MTG Deck Building: Solar Blaze

I am constantly on the lookout for that perfect synergy between cards that will lead to that next awesome deck. I have always been a mixture between Johnny and Spike so I am always looking for that perfect synergy that is cheap, fast, and efficient. With that being said I am also a college student who is on a relatively small budget. Because of this I have always been drawn to the Modern format. Standard only sees a small variety of deck archetypes and requires lots of spendy cards to be competitive and has a small card pool. The eternal formats both have that giant card pool and have some uncharted territory but again to have an adequate mana base in the format requires a couple hundred bucks alone. And then there is Modern. Modern is still a relatively new format and has a lot of uncharted territory and has yet to be truly defined. While the competitive decks do have spendy mana bases with shock and fetch lands you are able to put together an effective one with pain and bounce lands as well as with a couple of other hidden gems.

So as I have mentioned I am constantly making new deck prototypes on, constantly tweaking popular decks and designing new ones from the ground up. In all of my deck building experience I have been constantly drawn to one color threesome in particular: WBR. Before coming to love this wedge I really loved the color duos individually, and the cards that they brought to the table. Boros offered me Ajani Vengeant, Hide, Lightning Helix, Figure of Destiny, and Gisela. Orzhoz gave me Lingering Souls, Zealous Persecution, Seek, Castigate, Tidehollow Sculler, Angel of Despair, Unburial Rites, Debtors’ Knell, Divinity of Pride (one of my all time favorites), Unmake and Mortify. Rakdos provided me Blightning, Demigod of Revenge, Bit Blast, Falkenrath Aristocrat, Terminate, and Lavaclaw Reaches (I love my man lands). I spent a lot of time play testing each color duo seeing which was most efficient and effective and was not getting the results I had wanted from any of them.

BlightningDivinity of PrideHide (Hide/Seek)

I am a sucker for Reanimator. I first started Magic with a Coldsnap BU theme deck which gradually became more and more based around bringing back your dudes from your yard. Perhaps this bias towards the Legacy staple started with years spent playing Yu-Gi-Oh and the many popular reanimation spells that show up in every single deck. Now I realize how Goryo’s Vengeance and Emrakul make for a pretty powerful combo but I didn’t want a reanimator deck that relied solely on a combo to win. I wanted a deck that could potentially win without ever having to reanimate something but still had that option as a finisher. With that being said, BW seemed like the best place to start due to all of the great white reanimation targets and of course the full-of-value Unburial Rites and of course Lingering Souls. While BW was pretty awesome I pretty quickly realized I needed something else if I wanted my deck to hit that next level which was about the time I settled on throwing a bit of red into the mix.

Lingering SoulsUnburial Rites

So at this point I knew I was going to be rocking WBR and some sort of reanimation/graveyard theme. While I already had a suite of cool cards to use, I now had to search for powerful cards that provided some sort of synergy amongst the deck. With Unburial Rites and Lingering Souls in the deck it felt similar to Frites so I started there for inspiration. Unfortunately much of the synergy in Frites came from green cards, the last possible color I wanted to include. But despite color differences it is easy to understand what fuels Frites which are cheap spells which net you cards and dump several more into the yard such as Faithless Looting. Unfortunately the colors I was going with did not have access to Mulch and Tracker’s Instincts but then again I was building a Modern deck with quite a large card pool. After a little searching I found myself exactly what I had been looking for. Burning Inquiry and Goblin Loreare the two cards which best fit what I wanted. Being able to draw myself three or four cards for one or two mana is pretty good. Now the random discarding could be construed as a negative and at first it was but that amount of draw power for so cheap was too powerful for me to ignore.

Burning InquiryGoblin Lore

The key to using cards like these is to still be able to get some value out of cards put into your graveyard. Unburial Rites, Lingering Souls, and Faithless Looting are all once again perfect here because of flashback. Even if they do get randomly discarded you are still able to get some value out of them. In this sense your graveyard essentially becomes an extension of your hand. With Burning Inquiry you are essentially playing an Ancestral Recall because you are still able to play everything you discard on top of dumping your reanimation targets.

