Red Deck Wins

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Discuss all Red Deck Win decks here.

Deck lists to come pending formatting fixes.
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Yup Vexing Devil is Good! You should put 4 of those in there! LOL 

4 Ash Zealots might be a good idea as well!  
Here is the list I tried to play.....



And the sideboard...
[deck]
3 Mizzium Mortars
3 Flames of the Firebrand
3 Traitorous Blood
1 Brimstone Volley
2 Pyreheart Wolf
3 Volcanic Strength
[/deck]

The biggest lesson I learned was not every red deck wants Bonfire of the Damned... A lot of the time it was a dead card or a dead draw. And I think I am gonna try Lightning Mauler for more haste in the revamp of my deck with Mogg Flunkies. I miss the last standard rotations RDW.....
Sounds a lot like my Rakdos aggro deck. You could add Cryptborn Horror to replace searing spear or shred-freak.

Here is a tuned up version of the build that I won Game Day with and that I have placed in the top 4 each time I’ve played it at FNM:



 For RDW to really win in the current meta you need to follow some basic rules when designing the deck. Your creatures need to be cheap (a 4-drop is not cheap) as well as fast (Haste is better than Unleash for the most part) and your burn needs to be able to effect the player as well as creatures. This build is all about the first four turns of play – your first 9 to 10 mana taps. The 4-ofs in this deck are all cards you would want in your opening hand with the 3-ofs being cards you want 1 of at least once during the game and 2 of them would not be too bad and the 2-ofs you want to see once during the game.


 The curve on this build is really low and that alone allows you to run 20 land. Bring the curve up at all and you have to put in more land. That being said, you mulligan any hand with more than 3 land in it. This build has 19 1-drops and 2 miracles backed up by 12 2-drops, you do not need a lot of land to make it work and if you get too much you stand the chance of stalling and allowing your opponent to stabilize. Best opening hand would have 2 land in it.


 The best first turn play is either the Stromkirk Noble or Rakdos Cackler, depending on the other cards in your hand. Vexing Devil is your worst possible first turn play – but when that is 4 points of burn to your opponent’s face, worst possible still isn’t all that bad. If you have a Furor of the Bitten in your hand at the start then the cackler is the way to go – with only other creatures or burn, then the noble is the way to go in turn 1.


 Turn 2 is the best turn for Furor of the Bitten, cast during First Main Phase on the creature you played turn 1. Then you swing, then you cast Vexing Devil. I have seen a lot of games start is way, usually leaving your opponent at 12 life after 2 turns. For those that have a strong dislike for Furor – think of it as another Pillar of Flame – keeps the curve of the deck low and can protect your creatures from the opponent’s pillar. If cast it on a Stromkirk Noble they can be a 3/3 before they even swing and who is not going to be attacking every turn? Furor is an outstanding card in the current meta because of the low number of instant speed removal spells that exist for less than 3CMC. You can usually get two swings out of your Furor before the opponent finds a solution and if your opponent does not have a solution by then they are dead.


 Pyreheart Wolf is pretty much a wincon if he comes down Turn 3 as your opponent will most likely not be able to block your creatures for the next two turns. But at the same time you do not want a hand full of these guys.


 Hellrider is a wincon, but only if you get him at the right time. Having him in your hand from the start can be troublesome. Making him a 2-of in the deck cuts down on landing him on the draw.


 Thunderous Wrath as a 2-of means that you have a smaller chance of getting it in your opening hand while still having the strong possibility of  topdecking one – and I have had more divine damnation wished upon a miracle Thunderous Wrath than just about any other card that I’ve played. “Oh wow! Five to your face!” is what I say and that is usually followed by my opponent saying “G*# D@#^ IT!”


 Traitorous Blood is in the main deck because so many of the decks in the current meta have juicy 4 or 5-drops that are a big part of their strategy and only one of those juicy bombs has Haste. Right when the 1 and 2 drops of this deck are starting to run out of steam – say Turn 4 or Turn 5 – the other player drops their bomb and smiles. Maybe they gain 5 life with their Thragtusk – maybe they swing big with their Falkenrath Aristocrat but either way, on your next turn, Traitorous Blood means you are swinging it back at them and now it has Trample. T-Blood has the possibility of being both burn and removal at the same time. I like T-Blood over Mark of Mutiny and Traitorous Instinct because it is cheaper and has Trample, which means a chump doesn’t do much. When it comes to Thragtusk you want to hold on to some burn as well. Then after you T-Blood the tusk and swing you use the burn to kill the tusk while you still have control of it, that way you get the beast token.


 Sideboard


Nivmagus Elemental sides in vs control – remove the cacklers


Thunderbolt sides in vs Restoration Angel so that you can fry the angel when she flickers her target and get 2 for 1.- Remove the furor and a T-Blood


Flames of the Firebrand sides in vs tokens – Remove the furor


Annihilating Fire sides in vs zombies – remove 2 furor


Hellrider sides in vs JUND – remove 2 furor


 Cards I don’t like because I’ve tested them and found them wanting:


Brimstone Volley – conditional for best effect/too much mana for 3 damage


Hellion Crucible – can screw up your mana on Turn 2 and lose you the game.


Gore-House Chainwalker – Haste is better than Unleash – direct comparison with the Shread-Freak sees the freak getting in for damage faster and more often than an Unleashed Chainwalker. Remember that most low cost removal is sorcery speed currently.


Guttersnipe – I really like the snipe (had him on Game Day) but I’ve found that the Pyreheart Wolf , when held in direct comparison, fulfills more of what I want out of a 3-drop and with so little space for 3-drops in this build the snipe just had to go.


Stonewright – I really do not like him at all. Using his ability robs you have valuable mana that could be used to cast spells that either make creatures or burn spells. If your hand is full of cards that you cannot cast and you want to use your mana to firebreath so it won’t be “wasted” – your curve is too high and Firebreathing creatures are not going to help that situation one bit.


Mogg Flunkies – they can cause problems in mirror matches when you opponent removes the other creature needed to make the flunkies work.


Lightning Mauler – compare directly with Rakdos Shred-Freak and tell me why the mauler is better. I don’t see it. Soulbond Haste vs Haste, give me Haste without conditions please.


