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This Is Spartan! - Bradley Crouch (7/1/2010)

Control is a very powerful thing. It doesn't play games with other formats of deck design if done correctly. It doesn't guess. It makes itself consistent and locks down the board. The rush player must either try to go so quickly that control can't get started or waste card slots on an anti-control tactic. The control deck, on the other hand, simply uses a slot it had planned for all along to clear away the rush and establish board supremacy. The combo deck? Unless it's using some little mechanic out there like storm, a single counterspell or lock trick can send it reeling, so, of course, there's going to be tactics to fight off control or allow for a second shot at the combo. In short, the other decks tend to diverge from their basic strategy slightly or purchase really expensive cards to go faster in order to try to deal with control.

This means control's already winning, or, at the very least, contributing to the next foreclosure on the block.

If you're nodding, then I believe you're my audience.

Now, blue really isn't my thing, sad to say, so control tends to be a little harder to pull off in a way that I can philosophically agree with. Counterspell
Counterspell
CounterspellSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counters target spell as it is being cast.
s, bluntly put, are boring. They're one-shot packages that stop other one-shot packages and just turn it into a game of pointing your Patriot missile batteries skyward in the hopes of intercepting their ICBM before it hits. Still, that sounds fine when there's an ICBM coming toward you in this extended metaphor. I mean, nobody wants their own stuff to blow up, right?

Wrong.

I have here a stupidly silly idea, a nearly masochistic idea; I'd go as far as to say it's pretty goblin in its sheer mindless destructiveness.

Today, we destroy our own lands, drop almost no permanents, win the day, look around at the devastation around us, and take up cross-stitching as there's nothing else to do!*

*cross-stitching optional


THIS IS SPARTAN! (60 cards)

Lands:
4x Barbarian Ring
Barbarian Ring
Barbarian RingSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
313
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Tap: Add R to your mana pool. Barbarian Ring deals 1 damage to you. Threshold - R, Tap, Sacrifice Barbarian Ring: Barbarian Ring deals 2 damage to target creature or player. (Play this ability only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.)

12x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

*A total of 8 copies of any combination of the following four*
Dormant Volcano
Dormant Volcano
Dormant VolcanoSet: Visions
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Dormant Volcano comes into play tapped. When Dormant Volcano comes into play, return an untapped mountain you control to owner's hand or bury Dormant Volcano.T: Add R and one colorless mana to your mana pool.

Gruul Turf
Gruul Turf
Gruul TurfSet: Guildpact
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
158
Text:
Gruul Turf comes into play tapped. When Gruul Turf comes into play, return a land you control to its owner’s hand. T: Add RG to your mana pool.

Sandstone Needle
Sandstone Needle
Sandstone NeedleSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
326
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Text:
Sandstone Needle comes into play tapped with two depletion counters on it.tap, Remove a depletion counter from Sandstone Needle: Add two red mana to your mana pool. If there are no depletion counters on Sandstone Needle, sacrifice it.

Boros Garrison
Boros Garrison
Boros GarrisonSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Boros Garrison comes into play tapped. When Boros Garrison comes into play, return a land you control to its owner’s hand. T: Add RW to your mana pool.


Spells:
4x Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.

4x Shard Volley
Shard Volley
Shard VolleySet: Morningtide
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
As an additional cost to play Shard Volley, sacrifice a land. Shard Volley deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

4x Chain Lightning
Chain Lightning
Chain LightningSet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Chain Lightning does 3 damage to one target. Each time Chain Lightning does damage, the target or target's controller may then pay RR to have Chain Lightning do 3 damage to any target of that player's choice.

4x Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.

4x Gamble
Gamble
GambleSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
188
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Search your library for a card, put that card into your hand, then discard a card at random. Shuffle your library afterward.

4x Browbeat
Browbeat
BrowbeatSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
82
Artist:
Mark Tedin

Text:
Unless a player has Browbeat deal 5 damage to him or her, target player draws three cards.


Artifacts:
4x Lotus Petal
Lotus Petal
Lotus PetalSet: Tempest
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
tap, Sacrifice Lotus Petal: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.

4x Damping Engine
Damping Engine
Damping EngineSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
rk post
Text:
A player who controls more permanents than any other cannot play lands or artifact, creature, or enchantment spells. That player may sacrifice a permanent to ignore this effect until end of turn.


Creatures:
4x Simian Spirit Guide
Simian Spirit Guide
Simian Spirit GuideSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ape Spirit
Rarity:
c
Number:
122
Artist:
Dave DeVries
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Remove Simian Spirit Guide in your hand from the game: Add R to your mana pool.



The idea of this deck is really quite simple. Use Gamble
Gamble
GambleSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
188
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Search your library for a card, put that card into your hand, then discard a card at random. Shuffle your library afterward.
to find and power out a Damping Engine
Damping Engine
Damping EngineSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
rk post
Text:
A player who controls more permanents than any other cannot play lands or artifact, creature, or enchantment spells. That player may sacrifice a permanent to ignore this effect until end of turn.
as quickly as possible, then use Fireblast
Fireblast
FireblastSet: Visions
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Michael Danza
Text:
You may sacrifice two mountains instead of paying Fireblast's casting cost. Fireblast deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
and Shard Volley
Shard Volley
Shard VolleySet: Morningtide
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
As an additional cost to play Shard Volley, sacrifice a land. Shard Volley deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
to reduce your permanent count so that your opponent can't do anything permanent because he's probably got a good four lands down and here you are with an Engine and maybe two lands at most. Lotus Petal
Lotus Petal
Lotus PetalSet: Tempest
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
tap, Sacrifice Lotus Petal: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.
and Simian Spirit Guide
Simian Spirit Guide
Simian Spirit GuideSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ape Spirit
Rarity:
c
Number:
122
Artist:
Dave DeVries
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Remove Simian Spirit Guide in your hand from the game: Add R to your mana pool.
can either accelerate out a quick Damping Engine
Damping Engine
Damping EngineSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
rk post
Text:
A player who controls more permanents than any other cannot play lands or artifact, creature, or enchantment spells. That player may sacrifice a permanent to ignore this effect until end of turn.
or power more burn spells in a pinch. There's no lack of pain in this deck. If a creature must be offed by a burn spell, go ahead. You have all day to gloat over the fact that mono-red just locked down the board.

Share, and enjoy!


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