Tiny Tuesday- Zurgo Bellstriker

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Welcome to Tiny Tuesday! Last week I got into a little bit of a brewing kick, which was mostly inspired by how much I enjoyed crafting my first Tiny Leaders deck. I found myself brewing a number of Tiny Leaders builds, and have decided to dedicate Tuesdays to discussion of a potential Tiny Leaders shell. These posts will both serves as ways for me to generate ideas for the community as well as a place for readers to comment on things that I may have missed myself.

This week, I’m going to highlight new RDW all-star Zurgo Bellstriker. Previously, Zo-Zu, the Punisher was the go-to Tiny Leader for burn decks, but I like Zurgo a lot better for this role. Zurgo immediately puts pressure on opposing life totals while Zo-Zu taxes a resource that a lot of Tiny Leaders decks don’t especially care about while also having a fragile, inefficient body. Zo-Zu is sweet when your opponent is trying to Valakut, but otherwise I’m non-plussed.

Zurgo, on the other hand, allows us to capitalize on the type of card that is not only historically great for burn, but also excels in a format where larger creatures are generally not allowed- that is we get to play a turn 1 2/2 and follow it up with a Searing Blaze or Searing Blood. Lunge, Arc Lightning, and Flames of the Firebrand all do reasonable imitations of these cards, but they’re a little too inefficient for my taste.

I do like being able to split damage with cards like Forked Bolt and Twin Bolt to keep decks like Ezuri in check, but mostly I just want the maindeck to be a streamlined pile of burn and manlands. This is my current Zurgo build:

I’m on the fence about whether or not to include Forgotten Cave, as it’s really bad when you actually want a land, but other than that I like this list, and if you’re into burn it’s really fun to play.

Like the list? Anything I missed? Let me know your thoughts on Zurgo in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Tiny Tuesday- Zurgo Bellstriker

    1. 25 is definitely higher than 20, but always having a 2/2 on turn one is a powerful tool. It does make things like Lava Spike feel a little silly, but efficiency is key.

    1. I like it better when you’re drawing cards and are looking to make more land drops. It’s a little expensive for this deck, but it’s definitely a consideration.

  1. Love this plan for a weekly column! Keep it up. Leaders I am interested in: Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Shu Yun, The Silent Tempest, a sultai leader and build.

      1. Having never actually *played* the format I’m eager to know how to make decks that beat combo work well. I’ve heard combo is very powerful and popular. Shu Yun, and Jeskai/Izzet in general seem good because of access to powerful counter magic while also having the burn and fast attacking elements available. I also hear that removal and graveyard strategies are common, so Alesha seems like a nice was to respond.

  2. I have not looked into what to cut, but Gutternsnipe seems exeptionally striong with all the spells you are playing. If you can play him and a burn spell in the same turn, it is like he had haste and was unblockable; beyond that, he gets much, much better.

    P.S.: Rabblemaster is listed as a spell, that seems wrong 😉

  3. I suggest Bonfire of the Damned, Isochron Scepter, Cursed Scroll, and Breaking Point. I’ve enjoyed them all immensely in burn decks.

    Breaking Point is especially powerful in this format, as the two options (they lose all of their creatures, or they take six damage) are both very efficient for 1RR.

    1. Scepter and Cursed Scroll are both on my maybe list, but were ruled out to inefficiency. They may find their way in depending on performance and metagame.

      I’m really against cards like Breaking Point due to the punisher mechanic being pretty weak, but if it’s working for you then more power to you. Playing this format is all about having fun, after all.

      Bonfire is definitely a staple of this format. I can’t see not playing it in a red deck.

  4. This looks like good! have you considered ball lightning,and maybe hellion crucible as a man land?also have you played against cop:red? seems like a world of pain to play against :\

    1. Hellion Crucible is one that slipped my mind. Being colorless and a little mana intensive aren’t great, but I like the idea.

      Ball Lightning I had considered, but it dies to a lot of things without gaining any value, which isn’t what I want to be doing for three.

      CoP: Red sounds like a nightmare. Haha. Not really sure what to do about that one. I guess if they have it, good on them.

  5. Would you guys be interested in some full length articles on tiny leaders? I’m really in love with the format so I play and build decks for it all the time. I had considered writing about it in the near future. The positive response here seems to indicate an interest in the format. Thoughts on full articles on this topic?

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