Volcanic Strength – the evasion that this aura can provide is not worth the additional mana cost, Turn 2 Furor is infinitely better than a Turn 3 Volcanic. Also increases the chances and mana costs if you happen to get 2-for-1’d by instant speed removal.


Cryptborn Horror – compare directly with Pyreheart Wolf, the horror can be bigger on Turn 3 but not all that bigger and has the condition that you are able to get through on Turn 3 with combat damage without using any mana to cast burn spells – this does not happen much on Turn 3. When testing the horror at FNM it cost me the finals match because I was not able to cast it Turn 3 when I had 3 mana available – if it would have been a Pyreheart Wolf I would have won the match – yes, the horror showed up in both of my game losses.


Reverberate or Increasing Vengeance – has the strong possibility of being a dead draw in your hand that you cannot afford and does not fit well with the archtype.


 If you want to waste your money you can try to fit either Bonfire of the Damned or Thundermaw Hellkite into this deck. But all that exercise is going to teach you is that just because a card is good and it is also red that does not mean it belongs in a Red Deck Wins build.


 I like to point out to opponents playing American or Grixis Control and Zombie decks that my deck, which just schooled them 2-0, cost less than one playset of their shocklands. Then I laugh and shake their hand – Good Match!

Is Reckless Waif worth considering, at least as a sideboard card versus control?
Is Reckless Waif worth considering, at least as a sideboard card versus control?



It is what I had in the sideboard vs control until I got the playset of Nivmagus Elemental

Problem with the waif is that you can end up flipping it back to a 1/1 if you cast too many spells and that's a bummer.
What else can i use instead of Vexing Devil because a playset of him is out of my budget??
Why not use Lightning Mauler? Giving haste to an unleashed cackler/vexing devil/noble or even a pyrehear wolf would be pretty neat.

Also, is Thunderous Wrath any good? Isn't it supposed to be played in burn decks, not aggro?

 For RDW to really win in the current meta you need to follow some basic rules when designing the deck. Your creatures need to be cheap (a 4-drop is not cheap) as well as fast (Haste is better than Unleash for the most part) and your burn needs to be able to effect the player as well as creatures. This build is all about the first four turns of play – your first 9 to 10 mana taps. The 4-ofs in this deck are all cards you would want in your opening hand with the 3-ofs being cards you want 1 of at least once during the game and 2 of them would not be too bad and the 2-ofs you want to see once during the game.


 The curve on this build is really low and that alone allows you to run 20 land. Bring the curve up at all and you have to put in more land. That being said, you mulligan any hand with more than 3 land in it. This build has 19 1-drops and 2 miracles backed up by 12 2-drops, you do not need a lot of land to make it work and if you get too much you stand the chance of stalling and allowing your opponent to stabilize. Best opening hand would have 2 land in it.


 The best first turn play is either the Stromkirk Noble or Rakdos Cackler, depending on the other cards in your hand. Vexing Devil is your worst possible first turn play – but when that is 4 points of burn to your opponent’s face, worst possible still isn’t all that bad. If you have a Furor of the Bitten in your hand at the start then the cackler is the way to go – with only other creatures or burn, then the noble is the way to go in turn 1.


 Turn 2 is the best turn for Furor of the Bitten, cast during First Main Phase on the creature you played turn 1. Then you swing, then you cast Vexing Devil. I have seen a lot of games start is way, usually leaving your opponent at 12 life after 2 turns. For those that have a strong dislike for Furor – think of it as another Pillar of Flame – keeps the curve of the deck low and can protect your creatures from the opponent’s pillar. If cast it on a Stromkirk Noble they can be a 3/3 before they even swing and who is not going to be attacking every turn? Furor is an outstanding card in the current meta because of the low number of instant speed removal spells that exist for less than 3CMC. You can usually get two swings out of your Furor before the opponent finds a solution and if your opponent does not have a solution by then they are dead.


 Pyreheart Wolf is pretty much a wincon if he comes down Turn 3 as your opponent will most likely not be able to block your creatures for the next two turns. But at the same time you do not want a hand full of these guys.


 Hellrider is a wincon, but only if you get him at the right time. Having him in your hand from the start can be troublesome. Making him a 2-of in the deck cuts down on landing him on the draw.


 Thunderous Wrath as a 2-of means that you have a smaller chance of getting it in your opening hand while still having the strong possibility of  topdecking one – and I have had more divine damnation wished upon a miracle Thunderous Wrath than just about any other card that I’ve played. “Oh wow! Five to your face!” is what I say and that is usually followed by my opponent saying “G*# D@#^ IT!”


 Traitorous Blood is in the main deck because so many of the decks in the current meta have juicy 4 or 5-drops that are a big part of their strategy and only one of those juicy bombs has Haste. Right when the 1 and 2 drops of this deck are starting to run out of steam – say Turn 4 or Turn 5 – the other player drops their bomb and smiles. Maybe they gain 5 life with their Thragtusk – maybe they swing big with their Falkenrath Aristocrat but either way, on your next turn, Traitorous Blood means you are swinging it back at them and now it has Trample. T-Blood has the possibility of being both burn and removal at the same time. I like T-Blood over Mark of Mutiny and Traitorous Instinct because it is cheaper and has Trample, which means a chump doesn’t do much. When it comes to Thragtusk you want to hold on to some burn as well. Then after you T-Blood the tusk and swing you use the burn to kill the tusk while you still have control of it, that way you get the beast token.


 



Thanks for posting the in-play strategy.

Just want to make sure I read this right.

Key is to get those low cost creatures out there right away, especially with Haste, and encourage them to become big either with enchantment or special ability. Hit 'em again and again with those creatures. Get their creatures out of the way with sorcery (burns), and use those burns on your opponent to either end the game, to spend untapped mana before your turn begin, or to do big damage (5 for 1R with Miracle). So 10 taps (4 turns) in it's either game over or you've got them at such a weakened position it might as well be...

