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Standard Ojer Red - Deck and Sideboard Guide

Lucas Giggs
15/12/2023 · 8 min read

A Comeback

Since my last article on Monored, the deck hadn't been very popular and had even been somewhat overlooked by players. But now, with the release of Ixalan, it seems to have made a strong comeback. Today, I'm going to discuss this new decklist, including some card choices, mulligan decisions, and a sideboard guide against the format's top tiers.

The Deck

Red Deck Wins. Builder: LucasG1ggs.MTGO - Magic Online
Top32 in MTGO Standard Challenge 64 #12595502 [86 Players] 03-Dec-2023
MTG Decks Maindeck (60)
Creature [23]
4  Bloodthirsty Adversary   $16.99
4  Kumano Faces Kakkazan   $1.29
2  Squee, Dubious Monarch   $1.29
1  Feldon, Ronom Excavator   $0.59
4  Monastery Swiftspear   $0.79
2  Goddric, Cloaked Reveler   $0.79
4  Charming Scoundrel   $3.49
2  Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might   $10.99
Instant [11]
4  Play with Fire   $4.99
4  Lightning Strike   $0.39
3  Witchstalker Frenzy   $0.59
Sorcery [2]
2  Nahiri's Warcrafting   $0.69
Planeswalker [2]
2  Chandra, Dressed to Kill   $13.99
Land [22]
17  Mountain   $0.01
2  Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance   $5.99
3  Mishra's Foundry   $1.79
Sideboard [15]
4  End the Festivities   $1.49
4  Furnace Punisher   $0.35
3  Urabrask's Forge   $5.99
4  Lithomantic Barrage   $1.79
Buy this deck:

$44.95 Tix @cardhoarder   $1.12 / Week @cardhoarder   $170.70 @tcgplayer   $219.63 @cardkingdom  

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Export & Save: Magic online format Apprentice and MWS .dec

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The player deleon91 has managed to achieve an impressive streak of two consecutive finals in the recent Standard Challenges, but his decklist is slightly different:

Red Deck Wins. Builder: deleon91.MTGO - Magic Online
1st in MTGO Standard Challenge 64 #12595502 [86 Players] 03-Dec-2023
MTG Decks Maindeck (60)
Creature [24]
4  Bloodthirsty Adversary   $16.99
4  Kumano Faces Kakkazan   $1.29
4  Phoenix Chick   $0.69
3  Squee, Dubious Monarch   $1.29
3  Feldon, Ronom Excavator   $0.59
2  Monastery Swiftspear   $0.79
2  Charming Scoundrel   $3.49
2  Goddric, Cloaked Reveler   $0.79
Instant [12]
4  Play with Fire   $4.99
4  Lightning Strike   $0.39
4  Witchstalker Frenzy   $0.59
Sorcery [1]
1  Strangle   $0.35
Land [23]
1  Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance   $5.99
4  Mishra's Foundry   $1.79
18  Mountain   $0.01
Sideboard [15]
3  End the Festivities   $1.49
4  Furnace Punisher   $0.35
4  Urabrask's Forge   $5.99
4  Lithomantic Barrage   $1.79
Buy this deck:

$39.37 Tix @cardhoarder   $0.99 / Week @cardhoarder   $132.18 @tcgplayer   $166.21 @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 ;)

He decided to run the deck without Ojer, which I don't find completely outrageous. However, I do think that including the red god makes the deck slightly more potent against certain matchups, offering a range of damage that the deck typically lacks. Today, I'll be discussing this particular build, originally crafted by Danielpena397, which I piloted to a solid 5-2 finish in last Sunday's Challenge.

Card choices

Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might

He's shown up in some lists for Monored Pioneer, exploiting interactions with direct damage cards like Roiling Vortex and Chandra, Dressed to Kill. In Standard, he's also very strong, partly because many of the cards in the Pioneer version are also in Standard.

Historically, Monored has struggled a bit to close out games, and this god helps turn simple cards like Kumano Faces Kakkanzan and Play with Fire into sources of damage equal to their power.

Dealing 4 damage is significant, which makes him a welcome addition to this deck. Being legendary and costing 4 mana means we don't want too many copies in the deck, and I believe that 2 is a fair number.

Chandra, Dressed to Kill

It regained prominence on the list primarily due to its interaction with Ojer Axonil, since it can speed up mana generation and help in casting the god, or even deal 4 points of damage when he's on the field. It has been widely used in sideboards, especially against slower decks with fewer creatures. Because of this specific weakness, we don't use many copies, since the format heavily favors creature-based decks.

Furnace Punisher

A card that was once widely used, especially in the metagame, has lost some ground, particularly after the release of Goddric. It's crucial against decks with a more greedy mana base, delivering substantial damage and also being quite difficult to block. Moreover, when combined with Ojer Axonil, it puts your opponent in a very tough spot.

Playing the deck

The deck still doesn't have much mystery to it in terms of gameplay: you need at least 2 lands for better board development, with 3 being the ideal number. It's also important to start with some kind of pressure without being too passive. You're the aggressor in this scenario.

