Sunday, 7 May 2017

Mono Red Control

So here’s a question: ever hear of a Mono Red deck that seeks to control the opponent?  Other than decks that focus on Blood Moon and/or Land Destruction, I admit I am not that familiar with any. I think the reason for that is that people tend to only consider Red as an aggressive colour. Because of this, the decision to control an opponent with it can be an interesting endeavour; one that we are going to be undertaking today. So let’s see what we can brew with Mono Red Control, shall we?

Let’s begin today’s article with an often ignored aspect of the burn spell – they are not just good in aggro, they’re also great in control. Simple, right? The smart burn player knows how and when to use their damage dealing instants/sorceries. Wait, am I suggesting you don’t just burn their stupid smug face again and again to utterly crush them and earn the respect of the father who left you? Why yes I am! Ahem. Anyway, let’s get back on topic - how to control your opponent using those aforementioned burners. Because the colour does not really offer any conventional form of card drawing advantage, you want to be efficient with the spells that you have. In other words: decide which creatures don’t pose a threat, and focus on those that can or do.

Artifacts. Despite Red’s seeming hatred of them, artifacts are a great way to plug the holes in the colour’s arsenal. Some great examples are Ensnaring Bridge and Mana Web – both cards allow amazing ways to stop your opponent in their tracks. The aforementioned rationing of your burn spells (+ Bridge), along with their utility, can also help ensure who and what get to attack, along with when. Mana Web on the other hand combos amazingly with Rishadan Port (a great card in its own right), to just stop your opponent from casting any cardboard. See what I mean? Always consider artifacts in your decks.

Varchild`s War-Riders may just be a 1-of in the deck, but it is a pretty interesting card that I wanted to talk about. I know that I’ve written about this before, but Wizards really were a clever bunch back in the day. Did you take a look at the card? No problem, as I am pretty certain you don’t know what it does. The cumulative cost of giving your opponent an army of 1/1 blockers is negated by its trample and rampage 1. Normally I would consider this an aggro creature because you don’t want it to stay around creating an army for your opponent. I put it in as a 1-of for the late game however, because it deals decent damage and is Bolt-proof. The inclusion of Goblin Sharpshooter also helps negate those pesky 1/1s War-Riders creates, along with any others the opponent might cast.

I’ve written about the Brawler creatures in the past, so I won’t delve too deeply into them here. I am going to reiterate however that I think they are good as both aggro and/or control because of the decisions they create for your opponent. Does your opponent stall the their board to stop the Brawlers from attacking, or do they spend their mana and leave themselves open to your creatures?

Whew, alright so in creating this control deck, was there anything else that I had considered? Actually, there was a variety of choices that I decided not to pursue this time around. War-Riders could be a very nice combo with Aether Flash, which is itself a neat piece of Red control against creature-based decks. Impending Disaster and Blood Moon were other considerations as well, but I didn’t want to focus on Land Destruction with this particular deck. I hope you enjoy tinkering at home and seeing what works for you. Happy Brewing!

Mono Red Control


8 Mountain
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Rishadan Port
4 Wasteland

Total: 20


4 Barbed Brawlers
4 Veteran Brawlers
4 Flametongue Kavu
2 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Varchild’s War-Riders

Total: 15


3 Mana Web
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
2 Fireblast
2 Fire // Ice
4 Mox Diamond
4 Pillage
3 Ruination
3 Ensnaring Bridge

Total: 28


4 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroblast
2 Pyroclasm
1 Pyrokinesis
4 Defense Grid
1 Mana Web

No comments:

Post a Comment