Did I get that right? 
@stepintherift - Lightning Mauler only has Haste if you have another creature on the field and that condition, when directly compared against the Rakdos Shred-Freak leaves me favoring the Freak because he can swing without condition as soon as he hits the field. Yes, giving Haste to one of your creatures that does not have Haste can be good, but I don't like the idea of not being able to swing with your 2-drop creatures the turn that they hit the field. The Mauler is also vulnerable to sorcery speed removal before he swings if you do not pair him on his first turn on the field, 2 mana spent with no damage to show for it is very bad with this build.
As far as Thunderous Wrath, only put 2 in your deck, 3 or more means that you have a very strong possibility of getting it in your opening hand which you do not want as the high casting cost means that it is a dead card in your hand for most of the entire game. But with only 2-of in the deck you have a much better chance of landing that miracle. The race at that point becomes getting your opponent down to 5 life or less so that when you topdeck the T Wrath it is a wincon. T Wrath to the face FTW has ended quite a few games for me.

@drcarl - You hit the nail on the head. The game does not have to be over by Turn 4, but you should be well on your way to victory by then. If not, then your chances of pulling out a victory are slim - pray for that miracle!

@MtgElf21 - I don't know what you would use in place of my buddy Vexing Devil. He is just one of the cards that makes this build work for me. I know that there is a lot of hate out there for the V. Devil and I also know that there are some RDW builds out there that do not use him at all. I've been thinking about trying the Nivmagus Elemental in the mainboard - I was thinking about switching him with the Rakdos Cackler, but in your situation you might want to try the Elementals over the V.Devils for budget reasons. The sequence I see as best case scenario for the elemental is a Turn 1 play followed by Furor of the Bitten on Turn 2 along with an exiled Pillar of Flame, that makes the elemental 5/6 before he swings on Turn 2. But you better believe that he will be the prime target for your opponent's Dreadbore leading to a 2-for-1 on their next turn. Same situation if your opponent is using Oblivion Ring.
I cut the stonewrights and bonfires from my deck and added in 4 vexing devils, and what a difference those make! I also cut my shredfreaks (I know you said you think they are weak chiaelvis), but they also really helped to change the deck I found, by giving that extra haste to another creature, like say a resolved vexing devil. The deck is a lot smoother and faster now than it was before adding in the vexing devils. I didn't think they would make that much of a difference.
I cut the stonewrights and bonfires from my deck and added in 4 vexing devils, and what a difference those make! I also cut my shredfreaks (I know you said you think they are weak chiaelvis), but they also really helped to change the deck I found, by giving that extra haste to another creature, like say a resolved vexing devil. The deck is a lot smoother and faster now than it was before adding in the vexing devils. I didn't think they would make that much of a difference.
Sorry cut the shredfreaks for lightning maulers... (got ahead of myself in my sentence). I was happy with the lightning maulers so far, but that was only after one evening of testing. I am gonna try my revamped RDW tonight at FMN.
I've been kicking this list around for a few weeks now.  Pretty similar to the RB lists that have done well lately.

Lands:
4 Hellion Crucible
20 Mountain

Creatures:
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Ash Zealot
Rakdos Shred-Freak
Hellrider
2 Thundermaw Hellkite

Spells:
4 Pillar of Flame
4 Searing Spear
4 Brimstone Volley
4 Annihilating Fire
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.
I've been kicking this list around for a few weeks now.  Pretty similar to the RB lists that have done well lately.

Lands:
4 Hellion Crucible
20 Mountain

Creatures:
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Ash Zealot
Rakdos Shred-Freak
Hellrider
2 Thundermaw Hellkite

Spells:
4 Pillar of Flame
4 Searing Spear
4 Brimstone Volley
4 Annihilating Fire



Not sure you need quite that much mana, as 4 Hellion Crucible seems high... and I'd trade out 4 of your burn spells for Vexing Devils. Any ideas for your sideboard?
This is an attempt at Red-Deck-Wins that I've just started. I have a couple of questions? Firstly, "How bad is it?" Secondly, "Do I really need to spring for Hellrider?" It's the one typical, RDW card I have none of and I'm going to try a four-drop substitute for now.

The burn is a mish-mass; it's what I had on hand, I'd love to hear comments on what to do with it.

I'm torn over what to use for draw; Dangerous Wager seems like a good choice, but I went the way I did mostly because it reminds of of the good, old days.

One more Zealot is in route courtesy of eBay, so something will probably have to go to accomodate her; not sure what that'll be just yet.



Sideboard
[deck]
4 Thunderbolt
2 Reverberate
2 Flames of the Firebrand
2 Rolling Temblor
3 Traitorous Blood
2 Thundermaw Hellkite
[/deck]
RDW really doesn't need to think about card draw.  The trick really is to just keep going over the top in the face of Thragtusks / Centaur Healers and make any life gain the other deck uses just a speed bump.  Rather than try to draw cards, RDW needs to try to punish variance in the other players deck.  I'd cut all the draw you have for more Spears/Fires/+2 or 3 land.  Chandra doesn't lend much to the deck so there's a little room to up the burn counts/land count.  Moving Hellkite to the MD woud be a good thing to do as well.  -1 Shred-Freak, +1 Zealot would also be ideal.  Same cmc, same power, both hasted, but First Strike is very relavent, and 1 more thoughness never hurts.  And it's ability is relevent every once in a while.

@drcarl

I want to cast Hellkite on turn 5, 24 land is almost required for me to do this consistantly enough.  I have been considering dumping 1 Brimstone Volley for room for a 3rd Hellkite in the MD.  I don't like Vexing Devil because he's never what I want when I want him.  Other than a cute synergy with Volley, he seems to be holding me back.   And I'm considering dropping Volley all together for that 3rd Hellkite, a 4th Shred-Freak and possibly 2 Thunderous Wraths.  I am willing to go to 2 Vexing Devils if I don't like the Wraths.

As for my SB, it's pretty scattered right now.

For sure I have:
3 Tratorous Blood (Thragtusk Hate / Steal their creature I can't burn off)
4 Mizzium Mortars (Fatty hate, but it may become Thunderbolt to hate on Restoration Angel)(if I don't add it in the board as well)

The rest I've been using is mostly filler.
4 Reckless Waif (to replace Cackler in the Control Match Up) 
1 Thundermaw Hellkite (which I'd like to move to the MD)
3 Guttersnipe (to board in for the mirror/other aggro decks, as I can play control with my high burn count)(though this hasn't been working out)

I'm probably going to work in some Reverberates into the SB since Islands has been saying it's tech lately, and I'm usually at least willing to try stuff off is advice alone, though I don't like how it can be a dead draw.

