[Archetype] Red Deck Wins - RDW

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Red Deck Wins - RDW






What is Red Deck Wins?
Red Deck Wins - or RDW for short - is an archetypical aggro deck. Aggro decks are basically aggressive decks trying to reduce an opponent's life to zero as fast as possible without your opponent stabilizing and taking over the game. Unlike other aggro decks you may have played, RDW has access to burn, which is why red is such a good aggro colour. The burn allows you to kill a player even after he has stabilized the board, and it allows you to run more removal spells than usual to take care of opposing creatures. This often means that you don't have to overextend as much as other aggro decks, which is why RDW is more often at the top tables of a tournament than, say, White Weenies.

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Lands
[c]Mountain[/C] - No-brainer. Moving on.

Inkmoth Nexus - A manland. Seeing as it has infect, it isn't all that good at killing opponents (although in certain situations it can), but it can shrink an opposing guy permanently (or just into Incinerate range) and since it's an artifact, it can help you turn on Galvanic Blast, should you choose to run it.


Ghost Quarter - Nonbasic hate. It's not great against dual lands as your opponent will just get whichever basic he needs most, but it can be efficient against a utility land.


Kessig Wolf Run - Gives your guys some extra power to push through in the lategame. A very powerful card. Requires you to splash green.


Stensia Bloodhall - Gives you reach in the lategame when you're in topdecking mode. 2 or 4 points of life means a lot in the lategame. Requires you to splash black, which is harder than green because you don't get Ancient Grudge in black. =/


Rootbound Crag/Dragonskull Summit - These lands are the ones currently favoured to produce off-coloured mana. The enemy coloured ones in Innistrad work as well, should another splash colour be favoured.


Copperline Gorge/Blackleave Cliffs - Another option when splashing a colour. They can produce coloured mana t1 regardless of whether you have a Mountain in your hand, which makes it easier to run more utility lands. It's risky, though.


Something to note is that most RDW players dislike having much more than 6-7 lands which don't produce red on turn 1. Missing your 1-drop can really stumble you up.


Creatures
Stormkirk Noble - A powerful 1-drop. Can get out of hand quickly, which is a good thing.

Reckless Waif - Another 1-drop - good against control. Still, a bad topdeck lategame.


Furnace Scamp - Decent 1-drop. Also a pretty bad topdeck lategame.


Spikeshot Elder - A powerful 1-drop. It has a powerful ability lategame - depending on the meta - but early it's pretty much just a 1/1 for .


Grim Lavamancer - Another powerful 1-drop. After the rotation of fetch-lands, the ability is mostly good lategame, though, which often makes Lavamancer a 2-of.


Goblin Arsonist - Another choice for a 1-drop. Good with Goblin Grenade. Trades with x/2's.


Goblin Fireslinger - Yet another choice for the 1-drop slot. Basically an unblockable 1/1 with pseudo-vigilance. Good at triggering Bloodthirst.


Stormblood Berserker - Great 2-drop. Can easily be kept unblockable by utilizing a little burn.


Ashmouth Hound - Your other 2-drop, should the need arise. A solid creature.


Chandra's Phoenix - Very good when your opponent plays Timely Reinforcements, which pretty much everyone does. Also gives you a bit of lategame reach via the recursion.


Hero of Oxid Ridge - If not for Timely Reinforcements, Koth would generally be better. Because of Reinforcements, though, 2-3 of these are pretty much needed.

Spells
Koth of the Hammer - Extremely powerful planeswalker. His only problem is that he clashes with Hero of Oxid Ridge at the 4cc-slot, and Hero is needed to combat Reinforcements. You should still run 2-3, though.

Incinerate - Your bread and butter burn spell. Efficient.


Brimstone Volley - A very powerful burn spell.


Volt Charge - Another powerful 3cc burn spell. An absolute beating with Koth of the Hammer, but also works quite well with Shrine of Burning Rage, Stormblood Berserker and Stormkirk Noble. The main problem is finding room for Brimstone Volley, this *and* Chandra's Phoenix in the same list.


Arc Trail - Solid 2-for-1. Great against aggro decks and anything relying on mana dorks (Birthing Pod for one).


Shrine of Burning Rage - Very, very powerful reach. Play four.


Geistflame - Takes care of an early 1-drop - either in the aggro mirror or against someone playing mana dorks. Then deals an extra damage if you're ever in topdeck mode - which, incidentally, brings back Chandra's Phoenix. It's decent.


