Standard Mono Red Aggro Primer & Sideboard Guide

Lucas Giggs
02/11/2022 · 10 min read

Quick intro

Since The Meathook Massacre is no longer in Standard, aggressive decks have been given new life. And we all know that if we're looking to play aggressively, there's nothing better than the good old Monored. This list got me pretty close to top8 in one of the latest MTGO Standard Challenges . Let's see how it works!

Red Deck Wins. Builder: LucasG1ggs.MTGO - Magic Online
Top32 in MTGO Standard Challenge #12488078 23-Oct-2022
Maindeck (60)
Creature [32]
4  Bloodthirsty Adversary   $4.99
4  Radha's Firebrand   $0.35
4  Kumano Faces Kakkazan   $0.29
4  Reckless Stormseeker   $7.49
4  Rabbit Battery   $0.59
4  Reinforced Ronin   $0.25
4  Squee, Dubious Monarch   $0.69
4  Phoenix Chick   $0.79
Instant [8]
4  Play with Fire   $2.79
4  Lightning Strike   $0.25
Land [20]
2  Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance   $3.99
18  Mountain   $0.01

Sideboard [15]
2  Abrade   $0.25
2  Chandra, Dressed to Kill   $13.99
3  Rending Flame   $0.25
4  Cemetery Gatekeeper   $2.79
4  Strangle   $0.25
Buy this deck:

$34.55 Tix @cardhoarder   $0.99 / Week @cardhoarder   $95.16 @tcgplayer   $123.47 @cardkingdom  


Deck Tools: Visual View Similar Decks Proxies Archetype Analysis
Export & Save: Magic online format Apprentice and MWS .dec


I'm testing this feature, if you find any error please report it ;)

Mono Red Card breakdown

Kumano Faces Kakkazan

Kumano Faces Kakkazan
0.01 Tix
$0.29
$0.31

Kumano Faces Kakkazan is one of the best turn one creatures  to come out in recent years. It does everything the deck wants, pings players, finishes planeswalkers, strengthens creatures, and even has a relevant exile ability, being able to get rid of cards like Dennick, Pious Apprentice, and Tenacious Underdog, which can come back from the graveyard.

Phoenix Chick

Phoenix Chick
0.01 Tix
$0.79
$0.45

It is one of the newer additions to the color. It looks innocuous, but the fact that it has evasion makes it great for dealing a lot of damage in the early game, as it will rarely be blocked and can still come back after being removed.

Reinforced Ronin

Reinforced Ronin
0.02 Tix
$0.25
$0.25

It might not be the best turn one drop available, but the format lacks other better options and it can still play a relevant role in the deck. Going back to our hand at the end of the turn can be a relevant drawback; however, the fact that it survives board wipes and still gives us a draw when we don't need it justifies its use.

Rabbit Battery

Rabbit Battery
0.01 Tix
$0.59
$0.33

Rabbit Battery is a great card for increasing the power of your creatures, making them more resistant to removal, and providing a chump blocker if necessary. Resolving Rabbit Battery on turn 3 and attacking is probably one of the best plays you can make with this deck.

Bloodthirsty Adversary

Bloodthirsty Adversary
$6.49

Bloodthirsty Adversary is a 2/2 creature with haste for 2 mana, which is not particularly impressive. However, it provides some much-needed late-game firepower to the deck, acting as a "Snapcaster Mage" of sorts by casting spells and coming into play with a more relevant body. This doesn't happen often, but being able to recast more than one spell makes it even better.

Radha's Firebrand

Radha's Firebrand
0.01 Tix
$0.35
$0.3

The Meathook Massacre's absence makes this card more interesting and threatening for our opponents, as it is not so easily blocked when the table is not full. Not having haste makes it a little worse than other cards, but in combination with Rabbit Battery it can be a surprise that unlocks a game in our favor.

Reckless Stormseeker

Reckless Stormseeker
$7.99
$8.99

Reckless Stormseeker is a 3/3 for only three mana, making it a interesting option for the format. It also has the ability to turn other creatures into bigger threats, making them harder to deal with. Additionally, it has a quite interesting combination with Radha's Firebrand, allowing it to attack and potentially getting rid of the best blocker in the way. At night, it becomes a true terror, as it becomes immune to Cut Down and can pump itself or other creatures with evasion.

Squee, Dubious Monarch

Squee, Dubious Monarch
0.16 Tix
$0.69
$1.24

Even though he's legendary, we can play 4 copies because he comes with a huge target on his head, especially in empty tables, when he can become a true snowball. In this kind of deck, where we want to close the game as quickly as possible, it's important to have a lot of creatures that are threats on their own and in combination, and Squee fits perfectly by leaving other creatures already dealing damage, even when he's easily blocked. These are usually the life points that become the difference between a loss and a win in a match, especially when playing with aggressive decks.

Play with Fire/Lightning Strike

Play with Fire
0.03 Tix
$2.79
$1.99

Lightning Strike
0.02 Tix
$0.25
$0.25

A mono-red deck wouldn't be the same without the famous damage spells and this deck makes good use of them, removing most creatures from the current metagame and still being able to be recurred with the help of Bloodthirsty Adversary.

Strangle

Strangle
0.01 Tix
$0.25
$0.29

Strangle is a card that, depending on the meta, could be used in the main deck. The reason being that Play with Fire isn't the best card against some decks like Jund and Esper. However, the fact that it can't hit players ends up being relevant in a deck like this. It has a very decent role when we need to kill what Play with Fire can't, like Dennick, Graveyard Trespasser and Llanowar Loamspeaker.

