Raise Your Standards – Seeing Red In Standard


Hello and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  As many of you know, I have a fondness for red decks.  There’s just something satisfying about attacking with hasty creatures or dealing lethal damage to my opponent with a burn spell.  And contrary to what a lot of people believe, playing a red-based deck can take a lot of brain power to figure out how to maximize each point of damage you’re inflicting while still maintain some defense for yourself.  This week we’ll be taking a look at a bunch of decks that prominently feature the color red.

Pure Red

First up is a deck that’s been around since the Hour of Devastation Pro Tour.  Let’s take a look at Ramunap Red.


Ramunap Red – (by sandydogmtg)

CreaturesHarsh Mentor


LandsRampaging Ferocidon



Ramunap Red is the deck that Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa won PT HOU with, and this version recently came in first at an MTGO PTQ.  It’s a deck that has been a contender for a while, and with good reason.  However, some people don’t like playing a mono-colored deck.  They prefer to leverage a deck’s strengths and weaknesses by adding another color to the mix.


By adding black to your red deck, you’re usually adding more ways to destroy an opponent’s creatures that aren’t just direct damage.  That’s certainly the case with the next deck I have for you.


Red/Black – (by hzk)

CreaturesGlint-Sleeve Siphoner


LandsVraska's Contempt



Fatal Push and Vraska’s Contempt are two of the best removal spells currently in Standard.  The addition of black also allows the Ribbons side of Cut // Ribbons to be played, which is a great way to get the last few points of damage against your opponent.  Adding black also allows for some very efficient creatures such as Gifted Aetherborn, and allows for creatures to return from the graveyard (namely Scrapheap Scrounger and Dread Wanderer).  When all is said and done, black and red is a color pairing much like chocolate and peanut butter… sweet and delicious.


Red’s other allied color, green, provides opportunities to ramp into more threats faster as well as buffing your creatures into being more powerful threats.  Here’s a good example of a red/green deck that recently went undefeated in an online league.


Red/Green – (by Akiragirl15)

CreaturesRhonas the Indomitable





The addition of green allows a red deck to play potentially bigger creatures in the form of Longtusk Cub and Bristling Hydra.  Also, the possibility of playing Blossoming Defense allows any of your creatures to stay safe if your opponent points a removal spell at them.


But what if you don’t want to play one of red’s allied colors?  Look no further because the next deck I have for you recently went 5-0 on MTGO while being piloted by none other than Craig Wescoe.  Let’s take a look at it.


Red/Blue – (by Nacatls4Life)

CreaturesAether Swooper


LandsMaverick Thopterist



This isn’t your typical red/blue deck that’s looking to control the game via counterspells and direct damage.  Instead, this deck looks to attack from both the sky and land.  Six of your creatures in this deck are capable of attacking (or being able to create thopters that can attack) from the air.  Also, there’s a lot of interaction with Inventor’s Goggles since a lot of creatures in the deck are artificers.  This deck looks like it’s a lot of fun to play.

Red/White ?

The last color pairing with red would be red/white.  However I haven’t seen a red/white deck that’s been doing well for a few weeks.  the last one was the Red/White Approach deck that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.  So, it looks like the best option for you if you want to play a red/white deck is to add black to it and play Mardu.  Let’s take a look at Mardu Vehicles.


Mardu Vehicles – (by Nemesis305)

CreaturesVeteran Motorist


LandsToolcraft Exemplar



Months ago, the Mardu Vehicles deck was dominating the tournament scene.  Then Gideon, Ally of Zendikar rotated and it looked like the deck was dead.  But it appears the rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated as this deck has been picking up steam online.  Replacing Gideon is Hazoret the Fervent, which is a good addition as she can crew a vehicle even if you have more than 1 card in your hand.  And the latest addition to the deck is Legion’s Landing, which can help in the late game.  While this deck isn’t purely red/white, black is only needed on a couple of cards (Scrapheap Scrounger and Unlicensed Disintegration), and while they aren’t minor cards in the deck, it’s not enough of a shift to feel like the red/black deck from above.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have my thoughts on red decks in the current Standard format.  Do you have one that’s your favorite?  Let me know by leaving a comment.  Or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  Also, don’t forget to like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MTGDeckTechs/) to be sure to be notified when a new article is posted.

Be sure to join me again next week when we’ll look at the results from Pro Tour Ixalan for more innovation.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes


Mike Likes

Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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