Gut Shot - Has the potential of killing an opposing 1-drop without losing tempo because you can still play a threat yourself. In a metagame where it can kill a lot of things (any RDW 1-drop or any mana dork - both of which are extremely important - along with Snapcaster Mage, Azure Mage and others), it's pretty useful.


Shock/Galvanic Blast - 1cc burn spells which deals 2 damage are rarely playable. These are often dismissed in favour of Geistflame or Gut Shot. Few want to run more than 4 burn spells which can't deal more than 2 damage total, though, so choose wisely.


Devil's Play - Sometimes a 1-of. If you draw it late, it can be devestating.


Dismember - Great against midrange decks. If you're splashing a bit of black, it's even more useful in the mirror, where Vulshok Refugee often win games outright.



 


Sideboard
Sideboards can vary heavily, but a couple of solid cards include:
Ancient Grudge - Great at 2-for-1'ing artifacts. You should probably splash a little green, though.

Vulshok Refugee - Great in the mirror.

Nihil Spellbomb - Solid play against opponents relying on their graveyard.


Matchups
I'd like some help here - I don't know the current (post-rotation) MU's well enough to give much advice.
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM
Reckless Waif is a good lategame topdeck - one of the strongest of the one drops. Late, the opponent won't have spells to play. It is bad in the midgame, though.
Reckless Waif is a good lategame topdeck - one of the strongest of the one drops. Late, the opponent won't have spells to play. It is bad in the midgame, though.



i tried to run 4 of them and in about 10 games it flipped once (and it was because i didnt cast anything). Bad luck or what, i still prefere more reliable cards like Goblin Arsonist or Spikeshot Elder which is more devastating in the late game. Also im going to give a try to 4x Furnace Scamp as it might have some potential. i'm trying also Gutshot and i find it has much more potential especially in the early game considering you can pop berserker 3/3 on turn 2 and/or summon a dead phoenix and cast it right away. Not to mention they never expect it. Never. (cit.). Since im not running koth and stromkirk (budget issues) i removed volt charge and im using 3x incinerate, 4x brimstone, 3 x arc trail and 3 x gutshot.
Yea, I was a strong supporter of Waif early-on, but after some testing, she never flips when I wanter her to. I must say, I still think Scamps are extremely viable. Expecially after a DoJ or something along those lines. 4 damage for one is nothing to laugh at. I'm going to try gut shot and geist flame, to see which is better.
Ya after seeing a lot of the decks out there right now Waif isnt exactly the best choice right now.
Is sligh worth attempting with only 2 Nobles?
Anybody think a deck without koth and noble will be viable? can't afford them but I want to play on modo in the tournaments.
Anybody think a deck without koth and noble will be viable? can't afford them but I want to play on modo in the tournaments.



I don't run Koths (Not paying $20 for a card), and I've been getting 4th/5th out of 20 people every tourney (Local FNM, that is). I do have Nobles, but you might be able to swing with Fireslingers or Arsonists instead.
Anybody think a deck without koth and noble will be viable? can't afford them but I want to play on modo in the tournaments.



I don't run Koths (Not paying $20 for a card), and I've been getting 4th/5th out of 20 people every tourney (Local FNM, that is). I do have Nobles, but you might be able to swing with Fireslingers or Arsonists instead.



Do you mind posting your list so I can see?
My point re Waif isn't that you should run it (though you should!) but that the OP describes it incorrectly. It is actually the strongest one-drop in the late game with possible exception of Fireslinger or Spikeshot depending on matchup.
Here ya go, krazy-

(sorry no links, watching Netflix, lol)

Creatures-
4x Furnace Scamp
4x Stromkirk Noble
2x Grim Lavamancer
4x Stormblood Berserker
2x Chandra's Phoenix

Sorcerys-
2x Arc Trail

Instants-
4x Geistflame (I'm not sure if these beat Gut shot, trying them out)
4x Galvantic Blast (I LIKE 1-drop burn, thank you very much)
4x Incinerate
4x Brimstone Volley

Artifacts-
4x Shrine of Burning Rage

22x Mountains

SB-
4x Ancient Grudge
4x Whipflare (I'm ALWAYS getting DoJ'd then Timely'd)
4x Vulshok Refugee (mirror)
3x Volt Charge (SB in for Brimstones, depending on the match)

Here ya go, krazy-

(sorry no links, watching Netflix, lol)

Creatures-
4x Furnace Scamp
4x Stromkirk Noble
2x Grim Lavamancer
4x Stormblood Berserker
2x Chandra's Phoenix

Sorcerys-
2x Arc Trail

Instants-
4x Geistflame (I'm not sure if these beat Gut shot, trying them out)
4x Galvantic Blast (I LIKE 1-drop burn, thank you very much)
4x Incinerate
4x Brimstone Volley

Artifacts-
4x Shrine of Burning Rage

22x Mountains

SB-
4x Ancient Grudge
4x Whipflare (I'm ALWAYS getting DoJ'd then Timely'd)
4x Vulshok Refugee (mirror)
3x Volt Charge (SB in for Brimstones, depending on the match)




Whipflare is a bad sideboard card. It's like a Pyroclasm, only worse because sometimes it won't actually kill stuff; and Pyroclasm was never a card RDW should be playing, especially not current generation where creature counts are higher in RDW.

