Big Red

New week, new day, new deck!

Today I am pretty stoked because I have a spicy new deck I’d like to share with you. But another reason why I’m very happy is because I am seeing a lot of players in tournaments who know about this blog and are following it! Thank you so much for patronizing and coming back for my articles, much love!

Village MessengerLathnu HellionCharging Monstrosaur

Back in the day, Red creatures were known to be small and fast, or huge and scary. Throughout Magic’s history, Red’s creatures have not deviated from this stereotype.  There was pretty much no in-between for Red unless they bring with them sufficient drawbacks. But for solid creatures, you can expect Red to be great at being tiny but feisty, or large and in charge.

I just came from a PPTQ and 80% of the decks played are aggressive. They only vary on which flag bearer they swore their allegiance to: Energy, Deserts, Vehicles.

Bristling HydraHazoret the FerventHeart of Kiran

You should know by now that we at The Forbidden Alchemy don’t go with the flow but rather make our own river so to speak that’s why today I’m building Big Red.

Big Red is about using Red’s biggest, baddest creatures to stomp the yard and go home angry! Thanks to some great selection, we have tons of awesome creatures that are experts in thrashing and stomping.


Glorybringer has brought down devastation instead of glory in many battlefields and he has earned his rightful place as the best 5 drop for big red decks everywhere. Coming in sideways while taking down the opponent’s best creatures every other turn is priceless. Having 2 copies exerted alternately is crazy.

Combustible GearhulkSword-Point Diplomacy

When it comes to Gearhulks, Red’s Combustible Gearhulk has the best potential damage output by far. First Strike is often neglected but I kid you not on how relevant this is. You can throw anything at him and this Gearhulk will almost always be the last man standing. What’s more, he’s both card advantage and finishet rolled into one. He is the grand daddy of Sword-Point Diplomacy in a 6/6 body.

Burning Sun's Avatar

Thanks to Ixalan, we also have a bad-ass Dinosaur that fits the Big Red motif really well. Burning Sun’s Avatar comes down with an entwined Barbed Lightning. Able to kill a regular dude and shoot down a potential planeswalker feels golden. Not to mention, a 6/6 for 6 is already a great return of investment.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance

She’s not a creature but no one can be redder than Chandra. She can help us ramp into our big dudes, shoot down stuff, and possibly win us the game.

Sunbird's Invocation

To tie all of our good stuff together, we will play Sunbird’s Invocation. Imagine playing a Glorybringer on the stack, and cascade into Chandra. Or if you fancy a Combustible Gearhulk cascading into a Burning Sun’s Avatar, that works too. Did you feel that shiver down your spine? Insane isn’t it?

Now before you tell me “you’re dead before you get to cast Sunbird’s Invocation”, we actually run some removal to help keep us alive but we will also run ramp cards. Yup, R.A.M.P.!

Red Accelerating Mana Professionally.

Wily GoblinCaptain Lannery Storm

Wily Goblin helps us ramp to 4 mana on turn 3 thanks to his Treasure, allowing us to cast Chandra on turn 3. If we don’t use the treasure, we can play Captain Lannery Storm (please use a Pirate tone when reading her name) and swing in for treasure #2. Even if she dies, we end up with 2 treasures and 4 lands by turn 4, allowing us to cast Sunbird’s Invocation 2 turns earlier! Who said only green can ramp? What’s great as well is that these dudes provide bodies we can block with later on.

Hour of Devastation

We will run a couple of light removals for the aggressive decks but I want to mention that we’re running 3 copies of Hour of Devastation. Apart from Glorybringer, all our creatures at the top survives Hour, clearing up the board to allow our dinos and gearhulks to do serious damage. Running high costed spells also help us cascade into cheaper ones, or deal an absurdly high damage from the Gearhulk’s triggered ability.

Here’s my take on Big Red!

Creatures: 20

4 Wily Goblin
4 Captain Lannery Storm
4 Glorybringer
4 Combustible Gearhulk
4 Burning Sun’s Avatar

Planeswalker: 2

2 Chandra, Torce of Defiance

Spells: 14

4 Magma Spray
3 Abrade
4 Sunbird’s Invocation
3 Hour of Devastation

Lands: 24

4 Spirebluff Canal
2 Scavenger Ground
10 Mountains
4 Ramunap Ruins
4 Highland Lake

Sideboard: 15

2 Puncturing Blow
2 By Force
1 Abrade
4 Negate
4 Spell Pierce

We are essentially a combo deck so our sideboard is to help protect us from permission. So we’re splashing a hint of blue.

NegateSpell Pierce

We will pack all 8 copies of the cheapest none-dual blue counter magic we possible can. Negate helps us protect our big spells while Spell Pierce will keep our UB and UW foes from getting their Glimmer of Geniuses off on time.

Puncturing Blow

I got to respect those pesky Gods. Even if we do have mainboard Hour of Devastation, additional removal does not hurt.

By ForceAbrade

Against GPG and Vehicles, adequate artifact hate is a must so we will use a variety to get the job done. The 4th Abrade also comes in against fast little creatures like RB agro and an emerging GW agro list I’m seeing popping up in various reports.

This deck is under construction and I’m excited to test drive it! Let me know what you think!



5 thoughts on “Big Red

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      1. Hey, thought so too. I think the idea is good but the deck is just too tight and it needs my dudes to get through to fetch a land. Unlike Wily that gives a treasure on ETB and Lannary gives upon attacking, is just a bit more consistent.


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