Abrade

Abrade
0.03 Tix
$0.25
$0.44

A creature removal that also hits relevant targets with 3-toughness like Reckoner and Oni-Cult Anvil. But I would use less copies in the next event because Strangle already does a good job when we don't want to remove artifacts exclusively.

Rending Flame

Rending Flame
0.05 Tix
$0.25
$0.25

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse is a real problem and we need ways to remove him, even if they are almost exclusively for it. In other matches it can also help to remove cards like The Wandering Emperor and also Ao, the Dawn Sky.

Chandra, Dressed to Kill

Chandra, Dressed to Kill
6.36 Tix
$20.99
$17

The card that disappointed me the most in the sideboard, I didn't feel it was necessary in any match-up, other than the occasional control, which practically doesn't exist in this new Standard .

The main fact is that she is easily removed by Voltaic Surge, without practically affecting anything in the game plan. I believe that in the next tournament I will try to use something like Cemetery Gatekeeper, which can be useful against some decks like Monowhite Invoke.

Below I will list some of the main decks in the format and how to sideboard against them.

Mono Red Sideboard Guide

GRIXIS MID

  • OUT: - 4 Play with Fire, - 3 Squee, Dubious Monarch
  • IN: + 4 Strangle, + 3 Rending Flame

We don't want Play with Fire here because it doesn't remove our opponent's key creatures, like Corpse Appraiser and Graveyard Trespasser. Instead, we want Rending Flame because of Sheoldred. Don't be fooled, even without The Meathook Massacre, the match-up is still unfavorable, but at least now we can follow our plan of filling up the board, since the probability of our opponent having a board wipe is lower and cards like Burn Down the House might not show up in time.

RAKDOS ANVIL

  • OUT: - 4 Radha Firebrand
  • IN: + 4 Abrade

I basically only see myself bringing in the 4 Abrades here, since Oni-Cult Anvil is one of the key cards against our deck. Radha is really bad against the army of tokens he can make, so the swap here is pretty simple. He might have Sheoldred post-side, so keep that in mind and remember to bring up to an eventual G3, since the card really gives a lot of trouble.

ESPER MIDRANGE

  • OUT: - 4 Play with Fire, - 3 Squee, Dubious Monarch
  • IN: +4 Strangle, + 3 Rending Flame

The Grixis Mid matchup is similar, with the same sideboarding options being good. However, this matchup is a little more complicated because they have many cards that give them life, making it difficult to race them and providing them with better stability in the game.

Save your removal for cards like Dennick and Phyrexian Missionary and put as much pressure as possible on the board now that The Meathook Massacre is no longer an issue. That being said, bear in mind that they have access to really efficient spot removal like Cut Down and Knockout Blow which can be quite problematic for our deck.

GRUUL AGGRO

  • OUT: - 4 Reinforced Ronin
  • IN: + 4 Strangle

This is a purely race-based matchup that usually favors us because we have more ways to populate the board early on. However, we need to play a little more conservatively on the draw, especially since Ronin doesn't block well and doesn't attack well into creatures with /3 resistance.

DOMAIN// OTHER MIDRANGE DECKS

  • OUT: - 4 Play with Fire, - 3 Squee, Dubious Monarch
  • IN: + 4 Strangle, + 3 Rending Flame

Midrange matchups in this format are generally pretty similar: removal, creatures with some relevant ETB, Fable of the Mirror Breaker, and if you're playing black, probably Sheoldred. With that in mind, we can follow the same sideboarding plan, taking out removal that doesn't deal with some of their x/3 creatures and bringing in Strangle and Rending Flame to deal with their Praetor.

Against Domain, we have a slightly less worrying matchup: they have heavy hitters like The Kami War and Herd Migration, which are unlikely to affect our game plan. Beating them down is still the best bet here, so prioritize dealing as much damage as possible with Phoenix Chick. Workshop is a real problem, try to save removal for it, because in combination with Reflection of Kiki Jiki it is devastating.

IZZET CONTROL

  • OUT: - 4 Play with Fire
  • IN: + 4 Chandra, Dressed to Kill (Cemetery Gatekeeper)

The only match-up I could see Chandra being useful in, but even against a transformational side with Haughty Djinn she doesn't help much. Gatekeeper would be slightly more useful, serving almost as an Eidolon of the Great Revel for spells, as the deck has many. Overall it's all purely based on flooding the board and not playing around mass removals like The Elder Dragon War, as not applying enough pressure is a very effective way of losing to your opponent's late game. When you can, just remember to leave some x3 resistant creature with the help of Rabbit Battery.

Final Words

Monored Aggro was greatly benefited by the banning of The Meathook Massacre and without the presence of other board wipes as effective as that, the deck can surprise thanks to the pressure of its creatures and the finishing power of its burn spells. Until next time!

If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones How to beat the Standard metagame with Esper Midrange by Mogged, Standard Esper Midrange Guide By Mogged, Pioneer Azorius Control Sideboard Guide, Pioneer Boros Heroic In-depth & Sideboard Guide, Pioneer Turbo Abzan Greasefang Primer & Sideboard Guide, Amulet Titan In-depth & Sideboard guide

Sign Up for MTGDecks newsletter

You'll receive a weekly email with more articles like this.
I give my consent to MTGDecks to be in touch with me via email for the purpose of news, updates and marketing.

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."

Comments


Published: 2022-11-02 00:00:00

Amulet Titan In-depth & Sideboard guide

February 08 | by Marc Pérez

articles

Pioneer Azorius Control Sideboard Guide

September 09 | by Oscar Franco

articles

Standard Esper Midrange Guide By Mogged

September 17 | by Mogged

articles

Pioneer Turbo Abzan Greasefang Primer & Sideboard Guide

November 01 | by Alessandro Carvallo

articles
articles