Dragon Stompy. Free Win Red. All-In Red. The archetype has existed throughout all of Magic in various iterations (All-In Red back in old-style Extended was my personal favorite). Anyway, this deck has gone by many names, but essentially they all come down to one thing – a red deck ramping out cards to lock the opponent out of the game.
These days, the archetype is seen commonly in Legacy and is increasingly showing up in Modern – especially now thanks to everyone's favorite Goblin nabob.
Mono-Red Squee Prison – because Squee, the Immortal is a heck of a card. And barring something silly like Nevermore, little Squee really is immortal. And in this deck that's way more annoying that it seems at first. From protecting your planeswalkers repeatedly to chipping in damage when you need it to be Liliana of the Veil fodder or the perfect pitch to an on-the-draw Gemstone Caverns, Squee actually adds a really nice angle to this deck.
At its heart, this is a Prison deck utilizing the same 12 Prison cards we see show up across formats: Chalice of the Void, Ensnaring Bridge and Blood Moon. All of those can lock out different decks, and this deck is all about rushing them into play as quickly as possible. We can do that thanks to the eight "free" mana cards – Desperate Ritual and Simian Spirit Guide – plus Gemstone Caverns can steal a land drop on the draw. The net effect is that this deck can relatively consistently land a bomb as early as the first turn. And in our case, that bomb either means our opponent's ability to actually play Magic is severely hampered, or we're slamming a first or second-turn Chandra, Torch of Defiance or Koth of the Hammer.
Throw in some spot removal – flexible spot removal even with Abrade – and a few sweepers to keep your opponents Off Balance, and you have a deck that can lock out entire parts of opposing decks with just a few cards, and then effectively answer the cards they are able to play. Whatever actually ends the game from that point is usually elementary – most of the time it's a planeswalker but it's occasionally even Squee.
The other innovation to the deck is Goblin Rabblemaster. It's actually the perfect card for this deck – you'd be surprised how often a first-turn Rabblemaster simply goes the distance. Other times it's the perfect follow-up to the rest of your plays. It creates tokens that can attack under an Ensnaring Bridge, and it's exactly the clock you need against the combo decks that can be the tough matchups for this deck.
Red Prison decks are taking up more and more of the metagame in both Legacy and Modern, and until people start playing decks that are diversified enough to get around the multitude of busted cards this deck can play, it's going to continue to be a force in Modern. Except now, with Squee!
Thanks for reading,