Friday, 9 March 2018

Sylvan Lavamancer

Despite being March as I write this, we’ve had 2 snowy days here. I thought it might be nice to write about a deck that celebrates keeping people nice and warm. And what deck concentrates on heating the people around it? Why a nice burn deck, obviously! But I didn’t want to just review the traditional RDW and make a tweak or two, I wanted to break the mould a bit and try something else. A deck that doesn’t just sizzle and burn out, but rather one that gives a nice slow burn. Today, we are going to look at Sylvan Lavamancer.

As previously mentioned, Burn decks tend to share a common weakness in that they can lose steam prior to zapping the opponent to 0. And because red isn’t really known to generate card advantage, it means you have to seek other means to do so. In comes today’s heart throb - you know him, you love him – your pal, Grim Lavamancer. The brother Grim is a great example when it comes to alternate means to card advantage. He can single-handedly take out an opponent’s creatures and/or their hit points. Talk about sweet!

The other namesake in today’s deck would be Olle Råde, also known as Sylvan Messenger. While it may seem as though his only role is to protect Lavaman, that is not entirely true. He actually works quite well in tandem with him as his protection also means providing the means to deal 2 damage to a creature or player. He doesn’t even need to tap do this, so he can also swing in the occasional damage or two.

At a glance, the spells section might seem like your typical Burn deck. While that may very well be the case, I do not think so, as it omits some serious considerations and replaces them with less obvious/traditional choices. One such example would be that the deck does not play Kindle, a pretty sweet burn spell that only improves as the game gets played. However, as with other choices in Sylvan Lavamancer, but they do not work well with our heroes, which we want as our main game plan and game winner.

You don’t normally see Wasteland in a burn deck, but I thought it was worth including due to Lavamancer. Wastelands not only add ammunition to our lava slinging pal, but with him in play we are also choosing a slight control aspect, rather than pure speed. Wasteland is a great card at slowing down, and even ruining, an opponent’s game plan, so it only makes sense to combine it with our red-cowled hero.

The other control aspect to our deck should be pretty obvious: Blood Moon. I had actually considered Raze to help control the opponent as they get burned, but decided on 4 Moon instead as it’s more consistent and not a 2-1 that works against you in card advantage. It also does not screw Sylvan Messenger, which should be a consideration as well. Remember, lands are not just mana in this deck, they also help you attack the opponent and protect your creatures.

The last thing I want to mention is that the deck also contains 2 cards that replace your hand – 1 Winds of Change and 1 Browbeat. With cards such as Price of Progress and Scent of Cinder in the deck, their value can either be great or garbage, depending on the situation. With this in mind, both cards allow you to change your grip, particularly Winds which works wonders with Lavamancer.

You probably noticed that many cards in Sylvan Lavamancer look to work with either Sylvan Messenger and/or Grim Lavamancer, the 2 namesake cards in the deck. It should be noted however, that each card is also simply good on its own; and generally has good synergy with each other and the game plan in general. You may not think the combination and/or support cards to be worth their place however, so be sure to choose a version that is right to you. Happy Brewing!

Sylvan Lavamancer


1 Pendelhaven
4 Taiga
5 Mountain
5 Fetch lands
2 Barbarian Ring
4 Wasteland

Total: 21


4 Sylvan Safekeeper
4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Mogg Fanatic

Total: 12


4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
1 Incinerate
2 Scent of Cinder
2 Fireblast
1 Browbeat
2 Shock or Assault // Battery
2 Price of Progress
1 Winds of Change
4 Overmaster
4 Blood Moon

Total: 27


4 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Hydroblast
2 Naturalize
2 Hull Breach
2 Pyroclasm
1 Cursed Scroll

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