Magic Commander Deck Of The Week: Mono-Red Hinata, Dawn-Crowned

Cutting colors can make an overpowered MTG commander seem fairer. Bennie Smith applies this idea in his Commander Deck of the Week, a “mono-red” list led by Hinata, Dawn-Crowned.

Hinata, Dawn-Crowned
Hinata, Dawn-Crowned, illustrated by Alexander Mokhov

Back in the day, I had a Golos, Tireless Pilgrim deck built around landfall and other “lands matter” cards, but it didn’t take many games playing it before realizing Golos was just grossly overpowered. Even though my particular build didn’t try to break things with all the best combo cards across all five colors, it still won more often than it didn’t. In an attempt to tone it down, I ended up building a “mono-white” Golos deck – every spell would also fit into a deck with a mono-white color identity. Even then, the Golos build was too strong, and when the Commander Rules Committee finally banned Golos, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed when I took the deck apart.

The exercise in restricting the colors available in a deck in order to power it down was illuminating, though, and I think it’s a good option when you want to play a higher-powered commander without all the baggage that comes with it.  With that in mind, I’d like to share with you my “mono-red” Hinata, Dawn-Crowned deck!

Hinata, Dawn-Crowned

Hinata in the (Mono-)Red Zone

When Hinata came out, I toyed around with it and quickly found it to be quite obnoxious when you stuff in the best targeting spells across all three Jeskai colors. In an effort to tone it down, I decided to pick just one of the colors to build the deck around, and went with red. 

Red burn decks often struggle in Commander due to everyone’s high starting life totals and just how huge many commonly played creatures can get.  Hinata’s ability to shave mana off red’s spells lets you unlock much bigger effects than you’d normally have access to. Losing white and blue also made it a bit easier for your opponents to interact with Hinata, and given that Hinata already makes it more difficult for opponents to target it, I felt this helps make it fairer.


Storm King's Thunder Smoke Spirits' Aid Red Sun's Twilight Fireball Rolling Thunder Meteor Swarm

Spells with X in their mana cost that have X targets are obviously the bread and butter of a Hinata deck, and here my favorite card is Red Sun’s Twilight. For two red mana, I can exile any number of problematic artifacts, and if there are five or more of them, I get to make copies of them, they gain haste, and then I exile them at the beginning of the next end step. Snagging a Sol Ring, an Arcane Signet, a Solemn Simulacrum, and a couple of Equipment could make for a massive turn!

Fireball is old-school and probably a little underpowered compared to other options I didn’t include, but I have a textless Fireball from Magic Player Rewards in 2005 that looks really cool, and where else would I want to play it?

Multiple Targets

Chaotic Transformation Divergent Transformations Jaya's Immolating Inferno Fight with Fire Comet Storm Hate Mirage

With five potential targets, Chaotic Transformation could be cast for just one red mana, which is quite the bargain to force a reroll on some of the best permanents my opponents control. If I have some tokens I could potentially target one of my own to pull something sweet from my deck.

Between undaunted and targeting two creatures, Divergent Transformations should cost just two mana, which is awesome value. I also love Hate Mirage for just two mana, copying something huge and/or something with a nice enters-the-battlefield trigger.

Instant or Sorcery Matters

Ogre Battlecaster Spellbinding Soprano Young Pyromancer Bothersome Quasit Fire Servant Pyromancer's Goggles Backdraft Hellkite Storm-Kiln Artist Smoldering Egg Guttersnipe Reiterate

Ogre Battlecaster and Backdraft Hellkite provide conditional card advantage by letting us reuse our best instant or sorcery spells from the graveyard. Young Pyromancer should churn out a fair number of chump blockers along the way, while Guttersnipe’s damage triggers will slowly add up, especially if we’re sending discounted burn at our opponents’ life totals.

Pyromancer’s Goggles and Reiterate are sweet cards that get positively bonkers when we’re casting something huge thanks to Hinata’s discounts.

Bothersome Quasit is a nice techy card in a spell-heavy deck, goading the biggest threats on the table so they don’t harass you and buying you time to do silly Hinata things.

Noncombat Damage Matters

Soul-Scar Mage Fall of Cair Andros Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might Chandra's Incinerator Toralf, God of Fury

Fall of Cair Andros feels like a nice companion to Young Pyromancer, growing a potentially huge Orc Army as you blast your opponents’ creatures. The new card Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might is sweet here, letting you use one of your spells to ping each opponent, and Ojer will up that damage whatever its power is. And if it dies, it turns into a land, so it kinda counts as land ramp too.

