Description

Even though I love UG Infect, the meta right now is just terrible for it, so I wanted to try something different. Next thing you know, I'm on RG Ponza ... destroying lands, casting seemingly unplayable cards, and having an absolute blast!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions!

Overall Impressions: Another fun tournament. I played tight (with one glaring exception), and continue to learn the deck.

Match-ups:

  • 2-1 vs. Grixis Delver: Game 1 was an early Blood Moon and quick win. Unfortunately, I punted REALLY hard in Game 2. I was very low on life by the time I stabilized (thanks to a timely Chameleon Colossus ). Shortly, my opponent was tapped out and I had the opportunity to play Stomping Ground untapped and cast Inferno Titan. I didn't want to take the damage though, so I played Stomping Ground tapped ... which allowed my opponent to counter the Titan next turn, and I lost soon afterwards. Looking back, if I'd taken the damage from the shockland and cast Titan, I would almost certainly have won the next turn. Derp. Luckily, an early Choke made Game 3 quick and easy.
  • 1-2 vs. Eldrazi and Taxes: Game 1 was all my opponent, and Game 2 was all me. I mul'd to 6 in Game 3 and kept a hand with some good accelerants which would have been solid against most decks. But looking back, I should have gone to 5 to get more actual Lands. Turns out that Ghost Quarter on a Forest + Utopia Sprawl and Tidehollow Sculler taking a Birds of Paradise can turn a solid hand into complete trash. Who knew? :-)
  • 0-2 vs. Bant Eldrazi: I had an early Blood Moon in Game 1, so thought I was in good shape ... until my opponent played Engineered Explosives with X=3. I hit the Explosives with Beast Within, which I'm still convinced was the correct line of play. However, it ended up being terrible in this particular case, as my opponent drew another Explosives. So he swung with my Beast token (Exalted), eliminated my Moon anyways, and started casting Eldrazi after Eldrazi (including a Thought-Knot Seer, which took the Lightning Bolt I needed to kill the Beast token). Ugh. Game 2 was a fight, at least ... unfortunately, the Eldrazi horde won it.
  • 2-0 vs. Mono-R Burn: Game 1 was close, as I kept a Blood Moon in my opener (normally a great move of course, just not against this deck) and the Lords of Variance saw fit to gift me with another. I took a quick lead in Game 2 with the help of Trinisphere, but my opponent had sided in some Treason effects, which were painfully effective against me. However, he couldn't find the Burn he needed to finish me off, and Chameleon Colossus was able to get in for the win.
  • 2-1 vs. Living End: A superb opponent, a fun deck (for whatever reason, I really enjoy playing against Living End), and some extremely lucky draws (I picked up Scavenging Ooze on my first draw in Game 2 and my opening hand on Game 3), made this my favorite match of the night, and a great way to wrap up.

Other Thoughts:

  • Chameleon Colossus is new to the deck, and performed superbly. But Scavenging Ooze was MVP.
  • I've got to figure out how to approach Bant Eldrazi. I'm 1-2 on matches (and 2-5 on games) against it, and it really shouldn't be that bad a match-up.
Overall Impressions: I keep getting better with the deck, but this evening really made me realize just how much more I have to learn!

Match-ups:

  • 2-1 vs. UB Mill: Game 1 was just sad ... I died to normal damage because I Beast Within'd my opponent's Mesmeric Orb too early, and then couldn't remove it. Derp. I made up for it in a super-grindy Game 2 though. My opponent had an Ensnaring Bridge out, and I was down to 2 life and ~6 cards in my Library, but damage from Stormbreath Dragon's Monstrous trigger and Chandra, Torch of Defiance's Emblem was enough to get the win. Game 3 went to turns, but I got there with Inferno Titan.
  • 2-0 vs. Mono-W Prison: I had Chandra, Torch of Defiance in my opener, so it was a slow but straight line to her Emblem and the win. Game 2 was much tougher. By the end, my opponent had 3x Ghostly Prison and Phyrexian Unlife out, so I had to spend 6 mana for every attacker AND I had to do 20 normal damage plus an additional 10 Poison damage. But Inferno Titan got there! Of note, Blood Moon was superb in this match-up, as it shut down Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and the deck needed a ton of mana for its wincons.
  • 0-2 vs. Bant Eldrazi: My opponent was great, but this was a very frustrating match. I mul'd to 5 in Game 1 and kept a good but slow hand. I think it was the right call against an unknown deck, but it ended up being terrible against a Turn 2 Thought-Knot Seer. I got off to a much stronger start in Game 2, but was not able to seal the deal before my opponent starting tapping me down with Drowner of Hope , made worse with Eldrazi Displacer.
  • 0-2 vs. UW Control: It felt like I lost Game 1 to the Lords of Variance, but I punted on Game 2. My opponent had a Snapcaster Mage out, and between Spreading Seas and Ghost Quarters, I couldn't get either GG or RR. I finally got GG and tapped out to cast Thrun, the Last Troll ... and promptly lost him to a Supreme Verdict. I had a few more turns before dying to the Snapcaster, so a much better line would have been to wait a bit and hope for two more Lands. Ah well ... live and learn!
  • 2-0 vs. UR Storm: Game 1 was a thing of beauty. T2 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, followed by T3 Stormbreath Dragon and Arbor Elf, followed by a tense wait while my opponent tried to go off on T3, followed by T4 Monstrous trigger and GG. Game 2 was just brutal, with a T2 Trinisphere and enough Land Destruction to force a quick scoop. By the way, we spent a few minutes making sure we had the interaction between Goblin Electromancer and Trinisphere right. From Gatherer: Trinisphere's ability affects the total cost of the spell. It is applied after any other cost increasers or cost reducers are applied: First apply any cost increases. Next apply any cost reducers. Finally look at the amount of mana you have to pay. If its less than three mana, you'll pay three mana.

