Mono Red Brings Down the Hammer

Hammer of Purphoros

Mono Red Brings Down the Hammer

What a weekend for the Mono Red archetype.  As with every new format, Mono Red is always a deck that’s looked to because people are experimenting and with an unknown Meta there’s something to be said for consistency and a deck that punishes stumbling.  That said, I was pleasantly surprised to watch Owen Turtenwald and Philip Bertorelli smash their way to top 8 and then see Philip take the crown.  Theros has a lot of hostile cards against the archetype, and our favorite creature, Hellrider, has left the party.  In testing leading up to the release, I was having a lot of trouble finding a list that I liked, but I think the presence of these two finishes brings plenty of discussions points to the fold and forces opposing decks to make different build choices that could be beneficial for the Red Deck.  Today I’m going to cover my thoughts on the tournament itself, and then get into some of the lists and what I think about the future.

The Metagame and the Tournament

Before we get started, if you haven’t checked it already I’d look at the decklist results for the top 32 HERE.

Three clear archetypes dominated this tournament; Mono Red, UW/x Control, and G/R/x Midrange.  Throw some W/R Aggro, G/W Aggro, Big R/W, and B/R/x Midrange in the mix and you have the mostly completed picture.  What’s interesting for Mono Red though is that I think it gained a significant advantage in this tournament by the way it ultimately played out.  Prior to SCG Worcester, if you had to guess at what would be big in the metagame, I think that these archetypes would be high on the list because of what’s been wrote about recently on Starcity, TCG, and Channel Fireball.  But what’s surprising is that I really thought that Midrange would play a bigger role here.  Sure, Mono Red was expected, yet anyone who did some serious testing knows that Anger of the Gods is really good against it and that it has trouble beating high amounts of removal backed up by creatures that end the game quickly.  It also has a very big problem with cards like Obzedat, Blood Baron (to an extent), and Warleader’s Helix.

Yet ultimately, the only Midrange decks to make the top 8 were Naya and GR.  I believe a big reason for this was the strong presence of control, specifically Esper and UW.  If you don’t play the cards in your Midrange decks that make these grindy games tougher on Control, the matchup can go the other way quickly.  Blue has access to some very good cards right now, and whether you combine it with white, black, or both, the supplementation can mean that you get a firmer grip on the game than you could prior to rotation.  For starters, you really need Thoughtseize somewhere in your 75 if you’re going to even start battling against Control, and you also need to be able to shift your deck into a faster clock.  The former is very important because blue decks are currently playing more  countermagic than they were before (since Cavern has rotated) allowing them to dictate the tempo of the first five to six turns which ultimately leads them into their late game which is usually better than yours.  The latter is important because the better Control and Midrange decks have cards that are virtually unanswerable in Aetherling, Obzedat, and to a lesser extent Elspeth and Blood Baron.  I really liked my Big Red decks in testing, but one of the major problems I ran into was that if the opponent just countered a few of my three/four drops (typically the first things played), they could then get out a few cards that I had no way to beat aside from some narrow answers that were must draws.

If you then segway that into people who were playing G/W and R/W, you see lists that are so streamlined that they will get into trouble as soon as they are trumped by a particular card.  G/W probably presents the most threats of any deck in the new meta, by attacking through different angles in Advent of the Wurm, a swath of troublesome aggro creatures, and Brave the Elements, but it folds to Supreme Verdict.  As soon as you get Verdict’d, and especially if they have an Azorious Charm or Far/Away before then, you are so far behind.  The GW deck doesn’t have anything late game to “reach” through the opposing defense like the burn in Mono Red (and Fanatic of Mogis).  That’s one advantage also to the Naya and GR decks, they play a little bit of burn and the planeswalkers here are overall very threatening (Domri and Chandra).

G/R also presents finishers that are incredibly tough to kill or present an evasive clock for the Control opponent.  Ember Swallower’s Monstrosity trigger is virtually game over when resolved, and his P/T ratio allows him to dodge popular removal spells across the Meta.  Stormbreath Dragon’s protection from white protects it from Azorius Charm and Detention Sphere, which are two of the main ways other than a Supreme Verdict that the Control player would use to stop them.

So if G/R and Naya have so many weapons against control and have very grindy cards against aggro (not to mention removal), how’d they lose?

