Punishing U/R by itisunfair on MtGO

Creatures (10)
2 Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Thing in the Ice

Non-Creature Spells (31)
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
1 Preordain
4 Brainstorm
3 Flusterstorm
4 Force of Will
2 Gut Shot
2 Lightning Bolt
1 Misdirection
3 Punishing Fire
1 Surgical Extraction

Lands (19)
4 Flooded Strand
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
3 Island
4 Polluted Delta
4 Volcanic Island

Sideboard (15)
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Ancient Grudge
2 Arcane Laboratory
2 Blood Moon
1 Hydroblast
2 Izzet Staticaster
2 Pyroblast
2 Submerge

Summary

Since the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top, new and interesting decks have been making the rounds in Legacy, and we have one such deck today. Whether it warranted a ban or not is debatable, but Miracles certainly did close off some interesting strategies, namely those who want to cast several low-cost spells, as they would see all of them countered by Counterbalance. With that soft-lock gone, let’s take a look at this Punishing U/R deck that loves casting spells.

Snapcaster Mage is practically an auto-include in these types of strategies, but the other creatures in this deck are a little more unconventional. Thing in the Ice takes advantage of the multitude of cheap spells in this deck, especially Gitaxian Probe, Brainstorm, Ponder, Gut Shot, and Force of Will, which all let it flip sooner than expected. Erayo, Soratami Ascendant is another excellent cheap creature to defend with counter spells. Once flipped, the deck’s counter spells are much less taxed, and flipping and protecting Thing in the Ice becomes significantly easier. Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Jace, the Mind Sculptor are further win conditions that operate as kill spells and sources of card advantage before they win the game.

Due to the deck’s ability to cast many spells in one turn and its ability to protect its sources of card advantage and damage, Flusterstorm gains a lot of value. It’s usually relegated to the sideboard, but it seems fair as a mainboard card here. When a deck like this churns through its cards so quickly, it’s important that it has a way of gaining card advantage that’s lost by casting its spells quickly. Punishing Fire does just this, as it provides a consistent way of killing most of the format’s cheap creatures, and can be brought back with Grove of the Burnwillows at a moment’s notice. Since Thing in the Ice hits hard on its flip side, the life gained by the opponent through Grove will rarely matter.

The sideboard of this deck has additional cheap counter spells in Pyroblast and Hydroblast, and several impactful hate spells, such as Arcane Laboratory to stop storm, Blood Moon to punish the opponent’s greedy manabase, and Surgical Extraction for the format’s graveyard decks.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Misdirection

-1 Preordain

+2 Lightning Bolt

Sideboard

-2 Submerge

+2 True-Name Nemesis

This is day 137 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 136 here, where we featured a Modern deck that adds a certain banned Standard combo…

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