I'm really hoping Boros/Gruul provide a aggressive 1-drop hasty creature.  We're probably not going to get another Goblin Guide-esk card any time soon though.  I'd settle for a Tattermunge Maniac that has an aggressive keyword (what ever the Boros/Gruul mechanics are basically).
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.
RDW really doesn't need to think about card draw.  The trick really is to just keep going over the top in the face of Thragtusks / Centaur Healers and make any life gain the other deck uses just a speed bump.  Rather than try to draw cards, RDW needs to try to punish variance in the other players deck.  I'd cut all the draw you have for more Spears/Fires/+2 or 3 land.  Chandra doesn't lend much to the deck so there's a little room to up the burn counts/land count.  Moving Hellkite to the MD woud be a good thing to do as well.  -1 Shred-Freak, +1 Zealot would also be ideal.  Same cmc, same power, both hasted, but First Strike is very relavent, and 1 more thoughness never hurts.  And it's ability is relevent every once in a while.



The fourth Zealot should be in the mail, so that's a done-deal as soon as she arrives.

I'm a little dubious about Chandra myself, but I want to give her a try.

I'll keep a eye on how the Reforge thing works; I really want it to work like Wheel of Fortune did back in the day. Good times.

@Anubuss

I think there are 2 slightly different approaches to RDW that I've seen watching the decks play.

I believe RDW works best when its built for maximal damage in turns 1 to 4. I think the deck needs to be constructed with the idea that you should be able to get your opponent down to 6 or fewer life within those 4 turns.

If you can do that, then you've got virtual card advantage moving forward, as he has to play his cards carefully to keep protecting against burn - and that limits his options.

So I feel the best RDW deck is built to play as if your end game exists in turns 1-4. If you haven't effectively won in those turns, then it's game over as most other decks play better in the mid range.

That's why I build my deck with turns 1 to 4 in mind, don't worry about the mid range, and simply plan to win in turn 5 to 6 with burn (or perhaps enough creature damage).

With that in mind, I like Vexing Devil because it's a one-drop for 4 damage which is a great push to the turn 1-4 goals. If it comes out later, then opponent is down to 6 or less life, and I get a 4/3 for one mana...

 I might keep Hellkite or Archwing in my Sideboard, but I'd keep them out of my MN for the above reasons.

Thoughts? 
Thundermaw Hellkite in the main-deck definately changes the nature of the beast. I don't think Archwing Dragon does, he's obviously the sames cost as Hellrider.

My thought on including Thunder was to side-board in for opponents who use Spirit tokens. I just like Archie. . . and I don't have any Hellriders yet.
@drcarl

It's not hard to do both by just upping the curve a bit to include a Thundermaw or 3.  I run 8 1-drops and 7-drops + 3 Hellriders.  VS general Aggro or most forms of Control that's enough to force a loy of early damage.  But VS Thragtusk / Centaur Healers in Bant, and the amount of lifegain Restoration Angel enables, early aggressive wins won't get there.  You'll be puttering out while they start casting Revalations for 4+ and just grind you out.

@pzbw7z

Archwing and Hellrider are mono-Reds 4-drops and it really depends on what you want the deck to be doing.  Hellrider has a lot of damage potential, but his 3 thoughness has him die to pretty much every relavent creature.  Archwing, while locking you down 4 lands a turn since you have to recast him, has a much larger body which eats through Restoration Angel.  And that self bounce of his has him dodge all the sorcery-speed removal. 
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.
@Anubuss

I try to solve the  Thragtusk / Centaur Healers / Restoration Angel in Bant by putting creature control (of opponent creature) and Enchant +2/+2 (for 1 mana!) in my maindeck, creating 5/5 Hellriders with Haste and 4/4 Ash Zealots with First Strike and Haste, as well as borrowing Thragtusk and attacking then killing him on my turn (giving me the token) - that keeps mana curve down and does max damage in turns 1-4 wth strong mid-game if needed... If that's not enough for some reason, then I sideboard Hellkite... Thoughts?
Tonight i gave the RDW a ittle try out in casual play. Even at this level, I learned Reforge the Sould is a knuckle-headed blunder in this deck. It really back-fired on me once and it tended to show up when it wasn't wanted. It's already gone.

Has any one ever given Past in Flames a thought? I realize one would need quite a lot of mana to get anything out of it, but it could be a finisher.
This is my favorite, so I'm going to share.

I came in 2nd place Friday night with this deck:



In a perfect world, it works like this: T1 - Cackler or Noble. T2 - Zealot. T3 - Mauler and any 1 drop. T4 - Devil and Volley. Plenty of potential damage wrath not withstanding. I typically average Turn 6 Wins with this list in the real world.

Mountain vs. Hellion Crucible - I know we all saw the cheap 4/4 and forgot where we were for a minute. If you have the extra mana to waste on that, you could have tossed 6 to the face two turns before your hellion got blocked.

Ash Zealot is a no-brainer. Come to think of it, so is the Stromkirk Noble

Hellrider vs. (Insert random 4 or 5 drop here) - Hellrider is fast and painful. At Turn 5 Plus, the guaranteed damage is more useful than a 5/5 Flying that "might" not be blocked. The Hellrider is more cost effective here. (though, the Hellkite is a possible Sideboard against spirits)

Lightning Mauler vs Shredd-freak or chain walker - I'm going to be nice about this set of cards. I like them all and have run them all at some point. If I had the room, I'd probably run a Mauler, Chain Walker combo. I like the Mauler here best for cost effectiveness. Yes, the Shred-Freak has automatic haste. Yes, The Mauler needs a second creature. Don't think of this in the 2-drop position. This is the 3-drop. Play it with a cackler or noble (or a Devil, but that can be risky). If somehow this is the only creature you will have out on turn 3, you are having a problem and you can make better choices.

Vexing Devil - We like the Vexing Devil. It's an easy choice. It can be unpredictable, but have some fun with it. You don't need to necessarily drop this on turn 1. It's true. If you open with A Devil and a Volley, hold on to it. Turn one is often a automatic sacrifice. Turn four, you have a better chance of a weakened opponent letting it through. On the chance that they force the sacrifice on turn 4, cast the volley. That's 9 direct for 4 mana. - Very cost effective in either case.