Siding in Whipflare to deal with Timely tokens after a Wrath is missing the point - more sweepers don't help you beat a sweeper deck. What you should be bringing in are Hero of Oxid Ridge (essentially nullifies their Timely Reinforcements), Koth (dodges Wrath and doesn't let them get tokens while keeping a beater on the table), etc. I think part of the problem is probably that you have no endgame; once your oppnent casts DoJ, they probably don't even need the Timely Reinforcements to generate tokens to win them the game - everything you play from then on is either reaching to the dome or a piddly 1/1 creature that rapidly gets outclassed by Consecrated Sphinx or whatever.

The problem you have is not with the particular combination, but the deck that's using it. So SB to beat the deck, not the specific circumstance.


Volt Charge is wasting space in the SB. Either you maindeck it, or you don't run it at all. Sideboard cards should be decisive and narrow.

Ancient Grudge is not worth running unless you have green mana duals. Otherwise you should just run Manic Vandal.

Galvanic Blast, IMO, isn't worth running over either Geistflame or Gut Shot at the moment. There just aren't enough relevant x/2 creatures to kill.

Waif seems pretty terrible in testing, I mentioned it before, but the more more testing we've done, the worse it's average impact has been. This format has a lot of CA, with flashback spells etc, so a good player can keep a werewolf at bay easily as the game progresses, unless they are killing you that turn instead. Lategame, Waif is a terrible top deck, Stromkirk noble is also not great, but his evasion is sometimes relevant. You can't really play both since it pollutes your top decks too much. Goblin Fireslinger is a bettter top deck, as is GL, since regardless of board position, they can deal damage, which is key.

Chandra's Pheonix has been odd in testing, it's either been wildyly good, or terrible, to the point I'm beginning to see him as a SB card at best, especially since it competes with the volt charges and brimstone volleys, each of which have been gamebreaking in almost every test game.

The most finetuned list we have at the moment is:

4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Goblin Fireslinger
3 Grim Lavamancer
4 Stormblood Beserker
2 Hero of Oxid Ridge
(17)
4 Shrine of Burning Rage
2 Koth of the Hammer
(6)
4 Brimstone Volley
4 Volt Charge
4 Arc Trail
2 Geistflame
(14)
4 Copperline Gorge
4 Rootbound Crag
3 Kessig Wolf Run
12 Mountain
(23)

SIDEBOARD(15)
2 Geistflame
4 Ancient Grudge
1 Manic Vandal
1 Koth of the Hammer
1 Hero of Oxid Ridge
1 Grim Lavamancer
2 Traitorous Blood
3 Chandra's Pheonix

Geistflame is good against obvious decks like this and steel and can ramp up counters on the shrine. The fireslingers could be arsonists, but I find you get mroe damage in the long run from the slinger.

On turn three, you either want to be burning them with a three dorp burn spell, or making more guys, this list is kitted ot for that.

Post board, you can tweak numbers, so deck relying on timely get hurt by an extra hero, traitorous blood is your classic theft effect to push through a large blocker, it could be act of aggression, but I feel trample is more relevant than instant speed in a world where you are often stealing grave titans. Five artifact removals, Manic vandal is good in the mirror since he's a red dude that eats up their shrine and likes to be pumped by hero. Another GL for counterspell heavy decks, so you force them to spend more mana on killing hima nd net you tempo. The Phoneix comes in for control match match ups where you run a couple mroe Geistflame(since they kill snappy) so you can trigger the pheonix over and over without much problem.

