This week I wanted to mix it up and play a deck that has been losing popularity in Standard. Why has Red-Green Aggro been getting less popular? Honestly I'm not too sure. Many players are so focused on Blue-White Flash and Black-Green Delirium that it becomes easy to forget there are other decks in the format. This is a very aggressive deck that can win out of nowhere in the same style a Modern Infect deck would. After playing Red-Green Aggro on Magic Online I am only more impressed with it. This is where the list is right now:
This list has more creatures than most. The fact is that you don't need the pump spells to win necessarily, but you absolutely do need the creatures. The easiest way to fight this deck is to play a bunch of removal and try to kill all the creatures. Having the maindeck Lathnu Hellion provides another threat against that strategy alongside ways of giving your creatures hexproof. What I don't understand are the versions without Electrostatic Pummeler in them. I get that the deck can be built in a way to be very grindy, but on the flipside, Electrostatic Pummeler provides a ton of free wins. An opponent can think they have stabilized with something like Ishkanah, Grafwidow, but suddenly a huge trampling Electrostatic deals lethal.
In these matches we played against all decks with red, which means a lot of opposing burn. The mirror in game one is about who can goldfish faster. We saw how important Electrostatic Pummeler is when left unanswered. After sideboard the idea is to board in more removal to be able to kill your opponent's threats while deploying your own at the correct moment. This is a transformational sideboard as there may be times where you can bring in the entire sideboard depending on the matchup. Also, on the play in general the removal spells aren't as important.
The sideboard is flexible and the maindeck is pretty tight. This is why it makes sense to devote the entire sideboard to removal and planeswalkers rather than have singular cards that are high impact. The planeswalkers don't need to come in that much, but when they do get boarded in they are game changers. There will be times, as we saw in the first match, when it is very difficult to sideboard, because we don't know exactly what the opponent is trying to do. In these situations, sideboarding less rather than more is the way to go.
The deck feels like it has an edge against midrange decks, and against the aggro decks the matches are close. While we won the match against Black-Red Madness, our opponent could have played better. This helps highlight that Red-Green Aggro is a deck which many players make mistakes against. There are so many different pump effects alongside Harnessed Lightning that it becomes difficult to play around everything. Even when they try to play around specific cards, as we saw against Black-Red Aggro, creatures like Lathnu Hellion can end the game in a hurry while they worry about the possible pump spells.
This is still a deck I recommend for players who don't want to play a midrange deck in Standard. There are viable aggressive decks, and it could be argued Red-Green Aggro is the best of the bunch. The creatures like Voltaic Brawler and Lathnu Hellion are oversized, so that the pump effects are just a bonus or the finishing touch. When the game does drag on, you have combinations of pump spells that can win, especially if the opponent starts playing conservatively. Keep an eye on Red-Green Aggro moving forward.