Burn is burn. Cost effective is the key.

Let me tell you about why there's 4 Thunderous Wrath in there (It's not a typo). If two is good, four is great. YES, IT'S RISKY! Don't get me wrong. You run the risk of a dead card. Know when to mulligan. But the times I've dropped my Third Wrath in a single game were worth it. It's quite simply your best (and worst) cost effective card. In my opinion, increase those odds as much as you can.

As for Sideboard:
I like Flames of the Firebrand for tokens and weenies. Also used it effectively against RDW.

Thunderbolt against angels and other airborne annoyances.

Mizzium Mortars - Actually, it's not as effective as I like. It can poke big creatures and weenie wipe later on, but I am looking at this card closer and considering a replacement. Just don't know what yet.

Vandalblast, because Artifacts are Annoying

Traitorous Blood I liked better than Traitorous Instinct if only because I can play it a turn earlier. Good against anything that can pull a quick creature of substance.


Furor of the Bitten is something I had considered and play tested. It's not bad if there's nothing to get in the way of your creatures. I thought it felt slow, but I have seen it used to some effect.

Reverberate has been on my mind to add to the sideboard. Could be the answer to my token problem.

Pyreheart Wolf - I like this against lots of things. I'd be running it now if I had a place to put it. Maybe in my sideboard.


So now that this is done with, I still have two small problems I need help with.

The guy I lost to on Friday had a White token deck I had no hope of keeping up with. I recall this guy dumping tokens on to the field with a few big creatures, some enchantment support and a Odric, Master Tactician. I found myself overrun easily and I didn't really have a good answer for what I could have done.

This guy also has a rat deck I can't handle. He dumps cheap rats out and constantly forces me to discard. The rat deck doesn't come out as much, but I don't have an answer to it either.

Anyone have luck against decks like these?

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Let me tell you about why there's 4 Thunderous Wrath in there (It's not a typo). If two is good, four is great. YES, IT'S RISKY! Don't get me wrong. You run the risk of a dead card. Know when to mulligan. But the times I've dropped my Third Wrath in a single game were worth it. It's quite simply your best (and worst) cost effective card. In my opinion, increase those odds as much as you can.

Vandalblast, because Artifacts are Annoying

So now that this is done with, I still have two small problems I need help with.

The guy I lost to on Friday had a White token deck I had no hope of keeping up with. I recall this guy dumping tokens on to the field with a few big creatures, some enchantment support and a Odric, Master Tactician. I found myself overrun easily and I didn't really have a good answer for what I could have done.

This guy also has a rat deck I can't handle. He dumps cheap rats out and constantly forces me to discard. The rat deck doesn't come out as much, but I don't have an answer to it either.

Anyone have luck against decks like these?



Four Volleys doesn't make sense to me. I've got only one and I don't think I want more - I'm not sure I'm going to keep it.

Rolling Temblor is a side-board idea, Flames of the Firebrand is another, heck Electrickery might be your solution.

Something like Dangerous Wager can help restock for the discard matchup. I suppose you could also side-board Loxodon Smiter if you really want to teach him a lesson.

@drcarl

@Anubuss

I try to solve the  Thragtusk / Centaur Healers / Restoration Angel in Bant by putting creature control (of opponent creature) and Enchant +2/+2 (for 1 mana!) in my maindeck, creating 5/5 Hellriders with Haste and 4/4 Ash Zealots with First Strike and Haste, as well as borrowing Thragtusk and attacking then killing him on my turn (giving me the token) - that keeps mana curve down and does max damage in turns 1-4 wth strong mid-game if needed... If that's not enough for some reason, then I sideboard Hellkite... Thoughts?



Furor of the Bitten is kind of techy, get's Cackler and other 2-thougness dudes out of most burn range and I hear 4/4 First Strikes are good.  However once it starts getting played on higher cmc dudes, you're just asking to get 2-for-1'd via Detention Sphere, or Ultamite Price.

Here's the problem with SB Hellkite.  You have to have a manabase that can play Hellkite reliably on turn 5 (when he does you the most good), but you don't have him in your MD.  This means your running 24ish lands in a deck that tops the curve at cmc 4 just for the SB Hellkites.  You ruin your explosiveness, and if your manabase doesn't support relaible turn 5 Hellkites, he can become a dead draw when you board him in, unless you're also dedicating some SB slots for land.

In my testing I've found it best to just keep going big.  It almost always wins game 1, and once you SB you can have a fair crack at games 2/3.  It all depends on how much fast/early Aggro hate they can bring in.  But right now the most common stuff is lifegain, and by going big, you  midigate that hate into a simple speed bump.

@pzbw7z

Tonight i gave the RDW a ittle try out in casual play. Even at this level, I learned Reforge the Sould is a knuckle-headed blunder in this deck. It really back-fired on me once and it tended to show up when it wasn't wanted. It's already gone.

Has any one ever given Past in Flames a thought? I realize one would need quite a lot of mana to get anything out of it, but it could be a finisher.



This is RDW.  If you're tapping 4 mana to give everything flashback, you should only maybe be able to get a pillar or 2, or a Sear from your graveyard.  If you can get any more than that, and congradulations, you've been mana flooded, and you probably don't have that much more burn used up to get any more value off the initial Past in Flames.  I'll reiterate what I've been saying, rather than bother trying to re-fuel, just keep dropping must answer threats.  He tapped out for a Terminus on turn 7 (ok, so he had a land up, but 1 mana means nothing I have to worry about).  I just cracked EoT'd a Spear, cracked a Crucible on my turn and swung for lethal.

@Random_Kid



Mountain vs. Hellion Crucible - I know we all saw the cheap 4/4 and forgot where we were for a minute. If you have the extra mana to waste on that, you could have tossed 6 to the face two turns before your hellion got blocked.



There is no reason not to run a few Crucibles.  We're mono-Red, so no color screw to worry about, and untill I see a [mc]rrr[/c] color weight on 1 card that costs 5 or less, I can easily afford 4 sources of colorless mana.  I gain something to do with my mana if I don't need to burn off a creature, or don't want to risk over extending.  When they wipe the board I can easily crack the crucible and I have a 4/4 to swing with on a moments notice.



