Red decks have had a long history in Magic the Gathering, starting way back with the original Sligh deck way back in 1996. Named after Paul Sligh the deck used low to the ground creatures such as Ironclaw Orcs and Goblins of the Flarg to get in damage, while using Burn spells to clear a path to victory. Aggressive red decks have evolved a lot in the years since then, taking up roots in a variant of formats from Modern to Legacy. Even today players try, and in the case of ProTour Hour of Devastation, sometimes succeed in making mono Red decks viable in the Standard environment. And since it seems to be the break out deck of the new format, I would be remised if we didn’t look at the new kid on the block. So let’s have a look at the latest version of RDW, Ramunap Red.
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Although there are many versions of the deck going around, this version took Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa to the 1st place finish at the Pro Tour, and who are we to argue. The deck runs a hefty twenty-six creatures to beat down our opponent’s life total. Most of these will be familiar to you, with full playsets of Bomat Courier, Falkenrath Gorger, Soul-Scar Mage and Ahn-Crop Crasher, while three copies of Kari Zev, Skyship Raider and Hazoret the Fervent for some huge alpha swings. The latest edition to the deck are four copies of Earthshaker Khenra. This hasty piker is just the kind of two drop you want to run, been able to get in for some early damage without having to wait a turn. Not only can it lay pressure on our adversary life total at the start of the game, but coming back even larger if we can Eternalize it. Admittedly, you hope to have the game won before reaching six mana, but the threat of a 4/4 haste creature that can stop blockers waiting in our graveyard is just too tempting to pass up.
The next part of the deck is burn and removal spells to help get blockers out of the way. A full playset of Shock and the newest addition to this removal package in the surprisingly powerful Abrade. I have always loved module spells, and this one ticks a lot of boxes. Not only can it deal out three damage to a creature at Instant speed, but can also dispose of any pesky Artifacts such as Heart of Kiran or Verdurous Gearhulk. The deck also runs two mainboard Chandra, Torch of Defiance, proving that a four mana walker with four abilities will always find a place at the top of the meta.
The mana base is super easy with only fourteen Mountains, as well as the combo of Ramunap Ruins and Sunscorched Desert, as well as two Scavenger Grounds. The problem with most red decks in the past has been that as the game goes on, you can end up flooded with mana and have nothing to do with it. But when you have up to twenty-two points of damage hiding in your mana base, flooding becomes less of an issue. Some games you are happy for a top deck land to win you the game, which is just makes more of your top decks live. The sideboard is very heavily aimed at the mirror, with a lot of cards such as Chandra’s Defeat been super power full. But as the meta changes to face mono-red I would make the sideboard more versatile. Cards like Magma Spray and Incendiary Flow are great to handle Mono-Black Zombies. Lightning Axe is a better option when faced with larger threat like Glorybringer, and a couple of Insult//Injury for some big alpha swings would be very useful.
And there we have the latest iteration of RDW. So will you be running the best deck in standard at your local FNM? Hour of Devastation has given us a ton of new possibilities, and we would love to hear about any new and unique brews you have had success with. If you have enjoyed this article why not give us a like and share on social media, it’s a great way to help us grow the site. Until next time though we here at Master of Magics wish you Good Luck, and hope you Have Fun.