Standard Mono-red Aggro guide

Lucas Giggs
01/01/2023 · 8 min read

The state of the Standard metagame


Standard continues to be dominated by midrange decks , particularly those of the black variety. But some new and old archetypes are emerging to break this prevalence, such as the new UR Powerstones  and the classic Mono Red Aggro.

Finally, we have a strong aggro deck back in the format, and it's been delivering great results on Magic Online.

My current version of the deck

Red Deck Wins. Builder: bolov0.MTGO - Magic Online
Top4 in MTGO Standard Challenge #12502883 18-Dec-2022
Maindeck (60)
Creature [17]
1  Monastery Swiftspear   $0.35
2  Atsushi, the Blazing Sky   $5.99
3  Feldon, Ronom Excavator   $0.35
3  Monastery Swiftspear   $0.35
4  Kumano Faces Kakkazan   $0.35
4  Bloodthirsty Adversary   $5.99
Instant [11]
1  Rending Flame   $0.25
2  Abrade   $0.25
4  Lightning Strike   $0.25
4  Play with Fire   $2.29
Sorcery [4]
4  Reckless Impulse   $0.99
Planeswalker [4]
4  Jaya, Fiery Negotiator   $1.79
Land [24]
1  Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance   $3.99
4  Mishra's Foundry   $0.99
19  Mountain   $0.01
Sideboard [15]
1  Flame-Blessed Bolt   $0.25
1  The Elder Dragon War   $0.35
2  Chandra, Dressed to Kill   $12.99
2  Fable of the Mirror-Breaker   $27.99
3  Obliterating Bolt   $0.25
3  Reckoner Bankbuster   $3.49
3  Rending Flame   $0.25
Buy this deck:

$81.43 Tix @cardhoarder   $2.04 / Week @cardhoarder   $120.94 @tcgplayer   $164.49 @cardkingdom  

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Card choices

This deck remains highly aggressive, featuring some of the best drops we've seen in recent times: Kumano Faces Kakkazan and Monastery Swiftspear. The enchantment is already present in multiple formats, doing pretty much whatever the deck needs it to: deal damage, take down planeswalkers, bolster creatures, and even become a creature itself that can help exile opposing creatures and attack the opponent. Monastery is also an incredibly important, aggressive drop that is hard to remove in combat due to its prowess ability, which increases its power with every spell played.

Kumano Faces Kakkazan
0.01 Tix
Monastery Swiftspear
0.23 Tix

Feldon is another creature that continues to surprise. Removals with damage give you a card advantage that the deck typically doesn't have, and it also makes chump blocks pretty bad for the opponent because it keeps giving you more gas. Bloodthirsty Adversary is also an aggressive creature being a 2/2 with Haste, but it has a very relevant ability for the late game, acting as a multiple "Snapcaster Mage" by reusing spells and putting you ahead in the game.

Feldon, Ronom Excavator
0.12 Tix
Bloodthirsty Adversary

This deck has a high number of direct damage removals which are important for closing out games as well as Reckless Impulse, which acts as a sort of Light up the Stage, a card that saw a lot of play during its time in Standard. Abrade has very relevant targets in the format, both creatures like Bankbuster, The Mightstone and Weakstone, and Cityscape Leveler, as well as Rending Flame, a much-needed answer to Sheoldred the Apocalypse, but also creatures like Ao the Sky Down and planeswalkers.

Lightning Strike
0.02 Tix
Reckless Impulse
0.16 Tix

At the top of the curve, Jaya, Fiery Negotiator has never found a proper home, but in this deck she fits in perfectly. Acting as a sort of Red Wedding Announcement, she's a token factory with prowess, a source of card advantage, can act as removal and still has an emblem that will likely win games. Atsushi is also a very interesting creature, with relevant evasion and even if it's destroyed, it generates value by putting treasures or by playing two cards from the top.

Jaya, Fiery Negotiator
1.83 Tix
Atsushi, the Blazing Sky
0.74 Tix

In the sideboard, we have great options for playing a more midrange game, with more removal, Bankbuster for generating card advantage, and individually good cards like Fable of the Mirror Breaker and Chandra, Dressed to Kill. I believe one of the reasons the deck is so strong is its versatility to be both very aggressive with drops every turn and removal, and also to shift its game plan and excel at being more midrange.

Sideboard Guide

Abaixo vou listar alguns dos principais decks do formato e como tenho sideado contra eles.


One of the reasons this deck is strong is due to its good matchup against Grixis. The deck takes a lot of damage from pain lands and only has Sheoldred to gain life, so we can take advantage of this in Game 1 by being very aggressive. Play with Fire doesn't get rid of their main creatures, so we make the swap from Rending Flame to Sheoldred, which is really the only card that gives us trouble. We don't need to make too many changes to the post sideboard configuration, we just add one more relevant card for the match and take out one of the least important ones.


This is a tough matchup for the deck, as there are some very strong creatures with Lifelink and Raffine that can be devastating when combined with Sheoldred. In this matchup, aggression won't get you very far, as they have a lot of removal. So, we switch to a more midrange post-sideboard plan, bringing in more specific removal and Fable which is great in this configuration.


We need to take on a similar role we had against Esper, aggressive in G1 and midrange in G2, as cards like Temporary Lockdown make it very difficult to deploy small creatures and flood the board. Nevertheless, Jaya is still one of the main cards, as Monowhite has a lot of trouble dealing with planeswalkers. Removal spells are also good, as there are many creatures that gain life, such as Steel Seraph and Transformed Ambitious Farmland. All in all, it’s a balanced match-up, mainly due to the strength of the planeswalkers.


One of the other aggressive options of the format is also favorable for our deck since we have plenty of removal in the main deck and post-sideboard. Jaya is slow, so we switch it out for more removal and a good option to clear the board when necessary in the form of The Elder Dragon War. Rending Flame is also too heavy for its effect, not being what we want here. Overall, there's not much of a secret; we can be aggressive and remove our opponent's creatures.


This matchup is really strong and we don't need to make too many changes to the deck configuration, we just need to be careful with Brotherhood's End and also have more post-sideboard removal for cards like Thran Spider, which is an excellent blocker and ramp for our opponent.

Final words

Monored Aggro is proving to be a very versatile deck, both in terms of aggression and its ability to play a great midrange game when necessary. An alternative to the black decks of the format, it's a great option for upcoming tournaments.

Until next time!

If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones UB Terror Tips Tricks & Sideboard Guide By Mogged, Pioneer Monowhite Humans deck guide, Modern Izzet Murktide Tips Tricks & Sideboard Guide By Mogged, Choosing your plan: How I won the Modern Challenge with Goblins, Pioneer Boros Heroic In-depth & Sideboard Guide

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Lucas Giggs
MTG Streamer
Hi, my name is Lucas de Almeida Hervás. I'm 31 years old, married, and I live in Indaiatuba/SP, Brazil. I've been playing Magic the Gathering since 2009, but I've been making a living off of it since 2019 through leagues and tournaments on Magic Online. For those who don't know me, I'm 2.17 meters tall, hence the nickname "the tallest Magic player in Brazil."


Published: 2023-01-01 00:00:00

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