Hellrider vs. (Insert random 4 or 5 drop here) - Hellrider is fast and painful. At Turn 5 Plus, the guaranteed damage is more useful than a 5/5 Flying that "might" not be blocked. The Hellrider is more cost effective here. (though, the Hellkite is a possible Sideboard against spirits)




Thragtusk, Restoration Angel and Centaur Healer all say that that 5/5 is going to give you more value.  Hellkite will eat the Angel when it flashes in, and Tusk/Healer just watch helplessly as it flys over them.  Hellrider trades with Tusk/Healer and get's eaten by Angel.  However, he really do need both.  Hellrider on turn 4 to start the damage push, followed up by a Hellkite on turn 5 wins games.



Let me tell you about why there's 4 Thunderous Wrath in there (It's not a typo). If two is good, four is great. YES, IT'S RISKY! Don't get me wrong. You run the risk of a dead card. Know when to mulligan. But the times I've dropped my Third Wrath in a single game were worth it. It's quite simply your best (and worst) cost effective card. In my opinion, increase those odds as much as you can.




RDW doesn't want that risk.  We want to punish varience in other peoples decks, not add it ours.  Quite frankly, if you top deck even 2 Wraths, you better be winning the game with the kind of early pressure we're capable of.  Wrath's 3 and 4 just make up for your bad draws.  We do now want to handy cap yourself with possible dead cards.



Pyreheart Wolf - I like this against lots of things. I'd be running it now if I had a place to put it. Maybe in my sideboard.




I don't like the Wolf.  Too small a body for the casting cost.  The evasion for the team is good, but if I can't make use of it until turn, I'd rather use that turn to play another 1/2-drop or fire off some removal to clear the way.


Edit:

sblock'd for space.

Heres a SB I'm currently playing with:
2 Pithing Needle (turn off Planeswalkers)
2 Grafdigger's Cage (turn off Reanimator)
4 Mizzium Mortars (generic fatty hate)
4 Thunderbolt (Restoration Angel hate)
3 Traitorous Blood (Thragtusk hate)
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.
@drcarl

@Anubuss

I try to solve the  Thragtusk / Centaur Healers / Restoration Angel in Bant by putting creature control (of opponent creature) and Enchant +2/+2 (for 1 mana!) in my maindeck, creating 5/5 Hellriders with Haste and 4/4 Ash Zealots with First Strike and Haste, as well as borrowing Thragtusk and attacking then killing him on my turn (giving me the token) - that keeps mana curve down and does max damage in turns 1-4 wth strong mid-game if needed... If that's not enough for some reason, then I sideboard Hellkite... Thoughts?



Furor of the Bitten is kind of techy, get's Cackler and other 2-thougness dudes out of most burn range and I hear 4/4 First Strikes are good.  However once it starts getting played on higher cmc dudes, you're just asking to get 2-for-1'd via Detention Sphere, or Ultamite Price.

Here's the problem with SB Hellkite.  You have to have a manabase that can play Hellkite reliably on turn 5 (when he does you the most good), but you don't have him in your MD.  This means your running 24ish lands in a deck that tops the curve at cmc 4 just for the SB Hellkites.  You ruin your explosiveness, and if your manabase doesn't support relaible turn 5 Hellkites, he can become a dead draw when you board him in, unless you're also dedicating some SB slots for land.

In my testing I've found it best to just keep going big.  It almost always wins game 1, and once you SB you can have a fair crack at games 2/3.  It all depends on how much fast/early Aggro hate they can bring in.  But right now the most common stuff is lifegain, and by going big, you  midigate that hate into a simple speed bump.

@pzbw7z

Tonight i gave the RDW a ittle try out in casual play. Even at this level, I learned Reforge the Sould is a knuckle-headed blunder in this deck. It really back-fired on me once and it tended to show up when it wasn't wanted. It's already gone.

Has any one ever given Past in Flames a thought? I realize one would need quite a lot of mana to get anything out of it, but it could be a finisher.



This is RDW.  If you're tapping 4 mana to give everything flashback, you should only maybe be able to get a pillar or 2, or a Sear from your graveyard.  If you can get any more than that, and congradulations, you've been mana flooded, and you probably don't have that much more burn used up to get any more value off the initial Past in Flames.  I'll reiterate what I've been saying, rather than bother trying to re-fuel, just keep dropping must answer threats.  He tapped out for a Terminus on turn 7 (ok, so he had a land up, but 1 mana means nothing I have to worry about).  I just cracked EoT'd a Spear, cracked a Crucible on my turn and swung for lethal.

@Random_Kid



Mountain vs. Hellion Crucible - I know we all saw the cheap 4/4 and forgot where we were for a minute. If you have the extra mana to waste on that, you could have tossed 6 to the face two turns before your hellion got blocked.



There is no reason not to run a few Crucibles.  We're mono-Red, so no color screw to worry about, and untill I see a [mc]rrr[/c] color weight on 1 card that costs 5 or less, I can easily afford 4 sources of colorless mana.  I gain something to do with my mana if I don't need to burn off a creature, or don't want to risk over extending.  When they wipe the board I can easily crack the crucible and I have a 4/4 to swing with on a moments notice.



Hellrider vs. (Insert random 4 or 5 drop here) - Hellrider is fast and painful. At Turn 5 Plus, the guaranteed damage is more useful than a 5/5 Flying that "might" not be blocked. The Hellrider is more cost effective here. (though, the Hellkite is a possible Sideboard against spirits)




Thragtusk, Restoration Angel and Centaur Healer all say that that 5/5 is going to give you more value.  Hellkite will eat the Angel when it flashes in, and Tusk/Healer just watch helplessly as it flys over them.  Hellrider trades with Tusk/Healer and get's eaten by Angel.  However, he really do need both.  Hellrider on turn 4 to start the damage push, followed up by a Hellkite on turn 5 wins games.



Let me tell you about why there's 4 Thunderous Wrath in there (It's not a typo). If two is good, four is great. YES, IT'S RISKY! Don't get me wrong. You run the risk of a dead card. Know when to mulligan. But the times I've dropped my Third Wrath in a single game were worth it. It's quite simply your best (and worst) cost effective card. In my opinion, increase those odds as much as you can.




