Hey wazzup people! Let us welcome Nicol Bolas and his relatives into standard firstly.
Ahh yes, elder dragons, and many other kinds of dragons (UGIN IS MISSING!). If you want to win cash, click it. For those who have played during the Khans of Takir standard, would know that I’m pretty much in love with DRAGONS!!! But today, I will not be talking about dragons even though I’m very excited about them.
Instead, I will be discussing about Mono Red Aggro, the archetype that I’m most familiar with, the little red men. With 12x 1 drops and 12x direct burn, this deck is capable of winning even after a turn 4 settle the wreckage.
Initial Concept – Mono Red Wizards
This deck plays out similar to the modern burn deck in terms of burst damage output. During turn 1 to 3, it plays out like a burn deck, attacking with low-cost and efficient creatures. With Soul-Scar Mage and Ghitu Lavarunner, the Wizard’s Lightning costs gets reduced, and allows it functions like a Lightning Bolt. This also means that putting Hazoret the Fevert on turn 4, with it capable of sending it straight to your opponent’s face.
This deck placed a few top 8s around the world, including Seth Manfield himself playing this list.
What additional tools did M19 bring?
Awesome, another wizard count for Wizard’s Lightning, its etb ability of 2 damage to the face is like a pseudo unblockable haste, and its ability kill off planeswalkers is just icing on the cake. Well it wouldn’t really fit into a deck mentioned above, when the two drops are already so packed with more powerful threats like Kari Zev, Skyship Raider and Earthshaker Khenras. So where will this Viashino Wizard fit into?
Introduces the RNG character
There was a time when the above mentioned mono red deck did not have Hazoret in it, but included a playset of this. However, too many players got tilted WAY TOO MUCH, drawing two to three lands during the turn for the second chapter. WHAT??!! I thought I’m supposed to draw at least 2 burn spells and win with the third saga! I shouldn’t have played this card. Thus, the playset became Hazoret with the addition of a couple more land drops.
So what are we looking to swap out, and regress, to test with in the modified version with our RNG character and Pyromancer?
Let’s be bold
and try out 19 land count (and maybe wear red underwear), similar to a modern deck that doesn’t want to have more than 2-3 lands in play.
We are bringing down the curve back to highest of 2 cmc, and betting on The Flame of Keld drawing us minimally two direct damage spells. Previously, we have 12 burn spells in the deck to be drawn from deck, by turn 3/4, the deck would be left with 50 cards, and it means that there is around 24% chance that you will draw into a burn spell.
Now, let’s add the playset of Pyromancer, we have 16 burn spells, increasing the percentage to 32%, that is a 8% increase which I think is a pretty big deal. Of course, you can argue that you have the similar percentage of drawing the lands from the deck. But… You will be skipping 3 turns of land draws which ain’t that bad too.
How can we further complement this burn plan? Let’s welcome an old friend.
Sure, Guttersnipe looks pretty bad for an aggressive deck trying to beat with hasty creatures. However, we are also playing quite an amount of instant spells in our mainboard. It might go even higher after sideboarding, when we bring in Abrades, Chandra’s Defeats and Fight with Fires. So how do we squeeze in this value creature in our deck?
We take out the standard menace.
Sure anot, never bluff me? Let me explain why I feel that Goblin Chainwhirler does not belong in this deck, or at least not in the mainboard.
In this deck, most or all of your instant spells are to have an immediate impact (ie, burn spells – being able to damage straight away). Consider that Gobin Chainwhirler is 3 cmc, and the damage output, to opponent’s face is only 1. (Let’s not assume the potential ability to kill creatures or planeswalkers, because decks that are vulnerable to Chainwhirlers, are no longer as popular, or they usually play around it.) With the 3/3 body, it is as easy to be dealt with as Guttersnipe.
Being able to untap or attack with a Chainwhirler does not spell the end for the opponent. However, it is a very different case for Guttersnipe, whose objective is streamlined with what this variant of red deck is trying to achieve.
Firstly, Guttersnipe acts as your 5th to 8th copy of The Flame of Keld, every instant speed burn spell that you are playing is going to deal additional 2 damage. Tell me, what’s better than that?
Secondly, we might say that this goblin does not impact the board immediately like how Chainwhirler does. However, we all know that a lot of decks have already altered their decks such that they don’t get blown out by the Chainwhirler. With the numbers of Abrade or Fatal Push running about, the chances of Guttersnipe surviving to untap is the same as the Chainwhirler surviving.
Let’s do a comparison between these 2 gobbos, if they live until your next untap. Body: 3/3 first striker vs 2/2 Vanilla with the potential to shock as and when you cast your burn spell from your hand. Having 12 direct burns, and 10 more from the sideboard, you can potentially do tons of damage even when removing a creature on the other side of the board. We can argue that if you have no cards in hand, a 3/3 first striker is definitely better.
To be honest, when you have no cards in hand, you are either already ahead on board, or you’re losing. A top decked burn spell with Guttersnipe in play might win you the game with additional damage as compared to a top decked burn spell with Chainwhirler in play.
Gutterburn Final Decklist
There is still time to brew your own decks to test, and yet still be still “competitive”, this deck variant will definitely be a blast to play with. With more players jumping onto the Grixis midrange train, because of the badass Nicol Bolas, you probably need more then just the simple beatdown plan with creatures and set the battlefield in flames instead.
Hi fellow Singaporean Magic: The Gathering players! My name is Calvin Chen. I’m currently in my 30s, and MTG found me when I was at Pri 5. I did not really play the game until Sec 3. During that time, I was only playing kitchen table games from Invasion block till Mirrodin.
Only during Theros block, did I start to play at FNMs. I have to thank Alex Keng, who brought me to the store for FNMs which sparked me off for competitive gameplay. Since then, I’ve been grinding PPTQs all over Singapore. My small accomplishments include 5 PPTQs wins, winning LCQ for GOG invitationals.
I really like to play aggressive decks, and subscribe to the beatdown plan. Other than that, I love dragons! My favourite set has been Khans of Takir, which I played a Grixis Dragons list, winning one of the PPTQ back then. I always prefer standard over modern as there’s more room for brewing compared to the well established modern
As people should have already observed this in my decks, I can’t really run away from mountains in standard and my modern decks, with Blood Moons as much as possible. This is my 1st time being tasked to write an article, it is my noobish attempt, but I wish to get better at writing. Please support and try not to flame my lousy articles too much eh!