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This is an annotation of Modgnik Red Blue Burn, going into detail behind the reasoning and strategy of this deck.
Modgnik Red Blue Burn is a variation of a typical [Card=215]Lord of Terror[/Card] burn deck. This family of decks uses Lord of Terror’s passive to deal direct damage to the opponent.
Lord of Terror decks often do well against a variety of opponents. It is a combo based deck, with a medium-to-difficult difficulty.
[Card=215]LoT[/Card] deck types does especially well against mid-ranged and control decks. This is thanks to its ability to deal consistent face damage while dealing with on board threats with its variety of removal options. Once you hit your combo, you will usually win harder than a control deck will; this is conditional on playing smart and not letting your LoT fall to removal.
However, LoT decks typically lose against ramp and rush decks. Ramp green will generate creatures that this deck-type is not capable of dealing with. Rush decks will be capable of getting on your face and destroying you before you have a chance to draw LoT.
Modgnik’s LoT deck is the most efficient of the LoT deck family. This is because it generates more tempo, faeria, and card advantage than any other LoT variant. It achieves these goals through its blue splash, allowing it to generate advantage where mono-red LoT decks cannot.
There are two primary engines running this deck. An engine, in this context, refers to combinations of cards which allow you to achieve your win-condition. In Modgnik LoT, the win-condition is to deal enough incidental damage to get your opponent to low HP, then finish with a combo of [Card=225]Flame Bursts[/Card] or a well-timed [Card=358]Hellfire[/Card]. As such, we will discuss the burn engine first, as this is the most direct way of achieving our goal.
The burn engine consists of a few Neutral cards, a few Red cards, and Lord of Terror. Here are the relevant cards:
[Card=41]Plague Bearer[/Card] x3
[Card=235]Derelict Tower[/Card] x2
[Card=241]Seifers Wrath[/Card] x2
[Card=215]Lord of Terror[/Card] x3
How does it work? Plague Bearers’ Last Word effect allows you to hit all creatures on the field for 2 damage. This hits all creatures, both your own and your enemy’s. This means that for each Lord of Terror on the field, two damage will be dealt to the enemy.
Famine works in a similar way as Plague Bearer, however, it is a more situational card. You will usually use a single Famine to begin clearing the board, clearing your Plague Bearers, who in turn clear the board. In this fashion you are capable of comboing anywhere from 2-20 damage depending on board state, and the amount of Lord of Terrors on the field. In addition, it allows you to lay down 3-5 damage on the board, effectively clearing the board of less beefy creatures.
Derelict tower is used to ping your own Lord of Terror, or it can be used to start a combo. The most common usage is to use it to ping Lord of Terror for 1 damage on a turn in which you’ll not combo, dealing 2 damage to your opponent and whittling down their health. You can also use it before or after a combo starts to squeeze out additional damage.
Seifer’s Wrath is not an inherent part of the engine, but is worth mentioning. Correctly timing Seifer’s Wrath is one of the skills that seperate the good players from the great players with this deck, and is worth learning. In the early game, Seifer’s Wrath can clear an opponent’s collecting creature, slowing their Faeria generation and dealing 2 damage to the opponent’s face. A less recommended option, but still worth knowing, is that Seifer’s Wrath can also deal damage to Lord of Terror. However, this is not recommended, as clearing an opponent’s creature is a much more efficient use of this event. It is only worth using in this manner if it will get you a lethal on the turn, that you could not otherwise get.
In general, the burn engine is fairly easy to understand, but difficult to master. Lord of Terror’s positioning is important, especially against midrange decks, as he has Taunt and can also engage in combat to squeeze out more damage. When to place your Plague Bearers is also a key skill to learn - don’t place them against decks which have the ability to deal damage to them before your combo turn, generally against red. However, not placing them early enough to collect Faeria can be costly - pay attention to what your opponent is playing and play wisely.
This deck also has something called a draw engine. Because the deck doesn’t work if you don’t have LoT in hand or on the board, you’ll often be waiting to draw one.
