Video Daily Digest: All Red, All-In

Skred Red has a Grand Prix-winning pedigree, but what happens when you take out Skred and the Snow-Covered Mountains? You get this Red Prison deck that went 5-0 in a Magic Online League! Who needs snow with a list like this!

Well, that’s embarrassing. Someone forgot to put Snow-Covered Mountains into their Skred Red deck. Looks like they succeeded in spite of the four blanks in their deck.

Wait. Hold on. Where are the Skreds?

How silly of me. I’ve mistaken Skred Red for Red Prison. Skred Red has lots of cheap removal to back up its various threats in a traditional midrange strategy. Red Prison is more all-in on lock elements. We live in an era defined by instant gratification and I want my Chalice of the Voids and Blood Moons on Turn 1. That way, you don’t give your opponent the chance to resolve a Noble Hierarch or a fetchland activation.

You spend the rest of the game with very few cards in hand while your opponent has a ton, which seems like a bad thing until you realize that their hand is large because it has a pile of uncastable spells and yours is small to turn off their combat phase via Ensnaring Bridge. Simply put, this is not a deck that will make you a lot of friends.

But unlike other prison decks, this one has a significant clock. Koth of the Hammer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance are well-protected by Ensnaring Bridge and quickly tick up to game-ending ultimates. If you feel like getting cheeky (and really, who doesn’t?), you can beat down with some 2/2s.

The one card that looks out of place at first is Faithless Looting, which typically finds its home in combo decks. But this deck isn’t looking to fight fair and cares a lot about having the right pieces on Turn 2, so Faithless Looting makes a ton of sense here. You can even flash it back later to dig for a key Ensnaring Bridge or a planeswalker to finish the game before your opponent draws out of their prison.

Prison decks get a bad rap for being “unfun,” but where I come from, completely incapacitating your opponent’s entire deck on the first two turns of the game is just about the most fun thing you can do. They probably spent weeks testing and tuning their list, and in an instant it all falls apart.

Like a deck of cards…wait, that doesn’t sound right. Whatever, Blood Moon you.