When it came to creatures to reanimate I had to make the biggest cuts. For the vast majority of the deck I was able use the exact cards I wanted but this one area –excluding lands– was where I had to make a few exceptions. As powerful as fatties like Empyrial Archangel and Inkwell Leviathan are, I really wanted to only use creatures that I would be able to hard-cast. Ideally I would be running four Griselbrand, Ionas, Elesh Norns, Titans and Wurmcoil Engines but unfortunately my budget didn’t extend that far. I wanted powerful reanimation targets where hard-casting was not out of the question. As awesome as Artisan of Kozilek and It That Betrays are it is simply unrealistic to plan on ever seeing come into play from your hand essentially making it a dead card unless it was in the yard. Ultimately I settled on Yosei’s in honor of another one of the decks main inspirations, Solar Flare. Yosei is powerful and cheap enough to cast regularly and your opponent can’t stand touching it without getting his or her field shut down. To round out my budget ensemble of finishers I included Britney Spears, Sheoldred and the powerhouse which is Akroma. The Angel of Wrath might not be as great as Sphinx of the Steel Wind but flying, vigilance, haste, first strike, and trample essentially gives your opponent an option: draw your Path to Exile or Day of Judgment or lose.

Yosei, the Morning StarAkroma, Angel of Wrath

When I had finished putting everything together I had found myself a faster and more aggressive form of Solar Flare. Due to the red splash instead of blue I decided to call my build Solar Blaze to represent my fiery take on the classic archetype. Solar Blaze provided me an incredibly aggressive deck with cards such as Lingering Souls and Bloodghasts that still had that powerful late game finisher. On top of all of this it still had powerful and consistent drawing power that let you dig through your deck efficiently and on top of the looting nature of these spells the deck is quickly able to recover from a Bojouka Bog or Relic of Progenitus.

Solar Blaze

Sorcery (18)

  • 4x Burning Inquiry
  • 2x Day of Judgment
  • 4x Faithless Looting
  • 4x Lingering Souls
  • 4x Unburial Rites

Creature (11)

  • 3x Akroma, Angel of Wrath
  • 1x Angel of Despair
  • 4x Bloodghast
  • 1x Sheoldred, Whispering One
  • 2x Yosei, the Morning Star

Instant (7)

  • 1x Hide
  • 1x Lightning Bolt
  • 2x Path to Exile
  • 3x Terminate

Land (24)

  • 2x Battlefield Forge
  • 1x Boros Garrison
  • 2x Caves of Koilos
  • 3x Evolving Wilds
  • 4x Lavaclaw Reaches
  • 1x Mountain
  • 3x Orzhov Basilica
  • 3x Plains
  • 2x Sulfurous Springs
  • 2x Swamp
  • 1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Sideboard (15)

  • 1x Lightning Bolt
  • 2x Tormod’s Crypt
  • 1x Blazing Archon
  • 2x Duress
  • 4x Blightning
  • 2x Volcanic Fallout
  • 3x Hide

While I am still fine tuning the list I have been very pleased with how it plays so far. I have only played several dozen match ups so far but I am able to consistently win or at least get my opponent to scoop as early as turn four or five but more regularly the deck sees victory around turn six or seven. Before designing this I was playing around with several different Delver builds and I had found that this new build was winning a few turns earlier than my Delver lists while being significantly more powerful in the late game. For right around $20 I am pretty alright with that. I am currently working on a couple videos showing off the deck in action but until then feel free to add me, SpacemanMars, and send me an invite over on Magic: The Gathering Online. I am always down for a couple games!

I am currently working on a couple videos showing off the deck in action but until then feel free to add me, SpacemanMars, and send me an invite over on Magic: The Gathering Online. I am always down for a couple games!

So what do you guys think of the build? How does it compare to Frites or Solar Flare? Any tweaks you would be sure to include in your own version? Let me know in the comments below!

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