Crimson Disco

Things are wrapping up around here and most of the Christmas pottering is done. This year it included a fairly extravagant gift to myself; a rare piece of Magic I've been looking for for some time. I need a few more things before that project is solved, but I'm sure I'll put up a post about it once it's finished. Today though, lets go back to MonoRed.
Three or four months back, I wrote a long post on how to build a Sligh deck using the principles of agile software development. We looked at the "build-measure-learn" loop of Lean processes and ended up with a somewhat solid 75 to show the world. While the deck we built lived up to all the feature requirements, the value I was looking for was to play it with friends and lend it out during tournaments. And after playing with it at a couple of gatherings, I realized that I didn't really enjoy Sligh. I want to play powerful cards and game-changing combinations. I like card advantage and to puzzle together wins when hope is bleak. Sligh did speak to the statistician in me, but playwise it didn't really intrigue me after a few games. So after learning this, I returned to take a few more laps in the build-measure-learn loop.
Colorless card advantage.
Ever since I first opened a Nevinyrral's Disk in a pack of 4th Edition in 1995, I've been a huge fan of the card. It keeps people honest and playing with an untapped disk on the table creates an interesting subgame of careful committing. The "Johnny-player" in me likes its combo potential with bounce-cards, Guardian Beast, regenerators and recursion effects; and the "Timmy-player" in me likes the massive impact of blowing up every non-land permanent on the table. So I figured playing four disks would be a nice start if I wanted to move from monored aggro to monored midrange. Audun's deck from CrowCon was of course a big source of inspiration here.

Creaturewise, Uthden Troll didn't impress me. Sure, they survive a Disk activation, but other than that they're mostly harmless 2/2s. A single opposing Mishra's Factory will keep them at bay and two damage to the opponent when they do get through isn't really that impressive either. So instead I went for Clay Statues. They beat through Factories, are a much faster clock, and can be cast with Mishra's Workshop. Also, the playset cost me $1, which is reasonable.
Creature base. Miser's Shivan Dragon for value.
Rukh Egg is of course really nice with the Disk, but lately it seems that one of the more common ways I've been cracking eggs is using Chain Lightning (and then chaining it forward to a target at opponent's side of the table). In case you didn't know btw, it could be interesting to note that City in a Bottle will destroy the Egg but let you keep the Rukh token, as the token isn't a card.

Lands are the only permanents in the format that will dodge the Disk, so I also wanted a few cards to handle utility lands and keep the sub-theme of mana denial in place.
Ponza packet.
There aren't that many restricted cards in red, but I've found that the Forks make up for that with great effect. Forking Mind Twists, Braingeysers or large Fireballs are obviously awesome, but the value you can get from just forking things like Counterspell or Disenchant are not to be scoffed at. The Forks sometimes justifies keeping an extra land or two in hand btw; every now and then you get to fork a Recall, and you need to be able to discard cards to get to pick up cards from the graveyard. I currently run two maindeck and a third in the sideboard against "restricted-list heavy" decks.
High-end spells.
Other than that, the deck is glued together with eight Lightning Bolts/Chain Lightnings, a couple of Shatters, and some mana ramp (e.g. two copies of Mana Vault). This is the end result:
Crimson Disco.
So is it any good? Yeah, I think so. It could be slightly improved by throwing a lot of money at it and adding Black Lotus and Library of Alexandria, but they are by no means necessary for the deck to function. And I've won more games than I've lost with it which I guess is a good sign. Much more than that though, it is very fun to play.

Sometime next week or so we'll take a look back at 2016 and welcome the new year. Until then, I hope you all have a great holiday.


  1. Awesome Mg! Happy to see some crimson love. Nice list :)
    Ps; Don't forget Disintegrate for the mirror matchup when we meet next time ;)


    1. Haha, yeah, it's very possible that the Fireball in the sideboard should be Disintegrate (or that I should play both, like in your list). For now I just hope that the Fissures should be enough to handle your regenerators when we meet ;)


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