The list is pretty basic, and whilst I haven't has lots of time to test since I was in Milan and have been testing for Amsterdam next week, standard has been a good thing to play in between as a break and this list is starting to post more rounded and consistant numbers.
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This thread needs a Banner :>

If you could provide one, it'd be awesome. =)
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Goblin Fireslinger
3 Grim Lavamancer
4 Stormblood Beserker
2 Hero of Oxid Ridge
(17)
4 Shrine of Burning Rage
2 Koth of the Hammer
(6)
4 Brimstone Volley
4 Volt Charge
4 Arc Trail
2 Geistflame
(14)
4 Copperline Gorge
4 Rootbound Crag
3 Kessig Wolf Run
12 Mountain
(23)

SIDEBOARD(15)
2 Geistflame
4 Ancient Grudge
1 Manic Vandal
1 Koth of the Hammer
1 Hero of Oxid Ridge
1 Grim Lavamancer
2 Traitorous Blood
3 Chandra's Pheonix

Are you sure you'd rather be able to tweak some numbers post-SB than just be able to side in, say, Vulshok Refugee or something else that breaks open a MU?
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM
If you could provide one, it'd be awesome. =)




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There you go. 

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many
Thanks. =)
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM


Whipflare is a bad sideboard card. It's like a Pyroclasm, only worse because sometimes it won't actually kill stuff; and Pyroclasm was never a card RDW should be playing, especially not current generation where creature counts are higher in RDW.

Siding in Whipflare to deal with Timely tokens after a Wrath is missing the point - more sweepers don't help you beat a sweeper deck. What you should be bringing in are Hero of Oxid Ridge (essentially nullifies their Timely Reinforcements), Koth (dodges Wrath and doesn't let them get tokens while keeping a beater on the table), etc. I think part of the problem is probably that you have no endgame; once your oppnent casts DoJ, they probably don't even need the Timely Reinforcements to generate tokens to win them the game - everything you play from then on is either reaching to the dome or a piddly 1/1 creature that rapidly gets outclassed by Consecrated Sphinx or whatever.

The problem you have is not with the particular combination, but the deck that's using it. So SB to beat the deck, not the specific circumstance.


Volt Charge is wasting space in the SB. Either you maindeck it, or you don't run it at all. Sideboard cards should be decisive and narrow.

Ancient Grudge is not worth running unless you have green mana duals. Otherwise you should just run Manic Vandal.

Galvanic Blast, IMO, isn't worth running over either Geistflame or Gut Shot at the moment. There just aren't enough relevant x/2 creatures to kill.



Wow, thats alot of info. Thanks for the advise! I DO have no endgame lol. I'm trying to get Koths/Heros, but noone at my local stores has em (I'd prefer to trade for them).

I am working on getting dual-lands as well. Do you think 4x Rootbounds are enough to warrant 4x Grudges? I'm wary of the other dual land forcing me to mulligan. 

As for the Blasts, they've saved me so much lately, but I will test other cards.

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If you could provide one, it'd be awesome. =)
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Goblin Fireslinger
3 Grim Lavamancer
4 Stormblood Beserker
2 Hero of Oxid Ridge
(17)
4 Shrine of Burning Rage
2 Koth of the Hammer
(6)
4 Brimstone Volley
4 Volt Charge
4 Arc Trail
2 Geistflame
(14)
4 Copperline Gorge
4 Rootbound Crag
3 Kessig Wolf Run
12 Mountain
(23)

SIDEBOARD(15)
2 Geistflame
4 Ancient Grudge
1 Manic Vandal
1 Koth of the Hammer
1 Hero of Oxid Ridge
1 Grim Lavamancer
2 Traitorous Blood
3 Chandra's Pheonix

Are you sure you'd rather be able to tweak some numbers post-SB than just be able to side in, say, Vulshok Refugee or something else that breaks open a MU?



Vulshock Refugee is relatively slow, you should be able to out clock it since, whilst they spend three mana on a human who can't block stromkirk or stormblood, you are making plentyy of damage and value from three drop burn. Vandal and Geistflame along with the 4 arc trails are enough to take on the mirror. If you are on the play, you go offensive, on the draw you spend time dealing with threats then laying your own. Refugee isn't great anymore since it does nothing against the main RDW threats, Stromkirk, Stormblood and Phoenix.
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It's not the speed or defensive failings of Refugee that's relevant. He can't block Stromkirk, sure, but Stromkirk rarely lives.

You're treating it like one player has only Refugee and the other has an entire RDW list.

The Refugee wins because once played, you can point all your resources at not dying and you will probably win because they can't block Vulshok, they can't remove him short of a Shrine taking two turns or more.
Well, my point wasn't so much that you should definitely run Refugee, but that spending four SB slots on being able to tune your deck slightly doesn't seem worth it compared to playing something - anything - that breaks open a less than stellar MU.

I honestly don't know the current MU's well enough to know whether you'd want to include Ratchet Bomb, Dismembers or, well, anything that just works. With Wolf Run Green and UB Control taking off again, maybe Mana Barbs could make a comeback?

