RB Heartless Inferno: Cult of Urabrask

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I've been shopping around for a way to exploit Heartless Summoning, and it occurred to me that it has great synergy with Priest of Urabrask. While the -1/-1 would immediatly kill the Priest, it essentially turns him into a red Dark Ritual. This seemed like a good reason to consider going red.

 

Essentially, the idea is to hit this curve:

T2: Heartless Summoning
T3: Urabrask the Hidden
T4: Hasted Inferno Titan (with an Metamorph copy dropped on it if there's a Priest of Urabrask available)

Naturally, this won't always happen. Thus, the deck had to be built to survive even if Heartless Summoning never hits. Moltensteel Dragon was chosen because it could be popped out for only 4 Mana if need be. Myr Superion is free with Heartless Summoning, but can also benefit from Priest of Urabrask. Brimstone Volley works with Fling and Altar's Reap for the last damage push. Both add game-winning damage to an already-devastating hasted Inferno Titan (and maybe his Metamorph copy, too).

The deck needs to survive until Heartless hits. Slagstorm was my choice for mass-removal because the Titan and Superion can both survive it even with Heartless on the field. It also ruins the day for Geist of Saint Traft.

Brimstone Volley is an ideal finisher for the deck, since between the Perilous Myrs and Priests of Urabrask (which both die instantly to Heartless), I can usually guarantee morbid if necessary. Even the 3 damage effect is well-worth having after a hasted Inferno Titan touches down.

I'd love input, as I'm still tinkering with the lineup. 
How many of each?
I'd like to see some card draw here. Altar's Reap can give you something to do withh the guys you want dead until heartless comes along, while at the same time drawing you closer to a heartless.

Edit: Also Arc Trail and Dismember should probably be in your removal suite.
I am Blue/Black
I'd like to see some card draw here. Altar's Reap can give you something to do withh the guys you want dead until heartless comes along, while at the same time drawing you closer to a heartless.

Edit: Also Arc Trail and Dismember should probably be in your removal suite.



Those are all good ideas, but what should I remove for those?

I don't think getting rid of Slagstorm is a good idea, given  the need for some kind of mass removal (one that also doubles as possible burn in this case). I also don't think either of those last two suggestions outclasses Brimstone Volley here, especially given how often I can get 5 damage off of it.  
HS and the Priest! yay for /Myr Superion deck that could actually work! Woot!

Now seriously, I like this, for the extra burn spells I'd remove Assault Strobe. It's nice, but I'd prefer removal. You don't have trample or a cheap infect creature, so double strike at sorcery speed wont do you much good.

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Yeah, I really like this concept a lot.

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HS and the Priest! yay for /Myr Superion deck that could actually work! Woot!

Now seriously, I like this, for the extra burn spells I'd remove Assault Strobe. It's nice, but I'd prefer removal. You don't have trample or a cheap infect creature, so double strike at sorcery speed wont do you much good.

I've really been enjoying Assault Strobe so far, but I'll keep your point in mind. It's just such a handy way to spend a single mana, and it really makes or breaks games. 

I mean, there isn't much scarier than a hasted Inferno Titan with double strike, especially on turn 3 (thanks to a convenient Priest of Urabrask, I pulled this off twice today).

The one that I'm having the most thoughts about is the Moltensteel Dragon, mainly because he can have a hefty life cost and still get zapped with an easy Dismember. I may consider dropping them. 
I would probably stick Slagstorm in the sideboard instead of maindecking it, and run Dismember instead. Slagstorm is great, but it is more of a sideboard card I think since it has the potential to be a dead draw.
Think Perilous Myr would be better off as black a discard spell as a first turn play.

Never played with it, but feel like Assault Strobe is strictly win-more and could be better off as more disruption/protection. 

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I would probably stick Slagstorm in the sideboard instead of maindecking it, and run Dismember instead. Slagstorm is great, but it is more of a sideboard card I think since it has the potential to be a dead draw.

