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*~ The Chompy Masterpiece Collection - Vol. IX: Magus Ruber ~*

"I must burn in the Fires of Olympus. It is the only way. Kill me, [Purphor]os. Kill me." ~Prometheus (and all others who oppose you)

Purphoros, God of the Forge is indeed a brutal deity. He strikes fear into his enemies' hearts; his hammer into their solar plexuses. And like other generals that came before (cough Gisela, Blade of Goldnight) and after him (achoo Nekusar, the Mindrazer), his proclivity for delivering massive-yet-equal hate to all of your opponents simultaneously is sure to land him in a God's share of unofficial Archenemy games, sine schemis. But that suits his distinctly mono-red playstyle just fine; like a Heartless Hidetsugu match, one way or another, his games should end quite quickly.

Your first order of business in every game is to (ramp into and) play Purphoros; hopefully, as an indestructible enchantment, you'll only have to cast him the once to keep him in play all game. Next, with the Fire-Bearer in play, the goal becomes having as many creatures enter the battlefield under your control as quickly as possible, triggering the God of the Forge's ability for 2 damage apiece to each of your opponents. Naturally, this leads to an emphasis on spells that produce large quantities of creature tokens, and luckily, Purphoros has access to a divinely decadent menagerie: Thopters, Cats, Hellions, Kobolds, Ogres, Warriors, "Spawns", Eldrazi Spawns, Elementals, Snakes, Goats, Myr(s?) and Pentavites all eagerly populate the Forge God's savage token army. Note that, once in play, none of these have any casting cost, and thus they will not add to your Devotion to Red - this is actually to the benefit of Purphoros, who, in his non-creature form, is far less susceptible to spot-removal spells such as Duplicant. At any rate, once your board is full of tokens, step three in our plan to Win Forever is to either attack with those tokens, buffed by Purphoros' Omni-Firebreathing ability, or to sacrifice them to cards such as Thermopod, Spawning Pit and Ashnod's Altar in order to make more tokens and repeat step two.

Now, you may be thinking: "Hmm, a token deck that absolutely hinges upon its general? This sounds pretty flimsy. Enjoy Wrath of God." Well, on the one hand, you're wrong to worry. Unlike other token decks which depend on their creatures attacking to win, this deck considers combat damage to be the cherry on top, as our tokens will have served their true purpose simply coming into play. Thus, Rout is not the bane of our existence as it is to other "token decks", and Wrath of God just seems slightly ironic when cast (you know, cuz he's a god). On the other hand, since this deck does put so much emphasis on triggering Purphoros' ability, and since it runs literally zero non-land tutors... well, let's just say that Spin into Myth never had a more appropriate target, thematically or practically. At that point, you're probably looking at mana ramping a Fault Line well beyond your life total and going the way of Empedocles, leaving only one sandal behind.

But for what it's worth, at least at this stage in the deck, I'm content not to be running any tutors (i.e. Gamble, Planar Portal, Ring of Three Wishes). We're building a Mono-Red, full-on Red Mage deck here. It should play out like a flame: quickly, aggressively, and yes, unpredictably. On defense, it should run a blitz nine times out of ten, even when the enemy sees it coming. Yes, our plans can burn us if things don't go our way, and yes, we're packing only a small extinguisher. There is little to no conniving to be done here - leave that to the Blue and Black Mages. While they're busy scheming, the Red Mage bears his teeth and bursts down the doors of their studies to swallow them whole.

Another aspect of this deck's variability is its reliance on spells with X in their casting costs. Since "X spells" play such a prominent role here, mana ramp is emphasized over mana accel. Gauntlet of Might is a welcomed addition to the old gang of Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens and Caged Sun. Doubling Cube makes an important appearance here as well.

And then there's that little gem Mana Echoes, perhaps the most broken card on this list. According to its Gatherer page, when a creature comes into play under your control, "[y]ou do get to count the creature itself, you even get one mana if it is the only creature you have on the battlefield (assuming it has at least one creature type)." This means that with Mana Echoes and no other Eldrazi, Spawn, or Eldrazi Spawn creatures in play, Skittering Invasion costs 7, but adds 5 x 5 = 25 colorless mana to your mana pool, in addition to the 5 mana attainable by sacrificing the Eldrazi Spawns. And of course, with 30 mana, you can cast, say, Tempt with Vengeance for 29, meaning that whether your opponents are tempted or not, they're probably dead. Yikes. The problem with this card (as far as I see it) is the way it interacts with Pentavus and Thopter Squadron. With one pentavite or thopter token in play, bringing in a second off of either of those cards will (of course) trigger 2 damage off of Purphoros, and it will add 2 mana via Mana Echoes, which is enough to turn the second pentavite/thopter token back into a +1/+1 counter, and then into a creature once more. This again will trigger Purphoros for 2 damage and Mana Echoes for 2 mana, which is enough to... yeah, rinse and repeat. Normally, I'd feel the need to cut a card like Mana Echoes due to its brokenness (R.I.P. Aggravated Assault), but in this deck, which has literally no tutors and relatively little card draw (though admittedly, Skullclamp and Slate of Ancestry could be big breadwinners), I'm just hoping these unfortunately powerful synergies don't occur very often. We'll see.

