we find this last prowess trigger you might ask?

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That's right! With two pump spells we are one Assault Strobe or Temur Battle Rage away from making our one-drops 10/10's, and since both of these cards grant double strike, this allows us to hit our opponent for 20 damage as early as turn two. While we don't always need a double-strike spell to win (sometimes we just play multiple creatures and pump spells), these cards are our best way of winning the game super early and are one of the defining features of the deck. 

Remember that the combination of one (or more) pump spells plus Temur Battle Rage gives our creature trample along with double strike, which is extremely relevant in getting through chump blockers.

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Apostle's Blessing is a necessary evil. Some of our draws scoop to hard removal (i.e. non-burn, which we can counter with pump spells). It is also a good way to swing past a horde of Young Pyromancer tokens.

When I first looked over the deck, Desperate Ritual seemed extremely out of place. But after playing a bunch of matches, it is actually extremely important in giving us free wins. Since our easiest turn-two kills come from resolving three mana worth of spells (pump spell, pump spell, Assault Strobe), Desperate Ritual is a very important part of this puzzle — so important that I'm tempted to throw in a couple of Pyretic Rituals (or even Simian Spirit Guides, which also add to our lacking creature count) just to maximize the odds of getting this nut draw. 

Manamorphose is basically a way to cycle through our deck without spending any mana or cards. While they are great in multiples, I do feel like it might be the worst (and more replaceable) card in the deck. If you decide to change some things up, I would start here (although I don't really think any changes are necessary). 

Additions

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Honestly I'm not sure I want to change anything in this deck, especially if we are staying mono-red. As I mentioned before, I am slightly interested in upping the ritual count, likely at the expense of Manamorphose; I'm not sure this will make the deck better, but I do think it is at least worth testing. A light green splash, which is basically free by adding some number of fetchlands and Stomping Grounds, does have some potential. 

Become Immense seems like it could be a good back up plan for hands that don't have a double strike spell and we manage to fill our graveyard quite quickly, so it should usually be castable for one mana. Atarka's Command and Destructive Revelry seem like solid sideboard options. With four copies of Young Pyromancer in the board, playing a bunch of spells and then using Atarka's Command to dome our opponent for three and pump our team seems like another way to get free wins. Destructive Revelry is almost always better than Smash to Smithereens since it can hit enchantments along with artifacts. 

Like I said, I don't think these changes are necessary; the deck is very good as is. But if you are looking to switch things up, I would start by investigating a green splash. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Leave your thoughts, suggestions, and criticisms in the comments. I'd love to hear what ideas you have for improving the deck or your experiences playing with it. As always you can also reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 


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