The answer lies mostly in the top 8.  In round one, the Naya and GR player were paired against each other.  The GR player won (I didn’t catch the stream so I don’t know what happened but both lists are similar), and then from what I heard from a close Mono-Red-Playing-Friend, Bertorelli defeated the GR player on the back of a critical mistake involving Anger of the Gods.  Like all matchups with Mono Red, it can go either way, and especially with Bertorelli’s build he’s never truly out of a game.  That said, GR should be the favorite most of the time against most Mono Red builds as its creatures outclass many of the aggro critters, it has burn, it can ramp if unchecked, it has lifegain, and Chandra’s Phoenix is clunky against it.

Max Tietze’s UW Control deck was well positioned against Owen’s Mono Red build and that showed in the two losses that he gave to Owen (one in the Swiss, and one in the top 8).  Bertorelli’s build however was a lot better equipped to deal with UW, although we didn’t get to see that really play out in the Finals as Tietze got color-screwed and couldn’t play half of his cards.  Still, you could see if you watched the match why Bertorelli’s build would be better than Owen’s in that matchup; he  still presented a clock, he had bigger threats than Owen’s list that weren’t so fragile, he had scry digging power for cards he needed with Magma Jet, and his sideboard had both Hammer and Chandra unlike just the pairs of Hammer and a Skullcrack in Owen’s board.  Chandra is a fantastic play against UW both as a followup to Supreme Verdict or as a supplement to your army so that you can redirect their attention and removal.  It’s also great at preventing UW’s usual one or two blockers from getting in the way (especially in combination with Firefist Striker).  Hammer’s not bad either, endless Golems and giving your entire deck haste is always a big deal against Control, but with UW being such a difficult matchup at times it’s nice to have a few extra singletons to bolster it.

Ultimately though this takes us in to a deeper discussion on the two builds.  Both of them are good, both of them are similar to ones I’ve tested thoroughly, and both have changes that could be made to bolster them for the future.

The Mono Red Builds

Owen’s List

Mono-Red Aggro
Owen Turtenwald
8th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 9/29/2013
Standard

Creatures (30)

4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Chandra’s Phoenix
4 Firedrinker Satyr
4 Firefist Striker
4 Foundry Street Denizen
2 Goblin Shortcutter
4 Gore-House Chainwalker
4 Rakdos Cackler
Lands (22)

18 Mountain
4 Mutavault
Spells (8)

4 Lightning Strike
4 Shock
Sideboard

3 Boros Reckoner
1 Skullcrack
2 Hammer of Purphoros
1 Act of Treason
3 Flames of the Firebrand
2 Mizzium Mortars
3 Peak Eruption

Firedrinker SatyrFoundry Street DenizenRakdos CacklerShock

The One Drops

This configuration of one drops declares an obvious point about the direction you want your Mono Red deck to play in.  The presence of twelve one drop creatures and Foundry Street Denizen specifically means that you are just going for the sheer speed and power approach.  Legion Loyalist is sometimes seen in blitzier versions, and overall his utility is better, but if you just want efficiency and power to kill your opponent as quickly as possible, Denizen is the right choice.  The major pitfalls of going in this direction are fairly obvious; your creatures are outclassed immediately, they’re easily killed, and you dilute your ability to have any kind of mid to late game activity outside of a few cards or some sideboard singletons.  The advantage you gain is that if you are a good player you can carefully construct your attack in the first few turns to dodge a lot of bad matchups and bad cards.  Give this build to an inexperienced player, and the mistake or two they make will easily cost them the game in many situations.  But in the hands of someone like Owen, this is a threatening deck.  It’s a choice that I’m not surprised he chose, mostly because playing a build like this also gives you the opportunity to free-roll wins in an immature format.  Decks that either aren’t prepared for Mono Red or that simply made too many deckbuilding concessions and decided to miserly address the archetype will absolutely get punished by the consistency and raw speed of this build.  And decks/pilots that actually did bring something to the fold against this style have to draw their key cards and play tight in order to win.  The free roll factor is even at play there, and it was evident in the second game of Owen’s swiss match against Max Tietze where he just overwhelmed the UW deck before it could get online.  The biggest drawbacks though to this style are that sweepers are absolutely devastating and you have very little play in the late game.  Still, to have an explosive game 1 and possibly secure being on the play if a game 3 arises is a very big deal.

Shock is important in this build because again you are going for efficiency and power.  It’s also extremely relevant that you clear anything that slows down your clock off the board, and usually even just being able to kill one of their blockers is enough in conjunction with how many bodies you can put down and Firefist Striker’s battalion.  And while it only does two damage, most of your creatures are two power on their own, so you can still take down 4/4’s like Loxodon Smiter.  You might be two-for-one’ing yourself in the process, but if they’re dead that turn or the next because of it that consideration doesn’t end up mattering.  Against opposing aggro decks, being on the play and being able to out-tempo them if you aren’t is another big reason why having a one mana burn spell is critical.  This is all of course not even addressing the need for reach, which can be valuable in some games where a Verdict or Anger comes down when they are at a low life total.

