Daily Digest: Old School Red

Atarka Red has been in the format since day one, but what happened to good old-fashioned burn spells and little monsters? GerryT rediscovered what it means to paint the town red before #SCGCHAR’s Standard Classic!

Atarka Red has been the red variant of choice for a while, but there’s no reason that should be the case. We have plenty of great, “normal” red cards available to us.

Abbot of Keral Keep is obviously going to be the centerpiece, as it’s the best aggressive red card we’ve seen in quite some time. Why not Ire Shaman though? If we’re not bending over backwards to make Dragon Fodder a playable card, we’re going to need a different aggressive two-drop.

Ire Shaman is perfectly reasonable on Turn 2, and at any point past that, it does a reasonable Abbot impression. Valley Dasher is the one that’s going to raise some eyebrows though. Raphael Levy registered the card at Worlds years ago, but it hasn’t seen much play outside of that. In order to make it good, you’re going to want ways to push through blockers, but that’s what Goblin Heelcutter is for.

I like the ability to push through damage and close games with burn spells, and this deck does that well. We may not be living in a world with Goblin Guide, Koth of the Hammer, and Staggershock, but we can make do with what we have.