Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded

Published January 16th, 2020

The God of the Forge has become the most expensive to cast out of the Theros: Beyond Death mono-coloured Gods but is also the strongest at 7 power. Granting Haste to your board, and while narrower, he does have a built-in Sneak Attack for red or artifact creatures. We’re sure as hell going to pull some tricks with that!

Synergies

Sneak Attack: Getting the obvious one out of the way is the alternative option for the deck. Costing 2 mana less to activate without the red or artifact creature restriction and adding Haste, it’s exciting to have a similar effect as our Indestructible Commander, but the original is just great.

Erratic Portal: Don’t want to sacrifice your creature? Just bounce it back to your hand! There, problem solved. This Exodus rare is the original Crystal Shard without the blue colour identity restriction. It can be used for utility, defence, and offence to keep your opponents wary of tapping out.

Sundial of the Infinite: Maybe you don’t want to have to pay to drop the creature back in. Once the triggers are all on the stack, just clear it and end the turn with Sundial of the Infinite. This card has seen many synergies with different cards to avoid negative effects but it can also hinder your opponents during your turn. Perhaps at the cost of the rest of your turn but if your opponent would try to cast a spell at the end of your turn, just forcefully end it yourself. Exiling all spells and abilities on the stack, wasting their resource, and not caring about losing a few phases because Purphoros works at instant speed.

Conjurer’s Closet: Rather than sacrifice the creature, just blink it at the end of turn. It’s now a new object so you can also disregard the sacrifice trigger; just make sure to stack your triggers properly. Of course, this can only target one creature at a time, but depending on the creature, it could very well be enough.

Combos

Kiki-jiki, Mirror Breaker + Zealous Conscripts: A quick infinite army finisher that you can slot into any red deck. Individually effective as Kiki-Jiki and its token generation is absolutely deadly while Zealous Conscripts can take anything for the turn from an opposing threat to Planeswalkers ready to ultimate.

Helm of the Host + Godo, Bandit Warlord/Combat Celebrant: Technically infinite combat phase but really you’re just sending tokens made by Helm of the Host into your opponents until they die. Godo is the primary option here being able to tutor Helm onto the field. With Hammer of Nazahn you can equip everything the Godo tokens tutor up to the original and rip through your opponents.

Neheb, the Eternal + Aggravated Assault: It only takes 5 damage to an opponent to create infinite combat phases and creature untaps. Neheb can potentially generate even more than that, giving you tons of options such as bringing in more attackers with Purphoros. With 1 more devotion, you can just keep charging in with Purphoros himself.

Hellkite Charger + Sword of Feast and Famine: A pseudo infinite combat phase generator since it requires hitting an opponent

Utility Creatures

Purphoros and Sneak Attack act as our instant speed responses, so loading up on useful creatures for the deck is important. Here are some of the tricks that can make mono-red surprisingly reactive.

Enter the Battlefield:

Dire Fleet Daredevil: Using this in Purphoros against control decks can functionally give you a Snapcaster Mage, using their own counterspells against them. Funny moves in mono-red.

Duplicant: Dropping into exile a creature and take their power and toughness for itself.

Mindclaw Shaman: Take a look at your opponent’s hand and find something fun. If you drop it in with Purphoros, you also get around timing restrictions so you could play that Temporal Manipulation or Wrath of God instantly.


Activated Abilities:

Feldon of the Third Path: Mono-red’s pseudo reanimator enabler here is extremely effective value if it remains on the board. As a Purphoros trick, for 6 mana you can turn the tide of a game. Bringing in an extra body from the graveyard to reuse their effect or for combat purposes, Feldon is a proven Commander and a useful pseudo recursion card.

Heartless Hidetsugu: This is one of the main cards I want to play in this deck, especially in a multiplayer game. Suddenly, the swing that takes out half an opponent’s life takes them out of the game. By dropping it in during the end of turn phase of the turn prior to yours, you’ll also get two activations typically bringing your opponents to 10 or less life. Hopefully, that’s low enough for Purphoros to throw threats in to finish them off.

Magus of the Wheel: Pay 3 mana to bring it in with Purphoros and then an additional 2 mana to Wheel of Fortune right before your turn to refill your hand with threats and disrupt your opponents.

Support Cards

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle: Mono-reds mountain landfall to a Lightning Bolt effect land. Valakut is very effective, counts as a colourless source, and can be copied with Thespian Stage. This land is the main reason why I run so many of the basic land support cards are in the deck. Thawing Glacier, Terrain Generator, Myriad Landscape, Sword of the Animist, and to an extent Expedition Map and Endless Atlas.

Stranglehold: To keep your opponents in check or more just to hinder them from any sort of search or extra turn effects. This is the best effect to prevent your opponents from doing either.

Flameshadow Conjuring: Just huge value for one mana. In addition to dropping in a creature, whether normally or with Purphoros, you get a token of that creature with Haste. It has the same timing to lose it “at the beginning of the next end step,” so bringing it in during the previous end step will still let you keep it. On top of that, you can still use the Sundial of the Infinite trick.

Keldon Firebombers: A little land destruction because I’m so nice and fun. Firebombers should leave Purphoros with 3 lands, enough to keep dropping in creature threats as needed while you recover the board.

Summary

A very different strategy for Bronze-Blooded than God of the Forge and it may suit some players more. Rather than landing God of the Forge and going wide with tokens we create constant threats for the board. While red is limited in resources we can make up for a lot of it with versatility. If you like red, Sneak Attack and aggro this might be a good deck for you.

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Article by Cascade.Cascade

The editor-in-chief and creator of Command Beacon. They started playing Magic during the Scars of Mirrodin block and hasn’t been able to stop since.

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