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November 10, 2016

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Next Level Analysis: Skred

Hello and welcome to this week’s version of Next Level Analysis. Each week we take a deeper look into the latest decks and the cards performing best in them. Each week the goal is to pick up a new strategy or idea that can help you take your game to the next level either at your local card shop or at a large tournament.

Last week we took a break from analyzing the cards and considered potential holiday gift ideas. With that in the past we will delve into the intriguing results from the Grand Prix this past weekend in Dallas. Those who tuned in to watch the finals may have been in shock to not see infect or dredge making it to the finals. This past weekend it came down to Skred Red taking on Grixis Control.

Before we look into the deck, let’s take a look into Skred itself. Cards from Coldsnap don’t normally see much play in constructed besides, Dark Depths. This set was released back in July of 2006 and continued the themes of Ice Age and Alliances giving the set a retro feel. This set also included the supertype of snow for some of its cards. When this set was announced, Wizards of the Coast claimed the set to be a “lost design file” which was recently found since the previous two sets had come out long before Coldsnap did. Mark Rosewater quickly announced that this was a joke but many players still take the joke as serious. It does not help that the set has the shortest design time of all time, taking just six weeks to create. Coldsnap is the only expansion released that does not follow the modern block structure which creates some confusion. Still after all is said and done Skred is modern legal and we will be taking a look into the deck.

A Texan local of the name of Kevin Mackie played Skred Red all the way to the first-place finish to the surprise of many. Skred Red is one of the decks that many acknowledge as a competitive deck but not necessarily tier one. The deck has access to cheap removal spells along with some pretty devastating creatures and plansewalkers at its disposal. Having been on the Edge of the Divinity for some time, Skred has never seems to reach the Glaring Spotlight. This week, we are going to look into the list that Mackie was playing and make some suggestions on how to improve this deck.

When asked about the deck Mackie says, “I started playing the deck as a joke, well, not a joke but I didn’t expect anything from it. It’s just so fun and sometimes you randomly get super-great matchups…and who doesn’t like having someone read 100% of the cards you play.” With cards, such as Skred, Scrying Sheets and Koth of the Hammer you are sure to get a few “readers” when you play this deck. What caught my eye about the deck was the single copy of Chandra, Torch of Defiance in the main board. If you have read any of my previous articles you know I have tried to play that card in almost every format already and have some odd obsession about it. However, Mackie agrees with me saying, “I should be playing more of her. She has never been bad. Ever.” I couldn’t have said it better, Chandra, Torch of Defiance is a great card and her price will adjust once she finds a home whether it be in modern or standard.

Without further ado let’s take a look at the deck that took home the gold this past weekend.

Mackie’s Deck List

Planeswalker (5)
Koth of the Hammer
Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Creature (8)
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Stormbreath Dragon
Eternal Scourge

Sorcery (3)
Anger of the Gods

Instant (9)
Lightning Bolt
Skred
Magma Jet

Artifact (10)
Pyrite Spellbomb
Relic of Progenitus
Mind Stone
Batterskull

Enchantment (3)
Blood Moon

Land (22)
20 Snow-Covered Mountain
Scrying Sheets

Sideboard (15)
Shattering Spree
Grafdigger’s Cage
Dragon’s Claw
Goblin Rabblemaster
Molten Rain
Ricochet Trap

One of the new additions that we see to the deck are the two copies of Eternal Scourge. It may not be the most terrifying of creatures but when combined with Relic of Progenitus you can cast the card over and over to block any threat your opponent might have. Another card that many players don’t view as terrifying is Koth of the Hammer. This mighty guy might not see a lot of play but it does have some great advantages. It can single handedly take down an opposing Liliana of the Veil and remain out of Lightning Bolt range. The deck is a lot of fun to play and has great matchups versus creature aggro decks which have taken over the meta as of late.

Out of the Sideboard Mackie packed hate versus the matchups that you see at tournaments the size of a Grand Prix. Being limited to the mono colour of Skred, I think Mackie did a pretty decent job in sculpting his sideboard. With hate for Affinity, Tron, Burn and Dredge in his sideboard he was ready for most matchups that he would face. I am not a huge fan of the 2 copies of Goblin Rabblemaster in the sideboard. Personally, I would switch these out for Ratchet Bomb. I think this deck has a severe weakness against Slippery Bogle and all the other creatures that get played in Bogles. Ratchet Bomb might be better in this situation than Engineered Explosives being limited to one colour in our deck.

My changes to the mainboard of the deck would include removing one Magma Jet and one Pia and Kiran Nalaar for two additional copies of Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Planeswalkers can be hard to deal with and like I have said before, she is GOOD. Other than that, there is not much to change about the deck. I mean it must be good it won a Grand Prix that was filled with Dredge and Infect players.

If you are looking for a new deck to try I would highly recommend this deck. The cards are not that expensive and it is super fun to play, just ask Kevin Mackie. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and all of the other great ones that can be found on MTGCanada. Until next time, best of luck in taking your game to the next level. I also would love to hear from you whether it be feedback on my article of a list that you would like me to look into. You can send any questions or feedback to crossear@gmail.com and I will get back to you as soon as possible.