Mono-Red, Hated Stepchild?



  • Hey Mods: Because of the age of the other mono-red thread here I am starting a new thread here at the behest of the little popup message that came up when I hit reply to that thread. Please feel free to move close or otherwise guide this thread there if need be!

    In parallel to my post about fringe decks and with all of the ideas rumbling around in the Blood Sun thread, I wanted to ask some noob questions about Mono-Red Hate. Just for stating-the-obvious reasons I'm talking about the blood moon decks along the lines of Dragon Stompy:

    4 Null Rod
    4 Simian Spirit Guide
    4 Chandra, ToD
    4 Magus of the Moon
    4 Goblin Rabblemaster (in most that I've seen)
    4 Fiery Confluence
    4 Blood Moon
    4 City of Traitors
    4 Ancient Tomb
    11 Basic Mountain
    1 Chalice
    X Ensnaring Bridge
    X Eidolon of the Great Revel (or sometimes not)

    For myself, I just like having an easy to assemble paper vintage deck that can be added to the bag of tricks. Mono Red adds some really nice variety to play and is refreshingly fun! It seems that this kind of deck is just on the verge of good, unique and powerful against many other decks...but I have questions...

    1. Is Ensnaring Bridge with Cage in the side really good enough against the new generation of techy Inferno Titan style Oath?

    2. In the Rivals of Ixalan SMIP Kevin noted that Blood Sun would be the kind of card that red hate players might just want as an automatic 4 of, almost just out principal, plus the replacement draw effect. Does Blood Sun strengthen these lists substantially? If so, how many and where? Is there a way that these lists could abuse the new rules to do proactive things with drawback lands (lotus vale and pals) and Blood Sun? Seems like not exactly where you'd want to be with this deck but I figure the big brains here might have more illumination on why this is either possible or an abominable idea. I as a mere scrub have trouble seeing either option clearly. I have a feeling that the too-cute factor of a kitchen table brew like a dark depths/lotus vale blood sun deck full of Despotic Scepter or Crack the Earth with ANY consistency would be a little much...but still...shenanigans!

    3. Finally, for players who have enjoyed this deck, how do you like it, how are the matchups ranked best to worst?

    4. Is there a way to bring this deck from a fringe position to a playable midrange deck that delivers consistently? Is it already there, but just quietly?

    5. Is Blue Moon just a better deck if you're going to muck around with Blood Moon/Magus in the first place?

    Thanks in advance for explaining, as you would a child, why or why not these decks are actually worth exploring. It just seems like such a nice change of pace! Especially to attract new players who see all of the blue deck nuances as Homestyle vanilla vs French vanilla...



  • Hey there!
    First, here is the list I played yesterday at a 17 person proxy vintage event in Austin Tx.

    MAIN:
    2x Abrade
    4x Ancient Tomb
    1x Black Lotus
    4x Blood Moon
    1x Chalice of the Void
    4x Chandra, Torch of Defiance
    1x Chrome Mox
    4x City of Traitors
    3x Eidolon of the Great Revel
    2x Ensnaring Bridge
    4x Fiery Confluence
    4x Goblin Rabblemaster
    1x Hanweir Garrison
    4x Magus of the Moon
    1x Mana Crypt
    11x Mountain
    1x Mox Ruby
    3x Null Rod
    4x Simian Spirit Guide
    1x Trinisphere

    SIDE:
    1x Abrade
    2x Ensnaring Bridge
    4x Grafdigger's Cage
    1x Jokulhaups
    1x Null Rod
    4x Pyroblast
    1x Koth of the Hammer
    1x Sudden Shock

    I went 2-3 in some close games. Ill talk about them if people want. Jokulhaups is cute, for UW Standstill (primarily), and probably terrible. I did not cast it once.

    To answer your questions from my subjective perspective:

    1. The new generation of inferno titan oath is certainly worse for us than oath used to be. They get to hard cast titan, which can be an issue. The largest issue I have faced is their main deck Ancient Grudges. Your primary plan to hide behind a cage or a bridge works, but it is no longer a lock because they will eventually blow them up. If you fail to draw a quick threat, they will have time to fight their way out.

    2. I had the option to run some number of blood sun. I could never convince myself why I would want to. To me, they do not shut off enough for me to want any in the deck. I understand that it will blank fetches and Bazaar, but most of those have a chance to get in and under the blood sun. If I am casting a "moon" effect, I want it to be blood moon or magus. I would rather it be a card that can kill my opponent since this deck relies so heavily on drawing a threat that will end the game. TL;dr: I have yet to have a game where I wish any card in my deck was a blood soon instead of what it already was.

