I decided to upgrade the configuration of the token’s deck and turn it into a control deck with the combo built-in to the shell. I felt it was very well positioned against today’s meta of BG midrange, WW/RW Aggro, Mono-U and Mono-Red. Looking at the control decks of the format, the deck also has promising sideboard options to beat them too. Let’s discuss the upgrades I chose.
I wanted a Planeswalker in the deck that generated value over time, and because Walkers are great threats against decks that do not come prepared to deal with them. I thought Angrath, the Flame-Chained was perfect regardless if the opponent was a control player or creature based since we already play Makeshift Munitions, the -3 ability loses its draw back because the creature would just get sacrificed before the end of turn. However we cannot rely solely on Makeshift Munitions so I thought about adding another sacrificial engine.
Dark-Dweller Oracle is a solid choice which gives us a Frenzy-like benefit without locking our hand. Sacrificing our bat or zombie tokens can allow us to chain multiple spells in a turn late into the game. Together with Open the Graves and Reassembling Skeleton, the value we can generate is only limited by the mana we can generate.
The biggest pain in the original build was the lack of card draw. With Dismissive Pyromancer, we can ditch the skeleton to get more gas, or sacrifice itself to kill an Enigma Drake. The more bodies we have early in the game also suppresses the amount of damage we take, allowing us to get to our late game. Either way, Dismissive Pyromancer serves both purposes – cantrip/removal and activates Open the Graves.
The best tutor I can ever ask for is Final Parting. Searching Reassembling Skeleton and Desecrated Tomb/Open the Graves/Makeshift Munitions feels super good. We can bit the Skeleton to start the recursion and fetch whatever missing piece we need to begin generating value. The mana cost is quite steep but it serves its purpose very well for our deck.
Lastly I added one copy of Squee to bring up our total recursive creatures to 5. Squee is amazing because it guarantees us that our engine remains hot despite exile effects or graveyard hate.
Lastly, we now play a full playset of Rekindling Phoenix because every copy we draw just ups the power of the deck ten times over. The ability to recur itself for free is crazy with either Tomb or Graves out. The 4/3 flier can also soak up a lot of damage which I found very important in testing because while the opponent is busy finding ways to get rid of it, we’re just busy harvesting bats and zombies in the process.
The sideboard options were also changed a bit to fit better against the meta decks.
Against Jeskai control, post-board against Wx decks that may run Ixalan’s Binding, and even Drakes deck, sniping a valuable noncreature card is very good especially if you’re able to get rid of any removal that can break our combo.
Against decks that run Find/Finality, we can benefit from Find to get Bat Tokens or dead Phoenixes. Against Control decks, casting Chemister’s Insight feels great. Against Red, first strike stops a lot of their dudes as long as this survives Chainwhirler. I have played against White and was able to cast Pride of Conquerors so I like having the Red Snapcaster in the side for the incidental value it brings.
Like I said, our deck needs time to get the cogs in motion so a timely sweeper is important to make sure we get there. Phyrexian Scripture is great against massive Wildgrowth Walkers, Carnage Tyrants and whatever our Munitions can’t kill quick. Cannonade is for those fast Boros decks that seems to be always in a hurry.
In the event of a stalled board state, Star of Extinction does a great job at cleaning the board and I am confident we are first to set up a massive board presence before our opponent can find their outs. We don’t mind losing our stuff anyway but I’m sure our opponent won’t feel the same way.
The deck is pretty stupid if you look at it, $202 in the paper world can build you a mono red deck that has proven it’s place in top 8s but if you have the cards and pulled many of these crap rares and want to do something with it – try the deck out. That’s how I ended up with the list anyway. Dumb M19 prize packs…