Hello and welcome to a special edition of Droppin' Baums! I had so many people ask me over the last few weeks about how to build and sideboard with their Red-Black Aggro deck that I figured I might as well reload an old Baum! Red-Black is a deck that has the most powerful cards available to them in the current metagame. Being able to have a deck that has early aggressive creatures, powerful planeswalkers, tough-to-kill threats and fantastic removal is a recipe for success. While I do think that people are figuring out how to beat the deck, I know it is not an easy task by any means. While people adapt to beat the deck, we adapt to beat the adaptations. Here is the list I ended up on!

You may look at this list and think that this is a very random assortment of cards. I would normally agree with you, but the power level of the cards are so close that it is nice to be able to draw cards like Ahn-Crop Crasher to attack through a Lyra Dawnbringer. You can draw Pia Nalaar against your control matchups and feel super good. You can draw your Hazoret in the mirror and feel unstoppable. The point I am trying to make is you have options. Post-board, you can always side out some of the two-ofs that aren't as good in the matchup. New Red-Black Aggro should be looked at as a toolbox deck.

Another big change since my previous list is the cutting of Rekindling Phoenix. The main reason for this was to make room for the powerful God Hazoret the Fervent. When you make room for this card you have to do more than cut cards equal to the amount of Hazorets – you have to make sure your curve is low enough to consistently cast it effectively. It all comes down to if that is worth it. I think the answer is yes. Let's get to sideboarding!

Sideboard Guide

Obviously the mirror is one big luckfest. I do feel like we have an advantage from your normal slower versions of the deck. Every turn you have to ask yourself "what kills me next turn," and "how do I win the game?" These are the questions you should base your decisions on. If you don't have a plan to close the game out and you are just trying to hang on to survive another turn, you're doing it wrong.

These matchups are really the reason to play the black. If these matchups didn't exist I would much rather play mono-red. Being able to have access to hand disruption spells, especially against white-blue, is huge! Just make sure you try to keep your Bomat Couriers safe as much as possible.

This matchup can be a little tricky post-board. They max out on Vraska's Contempts, which is great against us. They also have Lilliana which can be quite annoying. Of course, they still have a lot of X-1's which Goblin Chainwhirler gets to devour!

This matchup comes down to us just wanting to kill everything. Their threats have to snowball to be relevant. You would think Soul-Scar Mage would still be good thanks to the interaction with Snake and Chainwhirler, but it just isn't. We one-for-one everything until we take over the game with a Chandra or a Glorybringer.

This is our worst matchup. They just have more Hazoret and Phoenix than we do. I would say it's just correct to play this deck instead of Red-Black Aggro if the other matchups were the same, but they aren't. Being able to use hand disruption against Settle the Wreckage decks is just way too important. That does not mean this matchup is horrible, and I probably would have won round five of this league against it if I didn't play terribly. Mistakes were made, enjoy watching them! :)

I want to thank everyone that has been patient waiting for this Red-Black Aggro piece to be made, I know a lot of you have been asking for a while. As always leave any questions or concerns in the comment section, be easy on me about my terrible keep in round five! Now go out and whirl some chains, my friends!

Corey Baumeister