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By: olaw, Oliver Law
Jul 27 2012 8:57am
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Hello!

Welcome to another edition of Becoming A Modern Man or BAMM.  For those not familiar with the concept I take a Modern deck and look at the card choices, the cost of the deck and then take it for a test run in the Tournament Practice room.  In this article we will be looking at Red Deck Wins (RDW).

There are a number of different builds of RDW around at the moment.  The biggest difference between the builds at the moment tends to be whether they splash black for Bump in the Night or not.  Here are a couple of example lists coming out of the recent Modern dailies:

RDW
3-1 Modern Daily #4109722 on 07/23/2012 by nategoosin
Creatures
4 Goblin Guide
3 Grim Lavamancer
4 Hellspark Elemental
11 cards

Other Spells
4 Vexing Devil
4 Bump in the Night
2 Flames of the Blood Hand
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
3 Shard Volley
29 cards
 
Lands
4 Arid Mesa
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
7 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
20 cards

Bump in the Night
RDW
3-1 Deck Modern Daily #4030758 on 07/05/2012 by Meow22
Creatures
4 Goblin Guide
2 Grim Lavamancer
4 Hellspark Elemental
3 Keldon Marauders
4 Spark Elemental
4 Vexing Devil 
21 cards

Other Spells
2 Flames of the Blood Hand
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Magma Jet
4 Rift Bolt
2 Shard Volley 
19 cards
 
Lands
16 Mountain
4 Teetering Peaks
20 cards

Flames of the Blood Hand


The deck I will be running is going to be Mono-Red as it is a little more budget friendly, however, the R(B)DW version isn't really all that more pricey.  I've even seen some lists just use Blackcleave Cliffs and Dragonskull Summits for their black splash, which saves on buying Blood Crypt.  Here's the list I'm currently running:


DECK TECH

Creatures

Goblin Guide
Goblin Guide
One of the most aggressive one-drops ever printed, Goblin Guide is an ideal fit for this deck.  Turn 1 Goblin Guide can go a long way to beating your opponent and I am always happy to see this guy in my opening hand.  He's obviously less impactful long term but having haste means that he can still sometimes get a quick dig in for 2.

Hellspark Elemental
Hellspark Elemental
A Ball Lightning that comes in two installments. Hellspark Elemental does a lot of damage for a very small mana investment. The fact you can Unearth him is a really big game and getting 6 damage out of one card is awesome.

Grim Lavamancer
Grim Lavamancer
I covered the strengths of Grim Lavamancer in Modern in my Splinter Twin article.  In this deck, Grim Lavamancer is more likely to be going to the face, getting extra value out of your burn spells.  However, it can also help clear the way for your creatures when necessary.

Vexing Devil
Vexing Devil
One of the more recent additions, Vexing Devil has yet to have his time to shine in Standard.  However, in Modern he makes an excellent addition to RDW.  A lot of the time this guy will just be coming down dealing 4 damage to your opponent and immediately hitting the graveyard.  One mana for 4 damage is a really nice deal though.  If he actually hits play Vexing Devil is a great beater or even blocker if it really comes down to it.

Keldon Marauders
Keldon Marauders
At the very worst Marauders is 2 damage for 2 mana.  However, usually it is a whole lot better than that.  Generally it will swing in for 3 damage or trade with one of their creatures buying you extra time to find the burn spells you need.

Burn

Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
What would RDW be without the most iconic of all the burn spells?  One mana, 3 damage, as simple and effective as it ever was.

Lava Spike
Lava Spike
You might notice that one mana for 3 damage is going to become a theme.  Lava Spike isn't as versatile as Lightning Bolt so you might as well use at as soon as you can.

Rift Bolt
Rift Bolt
One mana for 3 damage at the beginning of your next turn.  Not quite as good as Lightning Bolt but pretty close.  Can target creatures when necessary but ideally this is going to the dome.  I sometimes like to hold on to these, rather than suspend them turn 1,  just in case they play a creature I really need to kill.  Again it's important to remember to get rid of your less versatile burn spells first.

Shard Volley
Shard Volley
The last of the one mana for 3 damage spells.  Sacrificing a mountain is a fairly siginifcant cost but it's usually well worth it.  I usually don't play this until I absolutely need to.

