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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Feb 28 2008 1:04pm
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We've been over the combo decks of the format.  Now we are going to take a look at the aggresive decks of the format.  The aggresive decks can really shine in this format!  They are quick and able to apply pressure until the game is over, and now some aggro decks are even packing card advantage spells like Dark Confidant or Goblin Ringleader.  Still if your enjoy making a man and sending that guy into the red zone, then these are the decks for you! 

The first aggro decks we are going to look at are among the most despised decks in the history of Magic.  In fact this deck was so hated that tournaments across the world suffered a huge drop off in attendence and forced the DCI to ban a large part of the deck in Standard play.   Affinity was that deck in Standard, and it's almost a port from Mirrodin Block outside a few of the newer spells that one can play with.  Springleaf Drum makes the deck faster, while Pithing Needle and Tormod's Crypt gives the deck game against Pernicious Deed and Dredge.  I have three different versions of the deck for you to look at, while the core of the deck is still the same, some other card choices make each one in my mind a unique list.

Affinity and its' variants 

This version of Affinity looks to kill around turn four.  It packs Atog and Fatal Frenzy  on turn four if you have hit all of your land drops, the Atog, and one other artifact, you can float mana, sacrifice your four lands to the Atog, making him a 9/10.  Sacrificing the last artifact makes him an 11/12, and the Fatal Frenzy makes him a 22/12 trampler.  This sort of "All-In" strategy makes this deck one of the most dangerous aggro decks in the field!

This build of Affinity if my favorite one.  In fact, if I had to recommend a build of the deck it would be this one!  You may be wondering why though.  First, there is enough removal to make any other aggro match good for you.  Between Smother and Shrapnel Blast not many of your opponent's men will stay alive.  Smother also takes care of the troubling creature that is Tarmogoyf  The second reason I heart this deck is because of the diversity of threats.  You may not be all in like the Fatal Frenzy version of the deck, but this one has better staying power, and because of it's high casting cost threats, you are better off against Deed.

Another former block deck that sees a ton of Extended play is Goblins!  The Onslaught block special has plenty of efficent men, and can get the job done quick.  Some Goblin decks look to play like a normal deck and than have Patriarch's Bidding as a finisher, while other builds use Rite of Flame to power out more expensive men.  Still other builds look to disrupt the non basic mana bases of many of the other decks in the format by using Blood Moon!  One thing is for sure though, as long as Goblin Warchief, Goblin Piledriver and Goblin Matron are in the format, this is one deck you are going to have to keep an eye on. 

Goblins and Goblin Variants 

In my mind this is the best build of Goblins.  It plays like a typical Goblin deck, and has a great late game with Patriarch's Bidding providing a combo kill.  This is the build of Goblins I would play! I love to play decks that could switch gears from Aggro to Combo in the blink of an eye. 

Yeah, that is a Dark Confidant in that deck list.  While Bob Maher Jr. may not be a Goblin himself the card advantage that he provides the decks allows you to really keep the pressure up while you are denying them any mana with the Blood Moon!

This is the final Goblin list we are going to look at. It is not a bad list, but in my mind it is very reliant on drawing Rite of Flame early. Rite is the card that allows this deck to play unfair, and without it, it is just a regular Goblin deck. On top of that, I've never really top decked anything worse than a Rite of Flame when I was staring down a lethal board position. Pretty much after turn four, I would have wanted to draw anything else!

We are ready to move past the block decks that are hanging out in Extended, let's take a look at the different flavors of Zoo!  One version is packed full of speedy creatures, and takes advantage of the Shock Lands and Fetch lands to fix it's mana base, and to take advantage of the silly powerful Domain spells like Tribal Flames
and Gaea's Might.  The other version is a more disruptive deck, and it packs Vindicates are an answer to just about anything.  The main difference between the two decks comes down to playing either Gaea's Might or Vindicate though. 

Here is a sample list of Domain Zoo, this one runs Vindicate over the powerful pump spell.

Zoo and it's variants

As with most aggro decks in the format this one comes with a variant, so let's take a quick look at Gaea's Might Get There. This list is very unique, as I have not seen many take advantage of both the pump spell and the targeted removal. This deck would be the one I would most likely play in events. However, I do not own Vindicates, so it is very unlikely that I will ever run this!

