Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Nov 17 2021 1:03pm

Red Deck Wins will always have a special place in almost any magic players heart. It’s fast, straight to the point and rewards counting and sequencing. A lot of players think that it does not take much to play a deck like Red Deck Wins. However, I would argue that it can be one of the more challenging decks to play.

With a deck like Burn or Red Deck Wins, you need to make sure you get in every point of damage. Missing even just 1 point of damage can mean losing the game many turns later. You also need to play around a plethora of answers that your opponents can have, which is quite challenging by itself. In the end though, do almost everything correctly and the color red can be your best friend.

Today we are going to take a look at an interesting build of Red Deck Wins. Believe it or not, it even has a way of becoming the Monarch! The list we will look at was part of the 5-0 dump from 11/3/2021 and was piloted by the player SquirtleTheaeonsTorn.

Goblin Arsonist – This one flies under the radar a lot, although don’t get me wrong, it isn’t an extremely powerful card. It is just that there are a lot of archetypes where the 1 damage it deals when it dies can do a lot, like Elves for example. This creature is good in this archetype because this means you can sneak it a lot of points of damage because your opponent might be hesitant to kill it off and in an archetype like this, every point of damage matters. This is a really good creature to sacrifice to a card like Goblin Grenade because of its ability as well.

Mogg Fanatic – An old favorite you don’t see much of anymore. Although the days of damage stacking are long dead, Fanatic can still get some work in. it can attack and still ping something because you don’t have to tap it to use its ability. It isn’t the most powerful creature, but it gets the job done.

Fanatical Firebrand – The new version of Mogg Fanatic. You need to tap it to use its ability and so you need to make the choice of leaving it untapped or not, but it has Haste so you can attack with it the turn it comes down. Mogg Fanatic is a better card overall, but this one has its place. In a deck like this where you are trying to sneak and squeeze in every point of damage, this is a good creature.

Goblin Bushwhacker – Ah yes, the creature that binds most creature based Red Deck Wins decks together. This little guy does it all and if you could play 5, I think you would.

Burning-Tree Emissary – I am sure everyone knows this card. It is a 2 power creature for 2 mana that gives you mana to resolve another spell and put a lot of pressure on your opponent. It is a shame that it gives you a green mana you can’t use to cast 2 spells that cost 1 mana, but it does a lot already anyway.

Mogg War Marshal – A great follow up to Emissary. 2 creatures for 2 mana and when it dies you get a token back in return. I love this creature and wish more decks could use it. It does have Echo, so be careful when doing your mana math.

Orcish Hellraiser – This is an interesting creature you don’t see, well almost ever. For 2 mana, it is a 3 power creature and that alone is amazing for a deck like this. When it dies, it deals 2 damage to your opponent, another great thing about the card. The problem is that it has Echo, but it only costs 1 red and you have enough cheap spells that it should not hinder your game plan. This is also a great follow up to Emissary. I am not convinced of this card, but so far I see its potential.

Crimson Fleet Commodore – A way for this deck to draw extra cards? Yes please! Although it is 4 mana, it is a 5 power creature with trample that gives you the Crown. It is a great top end for a deck like this and I agree with 2 copies as you never need to see more than 1, but you want to see early enough that it impacts the game in time.

Lightning Bolt – We all know this card. Let’s move on.

Goblin Grenade – You have a lot of Goblin creatures and this is 5 damage for 1 mana. This gives the deck a ton of burn damage to play with and although I might sideboard it out against certain matchups, I love having 4 copies in the main deck so you can be as fast as possible.

HeartfireReckless Abandon is a card that Red Deck Wins players have played for extra burn potential. Heartfire costs 1 mana more, but it is an instant, which can be better in most situations. I like this card quite a bit honestly.

The manabase is just made up of 18 Mountains. No Forgotten Cave or any come into play tapped lands. You don’t need them and you don’t want to slow this deck down. I would leave the manabase as is.

The Sideboard

Electrickery – A good board wipe that doesn’t hit your own creatures. Against creature decks where the game might go a bit longer, this is a big help because it buy’s you time.

Fireblast – Extra burn against Midrange and Control matchups where you will need the extra reach.

Flaring Pain – A must for a deck like this. No one wants to lose to a Circle of Protection: Red.

Gut Shot – It is free and is good against a lot of decks. This allows you to deal with a problem creature while still tapping out against a deck like Elves or Spellstutter Sprite.

Red Elemental Blast – For those pesky blue mages. Darn them all!

Sylvok Lifestaff – This is an interesting one. Not only does it add a power to the equipped creature, but it also gains life whenever the creature dies. This allows you to play a more, control like game against other aggro decks. You can do better trades in combat, attack where you otherwise couldn’t, gain life and buy time in the process. Unless you try this card out for yourself, I wouldn’t be able to get my point across of how good this card has the potential to be for a deck like this. I am sure Deluxicoff (shout to him for all he does) has some great videos with this card over on his youtube channel.

One card I would have thought to see is Smash to Smithereens because it is a shatter effect that also deals 3 damage. However, I don’t think attacking Affinity with it is going to help you much since most of their things are indestructible. I also think Pryoblast and Fireblast are more helpful against Tron. I like not seeing it here.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Ah yes, good old Red Deck Wins. There is a reason I like to refer to it as old faithful. Throughout MTG history, it has always been a force to be reckoned with and it will continue to be.

In Pauper, there are a lot of ways to beat red. Cards such as Weather the Storm and of course, Circle of Protection: Red are just few of the many ways people have to answer you. Unfortunately, there is no card that acts like a Skullcrack in Pauper (print one Wizards, you cowards!), but that doesn’t stop Red aggro decks from being able to win completely.

Red Deck Wins, whether it be Goblins, Burn or mixture like the list I brought you today, Red Deck Wins is always a good deck for new players and even veterans of the game to pick up and play. It can teach you proper combat, proper sequencing, how to squeeze in points of damage when you would have otherwise thought not to and so much more.

Do I think you should play this deck? I think for the leagues it is great. For the challenges however, I think that Burn would be better. With burn, you don’t have to worry about having creatures be brick walled by your opponents creatures. Every spell you draw will go to the face instead of needing to get through combat.

People are always prepared for Red and cards such as Hydroblast are always out in big numbers. Don’t get me wrong, I love what this list is doing. I love the Orchish Hellraiser for the aggressiveness, I love having Heartfire along side Goblin Grenade for all the burn potential. I don’t like always needing a creature in play, but with cards like Mogg War Marshal, I am sure it is fine.

It is just that with people always been well prepared for creatures, as well as the color red in general, I think that Burn is a better game plan to play around what most of your opponents will be doing. But hey, I could always be wrong and I am more than willing to be wrong.

However, with all this being said, as always, do remember my words are not gospel. I will always encourage you to try a deck that I bring you despite my personal feelings. Remember that results will vary and always remember to practice!

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to on Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT and play in our weekly Pauper Classic Tuesday's event! Join the chat #PCT to chat with us and feel free to find most of the competitors on Discord!

Thank you so much for reading. Best of luck to you in your next tournament and I’ll catch you all next time!