Other Thoughts:

  • I tried 1x Chandra, Flamecaller in the main this week, and found her to be super-meh. I had her in hand a number of times, but never cast her. At best, I always had better things to do with the mana, and at worst (e.g., when I had a Chandra, Torch of Defiance out and ticking up nicely) she was just a dead card.
  • UW Control continues to be a tough match-up for me, and I clearly need to get more reps in against the deck. I've been playtesting with Choke in the side, but didn't run it tonight. And I'm frankly glad I didn't, as way too many of my Lands had Spreading Seas attached. I'll be testing with Vexing Shusher in the coming days.
Overall Impressions:

  • I was more aggressive with my mulligans, and it served me well.
  • I missed an embarrassing number of triggers (that's IRL Magic compared to MTGO Magic for you), but otherwise played much better than last week. If I can just tighten up on my triggers, I'll be in good shape.

Match-ups:

  • 1-2 vs. UW Control: My opponent's counterspells and Paths were fine, but his Crucible of Worlds in the main was brutal ... it blanked all my Land Destruction and recurred Ghost Quarter a disturbing number of times. Spreading Seas made short work of my Forests and their Utopia Sprawls as well. I took Game 2 thanks to Magus of the Moon, but my opponent kept me off GG and RR in Games 1 and 3, and I lost both to the slow clock of Snapcaster Mage.
  • 2-1 vs. Bant Eldrazi: Game 1 was a quick scoop by my opponent, and I unfortunately punted Game 2. I was very low on life, so chump-blocked a Thought-Knot Seer with a Birds of Paradise ... in retrospect though, I should have just let the Seer smash through. If I'd done so, I would have had 7 mana on the next turn to Monstrous a Stormbreath Dragon, and probably would have won the turn after that. Ah well. I kept my head in Game 3 though, and it was a quick win.
  • 2-1 vs. Esper Control: This was a tough fight, with a ton of Hand Disruption, counterspells, and removal on one side of the table, and a ton of Land Destruction, Blood Moon effects, and big beaters on the other. But I played tight and got there. 'Nuf said.
  • 2-1 vs. Mardu Walkers: I've played against this deck before (though with UG Infect), and it's pretty brutal. The pilot too, is one of the very best at my LGS. But running 4x Beast Within in the 75 made all the difference.
  • 0-2 vs. Mardu Death's Shadow: I'd never seen the Mardu variant of Death's Shadow and it was interesting ... it felt a lot like the Jund or Grixis versions, but with Path to Exiles in the main and a sideboard full of White answers. Both games were extremely close, and I believe they really came down to variance. Just one less hand disruption spell by my opponent or a slightly better top-deck by me, and the result could have easily been the other way around.

Other Thoughts:

Overall Impressions:

  • I still have a ton to learn about the deck (mulligans, especially), but I played pretty tight and had an absolute blast.
  • This deck is just SO fun!

Match-ups:

