Mono-Red Aggro by zawaspecial on MtGO

Creatures (29)
4 Ahn-Crop Crasher
4 Bloodrage Brawler
4 Bomat Courier
4 Earthshaker Khenra
4 Falkenrath Gorger
2 Hazoret the Fervent
1 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
2 Reckless Bushwhacker
4 Soul-Scar Mage

Non-Creature Spells (10)
4 Incendiary Flow
4 Built to Smash
1 Shock
1 Cartouche of Zeal

Lands (21)
17 Mountain
4 Ramunap Ruins

Sideboard (15)
2 Abrade
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Foreboding Ruins
1 Kari Zev’s Expertise
2 Magma Spray
4 Scrapheap Scrounger

Summary

In the early weeks of a new Standard format, many players turn to decks like Mono-Red Aggro in order to try to punish players for doing more synergy-focused things and using untuned manabases that new sets tend to bring. Hour of Devastation appears to be no different, and a couple of exciting cards from the new set may be enough to see this all-time favorite archetype of aggressive players come back into the Standard spotlight.

The first thing to look at in red aggressive decks is the creature base. Bomat Courier, Falkenrath Gorger, and Soul-Scar Mage make up the 1 mana creatures. Bomat Courier doesn’t hit as hard, but offers card advantage in the late game, Falkenrath Gorger is a reliable, if unspectacular, 2/1 for 1, and Soul-Scar Mage has the potential to be much more than a 1/2 for 1 mana, but unfortunately sees its stats reduced to that most of the time.

At 2 mana, we have Bloodrage Brawler, Earthshaker Khenra, and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider. Bloodrage Brawler‘s stats are incredible at the 2 mana slot, but require you discard a card. There are small synergies with this in the deck, so the drawback isn’t at its most severe here. Earthshaker Khenra is the new Hour of Devastation card that has people most excited for this deck. The 2 mana 2/1 haste does a lot more than that on the front side, forcing a removal spell and willingly throwing itself away to push through damage, and is effectively a removal spell on the back end, as the opponent rarely survives. Kari Zev, Skyship Raider can be as good as a 3/3 for 2 mana, or as poor as a 1/3 for 2 mana. It’s rather situationally strong, so this deck doesn’t need many of it.

For higher drops, this deck has Ahn-Crop Crasher, Hazoret the Fervent, and Reckless Bushwhacker. Ahn-Crop Crasher is a powerful haste threat that takes out a blocker each time it attacks, allowing you to push through meaningful damage while adding to your board. Hazoret the Fervent takes advantage of the lightning speed of this deck so that it’s generally turned on when cast. Additionally, it has a powerful activated ability that closes the game out very quickly. Reckless Bushwhacker requires you have another spell to cast with it for it to be powerful, but a deck filled with cheap spells turns it on regularly, making it the powerful finisher that this deck needs.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Shock

+1 Cartouche of Zeal

Sideboard

-1 Kari Zev’s Expertise

+1 Abrade

This is day 196 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 195 here, where we featured a Standard deck that looks to bring dedicated Delirium back into the spotlight.

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