Big Red by andygrey on MtGO

Creatures (19)
4 Bomat Courier
3 Glorybringer
1 Hazoret the Fervent
2 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
3 Rampaging Ferocidon
3 Sand Strangler
3 Soul-Scar Mage

Non-Creature Spells (16)
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Abrade
4 Lightning Strike
2 Magma Spray
2 Shock
2 Treasure Map

Lands (25)
3 Dunes of the Dead
13 Mountain
4 Ramunap Ruins
2 Scavenger Grounds
3 Sunscorched Desert

Sideboard (15)
1 Glorybringer
2 Hazoret the Fervent
1 Rampaging Ferocidon
1 Sand Strangler
1 Soul-Scar Mage
1 Abrade
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Magma Spray
3 Chandra’s Defeat
2 Cut // Ribbons

Summary

Ramunap Red has been one of the defining features of Standard both before and after Ixalan entered the fray. Its consistent aggression backed up by a powerful late game makes it a very appealing option for many players. However, with the rise of Temur Energy, it may be time to take the deck in a different direction, which is exactly what the deck we’re featuring today, Big Red, does.

Primarily, this deck wants to be on the front foot just like Ramunap Red. This is helped massively by the one mana creatures in this deck, Bomat Courier and Soul-Scar Mage. Bomat Courier may not be the most powerful attacker, but the effective card advantage it offers helps this deck be even more hard-hitting and sustainable in the long game. Soul-Scar Mage rewards you for playing cheap removal and burn spells, making it hard to block while turning burn spells into more powerful creature kill.

Further up the curve, Rampaging Ferocidon is a powerful aggressive three drop that keeps the pressure on the opponent while punishing them for playing creatures and taking away the life gain game plan that many decks use to attack red decks in this format. Sand Strangler is undoubtedly a powerful card, but one that hasn’t seen as much play as expected, due in large part to it not fitting well into Ramunap Red. However, a 3/3 for 4 that kills a creature is guaranteed value, and is one card that this deck is happy to have access to. Treasure Map is an odd card for red decks to play, but this deck is happy to have access to the scry on the front end and the powerful source of card draw on the back end, letting it compete with any deck in the format into the late game.

The top end of the curve is where the difference between this deck and Ramunap Red is really seen. While Ramunap Red relies heavily on Hazoret the Fervent, this deck only has 1 mainboard copy of the powerful God. This is due largely to Hazoret not being as card advantageous as the other top-end options, Glorybringer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Glorybringer is a strong evasive creature that can pick off creatures on the opponent’s board when it attacks, and Chandra, Torch of Defiance is a consistent source of card advantage that can kill the opponent’s creatures, add extra mana, and threaten a game-ending ultimate ability.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

-1 Magma Spray

+2 Shock

Sideboard

-1 Glorybringer

-1 Chandra’s Defeat

+2 Ahn-Crop Crasher

This is day 317 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 316 here, where we featured a Modern deck which combines the best of black control, Tezzerator, and a powerful two card combo.

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