I don't know. It's just my experience that it's usually better to reserve your SB for cards that seriously crack open a MU rather than for more exact tuning of your MD cards.

I might be wrong, though. If you have a reason to include MD cards in your SB that outweighs the option of beating on specific MU's, I would love to hear them - especially since I'm not in a position to test much these days... =/
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM
Ok, so I'm running a list pretty similar to the one that placed fourth in the second SCGOpen. For my SB, I'm looking at:

3x Vulshok Refugee
4x Ancient Grudge
2x Traitorous Blood
3x Dismember
2x Devil's Play
1x Arc Trail

The Devil's Play are for matches that will run late, versus control for instance. Using it one turn, then untapping and doing it again, even if the first was countered, is brutal. I'm not maindecking any because they are horrible against any aggro deck. 

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many
@Alien: Are you aware that the banner in your signature has spelled your username incorrectly?

My current RDW list:

// Lands
    12 [IN] Mountain (4)
    4 [M11] Rootbound Crag
    4 [SOM] Copperline Gorge
    2 [INN] Kessig Wolf Run

// Creatures
    4 [INN] Stromkirk Noble
    4 [INN] Reckless Waif
   4 [M12] Stormblood Berserker
    3 [MBS] Hero of Oxid Ridge
    3 [M12] Chandra's Phoenix
    2 [M12] Goblin Fireslinger

// Spells
    4 [NPH] Shrine of Burning Rage
    4 [MPR] Incinerate
    4 [NPH] Volt Charge
    2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
    4 [NPH] Gut Shot

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
SB: 3 [NPH] Vulshok Refugee
SB: 3 [SOM] Arc Trail
SB: 4 [INN] Ancient Grudge
SB: 3 [INN] Traitorous Blood


 
@Alien: Are you aware that the banner in your signature has spelled your username incorrectly?

My current RDW list:

// Lands
    12 [IN] Mountain (4)
    4 [M11] Rootbound Crag
    4 [SOM] Copperline Gorge
    2 [INN] Kessig Wolf Run

// Creatures
    4 [INN] Stromkirk Noble
    4 [INN] Reckless Waif
   4 [M12] Stormblood Berserker
    3 [MBS] Hero of Oxid Ridge
    3 [M12] Chandra's Phoenix
    2 [M12] Goblin Fireslinger

// Spells
    4 [NPH] Shrine of Burning Rage
    4 [MPR] Incinerate
    4 [NPH] Volt Charge
    2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
    4 [NPH] Gut Shot

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
SB: 3 [NPH] Vulshok Refugee
SB: 3 [SOM] Arc Trail
SB: 4 [INN] Ancient Grudge
SB: 3 [INN] Traitorous Blood


 



What's with the SB Koth, the MD 4 Gut Shot, and the Waifs? Waif can be good, but if it's a choice of running it or running Koths or Arc Trails, cut it.

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many
Question, sorry I'm farely new to the red mage scene lol but I notice some list run 21 lands and some run 23. The one that runs 23 has Koth in it while the other doesn't.

Is koth the reason to up the lands cause there's more 4-drops in the deck cause it's also running with hero? 
It really is preference, and mana curve. Many decks run 8 or more 1 drops, along with a bunch of two drops, which means you can survive longer on two lands. 23 is just more consistent, and means you will probably be able to drop a land every turn.

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many
@Alien: Are you aware that the banner in your signature has spelled your username incorrectly?

My current RDW list:

// Lands
    12 [IN] Mountain (4)
    4 [M11] Rootbound Crag
    4 [SOM] Copperline Gorge
    2 [INN] Kessig Wolf Run

// Creatures
    4 [INN] Stromkirk Noble
    4 [INN] Reckless Waif
   4 [M12] Stormblood Berserker
    3 [MBS] Hero of Oxid Ridge
    3 [M12] Chandra's Phoenix
    2 [M12] Goblin Fireslinger

// Spells
    4 [NPH] Shrine of Burning Rage
    4 [MPR] Incinerate
    4 [NPH] Volt Charge
    2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
    4 [NPH] Gut Shot

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
SB: 3 [NPH] Vulshok Refugee
SB: 3 [SOM] Arc Trail
SB: 4 [INN] Ancient Grudge
SB: 3 [INN] Traitorous Blood


 



What's with the SB Koth, the MD 4 Gut Shot, and the Waifs? Waif can be good, but if it's a choice of running it or running Koths or Arc Trails, cut it.