I probably would do that if I was going to a major tournament, but in my meta, there are a lot of people running Geist, Thrun, and other hexproofers. Token generators like Timely Reinforcments are popular as well. I need some kind of mass removal that can hit them. 

I'm thinking maybe this:

-2x Moltensteel Dragon

+2x Dismember

I think between the Titans, Urabrasks, and Superions, I've got enough in the way of heavy hitters for Heartless to use.  
I just noticed your land base, are you sure you need so much mana sources? (i.e. the swamps) It seems like you have way too many for the amount of cards in the deck. Have they been a problem in playtesting?

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I just noticed your land base, are you sure you need so much mana sources? (i.e. the swamps) It seems like you have way too many for the amount of cards in the deck. Have they been a problem in playtesting?

It's true I didn't change it much from my last RB deck. 

The duals need to remain, obviously, but I'm open to reducing the number of Swamps in favor of more Mountains.

I definitely need to ensure I can hit a black land drop by turn 2, so I don't want to skimp too much.
I would run 4 superions... I mean, if you play heartless on turn two, you can immediatly cast any and all superions you have in your hand.  Heck, imagine getting lucky and droping 2 or 3 of those on turn 2.

The one thing I'll say about this deck is that from first glance, it seems like it would be in pretty rough shape if you don't manage to get your heartless out...  and even if you have 4 of a card, your not going to see it in about half of your games.
I've been toying with Heartless Summoning as well as it seems so potentially busted and I like this list more than anything I've seen. So much good cool synergy however I do think Assault Strobe seems a little janky as it can score big hits, but can be 2 for 1ed fairly easily and it take up a lot of spaces. I think upping the Slagstorm count and tossing in a few Dismembers would better help. Also Altar's Reap is really solid dig for a deck like this that just needs to insure it can finish quickly. I like the Dragons and everything you play can be Dismembered with HS up so I don't know how much water that argument holds, as they can be a 2 mana game winner thats evasive and is really a must answer threat due to how big it can get.
Tribute to Hunger to help survive until you get Heartless Summoning and to remove those hexproof guys, also only needs one black mana so it's easier to cast than Geth's Verdict. Just a thought. =)
This deck makes me think of artifact creatures. I have an Animar, Soul of Elements EDH deck, and it can drop creatures ridiculously quickly, but sooner or later I have to pay colored mana for most of them and that slows me down. I've added more artifact creatures to that deck and taken out most creatures with multiple colored mana in their mana costs and I can often play my entire hand if I do it in the right order.

So when I look up artifact creatures that would fit in this deck (aggressive fatties, expensive but not too expensive), I find several that would suit your deck, like Phyrexian Metamorph, Steel Hellkite and Wurmcoil Engine. Also, Clone Shell might be nice. -1/-1 doesn't even matter to a creature that you want to die. I don't know which of those you have or are within your budget, but any of them would fit well here. As for what to cut, I'd suggest some of the removal just because this deck is based on creatures, but also, maybe a land or two? The Titans are the only cards here (so far, assuming you don't add more expensive stuff of course) that require more than five lands to play even without a Heartless Summoning out, and like you said, your priests act like Dark Rituals. 22 or 23 lands would probably be enough. 
I'm contemplating the following:

-1x Swamp
-4x Assault Strobe

+3x Phyrexian Metamorph
+2x Altar's Reap

It struck me that Metamorph is a very reasonable 1 mana and 2 life with Heartless Summoning. That would make him an even better way to spend a free mana than Assault Strobe...why give Inferno Titan double-strike when I can just make a copy of him? And it's quite possible both can have haste if it's following a turn 3 Urabrask.

More importantly, Metamorph is one of the key things that can kill legendary hexproofers like Geist and Thrun, which I've found to be quite annoying. 

Reap is a bit of draw (which the deck is short on) that can also make the opponent waste a killspell.

