On the one hand, today’s list is a typical red deck. There’s a low curve of aggressive creatures backed up by a suite of burn spells that are well-equipped for dealing with opposing blockers as well as going upstairs to finish the opponent from a low life total. That’s the formula these decks have used for two decades, and as proven itself admirably in that time.
However, when it comes to the current Modern metagame, this list is anything but typical. Red Aggro in Modern is usually Burn, so the creature suite is limited to Goblin Guide, Monastery Swiftspear, Eidolon of the Great Revel, and maybe a Grim Lavamancer or two. Some lists splash green for Wild Nacatl, but those have largely fallen out of favor. We find the expected red creatures here, but with the added creature count, Swiftspear lost its starting spot to Standard staple Bomat Courier.
Two former Standard staples top off the creature curve in Rampaging Ferocidon and Goblin Rabblemaster. Disregarding the dis-synergy between them, it’s clear that they’re both simply powerful creatures, especially when you can consistently clear your opponent’s side of the battlefield. I worry about them being vulnerable to Lightning Bolt, but with early removal spells focused on the Goblin Guides of the world, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a heavy hitter to stick, and neither needs much time to take over a game.
The burn spells in the deck were likely chosen, as I noted earlier, because they all clear away blockers. Notably, Searing Blaze is absent, perhaps due to the lack of fetchlands in the deck, though I think the card is still powerful enough to merit consideration. I could also see trying out some bigger burn spells like Exquisite Firecraft that could potentially answer a large blocker, like a 3/4 Tarmogoyf.
Relative to Burn, this deck is going to have a lower fail rate. The high creature count will get you to twenty more consistently than counting by threes, especially if you miss a key land drop early in the game, but it also makes you easier to interact with. All your opponent’s removal will be live and can potentially trade before your creatures can deal damage. Your topdecks are better than Burn’s in a situation like this, but you’ll also find yourself in those situations more often.
- 3 Grim Lavamancer
- 4 Goblin Guide
- 4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
- 4 Goblin Rabblemaster
- 3 Bomat Courier
- 3 Rampaging Ferocidon
- 2 Dire Fleet Daredevil