Let this sink in.
Before Ghalta got printed, Combustible Gearhulk usually hits betwee 0 to 18 because it normally goes to a deck that’s filled with 6-drops. Saffron Olive made a deck that he called “6-drop Tribal” where everything in the deck costs 6 to maximize Combustible’s damage output.
There’s currently an RG Monster list here, here, and here that hosts Ixalan’s most efficient, highest hitting Dinosaurs like Regisaur Alpha, Ripjaw Raptor and Carnage Tyrant, or salvage the remains of RG energy like Longtusk Cub, Voltaic Brawler and Bristling Hydra. Like any other tested decks in the meta, I like prying it open and tweak it to my taste.
Since most decks that use Ghalta attempt to cheat it into play for less mana, it doesn’t actually change the spell’s converted mana cost. It would still cost 12 which means together with Sunbird’s Invocation, it will dig 12 cards deep into your deck and you can practically cast ANY CARD in your deck.
The caveat of the deck is that you need to untap with 6 mana to witness the magic happen and not be dead or dying against Ramunap Red, Vehicles, Merfolk and the likes.
Early removal is elementary for decks that attempt to go big mid-through-late game. Magma Spray looks better today that Shock with so many Khenras, Cats, Pouncers, Scrapheap, Dread Wanderers lurking around in the new standard. Abrade is multipurpose to combat vehicles and GPG decks.
We need sweepers as well for token decks which is also becoming more popular. Sweltering for the early reset and Hour of Devastation as our panic button. It’s also a good way to get rid of Planeswalkers if needed since we clearly don’t have a clean way of taking walkers down.
We will play Chandra in the main primarily to work as a ramp spell but she does give us great mileage against control and midrange decks. She will also help us by taking a few hits saving us some life while we get to our late game.
I had a deck that played Sunbird’s Invocation and the sheer power of casting a Glorybringer that cascades into another free Glorybringer is game over for the opponent. Now that we have Regisaur Alpha thrown into the mix we now have 4 more copies of 5-mana haste creatures. Cascading two Regisaur Alpha is 14 damage which can be deadly if the opponent has no way to deal with your creatures at instant speed.
Another good thing about playing huge creatures is that it helps us avoid getting Ghalta stuck in our hands. Though the dream is to reveal Ghalta with Combustible Gearhulk, it’s never good practice to build the deck solely focused on a 2-card combo on turn 6.
So here’s how my version of “RG monster”, TFA Style!
4 Regisaur Alpha
4 Combustible Gearhulk
3 Ghalta, Primal Hunger
3 Sunbird’s Invocation
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Magma Spray
3 Sweltering Suns
3 Hour of Devastation
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Sheltered Thicket
2 Scavenger Ground
2 Lifecrafter’s Bestiary
4 Deathgorge Scavenger
3 Carnage Tyrant
3 Heroic Intervention
The sideboard is very straightforward and it is mostly focus to combat control decks.
Lifecrafter’s Bestiary helps us win in card advantage against UB and UW decks. It also helps us get our lands on time.
Carnage Tyrant is slowly picking up in dollar value because it’s a very strong sideboard card against UW and UB decks. Casting it before turn 6 against a UB deck is a free win if the opponent doesn’t pack a Bontu’s Last Reckoning.
Speaking of sweepers, we will play some copies of Heroic Intervention because Fumigate is still a thing.
Deathgorge Scavenger is both our life gain resource in case the race is tight or a way to beat the Scarab God, Procession decks and Ramunap.
In case we need to get lower to the ground against faster match-ups, Ripjaw Raptor comes in to help us block early and give us some card advantage. I would side him in if Hour of Devastation is not effective.
That’s it for now – I hope you get free kills by exploding Ghalta at your opponents’ faces!