I know most players are used to seeing Goblin Chainwhirler decks crushing Standard at this point, however most of the red decks that have done well have had some amount of black in them. There is another way to go, though, which means abandoning Scrapheap Scrounger and Unlicensed Disintegration and playing straight Mono-Red. While the version of Mono Red that Wyatt Darby won a Pro Tour with wasn't tribally based, we are now seeing a transition towards a Wizards-based synergy. This allows the deck to play Wizard's Lightning, which is effectively Lightning Bolt.

This is the deck that won Grand Prix Providence. I personally showed up to the event playing Black-Red Aggro only to lose to Mono-Red decks like this one. You don't really have to go out of your way to play Wizards, as they synergize with this sort of strategy quite nicely. The Flame of Keld is a good card to build around to make your deck as burn-based as possible. Viashino Pyromancer happens to be very strong alongside a Flame of Keld. Ghitu Lavarunner and Soul-Scar Mage work well alongside the idea of lots of burn spells.

During this set of matches, we were able to observe how it is possible to get under the other red decks, as you are playing the faster deck, with a lower curve. There is also a higher density of spells in the Wizards deck, though that comes at the cost of playing fewer lands. By playing fewer lands it also means you don't want to have too many expensive cards, so the deck has actually moved the Hazoret the Fervent to the sideboard.

The other factor about playing a land-light deck is you must be willing to keep hands with only one land in them. Most, if not all, seven-card hands in the black-red deck are mulligans, which is absolutely not the case in the Red Wizards deck. On the flipside, you are playing a deck with more cards that only cost one and there are no lands that come into play tapped here. Your draws on average will be very explosive, but sometimes you have to take risks with opening hands that don't always pay off.

Of the matches played here, the one against the White-Blue Control deck was the most impressive. Decks like this get a bad reputation for not having any lategame. Somehow, we were able to grind out our opponent and draw enough burn to get the job done in the end. I suspect more players will start to pick up this deck to answer the other red decks. It feels weird not having any four-mana cards main deck, but the extra land does come in when you board the Hazoret the Fervents in.

The Flame of Keld can be high variance, but normally it is possible to play your hand out before casting it. The variance comes with what you actually draw off the second chapter. Oftentimes you will be looking for any sort of direct damage here, with the hope that alongside the third chapter of Flame of Keld it will be possible to burn the opponent out.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield