July 31, 2015

Standard Mono-Red Aggro


Mono-Red Aggro is a deck that shows up pretty consistently. If you look at any given premier event Top 8 or Top 16, it's likely that you'll see at least one mono-red deck. It's not really a deck that's on people's radars because the deck doesn't really change. However, at the SCG Open in Richmond, we saw a new take on mono-red featuring Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh.

When I first started in R&D, I was really intrigued by the new double-sided Planeswalkers. They all looked pretty powerful to me, and I couldn't wait to build around them. I soon discovered that the Planeswalker that the FFL team (Future Future League, our internal Standard league) played the least was Chandra. Well, I was planning on changing that! The first deck I built for FFL was a mono-red deck with Chandra. The deck I built was actually very similar to Ash's, with lots of dash creatures and Exquisite Firecraft. It was a blast to play.

The dash mechanic is very important in this deck if you want to flip Chandra. Dash creatures return to your hand, which provide you with more red spells to cast and trigger her untap ability. Dash creatures are already powerful on their own, so they are a perfect fit for this deck.

Exquisite Firecraft is another new card from Magic Origins that made an appearance in Ash's deck. This card is the second 4-damage burn spell in the deck (The first being Stoke the Flames), and with eight spells that deal 4 as well as Lightning Strike and Wild Slash, burning your opponent out is a reasonable plan B. Additionally, Exquisite Firecraft can't be countered if you have spell mastery, which comes up often enough to matter.

It was pretty exciting to see Chandra in action in the Top 8 of the tournament, and it was even more exciting to see her transform into Chandra, Roaring Flame. While she lost her Top 8 match, I was happy to see Chandra do so well in a premier Standard event.

Ash Durrbeck’s Mono-Red Aggro

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