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One of the first things that many players look for in a new format is a Red Aggressive deck. Typically, finding a combination of the most efficient Red creatures backed by burn spells gives you a good understanding of the aggressive baseline of the format. Unfortunately, in recent years we haven’t really seen a lot of Mono-Red, in large part due to the raw efficiency of vehicles and Humans as aggressive archetypes. Hour of Devastation may change all of that:

Ramunap Ruins
There are a lot of interesting pickups this deck has received in recent sets that may finally add up to enough to merit exploring the archetype. One of the biggest thing holding this deck back is the lack of powerful burn effects that can go to the face, with Incendiary Flow and Shock being the only efficient options. However, Ramunap Ruins is a low-investment, incidental means of letting you get an extra couple points of uncounterable damage over the course of long games. This isn’t a huge change, but it does give you a substantive way of eking out games against Torrential Gearhulk decks that you may not have been able to otherwise.

Two more cards that are helping to change how this deck operates are Earthshaker Khenra and Ahn-Crop Crasher. These cards aren’t especially good against Vehicles, since your opponent can just wait to crew them until after your Falter effects have resolved. However, when many people are relying on the likes of Torrential Gearhulk and Tireless Tracker to be big blocker that hold back opposing aggro decks, your ability to sneak in one more combat step with these kinds of effects should not be underestimated.

Another key addition to this deck is Soul-Scar Mage. One of the most important things to evaluate when looking for Mono-Red Decks is the power and density of one-drops. Previously, this deck was relying on Bomat Courier and Falkenrath Gorger, which are both fine, but don’t give you enough one-drops to reliably have a really fast start. The addition of Soul-Scar Mage gives you another way to get on the board early with a creature that stays relevant late, as well as a way of utilizing your burn spells to force your creatures through large blockers.

As long as decks are leaning more toward midrangey attrition fights and aren’t prepared to gain life and get on the board with early blockers, this seems like a pretty reasonable and budget-friendly choice for your next Standard event.

The Hour of Devastation is upon us! Gets singles and sealed at CoolStuffInc.com!

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