RDW doesn't want that risk.  We want to punish varience in other peoples decks, not add it ours.  Quite frankly, if you top deck even 2 Wraths, you better be winning the game with the kind of early pressure we're capable of.  Wrath's 3 and 4 just make up for your bad draws.  We do now want to handy cap yourself with possible dead cards.



Pyreheart Wolf - I like this against lots of things. I'd be running it now if I had a place to put it. Maybe in my sideboard.




I don't like the Wolf.  Too small a body for the casting cost.  The evasion for the team is good, but if I can't make use of it until turn, I'd rather use that turn to play another 1/2-drop or fire off some removal to clear the way.


Edit:

sblock'd for space.

Heres a SB I'm currently playing with:
2 Pithing Needle (turn off Planeswalkers)
2 Grafdigger's Cage (turn off Reanimator)
4 Mizzium Mortars (generic fatty hate)
4 Thunderbolt (Restoration Angel hate)
3 Traitorous Blood (Thragtusk hate)



You need to get 2 Reverberate into the sideboard for all those spells that give you fits (Entreat, Sphinx Rev, Bonfire, Rakdos Return) later in the game. You have to be patient with the reverb though - it has it's time and it's place, not to be used on your own burn unless it's FTW. Kind of like how T.Bolt is your answer to Resto's or T.Blood is your answer to Swaggy. I would dump the G.Cages for the Reverbs - sideboard the T.Blood versus the Reanimator matchup and grab yourself some Griselbrand. I don't like mortars because they don't do faces.
This is the build I am running now that December has started:



I have increased the land because I increased the number of 3 and 4 drops. I moved the nobles to the sideboard for the GW Humans matchups and moved the Nivmagus Elemental into the mainboard because the elemental gives me more options than the vampire does. I had to drop the Furor of the Bitten in order to take on more land and more burn. I dropped the Rakdos Shred-Freak in favor of more burn and dropped the Pyreheart Wolf for the Guttersnipe. The sniper and the elemental are like chocolate and peanut butter - great tastes that go great together. Turbo-Fog has arrived at my local meta, so I sideboarded a couple of B.Volley just to make those matchups end as soon as possible - can't fog burn.

With the addition of Guttersnipe to my build, along with more burn spells I am 2-0'ing my opponents more often than I am 2-1'ing them.
I'm testing Mortars and Thunderbolt.  If I can decide on a split, or 1 over the other I can make some room for Reverberate.

Problem VS Reanimator is if they reanimate Griselbrand, they just might be able to draw into more answers to survive / win out right.  But it's not Griselbrand I'm worried about seeing pop out of the 'yard.  It's Thragtusk.  5 life, on a card they have no problem casting from hand.  I just want to slow them down long enough to not let them stall too many turns with it.  Cage does that.  I always see Centaur Healers come in from Reanimator SBs, all because Thragtusk is so splash-able and Rites has it's white flashback cost.  I stop Rites, and my go big plan does the rest.
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.


I believe RDW works best when its built for maximal damage in turns 1 to 4. I think the deck needs to be constructed with the idea that you should be able to get your opponent down to 6 or fewer life within those 4 turns.




in a perfect world, sure.

but this is a thragtusk world, along with a million other life gaining cards that "go big"

not adapting will prove problematic.  this is why this deck needs to be playing more midrange threats, including probably at least 2 thundermaw hellkites.

it's like demigod of revenge era red decks     

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Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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I believe RDW works best when its built for maximal damage in turns 1 to 4. I think the deck needs to be constructed with the idea that you should be able to get your opponent down to 6 or fewer life within those 4 turns.




in a perfect world, sure.

but this is a thragtusk world, along with a million other life gaining cards that "go big"

not adapting will prove problematic.  this is why this deck needs to be playing more midrange threats, including probably at least 2 thundermaw hellkites.

it's like demigod of revenge era red decks     



... which is why I sideboard them in in game 2,3 ... my belief is that in the first game, they have enough trouble getting enough of the lands they need to play effectively in the first four turns, whereas RDW has a much more consistent draw - I think the odds are in RDW favor with quick attack - he may be able to pull out a Thargtusk in turn four, but if he's got 3 mana colors to cover, probably not... so I've got 4 turns to get him down to a place where he has to play defensively ...
i mean, it's not like the dragons are necessarily bad against decks that don't have thragtusk.  creature vs. creature decks often can come down to who has the bigger stuff

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

I produce Dubstep and House beats:

https://soundcloud.com/burning_forest

 

Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

Photobucket

It actually isn't to hard to hit 3 colors of mana over 4 turns.  It just makes the deck more expensive.  Temple Garden, Hallowed Fountain, Glacial Fortress, Sunpetal Grove, and Hinterland Harbor all make the Bant colors pretty easy to hit in a timely maner.  Fill that out with 4 basics and you've got yourself a Bant manabase, that can very easily Syncopate your turn 2/3 play, drop a Centaur Healer, flash in a Restoration Angel, drop a Thragtusk and start building up for a nice Sphinx's Revelation.
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.
It actually isn't to hard to hit 3 colors of mana over 4 turns.  It just makes the deck more expensive.  Temple Garden, Hallowed Fountain, Glacial Fortress, Sunpetal Grove, and Hinterland Harbor all make the Bant colors pretty easy to hit in a timely maner.  Fill that out with 4 basics and you've got yourself a Bant manabase, that can very easily Syncopate your turn 2/3 play, drop a Centaur Healer, flash in a Restoration Angel, drop a Thragtusk and start building up for a nice Sphinx's Revelation.



That's certainly possible, and I understand that can happen, and there are just going to be some games where thier draw is better and they do simply have better cards for the midgame in thier deck as they can choose from three colors (+gold) for the midgame. If they can get that strong a draw, start to stabalize the board in turn 3 and have a stable board by turn 5, RDW is always going to struggle... I just don't think that'll happen in most games against Bant, because they are built for a mid game that typically starts to come into play by turn 5, although a good draw means they can stablize the board by turn 5..
As RB Aggro gains in popularity, Bant and other decks will find ways to stabalize by turn 4/5.  That means the weenie approach for RDW just can't cut it.  Hellkite is good VS pretty much every deck because it's a 5/5 hasted flyer that can potential be unblocked the turn it's played, and maybe wipe out a bunch of tokens too.  He punishes variance just as well, if not better than a weenie rush.

