Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,
Mathew from GenericBadMagic here for you with another deck tech!
Earlier this week I ran a poll on Twitter asking you, the people, to choose between a set review for Hour of Devastation or a deck tech for B/R Heckbent. The result was overwhelmingly in favour of Heckbent goodness!
So this is a list that wants to empty the hand onto the battlefield or into the graveyard as soon as possible and then rewards you for having one or fewer cards in hand!
Credit for this Zombie heavy Heckbent list must go to my friend Alan, not the same one from last time but Alan Bruce, another player from Abbey Games who I play alongside regularly. Let’s get into the meat of this list and hopefully we get this right!
4x Scrapeheap Scrounger
4x Prized Amalgam
3x Haunted Dead
3x Hazoret the Fervent
To start off we have three copies of Cryptbreaker in the one drop slot. Any zombies player knows about the utility this provides as an engine for drawing cards, but in this deck it is far more likely to be utilised for discarding cards and creating 2/2 Zombie tokens, turning what could be considered a sacrifice in most decks for your Zombie into a real upside.
Scrapheap Scrounger is a creature which serves as a card to discard through our many outlets, offering value as a returning threat for the cost of two mana and exiling another creature from your own graveyard.
Prized Amalgam combines well with both Cryptbreaker as a discard target and also with Scrapheap Scrounger, returning during the next end step if any creature is cast from the graveyard. This can create a massive tempo swing, especially if you return Scrounger when the opponent ends their second main phase. On the opponents end step any and all Prized Amalgams will return to the battlefield tapped, meaning as soon as your turn starts, they are untapped and can attack.
Haunted Dead is a 2/2 black Zombie which creates a 1/1 white Spirit token on entering the battlefield for four mana. While this is not impressive in itself, this card really shines in the graveyard. Paying two mana and discarding two cards to return it from your graveyard not only creates another Spirit token but also brings back your prized amalgams as well helping you maintain Heckbent status to keep our next creature online.
I have seen the following sequence play out:
Opponent goes first-
Turn one, Lightning Axe the opponents one drop, discard Haunted Dead as an additional cost.
Turn 2: Land Drop, pass turn.
This puts nine power on the board for two mana and the cost of discarding two cards that then hit the battlefield anyway, insane value.
Hazoret, The Fervent, the red god of Amonkhet is a 5/4 for four mana which has Haste and Indestructible. As with all of the Amonkhet gods Hazoret has a condition to fulfil before she can attack or block. In her case, we must have one or fewer cards in hand, this is certainly not difficult in this deck and on many occasions she will be able to attack on the same turn she enters the battlefield. If, for some reason, you do not currently meet that criteria, her activated ability allows you to discard a card and deal two damage to each opponent for three mana, hopefully putting herself back online.
So we have all of this discarding among our creatures, what do we want to discard? Well we have seven spells with the keyword Madness and other spells with discarding as an integral aspect. Let’s talk through them:
4x Lightning Axe
4x Unlicensed Disintegration
3x Fiery Temper
4x Alms of the Vein
Lightning Axe is a one drop red Instant spell which deals five damage to target creature, taking care of most moderate sized threats in the format. What would normally be a downside in most other decks is that we need to discard a card or pay another five mana. Due to Heckbent and our spells with Madness we should always be choosing to discard a card. Our next spells are excellent choices for discarding:
Fiery Temper would normally cost one mana to cast from your hand and in return deals three damage to target creature or player. But, if you discard this, you have the choice of playing it from exile for one mana, still dealing three damage to target creature or player, effectively becoming a standard legal lightning bolt nine times out of ten in this deck.
Alms of the Vein is similar to Fiery Temper as it is also a three drop spell, but while Temper is an instant, Alms is usually cast at Sorcery speed to drain three life from your opponent. When we discard it to Madness though, it gives us the option to pay one mana instead for the same effect.
Time to “cut” away from the Madness theme now (great pun right?) and look at Cut//Ribbons, an Aftermath card from Amonkhet. The side we play from our hand is a two mana Sorcery which deals four damage to target creature, offering solid removal at most stages of the game. But Ribbons, a Sorcery for two black mana plus X mana of any colour which we cast from our graveyard is an excellent mana sink, causing the opponent to lose as much life as we can afford to make happen, this card can and simply does win games in the later stages and if allowed to sit in your graveyard for any period of time it represents a huge threat for your opponent to think about.
Our last Instant is Unlicenced Disintegration, a three mana unconditional removal Spell which has added value if one of your Scrapheap Scroungers happens to be on the battlefield. Even without this it will take care of all non Indestructible or Hexproof threats your opponent can throw at you!
3x Faith of the Devoted
So for Enchantments we only have one card, of which we keep three copies in the main board. Faith of the Devoted rewards us for discarding cards as we can pay an additional one mana to drain two life from the opponent, gaining two life in the process. This helps to maintain our life-totals, outrace other aggro decks and transition into the mid and late games without losing too much advantage.
4x Foreboding Ruins
4x Canyon Slough
2x Spire of Industry
Our mana base is fairly straightforward, Foreboding Ruins gives us the choice of either Black or Red mana from the turn it comes into play, having to reveal a Mountain or Swamp is no real downside when it means our land comes in untapped. Canyon Slough will always enter tapped but has great synergy with with Faith of the Devoted as a cycling card, letting us drain the opponent and also hopefully drawing into a more relevant card, dependent on the situation. Spire of Industry also may seem like a strange inclusion but in games where we face a little graveyard hate and need creatures on the board it helps to hard-cast the Prized Amalgams by generating blue mana for us.
3x Magma Spray
2x Tormenting Voice
3x Trespasser’s Curse
3x Bloodrage Brawler
2x Yahenni’s Expertise
In the sideboard we have three copies of Magma Spray to deal with the opponents Scrapheap Scroungers and other recurring threats and Tormenting Voice to draw cards when we are in top deck mode and serve as a discard outlet.
Trespassers Curse drains the opponent whenever a creature enters the battlefield under their control, a good piece of sideboard tech against mid range and go-wide strategies, particularly those that generate tokens.
Bloodrage Brawler is a 4/3 for the cost of two mana and when it enters the battlefield you must discard a card. Putting four power on the board for two mana, especially for the additional cost of discarding a card in this deck is just insane value and I think an argument can probably be made for putting this guy into main board dependent on the meta.
Yahenni’s expertise is a good sweeper for four mana in black for those mid-range match ups and also gives you a free cast of a spell with CMC three or less for added value.
Glorybringer caused so much hype when Amonkhet dropped as a five mana 4/4 Flying Dragon with Haste. Already a very good deal and a dangerous combat threat which is very difficult for the opponent to play around, the ability to exert it on attacking and deal four damage to target non-dragon creature can be pivotal to removing blockers and clearing a path for lethal damage.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got for this deck right now but let me know what you think, what you would change, try it out and enjoy it!
In the meantime, if you’re in the Arbroath area in Scotland stop on by Abbey games. You can also find them at https://www.facebook.com/Abbeyvideogames/
Catch me here or on twitter @genericbadmtg and as always, have a good one!