As you may know by now, when it comes to Magic the Gathering I love me a bit of Mono Red Aggro. No matter the time, the format or even if it is viable, I will inevitably end up playing some form of red deck sooner or later in a season. What can I say, I just love the colour and how it plays out in Magic. Even if I dabble in Midrange or Control from time to time, I’ll always end up back in my comfort zone. That is what happened this week, when as a result of a trip to the dentist I ended up unable to sleep thanks to a health dose of tooth pain.
As a result, I ended up distracting myself with a large helping of Magic Arena grinding, smashing the ladder while I waited for my jaw to stop aching so I could get some sleep. Not having the patients for Izzet Control, I decided to see how Mono Red is fairing in the current meta, and was pleasantly surprised to find it was doing quite well indeed. With a few new toys thanks to Kaldheim, the go to aggro deck is just as lethal as it was last season, all be it with a new twist.
As with last weeks article, todays deck tech is my own take on the architype. As a result, it might not have the exact 75 card set up you my find on MTG Goldfish or Channel Fireball. This is just what I have been enjoying playing, and it is by no mean a fully finished brew. For example, I really want to try out Faceless Haven in the mana base as a backup win condition, but I currently don’t have any in my collect. If you have them or want to try something else out in your build then please do and let us know how you get on in the comments below.
Ok, enough waffling. Let’s get to the deck.
As with most good aggro decks, the key is been able to get in damage at every point on our curve. So, to start off we have full playsets of both Fervent Champion and Fireblade Charger. Fervent Champion is a great hasty threat that benefits from both having first strike (and as a result been a difficult creature to trade with) and the ability to pump up other knights in our list. There is nothing quite like dropping three of these aggressive chaps by turn two and swinging in for six damage. Fireblade Charger might not have haste, but it does allow use to get in extra damage even when it dies making it a real pain to deal with. As a result, expect this goblin to be block by any 0/X your opponent my field.
As we move up to our two drops, we slot in a playset of Rimrock Knight for additional pump damage and Fervent Champion syenergies, as well as four copies of Robber of the Rich. Robber’s ability to “pinch” the top card of our opponent’s library might not always give us something useful, but when it does payoff it does so in a big way. And besides, a 2/2 with Haste and Reach is simply fine on its own.
Moving on to our three drops we have Bonecrusher Giant (which could also be seen as a great two drop thanks to Stomp) as well as a playset of Anax, Hardened in the Forge and a couple of copies of Phoenix of Ash. Anax is a monster of a threat when we have an establish board, and also gives us some great insurance against removal, while Phoenix of Ash is a recuring aerial threat than can close out games all on its own. Naturally, no Mono Red deck in Standard would be complete without a couple of copies of Torbran, Thane of Red Fell to maximise our damage output (as well as pump up our Anax’s). Finally, we round out our curve with a few copies of Goldspan Dragon to strike in from the air.
This build only runs two non-creature/non-land cards with two copies of Frost Bite for some additional removal, as well as a playset of Embercleave to attach on to a buffed up Anax, Hardened in the Forge or aerial threat. And since we are running some snow matter cards, we will of course fill out our basic lands with Snow-Covered Mountain, and finish the main deck off with a playset of Castle Embereth.
4 Fervent Champion
4 Fireblade Charger
4 Rimrock Knight
4 Robber of the Rich
4 Anax, Hardened in the Forge
4 Bonecrusher Giant
2 Phoenix of Ash
2 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
2 Goldspan Dragon
2 Frost Bite
20 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Castle Embereth
2 Frost Bite
1 Redcap Melee
2 Roiling Vortex
4 Thundering Rebuke
2 Storm's Wrath
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Weathered Runestone
For a sideboard we are as ever making sure we cover as many bases as possible. An additional two copies of Frost Bite, as well as a playset of Thundering Rebuke and a single copy of Redcap Melee give us a great selection of targeted removal should we need to become the more control centric deck. To that end, a couple of copies of Storm’s Wrath helps us deal with go wide token decks. When it comes to aggro, life gain is your worst enemy. To help with this we run a couple of Roiling Vortex’s. Finally, for graveyard decks we run some Tormod’s Crypts and two copies of Weathered Runestone for the inevitable Tibalt’s Trickery match up.
And that is the revamped Mono Red Aggro for Kaldheim Standard. Still a fun an effective architype, with a few new tricks up its selves. But I want to know what you think about today’s deck? Is this what you want to play in Standard? Or have you a different brew you want to try out? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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