Thoughts?
For card draw, you can also use Culling Dais. Its definitely a strong game-player. And I'm fairly sure you can respond to the resolution of Urabrask's Priest to sacrifice it with either Dais or Reap before it dies to Summoning.
For card draw, you can also use Culling Dais. Its definitely a strong game-player. And I'm fairly sure you can respond to the resolution of Urabrask's Priest to sacrifice it with either Dais or Reap before it dies to Summoning.

I've never been the biggest fan of Culling Dais. It seems like I'd be less likely to guarantee the two cards Reap would net me.
Reap is much faster than Dias and its color friendly. Metamorph is a good card but I think simply adding more Myr Superion is better. It relies on Summoning true but free 4/5s are insanely powerful and it can come down before Titan to make them blow answers early. When Innistrad goes live on MTGO I'm running this though it looks like so much fun. Also, do you need 4 Urabrask? 
Reap is much faster than Dias and its color friendly. Metamorph is a good card but I think simply adding more Myr Superion is better. It relies on Summoning true but free 4/5s are insanely powerful and it can come down before Titan to make them blow answers early. When Innistrad goes live on MTGO I'm running this though it looks like so much fun. Also, do you need 4 Urabrask? 



I think Urabrask is the most devastating early drop imaginable. A hasted 3/3 hitting turn three is bad enough, but then it taps anything you might set out to stop it. It's also one of the surest ways to end the game fast by following it with some hasted heavy hits with Titans.

Metamorph is just far more versatile than Superion, simple as that. T2 Summoning, T3 Urabrask, T4 Priest - Inferno Titan - Metamorph copying Titan.

You get two hasted 5/5 Inferno Titans that, unblocked, can deal 22 damage on Turn 4.

If you save 2 Priests for turn 4, you can also afford a morbid-powered 5-damage Brimstone Volley.
Previously, I had been running a R/B Heartless deck around Kuldotha Phoenix. I think I'm switching to this version. Too much artifact destruction out there.
Previously, I had been running a R/B Heartless deck around Kuldotha Phoenix. I think I'm switching to this version. Too much artifact destruction out there.



I was originally running Phoenix in the slot where Moltensteel is now. I just never had enough artifacts on the field at once for the Metalcraft to kick in. Moltensteel does much the same job by giving me a flying fatty, but with the added bonus of being able to dump both mana and life to possibly give it at least +9/+0 (if you dump 18 life into it, more if there's spare red mana). While that's pretty risky, it can easily be followed up with a Fling for what will likely be game-winning damage from a 12/3 flying artifact dragon. 

I also picked Moltensteel because he had the easiest out to cheap-cast him of all the fat monsters in the deck. With Heartless out, he's a mere two Mana...the net profit from a Priest could get him on the field fast. Naturally, this gets insane when Urabrask is on the field already and the dragon gets some haste. 
Good things with Heartless Summoning:

Titans, (Grave Titan does well with 1, less so with 2)
Artifacts (Solemn, Steel Hellkite, Wurmcoil Engine)
Bloodgift Demon (great with 1 or 2!)
Skinrender (Less good with 2)
Phrexian Rager (Solemn is prolly Better)
I was pondering whether I should find room for some Molten-Tail Masticore in this deck. It's pretty sweet with Heartless and it provides another great way to fling damage at the opponent.
I was pondering whether I should find room for some Molten-Tail Masticore in this deck. It's pretty sweet with Heartless and it provides another great way to fling damage at the opponent.


It does help in the "multiples of heartless isn't always good" department.
Okay so some tech I've been trying out: Sheoldred, Whispering One. Yes, she's 7-cost, but 5 with one Heartless out. She basically wins the long game, gives you sacrifice fodder for Liliana's, and helps turn the game around against Solar Flare if you land her just before their big turn. You can trade titans all day now: they can't. She also wins the mirror-match, due to the swampwalk. You only want to run one however.
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