I don’t see Chandra’s Incinerator played much, but when I have seen it in action, it really delivers! This will easily be cast for a big discount and can translate damage dealt to your opponents into burn for their creatures.

Toralf, God of Fury’s backside, Toralf’s Hammer, is one way to increase the power of Ojer Axonil, and throwing it for three damage to any target can be quite handy. Of course, the front side loves to see excess damage dealt to a creature or planeswalker, trampling that damage to any other permanent.

Mana Ramp

Sol Ring Liquimetal Torque Arcane Signet Talisman of Progress Ornithopter of Paradise Soulbright Flamekin Cheering Fanatic Runaway Steam-Kin Elementalist's Palette Commander's Sphere Darksteel Ingot Skyclave Relic Chromatic Lantern Atsushi, the Blazing Sky Solemn Simulacrum Mana Geyser Neheb, the Eternal

I’m running a ton of ramp because I’m running a bunch of spells where the more mana I can pump into them, the better.  Plus, the deck gets really clunky without my commander on the battlefield, so I want to make sure I can pay the commander tax as often as I need to.

Liquimetal Torque provides a utility mode, helping me to point artifact destruction at nonland permanents. A lot of this helps fix my colors too so that I can reliably cast my Jeskai commander in my mono-red deck, with Chromatic Lantern solving any and all such problems.  I made sure to make room for both Darksteel Ingot and Skyclave Relic so that all my artifact mana doesn’t get nuked by artifact mass removal.


Gorilla Shaman Shattering Pulse Impact Resonance Star of Extinction Blasphemous Act Chaos Warp

Many of the spells above will kill opponents’ creatures, but I wanted a few other ways to sweep the battlefield if my opponents’ plans have gotten out of hand. Gorilla Shaman is here mostly to snack on Treasure tokens, but nowadays Food tokens and especially Clue tokens might need to be eaten too. Shattering Pulse with buyback is always a great way to take down problem artifacts, and with Hinata, you can shave a mana from the deal.

Card Draw

Humble Defector Jeska's Will Fury Storm

I’ve got some ways to replay spells from my graveyard, and that counts as card draw of sorts, but I’ve got a few more ways to access extra cards.  Fury Storm can target Sphinx’s Revelation or Harmonize, so I count it as card draw.


Arcane Lighthouse Soul-Guide Lantern Tibalt's Trickery Chef's Kiss Dire Fleet Daredevil Brash Taunter Fiendish Duo

I really love that red has chaotic interactive spells like Tibalt’s Trickery and Chef’s Kiss, disrupting an opponent’s play while synergizing nicely with our spellslinger effects. Dire Fleet Daredevil is here to access some effects we might otherwise struggle with, like a Crush Contraband to destroy an enchantment or a lovely Harmonize to draw some cards.

Brash Taunter has long been a favorite of mine, particularly in a deck that runs Star of Extinction and Blasphemous Act. I can also target it with mass burn spells for free with Hinata on the battlefield, for extra face-smashing value. I also think there’s a new art version of Brash Taunter available in Murders at Karlov Manor Commander? There’s also a new version of Fiendish Duo, which does a nice job of tempting your opponents to attack each other for maximum punch instead of coming after you.

Color-Fixing Lands

Command Tower Raugrin Triome Mystic Sanctuary Path of Ancestry Reflecting Pool Exotic Orchard Azorius Chancery Spectator Seating Sundown Pass Training Center Stormcarved Coast Thriving Bluff

When putting together my manabase, each land had to at least produce red mana, with the one exception of Azorius Chancery, which provides both of the off-color mana needed to cast Hinata. This manabase, plus some of the artifact mana, has been good enough to ensure access to the colors I need to cast my commander when I want to.

The Deck

Okay, here’s the full decklist!

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

You know, I really need to find a Soulfire Eruption, because seriously, what a wild big-turn card!

Soulfire Eruption

So, what other must-have cards might I have missed including here?  Which overpowered multicolored commanders do you think would be fun building as a “mono-color” deck?

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and start conversations about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!  You can also find my LinkTree on my profile page there with links to all my content.

I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do Commander, Brawl, and sometimes other Magic-related streams when I can.  If you can’t join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.  You can also find the lists for my paper decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews.  

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

Visit my Decklist Database to see my decklists and the articles where they appeared!