Mutavault is essentially another one drop here too, as this build is not concerned with casting a Boros Reckoner on time or worried if it stumbles on mana mid game.  Mutavault is just another body and a great weapon against the sweepers that disable this deck.  It turns on Firefist Striker’s battalion very easily, and in the builds I’ve tested like this it’s a critical card to include.  You might be surprised that Owen is running twenty-two lands, but running any less with four Mutavaults can give your deck a lot of variance draws and Vault essentially prevents you from flooding too hard since you’ll always be able to do something with him.  Furthermore, given that he needs an instant speed spell most of the time to kill him, you can really stretch your opponents removal or even not worry about it at all if their list isn’t properly prepared.

Burning-Tree EmissaryFirefist StrikerGoblin ShortcutterGore-House ChainwalkerLightning Strike

The Two Drops

Continuing the theme of power and efficiency, Owen chose to go with the highest power and value in his two drops that he could.  He’s playing the full playset of Gore-House Chainwalkers, which although not hasty bring enough beef to the table to trade with a lot of creatures better than itself.  I really like how he basically ran six Firefist Strikers by including the two Shortcutters.  It’s easily the worst two drop of the bunch, but in a suicide aggro mission like this build, it makes a lot of sense and probably gave him a ton of game wins.  You’re also just going to have those nut draws where you have an active Firefist Striker followed by a Shortcutter which probably gets you a turn 3 or 4 win.  His choice to run four Lightning Strike is mostly needed to supplement Shock for the very purposes already discussed.  The notable absence is Ash Zealot, but in a build like this you’re basically going for the Burning-Tree draw, so maxing out on two-drops that can be played off the Tree is typically the smart choice.  Zealot is also one more card that makes the Mutavault mana difficult, so I’ve found that this needs to be a conscious factor in your building choices.

Chandra's Phoenix

The Three Drops

Three is a perfectly fine place to top off your curve with this build, and Chandra’s Phoenix is the only card that makes sense here in game 1.  It’s the fastest three drop and it’s evasive, along with enough burn to occasionally get some buyback value on it.  Owen’s list is such a straight port from the old RTR lists (aside from Phoenix) that there most likely was no real reason to go bigger on it.  He really wasn’t trying to beat the mirror, he was just trying to have a fast game 1 (because a lot of times game 1 in the mirror is a coin flip anyways) and get as many free-roll wins as possible against the rest of the field.

Boros ReckonerSkullcrackHammer of PurphorosAct of TreasonFlames of the FirebrandMizzium MortarsPeak Eruption

The Sideboard

The sideboard here is pretty simple and about what I would expect for the Blitzy build that Owen was playing.  Note that there aren’t any four-ofs here, although there are some cross-matchup spells.  The Blitzy version of Mono Red is really hard to cut cards from, and that’s a big reason for not just jamming a lot of one card.

Boros Reckoner and Flames of the Firebrand give him six more cards to control the mirror match, and if he really wants to he can dip into Mortars and Peak Eruption, although Mortars is more for the Midrange matchups and Eruption more for the Big Red and R/W decks.  Still, he can pseudo-morph his red deck into more of a Big Red build if he feels like it with this availability of spells.  Cutting one drops is a fairly reasonable thing to do for these spells, since they are often disposable to your opponents burn and get outclassed quickly.  Phoenix can get cut for Reckoner, or if you do the big route you can keep him in for his buyback and evasive abilities.  -4 Foundry Street Denizen and -4 Firedrinker are the pretty obvious first cuts.

Act of Treason and Skullcrack are perfectly fine in miser roles like he has them here.  The main sixty cards is already so fast that you can overrun a lot of decks that plan to put big creatures in front of you, and with no Thragtusk in the format a lot of these creatures just end up getting Firefist Striker’d anyway.  Still, it’s helpful to have another card or two against decks that have things like Desecration Demon, Ember Swallower, or Blood Baron, so it plays it’s role.  Skullcrack is often jammed as a four-of, but it’s really a fairly awful card late game against anything but Control, and it’s NOT the card you want against Midrange even if they have lifegain.  For starters, there is again no Thragtusk in this format anymore, and even if he were there, you need to fight Midrange decks with board presence and removal, not three to the dome that leaves you down a card.  Against Control though, drawing Skullcrack later in the game to prevent multiple Sphinx’s Revelations, or drawing it early and preventing the first, can be very good.  It also gives you more reach, kills planeswalkers, and is more efficient than Shock against them.

