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Red Decks Win - Matt White (12/15/2008)

RDW or Red Deck Wins is a style of deck that has been around almost as long as Magic itself. But recently with the completion of States, it’s clear that the options that a player has over which cards to include in RDW and still have a successful deck are numerous. The super-aggressive style of mono red burns and quick creatures had many places in the Top8 of the tourneys and its fun to see how many different cards graced the RDWs and the pros and cons of each.

First off there are a couple of cards that seem to be unanimous picks and rightly so to build the RDWs around. Figure of Destiny
Figure of Destiny
Figure of DestinySet: Eventide
Cost:
1
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kithkin
Rarity:
R
Number:
139
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
o(r/w): Figure of Destiny becomes a 2/2 Kithkin Spirit. o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w): If Figure of Destiny is a Spirit, it becomes a 4/4 Kithkin Spirit Warrior. o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w)o(r/w): If Figure of Destiny is a Warrior, it becomes an 8/8 Kithkin Spirit Warrior Avatar with flying and first strike.
and Demigod of Revenge
Demigod of Revenge
Demigod of RevengeSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
10
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Jim Murray
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying, haste When you play Demigod of Revenge, return all cards named Demigod of Revenge from your graveyard to play.
are two of the staple cards for this deck. First off, FoD which is arguably the best creature card currently in Standard is an absolute machine. Its effectiveness as not only a 1 drop but also its ability to become an 8/8 Flying, First-Striking powerhouse gives this card a shoe-in for its obvious ability to be paid for in a red mana if not for the fact it could grace nearly any deck and be productive. Demigod on the other hand, while not nearly as quick out of the gate at 5 to play, is still amazing. As a 5/4 with Flying and Haste, and its ability to conjure up any other DoR’s that may have found their way into the graveyard for one reason or another makes this card extremely useful. It could easily be said that there is not another 5 drop creature with the effectiveness of Demigod, and because of this, secures its place in 99% of RDWs.

For the rest of the creatures, there are options aplenty. At the 2 spot, there is Stigma Lasher
Stigma Lasher
Stigma LasherSet: Eventide
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Wither (This deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.) Whenever Stigma Lasher deals damage to a player, that player can't gain life for the rest of the game.
, Keldon Marauder and Vex
Vex
VexSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's controller may draw a card.
aW5nIFNodXNoZXI=. Stigma Lasher
Stigma Lasher
Stigma LasherSet: Eventide
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Wither (This deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.) Whenever Stigma Lasher deals damage to a player, that player can't gain life for the rest of the game.
, first of all, has a unique ability to prohibit your opponent from gaining life, as well as the usefulness of wither. Vex
Vex
VexSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Counter target spell. That spell's controller may draw a card.
aW5nIFNodXNoZXI=, while being a creature that is immune to counter and a 2/2 also is great because it can prohibit all the blue counter cards from effecting your Flame Javelin
Flame Javelin
Flame JavelinSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
92
Artist:
Trevor Hairsine
Text:
(o(2/r) can be paid with any two mana or with R. This card's converted mana cost is 6.) Flame Javelin deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
s and Demigods later in the game. Since the Lasher and Shusher both have useful abilities, the choice is up to the player, and both cards are very useful.

At 3, there are also 3 very useful options. Fulminator Mage
Fulminator Mage
Fulminator MageSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
188
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice Fulminator Mage: Destroy target nonbasic L.
, Ashenmoor Gouger
Ashenmoor Gouger
Ashenmoor GougerSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
180
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Ashenmoor Gouger can't block.
, and Boggart Ram-Gang
Boggart Ram-Gang
Boggart Ram-GangSet: Premium Deck Series Fire and Lightning
Cost:
15
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
13
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Haste Wither (This deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.)
and great for RDW. Fulminator can destroy your opponent's Mutavault
Mutavault
MutavaultSet: Morningtide
Cost:
0
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
148
Artist:
Fred Fields
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 1: Mutavault becomes a 2/2 creature with all creature types until end of turn. It's still a land.
s but is a rare and is a 2/2, Gouger is a super-aggro uncommon and is a good 4/4, but can’t block and has no other abilities, and Ram-Gang, an uncommon, has wither and haste and is a 3/3. Again the options are there, but 3 great possibilities exist for a solid mono-red machine.