People are running Timely Reinforcements maindeck, which means Hero of Oxid Ridge is more important to have in the maindeck than Koth is. Winning game 1 is pretty important to most Aggro decks, especially this one, because the anti-aggro sideboard cards can be incredibly potent so you really want to only have to win one post-board game.

That being said, you do want all 4 Koths against Control in games 2-3, so the other 2 Koth are in the SB. If Timely Reinforcements and similar start to be pushed exclusively to the sideboard, you could swap the SB Koths with Heroes.

You cannot cut Waif for anything other than a one-drop. You need 10 one-drops to be certain you can drop Stormblood Berserker consistently on Turn 2. Of the possible one-drops, Stromkirk Noble is the best by far. Reckless Waif is second-best; Turn 1-2 Waif against Control is even more powerful than Turn 1 Goblin Guide was, and it will frequently hit them for 9 before they can do anything about it. It's also the best of the lot to draw late-game (followed by Spikeshot Elder, then Fireslinger/Stromkirk noble). 
It's worst of the bunch drawn in the midgame, but you have plenty of other midgame cards to pick up the slack there (Hero, Koth, Phoenix). Game 2 on the draw, you typically SB out Waifs anyway except against Permission decks. Basically, Waif outclasses everything except the one-drop you already have 4 of.

There are three available one-mana burn spells in the format at the moment. Galvanic Blast, Geistflame, and Gut Shot. Galvanic Blast is the worst of them. There are no X/2 creatures relevant to kill with it, so the only benefit it has is dealing 2 damage to the face rather than 1, which is minor at best.

Between Geistflame and Gut Shot, it's a closer race. Geistflame kills all the relevent 1 toughness guys in the metagame, and can generate card advantage in the mid-late game just by pinging the opponent at EOT (requiring a second counterspell) or recovering Phoenixes. It also triggers Shrine twice.

Gut Shot, on the other hand, can kill a Stromkirk Noble/Waif/etc. on the draw while allowing you to play your own as it takes no mana. It's also possible to ping your opponent and drop Stormblood on Turn 2 without having a one-drop (say, if your opponent Geistflamed your Stromkirk Noble). It's also a free trigger for Shrine, allowing you to squeeze slightly more into the turn when you're activating Shrine, and is also a combat trick when you're tapped out.

All in all, Gut Shot is better against Aggro whereas Geistflame is better against everything else. Since Waif, Hero and Koth already do most of the work against Control, the slight advantage of Geistflame isn't as useful as additional Aggro utility. 

Arc Trail only competes with Incinerate. At the moment I prefer Incinerate for the ability to do 3 to the dome, and the instant speed (kill guys equipped with Swords midcombat, for instance), but if the metagame changes I might swap it for Arc Trails (in the board for Aggro mirrors).

Question, sorry I'm farely new to the red mage scene lol but I notice some list run 21 lands and some run 23. The one that runs 23 has Koth in it while the other doesn't.

Is koth the reason to up the lands cause there's more 4-drops in the deck cause it's also running with hero? 



Yes, if you run more 4-drops you need more land.
Sorry if I ask a whole bunch of questions but I love to learn more about RDW.

I've seen people have a hero in the side. When you do bring him in? against aggro or control with timely? 
Ok so I was able to get some cards on modo to make RDW I haven't gotten Stromkirk Nobles cause I believe their price will go down a little on modo.

Here's my list.


I want to run some Ancient Grudges and Traiorous Blood in the side for sure but I want ppl's opinion about the base of the deck and Need a little help with a sideboard. My problem is sometimes i know what to side in but don't know what to side out.

Please and Thank you for anyone who helps, It will be gladly appreciated.
When I last played RDW with 23 lands and 4 Koth's, I lost 3 games to manaflood and 1 to stupidity cause I tilted with my manaflooding. I since put 22 lands in the deck.

I think the second best 1-drop is furnace scamp, since its basically flat 4 damage as a 1-drop against same decks against which waif is good. It also basically always triggers brimstone volley, its either blocked and dies or goes through and is sacced. I used to underestimate scamp but now I value it more.

Also I like volt charge as 3cc burn since it is not as conditional as volley. I found that my early RDW versions tended to either kick ass or fail hard, and I wanted to reduce the conditional spells because of this. Volt charge also improves noble, berserker, shrine (adding two counters is huge) and Koth, allowing Koth to fire ultimate right after you play him on the next turn. Volt charge is deceptively good with the right cards. However volt charge fights for the same spot as brimstone volley, and I think 4 and 2 is the right number. Multiple volleys are less good than you'd think. Imagine this:
1st turn noble, 2nd turn noble hits and grows, firstpick berserker with 2 counters, 3rd turn volt charge blocker or opponent, proliferate, hit for 7. I also won one game by protecting shrine from ratchet bomb with volt charge.