Hammer of Purphoros is a pretty sweet card.  I started testing it a few weeks ago after suggestions from readers, and I’ve really come to like it.  It’s not something you want against aggro, and a lot of your creatures already have haste (although not as many in Owen’s build), but against control it is one of the best cards right now to have access to.  I would never run more than two of them, due to its legendary status, its limited useability beyond flooding, and the fact that its first ability does nothing in numbers.  It’s really rare that you’d be able to activate two at a time, and you wouldn’t get any activations beyond the first if that were the case let alone that situation being in a game that should have been won or lost already.  But as a two-of, it’s a very nice supplement to your creatures and another threat that gets around Supreme Verdict.

Philip’s List

Mono-Red Aggro
Philip Bertorelli
1st Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 9/29/2013
Standard

Creatures (29)

4 Ash Zealot
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Chandra’s Phoenix
4 Fanatic of Mogis
4 Firefist Striker
1 Gore-House Chainwalker
4 Rakdos Cackler
Lands (21)

21 Mountain
Spells (10)

4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
2 Shock
Sideboard

4 Frostburn Weird
4 Burning Earth
1 Hammer of Purphoros
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
4 Mizzium Mortars

Rakdos CacklerShock

The One Drops

Just Cackler and Shock here.  The SCG commentators were talking about this, and they theorized that Philip just couldn’t get Firedrinker Satyr in time.  They kept commenting on how this was his first big tournament outside of an FNM and with the set being new and him being inexperienced that it was the most plausible thing they could think of.  With the price and configuration of the rest of the deck, I’m guessing this wasn’t the case.  Firedrinker was $1.50 this week at my store, and while his availability was limited (I still don’t have my playset), they almost always have enough of popular cards at an SCG event to not run into issues like this.  I believe this choice was a conscious one of Philip’s, because clearly he’s playing a bulked up version of Mono Red designed with beating the mirror and having a more resilient “flexible” game against Control.

Not running Firedrinker means you’re not taking that extra few points of damage in the mirror for having a Jackal Pup that can also get burned and dome you.  It also means you can devote more cards towards Burning-Tree, you can run both the premiere three-drops in Mono Red which are good almost across the field, and you can run more burn, which dictates the mirror as well.  These choices to me were obvious, as I was running a similar pre-rotation build, but then I looked at the top 8 profiles and even there Philip said that the decks he expected were the Mirror and Control.

The one area this hurts you in is against Midrange, because you’ve slowed down your clock significantly, and even against Control it can sometimes backfire.  The nice thing about the rotation though, was that you’re not giving them more time to play Thragtusks, so as long as you can handle the other threats they play, you can still be in comfortable shape when they get some of their bigger stuff online.  And don’t get me wrong, this deck is not slow by any means.  It’s still Mono Red Aggro, not Big Red, and not Midrange Red.  You have a one drop, you have many two-drops, and it can still curve out very easily.  Topping out with Fanatic of Mogis and more resilient creatures can help you pull off some early wins, especially if your opponent is playing a removal-light deck.

Burning-Tree EmissaryFirefist StrikerGore-House ChainwalkerMagma JetLightning StrikeAsh Zealot

The Two Drops

There are two considerations going on here.  Unlike Owen’s list which just ops for efficiency, Philip goes for card value by playing the full playset of Magma Jet and Ash Zealot.  The scry on Magma Jet is just absolutely insane.  This card was a staple in Magic years ago, and it’s going to be again.  No deck wants the ability to orchestrate their draws more than a Mono Red Aggro deck that frequently runs out of gas and just needs a few last damage points to “close the deal”.  Even in Owen’s Blitz version, I’m a bit surprised he didn’t try to find room for it, but I understand from a power standpoint why he probably dismissed it.

Burning-Tree Emissary and Firefist Striker are there to give this build the ability to still “nut draw” and provide faster starts in general.  Firefist Striker over the past year or so has proven itself to be a huge roleplayer in Mono Red, and with the absence of Pyreheart Wolf and the clutter at the three-drop spot already, it makes perfect sense to play him at 2cc as he’s usually what you want over the other options available.

