While all of us are still probably talking about the breakout decks of Pro Tour 25th Anniversary, I was very happy that the pro players did not disappoint in bringing in a couple of breakout decks to give the different formats some spice. Nexus Turns, Bridge Vine and a lot of classic but unique takes on Legacy decks were all very fun to watch.
Going back to standard, a lot of discussions are being stirred by the pro teams online saying that Nexus of Fate was a dangerous card, and that it is very broken and hard to come by making it an unfair card. A lot of reddit users also agree that it is a very oppressive deck that totally destroys the top meta decks in the format without even bothering to sideboard. It is true that Nexus of Fate was a very strong card, it is not broken. Break out card is not the same as Broken, hold your horses.
What makes the deck truly annoying is the fact it can hide behind 8 copies of fog effects which blanks the top aggro decks in the format: RB, Mono Red, BG Stompy, Snake. With zero ways to get through the fog, creature decks are helpless as the Nexus deck turns a game for 2 into a game of solitaire.
We have a card in Amonkhet that works around this protective shield that the Nexus deck relies heavily on, and that’s Insult to Injury. It explicitly says that damage can’t be prevented which means your creatures will still connect and deal damage despite your opponent fogging.
Another word from Insult is that it not only prevents damage from being prevented, it also doubles the damage dealt from a source that turn. I like doubling effects which is why I also love cards like Mirari Conjecture. If you are able to cast Insult on the turn Mirari pops, that’s quadruple damage – which means your Shock will deal 8 damage instead of 2, a Lightning Strike deals 12 instead of 3. Mind you, these are not combat damage so no fogs will save your opponent from taking the hits.
One of my favorite cards in M19 limited is Guttersnipe because it essentially turns innocent pump spells or ramp spells into Shocks. In a deck full of instants and sorceries, several copies of Guttersnipes can potentially deal substantial damage to our opponent. Together with Insult, Guttersnipe will deal 4 instead of 2.
There is a plethora of burn spells still legal in standard so let me go through each of the ones I like to include in the deck.
- Shock – easy inclusion, 1 mana for 2 damage, or 4 with Insult//Injury. Kills early threats from Mono Red, elves in Stompy.
- Lightning Strike – the premier bullet to the dome.
- Sovereign’s Bite – a slower but sometimes better version of Lightning Strike thanks to that bump in our life totals
- Hungry Flames – one of the most efficient burn spells which combines creature removal and damage to the opponent. With Insult, you can kill a 6 toughness creature and deal 4 damage to the opponent. That’s 10 damage for 3 mana.
- Cut//Ribbons – a great kill spell for Steel Leaf Champion and we can use Ribbons later in the game to finish off the opponent
So here’s my RBu Gutter Burn Deck for today!
RBu Gutter Burn
4 The Mirari Conjecture
4 Lightning Strike
3 Cut // Ribbons
4 Hungry Flames
3 Insult // Injury
4 Sovereign’s Bite
4 Canyon Slough
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Drowned Catacomb
2 Sulfur Falls
2 Angrath, the Flame-Chained
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Hour of Devastation
In the sideboard, we reinforce the game plan by bringing in more ways to burn our opponent to the ground. Additional Banefires are in the sideboard to get passed UW and Nexus decks.
Against control decks, we swap out our creature removal with hand disruption to be able to play around counter spells, Nexus of Fate, Walkers and avoid misfiring our burn spells at the wrong targets.
We got no ways to deal with resolved enchantments and Planeswalkers, or non-interactive win conditions like Approach so it’s always a good plan to have some Negates in the sideboard.
We can also suit up a Walker-package against decks that don’t have clean ways to get rid of them. Angrath comes in against control match-ups while Chandra comes in against midrange decks. We don’t use walkers against aggressive decks because we have no ways of protecting them.
Lastly, Hour of Devastation comes in against go-wide decks that our direct damage spells are too slow to go toe-to-toe. HoD helps conserve our firepower and aim it to our opponent’s face.
It’s a simple deck tech for today as a response mainly for Nexus decks. I am currently running my version of Nexus and it’s very disgusting so I wanted to push a deck list out here in case your meta is full of solitaire decks.