    3. I LOVE THE DECK. Full disclosure: I have an unhealthy relationship with mountains. What I really enjoy about the deck is that it has the tools to fight almost every popular archetype. It almost auto loses to Fish however. Essentially, you are there to beat up on every 3+ color deck while also having great game against Shops and other artifact decks. We are in red, which means we have all the tools to kill artifacts. The majority of my losses come from my opponents "out vintaging me" by getting in and under me with fast lotus/mox fueled hands/quick tinkers/combo killing in the first or second turn. Shrug, what are you going to do, its vintage!

    4. I absolutely believe so. Literally no idea if I am right. personally feel like the deck is missing another 3 drop that is as much as a threat as Rabblemaster. I think that will push it to the next level, what ever that level may be. Scab-Clan berserker is fine, but not amazing. Eidolon is either medium or winning you the game. Sin Prodder is either amazing or completely embarrassing. I tried a Hanweir Garrison and pretended it was Rabblemaster Jr. I feel medium about it. Sometimes you literally win by casting blood moon and/or null rod and could win with raging goblin if you had one. Sometimes those cards can buy you a lot of time but you need to have a strong threat to win. This past weekend I had my oath player "totally" locked out by then 3. Chalice on 0, blood moon, null rod, and an eidolon against a basic island and 2 "mountains." The oath player had main deck removal for my eidolon, then was able to answer my hard cast SSG and then drew out of my lock (main deck ancient grudges) while I twiddled my thumbs and did not draw a real threat. TL;dr: It is really close but we are missing a card or an innovation.

    5. I have never played blue moon in vintage. I suspect adding blue cards is bad and just makes your mountains worse. /shrug

    Feel free to pick my brain.



  • @meesterroboto said in Mono-Red, Hated Stepchild?:

    personally feel like the deck is missing another 3 drop that is as much as a threat as Rabblemaster.

    I would agree, red needs another powerful card. I would like to test Dire Fleet Daredevil against blue decks, because card draw would be nice for red.



  • I’ve been testing a similar list. And while I am unwilling to disclose the full list, I am willing to talk about certain cards.

    Your initial list is pretty good as far as cards I’d consider playing.

    Trinisphere is shit in the deck and is only good vs combo. Don’t even consider playing it main deck.

    Ensanring Bridge is an incredible vintage card.

    Gemstone caverns is fine in the list.

    Scalding Tarn is very good in game 1, when you have a hand that is playable for turn 2 and not turn 1. It’s a bluff.

    You don’t need that many creature threats. But cards like Goblin Rabblemaster are playable in Vintage (unlike Legacy and Modern where it is unplayable).



  • @meesterroboto

    I’m convinced abrade is also a terrible card in the list. If you are 1 for 1 shops, you will lose. They have so much more mana production than you do that you if you are basically investing a turn in destroying things, it has to be at a better rate than 1 for 1.



  • Maindeck Koth seems like he’d be a totally fine complement to Rabble. He ends the game VERY quickly, even under a Bridge. To those who haven’t played him extensively: he might look innocuous on the surface, but that ultimate comes fast and wins games.

    (Disclaimer: I play Koth in Modern Skred. When I ultimate him, I typically have 5+ Mountains in play. Maybe that’s less likely here?)



  • Blood sun doesn’t do anything worthwhile to merit its inclusion.

    How is eidolon of the great revel? I haven’t played it. But again it seems pretty loose. Like you cant play it maindeck and hide behind a ensnaring bridge to beat mud. Because you’ll have to cast your cards and lose life.

    It also doesn’t autowin vs combo lists. It could do some good, but you need other things to go along with it.

    Curious how it has played out for you guys. But it just doesn’t seem one-sided enough to play in my opinion.



  • @stuart

    Koth is much worse in Vintage and Legacy for a few reasons. For example, unlike in Modern, many of your lands aren't mountains. You can find youself in a situation where you play Mox, Simian, Ancient Tomb Koth of the Hammer, and you can't even plus 1 the card because you have no legal mountain targets. There are token armies in almost every list (zombies, hangarback walker, elemental or monk tokens) that make Koth pretty bad as an attacker.