What would a list of Aggro decks be like without the different versions of Red Deck Wins?  We've got a lot of them to choose from this year.  Some remain to be the more traditional four to eight land destruction mono red deck.  Others look to take advantage of having a giant Tarmogoyf, while others still have added Quirion Dryad to make it a Red Green Gro list.  Of course some versions of Red Deck make a splash for white, which allows you to run Lightning Helix which is theory gives you better game against the mirror.   The final Red Deck is the Mono Red Burn deck, which just throws as much direct damage as you can at the opponent's face.  Let's take a look at these decks now.

Red Deck Wins and other like minded decks

This version of the deck is the ancestor of sorts for every other version of Red Deck in the format.  While a build like this has top eighted a Pro Tour before, many feel it is better suited for the PTQ level.  Often times weak players will not know how to play around the eight land destruction spells that this deck packs.  With the land disruption the deck features some very aggresive creatures, so forcing a player to play a turn behind them is often good enough for win.   

Many players will recognize the jist of this decks strategy.  You play off color spells to grow the Dryad and smash for a ton.  However, the color that is most often paired with Dryad is Blue.  The red here works double duty, it grows the Dryad, and reduces your opponent's life points.  It makes Dryad into a psuedo 5/5 early.   

This version of Red Deck Wins is built to battle a metagame full of other Red Decks.  Lightning Helix helps keep you above lethal burn range.  The sideboard also helps with the addition of Honorable Passage.  It acts as a counterspell for burn that just also happens to deal that amount of damage back to the opponent, which helps win the race.   

This is the deck that most RDW has become.  It may have lost four land destruction spells, but it makes up for that with the addition of the best Green creature ever printed.  What I find really absurd about this deck is the inclusion of Grim Lavamancer.  He does not have good synergy with Tarmogoyf.  Of course if you are a Red Green Aggro player, you might as well have both solid spells.     

Honestly, this is my most favorite deck in the format right now.  It's cheap and easy to pilot.  All you really have to do is make the decision rather to burn the face, or burn the dudes! 

Doran and his Trinket Pals.


I like to think of this deck as the newest verision of PT Junk.  You're very aggresive here, and can attack for three on turn two if you happen to nail Doran on the same turn.  Treefolk Harbinger seems to be a "Fixed" Wall of Blossoms here, instead of drawing a card, you just get to fix your mana by fetching a Mumuring Bosk, or get your giant 5/5 treefolk. 

This deck does not see much play, and I suspect that the land base might have something to do with it.  What we have here is a Doran deck that uses Trinket Mage to fetch out various artifacts that can help you in poor matchups. 


The only thing that this deck has going against it, is the terrible mana base.  Really, you're trying to cast spells that cost WW, GG, or any mix of WBG.  Bosk might help this deck out some.  However, we have a bunch of powerful spells here that are just fantastic against the field.   Really there is not much that Dredge can do against a game one Gaddock Teeg.  Ideal has the same issue with the Kithkin Advisor. Silver Knight is just nuts against the Red Decks. 

This deck is a version of the previously mentioned BGW Hater deck.  While it loses the black cards, it more than makes up for it in stability and consistancy.  Tallowisp gets you some awesome Auras, and some decks just can not beat Troll and Worship. 

The best of the rest. 

Much like the previous article, these decks are just here for show.  I'm not going to spend much time talking about them, as they are not major players in the metagame.  However, from time to time they do pop up in the top eight of events, and therefore you should pay attention to these just because of the off chance that they show up. 




We're chugging right along, the final installment is being worked up right now.  Next time we'll have the control decks of the format.  Is Counterbalance really the best card for control, or is there some other deck out that ready to give a Rude Awakening to Next Level blue?  We'll see! 


death cloud? by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 03/21/2008 - 10:26
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what happened to death cloud?

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 02/28/2008 - 13:11
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weird aggro flow decklist -_-

by ArtistX at Thu, 02/28/2008 - 21:49
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Why have all the Doran decklist dropped Profane Command?! It's a completely sick card that WINS GAMES especially when combined with witness....

There is a need to extend the by lenyrose2013 at Thu, 09/29/2016 - 07:25
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There is a need to extend the work. As long as you have the right skill for it. - Dennis Wong YOR Health