Introduction to EDH Part 5: Mono-Red
Three colours down, two to go. This week I'm discussing what's considered to be a simple, yet very fun colour to play in Magic. Mono-Red.
Lightning, Fire, and Insanity.
Red is the colour of impulse, emotion, and generally being very simple. Red mages don't think too about their decisions, they just cast every Lightning Bolt that they draw. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Did I Mention Fire?
Red's main point of attraction is that it's battle plan tends to be the same in every format, dealing lots of damage in little time. Red is the only colour that consistently deals direct damage to creatures and players using spells. It is also good at smashing artifacts and swarming the battlefield with tokens (usually they have Haste too!). All in all a very fun colour, but the incredibly straightforward battle plan can get a bit dim in EDH.
Fire Destroys, But Never Creates
Red's weaknesses are all tied to its inherent impulsiveness. Red's only card draw usually requires discarding cards as a cost, or after the cards are drawn. This prevents red from ever actually generating card advantage. Also, Red is terrible at taking out large creatures due to mostly relying on spells that deal 3-5 points of damage. Lastly Red can't touch enchantments except for a few colour pie breaks.
I'd argue that Red has even less variety than White in EDH, so you may tend to see these staples in many decks.
1. Chaos Warp
One of Red's only real answers to Enchantments and big Creatures, I never leave home without one.
2. Faithless Looting
Though Red tends to be horribly inefficient at drawing cards, this useful Flashback spell at least allows you to filter through your deck better than many other things. I run it in a Lyzolda, the Blood Witch deck and it's always satisfying to draw tutors then pitch the Bloodghast in my hand.
3. Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune tends to be really useful in many Red strategies. Simply because your hand is going to empty fast, and maybe your opponent has a nice full hand. You essentially draw seven for three mana, and make your opponent's lose whatever they were excited about.
What Does a Good Red Deck Look Like?
How fast can you deal damage? If the answer is either “insanely fast”, or "not as fast but it's extremely consistent and inevitable" , then you are probably doing it right. Today we shall focus on the latter because I find it more fun.
Purphoros, God of the Forge tends to do what I like in EDH. Many decks can't deal with him more than once or twice, do to being an Indestructable Enchantment, and the fact that he deals damage to each opponent just makes his game plan inevitable.
Basic Game Plan
Step 1 - Cast Purphoros as fast as possible
Step 2 - Flood the battlefield with tokens using pretty much every other card in the deck
Step 3 - ????
Step 4 - Victory
Tread the Mountainside
Don't let my opinion of Red get you wrong, decks like this are actually a blast to play. I simply believe that the card pool for Red in EDH tends to be incredibly shallow, so it's hard to be truly creative while building a deck. Hopefully this deck makes somebody's EDH nights a lot of fun, and I'll see you next week with my final instalment of this series.