Dark Design

Friday, 29 October 2010

Our First Outside Contribution and I like it... Here it comes... exactly as Joe T sent it

The Sack Race

Hello all. Joe T here with another built on a budget deck. It was devised in the same vein as Gordon’s ‘handful of commons and thought’ philosophy – I had done well at the previous FNM with my current pet deck, but I had noted that it was leaning on a bit of ‘rare power’ to enable its god draws. I then thought it was due time to create something out of left field, without using any rares if possible, but more importantly, was a blast to play. The following deck was the result.

The Sack Race

4 Furnace Celebration
4 Zektar Shrine Expedition
4 Panic Spellbomb
4 Act of Treason
4 Spawning Breath
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Fling
3 Culling Dais
3 Expedition Map
3 Kuldotha Rebirth

4 Ember Hauler

4 Terramorphic Expanse
3 Evolving Wilds
1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
12 Mountains


The grand plan behind this deck is to abuse Furnace Celebration for fun and profit. There are a great many synergies contained within the deck that utilise sacrificing permanents, and the Celebration rewards this with virtual card advantage and even a potential win condition. Let’s discuss the other cards in the deck.

• Zektar Shrine Expedition – A cousin deck to Control This! – the Sack Race uses the hasty 7/1 to good effect as the activation involves a sacrifice, it can be made hard to block and is particularly tasty paired with…
• Fling – for another seven damage before its untimely demise, another sacrifice trigger, and is itself a particularly nasty combo with…
• Act of Treason – This little one-two punch has seen a lot of play in M11 mono-red drafts. Independently however, Act is a solid metagame call as there are any number of Titans, Wurmcoil Engines, Baneslayers and Eldrazi kicking around and the ability to steal one AND use its benefits attacking for a turn are huge. Ideally though you’d want to end up sacrificing it before giving it back, either to the aforementioned Fling, or…
• Culling Dais – This deck mostly utilises chump blockers of creatures to hold larger creatures at bay, so why not cash them in for more card draw?
• Expedition Map & Panic Spellbomb – Both sacrifice for a benefit, either to force through a hasty Zektar elemental and draw, or fetch more land to power up the Shrine’s landfall trigger. Both are also sacrifice targets for…
• Kuldotha Rebirth – Gives the deck a way to generate chump blockers to keep pace with faster aggro decks. These will usually be sacrificed to the Dais, where they will be turned back into more cards.
• Spawning Breath & Ember Hauler – More chumps and burn combined in one card.
• Lightning Bolt – The burn spell of choice.
• Terramorphic Expanse & Evolving Wilds – Sacrifice triggers and pull double duty for landfall.
• Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle – My one concessionary rare, can be found by Maps and gives the deck a way to finish off the last few points of burn in the long game.

The Road Not Travelled

One option I considered for this deck was to go more of the Eldrazi route, using Brood Birthing, Emrakul’s Hatcher and Rapacious One alongside Spawning Breath. I ultimately decided against it, believing it to be too slow, but I would be interested to see what someone could make of it.

But At What Cost?

The Sack Race clocks in at just under £12 or less than a tenner if you decide to drop the Valakut. I suppose if you wanted to pimp it out a bit and add rares, the rare fetchlands and more Valakuts would go in, but as we’re building on a budget, the rare I would be most excited to add to this deck would the 50p rare king himself, Magmaw. Time for him to shine.


This deck is still in its initial design phase and hasn’t been tested against many of the major archetypes yet, so I’ll just add some thoughts on each.
• Destructive Force – Act of Treason + a sac outlet is huge against their Titans, but the titular Force sets you back a long way and disrupts the Valakut plan.
• Valakut – No real way to disrupt their Valakuts, perhaps run a singleton Tectonic Edge in the main to fetch with Maps and more in the side.
• Eldrazi Ramp – Similar to D-Force, you’ll need to have Act of Treason ready after they land their first huge fatty.
• Red Deck Wins/Turbo Goblins – If you can get enough early burn and chump blockers to keep pace, you’ll likely win if you can survive long enough to get a Celebration and/or Valakut active.
• U/W Planeswalkers – Their Wraths do very little to this deck, so aiming burn and/or Zektar elementals at their face at strategic intervals is the way to go here. You have very little way of removing their walkers apart from burn, so it’s better to just go for the face and attempt to Treason their Baneslayers.
• Infect – Most infectious creatures are small enough to fall to the burn suite, however the green Infect deck with Giant Growths could be a problem.
• Zero Weenie – Most of their creatures will die to the burn, but it will be important not to give them a window of opportunity to activate their Quest for the Holy Relic, otherwise you will likely lose.
• Fauna Shaman – Vengevine will give you a lot of trouble, so much so that it will need to be addressed in the sideboard.
• Tribal Golems / Wall for Nothing / Control This! – God only knows.


A little up in the air, but the following should probably be considered;
Tectonic Edge – vs Valakut, Eldrazi Temples, Eye of Ugin, Manlands
Brittle Effigy – Titans, Eldrazi, Vengevine, Baneslayer
Combust – I really hate Baneslayers
Unstable Footing/ Leyline of Punishment – Kor Firewalkers
Pyroclasm – Goblins, Elves, random aggro.
Manic Vandal – Mimic Vat and other random artifacts that are bound to show up.

Pack Up Your Party Sack

And there you have it – a spicy new deck to confound people with at the next FNM that won’t break the bank. I welcome questions and comments, as always, Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly, Yo. PEACHY.

Thanks Joe and a fine additoon to the database...

I like the idea and I love the mechanics... If i had to suggest anyhing, I'd maybe offer Horizon Spellbomb, sod the green for the card draw you don't need it, but thining the deck and getting to thst Valakut trigger is tempting, plus its another fuse for the furnace bomb...

Also I'd suggest adding Elixir of Immortality, just incase you run out of steam ( but mainly because i'm slightly obsessed with adding Elixir of Immortaility to everything., not that I'm in love with it or anything. It's not like its a bear o anything.and definately  not a Wombat...  See post titled There's some cards I like if you're wondering what I'm on about ).  

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