Hi guys! Today I’m going to write about a Modern deck I’ve been brewing recently: Big Red Devotion. Unlike standard devotion decks, this one only wants the devotion mechanic for one card: Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. It’s basically a red aggro/midrange deck, with a strong mid-game plan. I’m not sure if it’s good enough for the format, and the list isn’t very polished, but, imho it has a lot of potential. I know it looks a bit clunky, but it’s been working well in the tests.
Big Red Devotion
4 Kargan Dragonlord
4 Ash Zealot
3 Demigod of Revenge
4 Figure of Destiny
3 Obsidian Fireheart
4 Boggart Ram-Gang
4 Goblin Guide
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Simian Spirit Guide
3 Faithless Looting
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Our goal is, basically, to get some cheap creatures during the first turns, and use Nykthos to get a bunch of mana on turn 4 or 5, which will usually finish the game, thanks to cards like Kargan Dragonlord, Figure of Destiny, and Demigod of Revenge.
Our creatures can be separated in two categories:
-Efficient drops: Goblin Guide, Ash Zealot and Boggart Ram-Gang are our first three drops. They all have haste, good p/t in relation with the cost, and add red symbols to our devotion account. This deck can put a lot of pressure in the early game, thanks to these creatures.
-Mana Intensive creatures: Kargan Dragonlord and Figure of Destiny come in early, and can become quite big if we invest some mana. They serve as aggro creatures, but they become much better with Nykthos online. Getting 8/8 flying monsters on turn 4 isn’t unusual in this deck, and, unless the opponent has an instant answer (Path to Exile or Abrupt Decay, normally), they will be enough to finish the game really quick.
Obsidian Fireheart could fall in here too: It’s not a very impressive creature (4/4’s for 4 haven’t been good for a while), but it adds RRR to our devotion, and its ability can be a very good clock against control decks.
Our top curve is covered by Demigod of Revenge. While it’s not Thundermaw or Stormbreath, he adds a lot of devotion, and he works perfectly with Faithless Looting, and our opponent’s Lilianas. Demigod topdecks can steal games out of nowhere, specially against Jund.
The rest of the deck consists on 4 Lightning Bolts, 4 copies of Simian Spirit Guide. This guy, while it might look awkward, has been working perfectly for me in testing. He can push really fast starts, and get us RRRR devotion on turn 3.
I think 23 lands is the right number. It might look too much, specially with the Simians, but we want to hit our first 4/5 land drops reliably, and we still have Lootings to get rid of extra lands.
This is actually the most simple side I’ve ever built, but it has (almost) everything you need: Anger of the Gods is good against Pod, Jund, and aggro decks, Torpor Orb comes in against Twin and Pod, and Fulminator Mage and Batterskull work against a lot of other decks.
Some cards didn’t make the cut. The most notable mentions are Boros Reckoner and Burning-Tree Emissary. Reckoner, while it’s very good in standard, isn’t as good as Boggart Ram-Gang. Boggarts come with haste, attack through Tarmogoyf, and kill walkers the turn they come into play. Emissary was just too awkward to be good. With all the triple and double red costs, her ability wasn’t really useful most of the time.
Blood Moon is a very good option. It doesn’t work well with Nykthos, but it hurts a lot of decks, and it can be a right choice, depending on the metagame.
Well, I hope you liked the deck, and I’d like to hear your suggestions to improve it.