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The New Red Deck Wins August 26, 2010

Posted by James in : all, strategy, constructed , trackback

Red Deck Wins is one of the least expensive yet competitive decks you can make for standard. After someone stole my three standard decks I already had plans to play in a standard event the next day, so I ended up staying up late making a new deck. I decided the best option was red deck wins, which could be made entirely with cards worth around $5 or less. Here was my deck list:

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Burst Lightning
4 Searing Blaze
4 Staggershock
4 Kiln Fiend
4 Hellspark Elemental
4 Goblin Guide
4 Ball Lightning
4 Hell’s Thunder
2 Siege-Gang Commander.
4 Teetering Peaks
18 Mountain


4 Reverberate
3 Leyline of Punishment
4 Combust
4 Volcanic Fallout

Possible Changes

I had good results using this deck, but I don’t know for sure that it’s the best red deck possible. Here are other cards worth considering for the deck:

  1. Fetch lands are the most obvious option, but they are fairly expensive. With fetch lands Plated Geopede should also be played. Zektar Shrine Expedition might also worth with fetch lands, but I have found it to be too unreliable. Drawing 3 lands isn’t good with it, and drawing it late game is also quite bad.
  2. Smoldering Spires is quite good and can replace either 2 Mountains or 2 other cards, such as Siege-Gang Commander.
  3. Kargan Dragonlord is also good, but i is an expensive option and I’m not convinced that the card is fast enough.
  4. Ember Hauler is a very strong and fast red card worth playing. You can try to play these early game.
  5. Gobline Ruinblaster might be worth playing, but I suspect it is too slow.
  6. Siege-Gang Commander seems too slow.
  7. Volcanic Fallout might be worth playing, but it doesn’t seem particularly good against all the decks out there.
  8. Reverberate, Devastating Summons, and Goblin Bushwacker. These cards can be quite good togther, but they are risky. Reverberate copies Devastating Summons and doubles the tokens you get and Goblin Bushwacker can give the tokens haste.

What to take out?

Siege-Gang Commander, Staggershock, Kiln Fiend, and Burst Lightning are all potentially worth taking out. Siege-Gang Commander is the weakest link, and Staggershock should be in the deck as long as Kiln Fiend is in.

The Future

Siege-Gang Comander, Hellspark Elemental, Hell’s Thunder, and Ball Lightning will have to be replaced. Smoldering Spires, Reverberate, Devestating Summons, and Goblin Bushwacker could be the best replacement cards.


1. 神の一手 - August 26, 2010

this is the second place deck from US nationals.

4 Arid Mesa
8 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Smoldering Spires
4 Teetering Peaks
24 lands

4 Ball Lightning
4 Goblin Guide
4 Hell’s Thunder
4 Hellspark Elemental
16 creatures

4 Burst Lightning
4 Earthquake
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
4 Staggershock
20 other spells

4 Devastating Summons
2 Forked Bolt
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
2 Manabarbs
3 Ricochet Trap

I think that Manabarbs is a superb sideboard card (oh, you set up infinite turns with Pyromancer’s Ascension? Barbs kills you anyway). I also like the Ricochet trap, but that all depends on your meta.

2. James - August 26, 2010

The problem is that red needs to be super consistent and that deck looks like it has a good chance of losing whenever he draws 3 lands or less, which happens more often than it should. I also don’t know why he is playing so many fetch lands with no Plated Geopede.

I highly consider playing mana barbs in the sideboard, but people usually die before it would be relevant. Not even sure where I put those right now.

What is Ricochet Trap good for other than just stopping a counter spell? Reverberate can do that and more. (Although Reverberate is probably not going to be in my sideboard either.)

3. 神の一手 - August 26, 2010

The barbs shuts down combo decks. I like it a lot.

I suppose the trap is just for blue/x matchups, but I didn’t design the deck. It just did well in a recent big tournament. The big thing it has that your RDW doesn’t is Earthquake. Forked Bolt is also a nice tool for taking down x/1 creatures.

4. James - August 26, 2010

Earthquake is also the slowest card in the deck. I’m not convinced it would be very helpful at this time.

5. 神の一手 - August 27, 2010

it kills mana dorks and can be ramped up to a finisher.