I also think you guys should try devil's play. At worst its a 2cc geistflame, but it can be the last damage needed in the lategame against control etc. Especially if you play with Koths. Koth and 4 lands = 7 damage to the head with devils play with the chance to flashback.

Heres what I got so far, even though Im playing bant pod tonight:
4 stromkirk noble
4 furnace scamp
4 grim lavamancer (lavamancer gets slightly better with scamp)
4 firstpick berserker
2 chandra's phoenix
4 shrine of burning rage
4 volt charge
4 incinerate (arc trail is a metagame call)
2 brimstone volley
2 devil's play
either 4 Koth or 3 koth+1 hero or something
22 mountain

I tried running RG duals for ancient grudge and Kessig wolf run, and I never got to use wolf run. I think monored with manic vandals might be better.

I also think that manabarbs might be a good sideboard card again.
"And the word my father taught me that evening, the word meaning 'the strongest', was mage." - Tezzeret the seeker, Test of Metal
Manabarbs is good against control and solarflare. Decks that like to tap out and tap for counters. Other than that. It's meh.
@Alien: Are you aware that the banner in your signature has spelled your username incorrectly?

My current RDW list:

// Lands
    12 [IN] Mountain (4)
    4 [M11] Rootbound Crag
    4 [SOM] Copperline Gorge
    2 [INN] Kessig Wolf Run

// Creatures
    4 [INN] Stromkirk Noble
    4 [INN] Reckless Waif
   4 [M12] Stormblood Berserker
    3 [MBS] Hero of Oxid Ridge
    3 [M12] Chandra's Phoenix
    2 [M12] Goblin Fireslinger

// Spells
    4 [NPH] Shrine of Burning Rage
    4 [MPR] Incinerate
    4 [NPH] Volt Charge
    2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
    4 [NPH] Gut Shot

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
SB: 3 [NPH] Vulshok Refugee
SB: 3 [SOM] Arc Trail
SB: 4 [INN] Ancient Grudge
SB: 3 [INN] Traitorous Blood


 



22 lands and five four drops seems a little heavy on the curve, and makes wolf run activations less likely as well. Not playing Brimstone Volley(one of the reasons the one drop guys are so strong) seems like an error. Gut Shot is a card that has zero value in a lot of match ups, and in the mirror is often a good way to lose the race. Against the mirror, they'll be packing big five point burn whilst you are wasting a card to hit for one damage, yes it can be good agaisnt dudes, but if you are losing two life to do it, you are often just accomplishing what the creature would do anyway, giving them a shock with a built in discard effect. And if you hardcast it, you lose tempo, wheras at least geistflame gets double usage if you give up tempo. You don't need gut shot for pod or humans either, and it's dead versus control(using two cards to make a 3/3 beserker on turn 2 for example is playing right into their game plan), and solar flare will just timely into a big threat, since your damage spells are netting you less and making you rely on getting to four mana and having hero.

SB looks pretty good at least.
Website for my radio series: http://www.cyrusbalesfilms.co.uk/id2.html For the facebook group of my radio series, search for "Who will save us now?" Please join! Follow my regular articles on: http://www.manaleak.com/mtguk/
Also I like volt charge as 3cc burn since it is not as conditional as volley. I found that my early RDW versions tended to either kick ass or fail hard, and I wanted to reduce the conditional spells because of this. Volt charge also improves noble, berserker, shrine (adding two counters is huge) and Koth, allowing Koth to fire ultimate right after you play him on the next turn. Volt charge is deceptively good with the right cards.



Volt Charge is still conditional.  Yes, it will always proliferate, but you must have something on the board that will benefit from the proliferation.  On top of that, you must then get a chance to use the additional counters.  Proliferating a Stormblood Berserker right before it gets hit by Dismember or proliferating a Shrine of Burning Rage right before an Ancient Grudge isn't going to help.  That said, I love proliferate.  I don't think that someone can really make a bad choice when choosing between Volt Charge or Volley.

Some other notes on the RDW as a whole:

Grim Lavamancer took a big hit when it lost the fetches.  Now with Geistflame in some main decks and Ancient Grudge in the sideboard, it starts losing even more power.  I find either Gut Shot or Galvanic Blast to be better 1cc burns and Manic Vandal as better artifact hate in a deck that relies on the Lavamancer.