The one-of Gore-House Chainwalker is a mistake in my opinion.  I think Philip just wanted another Burning-Tree target and something with a little power, but I really really don’t like how his list only runs 21 lands, none of which are Mutavault.  There’s just no reason to have a miser of that card, and no reason to not run a Mutavault or two, even in a deck that needs to have double-red a lot.

One other thing I know from playing Mono Red for years now is that 22 lands is the sweet spot if you have four or more four drops, and in the case of Philip’s build, the eight three drop creatures he runs adds an even bigger reason to make this move.  There’s so many games with 21 lands that you’ll get stuck on two, and maybe a stats guy will argue, but I’ve played thousands of games with 20, 21, 22, 23, you name it, and 22 is that nice place you want to be with a list like this.  In the list I played pre-rotation that had a very similar configuration, I played 19 Mountain and 4 Mutavault, and the mana was good.  You don’t need to play Reckoner on turn 3, you just need to make sure you’re doing something, and with that many Vaults and the amount of threats in general that you’re running, you will indeed be doing something.  It also helps when you move to the sideboard, especially if you’re not adding in extra land out of the board like in the case of Phillip.  When he boards against UW Control, he’s bringing in a Hammer and two Chandras, which ups his curve even more on that fragile 21 lands.  Granted, you’re playing a long game at times against them and may have more time to draw out of land screw, but part of your advantage against them as a deck is to apply a clock.

Boros ReckonerChandra's Phoenix

The Three Drops

I’ve already covered these guys quite a bit, but basically this is an aggro list that is borrowing the best two elements from Big Red.  These three drops are great against the field, and often just better than anything else you could be doing.  I like him having access to both.

Fanatic of Mogis

The Four Drops

When this card was spoiled, I did a barrel roll.  Then I tested online with it a lot, and I wasn’t super happy with it because there’s so many decks that have turns 2/3 removal followed up by a sweeper, at which point he becomes very underwhelming.  I also missed Hellrider, who was clearly one of the best four drops ever.  But this list is a dead perfect fit for Fanatic.  For starters, you have plenty of devotion and are going to get those games where he comes down on turn four and just decimates the opponent.  And in games where your opponent does have some early removal or sweepers, it doesn’t really matter because you’re playing the long game anyway, so you’ll probably have a point later in the game where he’s just as effective and threatening.  And if you’re playing the long game, you don’t mind having a four power guy regardless of the situation.  This is a great list for him, and the sideboard only makes him better.

Purphoros is a card that I’ve tested extremely heavily, but ultimately he does not have enough of an initial impact on the board and is too reliant on other cards to perform.  He will absolutely see play, and he is a good card despite some of the limitations, but he’s not an automatic inclusion.  It’s a possibility that “card availability” could have been an issue for Philip’s choice of not playing him, but it’s doubtful.  In a list like this, I want to be pro-active, and Fanatic + Chandra do that the best.  It also doesn’t help that much like Vexing Devil, Purphoros gives your opponent the ability to decide what happens by controlling your level of devotion.  What could be interesting is if a lot of Mono Red lists suddenly switch to him; this might be a nice metagame call to throw off whatever sideboard hate is being brought in this week.

Frostburn WeirdBurning EarthHammer of PurphorosChandra, PyromasterMizzium Mortars

The Sideboard

Philip’s sideboard is all about the K.I.S.S. philosophy.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  He’s playing a lot of four ofs and a few singletons because he knows what he wants to beat and knows that most of his sixty is great against everything.

Starting with Frostburn Weird, we have a great anti-mirror and anti-aggro card.  I’ve played with Weird a lot in the past, and then a lot more recently in testing for Theros.  Typically in the mirror I like having more burn, but against a variety of aggro decks I like Weird as well.  The biggest reason to run him here is his count towards devotion, so I have absolutely no problem with Philip’s maxing out of him.  Philip already chose a maindeck that has clear motives of beating the mirror, and this is the dagger.  And don’t ever let him have an empty board, because this little 1/4 suddenly takes over games.

I’ve railed on Burning Earth in many of my recent articles because of how much the old metagame adapted to it, and while that’s still true with the rise of UW control, the top 8 was perfect evidence that people still just don’t get it.  Multiple Esper Control decks were present, which is the best case scenario for Burning Earth to shine.  One of my teammates is a religious Esper player, and Burning Earth is easily the #1 card he hates seeing.  I mean, you just can’t play with that card out.  There’s so many situations where the game is over when this comes down, and it’s an amazing followup to a Supreme Verdict when your opponent is tapped out.  Still, four is WAY too many right now, and while I know Philip wanted to make sure he drew it and expected a lot of control, I’d just rather have a 3/3 split with Chandra (who is much better against UW and other matchups) or another Hammer, or something else I need for other non-control matchups.  There’s also the situations where you’re behind on the board, and in those situations having Burning Earth in hand is essentially the same as having a dead card.