Searing Blaze
Searing Blaze
Searing Blaze is kills a creature and deals 3 damage to your opponent all in one nice little bundle.  Searing Blaze can be a little awkward as you won't always have the landfall trigger or worse yet they won't be playing creatures so you can't play it.  I can see swapping Searing Blaze out for something else but against decks that are running creatures it is pretty sweet. 

Flames of the Blood Hand
Flames of the Blood Hand
An unpreventable 4 damage at instant speed that also prevents any life gain that would happen that turn, very nice for a deck so heavily centered around burn.  Flames of the Blood Hand is the top of your curve in the deck as the only real 3 mana spell in the deck (Rift Bolt is usually played for its suspend cost).  There are other options such as Thunderous Wrath but I think I prefer Flames, especially as it isn't just dead in your hand like Thunderous Wrath.

COST
RDW is a very budget friendly deck.  Playing fetchlands in my version increases the price somewhat but you really don't have to play them and I only am because I have them.  Actually, at the time of writing fetchlands seem to have risen in price quite a bit so perhaps best to hold off on buying them.  The most expensive cards in the deck are the playset of Goblin Guides and Vexing Devils, though both those cards are still relatively cheap.

Main Deck
4 x Scalding Tarn= 31.16
4 x Arid Mesa= 24.12
4 x Goblin Guide= 9.76
4 x Vexing Devil= 5.40
4 x Grim Lavamancer= 3.04
2 x Flames of the Blood Hand= 1.28
4 x Hellspark Elemental= 1.08
4 x Lava Spike= 0.32
4 x Rift Bolt= 0.32
3 x Shard Volley= 0.24
3 x Keldon Marauders= 0.24
4 x Searing Blaze= 0.16
Total: 77.12 tix

Sideboard
2 x Torpor Orb= 6.08
2 x Relic of Progenitus= 0.16
3 x Leyline of Punishment= 0.21
2 x Volcanic Fallout= 0.50
4 x Smash to Smithereens= 0.60
2 x Molten Rain= 0.30
Total: 7.85 tix
Grand Total: 84.97 tix 

Grand Total (without fetchlands)= 29.69 tix

I'd like to note that this deck was actually closer to 24 tix without fetchlands when I built the deck, however, since then prices of Modern cards have risen quite a bit.  I imagine this is due to the recent Modern GP and the fact that Modern is the format for the upcoming Pro Tour might also be a factor.

GAMEPLAY
So now it's time to take the deck for a test drive in the Tournament Practice room.  Here's how it went.


Our first match is against Aggro Loam.  This deck isn't so popular these days, I imagine largely due to Grafdigger's Cage being very popular in sideboards.  However, the matchup was an interesting one.  Red Deck Wins is considerably faster than Aggro Loam and it seems like a pretty good matchup for RDW.


Our second match is against RG Tron, the most popular form of Tron online.  This matchup was an interesting one and a rather close one.  Had my deck been a little faster we might have gotten there.  This matchup seems like a close one.  They don't have a ton of ways to disrupt you beyond blowing up your lands, which admittedly is pretty awkward, but a fast hand will probably get it done.  However, Tron is also capable of being pretty fast and it they set up Tron early you're probably in for a hard-time.



Our third match is against UW Restoration Angel, an increasingly proper deck in the metagame.  This match was extremely tight and I really think it could have gone either way.  You are definitely faster than them but they have big creatures and counterspells for your burn.  A long game certainly doesn't favour you so it's best to try and get at them as fast as possible.

CONCLUSION
Red Deck Wins is a pretty cheap and effective deck to get you started in Modern.  It's not the most exciting but it can be pretty explosive and gets the job done quite quickly.  Personally, I don't find it to be the most enjoyable of decks to play but it does have a lot of game especially with all the fetchlands and Ravnica duals in the format.  In fact, I'd say the deck's biggest strength is probably the fact that it has a pretty good matchup against nearly every deck in the format, excluding Souls Sisters/Martyr Proc which is probably pretty miserable.

In the next edition of Becoming A Modern Man I plan to look at Goblins!
It's a pretty fringe deck in the format but it's very budget friendly and pretty fun to play.

Thanks for reading!
 

1 Comments

The state is good. It is by MichelleIvans at Wed, 04/24/2013 - 20:31
MichelleIvans's picture

The state is good. It is going pretty well. - Casa Sandoval