Example Hand #1

Tempting. Personally, I'm not a fan of taking so many risks, especially when I'm in the game. I'd consider holding onto the draw a bit or if I had a Play with Fire instead of the Lightning Strike, it would help to sift through the top of the deck for at least a turn. But in this case, it's definitely a mulligan, an unnecessary risk.

Example Hand #2

We've got a seriously high land count here. If we draw into another land, we're definitely headed for a brutal defeat. This is a clear-cut case for a mulligan, no question.

Example Hand #3

The hand is a bit risky, especially if we don't pick up another land, but keep in mind that Kumano also counts as a creature, so we have some early pressure and a removal to clear something out of the way. Keep.

Tips & Tricks

Tip #1: Lead with Kumano

In most cases, you'll want to lead off with Kumano as your turn-one play. It buffs your 2/2s out of Cut Down range and sets you up with an additional creature to swing in on turn three. But there are certain scenarios where it might be strategic to hold off on dropping Kumano. For instance, when you're playing around specific removal—like protecting a turn-three Squee, Dubious Monarch from Cut Down or a Goddric from Virtue of Persistence. It's crucial to have this tactical flexibility in mind and understand the demands of each situation.

Tip #2: Nahiri’s Patience

When it's time to cast Nahiri's Warcrafting, hold off on playing your land drop because you might find one with the spell's ability and gain card advantage.        

Tip #3: Double-Check

Witchstalker Frenzy checks how many creatures attacked in both turns. If your opponent attacked with 3 creatures, it will cost only one mana to cast, even if it's on your turn.

Tip #4: Ojer’s Festivities

End the Festivities with Ojer Axonil on the field, and it will deal damage to your opponents' creatures and to your own equal to the god's attack power.

Tip #5: Counters

If the power of Ojer Axonil is different from the base power (for instance, if it has a +1/+1 counter from a map token), then the non-combat damage dealt to your opponents will be equal to that new number (Play with Fire dealing 5 damage, Chandra as well, etc.).

Matchups & Sideboard guide

Esper Legends

The match is, in a way, somewhat balanced, maybe with a slight edge for Esper, especially because of the addition of another creature with lifelink: Deep-Cavern Bat, which can get bigger with Raffine's help. Applying pressure with creatures and targeted removals should put you in a favorable position. After sideboarding, we have more specific removal options and Furnace Punisher, which really punishes the mana base with nearly all non-basic lands.

Monored Aggro

Mirror isn't very complicated. Starting with the die roll gives you a significant advantage, and removing specific creatures early on helps to avoid taking too much damage. Without anything particularly significant on the sideboard, this deck is well-configured for the main deck, without the need for anything specific on the side.


UW Soldiers

A matchup that used to be much more favorable, but the addition of Lunarch Veteran has made it a bit tougher because it has the ability to provide a substantial life gain. Nevertheless, the combination of removal spells with creatures is very effective against this kind of deck. After sideboarding, adding 4 End the Festivities + 4 Lithomantic Barrage should tilt things more in our favor.

Domain Ramp

Also not too complicated: apply pressure with creatures, while burns can be used during your turn to speed up the clock with the help of Monastery Swiftspear. Save your Frenzies to handle Topiary Stomper when going into battle or even to kill the creature that Atraxa blocks in combat so that the opponent doesn't gain life. One of the worst cards is Archangel of Wrath, which for 6 mana does quite a number, killing creatures and gaining life. The good news is that the latest Ramp decklists are foregoing Virtue of Persistence, but the sideboard is packed with Knockout Blows and Obstinate Baloths. However, we don't really have anything that helps a lot, but even so, I believe it's favorable for our deck. Urabrask Forge is slow and Furnace Punisher doesn't do much since they have lots of basic lands.


Rakdos Ramp

A relatively new and slow deck that's good news for us, but it has a lot of sweepers in the main deck, so we need to be careful not to give away too many creatures for free. Sometimes we fall into a trap because if we don't apply enough pressure, the opponent can develop their game well. On the other hand, there's a risk of losing a lot of creatures in the process. I believe the best thing to do is to get a feel for the game: if they're passing turns too passively, they probably have a sweeper in hand, so we can play at a more controlled pace. After sideboarding, Urabrask's Forge is one of the best cards because it's excellent against both spot removals and sweepers, and it puts a lot of pressure on the opponent.

BG Midrange

Similar to the game against Rakdos, although the strategy is different and there are fewer sweepers in the main deck. We have removal for pretty much everything, but sometimes the attacks aren't great because of Glissa and Sheoldred, so the bigger removal should be saved for them. Post-sideboard, the forge also does a good job, just like against Rakdos.

Final words

Monored is a deck that always deserves respect because the less opponents regard it, the better it performs. The current meta isn't well-suited to handle its explosive start, and with its ability to shift the game plan, it makes for an intriguing choice for tournaments. Until next time!

If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones Breaking Standard with Atraxa Reanimator: In-depth & Sideboard Guide, Azorius Soldiers in Standard: Deck & 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: 2023-12-15 00:00:00

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