  • 2-0 vs. BW Tokens: Game 1 was a thing of beauty. I kept seven, with a T2 Blood Moon that shut down my opponent's Mutavault and made the Polluted Delta in his hand completely useless. He went a few more turns but couldn't find a basic, and scooped quickly. I thought I was facing UB Faeries, so I took out took out 2x Chandra, Torch of Defiance and 2x Stormbreath Dragon. and brought in 1x Magus of the Moon, 2x Trinisphere , and 1x Thrun, the Last Troll. Unfortunately, I ended up facing a number of Path to Exiles and Lingering Souls in Game 2, so I was REALLY wishing I'd kept the Stormbreaths. But the deck got there in the end!
  • 0-2 vs. Eldrazi Tron: I thought this was supposed to be an easy match-up ... oops! In retrospect, I lost the match by not mul'ing aggressively enough in Game 1. I mul'd to 6 and kept a hand with Arbor Elf and a bunch of great T3 and T4 plays ... but only one land. I was on the Draw, so figured I had a scry and two draws to get a land or other accelerant, then I'd be in great shape. Instead, I was stuck on two mana until I died. Game 2 saw my opponent with natural Tron on T3, and though I maybe had a chance, I couldn't fight through my opponent's Warping Wail, Thought-Knot Seer, and Reality Smashers. I pulled the 3x bonfire of the dammed when sideboarding, but do not recall what I brought in. Either way, I've got some planning to do, and I look forward to a re-match. :-)
  • 0-2 vs. Skred: I'd read about the deck, but in ~250 matches with Infect and ~20 with Ponza, I had never played it. So this was a bit more of a learning opportunity than I expected! I got off to an early lead in Game 1 (it was 18-5 life at one point) but my opponent was able to ultimate Koth of the Hammer before I could find a Beast Within, and from there it was a long but straight path to gg. I pulled the 4x Blood Moons, and brought in Beast Within #3, 2x Kitchen Finks, and something else (I don't recall what). Game 2 felt like a mirror match, but I was able to deal with my opponent's Molten Rains and Chandra, Torch of Defiance in relative style. Koth though, proved too much for me again.
  • 2-1 vs. UB Faeries: This was probably my favorite match of the night. My opponent was great, and both our decks had the opportunity to do their thing. Games 1 and 2 were pretty much decided on T2 (one with a Blood Moon, and one with a Bitterblossom), and Game 3 was a swingy fight to the end. I sided just like match 1.
  • 1-1 vs. RG Scapeshift: Despite the tie, this felt like a really good match-up. I had only played the deck a few times before (and never with Ponza), so I didn't fully realize what was going on in Game 1 until I saw a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle on the last turn followed rapidly by a Scapeshift and 18 points of damage. But I was in it to the very end, despite having to mul' to 4. For Game 2 I boarded in Magus of the Moon and 2x Kitchen Finks; I don't recall what I pulled. It was a grindy back-and-forth game ... until I hit a Bonfire of the Damned for X=6! It was late by then and my opponent and I only had ~5 minutes until Turns, so we took a match draw rather than trying to sneak in a quick win.

Other Thoughts:

I'm WAY too new to the deck to write a decent Primer. Please check out these resources instead ...

My favorite RG Ponza decks and primers (so far!), here on T/O.

Other Primers

Videos

Recent Competitive Decklists (please let me know if I missed any!)

  • Spijker: 5-0 on MTGO Competitive Modern Constructed League (6/6/2017)
  • Dlt006: 5-0 on MTGO Competitive Modern Constructed League (5/28/2017)
  • Spijker: 5-0 on MTGO Competitive Modern Constructed League (5/22/2017)
  • BERNASTORRES: 5-0 on MTGO Competitive Modern Constructed League (5/1/2017)
  • Blockhouse: 5-0 on MTGO Competitive Modern Constructed League (4/12/2017)
  • Gordon Clinard: #9 at SCG Open Dallas-Ft Worth (857 players, 3/12/2017)
  • Ryan Shaner: #15 at SCG Open Indianapolis (904 players, 2/25/2017)
  • Sukumar Natarajan: #1 at GP Brisbane Trials (2/17/2017)

Finally, please +1 Upvote if you like the deck or find the resources to be useful! :-)

Updates

3-2 at FNM (6/2/2017)

Overall Impressions: Another fun tournament. I played tight (with one glaring exception), and continue to learn the deck.

Match-ups:

  • 2-1 vs. Grixis Delver: Game 1 was an early Blood Moon and quick win. Unfortunately, I punted REALLY hard in Game 2. I was very low on life by the time I stabilized (thanks to a timely Chameleon Colossus ). Shortly, my opponent was tapped out and I had the opportunity to play Stomping Ground untapped and cast Inferno Titan. I didn't want to take the damage though, so I played Stomping Ground tapped ... which allowed my opponent to counter the Titan next turn, and I lost soon afterwards. Looking back, if I'd taken the damage from the shockland and cast Titan, I would almost certainly have won the next turn. Derp. Luckily, an early Choke made Game 3 quick and easy.
  • 1-2 vs. Eldrazi and Taxes: Game 1 was all my opponent, and Game 2 was all me. I mul'd to 6 in Game 3 and kept a hand with some good accelerants which would have been solid against most decks. But looking back, I should have gone to 5 to get more actual Lands. Turns out that Ghost Quarter on a Forest + Utopia Sprawl and Tidehollow Sculler taking a Birds of Paradise can turn a solid hand into complete trash. Who knew? :-)
  • 0-2 vs. Bant Eldrazi: I had an early Blood Moon in Game 1, so thought I was in good shape ... until my opponent played Engineered Explosives with X=3. I hit the Explosives with Beast Within, which I'm still convinced was the correct line of play. However, it ended up being terrible in this particular case, as my opponent drew another Explosives. So he swung with my Beast token (Exalted), eliminated my Moon anyways, and started casting Eldrazi after Eldrazi (including a Thought-Knot Seer, which took the Lightning Bolt I needed to kill the Beast token). Ugh. Game 2 was a fight, at least ... unfortunately, the Eldrazi horde won it.
  • 2-0 vs. Mono-R Burn: Game 1 was close, as I kept a Blood Moon in my opener (normally a great move of course, just not against this deck) and the Lords of Variance saw fit to gift me with another. I took a quick lead in Game 2 with the help of Trinisphere, but my opponent had sided in some Treason effects, which were painfully effective against me. However, he couldn't find the Burn he needed to finish me off, and Chameleon Colossus was able to get in for the win.
  • 2-1 vs. Living End: A superb opponent, a fun deck (for whatever reason, I really enjoy playing against Living End), and some extremely lucky draws (I picked up Scavenging Ooze on my first draw in Game 2 and my opening hand on Game 3), made this my favorite match of the night, and a great way to wrap up.

