When Chandra, Pyromaster debuted, the community rejoiced! Finally, we had a playable version of one of the most popular characters in the game. This was, to my knowledge, the fourth version of the character. Chandra Nalaar was a bit slow and a little low-impact, and Chandra Ablaze was gimmicky and even slower. Chandra, the Firebrand was similarly gimmicky and also quite narrow. 

The Pyromaster wasn't some absolute world beater — really just a more average value engine — but Red was by far the worst color for single color Planeswalkers at this point (with only Koth of the Hammer as an allstar). You gotta remember, this was before some kind of Tormenting Voice was present in every set. Light Up the Stage was but a twinkle in MaRo's eye. Red card draw was scarce and the Pyromaster let a red deck get ahead big on cards. 

Because a lot of the Chandras do seem a bit nuanced in their differences, I wanted to focus on the Pyromaster's Plus Ability because it negates blockers, which is an interesting theme that Red can focus on. 

It's 2021. Who even blocks anymore? (Certainly not our opponents!)

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Chandra, Pyromaster by Andy Hurst

'Chandra, Pyromaster' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank: 0-0

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $11.68

Cards

Academy Raider

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/69936_200w.jpg

Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
Whenever Academy Raider deals combat damage to a player, you may discard a card. If you do, draw a card.

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Frenzied Goblin

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161477_200w.jpg

Whenever Frenzied Goblin attacks, you may pay {R}. If you do, target creature can't block this turn.

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Hulking Cyclops

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11155_200w.jpg

Hulking Cyclops can't block.

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Blood Ogre

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132308_200w.jpg

Bloodthirst 1 (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.)
First strike (This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)

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Initiate of Blood // Goka the Unjust

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12038_200w.jpg

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Bond of Passion

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188609_200w.jpg

Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn. Bond of Passion deals 2 damage to any other target.

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Slith Firewalker

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93812_200w.jpg

Haste
Whenever Slith Firewalker deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it.

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Crushing Pain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11970_200w.jpg

Crushing Pain deals 6 damage to target creature that was dealt damage this turn.

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Uncontrollable Anger

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/83236_200w.jpg

Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.)
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and attacks each combat if able.

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Needle Drop

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15588_200w.jpg

Needle Drop deals 1 damage to any target that was dealt damage this turn.
Draw a card.

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Opportunist

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5652_200w.jpg

{T}: Opportunist deals 1 damage to target creature that was dealt damage this turn.

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Emmessi Tome

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118655_200w.jpg

{5}, {T}: Draw two cards, then discard a card.

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Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187228_200w.jpg

Trample
Whenever Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker, you may discard any number of cards. If you do, draw that many cards and add that much {R}. Until end of turn, you don't lose this mana as steps and phases end.

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Scab-Clan Berserker

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/100310_200w.jpg

Haste
Renown 1 (When this creature deals combat damage to a player, if it isn't renowned, put a +1/+1 counter on it and it becomes renowned.)
Whenever an opponent casts a noncreature spell, if Scab-Clan Berserker is renowned, Scab-Clan Berserker deals 2 damage to that player.

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Earthshaker Khenra

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/135053_200w.jpg

Haste
When Earthshaker Khenra enters the battlefield, target creature with power less than or equal to Earthshaker Khenra's power can't block this turn.
Eternalize {4}{R}{R} ({4}{R}{R}, Exile this card from your graveyard: Create a token that's a copy of it, except it's a 4/4 black Zombie Jackal Warrior with no mana cost. Eternalize only as a sorcery.)

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Retreat to Valakut

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105301_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, choose one —
• Target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
• Target creature can't block this turn.

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Talruum Piper

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5938_200w.jpg

All creatures with flying able to block Talruum Piper do so.

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Pyrophobia

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190979_200w.jpg

Pyrophobia deals 3 damage to target creature. Cowards can't block this turn.

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Dogpile

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/13260_200w.jpg

Dogpile deals damage to any target equal to the number of attacking creatures you control.

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Goblin Smuggler

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192649_200w.jpg

Haste (This creature can attack and {T} as soon as it comes under your control.)
{T}: Another target creature with power 2 or less can't be blocked this turn.

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Syr Carah, the Bold

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198862_200w.jpg

Whenever Syr Carah, the Bold or an instant or sorcery spell you control deals damage to a player, exile the top card of your library. You may play that card this turn.
{T}: Syr Carah deals 1 damage to any target.

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The Akroan War

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206150_200w.jpg

(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — Gain control of target creature for as long as The Akroan War remains on the battlefield.
II — Until your next turn, creatures your opponents control attack each combat if able.
III — Each tapped creature deals damage to itself equal to its power.

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Goblin Shortcutter

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216646_200w.jpg

When Goblin Shortcutter enters the battlefield, target creature can't block this turn.

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Flame Spill

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212612_200w.jpg

Flame Spill deals 4 damage to target creature. Excess damage is dealt to that creature's controller instead.

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Vandalblast

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $3.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/108061_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact you don't control.
Overload {4}{R} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")

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Akroan Sergeant

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/100383_200w.jpg

First strike (This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)
Renown 1 (When this creature deals combat damage to a player, if it isn't renowned, put a +1/+1 counter on it and it becomes renowned.)