    4 mana on a non-creature has to be an amazing card becasue of spheres as well. Chandra and Fiery Conlfuence are amazing cards. Koth is pretty medium.

    (I also play Koth in Modern. For the record, I play EIGHT MOON in every format. Koth is good in modern. In Modern, I run 4 desperate ritual, 4 pyrretic ritual, 4 chandra - torch, 2 koth, and 3 chandra, flamecaller (6 mana) as all your 4 mana walkers are also mana accelerants!)



  • @gkraigher said in Mono-Red, Hated Stepchild?:

    Scalding Tarn is very good in game 1, when you have a hand that is playable for turn 2 and not turn 1. It’s a bluff.

    I like this line actually! It's an opportunity for sheer play ability in vintage which feels a little unusual, but the idea of using fetches that are either filtering or becoming mountains seems like a solid plan. If you don't mind my asking are you running x4 Tarn?

    I have seen a couple of those Jokulhaups cropping up, but am wondering if you can get better utility elsewhere? Not having a ton of experience with this deck this may sound incredibly dumb but could you maindeck something like Metamorph to fight Oath monsters? The fact that they can cast inferno titan off of your Blood Moon seems even more maddening...

    Blood Sun. What can you say. That card draw feels appealing. But is it appealing enough? The ability to bring in another card and still beat down the fetch lands in G1 which could then be boarded out against workshop...? Maybe the card is just bad? Like I said in the original post, it feels like Blood Sun could really be more positioned for an even More-fringe combo deck. I feel the same about that Daredevil. I love the idea of being able to pull it out for its demoralizing value against blue, but in the Oath and Workshop matchups (which seem like the worst ones?) it just seems like another blank.

    I guess being Out-Vintaged is the key that I constantly worry about. The level of access to things like card draw and the sheer speed, without recourse to maindeck REB seems very tough and may contribute to this deck's overall fringe-a-tude. I've noticed a couple of lists that play Viashino Heretic, is that a thing?

    @meesterroboto said in Mono-Red, Hated Stepchild?:

    It almost auto loses to Fish however.

    I honestly hadn't thought too hard about the Null Rod mirror, but could you expound on this a little? What is your game plan in those circumstances? And here are we talking Noble Hierarch/Bob kind of decks?



  • @bandswithothers said in Mono-Red, Hated Stepchild?:

    @meesterroboto said in Mono-Red, Hated Stepchild?:

    It almost auto loses to Fish however.

    I honestly hadn't thought too hard about the Null Rod mirror, but could you expound on this a little? What is your game plan in those circumstances? And here are we talking Noble Hierarch/Bob kind of decks?

    I am talking more specifically of Merfolk. We end up having so many blanks that the only real plan is to hide behind ensnaring bridge. The deck cannot beat TTN. Decks with hierarch/bob and such usually fall prey to blood moon effects enough for those to be fine.

    @gkraigher said in Mono-Red, Hated Stepchild?:

    @meesterroboto

    I’m convinced abrade is also a terrible card in the list. If you are 1 for 1 shops, you will lose. They have so much more mana production than you do that you if you are basically investing a turn in destroying things, it has to be at a better rate than 1 for 1.

    Abrades are in the deck so I don't lose to my own mana crypt and not specifically for shops. I never felt they were amazing during my 5 rounds.

    @gkraigher said in Mono-Red, Hated Stepchild?:

    How is eidolon of the great revel? I haven’t played it. But again it seems pretty loose. Like you cant play it maindeck and hide behind a ensnaring bridge to beat mud. Because you’ll have to cast your cards and lose life.

    It also doesn’t autowin vs combo lists. It could do some good, but you need other things to go along with it.

    Curious how it has played out for you guys. But it just doesn’t seem one-sided enough to play in my opinion.

    It was better at psyching my opponent out and drawing removal than it was at actually impacting the board. I will likely trim numbers, or move to board. Might even cut. I felt very meh about it. I will say they usually come right out for matchups where you want your bridges for very obvious reasons.



  • @meesterroboto

    I'm currently testing between 2-3 tarns. You don't want the damage, and you do need to draw lands at time. But yes, thinning is good. Bluffing is the real reason to play it though.

    Pyroblast is better than Red Elemental Blast because of Ensnaring Bridge. You can cast it to get it out of your hand if you need to. But I still run so many of these things that I am playing some number of REBs.

    Merfolk does seem like a bad matchup. But you can't win everything. All the more reason to have access to more blasts!