If you have the Hellkites, there really is no good reason to leave them in your SB.  Your SB is for cards that improve your bad match ups and fights cards that others are going to bring in against you.  Not for cards that you just didn't want to put in your MD.
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.
I ran a build very similar to Chiaelvis' list on page 1. The biggest difference was running [C]Guttersnipe[/C] in place of [C]Pyreheart Wolf[/C]. While initially that swap was done due to availability, I honestly preferred the outcomes when Guttersnipe hit.

I went 2-2. Here's a brief synopsys of my matchups:
Show

Round 1: GB control 2-0 Ok, so my opponent was mostly running a rogue build meant to tackle the major midrange decks of the night. The build ran beautifully, as I played a total of 7 turns between the two games. The rare creature he managed to drop was snagged by [C]Traitorous Blood[/C], burns worked well, etc.

Round 2: Jund Midrange 1-2 There was some variance from the standard, but the creature hate created some problems. The 2 games I lost did come down to no more than a 3 life difference. It turned into a topdeck race, and I did not win. Part of that was my mistake in not siding in [C]Thunderbolt[/C] like I should have, but you live and you learn.

Round 3: Mirror 1-2 Oh, aggro races. Again, topdeck race that I lost by a few points. Past the race, it mostly came down to who played first.

Round 4: Reanimator 2-1 The speed won out, for the most part. The one game my opponent won, it was because of a play mistake on my part (kept a hand I should have mulliganed).


Few issues I'm finding in some regularly MD cards:
Show

[C]Stromkirk Noble[/C] Say what you will. I feel this card is underpowered too long and has too little utility, unless you have a [C]Furor of the Bitten[/C] to drop on him. He only deals 1dmg on the second turn out, which I found to be problematic. The pump is nice, but if there's anything to block, he's scrap on the field.

[C]Pillar of Flame[/C] Without a Guttersnipe or Nivmagus Elemental on the field, it just feels lacking. I'd be happier if it was instant speed, but I'll just have to wait for Shock to get a reprint.

[C]Hellrider[/C] If you can get this off against a deck that has little to no creature hate, it's golden. Otherwise, it's a 4 drop 3/3 that'll hit your opponent for 1, if you're lucky.

The one other problem I had was card draw. Even in successful games, it's easy to be relying on your topdeck, which always makes me nervous.


Here's the build I'm going to run next week. I'll post results then. And I do realize it's 63 cards. I feel the utility outweighs the risks (at the moment)
Show

20 Mountain

4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Nivmagus Elemental      (helps against control, and makes Pillar more versatile)
4 Vexing Devil                   (worked consistently as both burn and creature)
3 Ash Zealot
4 Lightning Mauler            (I rarely had nothing the Mauler could pair with for haste)
3 Guttersnipe                    (works with all the burn and Nivmagus, if any problems pop up)
2 Hellrider                         (keeping, as it's still generally useful)

3 Furor of the Bitten
4 Pillar of Flame                (it's cheap, and works with some of my creatures)
2 Thunderous Wrath
4 Searing Spear
2 Traitorous Blood            (great card, don't always need it)
4 Dangerous Wager         (fixes hand issues, works with Snipe/Elemental)

SB
2 Traitorous Blood            (in case I want to see it more often)
2 Grafdigger's Cage         (Helped greatly against the Reanimator)
2 Annihilating Fire            (also helped against Reanimator)
3 Flames of the Firebrand
4 Thunderbolt
2 Mizzium Mortars             (fatty hate)
Running a 63 card list on 20 lands seems like a big risk. How often were you stuck fishing for a 3rd or 4th land? And did you ever find yourself wishing for gas over Wager? I've never been a believer in card draw in aggro. More so in a deck like RDW. Card draw is more for midrange and control decks in my mind.
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.
Running a 63 card list on 20 lands seems like a big risk. How often were you stuck fishing for a 3rd or 4th land? And did you ever find yourself wishing for gas over Wager? I've never been a believer in card draw in aggro. More so in a deck like RDW. Card draw is more for midrange and control decks in my mind.



I did not run into issues with fishing for lands. #3 was consistent, #4 was never an issue. The build I posted isn't what I used yesterday, but what I'll be running next week (idealy). I'm going to try to get some playtests in before the next FNM. Given the very low mana curve, I think I'll be alright. I'll definitely let you folks know.

I feel the card draw will be useful, as I often found myself waiting for a topdeck option after my hand was empty. With Wager's instant speed, I can drop it at the end of an opponent's turn, and have 3 options sitting in my hand after my draw step. While I would generally agree that draw is more midrange/control, the synergy with Guttersnipe and quick option increase is very appealing, given my experience with my previous build.
There really isn't any stronger synergy with Guttersnipe than with any burn spell.  At least with burn, Guttersnipe is either increasing the damage dealt, or pushes some burn through why burning off blockers as well.  And with Wager, unless you've emptied your hand, or are mana flooded, you're generally going to be pitching something you might have needed.  At that point, Faithless Looting might be the superior chocie since you can pitch just the 2 less useful things after you've draw your 2 cards and you can flash it back later (provided theres no Zealot to penalize you for it).

However, Guttersnipe really isn't too useful in RDW.  Red is lacking a competetive 3-drop.  I think the top 3 are probably Splatter Thug, Guttersnipe and Pyreheart Wolf.  And none of them really jump out at me as being includes for decks.

From my experience, low curved builds are not the way to go.  There's too much possible lifegain being slung around to make the weenie strategy effective in a tournament.  It might be fine for FNMs with smaller turn outs, or less competetive metas (or just metas where no one is running Bant), but it's not what RDW shoud be working towards. 
My Decks
Standard: BR Aggro Burn RDW Modern: Dragon Stompy Burn Fae Tempo Zoo Cherrios Legacy: Zoo Dragon Stompy Pauper: Slivers Landfall EDH: Sliver Overlord
1000th post on 2-1-10. 5000th post on 1-21-13.
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