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Shivan Meteor

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233945_200w.jpg

Shivan Meteor deals 13 damage to target creature.
Suspend 2—{1}{R}{R} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {1}{R}{R} and exile it with two time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost.)

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Chandra, Pyromaster

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132243_200w.jpg

+1: Chandra, Pyromaster deals 1 damage to target player or planeswalker and 1 damage to up to one target creature that player or that planeswalker's controller controls. That creature can't block this turn.
0: Exile the top card of your library. You may play it this turn.
−7: Exile the top ten cards of your library. Choose an instant or sorcery card exiled this way and copy it three times. You may cast the copies without paying their mana costs.

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Rogue's Passage

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236159_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{4}, {T}: Target creature can't be blocked this turn.

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Smoldering Spires

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132325_200w.jpg

Smoldering Spires enters the battlefield tapped.
When Smoldering Spires enters the battlefield, target creature can't block this turn.
{T}: Add {R}.

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Gorehorn Minotaurs

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132314_200w.jpg

Bloodthirst 2 (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.)

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Undying Rage

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227197_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and can't block.
When Undying Rage is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return Undying Rage to its owner's hand.

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Dwarven Ruins

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/2535_200w.jpg

Dwarven Ruins enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {R}.
{T}, Sacrifice Dwarven Ruins: Add {R}{R}.

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Magma Jet

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216132_200w.jpg

Magma Jet deals 2 damage to any target. Scry 2.

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Stormblood Berserker

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132307_200w.jpg

Bloodthirst 2 (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.)
Menace (This creature can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.)

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Teetering Peaks

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33448_200w.jpg

Teetering Peaks enters the battlefield tapped.
When Teetering Peaks enters the battlefield, target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
{T}: Add {R}.

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Firefiend Elemental

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/100387_200w.jpg

Haste (This creature can attack and {T} as soon as it comes under your control.)
Renown 1 (When this creature deals combat damage to a player, if it isn't renowned, put a +1/+1 counter on it and it becomes renowned.)

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Roast

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/96493_200w.jpg

Roast deals 5 damage to target creature without flying.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215722_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Shock

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215884_200w.jpg

Shock deals 2 damage to any target.

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Pillage

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190999_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or land. It can't be regenerated.

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The Game Plan

Time to attack a bunch, especially in situations where the opponent can't block! Oh, and create a bunch of situations where the opponent can't block. Between Renown and Bloodthirst, we've got a few mechanics that reward us for getting through. Slith Firewalker, Academy Raider, and Neheb don't have the keywords, but they're also fantastic when they can connect. We've got plenty of ways to help make sure we can connect. Frenzied Goblin is our cheapest and most consistent option (and therefore best), but Goblin Shortcutter, Goblin Smuggler, Pyrophobia, Rogue's Passage, and of course Chandra's Plus Ability round out the options. 

Because our game plan revolves so heavily around getting in for damage, we want to use our removal and eliminate blockers aggressively. Our creatures aren't terribly impressive when we can't get them going, so we need to take advantage of those opportunities. For Bloodthirst triggers, keep in mind that we've got a few options to fire those up outside of combat, with Syr Carah the Bold as the best among them. 

You'll notice that much of our burn is a little on the small side. Well, that's okay. Thanks to Chandra's pinging, and several other effects that can hit a target that's already been damaged, we can leverage those smaller cheaper burn spells to take out a much fatter target. Opportunist and Initiate of Blood are great options — Opportunist being an absolutely fantastic flavor slam dunk in my opinion — and Needle Drop and Crushing Pain are heavy hitting spells within this context. 

The Rares

Combining haste with pseudo-evasion is a valuable 1-2 punch, and getting to do it twice makes it even spicier. Never be afraid to trade this fella off, since its Eternalized state is the real prize. Red aggression never looked so good! 

This may have only been potent enough to get sideboard considerations during its time in Standard, but to be fair, Red Aggro was at an all-time high in the Berserker's day. In this format, each deck has a somewhat similar quantity of spells, ensuring that its floor of effectiveness is higher than those of its other appearances. It doesn't stay behind rate for long once it Renowns, and the haste gives us a lot of flexibility to let us get that Renowned status. 

Some of our creatures like Slith Firewalker grow up to be big and strong. Some, like Gorehorn Minotaur, can get that buff given appropriate circumstances. But we don't have a lot of naturally huge troops. Neheb is our big gun. He's not terribly expensive, he rumbles with the best of 'em with some evasion, and if he gets to connect we get a fine trigger out of it. 

The Akroan War is another sideboard terror from its time in Standard. It's a great way to swing a close race and to help answer opposing big stuff. Again, we want to neutralize blockers and get opposing creatures out of the way. War is an ugly business, and we want our opponents to realize that pretty quickly. 

Unsung Hero

The Rage fills two purposes admirably. First, it can clear an opposing creature out of the way. We don't have to throw it on one of our guys, and it prohibits blockers, which is a fine primary function. As mentioned earlier with Neheb, many of our creatures lack some size until they're turned on, and an extra +2/+2 can ensure that those troops stay alive long enough to get even bigger.