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[Article] Card Discussion #1: Sire of Insanity

So I asked for some ideas in regards to article content on Roguedeckbuilder’s Facebook page. I definitely enjoy interacting with the community and getting your guys’s input on things ensures that I’m writing things you want to actually read rather than me just going off on random things. Got some really great suggestions and I will likely visit them all at some point. However, one comment brought up a really cool idea and that is card discussions (Thanks Joseph Hernandez for the idea). Not just any random card discussion though; I will periodically pick cards I believe could be powerful in Standard and attempt to point out its strengths/weaknesses and possibly throw it in a prototype deck. These cards will generally be teetering on the edge of being played regularly so some cards already see play in Standard of course (e.g. Vraska, the Unseen), just not as often as others (e.g. Polukranos, World Eater). Hopefully this will give the community some great brew ideas as well as I encourage everyone to leave their own thoughts on the cards and get some discussions going.

What I’m about to say is a mixture of both analyzing the major decks in Standard and my own general opinions about the card. This means there is a slight “fun” factor about my choice of card. Don’t worry, this won’t be the last card I talk about and I’m always open to discussing cards you guys suggest! Also, even though some of the cards that will be discussed are not great in a variety of decks, I’ll be looking at the cards mostly from a deck building perspective looking to unlock the power of the card, hopefully with your help! The goal is to find different ways to implement X card so it can possibly work. I could go on and on about cards but in order to keep these a bit shorter I’ll be more general/brief with my points.

Without further ado, the first card I want to look at is…

Playability (Strengths/Weaknesses)
We all know some fringe Rakdos Midrange decks play Sire of Insanity in the sideboard (usually for Control matchups). That being said, I believe it has mainboard potential considering the types of decks being played in Standard right now. So let’s start off with its potential against the current meta.

If you take a look at some of the main decks being played right now they all have one big thing in common and that’s card advantage. Now, I’m not saying ALL of them use draw engines (ie. R/W Burn) but the majority of them do.

– G/R/x Monsters has Courser of Kruphix and Domri Rade. Sometimes Garruk, Caller of Beasts
– B/x Devotion has Underworld Connections and Erebos, God of the Dead.
– Revelation decks have Divination, Sphinx’s Revelation, Jace, Architect of Thought.
– U/x Devotion has Bident of Thassa or Ephara, God of the Polis.

The current meta has a heavy emphasis on card advantage to keep pulling into more answers, threats, counters, etc. Sire of Insanity doesn’t care about any of that. He aims to turn the game into a battle of top decks while bashing you for 6 a turn. Strength wise, Sire of Insanity really only has one main use but I feel it’s a good enough reason to mainboard him right now. He forces opponents to deal with him the turn he’s played or force top decks for the rest of the game and even if they top deck into a card engine they have to utilize those extra draws efficiently to get the most out of the turn before their hand goes away again.

All that being said, he does have some glaring downsides:

– His cost is fairly high so few decks will accept his insanity.
– He is still susceptible to removal. Although the turn he’s played at least stops him from getting killed by sorcery/enchantment speed removal even if your opponent has them in hand.
– Relies on a fairly clean board state to close the game. If you’re already behind on board he could end up just getting multi-blocked/chumped.
– Requires preparation before unleashing hell. Using him improperly could put you in a worse position than you were before since you have to top deck yourself.

All of these reasons can explain how he doesn’t see much play. However, I definitely think Sire of Insanity has potential but he requires a deck that takes full advantage of his ability.

Potential Decks
Sadly, there aren’t too many decks for this guy. Rakdos Midrange is the only place he sees play but even then it’s only in the sideboard. So let’s try and help him get some spotlight shall we?

Example Deck: “Jund Insanity” by Michael Yee

So I felt going Jund opened up many different options for Sire of Insanity to thrive. Once he hits the board he discards your hand which can cause some problems so I thought including him in a graveyard plan can help him close out games much easier. Since Sire sends most your cards to the graveyard too, might as well put him in a deck that takes advantage of this. By getting rid of your opponents hands (and your own) it makes your graveyard creatures much more effective. The options in G/B also open up some ways to ensure he hits the board (and stays) in control matchups where his power is best used. Not to mention golgari cards have this sweet mechanic called Scavenge which means we get even more use out of creatures in the graveyard. By staying red we not only get Sire but we get access to one of the best topdeck-able cards in the format, Stormbreath Dragon.

Here’s a prototype deck I whipped up:

Creatures:
3x Sire of Insanity
2x Deadbridge Goliath
3x Deathrite Shaman
2x Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch
3x Sylvan Caryatid
3x Satyr Wayfinder
3x Dreg Mangler
3x Nighthowler
2x Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
2x Stormbreath Dragon
1x Shadowborn Demon

Spells:
1x Flesh / Blood
2x Hero’s Downfall
2x Dreadbore
2x Thoughtseize
1x Treasured Find
1x Rakdos’s Return
2x Commune with the Gods
1x Golgari Charm

Land:
4x Blood Crypt
4x Golgari Guildgate
4x Overgrown Tomb
2x Stomping Ground
3x Temple of Abandon
4x Temple of Malice

Sideboard:
4
x Duress
2x Mizzium Mortars
2x Rakdos’s Return
1x Golgari Charm
1x Stormbreath Dragon
2x Savage Summoning
1x Thoughtseize
2x Whip of Erebos

I would like to keep these card discussion articles a bit more concise than others so for any example decks I make with the card I’ll just do a deck tech in video form which will enable me to explain things easier for you guys as well as keep the articles shorter.

Jund Insanity Deck Tech:

Hope you guys enjoyed the first card discussion. Please leave comments either in the video, on the Roguedeckbuilder site, or in the Facebook group with your own thoughts on Sire of Insanity or my prototype deck!

And feel free to let me know how I can improve this series as well as any other cards you’d possibly like to see in the future!

– Michael Y.

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