Sunday, 29 April 2018

Flame of Keld Deck Wins

I thought that The Flame of Keld was one of the more interesting and abusive cards from Dominaria. I knew exactly how I would go about doing said abuse based on my experiences building with Insult / Injury. I figured I would basically just go as full on as possible and strip out basically all the cards without synergy. This list now resembles a combo deck far more than a red aggro deck and that is pretty reasonable. I won a game on turn two. Twenty to zero. I did that and I killed his blocker too! Here is my list, see if you can work out my turn two kill before the reveal at the end!

The Flame of Keld

26 Spells

Lotus Petal
Urza's Bauble
Mishra's Bauble

Monastery Swiftspear
Soul-Scar Mage
Mogg Fanatic
Fanatical Firebrand

Ghitu Lavarunner
Goblin Guide
Bomat Courier

Seal of Fire
Lava Dart
Ghitu LavarunnerMutagenic Growth  
Gut Shot

Faithless Looting
Crash Through
Warlord's Fury
Chain Lightning

Firebrand Archer
The Flame of Keld
Abbot of Keral Keep

Goblin Bombardment

Insult / Injury
Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh


14 Lands

13 Mountains

Barbarian Ring

Warlord's FurySo the theme is pretty simple, have as many damaging cards as possible that you can use to get damage out of without paying mana so as to empower the Insult combo. Further to this have a mentally cheap deck that you can empty your hand with so that Flame of Keld is never too damaging to draw. While big hitters work best with Insult pings are the best to combine with Flame of Keld and that is why you see a lot more in the way of Mogg Fanatic style cards in this list than I have in my Insult deck. 

The Goblin Bombardment was overkill and should be replaced with something better. It is too pricey, does little on its own and doesn't have the required support in dork count. Other potential cuts include Chandra and Abbot simply for being on the slow side and Crash Through and Warlord's Fury. The red cantrips are a bit expensive for what they bring to the list. They were not bad but they felt a little clumsy, you would have a lot of hands you didn't really know how to plan for as half the cards are just do nothing cyclers! Gitaxian Probe is almost certainly superior to any of these cards mentioned for potential cuts. I don't know why I didn't run it to begin with!? 

Fanatical FirebrandIn terms of good replacements for these potential cuts I would strongly consider Simian Spirit Guide. I found those little bits of burst to be most fruitful. It may not trigger prowess as the Lotus Petal does but that is fairly minor. Other that Guide and Probe nothing really jumps out. Obviously I would play Lightning Bolt given the space and option. Beyond that just more one mana threats and burn. More Faithless Looting effects would be amazing but there are none cheap enough in red to really appeal. Bomat Courier is the closest thing to that and a pretty happy inclusion in this list despite not having great synergy with the damaging aspect of the combo finisher cards. I briefly considered Wheel of Fortune as just an extreme last ditch effort kind of card but that is going to be a reasonable consistency hit for something I don't even know if the deck needed.

So how did this list kill on turn two? Turn one Mountain, Swiftspear, Bauble triggering prowess, sac and swing putting them to 18. Turn two Mountain, Lotus Petal and sac it to cast Insult. Gut Shot their one drop out the way and Fireblast them to the face for eight bringing the Swiftspear up to a 5/6. They are on 10 for the 2 damage on turn one and the 8 from the Fireblast. The double damaging 5/6 attacks for lethal. I even had a card left over! The Flame of Keld obviously not involved in the turn two kill and this could all have been done pre-Dominaria. The point is more that without the Flame making emptying your hand I wouldn't be playing things like Lotus Petal and Bauble in the deck which enabled this kill. An interesting take on an age old strategy and a fun deck to play. Presently not as consistent as I might like but I think that can be achieved with some refinements. This list is also not at all far off being broken by a new card or two being printed that suits it well. I already thought Insult was good enough for modern play so those potential new cards might not just break it in cube! 

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