Muckwading

Black and red are home to some of the most aggressive creatures in the format at the moment. Black has two different 2-power 1-drops in Gravecrawler and Diregraf Ghoul, and red's Stromkirk Noble can potentially be much larger. Stormblood Berserker gives you 3 power for 2, as does Magic 2013's Crimson Muckwader. Combined, these creatures present a powerful early game that not many decks can compete with. Here's the deck I put together with them:

The Creatures

Diregraf Ghoul
Diregraf Ghoul is among the most powerful 1-drops in the format, providing a 2/2 body with only the very small drawback of entering the battlefield tapped. It can't be killed by Gut Shot, and very few creatures can stand up to it in combat in the early turns of the game.

Although Diregraf Ghoul is the only other Zombie in the deck, Gravecrawler is plenty good enough as a sort of Elite Vanguard. It gives you another creature that can swing in for 2 on the second turn and turn on bloodthirst for Stormblood Berserker.

Stromkirk Noble only attacks for 1 the first time, but if it gets through, it'll attack for 2 the following turn, then for 3, and even for 4 or 5 if you can keep the road clear of blockers. Arc Trail does great work here, often getting rid of two creatures and making room for your Noble to swing in and pick up another counter.

Stormblood Berserker will almost always be able to come down as a 3/3 on turn two, thanks to the ten 1-drops in the deck. Its evasion will let it swing right past chump-blockers and Restoration Angels to keep the damage flowing even once your opponent starts putting together a defense.

Crimson Muckwader
Crimson Muckwader is another 2-drop with 3 power. Although it doesn't have evasion, its regeneration ability can discourage opponents from blocking with creatures that might otherwise trade with it. You can also leave mana open to play around dangerous sweepers like Bonfire of the Damned that would otherwise wipe out your entire army.

Soulcage Fiend may only be a 3/2 for 3, but if your opponent kills it off, the Demon will still take away one last chunk of your opponent’s life total. Although obviously not as powerful as Geralf's Messenger, this unassuming creature does a fairly good imitation for a common.

Vampire Nighthawk has flying to help you push through more damage, lifelink to help win races, and deathtouch discourages your opponent form blocking with a Restoration Angel. In a pinch, you can even leave it back to make your opponent think twice about attacking with his Titan or other large creature.

The Spells

Pillar of Flame
Pillar of Flame truly shines when taking out creatures with undying such as Strangleroot Geist and Geralf's Messenger, but it can also remove Insectile Aberrations or Birds of Paradise with ease, taking care of almost every early threat in the format.

Arc Trail clears the way for your 1-drops to come barreling through, often taking out two opposing creatures simultaneously. If your opponent only has one creature, you can still use it as a sort of Searing Blaze, getting rid of the blocker and dealing a point or two of extra damage.

Dismember clears away larger blockers such as Blade Splicer tokens and Restoration Angels, making it even more difficult for your opponent to stabilize. It's also a valuable tool for fighting the increasingly popular infect decks.

Brimstone Volley can deal with a larger creature in a pinch, but its main purpose is to hit your opponent for 5 when his life total is shrinking low. Because of the speed of this deck, if your opponent does stabilize, he will rarely have very much life left, creating an opportunity to finish him off with this 3-mana Beacon of Destruction.

The Sideboard

Manic Vandal
Manic Vandal is an excellent tool for fighting off Sword of War and Peace, Runechanter's Pike, and Birthing Pod, each of which has become a pillar of the current format. Not only does it destroy these troublesome cards, it gives you another creature on board as well, and not an irrelevant one in this type of deck.

Nihil Spellbomb can fight off Runechanter's Pike as well as any reanimator decks you might come across. It also deals some nice splash damage against Snapcaster Mage, getting rid of every possible target and turning the blue powerhouse into a bad Ambush Viper.

Combust is among the best tools for fighting Delver decks. It kills any creature your opponent might have save Geist of Saint Traft and Blade Splicer tokens, and it can't be countered by those pesky Mana Leaks. It can still be countered by Restoration Angel's ability, however, so you'll want to avoid casting it when your opponent has 4 mana available unless you're targeting a Restoration Angel already on the battlefield.

Gut Shot helps you punish decks that rely on mana dorks even more severely, making it almost impossible for your opponent to get off to a fast start. It allows you to slow your opponent down by a turn without slowing yourself down at all.

Mark of Mutiny is a devastating finisher against decks such as Wolf Run that rely on large creatures. A turn-four Primeval Titan for your opponent often means a turn-four win for you. The +1/+1 counter is just an added bonus, since allowing you to deal 1 more damage is more likely to be relevant than having your opponent's creature be slightly larger if he somehow lives long enough to get it back.

Playtesting

Mono-Green Infect – Game 1

Glistener Elf
I lost the roll and took a mulligan, keeping a hand of Mountain, Swamp, Diregraf Ghoul, Gravecrawler, Crimson Muckwader, and Brimstone Volley. My opponent opened with a Forest and Glistener Elf, and I drew a Diregraf Ghoul, played my Swamp, and cast it. I passed the turn.

