Mono-Red Aggro - Firedrinker Satyr

Mono-Red Aggro by Festus Resendez

1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 6/14/2014
It looks like it’s a good time to be a Red mage in Standard, Patrick Sullivan must have been jumping for joy. Not only did the winner of the Grand Prix in Moscow play a Red deck but also Tom ‘The Boss’ Ross piloted one for his Standard portion at the SCG Invitational. The most interesting about that is they all ran on similar but completely different lines and stretched the bounds of Red to the limit. This deck is one of the more creature heavy builds.


With an aggro deck like this the most important factor of your strategy is to be dropping at least one creature every single turn until you mash your opponent into a bloody pulp which is why we find no Scry lands. We start the curve with two one drops that come out swinging with two power each from Rakdos Cackler which if is not unleashed usually means you’re about to die and Firedrinker Satyr who’s drawback will be largely nullified by the amount of beats he will inflict on the opponent. Then we hit a mass of two drops starting with the hasty first striker Ash Zealot, also Firefist Striker that when attacking with two others will nullify the opponents best blocker and then Burning-Tree Emissary that enables your lightning starts by chaining into more spells to advance your board faster then the opponent can mount a defense. We also find two quality three drops to continue the curve with perennial wall of death in Boros Reckoner which turns combat math from simple addition into complex algebra, and Chandra’s Phoenix that has a limited amount of direct damage spells to bring it back but is still a hasty flier to bring forth death from above. Our last creature is the curve topper Fanatic of Mogis that comes in as a late game play once you have your army mobilized to take full advantage of a surprise blast of Devotion to Red to the opponents face, hopefully to put him down for good. There is a support package of burn coming primarily from a full set of Lightning Strike, but also a pair of Shock, a pair of Magma Jet and a singleton Searing Blood all help to either clear the way for your creatures to get through or blast straight up to the dome.

This deck exemplifies what it means to be The Beatdown. It looks like Aggro has positioned itself between Control and Midrange in the metagame right now to exploit it’s speed and destructive nature. Now has been a great time to blast your opponent to bits either using creature or burn based strategies. It’s not likely that this Red mage dominance will continue but shows that any given weekend you can not count out any deck that has power behind it. And counting from twenty to zero has been a fundamental aspect of this game of Magic.

Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter