Kiln Fiend Aggro-Combo – Historic Deck Tech
Hey all! Today I’m showing off a Kiln Fiend hyper-aggro deck that plays a lot like a combo deck. Best played in Best-of-1, the premise is that you cast a Kiln fiend or an Adeliz with a couple of Wizards then combo off with 1-mana cantrips to make your creatures huge and swing for lethal damage as early as turn 4! Check out the decklist below. Enjoy!
This deck functions very much like a combo deck in that the idea is to draw into specific combo pieces, then put them all together to end your opponent (hopefully) in one big turn. This particular deck accomplishes that by combining one or more of our 16 creatures with a whole bunch of cheap spells, most of which are cantrips.
Kiln Fiend is the bread and butter of the deck, since its triggered ability gives it a full +3/+0 every time you cast an instant or sorcery spell. This basically turns every single cantrip in the deck into a free Lightning Bolt. As you might imagine, this can kill the opponent pretty quickly.
Of course, we can’t always draw a Kiln Fiend so in order to keep the deck consistent we have to put in other creatures that fill the same role. For this, we have Wee Dragonauts. Wee Dragonauts costs one more mana than Kiln Fiend, and only gets +2/+0. Turning your cantrips to Shocks is a bit worse than turning them into Bolts, but the faeries make up for this in other ways. First off they fly, so they tend to be pretty good against aggro decks that are good at gumming up the ground and simply blocking out Kiln Fiend.
The second thing that the Dragonauts do well is that they synergize with our other combo creature: Adeliz the Cinder Wind. Adeliz gives each Wizard on the battlefield +1/+1 every time you cast a cantrip. This includes herself! An Adeliz and a couple of Wizards can spell game over for the opponent just as fast as a Kiln Fiend combo.
Finally, the last creature in the list is Dreadhorde Arcanist. Not only does it give us more triggers of our pumping creatures’ abilities by recurring our one-mana spells from the graveyard, it also benefits from Adeliz’s triggered ability. Often times the extra card or damage from recasting an Opt or a Warlord’s Fury is the difference-maker.
As you might imagine, the deck just sort of falls apart without spells to cast. Because of this, we run full playsets of the three best one-mana cantrips currently available: Opt, Warlord’s Fury and Crash Through.
Opt serves the obvious purpose of giving us some card filtering and replacing itself, but the other two bring some combat power to the battlefield. Warlord’s Fury makes sure our opponent can’t just trade with our Kiln Fiend, which has a measly 2 toughness, by giving all of our creatures First Strike. Crash Through forces our massively-pumped creatures through boards gummed up with tiny baby creatures by giving everything trample. All of these cards replace themselves, and because of the high density of spells in the deck we’re more likely to be constrained by our available mana than we are to run out of cards.
The Pump and Burn Spells
Sometimes +3/+0 doesn’t cut it and you just need to get damage in a little bit faster. Rounding out the non-lands cards in the deck are 4 copies of Maximize Altitude, 4 copies of Samut’s Sprint and 4 copies of Shock.
Samut’s Sprint is an incredibly strong pump spell that basically forms its own little combo with our creatures. The +2/+1 is nice, but the Haste is what we’re really here for. On turn 3 playing a Kiln Fiend onto an otherwise empty board and following with Samut’s Sprint represents 6 damage out of nowhere, plus a free scry on top of that. It gets even nuttier with Dreadhorde Arcanist, who can recast the spell after attacking for another free +2/+1, another free trigger of any of our creatures’ abilities, and another scry.
Shock exists primarily to clear blockers out of the way while also pumping the Kiln Fiend, but every once in a while the extra two damage to the face is relevant. Kiln Fiend essentially turns Shock into a Lava Axe for a single red mana. As a result, it gets a full playset.
Finally, my personal favorite pump one mana spell in the deck is Maximize Altitude. This spell works triple-duty in this deck:
1) It gives the creature +1/+1 in addition to triggering all of the prowess abilities.
2) It gives the creature flying to escape blockers
3) It has Jump-Start, allowing us to turn useless lands into pure, unadulterated damage.
Not much to say here. We run 20 lands because we’re greed monsters and we have so much card draw that we’re almost bound to find them. Running few lands makes sure that we see as many cantrips as possible. No Temples or Fabled Passages because we want every land to enter untapped. This deck is extremely dependent on curving out nicely from turn 2 onward.
Often times your game is going to be won or lost based on how well you mulligan with this deck. While playing this deck you have to balance the need to put pressure on the opponent with the need to assemble your combo pieces, and it can be tough. After playing a dozen games or so you’ll start to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t, but at first just try to keep hands that have at least one Kiln Fiend, or Adeliz and one other Wizard. Greedy 1-landers are all but off-limits though, since we’re only running 20 lands. Understand that you’re more likely to draw into a one-mana spell than you are anything else, so keeping more creatures and less spells is better than the opposite.
All of that advice does make the prospect of drawing a good opening hand seem pretty bleak, but when in doubt remember that the deck runs 12 cantrips, so you’re likely to see a lot more cards than your opponent.
Who’s the Beatdown?
You are. You are always the beatdown. It is hard to imagine a deck that is more reliant on being the beatdown than this one. With only 4 interactive spells in the deck and a slew of low-toughness creatures that end the game if left unchecked, you’re always going to want to be on the offensive. Even against decks like mono-red, tools like Warlord’s Fury and Crash Through help you trade profitably and force damage through boards covered in 1/1’s. You simply do not have the tools to play passively. It’s be aggressive or die.
This deck is a fun, relatively budget-friendly deck for people that like to put pressure on the opponent from the very beginning. What it lacks in control and defensive fortitude it makes up for with sheer, unadulterated, lightning fast combo-aggro that turns your cantrips into Bolts and your Shocks into Lava Axes. Every time you land a Kiln Fiend you’re saying to your opponent, “Kill this or die.” If that sounds like your kind of deck, give it a whirl!
Deck 4 Kiln Fiend (ROE) 153 4 Opt (DAR) 60 5 Island (ANA) 62 7 Mountain (ANA) 64 4 Wee Dragonauts (GRN) 214 4 Warlord's Fury (DAR) 151 4 Crash Through (M19) 133 4 Dreadhorde Arcanist (WAR) 125 4 Adeliz, the Cinder Wind (DAR) 190 4 Samut's Sprint (WAR) 142 4 Maximize Altitude (GRN) 43 4 Shock (M20) 160 4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257 4 Sulfur Falls (DAR) 247