My opponent played a Forest, then attacked for 1 with Glistener Elf and passed the turn. I drew a Mountain, played it, and attacked for 2. I cast Crimson Muckwader and passed the turn.

My opponent played a Forest, cast Ichorclaw Myr, and passed the turn. I drew Brimstone Volley, played a Mountain, and cast Diregraf Ghoul. I ended my turn.

My opponent cast Wild Defiance, then played a Forest and cast Glistener Elf. He passed the turn. I drew Soulcage Fiend, cast Gravecrawler, and passed the turn.

Wild Defiance
My opponent cast a second Wild Defiance and passed the turn. I drew Stromkirk Noble and attacked with Gravecrawler. My opponent took 2, and I cast the Noble and passed the turn.

My opponent attacked with everything, paying 2 life to cast Apostle's Blessing on a Glistener Elf, giving it +6/+6 and protection from black. I blocked the pumped Elf with Crimson Muckwader, the second Elf with Diregraf Ghoul, and the Ichorclaw Myr with Stromkirk Noble. My opponent paid another 2 life to Gut Shot his second Glistener Elf, making it plenty large enough to take down my Ghoul. My three creatures died, and he passed the turn. I drew Stormblood Berserker and attacked with Gravecrawler, dropping my opponent to 10. I cast the Berserker and passed the turn. My opponent attacked with his three creatures again, and I died to a Titanic Growth on the unblocked one.

Sideboarding:
−2 Brimstone Volley
−1 Soulcage Fiend
+3 Gut Shot

Mono-Green Infect – Game 2

Gut Shot
I kept a hand of two Swamps, a Mountain, Gut Shot, Pillar of Flame, Soulcage Fiend, and Vampire Nighthawk. I opened with a Mountain and passed the turn. My opponent started off with a Forest and a Glistener Elf.

I drew a Mountain and cast Pillar of Flame on his Elf. He paid 2 life for a Mutagenic Growth, and I paid 2 life for a Gut Shot to seal the deal. I played a Swamp and passed the turn. My opponent played a Forest and cast Ichorclaw Myr before passing the turn.

I drew a Swamp, played it, and cast Vampire Nighthawk. I ended my turn. My opponent attacked with the Myr. I traded my Nighthawk for it, and he played Inkmoth Nexus and passed the turn.

I drew a second Vampire Nighthawk and cast it. I then played a Mountain and ended my turn. My opponent played a Forest and passed the turn.

I drew a Mountain, played it, and cast Crimson Muckwader and Soulcage Fiend. I passed the turn. My opponent cast Wild Defiance and passed the turn.

I drew a Swamp, dropped my opponent to 12 with my pair of 3/2s, and passed the turn. My opponent activated Inkmoth Nexus, paid 2 life to give it protection from black and +3/+3 with Apostle's Blessing, then put a Rancor on it and attacked for 6. He ended his turn, and Rancor went back to his hand.

I drew Arc Trail and attacked with everything, putting my opponent down to 2. I then cast the Arc Trail to finish him off.

Mono-Green Infect – Game 3

Vampire Nighthawk
I kept a hand of Dragonskull Summit, Mountain, Swamp, Arc Trail, Gut Shot, Pillar of Flame, and Stormblood Berserker. My opponent started with just a Forest this time, and I drew and played a Mountain before passing the turn.

My opponent played a second Forest and cast Ichorclaw Myr before passing the turn. I drew Vampire Nighthawk, played my Dragonskull Summit, and cast Pillar of Flame on the Myr. My opponent countered it with Mental Misstep, and I killed the creature with Gut Shot instead. I ended my turn.

My opponent played a Forest, cast Wild Defiance, and passed the turn. I drew a Swamp, played it, and cast Vampire Nighthawk before ending my turn. My opponent played another Forest and passed the turn.

I drew another Swamp and attacked for 2 with my Nighthawk. I cast Stormblood Berserker after combat, then played a Mountain and passed the turn. My opponent cast a second Wild Defiance and passed the turn.

Blight Mamba
I drew Gravecrawler and attacked for 5 with my creatures. I cast the Gravecrawler and ended my turn. My opponent cast Green Sun's Zenith for 2, finding a Blight Mamba. He passed the turn. I swung for 2 with Gravecrawler and passed the turn.

My opponent cast two copies of Rancor on his Blight Mamba, then attacked. I blocked with Vampire Nighthawk, and he paid to life to cast Apostle's Blessing on the Mamba, giving it protection from black and +6/+6. I took 8 poison counters, and my Nighthawk bit the dust. He passed the turn. I drew Stromkirk Noble and attacked with my two creatures, dropping my opponent to 2 and finishing him off with Arc Trail again.

Wrapping Up

Despite the fact that I never managed to draw a Dismember in these games, the deck proved that it still has enough burn to make it difficult for your opponent to leave one of your creatures around. The suite of aggressive creatures can often close out a game very quickly, and even spells like Arc Trail can be used as finishers in a pinch. If you're looking for a deck that can take total control of the early game, or if you just like the idea of killing opponents with Crimson Muckwaders, be sure to give this deck a try.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can find me on the forums under Twinblaze, on Twitter under @Twinblaze2, or simply leave a comment below.