Theros is on its way, which means the Innistrad block will soon be out of Standard. This is a damn shame, since Innistrad was the first set to release after I started playing Magic way back in September 2011, and I still have a lot of fun with it. To celebrate Innistrad and it’s awesome contributions to Magic, I’ll be writing a series of articles about decks that make deep usage of the Innistrad block’s mechanics. This week, I’m featuring a Blue/Red Flashback deck that seeks to bury your opponent in raw card advantage before securing the win with [card]Burning Vengeance[/card] or [card]Devil’s Play[/card].
A quick note before I begin: unlike my previous decklists, Flashstorm is not meant for competitive play. It isn’t focused on exploiting a chink in the metagame or anything like that. It’s just a fun casual deck. I’ve found it actually works pretty well in multiplayer games, in fact. It appears to be unassuming and safe until the late game, when you have enough mana to start chewing through large portions of your deck and dealing a lot of damage every turn, especially if a player or two has been eliminated by the faster decks at the table.
The Most Important Interaction
The biggest enabler for this deck is the fact that Goblin Electromancer reduces the cost of instants and sorceries, even when they are being flashed back. While it may seem like a minor interaction at first glance, in the middle and late game it allows you to go insane with the large number of cheap spells and their flashback costs.
The Flashback Spells
Draw Spells: Faithless Looting, Think Twice, and Desperate Ravings
These are the primary card advantage engines of the deck. By using 4 each of these, you’re highly likely to have one in the first three turns, which will probably draw you into some more draw spells. Additionally, the flashback means that you’ll never be left wanting for cards to play even if you only draw lands initially. Finally, the discard clauses on Desperate Ravings and Faithless Looting can be used to your advantage as you discard spells with flashback to interact with [card]Burning Vengeance[/card] and [card]Secrets of the Dead[/card].
Removal: Geistflame/Firebolt, Silent Departure, and Devil’s Play
Removal is an important part of any deck, and Flashstorm is no exception. Considering that this deck’s greatest weakness is fast aggro, any creatures you can kill or delay will help you make it to the late game, where you can begin cleaning up with [card]Burning Vengeance[/card]. If you’re willing to take the deck out of Standard, Geistflame can be easily replaced with the more powerful [card]Firebolt[/card], giving you a much better burn spell while still being able to be flashed back. However, even Geistflame can do some good work, eliminating most one drops and many utility creatures. Silent Departure is pretty weak, but it can still save your bacon in a pinch, and it has the all-important flashback. Finally, there’s Devil’s Play, which is a great finishing card to take care of the last few points your opponent has after all your shenanigans with Burning Vengeance and [card]Guttersnipe[/card]
Exploiting the Spells
The final piece to the deck is making additional use of all the instants and sorceries being thrown around, starting with:
This card is THE most important part of the deck. With this out, all of the spells you flash back suddenly have a [card]Shock[/card] attached to them, allowing you to clear fields and/or grind away opponents’ life totals. With the number of spells being flashed back in the late game, a single Burning Vengeance can win you the game, to say nothing of two or more. Then things just get ridiculous.
Secrets of the Dead
Secrets of the Dead, like [card]Burning Vengeance[/card], can really help you clean up the late game. With it, you will never run out of cards like many other decks tend to do, meaning you can always have answers for whatever happens at the table.
The most anticipated uncommon from M14 makes an appearance here, since it generates blockers in the early game as you get set up, which can then be used to attack after you clear opponents’ boards. In multiplayer games, merely having chump blockers at hand is often sufficient to keep you from being attacked, allowing you to sit quietly and build a board presence while your opponents squabble amongst themselves.
Guttersnipe acts as another [card]Burning Vengeance[/card], able to do a massive amount of damage as you set up your final storm. It’s also incredibly effective in multiplayer matches, although it will draw you hate if played too early. If you are playing in a multiplayer match, wait to play Guttersnipe until after someone else has captured everyone’s attention with a big play or a threatening board presence.
- 4 [card]Goblin Electromancer[/card]
- 2 [card]Guttersnipe[/card]
- 4 [card]Young Pyromancer[/card]
- 4 [card]Burning Vengeance[/card]
- 3 [card]Secrets of the Dead[/card]
- 4 [card]Desperate Ravings[/card]
- 3 [card]Geistflame[/card]
- 4 [card]Think Twice[/card]
- 2 [card]Devil’s Play[/card]
- 4 [card]Faithless Looting[/card]
- 2 [card]Silent Departure[/card]
- 8 [card]Island[/card]
- 4 [card]Izzet Guildgate[/card]
- 12 [card]Mountain[/card]
So there you have it: an incredibly fun, synergistic flashback deck that’s sure to amuse. If you want to chat about this deck, my other articles, or Magic in general, hit me up at Jake@Geekenstein.com or leave a comment below!