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Starter Pack: Red Cards

Mountain (Theros), by Rob Alexander, owned by Wizards of the Coast © All Rights Reserved.

Over the past few months, as I've had the pleasure of networking with other PDH players, I've had considerably more opportunities to play, and practice than I've ever had before. I've been fortunate enough to be given a wider window to what possibilities exist, what dangers exist, and what strategies tend to be dominant.

At this point in time, I'll tell you what scares me most; any blue / black deck. Why is that? Card draw is far too abundant, with a full arsenal of weapons ready to use against me. This has forced me to adapt my ways of thinking, and think harder about what is the true strength within a color. We have taken time before on this site, talking about everything burn (see Mono Red Burn Spells, and A Slow Burn). However, now it's time to take a step outside of that bubble, and have a wider view of Red as a color identity.

It's time to take a new step into the next installment of the Starter Pack series. Enjoy!


The first mistake I had made with playing red in highlander formats, was approaching every deck like I was playing Modern again. My curve was designed like a modern curve. It had never occurred to me that PDH gives me certain luxuries. I can afford higher cost spells, and that opened the doors to the good stuff. Heirs of Stromkirk has become an auto include in every deck of mine, and almost immediately becomes a magnet for opponents' removal.

If you're going to play red, let's set a timer on your opponents. Hissing Iguanar will utilize an inevitable factor of the game, while Sun-Crowned Hunters (Thank you so much Ixalan, for such a beautiful toy) gives you a repeated bolt. A toy that I had not known before, Orcish Spy helps you know when you are or aren't safe to drop our spells. Have these tools ready.


Let me make myself abundantly clear on something. YOU GOTTA HAVE IMPACT TREMORS. This thing has a low CMC, and constantly chips away at all opponents. This thing isn't dangerous because it is a part of a combo, it's dangerous because it isn't. Resources will be used to remove this thing, sparing the real dangers you have in store.

I have before mentioned the dangers of fliers. If you can't remove a flier, at the very least, punish a player for using one. Insolence gives you a great opportunity to have an opponent make an impossible choice. You need your opponents on a clock. Use these enchantments to do so.


l have before expressed the value of a card like Electrickery, but I want to be sure to emphasize my viewpoint here. This card allows you to single-handedly take out any tokens strategy, or finish the job on several creatures after combat. Thunderbolt will always give you an opportunity to remove a flier, and that's a resource you can't ignore.


Want to cast a bunch of spells, and then stack your board with a load of goblins? Well then Empty the Warrens will be the exact card for you! However, the real treat here is Ruthless Invasion, giving you the opportunity to swing in without any blockers. Such a weapon can allow you to severely chip away at your opponents, if not finishing them off entirely. Force your opponents to use resources, leaving them open to other dangers.


As there are so many incredibly powerful common card draw spells, we also have at our disposal so many aggressive spells to let us prepare for nothing less than a wild fight. Bring violent fighters, chip away at life totals, and add a ticking clock to all of your opponents. Make them break a sweat.

Will every one of these cards work in every deck? Not necessarily, but it's a great place to start. Do these cards add power to your decks? Let this be a starting point for any deck you craft, and relieve some of the challenges that come with designing your own techs.



#Red #Top10 #Primers


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