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Brewing with Zane: Skred Experiments

Just in time for the holidays, here is a Modern Skred variant deck for anyone who thought Madcap Experiments from
Kaladesh looked like a fun card to build a deck around.

The Artifact we’re going to be Experimenting into with this deck is Platinum Emperion, a huge 8/8 fattie whose ability reads, “Your life total can’t change.” This means that Madcap Experiment has no downside, and is essentially an 8/8 creature for 4cmc. Not too shabby! Unfortunately, the price for Platinum Emperion shot up drastically since Madcap Experiments was spoiled, and seems to have settled at a pretty high price. (About $18) But the rest of the deck is pretty affordable for Modern, even with the inclusion of four Blood Moon.

This deck has most of the same elements as your typical Skred red deck (Multiple board wipes, Blood Moon, and big threats like Stormbreath, Koth, and Reckoner), however, the addition of the Madcap Experiments/Platinum Emperion combo means we have to cut every other artifact in the 75. So here’s the full list:

3 Madcap Experiment
3 Platinum Emperion
4 Boros Reckoner
1 Blasphemous Act
1 Anger of the Gods
2 Volcanic Fallout
2 Pyroclasm
4 Skred
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Stormbreath Dragon
4 Simian Spirit Guide
3 Blood Moon
4 Koth of the Hammer

20 Snow-Covered Mountain
2 Scrying Sheets

3 Anger of the Gods
2 Sudden Shock
1 Blood Moon
3 Smash to Smithereens
4 Ravenous Trap
2 Goblin Rabblemaster

Skred is the deck’s namesake card; a burn spell that lets us maximize damage for every snow permanent we have on the field. In this case, every land in our deck is a snow permanent. Skred lets us eliminate large threats, or even hit our own Boros Reckoners on occasion for those last points of damage.

Because we can’t play any artifact mana rocks like a typical Skred deck, the deck runs four Simian Spirit Guide, allowing us to cast Turn 2 Blood moons and Reckoners, and Turn 3 Koths and Madcap Experiments. Some turns will even allow us to play Koth on Turn 4 and use his minus ability to follow up with a Madcap Experiment or board wipe on the same turn.

The biggest downside to running the Madcap/Emperion combo can be seen in our sideboard options. Because the deck is mon-ored, that cuts off a lot of our good options anyways, but we lose the ability to run a lot of efficient hate cards like Relic of Progenitus, Grafdigger’s Cage, Dragon’s Claw or Pithing Needle as well. Our maindeck Blood Moons and efficient removal spells help shore up a lot of matchups, but we still need to focus on our weaknesses.

Dredge and Living End – Ravenous Trap is our best sideboard option that is both free and efficient. Anger of the Gods also comes in against Dredge.

Infect – A couple of Sudden shocks should be sufficient to deal with Infect in addition to our mainboard Blood Moons and removal.

Affinity – Add insult to Injury with Smash to Smithereens.

Bant Eldrazi – Fry their mana dorks and cast Blood Moon. Good luck getting that colorless from your basic mountains.

Aggro/Burn – Platinum Emperion says you have to have to answer me first. Wipe their board until you can get something big into play.

Jund/TitanShift – These can be tough matchups for any deck, try and stick an early Blood Moon as much as possible.

Abzan – Anger of the Gods/Blood Moon

Ad Nauseam – Probably one of our toughest matchups, mono-red doesn’t have a lot of options for combo decks. Use Smash to Smithereens to blow up artifacts and try for an early Goblin Rabblemaster.

All in all the deck is a lot of fun to play and very easy to pilot, even for a beginner. Sometimes, if your opponent has no way to deal with your 8/8 in game one, Platinum Emperion can totally shut down their entire game plan and win it for you single handily. During game two, you can expect artifact removal to make those Madcap Experiments lose a lot of their appeal, so you may want to look into different options for any sideboard options you finally decide on. Good Luck!

I’m Zane, bringing you deck brews tier two through twenty-two since 2011. I won’t bore you with all that tier one nonsense! Thanks for stopping guys, post questions or comments below!

© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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