Mono Red Decks in Standard, But Fun and Cool

ChrisCee July 10, 2023 4 min
Mono Red Decks in Standard, But Fun and Cool

The undying mono-red. Along with Selesnya Enchantments, the deck has been a permanent resident of the top BO1 standard meta in any rotation just because of how the format is inherently built. But when it comes to living your daily mythic rank life, can you really blame its users?

Then again, I suppose the more important question would be: does it always have to be this way? Do you always need to juggle the consideration for optimization and value to talk you out of brewing a mon red deck?


Well, I think you already know the answer from this article post. Yes, we can indeed spice up mono-red builds with other strategic choices (as it had always been), and here’s a selection of the trickiest builds that popped off over the last few months.


Koth and the Burning Devils

Well, this definitely not as relentless as your typical mono red wins. But the slew of wide-scale burn spells, three copies of Burn Down the Houseimage, along with the bonus Mirran planeswalker creates more flavorful plays focused on control. Though, a good portion of your wins will also be due to the simple element of surprise, just because this deck plays very differently.

Koth, Fire of Resistanceimage wasn’t exactly low rated for Limited during its first reveal. But many people realized just how “not bad” the card really was. And for this deck, three copies are actually a blessing since his ultimate becomes relatively easy to use around a control setting.

If he is not enough, a better option might be Chandra, Hope's Beaconimage, which will be a mainstay for technically all of the decks in this list. Because things still do get kind of crazy really quickly if you can cast a double Burn Down the Houseimage, or a “secret” Invoke Calamityimage with her.

Gameplay Video

Featured Cards:


Planeswalker & Phoenix Control


Permanent Counters, Featuring Burn

All Will Be Oneimage combined with battle cards has already been explored in very early March of the Machine decks. But after the usual stabilizing of the meta down, it was never truly refined, since it always involved that one single awkward turn of nothingness that no mono red deck is usually sane enough to try.

This deck explores the same idea. But this time, the less-older idea of universal counters is used. This results in a slightly more well-rounded build, leaving the flashier plays (with All Will Be One) as a sort of “ambush” strategy. Nahiri's Warcraftingimage, in particular, is recommended to be used with at least three or more excess damage (without playing a land first), to stabilize further stabilize your land drops.

Once an acceptable board state is set, you can then simply drop the counter permanents for instant massive damage, or free damage over time. Invasion of Regatha // Disciples of the Infernoimage, for instance, can shoot 9 damage to the face, while Koth, Fire of Resistanceimage (preferably already on the field as All Will Be One drops) can freely ping for 2 whenever he searches for mountains.

Gameplay Video

Featured Cards:




Escalating Bombardment and Destruction

Of course, no fancy mono red decklist will be complete in our current Standard without the use of the obligatory-but-chaotic Arcane Bombardmentimage. To be fair, this card had better use in more multi-color builds over the last year. But it is still, in essence, a true big red blasting spell, with all of its chaotic elements intact.

The play formula is mostly the same, only with more recent cards. Maintain a neutral board state with the low cost spells, then drop the heavy hitters as soon as you get an opening. Keep the tap-out game when you encounter another fellow control deck. Oh, and remember to reserve some of your cheap spells for when Arcane Bombardmentimage is finally active. This is both to remove those cheap spells from the selection pool, and to improve the chances of always hitting a Big Scoreimage with its effect.

Of course, even with an Arcane Bombardment in play, the random nature of the card can still leave you with less optimal results per game. But the starting draws should be stable enough that you can still go with a reserved play at the start, followed up with a huge turnaround at the end… even against more meta mono red builds!

Gameplay Video

Featured Cards:




Just Shoot Anything that Moves

And lastly, if you want the most classic mono red deck to stay true to its intended design while still being fun, you go for good ol’ dumb burn! Yep, it’s Chandra, Hope's Beaconimage once more. This time though, she will be the deck’s primary win condition and a value engine for all of the other non-linear red spells.

Unlike the more “conservative” builds here, we have four full copies Burn Down the Houseimage. Again, its combo with Chandra can be absolutely bonkers in certain situations. But the modal capability to also stifle your opponent’s momentum while punishing them for dealing with your creatures becomes an absolute boon for this type of deck.

Then there’s the humble Ral's Reinforcementsimage. It contributes more to protecting the two Chandras quite a bit than Burn Down the Houseimage, helping this deck to stabilize in other matchups where the opponent set ups a bit faster. One copy of Mirreximage is “hidden” in the build as well, if there are no other win conditions to use and you have a lot of mana in a late grindy game.

Gameplay Video

Featured Cards:


Big Red Burn!

About ChrisCee:

A witness since the time the benevolent silver planeswalker first left Dominaria, ChrisCee has since went back and forth on a number of plane-shattering incidents to oversee the current state of the Multiverse.

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