Other Thoughts:

  • Chameleon Colossus is new to the deck, and performed superbly. But Scavenging Ooze was MVP.
  • I've got to figure out how to approach Bant Eldrazi. I'm 1-2 on matches (and 2-5 on games) against it, and it really shouldn't be that bad a match-up.

Added two new decks to the 'Primers and other resources' section:

  • Spijker: 5-0 on MTGO Competitive Modern Constructed League (6/6/2017)
  • dlt006: 5-0 on MTGO Competitive Modern Constructed League (5/28/2017)

As always, thanks to everyone who's made comments and suggestions so far! They're all archived here or behind the View Archive button below.

Comments View Archive

Bovine073 says... #1

It's because of decks like Bant Eldrazi (aka running Hierarch) that I have a Gut Shot in the board. I generally SB out Beast Within against them as well. The fourth bonfire from my board is also a game-changer sometimes. Has Chameleon Colossus worked that well for you? I feel like our matchups against black midrange strategies are already pretty good. But, swinging in with an 8/8 on T5 does sound fun...

June 6, 2017 2:58 p.m.

clayperce says... #2

Bovine073,
I love Gut Shot as sideboard tech in UG Infect, but in anything with actual Red, I prefer Sudden Shock or Lightning Bolt.

Siding out Beast Within? That's super-interesting! I have to confess I would never have thought of that .... I always think about pulling more in, I don't think I've ever thought about pulling any out! I think you just leveled me up ... yet again! :-)

I like the idea of another Bonfire of the Damned too. Three in the main is great (because I generally hate having one in my opening hand), but they're SO nice for killing mana-dorks ... I'll take a look!

Chameleon Colossus has been amazing. I've had 2-3 in mainboard for 30 matches now, and I'm 23-7 (77%). In the 30 matches before that, I was 17-13 (57%). Some of that is just beciuase I'm more comfortanble with the deck now, but a lot of it's Colossus. Also, this is just casual play (e.g., the Tournament Practice room and Friendly Leagues on MTGO, and pickup games/tournaments at my LGS), so your mileage may vary.

Colossus' protection from Black is of course great, but I think the real value is that it absolutely preys on people who don't RTFC ... I've frankly lost count of all the people who don't really 'get' the card until they declare no blocks and I pump to 8/8 (or twice now, 16/16). All props go to Spijker.

As always, thanks tons for the thoughts and tips. Draw well!

June 6, 2017 5:49 p.m.

cmsrDPM says... #3

Molten Rain in place of Stone Rain?

June 7, 2017 11:40 a.m.

Moonbar says... #4

cmsrDPM, no because double red is harder to get, and Stone Rain is mainly used on basic lands anyways. It isn't worth it to not be able to cast it easily.

June 7, 2017 1:19 p.m.

ElfQueso says... #5

I like it. What do u normally bonfire?

June 9, 2017 3:26 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 2 months
Last updated 6 days
Legality

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.90
Tokens 3/3 Beast, Chandra
Folders >> Active Decks <<
Views 1949

Revision 15 (6 days ago)

-3 Bonfire of the Damned main
+4 Stone Rain main
-1 Lightning Bolt main
-3 Chameleon Colossus main
-4 Wooded Foothills main
+3 Stomping Ground main
+4 Wooded Foothills main
-8 Forest main
-4 Stone Rain main
+3 Chameleon Colossus main
+2 Beast Within main
-3 Stomping Ground main
+1 Lightning Bolt main
+3 Bonfire of the Damned main
-2 Beast Within main
-1 Mountain main
+1 Mountain main
-4 Windswept Heath main
+8 Forest main
+4 Windswept Heath main
and 30 other change(s)

See all