Speaking of making exceptions, I don't run any other deck that features Snow-Covered lands, but I decided to go with Snow-Covered Mountains here. The reason why I don't normally run them is because I've always thought packing snow lands just for Scrying Sheets and Extraplanar Lens is fairly lame, and a little unerwhelming. I mean, come on: does anyone think they're being clever, tricking the Lens so that it works more like a Caged Sun than a Gauntlet of Power? You could do this in virtually any deck that has enough basic lands to merit running the lens; so what if everyone with at least 13 basics just started running the Snow-Covered Lands, and abandoned regular Mountains etc. entirely? If that happened, the Lens would be back to working for everyone. Of course, at that point, you (and everyone else) could start switching (or feigning to switch) between Mountains and Snow-Covered Mountains before each match, in order to hopefully deny extra mana to at least one or two players who guessed wrongly in the pregame "Snow or no Snow?" coin toss. ಠ_ಠ

In short, it seems to me that running Snow-Covered lands simply for the sake of Extraplanar Lens is tantamount to adding to it a new mechanic, "Hassle": "Before each game with they play with you, each of your opponents may go through the hassle of switching out a bunch of cards. Those who don't or can't receive no additional mana from Extraplanar Lens." Real cool, people. I therefore call for an end to the borderline unsportsmanlike practice of running Snow-Covered basics with literally no Snow package other than Scrying Sheets and Extraplanar Lens.

Having said all that, I opted to run the snowy lands for this my ninth deck; partly because I never had before, but mostly because I've always considered Mono-Red to be the best suited to the snow. For beyond the thematic coolness of snow-capped peaks (the true home of snow) and this general's particular connection to mysterious mountains of myth (mmm...), Red actually has two of the three most EDH-interesting "Snow" creatures: the aforementioned Thermopod and Rimescale Dragon. A Phyrexian Altar on a stick is great in a token deck like this, and Rimescale's tap-down ability is incredible board control in a color that typically lacks it. Once your opponents' generals have been given ice counters, they're in a worse state of limbo than they'd be if they simply died and returned to the General Zone; this effect alone is enough to merit running snowy lands, in my estimation. (What's the third of the three most interesting snow creatures, you ask? Why, Adarkar Valkyrie of course. She's over hanging out with Radiant.)

Oh, and since we've got a little Crucible of Worlds package going, I figured adding Mouth of Ronom to the party couldn't hurt either. Rounding out that package is Bloodstained Mire, Wooded Foothills, Strip Mine, Tectonic Edge, Dust Bowl, Buried Ruin, Scorched Ruins and City of Traitors. The Crucible also mitigates the losses suffered from Rite of Ruin and any other land destruction.

Ah, land destruction: perhaps the most loathed of all the game's mechanics (even topping Hassle). Originally, I had intended to run a full theme of "land boning" here; but the more I developed it, the more I realized this was just another name for "hosing". Cards like Ruination, Boil, Flashfires, Wake of Destruction, Price of Glory, War's Toll, Blood Moon, Manabarbs, Zo-Zu the Punisher, Jokulhaups, Obliterate, Ankh of Mishra, even the relatively tame From the Ashes and Tectonic Instability; none of them made the cut. Some of these cards I might one day work into this list after all, like Manabarbs, or Zo-Zu and the Ankh, which are good at punishing Green Mages with their various Cultivates and Skyshroud Claims. But as for now, I am running zero land wipes, and the only land boning cards on this list are Burning Earth, Citadel of Pain and Price of Progress. I particularly like the awesomely-named Citadel of Pain, as it punishes people who leave mana open for sneaky or defensive plays not on their turns. This seems very Red Mage to me. Meanwhile, late game, Price of Progress may well become a 2-mana groaner of a game ender.

And finally, the miscellaneous interesting card round-up: Firecat Blitz is the biggest bomb in this deck. Lol. Rally the Horde has similar potential, with the added twist of characteristic Red randomness. Mogg Infestation is amazing in this deck, as it is either a targeted wipe for one opponent or a creature doubler for you. They reprinted Rolling Earthquake, so obviously I'm supposed to run it here. All those big Instants and Sorceries mean that I can finally run Mirari! Woohoo! Howl of the Horde may be used similarly to triple a 'big' spell into a 'kill' spell. Shared Animosity could really add on the damage (or it could end up being an early cut, though it does combo sillily with Soulblast). Warstorm Surge really seems to fit, but with most of my critters being mere 1/1's, will it do enough damage? Board wipes come in the form of Perilous Vault, Oblivion Stone, All Is Dust (those three are making it into everything but Black and White these days), Rolling Earthquake, Rite of Ruin (sorta), Mogg Infestation (sorta), and Fault Line.

And Final Fortune for the win.

Old Maybes: Breath of Fury, Chaosphere, Grim Monolith, Hammer of Purphoros, Knollspine Dragon, Madblind Mountain, Ruby Medallion, Tears of Rage, Zo-Zu the Punisher (An "F" or Foil mark indicates that a card is slated "For Removal" if it's in the Mainboard, or "For Insertion" if in the Maybeboard.)

The Chompy Masterpiece Collection:Vol. I: Intet Dreams of Yesterdays Day After Tomorrow (2008)Vol. II: The Great Chain (2009)Vol. III: Sliver Overlord Is Watching You (2010)Vol. IV: The One Where Radiant Gets Mad (2010)Vol. V: The Salvation Army (2011)Vol. VI: Zero-Point Omnath (2012)Vol. VII: Wu Daze, Blue Knights (2013)Vol. VIII: Mach Daddy Karn (2014)Vol. IX: The Fires of Olympus (2014)

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Date added 4 years
Last updated 1 month
Exclude colors WUBG
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.44
Tokens 1/1 Thopter, 1/1 Elemental, 1/1 Goblin, Copy Clone, 3/3 Beast, 1/1 Snake, 1/1 Warrior, 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn, 6/6 Dragon, 1/1 Eldrazi Scion, 0/1 Kobold, 1/1 Elemental Cat, 1/1 Myr
Folders EDH
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