Monday, December 15, 2014

Modern Red Aggro Budget Deck

Editor's Note: Today, our newest writer gets to show off what he can do. I'd like you to introduce you to Shawn, the new MTGO writer for Monday Morning MTG. He specializes in budget decks and will be our eyes and ears (other than the sound when priority changes during a match, I guess there aren't really any sounds...) on MTGO since he's been known to play for 15 hours straight when he isn't working at his job or serving in the National Guard.

Please welcome Shawn in his first article, a Mono Red budget deck for Modern.

Modern Budget Mono Red Haste


x4 Kiln Fiend
x2 Legion Loyalist
x4 Monastery Swiftspear
x4 Simian Spirit Guide


x18 Mountain


x2 Hammer of Purphoros

Other Spells

x2 Intervention Pact
x4 Gitaxian Probe
x3 Assault Strobe
x1 Faithless Looting
x4 Gut Shot
x4 Mutagenic Growth
x4 Apostle's Blessing
x2 Searing Blood
x2 Manamorphose


x2 Tormod's Cyrpt
x2 Lightning Bolt
x2 Pithing Needle
x2 Searing Blood
x3 Shatter
x2 Young Pyromancer
x2 Burning Earth

How it Works

The deck is made to attack quickly and win fast. If you can play Monastery Swiftspear on turn one and get at least two or three spells played that turn, you can swing for maybe 8 on turn one with double strike for an exceptional play. Then you are putting your opponent on a one or two turn clock to either play quickly or concede because even just a single creature can be killed quickly with this deck. All of the Phyrexian mana spells in the deck are mainly to end the game quickly. They will simply be able to get your opponent down quicker all the while giving your Swiftspear +1/+1 each time you play one. Playing Mutagenic Growth twice will give +4 and Swiftspear will give itself +1/+1 for each is a big leap. This gives you 7/8 with only two spells. Give it double strike with Assault Strobe and Swiftspear becomes a 8/9 with haste and double strike on turn one. After that, you can just start slowly withering your opponent away with other spells.

Monastery Swiftspear  Mutagenic Growth  Assault Strobe

By turn three if your opponent has a way of stopping you, then it can get out of hand quickly by gaining massive amounts of power with just a couple spells and then like I said before, using double strike as a real killer. Without it, you are still swinging away at your opponent for massive amounts of damage. Kiln Fiend gets a +3/+0 bonus for each spell cast so if, for example, you cast a Growth, two Gitaxian Probes and a Lightning Bolt, then all together you added a whopping +12 to his power plus the Lightning Bolt. With that combo, you are dealing around 15 points of damage to your opponent, which in modern is about lethal considering all of the pain lands, fetch lands, and shock lands played in the format.

Kiln Fiend  Gitaxian Probe  Apostle's Blessing

The Apostle's Blessing is mainly just for protection against an Abrupt Decay or Path to Exile. It's essentially just a good trick card when in a sticky situation. The Faithless Looting is just a cantrip to mainly help cycle through your deck to get certain cards or lands in your hand. Hammer of Purphoros is good only when you are in a long match and are not getting good draws or when you need a way to use those excessive lands you may draw. Legion Loyalist is just an extra haste creature that can help with the attack first hand in the beginning. When your opponent tries to expend their mana to kill him, you are ready with a Kiln Fiend or Swiftspear in hand to finish them off.

    Faithless Looting  Hammer of Purphoros  Legion Loyalist

The Sideboard

This is primarily used to go against any deck like Kiki Jiki Pod or any durdle deck, along any Dredge deck or Jund type deck. Burning Earth will hinder any opponent using nonbasic lands and really hurt after a while once they start tapping nonbasic lands unconsciously. The burn spells are just extras for any burn based deck or a deck made for speed like this one. Pithing Needle is self explanatory along with Tormod's Cyrpt. They either stop planeswalkers or Dredge decks who try to Vegevine you to death. Shatter is a simple spell just for against Birthing Pod or any other TRON or artifact based deck.

Burning Earth  Pithing Needle  Tormod's Crypt

Deck Budget

Roughly around $60 to $70 depending on where you go. This is a great budget deck to make for newcomers or seasoned veterans of the format who wish to have some fun. There are a ton of more cards to add to this deck to make it more variable. A Chandra, Pyromaster in the sideboard would help in the long games and give you that extra card to play off the top. If you maybe want to splash blue, you can go for a Cyclops/Fiend type strategy that has been the bane of some decks who take a few turns to cook up. This is a simple and easy deck to build and pretty much straight forward.

Chandra, Pyromaster  Nivix Cyclops


The primary strength is that this deck is fairly cheap and inexpensive to build. I have run something similar to this and it runs rather well. Your cards work so well together that it is easy to just make combos out of no where and win just like that. You swing with power that relatively high so you will have to keep up with your power and toughness boosts and such, but the best feeling is when swing in with over twenty points of damage from one shot and your opponent never saw it coming.


Again the main weakness is drawing the right cards or losing steam after a couple swings and not being able to get in those last few hit points. As well, if your opponent does break your attack with a path and you have no way of stopping it, then you are pretty much at the mercy of them.


As a budget build, it has great power in that aspect. I'd put it in the tier 2 to 2.5 status for that. It is a very touchy deck in which you cannot wait another turn to attack because that could have been your only chance. Once you tweak it to your own accord and find your own way of playing it, then it can maybe be a tier 1 deck in the metagame at the FNM in your area. If you can keep the steam rolling then the deck is perfect, of couse.

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