Skred’s back, baby! Regardless of who you supported in the US Presidential Election, I think we can all agree that when politics can’t, Skred can united us all. In this article I’ll be discussing what I think are the good and bad choices that champion Kevin Mackie made in his decklist, as well as suggesting some possible inclusions for the future. First, let’s take a look at the winning list from Grand Prix Dallas/Fort Worth

Kevin Mackie – Grand Prix Dallas/Fort Worth 1st place:

Planeswalkers (5)

4 Koth of the Hammer

1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Creatures (8)

3 Pia and Kiran Nalaar

3 Stormbreath Dragon

2 Eternal Scourge

Instants, Sorceries, and Artifacts (25)

3 Anger of the Gods

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Skred

1 Magma Jet

1 Pyrite Spellbomb

4 Relic of Progenitus

4 Mind Stone

1 Batterskull

3 Blood Moon

20 Snow-Covered Mountain

2 Scrying Sheets

Sideboard (15)

2 Shattering Spree

1 Grafdigger’s Cage

4 Dragon’s Claw

2 Goblin Rabblemaster

4 Molten Rain

2 Ricochet Trap

 

The Good

I think Blood Moon is as good as it’s ever been and Anger of the Gods and Skred are two powerful cards to have in your arsenal in this format. Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Stormbreath Dragon are two very powerful and resilient threats that can take over the game fast. Koth of the Hammer is very useful for this deck because he hits hard and sticks around, and he kills especially quickly if he gets on the board on turn 3, when followed up by a turn 4 Stormbreath Dragon. I really like Batterskull and I would probably move up to a second copy if I were to play the deck myself, especially because you are playing a deck that has the ability to make thopter tokens, which love grabbing themselves a Batterskull. But, one of the the best elements of this deck is Mind Stone. Mind Stone allows you to go from 2 mana on turn 2 to 4 mana on turn 3. Normally, there would be a serious tradeoff for trying to do this. However, the fact is that this deck doesn’t have anything else meaningful that it wants to be doing on turn 2 of any given game, so the cost of using turn 2 to play a Mind Stone is minimal. The maindeck Relic of Progenitus seems slightly out of place, but allows the deck to hedge against Dredge in the maindeck, which a lot of other decks can’t afford to do.

The Bad

Magma Jet: This card is unplayable outside of this deck, and I’m struggling to see why it is necessary for this deck. 2 mana is less of a commitment in this deck than others, but it still only deals 2 damage, so I’m struggling to see why it’s the best option for this slot.

Pyrite Spellbomb: Every part of this card is awkward. I understand that it serves as the 9th cantrip artifact, after Relic of Progenitus and Mind Stone, but dealing 2 damage for 2 mana is a terrible rate in Modern, and the utility of being able to draw a card if you have nothing to kill is really not worth it.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance: Didn’t you guys get the memo? This card isn’t even good in Standard! Why would it be good in Modern? All kidding aside, I would much rather play another card that serves a similar function, which I’ll discuss in the “Possible Additions” section below.

Possible Additions:

Simian Spirit Guide: Magma Jet and Pyrite Spellbomb are extremely awkward and I highly recommend you cut them if you play this deck in the future. Simian Spirit Guide allows for some more explosive starts, which is really sweet, and plays into what this deck wants to be doing.

Outpost Siege: This is the card I was talking about as a potential replacement for Chandra, Torch of Defiance. This card is excellent at what you want it to be doing, with it’s ability to start doubling up on cards every turn, while still being a very resilient threat. The longer the game goes, the more back-breaking this card is. This card means serious business.

Forked Bolt: With Infect being such a hot commodity, this card could be a valuable addition to the Skred Red decks, and one that has a much better damage per mana rate than Pyrite Spellbomb or Magma Jet.

 

The Sideboard:

I actually really like the sideboard for the most part. Dragon’s ClawGrafdigger’s Cage, Goblin Rabblemaster, and Molten Rain are exactly where they need to be, and in my opinion the amount they need to be as well. This leaves us with four slots that I feel are “up for grabs.” You may be thinking that this deck needs more graveyard hate, until you remember that it is playing four main deck Relic of Progenitus, which covers that angle of attack. I think that Spellskite could be a valuable addition to protect Blood Moon from artifact/enchantment hate. Potentially, we might want the fourth Blood Moon here as well, because the card is critical to our success in the matchups where we want it. I won’t say that Ricochet Trap is bad, I simply don’t know how to begin evaluating it, which I think is where the card begins to be a luxury and not needed. Overall, I think the sideboard is really solid, and is one of the strong points of this archetype and the winning decklist.

Finishing Up:

If you are sick of the regular players in Modern, I highly recommend you pick up this fun deck and take it out to a local tournament. Something great about this deck is that there is a lot of room to craft it to how you like to play. This deck is tangentially related to other red control decks like White-Red Prison and Blue-Red Thopter Prison, so if you get sick of Skred Red (but, honestly, how is that even possible), there are other options in the same vein that may appeal to you. Anyways, this deck may not have broken the Modern metagame, but it’s one of the most unique and fun decks in Modern. Who knows, maybe it’ll become a player.

Read this article from Peter Rawlings if you’re looking for the next advancement in Standard sideboarding tech.

Goodbye Homies,

I’ll see you next week.

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