Pioneer on Budget - Mono-Red Aggro

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Pioneer on Budget - Mono-Red Aggro

Let's take a look at a strong archetype, present in several formats: Mono-Red Aggro.

By MTG, 11/23/19

Hello, players! Welcome to our

Magic on Budget

series, where we take strong decks in the metagame and make them more accessible, but still good! Changing gears a bit, let's take a break from Standard and move on to a format that is on the rise, Pioneer. This time we're delving into a strong archetype: the

Mono-Red Aggro.

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This deck has several low-cost creatures so we can assault our opponents from the get-go:

Starting off, we will keep all 4 copies of

Bomat Courier

, a 1/1 artifact creature with haste costing just 1 generic mana that will exile the top card of our library whenever it attacks (face down - we can't see which card is it). But at any moment we can pay 1 red mana to sacrifice him along with our current hand so we can put all cards exiled with

Bomat Courier

on its owner's hands - in this case, ours.

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We'll also keep all 4 copies of

Ghitu Lavarunner

, a 1/2 creature that has +1/+0 and haste as long as there are two or more instant and/or sorcery cards in our graveyard. Furthermore, we will also maintain all 4 copies of

Monastery Swiftspear

, a 1/2 creature with haste that have prowess - meaning that it gains +1/+1 until end of turn whenever we cast a noncreature spell. Once more, we will keep all 4 copies of

Soul-Scar Mage

another creature with prowess (see above). On top of that, if a source we control deal noncombat damage to a creature an opponent controls, the damage will be dealt as a -1/-1 counters. With this, we can deal with indestructible creatures or weaken larger ones. We'll only keep a single copy of

Hazoret the Fervent

, a 5/4 legendary creature with indestructible and haste that can't attack or block unless we have one or fewer cards in our hand. At the cost of 1 red and 2 generic mana we discard a card to deal 2 damage to each opponent. Although we have

Eidolon of the Great Revel

on the list (which is a great card), for our budget version we exchanged its 4 copies for 4

Ash Zealot

, a 2/2 creature with first strike and haste. Beyond that, whenever a player casts a spell from a graveyard,

Ash Zealot

deals 3 damage to that player. It can help doing more damage against some strategies.

In addition to our creatures, we have burns that serve both as removals and quick finishers, depending on the match:

We will keep 4 copies of

Wild Slash

, an instant which for only 1 red mana will deal 2 damage to target creature or player. If we have a creature with power 4 or greater when we play this card, damage can't be prevented this turn.

Lightning Strike

is an instant with 1 red and 1 generic mana cost that deals 3 damage to any target, simple as that. We'll keep 4 copies of it. We'll also keep 4 copies of

Wizard's Lightning

, an instant costing 1 red and 2 generic mana that will deal 3 damage to any target. If we control a Wizard, we can cast it for only 1 red mana.

To catch our breath we have:

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4 copies of

Light Up the Stage

, a sorcery costing 2 generic and 1 red mana that will exile the top two cards of our library, allowing us to play them until the end of our next turn. It also has a spectacle cost, that is, if any opponent lost life this turn, we can cast it for only 1 red mana. Closing out or spells,

Smuggler's Copter

is a great card, but for budget reasons, we will exchange all 4 copies for 4

The Flame of Keld

, an enchantment Saga that, when entering the battlefield, will make us discard our hand (which will usually be empty or low on cards anyway). In the next draw step, we will draw 2 additional cards. Finally, on the following draw step, If a red source we control would deal damage to a permanent or player this turn, it deals that much damage plus 2. So, this card help us on our draws and finishing the match.

Closing out our list, we have the following mana base:

1 copy of

Castle Embereth

, a land that enters the battlefield tapped unless we control a Mountain. It can be tapped to generate 1 red mana or tapped at the cost of 2 red and 1 generic one to grant +1/+0 to our creatures until end of turn. We will keep 4 copies of

Ramunap Ruins

, which can be tapped to add a colorless mana, tapped at the cost of 1 life to add 1 red mana or tapped at the cost of 2 red and 2 generic mana to sacrifice a Desert, dealing 2 damage to each opponent. To complete the list we have 14

Mountain

cards.

Without much changing we arrive at the following list:

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In short, this deck can be quite explosive in the early game with low-cost creatures, getting even stronger thanks to

Castle Embereth

and prowess. On top of that,

The Flame of Keld

can be used to end the game with the extra damage it brings. I hope you enjoyed this deck and see you soon!

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