From Sligh to Bomat

One week it to the preview season for Dominaria, and all ready there is a buzz about what this set is going to do to Standard. Everyone is as keen as we are to start brewing with this new expansion, and in the coming weeks and months we will be sure to bring you all the fresh decks and strategies as we discover them. I’ve already started on a brew or two, but I’m just waiting to see if there are any more cards coming that have not been released yet, to make sure the decks are the best they can be before we unveil them. But just because there is a shake up in the Standard format, that doesn’t mean that all has been quite in Modern.

This last weekend at the SCG Open in Milwaukee, Justin Elkins (a well-known player on the Open scene) turned up on camera with modern take on a classic strategy. Not only did he win his feature match in quite impressive fashion, but also managed to finish the two-day tournament in a respectable 68th position. The deck immediately caught my eye, and not just because it mono-red deck (though that might have had something to do with it). But rather because Justin’s deck holds more than a passing resemblance the granddaddy of all Red decks, Sligh.

I’ve mentioned it before, but for those of you who might not remember the halcyon days of 1996 Sligh was an aggro deck named after Paul Sligh, who took the deck to a 2nd place finish at a Pro Tour qualifier event. The deck was originally created by Jay Schneider, a well know deck builder at the time, but since Sligh was the first to experience success with it his was the name that got associated with it. Unlike the more modern ‘Burn’ decks we see today, Sligh used low costing creatures to overwhelm the opponents board and focused on keeping blockers off the table with its direct damage spells. In that sense, one could say that the current builds of Hazoret-Red in Standard are sort of the spiritual successors to the Sligh decks of old. And to be fair, Justin’s deck has a lot in common with it as well.

Bomat Red by Justin Elkins

Creatures (23)
3 Bomat Courier
4 Monastery Swiftspear
2 Grim Lavamancer
3 Harsh Mentor
2 Dire Fleet Daredevil
3 Eidolon of the Great Revel
3 Goblin Rabblemaster
3 Rampaging Ferocidon
Non-Creature Spells (18)
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Shard Volley
4 Searing Blaze
1 Searing Blood
4 Molten Rain
4 Rift Bolt
Lands (19)
7 Mountain
4 Ramunap Ruins
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Bloodstained Mire
Sideboard (15)
3 Dragon’s Claw
3 Exquisite Firecraft
3 Relic of Progenitus
3 Skullcrack
3 Smash to Smithereens

Image result for bomat courier art

Bomat Red (as the deck has come to be called) runs a slew of cheap but efficient creature, starting out with three copies the name sake card, Bomat Courier. A great one drop that has the ability to refill the hand of an aggressive player, the Courier is joined in the one drop slot by old favourites Monastery Swiftspear and Grim Lavamancer. A playset of the Swiftspear works well with the burn spells the deck runs help keep up the pressure, while the Lavamancer is a tried and tested creature capable of some real damage if left unchecked. Moving into the two drops we find three copies of Harsh Mentor, Dire Fleet Daredevil and Eidolon of the Great Revel. The Mentor can be a pain for any deck that run fetchlands and is pretty good at holding Affinity in check. The Daredevil allows you to use your opponents graveyard as a resource, while the Eidolon works to punish opponent’s cheap spells and stop Storm in it’s tracks.

The final two creatures in the deck are Goblin Rabblemaster and Rampaging Ferocidon. The Rabblemaster provides a steady stream of hasty threats every turn, and in conjunction with those goblin tokens can be a game ender in its own right. The Ferocidon might seem like a bit of a nonbo, considering we are very creature heavy. But with cards like Lightning Helix and creatures like Kitchen Finks been an ever-present nuisance, having the ability to shutdown life gain is not to be underestimated. It also taunts your opponent when they cast and flashback a Lingering Souls for blockers, which is very satisfying.

The deck runs a heap of direct damage burn spells too, with playsets of Lightning Bolt, Searing Blaze and Rift Bolt, as well as singletons of Shard Volley and Searing Blood for when you just don’t have enough creature removal. What is more unique however, is the four copies of Molten Rain that Justin is running. Now running land destruction in an aggro might seem a little out of place. But with decks like Humans, Tron, Affinity, and the numerous three colour decks at the top of the format, nonbasic lands are all the rage. It not only takes your opponent off curve but will also allow you to keep piling on the damage, which can’t be a bad thing.

The mana base is fairly straight forward. Seven Mountains and eight fetchlands to go find them make up the crux of the lands, but we also see four copies of Ramunap Ruins to help give the deck some more reach. For the sideboard we have a nice neat package of three ofs. Dragon’s Claw for when the deck comes across Burn or 8Whack. Exquisite Firecraft to handle control decks, as well as Relic of Progenitus to shrink Tarmogoyf or battle Dredge. Skullcrack comes in handle when the Ferocidon isn’t enough to stop life gain, and finally Smash to Smithereens to deal with artifacts.

And there you have it, Bomat Red for Modern. The deck looks pretty fun, and I might have to sleeve it up for myself at my next Modern event. But what do you think? It is worth noting that like with Sligh, Justin didn’t create the deck, and he did change some components to personalise the brew. So that been said, what changes would you make to the deck? Why not let us know in the comments below, and while you are there why not subscribe to the site to keep up to date with all the latest from us here at Master of Magics. But until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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