Just a quick spin-off deck tech after a long day’s work – it’s 12:43 AM while I’m writing this. I received a Facebook comment on my ‘Treasure Hunting’ article suggesting to use Trove of Temptation as a means to generate Treasure tokens for Mechanized Production and I realized that the first condition of the card was not a prerequisite to get the token. It just meant that I will have a target on my forehead… so what? Won’t my opponent attack me with or without Trove of Temptation on the battlefield?
With Trove of Temptation, you actually solve the initial problem of Revel in Riches where you run out of creatures to kill which prevents you from getting 10 treasures. The game plan now is how to stay alive for 10 turns and win the game.
Treasure Map is actually a good addition to our game plan to work. It allows us to smooth out our draws thanks to scry. Once you get 3 landmark counters you get to flip it, make 3 Treasure tokens, and get a land that allows you to use your treasures as cantrips. What more can you ask for?
Another good thing about the deck is that it has access to the best creature removal suite in standard. Capable of dealing with small to medium-sized creatures early to mid game, yet also capable of dealing with bigger threats later in the game regardless how big they are. Worth mentioning is Unlicensed Disintegration which is awesome once we get those treasure tokens rolling and a great non-conditional removal at instant speed.
Our best bet to make our combo work is to use a control shell where we kill almost everything the opponent tries to play and win in a couple of turns once Trove of Treasures and Revel in Riches hit the battlefield. Here’s my take on Red Black Treasure Trove Deck.
Sorcery & Instants: 20
3 Fatal Push
3 Lightning Strike
3 Unlicensed Disintegration
Non-creature Spells: 16
4 Treasure Map
3 Revel in Riches
4 Trove of Treasure
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Canyon Slough
2 Evolving Wilds
3 Lost Legacy
1 Fatal Push
1 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
4 Torment of Scarabs
Apart from winning with treasures, I wanted a good alternative win condition that does not veer away from the deck’s game plan. Chandra, Torch of Defiance gives us decent card advantage or shocks the opponent every turn, provides creature removal and a win condition with her ultimate.
Nicol Bolas is everything we ever wanted and more! With treasures lying around it won’t be a surprise that we can cast him before turn 7. We can clear the board of pesky creatures from turns 1 through 3, play a Trove of Treasure on turn 4 and get treasure token #1 at end step. Continue to control the board on turn 5 and get treasure token #2. By turn 6 we will have 5 mana plus 2 treasure tokens even and we can cast Nicol Bolas without an island thanks to the treasure’s mana fixing ability.
I tried to strike some balance on the removal suite whether we’re on the play or on the draw in game 1. On the play, Duress helps us peek at our opponents hand and know what we’re up against. We can now play our cards right and manage our resources better. Doomfall offers great versatility regardless if our opponent is creature heavy, or control heavy. Picking out any card from their hand is nice, and the ability to exile a God or a Carnage Tyrant feels fantastic!
Notice that I didn’t include Magma Spray or Abrade in the main because I wanted my burn spells to be able to hit creatures or my opponents, or their planeswalkers. Against control decks like UW or UR that don’t play much creatures make Magma Sprays awful.
Torment of Scarabs is our surprise anti-control card. If we do lose the first game against control because we kept a hand full of burn spells, we can board out 3 Shocks, 3 Fatal Pushes, 2 Never//Return and 3 Unlicensed Disintegration for the remaining 2 Duress, 3 Lost Legacy, and 2 Abrade and all 4 copies of Torment of Scarabs.
After sideboard we will have 11 discard spells and some burn spells to punish them for doing nothing and bring their life totals down a bit. We can also tempt them to counter our Revel/Trove combo, or even bait them to counter our planeswalkers. Once they start to run out of cards or we are confident they don’t have a counter spell at hand, we can slam Torment of Scarabs targeting them, and just watch the opponent wither away.
This is where I think the burn spells will matter because Torment of Scarabs presents a good clock if they do not start with 20 life. They need to draw the right cards to somehow stay alive and once the opponent is left with 1 card at the end of your turn, they will try to hold on to it to avoid losing more life.
Red Black decks also benefit from the best Defeat cycle cards in Hour of Devastation. I consider them the best because they kill a lot of creatures in the current format and both just cost 1 mana. Below is a quick list of things they can kill.
- Everything in Ramunap Red except Hazoret
- Whirler Virtuoso
- Opposing Chandra
- Regisaur Alpha
- Huatli, Warrior Poet
- Everything eternalized, because they come back as black
- The Scarab God
- Noxious Gearhulk
- Liliana, Death’s Majesty
- Winding Constrictor
Depending on your meta, you can swap some of your 1-offs in the sideboard for some of these Defeat spells.
It’s 1:38AM, and I’m all tapped out now. Leave a comment, and stay tuned for more!