November 9, 2015

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Introduction to EDH Part 5: Mono-Red

Three colours down, two to go. This week I’m discussing what’s considered to be a simple, yet very fun colour to play in Magic. Mono-Red.

Lightning, Fire, and Insanity.

Red is the colour of impulse, emotion, and generally being very simple. Red mages don’t think too about their decisions, they just cast every Lightning Bolt that they draw. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Did I Mention Fire?

Red’s main point of attraction is that it’s battle plan tends to be the same in every format, dealing lots of damage in little time. Red is the only colour that consistently deals direct damage to creatures and players using spells. It is also good at smashing artifacts and swarming the battlefield with tokens (usually they have Haste too!). All in all a very fun colour, but the incredibly straightforward battle plan can get a bit dim in EDH.

Fire Destroys, But Never Creates

Red’s weaknesses are all tied to its inherent impulsiveness. Red’s only card draw usually requires discarding cards as a cost, or after the cards are drawn. This prevents red from ever actually generating card advantage. Also, Red is terrible at taking out large creatures due to mostly relying on spells that deal 3-5 points of damage. Lastly Red can’t touch enchantments except for a few colour pie breaks.

Red Staples

I’d argue that Red has even less variety than White in EDH, so you may tend to see these staples in many decks.

1. Chaos Warp
One of Red’s only real answers to Enchantments and big Creatures, I never leave home without one.

2. Faithless Looting
Though Red tends to be horribly inefficient at drawing cards, this useful Flashback spell at least allows you to filter through your deck better than many other things. I run it in a Lyzolda, the Blood Witch deck and it’s always satisfying to draw tutors then pitch the Bloodghast in my hand.

3. Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune tends to be really useful in many Red strategies. Simply because your hand is going to empty fast, and maybe your opponent has a nice full hand. You essentially draw seven for three mana, and make your opponent’s lose whatever they were excited about.

What Does a Good Red Deck Look Like?

How fast can you deal damage? If the answer is either “insanely fast”, or “not as fast but it’s extremely consistent and inevitable” , then you are probably doing it right. Today we shall focus on the latter because I find it more fun.

Hammer Time

Purphoros, God of the Forge tends to do what I like in EDH. Many decks can’t deal with him more than once or twice, do to being an Indestructable Enchantment, and the fact that he deals damage to each opponent just makes his game plan inevitable.

Basic Game Plan

Step 1 – Cast Purphoros as fast as possible
Step 2 – Flood the battlefield with tokens using pretty much every other card in the deck
Step 3 – ????
Step 4 – Victory

Magic Deck

Commander: (1)
Purphoros, God of the Forge

Creatures: (20)
Beetleback Chief
Chancellor of the Forge
Embermaw Hellion
Emrakul’s Hatcher
Goblin Matron
Goblin Rabblemaster
Goblin Recruiter
Hangarback Walker
Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Krenko, Mob Boss
Magus of the Moon
Mogg War Marshal
Myr Battlesphere
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Rapacious One
Siege-Gang Commander
Solemn Simulacrum
Thopter Assembly
Young Pyromancer

Spells: (28)
Boom // Bust
Chaos Warp
Descent of the Dragons
Devastating Summons
Dragon Fodder
Empty the Warrens
Faithless Looting
Feral Lightning
Firecat Blitz
Flowstone Slide
Goblin Offensive
Goblin Rally
Goblin Scouts
Hellion Eruption
Hordeling Outburst
Krenko’s Command
Magmatic Insight
Mogg Alarm
Mogg Infestation
Molten Birth
Price of Progress
Rolling Earthquake
Ruination
Starstorm
Tempt with Vengeance
Thatcher Revolt
Vandalblast
Wheel of Fortune

Planeswalkers: (2)
Chandra, Pyromaster
Koth of the Hammer

Enchantments: (7)
Dictate of the Twin Gods
Furnace of Rath
Goblin Warrens
Impact Tremors
Outpost Siege
Price of Glory
Stranglehold

Artifact: (7)
Caged Sun
Gauntlet of Power
Mana Vault
Monkey Cage
Nevinyrral’s Disk
Ruby Medallion
Sol Ring

Land: (35)
Forgotten Cave
Foundry of the Consuls
Kher Keep
29 Mountain
Smoldering Crater
Spawning Bed
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

Possible Changes

Unlike every other deck I’ve posted, I can’t really think of anything else I’d add to this list. Perhaps a Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon if one was feeling ritzy, but that would be about it really.

Tread the Mountainside

Don’t let my opinion of Red get you wrong, decks like this are actually a blast to play. I simply believe that the card pool for Red in EDH tends to be incredibly shallow, so it’s hard to be truly creative while building a deck. Hopefully this deck makes somebody’s EDH nights a lot of fun, and I’ll see you next week with my final instalment of this series.