Aggro In Standard: Mono Red

Brandon Ayers

Brandon Ayers

Introduction

Now that we’ve had a few weeks to analyze Throne of Eldraine Standard, it’s safe to say that midrange archetypes have been dominating the format. Bant Golos, Jeskai Fires, and G/B Adventure have shown to be the strongest contenders based on results from MTG Arena, Magic Online, and StarCityGames.com Philadelphia. With no aggressive strategies in sight, these midrange decklists have slowly began to cut down on single target removal and overall hate for aggressive creature-based strategies.

Field of the DeadGolos, Tireless Pilgrim

I want to briefly talk about the upcoming ban announcement that has been expedited and will take place on October 21. I think the current state of Standard has some issues, but the format has only had a few weeks to develop. I do think it’s healthy for Wizards of The Coast to examine the results for the upcoming digital Mythic Championship before making any hasty decisions. I don’t think banning 《Field of the Dead》 or 《Golos, Tireless Pilgrim》 is a must, but these cards do create long games and repetitive play patterns, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one of these cards banned.

Choosing Mono Red -Sidestepping the Midrange Heavy Metagame-

Bonecrusher GiantTorbran, Thane of Red Fell

After playing many long and exhausting games with both Bant Golos and Jeskai Fires, I found myself wanting to try a more aggressive and streamlined strategy as an attempt to sidestep the midrange-heavy metagame. After testing, I was overly impressed by Mono Red. Throne of Eldraine gave red a few new tools in the form of cards like 《Bonecrusher Giant》 and 《Torbran, Thane of Red Fell》. Combined with powerful staples like 《Runaway Steam-Kin》 and 《Experimental Frenzy》, the core of Mono Red is still showing to be extremely powerful. Let’s get to the decklist….

(Editor’s Note: Decklist was fixed on 17/10/2019.)

Sideboard Guide

Golos Lands

Chandra, Acolyte of FlameDeafening ClarionTibalt, Rakish InstigatorKnight of Autumn

This matchup is heavily dependent on who plays first. Don’t be too surprised if the games go long. I often win by setting up a late game Torbran with cheap burn like 《Shock》 and 《Skewer the Critics》. Golos players typically board in some number of 《Devout Decree》, 《Aether Gust》, and 《Knight of Autumn》 in this matchup. Our maindeck is built with Golos in mind, so we don’t have much to sideboard here. I board a couple 《Chandra, Acolyte of Flame》 in on the play because it’s hard to answer and applies pressure around their board sweepers. If you see or suspect multiple 《Knight of Autumn》, I recommend two Tibalt over the last two 《Shock》s.

Against Golos Lands (On the Play)

Out

Shock Shock

In

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame Chandra, Acolyte of Flame

Jeskai Fires

Runaway Steam-KinDeafening ClarionLava CoilFae of Wishes

Jeskai Fires is one matchup I am always glad to be paired against. Jeskai is somewhat dependent on drawing 《Fires of Invention》, and we do a great job at applying pressure while being able to burn their planeswalkers. It’s important to avoid losing 《Runaway Steam-Kin》 to 《Deafening Clarion》. Longer games tend to end poorly for Mono Red because 《Planewide Celebration》 does a great job of closing out the game. I board in 《Lava Coil》 here because it kills 《Fae of Wishes》 and 《Sarkhan the Masterless》‘ dragon token.

Against Jeskai Fires

Out

Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics
Shock Shock

In

Lava Coil Lava Coil Fry Fry
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame Chandra, Acolyte of Flame

G/W & G/B Adventures

Lava CoilFlame Sweep

These are extremely close games that can go either way. G/W Adventures is the toughest of the two because 《Venerated Loxodon》 can generate an overwhelming advantage early. Post board is much better for us because we get to skim some of our weaker creatures for efficient removal. These Adventure decks are soft to 《Flame Sweep》. If Adventure variants frequent your local metagame, then I could easily see adding a third 《Flame Sweep》.

Against G/W & G/B Adventures

Out

Fervent Champion Fervent Champion Fervent Champion Fervent Champion
Scorch Spitter Scorch Spitter Scorch Spitter Scorch Spitter

In

Lava Coil Lava Coil Lava Coil Lava Coil
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator Tibalt, Rakish Instigator Flame Sweep Flame Sweep

Simic Ramp

Tibalt, Rakish InstigatorOko, Thief of Crowns

Simic Ramp is one matchup you want to avoid. We don’t have a clean answer to 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 game one. Lifegain in the form of 《Hydroid Krasis》, 《Gilded Goose》, and Oko makes squeezing the last few points of damage next to impossible. The matchup does get substantially better postboard. 《Fry》 efficiently answers Oko, and 《Tibalt, Rakish Instigator》 does a great job of neutralizing Simic’s life gain.

Against Simic Ramp

Out

Fervent Champion Fervent Champion Fervent Champion Fervent Champion
Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics

In

Lava Coil Lava Coil Lava Coil Lava Coil
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator Tibalt, Rakish Instigator Fry Fry

Red Mirror Match

Experimental Frenzy

This mirror match completely revolves around 《Experimental Frenzy》. The player to curve into 《Experimental Frenzy》 is a huge favorite. I recommend playing very defensively before and after you cast Frenzy on curve. Post board, most players will up the amount of removal in their deck. Since there is no answer to 《Experimental Frenzy》, I highly recommend muliganning subpar hands in hopes of getting an 《Experimental Frenzy》 in your opening hand.

Against Red Mirror Match

Out

Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics Skewer the Critics
Scorch Spitter Scorch Spitter

In

Lava Coil Lava Coil Lava Coil Lava Coil
Redcap Melee Redcap Melee

Conclusion

I’m excited to see how Throne of Eldraine Standard shakes out. The results from the digital Mythic Championship will have a huge impact on the future of Standard. Although midrange has dominated Standard up to this point, that doesn’t mean aggro isn’t viable. If you’re tired of long drawn out games that often end with a horde of zombies, or you just enjoy attacking, then I think Mono Red is the perfect choice. Mono Red is powerful, fun, efficient, and affordable.

If we do see bannings after the Mythic Championship, be on the lookout for an updated red decklist and sideboard article from me!

Brandon Ayers (Twitter)

Recommended Items

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加
Brandon Ayers

Brandon Ayers Brandon Ayres is a pro player from United States. He is a skillful player so he has multiple GP Top8s and is maintaining the Gold Level. In the 2017-2018 season, With a stable and steady run in the 2017-2018 season with good finishes in both Pro Tour Dominaria and Pro Tour Magic 25th Anniversary, he was able to lock up Gold level status again for another year. With John Rolf who is the teammate and best friend in the same town, he joined Hareruya Pros in the 2018-2019 season. Read more articles by Brandon Ayers