  • @gkraigher

    So is it good enough to run Maindeck pyroblast? Or is plan G1 "Surprise! I'm Mono Red Mutha!" and then pack in more hate game two? It sounds more and more like you might want more bridge in the first game or does that just slow you down. I feel like i just need to goldfish this and maybe gauntlet a little to get a feel for the matchups. It's just a breath of fresh air to be able to switch to these lines of play.

    Interesting comments on Koth as well, several lists seem to run him at least in the SB. I have a copy so I keep giving it some side-eye...

    Also, on the face, this is a fairly midrange deck (like a lot of null rod decks), what do your best opening hands look like and what is the most usual path to victory?



  • @bandswithothers

    Blasts main is pretty difficult to justify. The one situation where I’ve tried it is in Legacy, where I am running 4 Pyrokensis main over bad cards like goblin rabblemaster. I also run 1 Hazoret in legacy. In conjunction with chrome mox, playing blasts main made some sense. I cut chalice of the void to do this. Eventually I went back to chalice maindeck and blasts in the board.

    The point of this tangent, if you can’t use the blasts for some other purpose, it’s extremly hard to justify their existence in the main deck.

    You’d be better purposed playing more ensnaring bridge main.

    Have I told you yet how good ensnaring Bridge is? Because it might be better than blood moon. They are on the same power level. Hanoweir Garrison and Rabblemaster can attack throug a bridge pretty easily.

    This is not a midrange deck. This is a control deck.



  • Here is my current list:

    Artifact (13)
    1x Black Lotus
    1x Chalice of the Void
    3x Ensnaring Bridge
    1x Lotus Petal
    1x Mana Crypt
    1x Mox Ruby
    4x Null Rod
    1x Sol Ring
    Land (19)
    4x Ancient Tomb
    4x City of Traitors
    1x Gemstone Caverns
    7x Mountain
    3x Scalding Tarn
    Creature (16)
    4x Goblin Rabblemaster
    4x Hanweir Garrison — #4 is the worst card in the main
    4x Magus of the Moon
    4x Simian Spirit Guide
    Sorcery (4)
    4x Fiery Confluence
    Enchantment (4)
    4x Blood Moon
    Planeswalker (4)
    4x Chandra, Torch of Defiance
    Sideboard (15)
    4x By Force
    1x Ensnaring Bridge
    4x Grafdigger's Cage — not sure if leyline Of sanctity isn’t better here
    4x Pyroblast
    2x Red Elemental Blast



  • @gkraigher
    What is the thinking behind the 1x Gemstone Caverns? Is it just fast mana?

    Also @thread any thoughts of Phyrexian Metamorph in this archetype?



  • @john-cox

    Personal preference. The lists generally run 18 lands. I always play 1 more land than a stock list, just a rule of thumb. It helps beat variance over a 12 round tournament.

    This deck needs the mana acceleration more on the draw. Caverns is simply the card for the job.



  • @john-cox I also asked above on the idea of Metamorph. My kneejerk here is that if Inferno Oath is a pretty miserable time, Metamorph could be a good thing in place of one or maybe even two Hanweir Garrison, but maybe that's just not the case?

    @gkraigher I notice that you are maxing out Null Rod and going to x3 Bridge in the main whereas many lists run 3 rod with 2 bridge and keep the extra in the SB. Would you mind elaborating on that choice a bit? Also, since bridge is so good, and the deck is more controlling, would it make sense to sneak in a bottle cloister or two? Or is that just not where this deck wants to be?

    All that said, what are your optimum opening hands and typical mulligans like?



  • How good is 4 ability Chandra in the list and how often does she become a dead draw when you hit your second copy since you have no filtering in the list.

    I only ask because I have seen super friends lists in modern that run 4x of her and then even an additional Chandra, the Firebrand now that the rules have shifted so you can have both in play. If she is that good maybe having a better chance and a chance to have 2 of them in play at the same time is better?

    I recognize her +1 is lacking but not without value, but her -2 into a Fiery confluence is a game ender.

    I could also see something like Faithless looting being of some value in this list to pitch extra City of traitors or useless moxen.



  • Also, does defense grid merit consideration for the sideboard? Garbage for shops but baits force of will pretty well.



  • @protoaddct
    What would you side out for defense grid? It wouldn't make sense to side out a threat.
    FWIW with chandra, you can just minus her and then replay a new one at full loyalty for value at worst if they are clogging up your hand. .


 

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