To counteract this phenomenon, the deck uses something called a Draw Engine, in order to cycle through cards more effectively. The draw engine is comboing two cards: Failed Experiment[Card=127]Failed Experiment[/Card] and [Card=72]Lore Thief[/Card]. This combo is called the FE/LT engine for short.
Using Failed Experiment, you can play Lore Thief for free and get its gift effect, to draw two cards. In effect, you’ve exchanged the two cards in your hand for two other cards, effectively reducing the amount of cards you have to draw to find your key cards.
After whittling down your opponents healthbar, you want to finish them quickly and efficiently. The best way of doing this is by playing multiple [Card=225]Flame Bursts[/Card] or [Card=358]Hellfires[/Card] onto their face, usually doing enough for lethal. Generally, it is best to clear board via your combo first, then play Hellfire for a full 9 damage.
Mulligans and First Turns
The first thing to understand when playing this deck is what to mulligan. Generally, you will mulligan in one of two ways, depending on if you have LoT in your starting hand. The resulting draw will decide how you play your first turns, two drastically different ways depending on your draw.
Lord of Terror Not In Hand
If LoT is not in your starting hand, you generally want to mulligan your non-blue cards, and keep your blue cards, with the exception of [Card=130]Windfall[/Card]. Keeping either of the FE/LT cards means that upon drawing the other card in the engine, you thin your deck by two. FE gives you potential Faeria advantage if you draw into a Stormspawn as well. Keeping Stormspawn allows you to drop a free 4/5 on turn 3, which allows you to trade positive against some midrange decks.
Your initial land placements will be control focused blue drops, in order to enable early Lore Thiefs or FE/LT combos. It is perfectly acceptable to spend mana on Lore Theif and use him as a collector. Generally focus on the side opposite your opponent, as if they begin to place aggressive lands, you want to be able to answer with an LoT taunt and burn - generally place Mountains to mirror your opponent; and Lakes to avoid them. Never place more than two lakes, and place the minimal amount of mountains as required to get sufficient Burn Engine cards out.
Lord of Terror in hand
If LoT is in your hand, you have much more choices. You generally want to mulligan away blue, and keep cards for your burn engine. Play begins differently depending on the matchup. Against Green or Red, place LoT early as a precaution against AoE removal, and allow him to act as a collector, placing Mountains early to get him out quickly. Against blue/yellow, you don’t want to play LoT early; at risk of falling victim to [Card=307]Choking Sands[/Card] or [Card=88]Frogify[/Card]. Instead wait and play an alternating combination of Lakes and Mountains defensively; or if your opponent is playing aggressive, Mountains first, then Lakes, such that you get control of the board with Seifer’s Wrath or Derelict Tower.
Once you have control of the board, you want to wait and bide your time. Don’t play your cards before you have a chance to combo. You can use LoT to stave off small threats like most Yellow Haste creatures, but not large threats, like green creatures. Strategically calculate your damage such that exchanges are always in your favour - LoT taking two or less damage in combat is a favourable trade, even if not part of a combo. Once you’re capable of dealing 6-10 damage to the opponent in a single turn, begin the burn engine by playing Plague Bearer followed by Famine (4F), or by playing Failed Experiment followed by Plague Bearer (0F). Remember that Plague Bearers combo into each-other, and as such, it is wise to keep them in hand until you are ready for the combo. Unlike LoT, feel free to play Plague Bearer as a collector into Blue or Yellow, as they are at much less risk of seeing removal, given they will most likely end in a net negative for the opponent (clearing some of their own creatures, and at the cost of Faeria commitment.)
Modgnik’s Lord of Terror burn is the most efficient variant of the Lord of Terror family. It plays extremely fast and doesn’t concern itself with the same consistency issues that other LoT burn decks do. Unfortunately, in making this tradeoff, it loses much harder to it’s weaknesses than a LoT deck running more creatures. With Flame Burst typically reserved for face, and Seifer’s Wrath as the only prime removal spell, it falls extremely quickly to rush decks and there is a fairly large margin of error. If you’re looking to play a moderately complex deck with a great payoff, then this deck is the deck for you.