WAR Standard Deck Tech – Mono-Red

Welcome back to another venture into WAR Standard with me here in Strictly Standard.  No format is complete without representation from decks across all of the archetypes.  And no format can go long without people trying to make their favorite deck work, no matter what.  This includes the hyper-fast linear aggro decks that are so polarizing, with some people saying its the most fun way to win while others claim it’s the “death of Magic” whenever they perform well.

Today we are going to review the top performing aggro deck from Magic Arena and Start City Games Open winner Will Pulliam’s Mono-Red list. Mono-Red has been a pillar of the Arena metagame since back in the days of the closed Beta.  This deck has been around forever, and it keeps getting new, powerful, cheap tools to prop it up.  Especially in the best-of-1 format.

Creature (20)
Viashino Pyromancer
Runaway Steam-Kin
Goblin Chainwhirler
Ghitu Lavarunner
Fanatical Firebrand

Instant (10)
Wizard’s Lightning
Lightning Strike
Shock

Sorcery (6)
Skewer the Critics
Light Up the Stage

Planeswalker (4)
Chandra, Fire Artisan
Lands (20)
20 Mountain

Sideboard (15)
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Risk Factor
Rekindling Phoenix
Legion Warboss
Lava Coil
Dire Fleet Daredevil

This deck operates on the same axis as the mono red list from last season. The big change is swapping out the 4-Mana card advantage engine, replacing Experimental Frenzy with Chandra, Fire Artisan. Chandra doesn’t provide quite the “out of nowhere” flurry that Experimental Frenzy does, but she does provide a level of consistency that the deck needs to push forward in this new Standard full of powerful new Planeswalker spells.

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Taking a peek into the sideboard, the only other addition to the deck is 2 copies of Tibalt, Rakish Instigator. Being a mono-red player from Ixalan Standard, I was definitely missing the protection against life-gain strategies that Rampaging Ferocidon provided. That card died for the sins of Hazoret the Fervent and one of my hopes for the Amonkhet block rotating was that they would list the ban list, but alas, this dino stayed sidelined. Now with Tibalt, we get that option back in our toolbox.

Mono Red did a great beginners strategy because it provides new players with a consistent and powerful strategy of dealing damage and turning creatures sideways without the worry of dealing with complicated decision trees or getting color screwed that is inherent with the greedy Mana bases in the 3-color decks. I think this deck has staying power to remain viable in WAR Standard, especially in Arena best of 1. Please comment below and let me know what you think of the new tech and join me next time as we dive into the greater meta of WAR Standard.

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