Tattermunge Maniac
Tattermunge Maniac
Tattermunge ManiacSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
219
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Tattermunge Maniac attacks each turn if able.
or Mogg Fanatic
Mogg Fanatic
Mogg FanaticSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Brom
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Mogg Fanatic: Mogg Fanatic deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
can round out the creature side of your deck, and some have used Ashenmoor Liege
Ashenmoor Liege
Ashenmoor LiegeSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
7
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental Knight
Rarity:
R
Number:
181
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
4
Toughness:
1
Text:
Other black creatures you control get +1/+1. Other red creatures you control get +1/+1. Whenever Ashenmoor Liege becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, that player loses 4 life.
and Hell’s Thunder as well to complete their aggro monsters and solidify 1/3 of their RDW.

The sorceries and instants are also plentiful. Incinerate
Incinerate
IncinerateSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Incinerate deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Creatures damaged by Incinerate cannot regenerate this turn.
, Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
, Tarfire
Tarfire
TarfireSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Tribal Instant
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Omar Rayyan
Text:
Tarfire deals 2 damage to target creature or player. 0
, Magma Spray
Magma Spray
Magma SpraySet: Shards Of Alara
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
108
Artist:
Jarreau Wimberly
Text:
Magma Spray deals 2 damage to target creature. If that creature would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.
, Flame Javelin
Flame Javelin
Flame JavelinSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
92
Artist:
Trevor Hairsine
Text:
(o(2/r) can be paid with any two mana or with R. This card's converted mana cost is 6.) Flame Javelin deals 4 damage to target creature or player.
, Firespout
Firespout
FirespoutSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
205
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Firespout deals 3 damage to each creature without flying if R was spent to play Firespout and 3 damage to each creature with flying if G was spent to play it. (Do both if RG was spent.)
, and Puncture Blast
Puncture Blast
Puncture BlastSet: Eventide
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Wither (This deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.) Puncture Blast deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
are all found in the mono-red decks and are great burns. Guttural Response
Guttural Response
Guttural ResponseSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
208
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Counter target blue instant spell.
, Unwilling Recruit
Unwilling Recruit
Unwilling RecruitSet: Eventide
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
64
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Text:
Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gets +X/+0 and gains haste until end of turn.
, and Everlasting Torment
Everlasting Torment
Everlasting TormentSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
186
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Players can't gain life. Damage can't be prevented. All damage is dealt as though its source had wither. (A source with wither deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.)
are also sideboardable and great pieces of a solid RDW. Normally which one that is chosen depends on what decks you expect to face. A sideboard should normally have at least a couple Guttural Response
Guttural Response
Guttural ResponseSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
208
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Counter target blue instant spell.
s, the choice of whether or not to include Firespout
Firespout
FirespoutSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
205
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Firespout deals 3 damage to each creature without flying if R was spent to play Firespout and 3 damage to each creature with flying if G was spent to play it. (Do both if RG was spent.)
would be decided on how many Fae or Elf decks you plan on encountering or any other deck that works with hordes of creatures coming your way.

The land can be dealt with with either a 22 or 24 land selection, and the choice of 0, 2, or 4, Ghitu Encampment
Ghitu Encampment
Ghitu EncampmentSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
141
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Ghitu Encampment comes into play tapped.T: Add one red mana to your mana pool.1R: Ghitu Encampment becomes a 2/1 red creature with first strike until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
s.

RDW is a deck that frustrates nearly every other deck type. The fact that you will almost always have an answer for your opponent’s creatures, while also holding several powerhouses of your own makes Mono-Red aggro, a fun and simple deck to use with positive outcomes on your Win-Loss record while being a tournament quality deck.


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