I'm not a fan of Kessig Wolf Run.  Splashing green with Rootbound Crag is fine if I just have it for Ancient Grudge in the SB, but once I start putting Kessig in the MD, I find I kind of need Copperline Gorge in addition to the Crags.  This starts making my mana base less reliable as I am now running 9 or 10 non-mountains.

Finally, I'm surprised Perilous Myr wasn't mentioned in the first post as a SB option for the mirror.  It deals with the Refugee and raises the chances you can trigger metalcraft on Galvanic Blast (lol, maybe from 0.1% to 0.4%, but hey, better is better!)
@Alien: Are you aware that the banner in your signature has spelled your username incorrectly?


Yep. I didn't want to be a jerk about it. =)

I'm currently trying out Cyrus' suggestion of siding in Phoenixes. My list looks like this:

// Lands
    13 [LOR] Mountain
    4 [M10] Rootbound Crag
    4 [SOM] Copperline Gorge
    2 [INN] Kessig Wolf Run

// Creatures
    4 [INN] Stromkirk Noble
    3 [SOM] Spikeshot Elder
    2 [M12] Grim Lavamancer
    4 [M12] Stormblood Berserker
    3 [MBS] Hero of Oxid Ridge


// Spells
    4 [NPH] Shrine of Burning Rage
    4 [MPR] Incinerate
    2 [SOM] Arc Trail
    3 [NPH] Volt Charge
    4 [INN] Brimstone Volley
    2 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
    2 [INN] Geistflame


// Sideboard
SB: 4 [INN] Ancient Grudge
SB: 3 [M12] Chandra's Phoenix
SB: 3 [NPH] Vulshok Refugee
SB: 2 [SOM] Arc Trail
SB: 3 [INN] Traitorous Blood
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM
Alien, how's the 3/4 split on volley and charge working for you? Seems like alot of 3cmc there.

Also, 8 non basic mountains. Seems like you wouldn't want Koth in your list. Have you thought bout just running 2 copperline gorge?
Sorry for double post. Using cell phone.

This is to alien again. Why no gutshots? I know gueistflame is good, especially with phoenix, but since you phoenixes are in the sb, how well is it working md?

Geistflame is often card advantage, but it pumps shrine, which is fine. 2 in the MD is a fine number. Gut Shot is just pretty weak on the whole as I mentioned earlier.

Alien's build hasn't got lots of three drops, because he just has the burn, dropping the pheonix to the SB so he actually has 7 three drops and spikeshot activation, which isn't that much considering most lists run 8 three drops.
Website for my radio series: http://www.cyrusbalesfilms.co.uk/id2.html For the facebook group of my radio series, search for "Who will save us now?" Please join! Follow my regular articles on: http://www.manaleak.com/mtguk/
What Cyrus said.

Also, 13 Mountains are enough to make Koth very scary indeed.

I agree that Geistflame gets a lot better with the opportunity to recur Phoenixes, but in the MU's where recurring Phoenixes really matter, I'm siding them in anyway.

Geistflame, Gut Shot, Galvanic Blast and Shock are all pretty weak in RDW. Thing is, you really, really want a 1cc burn spell - not having one is a huge tempo detriment a lot of the time. We don't have Lightning Bolt or Burst Lightning anymore, though, so we need to think about our other options.

Two Geistflames MD seemed like the best option in the current meta. I'm not really that scared by any x/2's. Mirran Crusader can be tough and if Humans take off, maybe Hamlet Captain. Still, neither are hard to handle with my MD, so I went with Geistflame.

Maybe I'll have to bump them to three in order to really get the tempo advantage needed. I don't know. I wouldn't like it, though. If we had access to Seal of Fire or something else powerful like Burst Lightning or something, I'd run it as a 4-of, no questions asked.
Photobucket Banner by zpikduM - typo also by zpikduM. =) Skide Fuld - Problem of Evil by frontsession Currently playing Standard: TurboJund Legacy: Zoo Block: Hahaha, good one! 1000th post on August 28, 2009 at 6:08PM
Since I really don't feel like obsessing any more over my list, here's my final 75:



Sideboard:
[deck]
4x Ancient Grudge
3x Dismember
3x Vulshok Refugee
2x Traitorous Blood
1x Hero of Oxid Ridge
1x Arc Trail
1x Reckless Waif
[/deck]

I went with Geistflame over Gut Shot primarily because, in the end, I should have a creature out on turn one, triggering bloodthirst on turn two. If I don't, then I shuffled badly, because nine maindeck one drop creatures means there's a pretty good chance I'll draw one in my opening hand. Geistflame is just so much better because of the flashback - charging a Shrine and resurrecting a Phoenix is a lot for four mana.

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many