Red Deck Loses (RDL) is a deck I threw together in about 10 minutes, about 11 minutes before I left for FNM. The idea was to burn like crazy but most likely fall short. That did not happen. Not only was I beating people, I was doing it convincingly and making them mad since this entire deck can be built for well under $100.
RDL aims to win the game in as few turns as possible by using efficient burn/creature spells to maintain an early damage curve to allow for a turn 5-7 explosion of Rift Bolt
s, Cheap Burn
all while maintaining more card advantage than should be allowed!
So people can hopefully stop asking this question over and over:
RDW = Creatures
RDL = Burn
Why Play RDL?
One of the best reasons to play RDL is that unlike all the people you will be competing against, you can take pride in knowing that your $50 deck is not only holding its own against decks that cost 6+ times as much, but actually beating them regularly.
Another major selling point is that it is next to impossible to stop by traditional means. This deck laughs at counter spells, flying creatures, trampling creatures, creatures with shroud, bounce and so much more. The beauty of this design is that when you decide to go off, you have so many spells flying around that it is impossible (pre-sideboard) to stop them all!
Perhaps the most important reason to play RDL is because it is really fun, and really powerful. This is the type of deck you play when you want to dictate the tempo, and this deck stomps on the accelerator turn 1 and never lets up.
How Does RDL Work?
RDL works by efficiently spending the first 3 turns getting in damage with creatures, setting up its hand for the big finish, and then executing the big finish. Ideally it wants to go off by turn 5, but if it takes a turn or two longer it is usually within reason to still expect to win.
The first few turns are ideally spent aggressively attacking with Mogg Fantastic
and Keldon Marauders
while using Incinerate
to either keep the road clear or smack the dome of your opponent. Browbeat
early on keeps the pressure on by either refilling your hand or doing the 5 damage and dropping your opponent dangerously close to Rift Bolt+Grapeshot territory. In the interim cards like Mudbutton Torchrunner
help pile on the damage while holding off ground assaults.
What Cards Go In RDL?Creature Spells
Other Cards to Consider
Mogg Fanatic : An early thorn in your opponent's side that will continue to irritate. 4 is a must.
Keldon Marauders : This 2-drop is essential to the early win. also want a 4-of.
Mudbutton Torchrunner : This is a personal call more than anything, run if you want. It does serve as really good intimidation against Doran Doran or other aggro.
Greater Gargadon : Could be useful as a sack engine for the Marauders , but viability is up to you.
Storm Entity : For the stormy types
Spark Elemental : Decent first turn drop.
Emberwilde Augur : Another option to slow down aggro while still posing an explosive threat, but the timing of the sacrifice ability makes it less desirable than Torchrunner
Potential Sideboard Material
Mountain : If you can't figure this out, you might as well quit magic.
Mishra's Bauble : Peek for . Wrap it up!
Rite of Flame : If you want to go the neo D-Storm route, you'll need to build up a storm. That's where this guy comes in.
Keldon Megaliths : This card should be at least considered as a 1 or 2 of inclusion in any RDL
Kher Keep : Allows the ability to create chump blocks for fat ground attackers
Wheel of Fate : Synergies well with this entire deck list.
Anti-discard Deck Tech
Sulfurous Blast : Awesome board wipe. Meta dependent, SB in most cases.
Arc Blade : it keeps coming back to bite 'em in the @**. Good SB material.
Pithing Needle : Got Story Circle ? No problem, mon.
Fury Charm : Budget Artifact hate+options. Your call.
Disenchant Takes out all enchantments/artifacts, use only as a last resort if your meta is stacked with annoying enchantment/artifacts, and if so you will have to main deck Battlefield Forge .
Detritivore : Nice option against opponents running many, many annoying non-basics. Slows your clock, but adds to storm when it comes into play.
Tormod's Crypt : Provides a very nice defense against Lark/Blink and Reanimator.
Cryoclasm : Excellent against all these decks that boldly choose to plains with islands/plains.
Discard decks featuring The Rack pose the biggest challenge to RDL, so these cards in the sideboard will help RDL battle against the discard deck.
Guerrilla Tactics : Against a discard deck, this card is 4 damage for 0 mana, not bad at all.
Dodecapod : Against a turn 1 funeral Charm this guy wins you the game no later than the 5th turn, even less with a few burn spells thrown in.
Wheel of Fate : Reload your hand for another assault. W00t!
Fiery Temper : When played for the madness cost, is quite devastating.
Sample RDL Deck ListsSample Decks
Red Deck Loses by Binaural
ddrfr33k's sample deck
Because of this deck's rather unique path to victory, there are not a lot of current standard decks that present a great deal of problems for RDL. Since RDL aims to just burn face ASAP a lot of creature based decks simply cannot get 20 in on the RDL deck before they get burned for 20 to the face. The notable exception is Doran Doran which has a faster clock than RDL. Later versions of RDL have included more creatures (most notably Mudbutton Torchrunner) to attempt to slow down Doran and his attacking hordes. Results have been mixed, but these changes have given RDL a chance where previously there was none.
Every deck has one or two creatures at least that really must be dealt with (like Mad Auntie
, Scion of Oona
, Imperious Perfect
, Treetop Village
among others, and this deck does run Incinerate for that reason. Burning out 1 tough creature with 1 Incinerate can buy RDL all the time it needs to finish the job.
Also, as previously mentioned, any deck which has a reliable source of life gain is a big problem for RDL. While the dreaded Martyr of Sands
seems to have lost favor of late, it is still devastating. The other major life gaining card RDL must worry about is Loxodon Warhammer (which is run in decks like The Rock). In game 1 it can be worked around by burning the creature attached to the warhammer, but games 2 and 3 there must be a sideboard answer for Warhammer, which usually takes the form of Fury Charm or Pithing Needle.
In recent times Lark/Blink has burst on the scene with tremendous results and is probably THE
deck to beat right now. RDL wins game 1 far more than any other current archetype does, but games 2 and 3 can be trouble with the sideboarded Aven Riftwatcher
. Some kind of graveyard disruption is essential to having a chance post board against Lark ( Tormod's Crypt
) or else good old Cryoclasm
The last major archetype that gives RDL problems is discard. Most good discard decks will dominate the first game, but since the RDL player knows its weaknesses, the sideboard will turn the tides in games 2 and 3 with additions like Guerrilla Tactics and Dodecapod.SPECIAL NOTE:
Management wishes to inform everyone that they will no longer be discussing the benefits of Grapeshot. Please note that it has been discussed ad nauseum throughout the many pages of the thread, and everything that can be said about it has been said countless times, so if you want to know about Grapeshot, you are going to have to read the thread.
To sum up why Grapeshot is a great card for RDL:
- It synergies terrificly with suspended cards like Rift Bolt and Wheel of Fate
- It synergies greatly with cheap burn like Shock and Shard Volley
- It divides its damage into increments of 1 so you can send each damage wherever you want (like your own Mud Buddy)
- It is virtually uncounterable
- It synergies well with your opponent's counter spells
- On average and with very little planning it is 2 mana for (on average) 3-4 damage and 1 card
-EDIT-Slapped on the Pre-Archetype tag. I'll do some work in the next couple of days to make the O.P. more appealing/informative (specific card suggestions, sideboard options, etc)...I also updated my current version of the deck in the O.P.
Just updated the O.P. to make it more deserving of the tag "pre-archetype"
...To Yourradiogeek for the AWESOME banner!
...To Hodoku for the excellent red borders.
...To ddrfr33k and Wulfpak for believing