Paper-Smothering in Conflux Standard

Mike Flores recently blogged about some of his favourite articles from the last year. In one of them, he talks about Rock-Paper-Scissors metagames and how it becomes better to win tournaments with a certain type of deck. In the example he presented, Rock was Fae, and the most prevalent deck. Red Deck was Paper, because it beats the red deck, and Scissors was traditionally some form of Green deck with life gain, or certain builds of 5-colour that beat red deck but invariably lose to Faeries.

What I took away from this article was a proposal that Scissors was the right deck to play, because as the tournament wore on, the Rocks would play themselves a lot of the time, and the Paper would sweep away the Rocks, so if even just a couple Scissors survived towards the end, they’d be swimming in a sea of paper and be well positioned to cut through the top 8, so to speak.

What i’ve been wondering lately though – if the Red Deck beats Faeries as it is, with the benefits it is getting from Conflux – is there any excuse NOT to play Paper anymore? Life was already pretty miserable for Faeries, and it only gets worse with the new additions. Between Banefire, the new Unearth Sparky and Volcanic Fallout, you get a bunch of great anti-Fae cards that serve double duty by being good against various strategies trying to pose as the Scissors deck. Even the mighty hoser Burrenton Forge-Tender trembles before the X-Force of Banefire.

The strength of the Red Deck is the ability to “dial” it different ways. You can still play the traditional beatdown Red Deck Wins, it packages well with white and black to make good beatdown or control decks, and i’m sure that you can package all three of the previosly mentioned Conflux cards into an Unearth-Burn deck that allows you to play Volcanic Fallout in a non-controlling deck that doesn’t harm your own strategy. This last type of deck, Unearth-Burn seems the most exciting to me, as it fits the way I like to play Red Decks – it’s very much out of the mold of the Snow Red deck I made between Coldsnap and Time Spiral three years ago.

I haven’t spent a great deal of time thinking about other new implementations on the Red Deck, this is just sort of my beginning thoughts on where it could go. Below is a prelim list of how I might build Unearth-Burn

4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Hellspark Elemental
4 Hell’s Thunder
4 Demigod of Revenge

4 Tarfire
4 Incinerate
4 Flame Javelin
4 Volcanic Fallout
4 Banefire

4 Ghitu Encampment
20 Mountain


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