I’ve already discussed the Hammer, so I’ll move on to one of the best sideboard cards he decided to run; Chandra, Pyromaster.

Chandra has so much going on, and she’s so new that I think a lot of players don’t quite understand her.  I’ve played her into the ground now, so I really think I have a firm grip on how you need to go about business with her.  For starters, she’s not an auto Hellrider replacement, but at the same time she needs to be in the 75.  Most people think her 0 ability is her best one, but that’s largely dependent on the deck and the format.  In Legacy, it is the best ability without question.  But in Standard, her +1 is fantastic.  Think about all the implications; kill an aggro creature repeatedly while at the same time putting her at an enormous loyalty that demands attention less they want to be domed for 9, make a creature not block which is the extasies against every archetype, lock down planeswalkers from reaching their ultimate, or simply Curse of the Pierced Heart your opponent to death.  She’s bananas.  And at basically five starting loyalty, she’s also really hard to kill unless your opponent is playing Midrange.  And therein lies her weakness.  Unless you yourself are playing a Midrange deck and can properly defend her, she’s usually a bad card for Mono Red in that matchup.  This is the big reason why she might not always make your sixty, along with the fact that she’s a little slow against aggro.  There are games against aggro, mostly games 2 and 3, where you have a lot of removal and then she just comes down and dominates, but you can’t guarantee those situations, especially in game 1 where your build may or may not be supportive of her.  Lastly, her mana cost is yet another supportive card towards devotion, which adds to the list of reasons for why you should have her in your 75.

Mizzium Mortars as a four-of is something that should have been a lock for Mono Red players in this tournament.  While Midrange didn’t show up much in the top 8, it was present in good numbers throughout the top 32 and some of these new Theros builds are truly nasty.  Blood Baron, Stormbreath Dragon, Loxodon Smiter, Kalonian Hydra, you name it, are all extremely challenging to deal with in Mono Red.  You let one of these guys sit on the table for more than a turn and you will be the one they start calling Deadguy Red.  Plus, it’s never a huge nonbo to run four of them, because you can bring them in against any of the aggro decks if you want (or some of them) to supplement your existing burn suite.  And while Philip’s build probably won’t overload very often, it does still happen at times with 21 lands.  And we all know what a one sided wrath feels like. . .

 Moving Forward

Philip’s list is where I would begin if I were going to play Mono Red tomorrow, but just be wary of the changes Midrange is going to make to adapt.  I’d consider speeding the deck up a little, and definitely adding in some extra land / Mutavaults.  I’d also consider a Skullcrack or two for the decks out there with Obzedat and Gray Merchant (if he becomes a thing like I hope he does).  Here’s what I’m most likely playing tomorrow at my Tuesday Win-A-Box

Mono Red by John Galli

4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Ash Zealot
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Firefist Striker
4 Chandra’s Phoenix
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Fanatic of Mogis

4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
2 Shock

2 Mutavault
20 Mountain

Sideboard
4 Frostburn Weird
4 Mizzium Mortars
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
2 Burning Earth (or x3 Pyromaster / x1 Vault)
2 Skullcrack or Toil / Trouble
1 Hammer of Purphoros

Other considerables at the moment:  Madcap Skills, More Shocks, Full Playset of Skullcrack over BE, a third Vault in the board and a third Pyromaster

– Red Deck Winning

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2 thoughts on “Mono Red Brings Down the Hammer

  1. Sounds good man I can’t wait to try out something similar. And I also can’t wait to see how it played out from Tuesday.

    • I played that maindeck on Tuesday but changed the board. Sideboard was x4 Mortars, x2 Flames of the Firebrand, x3 Stormbreath Dragon, x2 Pithing Needle, x1 Chandra, x2 Mutavault, x1 Hammer of Purphoros.

      I went 3-1, got 6th of 28. Beat the mirror, Esper Control, UW Control, and lost to Mono White Aggro. All the rounds went to three games and they were all close, the mono white player cast brave the elements an obscene number of times and I also walked into it on a few of those occasions.

      I’m probably playing in my state’s custom state championship on Sunday, I’ll post a revised list as soon as I’ve settled the numbers. I really like Todd Anderson’s list from today for those of you who have SCG Premium.

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