R/G Ponza by siewca on MtGO
Hate Tron? Hate Jund? Don’t want your opponent to play Magic? R/G Ponza might be for you! Any deck that features 4 maindeck copies each of Stone Rain, Blood Moon, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, and Bonfire of the Damned is sure to create games of Magic that your opponent did not expect when they sat down across from you. The success of this deck, piloted by siewca on MtGO on January 4, is very format- and matchup-dependent. If the format is slow and frequently has greedy manabases, Ponza will run wild. The deck aims to take advantage of mana on both sides. It wants to ramp itself through mana dorks and Utopia Sprawl, while limiting the mana that the opponent has access to through Stone Rain, Blood Moon, and Mwonvuli Acid-Moss. Eventually, the advantage that the deck gained in the early-to-mid game will be leveraged through Inferno Titan and Bonfire of the Damned.
Against control and combo decks, Ponza puts the ever-successful combination of pressure and disruption on, but not through traditional means. Usually, pressure is found in cards like Delver of Secrets and disruption is cards like Mana Leak or Inquisition of Kozilek. In Ponza, the pressure is much more flashy. It’s the inevitability of cards like Inferno Titan and Bonfire of the Damned. The disruption is also extremely satisfying. Have you ever stopped your combo opponent in their tracks by casting Stone Rain. Trust me, it feels great. However, Ponza can struggle mightily against aggressive decks such as Infect and Burn. As you may have noticed, Ponza is one of the few red Modern decks that does not have the full suite of Lightning Bolt. Many slots in the sideboard are devoted to these matchups, but the deck still struggles in these matchups.
Tron has seen a rather large upswing in popularity recently. As this trend continues, R/G Ponza becomes more and more viable in the format. Due to the nature of how the deck operates, Ponza will never be a major player in Modern, but it always has the potential to run over any tournament it’s in if matchups fall its way. Many Magic players, myself included, find some sick joy in fully dominating a game of Magic from start to finish, and Ponza allows that. After all, a wise man once said:
Many people think that the goal of a game of Magic is to win. That’s not true. Each player starts a game with 50% of the fun. The actual goal is to have 100% of the fun by the time the game is over.”
This deck is incredibly fun to watch and play, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new Modern deck to spice up the format at your next tournament. Here are the changes I would make going forward:
+1 Sudden Shock
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